James W. Hicks

Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
School of Biological Sciences

Director, Exercise Medicine and Sport Sciences Initiative

Ph.D., School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, 1984, Biomedical Sciences

Phone: (949) 824-6386
Fax: (949) 824-2095
Email: jhicks@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine

Mail Code: 2525
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of James W. Hicks

Oxygen transport, comparative and evolutionary approaches, modelling physiological systems
URLs Center for Organismal Biology
The Hicks Lab in Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology
Exercise Medicine and Sport Sciences Initiative
Edwards Lifescience Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technologies
Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, November 2008

Honorary Doctorate (Doctor Scientiarum Honorais Causa, jr.scient.h.c.) Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, Sept 2012
Appointments Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Dept of Physiology, Gottingen, Germany 1984-1985
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Physiological Research Laboratory, 1985-1987
As a broadly trained, integrative physiologist, my research efforts include; understanding the mechanism(s), regulation and functional significance of intracardiac shunting in "lower vertebrates", investigating the factors that determine and regulate the cardiopulmonary response to elevated metabolism, investigating the ontogeny of cardiovascular regulation, studying acclimatization to hypoxia, investigating the effects of gravity on the vertebrate cardiovascular system and my recent work on traumatic brain injury in athletes. Overall, my research focuses on vertebrates and spans several groups (from fish to humans) providing a unique evolutionary perspective into circulation and respiration and seeks to discover not only differences among organisms, but the unifying principles shared by diverse organisms.

