Academic Rank:
Professor, UBC
Research Centre: Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI)
Short Bio:

Dr. Seow specializes in smooth and skeletal muscle cell biology/physiology. His current research focus is on the mechanical function, ultrastructure and biochemistry of airway smooth muscle, in health and disease. There are two main components of his current CIHR-funded research program.  One focuses on the basic mechanism of contraction in smooth muscle, the other focuses on airway hyper-responsiveness related to dysfunction of airway smooth muscle seen in asthma. His other research interests include skeletal muscle mechanics, whole lung and airway mechanics, ATPase cycle associated with the cross-bridge cycle, and mathematical modeling of muscle and lung function.

Academic background

  • Post Doctoral Training, University of Chicago, Muscle Biophysics. 1989-1992
  • PhD, University of Manitoba, Physiology. 1989
  • BSc, University of Manitoba, Mechanical Engineering. 1984

Awards and Recognition

  • CIHR New Investigator, 1996-2001
  • CIHR/BC Lung Association Investigator, 2001-2006



Selected Publications

  • Pascoe CD, Seow CY, Paré PD, Bossé Y. Decrease of airway smooth muscle contractility induced by simulated breathing maneuvers is not simply proportional to strain. J Appl Physiol. 2013 Feb;114(3):335-43.
  • Seow CY. Passive stiffness of airway smooth muscle: the next target for improving airway distensibility and treatment for asthma? Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Feb;26(1):37-41.
  • Pascoe C, Jiao Y, Seow CY, Paré PD, Bossé Y. Force oscillations simulating breathing maneuvers do not prevent force adaptation. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 Jul;47(1):44-9.
  • Chin LY, Bossé Y, Pascoe C, Hackett TL, Seow CY, Paré PD. Mechanical properties of asthmatic airway smooth muscle. Eur Respir J. 2012 Jul;40(1):45-54.
  • Raqeeb A, Jiao Y, Syyong HT, Paré PD, Seow CY. Regulatable stiffness in relaxed airway smooth muscle: a target for asthma treatment? J Appl Physiol. 2012 Feb;112(3):337-46.
  • Syyong HT, Raqeeb A, Paré PD, Seow CY. Time course of isotonic shortening and the underlying contraction mechanism in airway smooth muscle. J Appl Physiol. 2011 Sep;111(3):642-56.
  • Seow CY, Fredberg JJ. Emergence of airway smooth muscle functions related to structural malleability. J Appl Physiol. 2011 Apr;110(4):1130-5.
  • Raqeeb A, Solomon D, Paré PD, Seow CY. Length oscillation mimicking periodic individual deep inspirations during tidal breathing attenuates force recovery and adaptation in airway smooth muscle. J Appl Physiol. 2010 Nov;109(5):1476-82.
  • Zhang J, Herrera AM, Paré PD, Seow CY. Dense-body aggregates as plastic structures supporting tension in smooth muscle cells. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2010 Nov;299(5):L631-8.
  • Bossé Y, Solomon D, Chin LY, Lian K, Paré PD, Seow CY. Increase in passive stiffness at reduced airway smooth muscle length: potential impact on airway responsiveness. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2010 Mar;298(3):L277-87.
  • Chin LY, Bossé Y, Jiao Y, Solomon D, Hackett TL, Paré PD, Seow CY. Human airway smooth muscle is structurally and mechanically similar to that of other species. Eur Respir J. 2010 Jul;36(1):170-7.
  • Bossé Y, Chin LY, Paré PD, Seow CY. Chronic activation in shortened airway smooth muscle: a synergistic combination underlying airway hyperresponsiveness? Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Mar;42(3):341-8.
  • Sobieszek A, Sarg B, Lindner H, Seow CY. Phosphorylation of caldesmon by myosin light chain kinase increases its binding affinity for phosphorylated myosin filaments. Biological Chemistry 391(9):1091-1104, 2010.
  • Chin L, Yue P, Feng JJ, and Seow CY. Mathematical simulation of muscle crossbridge cycle and force-velocity relationship.  Biophys J. 91(10):3653-3663, 2006.
  • Seow CY.  Invited Perspective in Cell Physiology: Myosin filament assembly in an ever-changing myofilament lattice of smooth muscle. Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol.  289: C1363-C1368, 2005.
  • Seow CY. Biophysics: Fashionable cells.  Nature, 435: 1172-1173, 2005.
  • Herrera AM, McParland BE, Bienkowska A, Tait R, Pare PD, and Seow CY.  “Sarcomeres” of smooth muscle: functional characteristics and ultrastructural evidence.  J. Cell Sci. 118: 2381-2392, 2005.
  • Kuo KH, and Seow CY.  Contractile filament architecture and force transmission in swine airway smooth muscle.  J Cell Sci. 117(Pt 8):1503-1511, 2004.


Research Interest

  • Airway smooth muscle
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory System
  • Muscle mechanics
  • Muscle biochemistry
  • Muscle ultrastructure

Teaching Interest

Dr. Seow is involved in the teaching of Path 301, Path 521, MEDI 548, and Anat 527.  He also serves as the director of the Imaging and Biophysics Core and coordinator of the weekly seminar series at the UBC James Hogg Research Centre.