Cardiovascular research themes

Skeletal muscle in health and disease

Skeletal muscle is vital for life, underpinning locomotion, respiration, and metabolism, yet we still poorly understand its response to exercise and disease.

Our research focuses on skeletal muscle structure and function using a range of approaches from assessment of fundamental molecular mechanisms that underlie excitation-contraction coupling through to whole-body functional measures that underpin muscle performance. Our interests lie in the muscle itself, including blood vessels and fibre composition, as well as in the neural mechanisms and pathways through which the central nervous system and skeletal muscles communicate.

We investigate the mechanisms of a range of conditions/diseases which affect skeletal muscle including fatigue, atrophy/hypertrophy, malignant hyperthermia, statin myopathy and heart failure, with a focus on the influence of physical activity, nutrition and drugs.

View a list of academics within Skeletal Muscle in Health and Disease

View a list of postdoctoral researchers within Skeletal Muscle in Health and Disease


Area of expertise

Dr Al Benson
Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science

Computational modelling; magnetic resonance imaging; cardiopulmonary exercise testing; near infrared spectroscopy

Dr T. Scott Bowen
Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Contractile function; muscle atrophy/hypertrophy; mitochondrial function; diaphragm; exercise training; small-molecule therapeutics 

Dr Sarah Calaghan
Associate Professor in Cardiac Physiology

Calcium handling; muscle contraction; caveolae; protein chemistry; post translational modification; light and electron microscopy; rodent exercise analysis

Professor Stuart Egginton
Leadership Chair in Exercise Science


Dr Carrie Ferguson
Lecturer in Physiology

Mechanisms of exercise intolerance; cardiopulmonary exercise testing; VO2kinetics; exercise intensity; exercise bioenergetics

Dr Ronaldo Ichiyama
Associate Professor in Motor Control

Neural control of movement; motoneurones; rehabilitation; neural trauma

Dr Izzy Jayasinghe
Lecturer in Cardiovascular Science

Super-resolution microscopy of the calcium signalling and contractile machinery as an avenue to understand the structural basis of skeletal muscle contraction and the fine remodelling which takes place in chronic (inherited) diseases and acute muscle damage

Dr Matthew Lancaster
Lecturer in Exercise Physiology

Sarcopenia with ageing; protection against sarcopenia

Professor Derek Steele
Professor of Cellular Physiology
Skeletal muscle excitation-contraction coupling; calcium signaling; electrophysiology; confocal imaging
Dr Bryan Taylor
University Academic Fellow in Cardiovascular Exercise Medicine
Electrical and magnetic nerve stimulation; exercise-induced respiratory and locomotor muscle fatigue; assessment of central and peripheral mechanisms of fatigue