New investigator: Joseph Siu, PhD

Joseph Siu, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony on Nov. 9 for UNMC’s Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist, New Investigator and Community Service to Research Award recipients.

New Investigator

The New Investigator Award is given to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity, such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

  • Name: Ka-Chun (Joseph) Siu, PhD 
  • Title: Associate professor and director of Global Health Opportunity Program, Physical Therapy Program, Department of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, UNMC College of Allied Health Professions 
  • Joined UNMC: 2009 
  • Hometown: Hong Kong 

Please describe your research focus in three words or less: 

Human movement science, motor control and learning, advancing innovative technology.

Why is research important in the world today? 

Research creates a space of unlimited imagination, innovation and creativity. It inspires people to break through novel ideas and explore new possibilities. It improves the existence and builds the future.

My research will make a difference because: 

My research team is developing a portable, affordable and smart digital learning system for trainees to gain critical surgical skills and enhance clinical decision-making capacity. We use both performance- and cognitive-based assessments to study the human learning process. Trainees can learn new skills or maintain existing skills whenever and wherever they prefer.

The best advice I’ve ever received is: 

“Strong Inference” by John R. Platt, PhD, published in 1964 Science, illustrated a simple concept of conducting research like climbing a tree, as one project leads to another, and the results of one project generate the next project’s hypothesis.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • An emerging leader who is serving as the vice president/president-elect of the UNMC Faculty Senate, 2023-24.
  • A passionate learner about language and can speak in four languages “quite” fluently: Cantonese, Mandarin, Taiwanese Hokkien and English.
  • A Lego enthusiast who enjoys building Legos with his children and showcasing creativity.


  1. James says:

    Congratulations! Dr. Siu

  2. Valarie Warner says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Siu! This is a well earned honor for which you are truly deserving! You have come so far from our early days in CAST…

  3. Nathan Bills says:

    Congratulations Joseph. Well-deserved!

  4. Marcia Shade says:

    Congratulations! Well deserved!!

  5. Anne Lawlor says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Siu, on this well-deserved recognition!

  6. Marsha Morien says:

    Dr. Siu, very pleased to see you recognized with the New Investigator Award. Congrats also for your leadership with the faculty senate.

  7. Peggy Moore says:

    Congratulations Dr. Siu!

  8. Laurie B says:

    Congratulations, Joseph! How deserving you are with this award, and how much you do in Physical Therapy, and for the entire College of Allied Health Professions! I can’t say it enough. You are AMAZING!

  9. Alice Schumaker says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Siu. Your award speaks to your excellent work and dedication.

Comments are closed.