Giovanni Cavagna

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Giovanni Cavagna
Born (1934-05-30) May 30, 1934 (age 88)
Milan, Italy
Alma materUniversity of Milan (MD) - 1959
Known forBiomechanics of Terrestrial locomotion
AwardsFeltrinelli Prize for Medicine (2000)
Honorary Medical Degree from Université Catholique de Louvain (1994)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Milan

Giovanni Cavagna (born May 30, 1934) [1] is a physiologist and Emeritus Professor of Human Physiology at the University of Milan. His research focuses on muscle physiology, biomechanical principles of terrestrial locomotion in humans and other animals, from walking to running. He also studied specialized locomotion styles in Luo and Kikuyu women carrying heavy loads on their head with low metabolic cost [2], as well as locomotion during parabolic flight simulating Martian gravity. The New Scientist [3] and the Discover magazine [4] covered his discoveries about the mechanisms of imperfect pendular exchange between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy of the center of body mass. The New York Times reported about his work on backward running, which can potentially improve forward running by allowing greater and safer training. [5] For his work, he received a Honorary Medical Degree from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 1994 and the Feltrinelli Prize for Medicine from the Accademia dei Lincei in 2000 [6] He has published several widely cited papers [7] and the book “Fundamentals of human physiology”.

Selected publications

  • Cavagna G, Dusman B, Margaria R (1968). "Positive work done by a previously stretched muscle". Journal of Applied Physiology. 24 (1): 21–32. doi:10.1152/jappl.1968.24.1.21.
  • Cavagna GA, Heglund NC, Taylor CR (1977). "Mechanical work in terrestrial locomotion: two basic mechanisms for minimizing energy expenditure". American Journal of Physiology. 233 (5): R243-261. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.1977.233.5.R243.
  • Cavagna GA, Thys H, Zamboni A (1976). "The sources of external work in level walking and running". The Journal of Physiology. 262 (3): 639–57.
  • Maloiy GM, Heglund NC, Prager LM, Cavagna GA, Taylor CR (1986). "The sources of external work in level walking and running". Nature. 319 (6055): 668–669.
  • Cavagna GA, Willems PA, Heglund NC (1998). "Walking on mars". Nature. 393 (6686): 636. {{cite journal}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  • Cavagna GA, Legramandi MA, La Torre A (2011). "Running Backwards: Soft Landing-Hard Takeoff, a Less Efficient Rebound". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 278 (1704): 339–346. {{cite journal}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)


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