Jack P. Callaghan


Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention 
Director of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)
Cross-Appointed with the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering, Faculty of Engineering  

Jack P. Callaghan

​Contact information

Office: BMH 3122

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 47080

Email: callagha@uwaterloo.ca

Websites: CRE-MSD

Remote video URL

​Research interests

My research program combines a fundamental in-vitro research approach, examining the time varying response of the lumbar spine tissues, with in-vivo human research, examining biological responses to cumulative loading exposure from both pain generating and tissue altering/injuring perspectives. Work in my laboratories involves developing approaches to assess workplace cumulative loading exposure and injury in conjunction with in-vitro tissue mechanics studies investigating the injury pathways from repetitive loading. Currently, quantifying the influence of modifiers such as repetition and magnitude of exposure to establish the relationship between cumulative loading and low back pain is a major focus in my research. This knowledge will complement existing epidemiological data, linking cumulative loading and low back pain, for setting exposure limits and helping to prevent low back injuries.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

  • Research volunteer
  • Undergraduate thesis
  • MSc thesis
  • PhD thesis
  • Postdoctoral fellowship

Please email to discuss current available opportunities

Graduate studies application details

Teaching, expertise, tools and technologies


  • Biomechanics
  • Ergonomics
  • Injury Mechanics
  • Exercise
  • Instrumentation
  • Biomechanical Modelling

Tools / Techniques

  • Electromyography
  • Medical imaging
  • Mechanical tissue testing
  • Motion analysis
  • Kinetic measurement
  • Wearable sensor technology
  • Occupational ergonomic evaluation


KIN 425: Biomechanical Modelling of Human Movement


BPHE, University of Ottawa

MSc, University of Waterloo

PhD, University of Waterloo

Fellow of the Canadian Society for Biomechanics (FCSB) Awarded 2014

Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE) 2007-present

​Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications 

See PubMed for publications

Mendeley profile

Tissue mechanics

Gooyers, C.E., Callaghan, J.P. Peak stress in the annulus fibrosus under cyclic biaxial tensile loading. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 138(5): 051006, 2016.

Gooyers, C.E., Callaghan, J.P. Exploring interactions between force, repetition and posture on intervertebral disc height loss and bulging in isolated functional spinal units from sub-acute-failure magnitudes of cyclic compressive loading. Journal of Biomechanics 48(13): 3710-3717, 2015.

Biomechanics of sedentary exposure

Callaghan, J.P., De Carvalho, D.E., Gallagher, K.M., Karakolis, T., Nelson-Wong, E. Is standing the solution to sedentary office work?. Ergonomics in Design 23(3): 20-24, 2015.

De Carvalho, D.E. and Callaghan, J.P. Spine posture and discomfort during prolonged simulated driving with self-selected lumbar support prominence. Human Factors 57(6): 976-987, 2015.

Gallagher, K.M., Sehl, M., Callaghan, J.P. A radiographic assessment of lumbar spine posture in four different upright standing positions. Clinical Biomechanics 37: 131-136, 2016.

​Selected professional activities and networks

Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention

Director of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)

Cross Appointed Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering