Training Program in Basic and Translational Cardiovascular Science

Program Objectives:

This is a training program in its 11th year to support predoctoral and postdoctoral research trainees in a multidisciplinary research program in cardiovascular and vascular diseases spanning from molecular and cellular studies, imaging, biomedical engineering, to translational science. We have been highly successful in expanding our training program from 31 faculty five years ago to 40 faculty currently. The faculty in our Training Program are from five different schools/Colleges. The curriculum and activities developed within the training program have been used as models for other training grants in translational research on campus and hence, serve a wider group of trainees at UC Davis.

Our graduate trainees are recruited from multiple graduate programs including Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology (MCIP), Pharmacology and Toxicology (PTX), Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (BMCDB), Biophysics (BPH) and Biomedical Engineering (BME), a truly multidisciplinary program. The program is grounded on the principle that trainees, who will ultimately engage in cardiovascular-related research, must have a firm foundation in fundamental cardiovascular physiology, molecular biology/genetics, and cell biology. In addition, the trainees should have ample opportunities to learn and master state-of-the-art techniques in imaging, proteomics, metabolomics, genomics, and bioinformatics. Additional goals of the Training Program are to provide trainees with the tools necessary for success, including techniques for scientific presentation, manuscript writing, grantsmanship, and academic survival skills. Postdoctoral trainees can benefit from these same intellectual resources, but must also be prepared to establish their own laboratories in order to achieve independent research funding and produce scholarly written and oral presentations of their research. Finally, a premise of the program is that translational and basic science trainees under the same umbrella will be exposed to a diverse, and yet cohesive, collegial atmosphere that would be impossible to achieve otherwise.


Current Trainees:

Predoctoral trainees

Aiyana Emigh

(Professor Vladimir Yarov-Yarovoy)

Collin Matsumoto

(Professor Fernando Santana)

Charlotte Vorwald

(Professor Kent Leach)

Jennifer Price

(Professor Johannes Hell)

Harkanwalpreet Sodhi

(Professor Alyssa Panitch)

Gonzalo Hernandez

(Professor Colleen Clancy)

Danica Ito

(Professor Rose Dixon)

Linhui Li

(Professor Kevin Yang Xiang)

Kevin Campbell

(Professor Eduardo Silva)


Postdoctoral trainees

Che-Wei Chang, Ph.D. (Professor James Chan)
Phung N. Thai, Ph.D. (Professor Nipavan Chiamvimonvat)
Jeong Won Choi, M.D. (Professor Jeffrey Southard and Anne A. Knowlton)

Predoctoral Training in Pharmacological Sciences

Program Objectives:

The overarching goal of this predoctoral Pharmacological Sciences Training Program (PhTP) is to educate next generation of biomedical researchers in the concepts of drug discovery and development and to provide a clinical perspective. Trainees come mainly from 4 graduate programs (Pharmacology & Toxicology, Physiology, Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience) developing expertise in diverse areas. This reaches from classic pharmacology and drug target identification with cutting edge methods in biochemistry, structural biology, genomics molecular and cell biology, high resolution imaging, electrophysiology and behavioral physiology, to medicinal chemistry, engineering of microfluidic and other devices, animal models of disease, novel in vivo whole animal imaging and translational therapeutics in clinical trials. The PhTP will provide focused and student-tailored small group training in the core principles of pharmacology for non-pharmacology trainees, and enmesh these students together with pharmacology students for more interdisciplinary group learning in the drug discovery and development. A second goal is to enable all trainees to communicate and collaborate across the large array of research disciplines they represent. This goal is mainly realized in a highly innovative student-driven, project-oriented course Problem Solving in Pharmacological Sciences, which reinvents itself every year based on student initiative and interest. The 51 training faculty are from 22 departments in 6 colleges, where extensive collaborative interactions already exist. Trainers provide in depth expertise that ranges from identifying novel therapeutic molecular targets and development of therapeutic molecules to clinical drug and stem cell trials at the NIH-funded UCD Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) and NIH-designated Cancer Center. Novel drugs for treatment of cardiovascular, neurological, and immunological diseases and cancer, the four focus areas of our PhTP, have been developed and are being brought to clinic by several faculty at UCD.




Grad Group



Emily Misnick


Alyssa Panitch


Jessica Huang


Mark Huising


Eden Barragan


John Gray


Scott Tiscione


Eamonn Dickson


John Dawson


Igor Vorobyov


Juan Flores


Karen Zito


Joseph Martinez


Kevin Xiang


Noah Pacifici


Jamal Lewis


Max Vargas


David Olson

Cardiovascular and Vascular Biology and Physiology in Health and Disease

Training Program in Basic and Translational Cardiovascular Science
Training Program in Pharmacology

IORs-N. Chiamvimonvat and Y. Chen-Izu
CLH 298, CRN 26503
Tuesday and Thursday 12.00-1.00 p.m.

Location: Online only via Zoom

Time: Course will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12-1 pm in October, November and December for 8 weeks.

General Course Description: The goals of the T32 Core Courses are 1) Provide an overview for pre- and post-doctoral training in Cardiovascular Research, 2) State-of-the-art techniques in Cardiovascular Research and biotechnology, 3) Cardiovascular and vascular biology and physiology in health and diseases.

Topics and Speakers

Week 1

October 13, 2020
Topic: A Mathematical Tour of Cardiac Muscle (and wine) via the Functional Connectome
Instructor: Dr. Leighton Izu, Professor, Department of Pharmacology

October 15, 2020
Topic: Cardiac excitation contraction coupling
Instructor: Dr. Ye Chen-Izu, Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Week 2

October 20, 2020
Topic: Vascular abnormality in diabetes and hypertension
Instructor: Dr. Manuel Navedo, Professor, Department of Pharmacology

October 22, 2020
Topic: Adrenergic regulation of cardiac ion channels
Instructor: Dr. Rose Dixon, Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Membrane Biology

Week 3

October 27, 2020
Topic: Autonomic regulation and cardiac arrhythmia
Instructor: Dr. Crystal Ripplinger, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology

October 29, 2020
Topic: Inflammation and atherosclerosis
Instructor: Dr. Scott Simon, Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Week 4

November 3, 2020
Topic: Spatiotemporal Imaging of pH Regulation in Cardiomyocytes
Instructor:  Dr. Xiaodong Zhang, Associate Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

November 5, 2020
Topic: Cardiac development and cell-based therapy
Instructor: Dr. Deborah Lieu, Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Week 5

November 10, 2020
Topic: The left atria
Instructor: Dr. Uma Srivatsa, Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

November 12, 2020
Topic: Signaling in cardiac hypertrophy and failure
Instructor: Dr. Julie Bossuyt, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Week 6

November 17, 2020
Topic: Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
Instructor: Dr. Martin Cadeiras, Associate Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

November 19, 2019
Topic: New therapy for heart failure
Instructor: Dr. Saul Schaefer, Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Week 7

December 1, 2020
Topic: Cardiovascular Epidemiology: From Biomarkers to Clinical Practice
Instructor: Dr. Javier Lopez, Associate Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

December 3, 2020
Topic: Regulation of the L-type Ca Channel Cav1.2
Instructor: Dr. Johannes Hell, Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Week 8

December 8, 2020
Presentation by current T32 Trainees (10 min for each presenter)
Dr. Sherri Biendarra-Tiegs, Gustavo Garcia, Victor Gutierrez, Victoria Thai

December 10, 2020
Presentation by current T32 Trainees (10 min for each presenter)
Dr. Kwame Atsina, Marina Gabriel, Michael Nguyen, Dr. Laura Guarina