NEWS | November 20, 2012

UC Davis researcher recognized as distinguished scientist by the American Heart Association


Donald Bers, the Joseph Silva Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Research and chair of the Department of Pharmacology at UC Davis, was recognized as a Distinguished Scientist at the American Heart Association's 2012 Scientific Sessions, which were held in Los Angeles Nov. 3-7.

With this recognition, Bers joins a prominent group of 75 scientists and clinicians whose overall work has significantly advanced the association's mission of "building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."

Donald Bers © UC Regents
Donald Bers

Bers is a world-renowned expert on the intricate physiological factors that regulate cardiac contractions and identifying treatment targets for correcting abnormal heart rhythms. By using unique research models, focusing on quantitative techniques and synthesizing results across biological studies, his work has dramatically expanded the understanding of heart muscle-dynamics.

"Dr. Bers' innovative research is at the forefront of defining cellular and molecular pathways that can lead to new treatments for heart disease, which is the number-one cause of death in the U.S.," said Frederick J. Meyers, executive associate dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine. "Combined with his remarkable track record of service to his field, dedication to mentoring early-career researchers, and advocacy for the advancement of women in medicine, it is no surprise that this prestigious organization considers him among the nation's premier cardiology scientists."

Known for his enthusiasm for scientific discovery and the high standard of scholarship he sets for his research team, Bers is highly sought as a speaker for national and international conferences and symposiums. He has published more than 350 scientific papers and held leadership positions in several professional organizations. His monograph Excitation-Contraction Coupling and Cardiac Contractile Force is an indispensable reference for students and scientists.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit