Harvey V. Sparks, Jr.

60th APS President (1987-1988)
Harvey V. Sparks, Jr.
(b. 1938)

Harvey V. Sparks, Jr. is the 60th President of the American Physiological Society. Sparks, who has been active in Society affairs since 1970, succeeds Franklyn G. Knox as the APS's chief elected officer.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Sparks received his MD degree cum laude from The University of Michigan in 1963. While a medical student, he worked with David F. Bohr. He then did postdoctoral work with A. Clifford Barger at Harvard Medical School and Bjorn Folkow at the University of Goteborg in Sweden. In 1966 he returned to The University of Michigan as an Instructor in the Department of Physiology, where he established a research laboratory for the study of the local regulation of blood flow. He also became involved in medical education, serving as Assistant Dean for Admissions and as Chairman of the Steering Committee of The University of Michigan's Integrated Premedical-Medical Program. He became a Professor of Physiology in 1974. In 1979, Sparks became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Physiology at Michigan State University. During the 1986-1987 academic year, he was Visiting Professor of Physiology at the University of Zimbabwe.

Although his research has touched on many aspects of vascular physiology, Sparks' main interest has been the mechanisms of active hyperemia in heart and skeletal muscle. His recent work has focused on the role of adenosine, but he has also done studies on potassium ion, prostaglandins, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and the myogenic mechanism. His interest in the regulation of the interstitial concentration of these metabolites has led to the use of mathematical models describing their capillary transport. He has authored over 90 publications on these and related topics.

Within the American Physiological Society, Sparks has served as a member of the Porter Development Committee, Governmental Affairs Network, Liaison With Industry Committee, Centennial Committee, and as Chairman of the Committee on Committees. He has been a member of Council since 1984. He served on the editorial board of Federation Proceedings, representing APS. He was Chairman of the Cardiovascular Section in 1983-1984 and served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology from 1974 to 1986. He co-edited the Handbook of Physiology on vascular smooth muscle.

Sparks has served on the editorial boards of Annual Review of Physiology, Blood Vessels, and Pfluegers Archiv and as a member of review committees of the National Institutes of Health. He has participated in the activities of the American Heart Association as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council on Circulation and a Research Study Committee. His interest in medical education has continued as indicated by his membership on accreditation survey teams of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the National Board of Medical Examiners, and on one of the Working Groups that produced the GPEP Report. He has also written two texts for medical students. His commitment to the promotion of use of animals in research is evidenced by his membership on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Society for Medical Research. Sparks is the recipient of a Fulbright Lectureship for the purpose of promoting graduate research training at the University of Zimbabwe.