Ka-Chun (Joseph) Siu, PhD

Associate Professor &
Director, Global Health Opportunity Program (GHOP)

Department of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences
Physical Therapy Program
University of Nebraska Medical Center
984420 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-4420

Academic Appointments
Global Director, Physical Therapy Program, College of Allied Health Professions, UNMC: 2017-present
Associate Professor, Physical Therapy Program, College of Allied Health Professions, UNMC: 2015-present
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion, Social & Behavioral Health, UNMC: 2015-present
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biomechanics, UNO: 2015-present
Coordinator, SSUHSI MS-DPT Program, School of Allied Health Professions, UNMC 2012-2017
Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Education, School of Allied Health Professions, UNMC: 2012-2015
Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, UNMC: 2009-2012
Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, UNO: 2009-2015
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, UNMC: 2009-present
Faculty Member, Center for Advanced Surgical Technology, UNMC: 2009-present
Instructor, School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, UNO: 2007-2009
Graduate Research Fellows, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon: 2005-2006
Instructor, Department of Human Physiology, University of Oregon: 2003-2005

Post-Doc: Biomechanics, UNO, 2006-2009
PhD: Human Physiology, University of Oregon, 2006
BS: Physical Therapy, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan, 1999

Primary Teaching Responsibilities
PHYT 726, Professional Development in Physical Therapy
PHYT 740, Critical Inquiry II
PHYT 942, Special Topics
MSIA 899, Thesis
MSIA 970, Seminar

Scholarly Activity
My primary research area is in both motor control and biomechanics, focusing on elderly population and minorities. It includes fall prevention in aging, rehabilitation, and intervention. I am interested in studying the mechanism of human balance control, locomotion and developed training program for community-dwelling older adults, and currently extending this research in minority populations. My second research area is focusing on motor learning in human performance. It includes skill acquisition, medical education, simulation technology and telemedicine.

Selected Publications related to Motor Control (last 5 years):
Hao J, Siu KC. External Visual Perturbation Impacts Muscle Activation while Walking on Incline Treadmill. Acta Astronautica 2021; 180: 482-488. doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2020.12.046

Sedlacek D, Beacom M, Bista S, Rautiainen R, Siu KC. Comparing Objective and Subjective Measures of Sleep Loss with Balance Performance in Farmers. Journal of Agricultural Health and Safety 2021; 27(2): 69-76. doi: 10.13031/jash.14217

Dudley DR, Knarr BA, Siu KC, Peck JM, Brian R, Zuniga J. Testing of a 3D printed hand exoskeleton for an individual with stroke: a case study. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology 2021; 16(2): 209-213.doi: 10.1080/17483107.2019.1646823

Wang Z, Chien JH, Siu KC. Stepping over Multiple Obstacles Changes the Pattern of Foot Integrated Pressure of the Leading and Trailing Legs. Journal of Biomechanics 2020; 98:109423. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2019.109423

Bassett A, Siu KC, Honaker J. Using Functional Ability Measures to Assess Fall Risk in Acute Care. Western Journal of Nursing Studies 2020; 42(12): 1050-1058. doi: 10.1177/0193945920924637

Parks MT, Wang Z, Siu KC. Current Low-Cost Video-Based Motion Analysis Options for Clinical Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review. Phys Ther. 2019 Oct 28;99(10):1405-1425. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzz097

Chien JH, Torres-Russotto D, Wang Z, Gui C, Whitney D, Siu KC. The use of smartphone in measuring stance and gait patterns in patients with orthostatic tremor. PLoS One. 2019 Jul 18;14(7):e0220012. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220012.

Huang CK, Shivaswamy V, Thaisetthawatkul P, Mack L, Stergiou N, Siu KC. An altered spatiotemporal gait adjustment during a virtual obstacle crossing task in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. J Diabetes Complications. 2019 Feb;33(2):182-188. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2018.10.005.

Venema DM, Hansen H, High R, Goetsch T, Siu KC. Minimal Detectable Change in Dual-Task Cost for Older Adults With and Without Cognitive Impairment. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2019; 42(4): E32-E38. doi: 10.1519/JPT.0000000000000194.

Chien JH, Post J, Siu KC. Effects of Aging on the Obstacle Negotiation Strategy while Stepping over Multiple Obstacles. Scientific Reports 8:8576, 2018 Jun 5;8(1):8576. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-26807-5.

Siu KC, Padilla C, Rajaram SS. The interrelationship between balance, Tai Chi and depression in Latino older adults. Aging Clin Exp Res. 2017 Jun;29(3):395-401. doi: 10.1007/s40520-016-0593-7.

