Dr Natalie Vanicek

Professor Natalie Vanicek

Professor of Clinical Biomechanics

Faculty of Health Sciences

School of Life Sciences


01482 463607

Natalie is a Professor of Clinical Biomechanics and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

She is Associate Editor in Sports Medicine and Biomechanics for the Journal of Sports Sciences and Associate Member of the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR).

Natalie is passionate about her research in clinical gait analysis and musculoskeletal biomechanics. Her work is aimed at reducing falls, improving function and attenuating musculoskeletal decline through exercise among individuals with limited mobility.


Research Interests

Using biomechanical tools of analysis, Dr Vanicek investigates movement patterns in individuals with altered lower limb mechanics as a result of ageing, disease and trauma.

To date, her research has focused primarily on working with vascular and traumatic lower limb amputees, patients with intermittent claudication caused by peripheral arterial disease, and individuals with osteoporosis.

Research groups

Dr Vanicek has collaborated with colleagues from a variety of disciplines such as physiotherapists, vascular consultants, medical engineers and psychologists.

This research has attracted external funding from the Medical Research Council, Circulation Foundation, British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR), BUPA Foundation and Osteoporosis Research in East Yorkshire.


  1. Barnett CT, Vanicek N, Rusaw DF. Do predictive relationships exist between postural control and falls efficacy in unilateral transtibial prosthesis users? Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2018; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2018.05.016
  2. Schafer ZA, Perry JL, Vanicek N. A personalised exercise programme for individuals with lower limb amputation reduces falls and improves gait biomechanics: A block randomised controlled trial. Gait and Posture 2018 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.04.030
  3. McKay MJ, Baldwin JN, Ferreira P, Simic M, Vanicek N, Burns J. Reference values for functional outcome measures across the lifespan. Neurology 2017; 88; 1512-1519 http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000003847
  4. McKay MJ, Baldwin JN, Ferreira P, Simic M, Vanicek N, Burns J. Normative reference values for strength and flexibility of 1000 children and adults. Neurology 2017; 88: 1–8http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.000000000000346
  5. Vanicek N, Strike S, McNaughton L, Polman R. Postural responses to dynamic perturbations in amputee fallers vs. non-fallers: a comparative study with able-bodied subjects. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 2009b; 90: 1018-1025. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apmr.2008.12.024

For a full list of Dr Vanicek's publications, please follow this link.


Programmes taught on (2018)

Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Principles of Anatomy and Biomechanics

  • Biomechanics in Health and Clinical Practice

Research PhDs

Dr Vanicek welcomes applications in the area of clinical gait analysis. For example, research projects evaluating the effects of exercise on musculoskeletal function in individuals with altered lower limb biomechanics as a result of ageing, disease and truama.

Completed PhDs

Marnee McKay, 1000 Norms Project: Measures of Physical Function across the Lifespan, University of Sydney, 2017.

Stephanie King, Adaptations in Plantarflexor Muscle-tendon Properties and their Impact on Gait in Claudicants with Peripheral Arterial Disease, University of Hull, 2015.

Amartya Ganguly, Modelling of the Human Quiet Stance with Ankle Joint Complexity, University of Hull, 2015.

Lisa Alcock, Musculoskeletal Biomechanics of Gait and Balance during Activities of Daily Living in Community-Dwelling Older Women, University of Hull, 2013.

Cleveland Barnett, Biomechanics and Quality of Life in Transtibial Amputees during and following Rehabilitation: A Longitudinal Study, University of Hull, 2011.

Current PhD supervisions

Zoe Schafer, Maximising Musculoskeletal Function for Falls Prevention in Individuals with a Lower-Limb Amputation, 2015 - present.

Grace O’Carroll, Dual Tasking Exercise Interventions following Mild and Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury, 2015 - present.

Stephen Hayes, Robotic Exoskeleton Gait in Spinal Cord Injured Individuals, 2014 - present (part-time).

Aliakbar Dostanpor, Relationships between Gait Speed, T-score and Age with Gait Parameters in Older Women with Low Bone Mineral Density, 2014 - present.

Teaching awards and accolades

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, University of Hull (2010)

  • PG Cert Teaching and Learning in HE, University of Hull (2007)

  • MSc, University of British Columbia, Canada (2004)

  • BSc (Hons), University of Portsmouth (2002)

External roles

  • Associate Editor in Sports Medicine and Biomechanics, Journal of Sports Sciences

  • External Examiner in Sport and Exercise Science, Liverpool John Moores University

Awards and accolades

Since 2013, Dr Vanicek has been awarded the following grants.

  • 2018, Chief Investigator National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit Programme (PB-PG-0816- 20029) (£248,894), 'STEPFORWARD: Patient acceptability of a novel prosthetic device: A randomised feasibility study in older patients with vascular-related amputations and multimorbidities’

  • 2016, Research Design Service Yorkshire and Humber (£500), 'Public Involvement in Grant Applications Funding Award – CALL 25'

  • 2016, Industry-sponsored research (£96,138), 'Lower Limb Function in Adult Men with Self-Reported Knee Pain'

  • 2015, Ferens Education Trust (£5,000), 'International Women’s Day in Sport, Health & Exercise Science: From Elite Performance to Health Research'

  • 2015-2018, British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR) (£3,250), 'Maximising Musculoskeletal Function for Falls Prevention in Lower Limb Amputees'

  • 2015, Help for Health (£2,000), 'Maximising Musculoskeletal Function for Falls Prevention in Lower Limb Amputees'

  • 2014, Chief Investigator Australian Research Council ($392,219), 'Transforming Patient Care, Musculoskeletal Function and Falls Prevention in Lower Limb Amputees'

  • 2013, University of Sydney Equipment Grants Scheme ($50,000), 'Portable Gait Analysis System (PeGASys)'

  • 2013, Australian Podiatry Education & Research Foundation ($4,332), '1000 Norms Project: A Deeper Understanding of Human Variation'