I believe that it is important to articulate the power of comparative and evolutionary physiology and to point out that these approaches are not mutually exclusive to biomedical sciences. Comparative physiology, at its most basic level, seeks to discover how animals work, and, most importantly, why animals work the way they do. These two seemingly straightforward questions have far-reaching implications and require a variety of investigative approaches. The comparative physiologist is challenged to determine the details of physiological mechanisms while simultaneously gaining insights into ultimate causation, i.e. the evolutionary or adaptive significance of a physiological process or trait. This manifold focus on proximal mechanism and ultimate causality requires that comparative and evolutionary physiologists bring to their investigations a diversity of analytical approaches and to effectively integrate molecular, cellular, organismal, morphological, biomechanical, biophysical, ecological and evolutionary information.
Publications Malte, CL, Malte, H, Reinholdt, LR, Findsen, A, Hicks, JW, and Wang, T (2017) Right-to-left shunt has modest effects CO2 delivery to the gut during digestion, but compromises oxygen delivery. Journal of Experimental Biology, 220, 531-536 doi:10.1242/jeb.149625
  Alexander Garrett Schavran Jackson, Szu-Yun Leu, and James W. Hicks (2017) Simultaneously Occurring Elevated Metabolic States Expose Constraints in Maximal Levels of Oxygen Consumption in the Oviparous Snake Lamprophis fuliginosus Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 2017 90:3, 301-312
  Cassondra L. Williams, James W. Hicks (2016) Continuous arterial PO2 profiles in unrestrained, undisturbed aquatic turtles during routine behaviors Journal of Experimental Biology 2016 : doi: 10.1242/jeb.141010
  Blumenfeld RS, Winsell JC, Hicks JW, Small SL (2016) The epidemiology of sports-related head injury and concussion in water polo. Front. Neurol., 24 June 2016 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2016.00098
  Jackson, AG, Szu-Yun Leu, Ford, NB, Hicks, JW (2015) Patterns of oxygen consumption during simultaneously occurring elevated metabolic states in the viviparous snake Thamnophis marcianus Journal of Experimental Biology 2015 218: 3570-3579;
  Crossley, DA, Hartzler, L, Wearing, O, Platzack, B and Hicks, JW (2015) Acute and Chronic Temperature Effects on Cardiovascular Regulation In The Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta).
Journal of Comparative Physiology - B May;185(4):401-11
  Slay, C, Enok, S, Hicks, JW and Wang, T (2014) Reduction of blood oxygen levels enhances postprandial cardiac hypertrophy in Burmese python (Python molurus). J Exp Biol 217:1784-1789
  Burgrren, WW, Christoffels, VM, Crossley, DA, Enok, S, Farrell, AP, Hedrick, MS, Hicks, JW, Jensen, B, Moorman, AFM, Mueller, CA, Skovgaard, N, Taylor, EW and Wang T (2014) Invited Review: Comparative Cardiovascular physiology: future trends, opportunities, and challenges. Acta Physiol. Scand., Volume 210, Issue 2, pages 257–276
  Schmidt, T, Munns, S, Adams, L, and Hicks, JW (2013) The use of spirometry to evaluate pulmonary function in the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) with positive buoyancy disorder. J. Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 44(3):645-653
  Hicks, JW and Wang, T (2012) The functional significance of the reptilian heart: new insights into an old question: In: Ontogeny and Phylogeny of the Vertebrate Heart. ed. D. Sedema and T Wang, Springer Verlag-New York, pg. 207-227
  Bagattoa, B, , Crossley, DA, Altimiras, J, Elsey, RM, Hicks, JW (2012) Physiological variability in yearling alligators: Clutch differences at rest and during activity. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Volume 162, Issue 1, May 2012, Pages 44–50
  Eme J, Altimiras J, Hicks JW, Crossley DA 2nd. (2011) Hypoxic alligator embryos: chronic hypoxia, catecholamine levels and autonomic responses of in ovo alligators.
Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. Nov;160(3):412-20. Epub 2011 Jul 23
  Eme, J, Hicks, JW and Crossley, DA (2011) Chronic hypoxic incubation blunts a cardiovascular reflex loop in embryonic American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). J. Comp Physiol B Volume 181, Number 7, 981-990, DOI: 10.1007/s00360-011-0569-z
  Porteus, C., Hedrick, MS, Hicks, JW, Wang, T and Milsom, WK (2011) Time domains of the hypoxic ventilatory response in ectohermic vertebrates. J. Comp Physiol. B Volume 181, Number 3, 311-333, DOI: 10.1007/s00360-011-0554-6
  Eme, J., Crossley, DA and Hicks, JW (2011) Role of the left aortic arch and blood flows in embryonic American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). J. Comp Physiol B Volume 181, Number 3, 391-401, DOI: 10.1007/s00360-010-0494-6
  Crossley, DA, Jonker, SS, Hicks, JW and Thornberg, KL (2010) Maturation of the angiotensin II cardiovascular response in the embryonic white leghorn chicken (Gallus gallus). J. Comp Physiol. B Oct 180(7): 1057-1065
  Eme, J, Gwalthney, J, Owerkowicz, T, Blank, JM and Hicks JW (2010) Turning crocodilian hearts into bird hearts: Growth rates are similar of alligators with and without right -to-left shunts. J Exp. Biol Aug 1: 213 (Pt 15): 2673-2680
  Skovgaard, N, Hicks, JW and Wang T (2010) Oxygen uptake and transport in air-breathers. In: Respiratory Physiology of Vertebrates: life with and without oxygen. Ed. G. Nilsson, Cambridge University Press, pgs. 95-129
