Deborah K. Lieu, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Deborah K. Lieu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor



Internal Medicine

Locations and Contact

UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures (IRC)

UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures (IRC)
2921 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Lieu's research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the differentiation and maturation of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSCs) into pacemaking cardiomyocytes for engineering biopacemakers and contractile cardiomyocytes for cell replacement therapy after heart attack.


Cardiovascular Medicine

Undergraduate School

B.S., Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, UC Davis, Davis CA 1996

Other School

Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, UC Davis, Davis CA 2002

UC Davis Academic Senate New Research Initiative Award, 2020

CIRM grant DISC2-10120, 2017

UC Davis Academic Federation Innovative Developmental Award, 2015

CIRM grant RB4-05764, 2013

Shriners Hospital for Children Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007

CIRM grant DISC2-12263, 2021

Smithers RL, Kao HKJ, Zeigler S, Yechikov S, Nolta JA, Chan JW, Chiamvimonvat N, Lieu DK. Making Heads or Tails of the Large Mammalian Sinoatrial Node Micro-Organization. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2021 Dec;14(12):e010465. doi:10.1161/CIRCEP.121.010465. Epub 2021 Nov 19. PMID:34794338.

Yechikov S, Kao HKJ, Chang CW, Pretto D, Zhang XD, Sun YH, Smithers R, Sirish P, Nolta JA, Chan JW, Chiamvimonvat N, Lieu DK. NODAL inhibition promotes differentiation of pacemaker-like cardiomyocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Stem Cell Res. 2020 Dec;49:102043. doi:10.1016/j.scr.2020.102043. Epub 2020 Oct 12. PMID:33128951.

Chang CW, Kao HKJ, Yechikov S, Lieu DK, Chan JW. An intrinsic, label-free signal for identifying stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte subtype. Stem Cells. 2020 Mar;38(3):390-394. doi:10.1002/stem.3127. Epub 2019 Dec 9. PMID:31778240.

Sun YH, Kao HKJ, Chang CW, Merleev A, Overton JL, Pretto D, Yechikov S, Maverakis E, Chiamvimonvat N, Chan JW, Lieu DK. Human induced pluripotent stem cell line with genetically encoded fluorescent voltage indicator generated via CRISPR for action potential assessment post-cardiogenesis. Stem Cells. 2020 Jan;38(1):90-101. doi:10.1002/stem.3085. Epub 2019 Sep 30. PMID:31566285.

Gluck JM, Herren AW, Yechikov S, Kao HKJ, Khan A, Phinney BS, Chiamvimonvat N, Chan JW, Lieu DK. Biochemical and biomechanical properties of the pacemaking sinoatrial node extracellular matrix are distinct from contractile left ventricular matrix. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 21;12(9):e0185125. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0185125. PMID:28934329.

Yechikov S, Copaciu R, Gluck JM, Deng W, Chiamvimonvat N, Chan JW, Lieu DK. Same-Single-Cell Analysis of Pacemaker-Specific Markers in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocyte Subtypes Classified by Electrophysiology. Stem Cells. 2016 Nov;34(11):2670-2680. doi:10.1002/stem.2466. Epub 2016 Jul 29. PMID:27434649.

Lieu DK, Fu JD, Chiamvimonvat N, Tung KC, McNerney GP, Huser T, Keller G, Kong CW, Li RA. Mechanism-based facilitated maturation of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2013 Feb;6(1):191-201. doi:10.1161/CIRCEP.111.973420. Epub 2013 Feb 7. PMID:23392582.

Awasthi S, Matthews DL, Li RA, Chiamvimonvat N, Lieu DK, Chan JW. Label-free identification and characterization of human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes using second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy. J Biophotonics. 2012 Jan;5(1):57-66. doi:10.1002/jbio.201100077. Epub 2011 Nov 15. PMID:22083829.

Lieu DK, Liu J, Siu CW, McNerney GP, Tse HF, Abu-Khalil A, Huser T, Li RA. Absence of transverse tubules contributes to non-uniform Ca(2+) wavefronts in mouse and human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. Stem Cells Dev. 2009 Dec;18(10):1493-500. doi:10.1089/scd.2009.0052. PMID:19290776.

Lieu DK, Chan YC, Lau CP, Tse HF, Siu CW, Li RA. Overexpression of HCN-encoded pacemaker current silences bioartificial pacemakers. Heart Rhythm. 2008 Sep;5(9):1310-7. doi:10.1016/j.hrthm.2008.05.010. Epub 2008 May 15. PMID:18693074.