Welcome to the Department of Pharmacology in the UC Davis School of Medicine. The Department comprises a dynamic group of faculty, researchers and students from diverse backgrounds undertaking investigations to reveal biological mechanisms that will ultimately lead to discovery of novel understanding of physiological and pathological mechanisms, identification of potential therapeutic targets and development of new strategies for a variety of human diseases.

The Department is led by Chair Donald Bers, Ph.D. and the Executive Advisory Group that includes Johannes W. Hell, Ph.D. (Vice-Chair for Academic Development), Crystal M. Ripplinger, Ph.D., (Vice-Chair for Research and Administration) and Heike Wulff, Ph.D. (Vice-Chair for Education). The Pharmacology Department is part of the basic biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine. The Department and its Faculty have strong connections with multiple UC Davis Graduate Groups, other Departments (in multiple colleges) and Research Centers constituting a powerful interactive high-quality research team. The faculty are also committed to excellence in teaching and service (both at UC Davis and beyond). UC Davis Pharmacology is one of the nation's top ranked pharmacology departments in federal research funding and hosts a diverse group of postdoctoral trainees and graduate students from different Graduate Groups.

Two of the strongest research areas within the Department are Cardiovascular and Neuroscience at multiple levels, and in a highly collaborative environment of considerable international reputation. Along with other research areas, our work is unified by a common goal - to understand mechanistically the critical building blocks of biological systems from molecules to cells and organ systems, in health and disease, and to identify components that can be modified through pharmacology or other therapeutic strategies to cure disease. Please visit our Research Overview page and Faculty Research pages for details of ongoing work in the individual Departmental laboratories.

Spotlight on Our Pharmacology Team

Prestigious NIH grant helps UC Davis train researchers in drug discovery and development

The Department of Pharmacology has received a renewal of the prestigious NIH T32 training program grant. The funding will help educate the next generation of biomedical researchers in the concepts of drug discovery and development, inclusive of a clinical perspective.

Spearheaded by Johannes W. Hell and Donald M. Bers of the Department of Pharmacology at UC Davis Health, the program includes diverse faculty members from 14 departments in six UC Davis colleges, where extensive collaboration already exists.

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Ele Grandi awarded the Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award

Eleonora Grandi, Ph.D.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Ele Grandi, who has been awarded the Graduate Program Advising and Mentoring Award! Dr. Grandi was awarded with this honor as recognition of her outstanding commitment to serving as an advisor and mentor for the Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology (MCIP) graduate group, as well as her important and positive impact she has had on all members of the MCIP group – students and fellow mentors alike.


Elva Diaz Selected as Director of the Grass Fellowship Program

Elva Diaz, Ph.D.

Dr. Don Bers and the Department of Pharmacology would like to congratulate Dr. Elva Diaz who was selected as Director of the Grass Fellowship Program! As part of this honor, Dr. Diaz will be taking a Sabbatical Leave in the Summer of 2022, 2023 and 2024. During this time, Dr. Diaz will mentor the Grass Fellows, promising early-stage neuroscientists from across the world selected to conduct independent research projects. In addition, Dr. Diaz will be conducting her own research utilizing the resources and equipment of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Dr. Diaz’ appointment as Director of the Grass Fellowship Foundation is truly a recognition of Dr. Diaz’s reputation and expertise in the neuroscience field, as well as represents outstanding recognition for UC Davis. Her research program will be greatly enhanced by the networking opportunities and resources available during the summer at MBL.