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

Multimodal Imaging from Bench to Bedside

Training Program in Basic and Translational Cardiovascular Science and Training Program in Pharmacology
IOR- Chiamvimonvat, Chen-Izu
Fall Quarter, 2019
CLH298, CRN# 36499
Tuesday and Thursday 12.00-1.00 p.m.


Location: Genome and Biomedical Science Facility, GBSF Auditorium #1005
Time: Course will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12-1 p.m. in October - November for 8 weeks.

General Course Description: This is a seven-week long Fall Quarter course specifically designed for T32 trainees in cardiovascular medicine and pharmacology in state-of-the-art multimodal imaging. The goals of the Core Course are to provide an overview that spans topics from bench to beside for pre- and post-doctoral research fellows.


Topics and Speakers


Week 1

October 1, 2019

Topic: Novel imaging techniques to dissect the spatiotemporal regulation of adrenergic signaling in vasculature
Instructor: Dr. Manuel Navedo, Professor, Pharmacology

October 3, 2019

Topic: Label-Free Non-Invasive Imaging: Principles and techniques
Instructor: Dr. James Chan, Associate Professor, Center for Biophotonics


Week 2

October 08, 2019

Topic: “What does it take to realize a translational imaging idea? The story of the EXPLORER Total Body PET scanner”
Instructor: Dr. Ramsey Badawi, Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Radiology

October 10, 2019

Topic: High Resolution Imaging and Mechanochemo-Transduction in Cardiomyocytes
Instructor: Dr. Ye Chen-Izu, Professor, Pharmacology


Week 3

October 15, 2019

Topic: Live cell-imaging using fluorescent biosensors
Instructor: Dr. Julie Bossuyt, Associate Professor, Pharmacology

October 17, 2019

Topic: Local Calcium Signaling in Arterial Smooth Muscle in Health and Disease
Instructor: Dr. Luis Fernando Santana, Professor and Chair, Physiology and Membrane Biology


Week 4

October 22, 2019

CVRI Retreat, Medical Education Building

October 24, 2019

Topic: Lab-on-a-chip systems for real-time imaging of force and molecular dynamics
Instructor: Dr. Scott Simon, Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Week 5

October 29, 2019

Topic: Genetically Encoded Fluorescent Voltage Indicators in Stem Cell Research
Instructor: Dr. Deborah Lieu, Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

October 31, 2019

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


Week 6

November 05, 2019

Topic: Optical Imaging: Dissecting Mechanisms of Cardiac Arrhythmias
Instructor: Dr. Crystal Ripplinger, Associate Professor, Pharmacology

November 07, 2019

Topic: Contrast agents and noninvasive imaging in cardiovascular disease and inflammation
Instructor: Dr. Angelique Louie, Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Week 7

November 12, 2019

Topic: Live imaging of AMPA-type glutamate receptor surface insertion as relevant for stroke-related neurological pathology
Instructor: Dr. Johannes Hell, Professor, Pharmacology

November 14, 2019

Presentation by current T32 Trainees (10 min for each presenter)
Linhui Li, Samantha Fousse, Gonzalo Hernandez and Dr. Che-Wei Chang


Week 8

November 19, 2019

Presentation by current T32 Trainees (10 min for each presenter)
Sodhi Hark, Danica Ito, Gustavo Garcia and Collin Matsumoto

November 21, 2019

Presentation by current T32 Trainees (10 min for each presenter)
Victoria Thai, Marina Gabriel and Dr. Kwame Atsina