Kirk English photo

Kirk English, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Exercise and Health Sciences,
College of Human Sciences and Humanities

Contact number: 281-283-3313
Office: REC 249.05


Dr. Kirk L. English is an assistant professor of exercise and health sciences in the Department of Clinical, Health, and Applied Sciences. His research focuses on exercise and nutrition strategies: 1) to mitigate losses in muscle mass and function due to aging, illness, and spaceflight and 2) to optimize sport and human performance in competitive and tactical athletes (e.g., astronauts). Previously, he conducted this work at the University of Texas Medical Branch where he completed his Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences with a concentration in nutrition and metabolism and at NASA Johnson Space Center, where he studied and developed exercise countermeasures to the deleterious effects of long-duration spaceflight.

Dr. English has also pioneered and advocated the evidence-based practice approach for the field of exercise science. He trains endurance athletes and is a regular reviewer for numerous biomedical, exercise science, and spaceflight-related scientific journals. 

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

  • Exercise physiology
  • Nutrition and metabolism
  • Sport science
  • Aging
  • Spaceflight


1. Scott JM, Downs M, Buxton R, Goetchius E, Crowell B, Ploutz-Snyder R, Hackney K, Ryder J, English K, Ploutz-Snyder LL. Disuse-induced muscle loss and rehabilitation: the NASA bed rest study. Crit Care Explor, 2(12): e0269, 2020.

2. English KL, Downs M, Goetchius E, Buxton R, Ryder JW, Ploutz-Snyder R, Guilliams M, Scott JM, Ploutz-Snyder LL. High intensity training during spaceflight: results from the NASA Sprint study. npj Microgravity 6(21): 1-9, 2020.

3. English KL, Mulavara AP, Bloomberg JJ, Ploutz-Snyder LL. Exercise countermeasures to neuromuscular deconditioning in spaceflight. Compr Physiol 10(1): 171-96, 2020. 

4. Ryder JW, Fullmer P, Buxton RE, Crowell JB, Goetchius E, Bekdash O, De Witt JK, Hwang EY, Feiveson A, English KL, Ploutz-Snyder LL. A novel approach for establishing fitness standards for occupational task performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 119(7): 1633-48, 2019. 

5. Ploutz-Snyder LL, Downs M, Goetchius E, Crowell B, English KL, Ploutz-Snyder R, Ryder J, Dillon EL, Sheffield-Moore M, Scott JM. Exercise training mitigates multi-system deconditioning during bed rest. Med Sci Sports Exerc 50(9): 1920-28, 2018. 

6. De Witt JK, English KL, Crowell JB, Kalogera KL, Guilliams ME, Nieschwitz BE, Hanson AM, Ploutz-Snyder LL. Isometric mid-thigh pull reliability and relationship to deadlift 1RM. J Strength Cond Res 32(2): 528-33, 2018. 

7. Arentson-Lantz E, English KL, Paddon-Jones D, Fry CS. 14 days of bed rest induces a decline in satellite cell content and robust atrophy of skeletal muscle fibers in middle-aged adults. J Appl Physiol 120(8): 965-75, 2016. 

8. English KL, Mettler JA, Ellison JB, Mamerow MM, Arentson-Lantz E, Pattarini JM, Ploutz-Snyder R, Sheffield-Moore M, Paddon-Jones D. Leucine partially protects muscle mass and function during bed rest in middle-aged adults. Am J Clin Nutr 103(2): 465-73, 2016. 

9. English KL, Lee SMC, Loehr JA, Ploutz-Snyder RJ, Ploutz-Snyder LL. Isokinetic strength changes following long-duration spaceflight on the International Space Station. Aerosp Med Hum Perform 86(12, Suppl): A68-77, 2015. 

10. Hackney KJ, Scott J, Hanson A, English KL, Downs M, Ploutz-Snyder L. The Astronaut-Athlete: optimizing human performance in space. J Strength Cond Res 29(12): 3531-45, 2015.

11. English KL, Loehr JA, Lee SMC, Smith SM. Early-phase musculoskeletal adaptations to different levels of eccentric resistance after 8 weeks of lower body training. Eur J Appl Physiol 114(11): 2263-80, 2014. 

12. Hackney KJ and English KL. Protein and essential amino acids to protect musculoskeletal health during spaceflight: evidence of a paradox? Life 4(3): 295-317, 2014. 

13. Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, Casperson SL, Arentson-Lantz E, Sheffield-Moore M, Layman DK, Paddon-Jones D. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24 hour muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. J Nutr 144(6): 876-80, 2014.

14. English KL, Hackney KJ, De Witt JK, Ploutz-Snyder RJ, Goetchius EL, Ploutz-Snyder LL.  A ground-based comparison of the Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES) and a commercially available isokinetic dynamometer.  Acta Astronautica 92(1):3-9, 2013. 

15. English KL, Amonette WE, Graham M, Spiering BA. What is “evidence-based” strength and conditioning?  Strength and Cond J 34(3): 19-24, 2012. 

16. Loehr JA, Lee SMC, English KL, Sibonga J, Smith SM, Spiering BA, Hagan RD. Musculoskeletal adaptations to training with the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device.  Med Sci Sports Exerc 43(1): 146-156, 2011. 

17. Amonette WE, English KL, Ottenbacher KJ.  Nullius in Verba: a call for the incorporation of evidence-based practice into the discipline of exercise science. Sports Med 40(6): 1-9, 2010.  

18. English KL, Paddon-Jones D.  Protecting muscle mass and function in older adults during bed rest.  Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 13(1): 34-39, 2010.

Courses (Current Academic Year)


  EXHS 5132: Applied Exercise Physiology: Cardiorespiratory
  EXHS 5134: Clinical Nutrition
  EXHS 5335: Exercise Principles for Special Populations
  EXHS 5335: Exercise in Chronic Disease: Cardiopulmonary and Metabolic
  EXHS 6032: Advanced Seminar in Sports Medicine
  EXHS 6033: Laboratory Techniques and Research Design
  EXHS 6839: Master’s Project Research

  HLTH 2110: Team Games and Sports
  HLTH 2113: Individual Games and Sports
  HLTH 2115: Innovative Games and Sports
  HLTH 2301: Introduction to Exercise Science
  HLTH 3309: Evidence-based Practice
  HLTH 3739: Exercise Physiology Laboratory Practicum
  HLTH 4034: Principles of Physical Fitness
  HLTH 4309: Research Practicum
  HLTH 4370: Undergraduate Practicum
  HLTH 4389: Independent Study in Health
  HLTH 4391: History of Exercise Science: Giants of the Field