Lars Holm-2 Position:
Associate Professor
Ph.D., Cand.Scient./M.S.
+45 3863 6002/ +45 5360 3180

Research focus:

Research leader of the Protein Turnover group at ISMC.

Associate Professor at Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

Research partner at Clinical Metabolomics Core Facility, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, DK.

The research focus of the Protein Turnover group is to improve our understanding of how intake of protein (from different sources and in different matrixes) and contractile activity affect mainly skeletal muscle protein mass and to explore the underlying hierarchical mechanisms: i) how changes in protein turnover rates can affect protein mass, and ii) how protein turnover rates are regulated at the molecular level.

The temporal responsiveness and dose-responsiveness to contractile intensity and/or protein intake are recurrent interventions applied in various designs – both longitudinal interventions in daily living setting and experimental setups lasting hours. The main focus is presently to understand the potential of these two potent stimuli to improve protein turnover and maintain skeletal muscle in healthy aging. The main studies are in vivo settings performed in humans but also animal in vivo models and in vitro work are applied upon requirement.

Specific projects:

The phenomenon Protein Turnover covers the two kinetic processes protein synthesis and breakdown that determines the net protein balance and thus, whether proteins are accreted or lost. Therefore, for us the main tool is to measure the synthesis and breakdown rates of proteins in tissues of interest. The kinetic rates are measured by tracing stable isotopically labeled amino acids. Our primary analytical tool is therefore mass spectrometry, to which we have access at the Clinical Metabolomics Core Facility at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen (

Methodologies: Human investigations found the basis for our research, whereas animal models and in vitro work are applied when appropriate to precede or support human data. Skeletal muscle (mostly vastus lateralis, but also trapezius, soleus, rectus abdominis), tendon (patella), as well as skin biopsies, interstitial fluid, and blood are harvested and analyzed with various techniques, such as: embedded and sliced for histo- and immunochemistry, western blotting, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, and various both liquid chromatograph and gas chromatograph mass spectrometry applications. Further, with the purpose either to assess longitudinal changes in body composition and functional performance, we have access to various scan types; magnetic resonance imaging, ultra sonic, and dual x-ray absorptiometry; as well as to a wide range of functional measurements and isometric and isokinetic thigh strength assessed with the KinCom (Chattanooga, TN, USA) dynamometer.

To see the individual projects that I am involved in visit the Protein Turnover Group

Funded by:

– Arla Foods Ingredients P/S: DKK 1.515.125 Project (period 2011-2014 ) title: Forøget muskelopbyggende effekt af daglig protein-supplement og let muskeltræning

-University of Copenhagen 2016 Excellence Programme: DKK 5.722.609 (period 2013-2017) Project title: 
CALM – Counteracting Age-Related Loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass

– Danish Diary Research Foundation: DKK 2.470.000 (period 2014- 2017 ) Project title:
Fate of nutrient-derived amino acids: influence of habituated levels of daily dietary protein intake on protein utilization 
Purpose/aim: The purpose of the present study is to investigate whole body skeletal muscle utilization and fate of amino acids from a high protein meal (~30 g) following habituation to one of two divergent levels of protein intake (0.6-0.8 g/kg/d vs. >2.0 g/kg/d).
Approximate time for results: End of 2017-start 2018
Dissimination plan and publication plan: The results will be presented in peer-review journals as well as presented at international conferences. The final conclusions will collectively be presented in a PhD thesis in January 2019.

– Arla Foods Ingredients P/S: DKK 1.513.729 (period 2014 – 2017 ) Project title: CALM – Counteracting Age-Related Loss of Skeletal Muscle Mass

 Innovation Fund Denmark: DKK 2.887.913 (period 2015 – 2017) Project title: Counterstrike- counteracting sarcopenia with proteins and exercise- screening thw CALM cohort for Ipoprotein biomarkers 
– Danish Crown Ingredients: DKK 608.000 (period 2015-2016) Project title: Absorption and muscle-stimulating effect of hydrolyzed and minced beef
Kvægafgiftsfonden: DKK 544.000 (period 2016-2018) Project title: Absorption and muscle-stimulating effect of hydrolyzed and minced beef
Purpose/aim: To measure the absorption kinetics and postprandial amino acid availability after ingestion of minced beef compared with hydrolyzed beef in young males. Moreover, the basal muscle protein synthesis and the postprandial muscle protein synthetic response to minced beef and hydrolyzed beef ingestion are measured in young males. The postprandial muscle protein synthetic response is measured and compared during the early postprandial period (0-3 hours) and the late postprandial period (3-6 hours) after ingestion of the two meat products.
Approximate time for results: The first results will be obtained late 2016/early 2017.
Dessimination and publication plan: 1 peer-reviewed publication including absorption kinetics and postprandial amino acid availability as well as muscle protein synthesis measurements.