School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


a researcher using a microscope

Musculo-Skeletal Biology Research Group

Research is aimed at understanding factors that influence skeletal muscle and bone function in sport, health, ageing and disease.

Much of the group’s work is focussed on the means of optimising, maintaining or improving skeletal muscle and bone function with exercise interventions. This has relevance to all populations including elite athletes, the wider sporting community and older people.

Work on improving and developing novel measurement and analysis techniques to evaluate neuromuscular function is combined with modelling of human movement to gain greater insight into performance limitations.

Work on bone strength, which declines with age contributing to the high incidence of fractures, reduced mobility and increased mortality in older people, uses novel exercise interventions to improve both the density and strength of bone with the aim of reducing the risk of osteoporotic hip fractures.

Work is also on-going in developing novel training regimes to enhance skeletal muscle strength, power and rate of force development. These studies combine neural measurements with non-invasive and muscle biopsy assessment of muscle function. Recent work is also beginning to address the peripheral vascular adaptations to these training interventions.

People in the Group

Research staff

  • Dr Rob Erskine
  • Rachel Duckham

PhD students

External Collaborators

  • Dr Christine Bailey - Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Mickael Begon - Department of Kinesiology, University of Montreal
  • Dr Paul Castle - Institute of Sport and Physical Activity Research University of Bedfordshire
  • Professor John Challis - Department of Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University
  • Dr Susie Dinan-Young - Senior Research Fellow, University College London
  • Dr Zac Domire - Department of Health, Exercise and Sports Sciences, Texas Tech
  • Dr Heather Gage - Reader in Health Economics, University of Surrey
  • Professor Steve Harridge - School of Biomedical Sciences, King’s College London
  • Professor Steve Iliffe - Professor of Primary Care in Older People, University College London
  • Dr Mehmet Kale - University of Andolu, Turkey
  • Professor Denise Kendrick - Professor of Primary Care, Nottingham University
  • Professor Mark Lewis - Institute of Sport and Physical Activity Research, University of Bedfordshire (visiting Professor)
  • Professor Tahir Masud - Consultant, Health Care of the Elderly, Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Dr Paul Mayhew - Department of Medicine, Cambridge
  • Dr Tom O’Brien - Department of Sport, Health, Exercise and Science, University of Hull
  • Dr Nick Peirce - Nottingham University Hospitals/ England and Wales Cricket Board
  • Dr Ken Poole - Consultant Rheumatologist, Department of Medicine, Cambridge
  • Dr Winston Rennie - Consultant Radiologist, University Hospitals Leicester
  • Dr Dawn Skelton - Reader in Ageing and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Dr Alice Smith - Senior Research Scientist, Renal Research Group, Leicester University/UHL
  • Dr Greg Summers - Consultant Rheumatologist, Derby Hospitals
  • Dr Alun Williams - Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Mark Lewis

Professor Mark Lewis talks about his research

Dr Katherine Brooke-Wavell

Dr Katherine Brooke-Wavell talks about her research

Dr Richard Ferguson

Dr Richard Ferguson talks about his research

Dr Matt Pain

Dr Matt Pain talks about his research