Irving H. Zucker

81st APS President (2008-2009)
Irving H. Zucker
(b. 1942)

Irving H. Zucker is the Theodore F. Hubbard Professor of Cardiovascular Research and Chairperson of the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the Univ. of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha, NE. Zucker is also a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the Division of Cardiology. Hailing from New York City, he received a BS from The City College of New York in 1965, an MS from The Univ. of Missouri at Kansas City in 1967 and a PhD in Physiology from New York Medical College in 1972 where he held an NSF pre-doctoral fellowship. Zucker's early PhD training with Gabor Kaley in the area of renal function and volume regulation led him to an NIH postdoctoral fellowship with Joseph P. Gilmore at UNMC from 1972-1973. Zucker joined the faculty in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UNMC as an Assistant Professor in 1973. Zucker rose through the ranks and was appointed Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics in 1983. Following the retirement of Dr. Gilmore, Zucker was appointed Chairman of the Department in 1989. The Theodore F. Hubbard Endowed Chair was awarded in 1998.

Zucker's primary area of research interest is neurohumoral regulation of the cardiovascular system in health and disease. He has focused on regulatory cardiovascular reflexes in heart failure models. His early work characterized the electrophysiological properties of cardiovascular sensory endings in the heart and blood vessels in experimental heart failure. His work has more recently concentrated on the central mechanisms that are responsible for alterations in autonomic tone in the setting of chronic heart failure and the role of exercise training in modulating neuronal changes in autonomic control areas of the brain. The mechanisms for the alterations in reactive oxidant species and angiotensin II in the CNS has been the focus of the laboratory for several years.

Zucker has authored 137 original papers, 35 reviews, book chapters and editorials, has edited one text on the reflex control of the circulation and has published close to 200 abstracts. Zucker's laboratory has been continuously funded by NIH, The American Heart Association and industry since 1975. This included a MERIT Award from the NHLBI from 1992-2002 and a PPG from 1999 to the present. Zucker has supervised 10 graduate students, 16 postdoctoral fellows, 20 medical students and 16 undergraduate students.

In 1977, Zucker received an Established Investigatorship from the AHA and a Research Career Development Award from the NIH. Other awards and honors over the years have included The University of Nebraska Merit Award in 1983, the Outstanding Research and Creative Achievement Award from the University of Nebraska in 1993, Fellow of the Circulation Council and of the American Heart Association from 1980, Fellow of the Council on High Blood Pressure Research from 1993. Zucker received the Wiggers Award from the Cardiovascular Section of APS and has received the Scientist Laureate Award from the UNMC, both in 2008.

Zucker has or currently serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals including The American Journal of Physiology: Heart and Circulatory Physiology; The American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Comparative and Integrative Physiology; Circulation Research; Hypertension; Basic Research in Cardiology; Heart Failure Reviews; The Journal of Biomedical Science; Drugs Under Clinical and Experimental Research; The Journal of Cardiac Failure and others.

Zucker has served on several national, regional and local committees for research organizations. These include the National Research Committee of the American Heart Association, Chair of the Great Plains Regional Review Committee of the American Heart Association; the National Scientific Advisory Board of the International Academy of Cardiology and the Publications Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America. He has also served on various review panels including The NIH Cardiovascular and Renal (CVB) Study Section from 2002-2003; the NIH Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences Study Section from 2003-2006 both as permanent members and The Pathophysiology Study Section of the American Heart Association from 2000-2002 and several other study sections for both NIH and AHA.

Zucker has served in a leadership capacity at several levels. He was a member of the council for the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine from 1998-2002. He was the founder and served as the first President of the Nebraska Physiological Society from 1998-2000. He was President of the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology in 2003. He has served on the APS Animal Care and Experimentation Committee and was Chair of the Public Affairs Committee. Zucker served on the Executive Committee of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences of the American Heart Association from 2000-2002.

Zucker has presented 160 invited lectures throughout the world. He was a visiting scientist of the National Science Council of Taiwan in 1991 and a visiting scientist at the Heibei Medical College in the People's Republic of China in 1987 and 1997.