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Professor Nick Caplan

Head Of Department

Department: Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Nick graduated from the University of Birmingham with a PhD in Biomechanics. He subsequently joined Northumbria University where he is now Professor of Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation and Head of Department for the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation. He also leads the Aerospace Medicine and Rehabilitation Laboratory. 

Throughout his academic career, Nick’s research has been underpinned by a strong background in the biomechanics of human movement, and the interaction between the human body and the external environment.  Since 2008, his research has focused on the development and evaluation of rehabilitative interventions for joint and postural instability. This overarching theme is underpinned by research looking at exercise rehabilitation strategies to restore spinal/postural stability as a result of muscular deconditioning in both patients and as a result of microgravity exposure. 

Nick works with a range of collaborators from around the world in research relating to aspects of musculoskeletal deconditioning.  Most notably, he has worked closely with the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2009 due to the relevance of deep spinal muscle deconditioning to astronaut rehabilitation.  As a result of this collaboration, Nick has acted as an advisor to ESA in relation to exercise after spaceflight.  Nick has led a number of high profile research studies with NASA and ESA in simulated reduced gravity environments including long duration bedrest and parabolic flights on the Zero-G plane.

Nick is an Executive Board member of the UK Space Life and Biomedical Sciences Association and has contributed to the UK Space Environment Working Group, advising the UK Space Agency on UK space life sciences. He was also a member of an ESA Topical Team on "Post-mission exercise (reconditioning)", making operational and research recommendations relating to astronaut health and its links to terrestrial healthcare.

Nick Caplan

Campus Address

Room 240
Northumberland Building

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Hypogravity reduces trunk admittance and lumbar muscle activation in response to external perturbations, De Martino, E., Salomoni, S., Winnard, A., McCarty, K., Lindsay, K., Riazati, S., Weber, T., Scott, J., Green, D., Hides, J., Debuse, D., Hodges, P., Van Dieën, J., Caplan, N. Apr 2020, In: Journal of Applied Physiology
  • Effects of a six-week exercise intervention on function, pain and lumbar multifidus muscle cross-sectional area in chronic low back pain: A proof-of-concept study, Lindsay, K., Caplan, N., Weber, T., Salomoni, S., De Martino, E., Winnard, A., Scott, J., Young, E., Hides, J., Hodges, P., Debuse, D. 1 Oct 2020, In: Musculoskeletal Science and Practice
  • Systematic review of the technical and physiological constraints of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle that affect the capability of astronauts to exercise effectively during spaceflight, Laws, J., Caplan, N., Bruce-Martin, C., McGrogan, C., Lindsay, K., Wild, B., Debuse, D., Wotring, V., Winnard, A. 1 May 2020, In: Acta Astronautica
  • A Comparison of Exercise Interventions from Bed Rest Studies for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Loss, Konda, N., Karri, R., Winnard, A., Nasser, M., Evetts, S., Boudreau, E., Caplan, N., Gradwell, D., Velho, R. 8 May 2019, In: npj Microgravity
  • Effectiveness of nutritional countermeasures in microgravity and its ground-based analogues to ameliorate musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary deconditioning – A Systematic Review, Sandal, P., Kim, D., Fiebig, L., Winnard, A., Caplan, N., Green, D., Weber, T. 9 Jun 2020, In: PLoS One
  • Functional behaviour of spinal muscles after training with an exercise device developed to recruit and train postural muscles, Weber, T., Salomoni, S., Debuse, D., Hug, F., Caplan, N., De Martino, E., Scott, J., Hides, J., Hodges, P. Oct 2018, In: Gait and Posture

  • Jonathan Laws To the Moon, Mars and Beyond: Recommending Exercise Countermeasures Against Musculoskeletal and Cardiovascular Deconditioning During Microgravity Exposure, for Future Spacecraft Applications Start Date: 28/04/2021 End Date: 01/03/2022
  • Patrick Swain Musculoskeletal Deconditioning in Hypogravity and a Novel Suspension System for Simulating Microgravity and Hypogravity Start Date: 14/04/2021
  • Kirsty Lindsay The Effects of Functional Re-Adaptive Exercise Device Intervention for Lumbopelvic Reconditioning in Astronauts and Terrestrial Populations Start Date: 17/03/2017 End Date: 15/07/2022
  • Claire Bruce-Martin Existing, Experienced and Informed Realities of Sport Coaching through Transformational Leadership Start Date: 16/09/2016 End Date: 30/09/2022
  • Karl Gibbon Lumbopelvic Muscle Function During Low Impact Weight-Bearing Exercise: Development of the Functional Re-Adaptive Exercise Device Start Date: 01/09/2010 End Date: 15/06/2017
  • Andrew Winnard Rehabilitation From Lumbopelvic Deconditioning on Earth and in Space Start Date: 26/03/2015 End Date: 27/02/2017
  • Ben Stenberg Three Dimensional Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound (3D CEUS) in Perfusion Studies of Early Renal Transplants Start Date: 11/07/2013 End Date: 25/03/2015
  • Michael Kelly A mixed methods investigation into the Barriers and Facilitators of Exercise Referral Scheme adherence: implications for enhancing participant experience. Start Date: 01/02/2015 End Date: 21/01/2021
  • Alistair Ewen The Influence of Femoral Head Size Following Total Hip Replacement and Hip Resurfacing on Hip Biomechanics During Walking, Stair Use and Sit-to-Stand Start Date: 01/09/2008 End Date: 18/07/2013

  • Sports Science PhD December 01 2005
  • Teaching & Learning PCAPL September 15 2005
  • Sports Science BSc (Hons) September 01 1999
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2007
  • Professional Member British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) 2005

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