Donald M. Bers, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

Donald M. Bers, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Chair, Department of Pharmacology

Joseph Silva Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research, School of Medicine







Locations and Contact

Genome and Biomedical Sciences Building

Genome & Biomedical Sciences Facility
451 Health Sciences Dr
Davis, CA 95616

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Phone: 530-752-2884

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Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Bers has been productive in studies of cardiac Ca signaling, with extensive publications (>470 papers, h-index = 115), an influential single author book Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Cardiac Contractile Force, and continuous NIH grant funding for >35 years. He has mentored >100 Ph.D. students, postdocs and junior faculty, many of whom have gone on to highly successful independent careers. He has an extensive network of productive collaborations with labs throughout the U.S. and internationally, and has been an effective leader of a large research groups. His scientific work has focused on Ca and Na transport, signaling and electrophysiology in the heart, including fundamental characterization of ion transporters and channels, electrophysiology, E-C coupling, myofilament activation, mitochondrial Ca/energetics, GPCR signaling, systolic dysfunction and arrhythmogenesis (e.g. in hypertrophy and heart failure), always with an eye toward both integrative aspects of cardiac function/clinical relevance and drilling down to more fundamental quantitative mechanistic understanding and the development of computational models.



Undergraduate School

B.A., Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 1974

Other School

Ph.D., Physiology, UCLA, Los Angeles CA 1978


Physiology/Cardiac Postdoc, UCLA, Los Angeles CA 1978-1979


Physiology/Cardiac Postdoc, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland 1979-1980

NIH-NHLBI Board of Scientific Councilors (NHLBI Intramural Council) (2017-22, Chair 20-22),

Newton-Abraham Professor, Oxford University, Department of Physiology, Anat. & Genet., Oxford UK, 2019

Peter Harris Distinguished Scientist Award, International Society Heart Research, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016

ER Smith Lectureship in Cardiovascular Research Award, Libin CV Institute, Calgary, Canada, 2015

Sir John Eccles prestigious speaker, Department of Physiology, University of Otago, NZ, 2014

To view the PubMed list for Dr. Bers, click here

Voglhuber J, Holzer M, Radulovic S, Thai PN, Djalinac N, Matzer I, Wallner M, Bugger H, Zirlik A, Leitinger G, Dedkova EN, Bers DM, Ljubojevic-Holzer S. Functional remodeling of perinuclear mitochondria alters nucleoplasmic Ca2+ signaling in heart failure. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci. 2022 Jun 10;118(Suppl_1):cvac066.027. doi:10.1093/cvr/cvac066.027.

Hegyi B, Mira Hernandez J, Shen EY, Habibi NR, Bossuyt J, Bers DM. Empagliflozin Reverses Late Na+ Current Enhancement and Cardiomyocyte Proarrhythmia in a Translational Murine Model of Heart Failure With Preserved Ejection Fraction. Circulation. 2022 Mar 29;145(13):1029-1031. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.057237. Epub 2022 Mar 28. PMID:35344407.

Sossalla S, Bers DM. Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor Limits Myocyte GαO Expression and Is Protective in Heart Failure Progression. Circ Res. 2022 Jan 21;130(2):249-251. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.320597. Epub 2022 Jan 20. PMID:35050687.

Carlson CR, Aronsen JM, Bergan-Dahl A, Moutty MC, Lunde M, Lunde PK, Jarstadmarken H, Wanichawan P, Pereira L, Kolstad TRS, Dalhus B, Subramanian H, Hille S, Christensen G, Müller OJ, Nikolaev V, Bers DM, Sjaastad I, Shen X, Louch WE, Klussmann E, Sejersted OM. AKAP18δ Anchors and Regulates CaMKII Activity at Phospholamban-SERCA2 and RYR. Circ Res. 2022 Jan 7;130(1):27-44. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.120.317976. Epub 2021 Nov 24. PMID:34814703.

Zhang J, Singh DP, Ko CY, Nikolaienko R, Wong King Yuen SM, Schwarz JA, Treinen LM, Tung CC, Rožman K, Svensson B, Aldrich CC, Zima AV, Thomas DD, Bers DM, Launikonis BS, Van Petegem F, Cornea RL. Cardiac ryanodine receptor N-terminal region biosensors identify novel inhibitors via FRET-based high-throughput screening. J Biol Chem. 2022 Jan;298(1):101412. doi:10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101412. Epub 2021 Nov 16. PMID:34793835.

Lyu Y, Thai PN, Ren L, Timofeyev V, Jian Z, Park S, Ginsburg KS, Overton J, Bossuyt J, Bers DM, Yamoah EN, Chen-Izu Y, Chiamvimonvat N, Zhang XD. Beat-to-beat dynamic regulation of intracellular pH in cardiomyocytes. iScience. 2021 Dec 13;25(1):103624. doi:10.1016/j.isci.2021.103624. PMID:35005560.

Morotti S, Liu C, Hegyi B, Ni H, Fogli Iseppe A, Wang L, Pritoni M, Ripplinger CM, Bers DM, Edwards AG, Grandi E. Quantitative cross-species translators of cardiac myocyte electrophysiology: Model training, experimental validation, and applications. Sci Adv. 2021 Nov 19;7(47):eabg0927. doi:10.1126/sciadv.abg0927. Epub 2021 Nov 17. PMID:34788089.

Hegyi B, Pölönen RP, Hellgren KT, Ko CY, Ginsburg KS, Bossuyt J, Mercola M, Bers DM. Cardiomyocyte Na+ and Ca2+ mishandling drives vicious cycle involving CaMKII, ROS, and ryanodine receptors. Basic Res Cardiol. 2021 Oct 14;116(1):58. doi:10.1007/s00395-021-00900-9. PMID:34648073.

Wang Y, Zhao M, Shi Q, Xu B, Zhu C, Li M, Mir V, Bers DM, Xiang YK. Monoamine Oxidases Desensitize Intracellular β1AR Signaling in Heart Failure. Circ Res. 2021 Oct 29;129(10):965-967. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.121.319546. Epub 2021 Sep 17. PMID:34530626.