Imperial College London

Emeritus ProfessorNancyCurtin

Faculty of MedicineNational Heart & Lung Institute

Emeritus Professor of Muscle Physiology



n.curtin Website








Nancy Curtin is Professor Muscle Physiology in the Molecular Medicine Section of the National Heart and Lung Institute.   She did her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Robert E. Davies (FRS) at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA, investigating the low ATP usage for high force production during stretch of frog skeletal muscle.  She was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to continue research on energy transduction in muscle using heat measurements in the Dept of Physiology at University College London.  

She joined the Physiology Department at Charing Cross Hospital Medical School as a Lecturer and has continued research on energy turnover and efficiency of energy conversion during contraction.  She has developed techniques for studying isolated muscle using contractions that mimic normal function in vivo, and are therefore relevant to energy turnover in locomotion.   Mathematical modelling of the crossbridge cycle forms an important part of the research, testing how well current models can account for force, power and energy output from muscle.  This work is supported by the BBSRC and the Wellcome Trust.

Prof. Curtin teaches both medical and science undergraduate courses.  She curates the extensive Self-test bank for year 1 and 2 of the 6 year Medical Course.  These tests feature Certainty Based Marking.

Prof. Curtin has been an Editor and Distributing Editor of the Journal of Physiology, has served on various grants committees for the BBSRC, and is the Imperial Representative for the Physiological Society.



Barclay CJ, Curtin NA, 2022, The legacy of A. V. Hill's Nobel Prize winning work on muscle energetics., J Physiol, Vol:600, Pages:1555-1578

Curtin NA, Woledge RC, West TG, et al., 2019, Energy turnover in mammalian skeletal muscle in contractions mimicking locomotion: effects of stimulus pattern on work, impulse and energetic cost and efficiency, The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol:222, ISSN:0022-0949

Curtin NA, Bartlam-Brooks HLA, Hubel TY, et al., 2018, Remarkable muscles, remarkable locomotion in desert-dwelling wildebeest, Nature, Vol:563, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:393-396

Wilson AM, Hubel TY, Wilshin SD, et al., 2018, Biomechanics of predator-prey arms race in lion, zebra, cheetah and impala., Nature, Vol:554, Pages:183-188

Curtin NA, Diack RA, West TG, et al., 2015, Skinned fibres produce the same power and force as intact fibre bundles from muscle of wild rabbits., Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol:218, ISSN:1477-9145, Pages:2856-2863

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