Selected Publications related to Motor Learning (last 5 years):
Rastegari E, Orn D, Zahiri M, Nelson C, Ali H, Siu KC. Assessing Laparoscopic Surgical Skills using Similarity Network Models: A Pilot Study. Surgical Innovation 2021. doi.org/10.1177/15533506211002753.

Armijo P, Flores L, Pokala B, Huang CK, Siu KC, Oleynikov D. Gender Equity in Ergonomics: Does Muscle Effect in Laparoscopic Surgery Differ between Men and Women? Surgical Endoscopy 2021. doi: 10.1007/s00464-021-08295-3.

Ritter F, Yeh M, Yan Y, Siu KC, Oleynikov D. Effects of Varied Surgical Simulation Training Schedules on Motor-Skill Acquisition. Surgical Innovation 2020; 27(1): 68-80. doi: 10.1177/1553350619881591.

Armijo P, Huang CK, Tyson PC, Oleynikov D, Siu KC. Ergonomics Analysis for Subjective and Objective Fatigue between Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgical Skills Practice among Surgeons. Surgical Innovation 2020; 27(1): 81-87. doi: 10.1177/1553350619887861.

Armijo PR, Huang CK, High R, Leon M, Siu KC, Oleynikov D. Ergonomics of minimally invasive surgery: an analysis of muscle effort and fatigue in the operating room between laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Surg Endosc. 2019 Jul;33(7):2323-2331. doi: 10.1007/s00464-018-6515-3.

Chen R, Rodrigues Armijo P, Krause C; SAGES Robotic Task Force, Siu KC, Oleynikov D. A comprehensive review of robotic surgery curriculum and training for residents, fellows, and postgraduate surgical education. Surg Endosc. 2019 Apr 5. doi: 10.1007/s00464-019-06775-1.

Zahiri M, Booton R, Nelson CA, Oleynikov D, Siu KC. Virtual Reality Training System for Anytime/Anywhere Acquisition of Surgical Skills: A Pilot Study. Mil Med. 2018 Mar 1;183(suppl_1):86-91. doi: 10.1093/milmed/usx138.

Zahiri M, Nelson CA, Oleynikov D, Siu KC. Evaluation of Augmented Reality Feedback in Surgical Training Environment. Surg Innov. 2018 Feb;25(1):81-87. doi: 10.1177/1553350617739425. 

Selected Publications related to Medical Education:
Hu J, Jones AYM, Zhou X, Zhai H, Ngai SPC, Siu KC, Dalton M. Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (Chinese) as a standardized evaluation of professional competency in Chinese physiotherapy students: An observational study. BMC Medical Education 2020; 20(1): 108.

Chen R, Armijo P, Krause C, Siu KC, Oleynikov D. A Comprehensive Review of Robotic Surgery Curriculum and Training for Residents, Fellows, and Postgraduate Surgical Education. Surgical Endoscopy 2020; 34(1): 361-367.

Please visit Pubmed for the complete list of published works.

Book chapters:
Stergiou N, Siu KC, Meyer SA, Senderling B (2018). Biomechanics. In: Housh, T.J., Housh, D.J., & Johnson, G. (5th Ed.) Introduction to Exercise Science, pp. 205-240. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group.

White A, Siu KC (2016). Virtual Simulation and Surgical Education: Current Challenges and Future Solutions. In: Hill, Z. (Ed.) Virtual Reality: Advances in Research and Applications. pp. 1-26. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Siu KC, Nelson C, Zahiri M, Oleynikov D, “Portable Camera Aided Simulator (PortCAS) for Minimally Invasive Surgical Training” No. 11,361,678, issued on June 14, 2022. PortCAS is the first product our research team developed in our start-up company, Adeptus Interactive, currently incubated in UNeTECH.

Current Grants:

  1. Nebraska Collaboration Initiative (Team Formation), I am the Co-PI of the grant. This project is to build a team to investigate how precision nutrition can enhance and preserve motor function in people with Parkinson’s disease.
  2. CENTRIC Just-in-Time Grant, I am Co-PI of the grant. This project is to examine the efficacy of mHealth for self-management in people with Parkinson’s disease.
  3. NIOSH CS_CASH Pilot Grant, I am a Co-I of the grant. This project develops the Ag-Operator Monitoring Systems (Ag-OMS) for safety and health risk detection and assessment.
  4. UNeTECH Product Development Fund. I am the PI of this grant. This project is to develop a smart portable simulation trainer for fundamental surgical skills learning.

Professional Affiliations
American Physical Therapy Association
- Member Country Representative of the U.S.A. and American Physical Therapy Association, the International Association of Physiotherapists Working with Older People (IPTOP): 2022-present.

Nebraska Physical Therapy Association

2020 UNMC Research in Education Scholar
2014 SAHP Excellence in Research Award recipient