  Gabriel E. A. Gartner, James W. Hicks, Paulo R. Manzani, Denis V. Andrade, Augusto S. Abe, Tobias Wang, Stephen M. Secor, and Theodore Garland Jr.(2010) Phylogeny, Ecology, and Heart Position in Snakes Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 2010 83:1, 43-54
  Wang T, Hicks JW (2008) Changes in pulmonary blood flow do not affect gas exchange during intermittent ventilation
in resting turtles. J Exp Biol. Dec;211(Pt 23):3759-63.
  Axelsson M, Dang Q, Pitsillides K, Munns S, Hicks J, Kassab GS. (2007) A novel, fully implantable, multichannel biotelemetry system for measurement of blood flow, pressure, ECG, and temperature. J Appl Physiol. 2007 Mar;102(3):1220-8.
  Owerkowicz, Tomasz, Elsey, Ruth M., Hicks, James W. (2009) Atmospheric oxygen level affects growth trajectory, cardiopulmonary allometry and metabolic rate in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) J Exp Biol 2009 212: 1237-1247
  Giuseppe A, Rourke, BC, Andersen, JB, Fu, J, Kim, JH, Bennett, AF, Hicks, JW and Piomelli, D (2006) Postprandial increase of oleoylethanolamide mobilization in small intestine of the Burmese python (Python molurus) Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 290: R1407-R1412
  Torday JS, Rehan VK, Hicks JW, Wang T, Maina J, Weibel ER, Hsia CC, Sommer RJ, Perry SF. (2007) Deconvoluting lung evolution: from phenotypes to gene regulatory networks
Integr Comp Biol. Oct;47(4):601-9.
  L.K. Hartzler, , S.L. Munns, A.F. Bennett and J.W. Hicks (2006) Recovery from an activity-induced metabolic acidosis in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis Comp Biochem and Physiol - Part A: Mol & Int Physiol Volume 143, Issue 3 , Pages 368-374
  Hartzler, L. K., Munns, S. L., Bennett, A. F., Hicks, J. W. (2006)Metabolic and blood gas dependence on digestive state in the Savannah monitor lizard Varanus exanthematicus: an assessment of the alkaline tide J Exp Biol 209: 1052-1057.
  Eme, John, Gwalthney, June, Blank, Jason M., Owerkowicz, Tomasz, Barron, Gildardo, Hicks, James W. (2009) Surgical removal of right-to-left cardiac shunt in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) causes ventricular enlargement but does not alter apnoea or metabolism during diving J Exp Biol 212: 3553-3563
  Britt, E. J., Hicks, J. W., Bennett, A. F. (2006) The energetic consequences of dietary specialization in populations of the garter snake, Thamnophis elegans J Exp Biol 209: 3164-3169
  Hicks, JW and Munis, JR (2005) The siphon controversy counterpoint: the brain need not be "baffling" Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 289: R629-R632
  Andersen, JB, Rourke, B, Caiozzo, V, Bennett, AF and Hicks, JW (2005) Postprandial cardiac hypertrophy in pythons, Nature, 434, 37 - 38 (03 Mar 2005)
  Wang, T., Andersen, J. B. and Hicks, J. W. (2005). Effects of digestion on the respiratory and cardiovascular physiology of amphibians and reptiles. In Physiological and Ecological Adaptations to Feeding in Vertebrates (ed. J. M. Starck and T. Wang), pp. 279-303. Enfield, NH, USA: Science?Publishers
  Munns, SL., Hartzler, LK, Bennett, AF, and Hicks, JW (2005)Terrestrial locomotion does not constrain venous return in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis J. Exp. Biol. 2005 208: 3331-3339.
  McCue, M. D., A. F. Bennett, and J. W. Hicks.(2005). The effect of meal composition on specific dynamic action in Burmese Pythons (Python molurus) . Physiol. Biochem. Zool. 78: 182-192.
  Munns, SL, Hartzler, LK, Bennett, AF, Hicks, JW (2004) Elevated intra-abdominal pressure limits venous return during exercise in Varanus exanthematicus J Exp Biol 207, 4111-4120
  Owerkowicz, T., Farmer, C., Hicks, J.W. and Branierd, B. (1999) Gular pumping contributes to lung ventilation in monitor lizards. Science V284 N5420 1661- 1663.
  Hicks, JW and Munis, JR (2005) The siphon controversy counterpoint: the brain need not be "baffling" Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 289: R629-R632
  Hicks JW, Wang T.(2004) Hypometabolism in reptiles: behavioural and physiological mechanisms that reduce aerobic demands.Respir Physiol Neurobiol. Aug 12;141(3):261-71:
  Crossley DA 2nd, Hicks JW, Altimiras J. (2003) Ontogeny of baroreflex control in the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis. J. Exp. Biol., Aug;206(Pt 16):2895-902
Grants Collaborative Research: LiT: Effects of environmental oxygen on growth and physiological performance in the American alligator: A case study in experimental paleophysiology. National Science Foundation, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems 2009-2012
Collaborative Research: The Diving Physiology of Chelonians; A comparative study of three turtle species. National Science Foundation, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems 2012-15
Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
American Physiological Society
Society for Experimental Biology
Other Experience Chair
Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology Section, American Physiological Society 2004—2007

Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 2001—2009

American Physiological Society 2006—2009

Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, SICB 2010—2012

Chair-Communications Committee
American Physiological Society 2010—2013

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
UC Irvine 2011—2015

Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
UC Irvine 2015—2016

Graduate Programs Comparative Physiology

Research Centers
Edwards Lifescience Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technologies
Exercise Medicine and Sport Sciences Initiative
Link to this profile http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=2158
Last updated 08/21/2017