Nick Caplan

Research interests

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 a former 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.



Organisational affiliations

Education/Academic qualification

  • PhD, Sports Science, University of Birmingham

    - 1 Dec 2005
  • PCAPL, Teaching & Learning

    - 1 Jul 2006
  • BSc (Hons), Sports Science

    - 1 Jul 2002

Professional Qualifications

  • Fellow (FHEA), Higher Education Academy (HEA)

    22 Aug 2007 -
  • Professional Member, British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)

    1 Sep 2005 -