Gary C. Sieck

82st APS President (2009-2010)
Gary C. Sieck
(b. 1948)

Gary C. Sieck is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He is also a Professor of Anesthesiology and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program. Administratively, he is the Deputy Director for Research and Vice Dean for Research at the Mayo Clinic.

Sieck was born and raised in Seward, NE and attended the Univ. of Nebraska where he received a BS degree in Zoology in 1971. He then received a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the Univ. of Nebraska Medical Center in 1976 under the direction of Judith Ramaley. In 1973 he went to UCLA where he conducted a significant part of his PhD thesis research in the Brain Research Institute under the guidance of Anna Taylor. He then stayed at the UCLA School of Medicine as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1979, he was appointed as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at UCLA. In 1981, he moved to the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA and was appointed as a Research Scientist in the Department of Respiratory Diseases, but he retained a faculty appointment at UCLA. In 1987, Sieck joined the faculty in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Univ. of Southern California where he stayed until 1990, when he joined the Mayo Clinic staff. Since 2002 he has chaired the Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering, where he directs the Cellular Imaging and Physiology Laboratory. He is currently Deputy Director for Research at Mayo Clinic, Vice Dean for Research and Vice Chair of the Research Committee.

For more than 30 years, Sieck has focused on neural control of respiratory muscles. In particular, he and his colleagues are exploring the basis for plasticity and remodeling of neuromotor control of respiratory muscles during development and in association with pulmonary diseases, spinal cord injury, and mechanical ventilation. His studies have shown that phrenic motoneurons exert direct trophic influences over contractile protein expression and metabolic enzyme activities of diaphragm muscle fibers. Conversely, trophic influences emanating from muscle fibers affect structural and functional remodeling of phrenic motoneurons. Such plasticity is also the basis for skeletal muscle adaptations to exercise and inactivity, as well as the remarkable remodeling of neuromotor control associated with pre- and postnatal development. In all of his studies, Sieck is using state-of-the-art cellular and molecular techniques, many developed in his laboratory. He is using real-time confocal microscopy to image changes in intracellular calcium in response to stimulation, and uses confocal microscopy and three-dimensional reconstruction to evaluate structural remodeling and localize protein expression. Sieck and his colleagues are using laser capture microdissection and single cell RT-PCR techniques to examine changes in phrenic motor neuron mRNA expression. His group has also developed quantitative electrophoretic techniques to explore changes in contractile protein expression in single muscle fibers and the relationship between contractile protein content and both mechanical and energetic properties of muscle fibers. In particular, he has examined the expression of different isoforms of myosin heavy chain, which form cross-bridges with actin during force generation and contraction, and are the site of ATP hydrolysis. Thus, plasticity in the essential linkages between structure, intracellular calcium regulation, mechanical and energetic properties of muscle fibers is being comprehensively explored.

In 2004 he received the Joseph R. Rodarte Award for Scientific Distinction from the American Thoracic Society. In 2007, he was recognized as a Mayo Distinguished Investigator, and he was elected as a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Sieck has published 231 original peer-reviewed papers, 14 invited reviews, 29 book chapters, 24 editorials and commentaries, and more than 450 published abstracts. He has also presented more than 90 invited lectures throughout the world.

Sieck has been very active in educational activities. He has served as thesis advisor for 11 PhD students, has mentored seven visiting graduate students, 45 postdoctoral fellows, 10 junior faculty members and 20 visiting scientists, as well as numerous undergraduate and high school students. Since 2001, he has directed Mayo Graduate School�s Biomedical Engineering Program. He is also a member of the school�s Education Committee. Sieck earned the Mayo Research Educator Award from 2001 to 2004, and in 2006, he received the Dean�s Recognition Award.

In addition to his service activities at Mayo, Sieck has served on many editorial boards, including the Journal of Applied Physiology, American Journal of Respiratory, Critical Care Medicine, Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, Acta Physiologica Sinica (China), Anasthesiologie, Intensivmedizin, Notfall-medizin, Schmerztherapie (Germany) and Journal of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care (Kazakstan). From 1999 to 2005, he served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Physiology. His service also includes membership on NIH study sections (Respiratory and Applied Physiology [RAP] 1991-1994; Sensory Motor Integration [SMI] 2001-2005, and Native American Research Centers for Health [NARCH] chair 2004-2005, Cardiovascular, Lung & Blood Training Grants 2006-present), Special Emphasis Panels (Biological and Physiological Sciences 1993 and 1996, Skeletal Muscle Biology 2004, Bioengineering Research 2006, and Physiology and Pathobiology of Organ Systems 2006), Program Project grant site visits and review panels, and special ad hoc review panels. Sieck was also a member of the Veterans Administration Merit Review Board for Respiration from 1998-2001, and he has served as a reviewer for the NSF, Department of Defense, and other funding agencies.

Within APS, Sieck has served in many roles. He is a member of the APS Respiration Section, in which he has served on the Program Committee (1996-2004) and Scientific Advisory Committee (1999-2005). He was chair of the APS Respiration Section in 2005 until he was elected to the APS Council, serving from 2005 to 2008. He also served as chair of the Respiratory Structure and Function Assembly of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) from 1996 to 1998, as a member of the ATS Scientific Conference Program Committee (1993-1995), Long-Range Planning Committee (1995-1998), Scientific Advisory Committee (1998-2002), Program and Budget Committee (1999-2003), and Publications Committee (2005-present). Sieck was also a member of the American Thoracic Society Board of Directors from 1996 to 1998. He was also a member of the National Council of the American Lung Association from 1997 to 2000.