Summer 2017
Chair forms Executive Advisory Group (EAG) to help guide department

The Department of Pharmacology EAG was formed to advise the Chair on departmental strategic direction, administration and prioritizing initiatives, and was formalized at a faculty meeting in May. Starting July 1, 2017 (for 3-yr terms). The EAG will meet quarterly (or as needs arise) and is comprised of:

July 2017
Pharmacology Faculty at FASEB Ion Channel Meeting
Congratulations to the Pharmacology Department Faculty, Drs. Heike WulffJohannes W. Hell and Manuel F. Navedo on their well-received invited presentations at the 2017 Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB) Meeting on Ion Channel Regulation. Representation of our faculty was among the largest for a single Department, we are proud of the strength and influence of our faculty in this field!

January 2017
Hell and Navedo Labs
We are proud to announce the publication of back-to-back papers in Science Signaling from the Hell and Navedo Labs describing how adrenaline activates L-type CaV1.2 channels and how sugar makes arteries constrict. To learn more about their exciting research, listen to this Science Signaling podcast.

January 2017
Yang K. Xiang, Ph.D.

Congratulations and thank you to Professor Xiang and his lab members for their latest findings! Their research results are featured online at UC Davis Health - How insulin harms the heart.

August 2016
Colleen E. Clancy, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Professor Colleen Clancy! She has been appointed to a 5 year term as the associate vice chancellor for academic personnel for UC Davis School of Medicine. We are very proud of her and her accomplishments and know that her skills and enthusiasm will be of great value to the faculty at UC Davis School of Medicine. Select this link to read about Dr. Clancy’s accomplishments and this appointment.

Manuel F. Navedo, Ph.D.

Was selected to VCMB Study Section
We are proud to announce that Associate Professor Manuel F. Navedo was selected as a permanent member of the Vascular, Cellular and Molecular Biology (VCMB) Study Section in the Center for Scientific Review. This represents a major recognition of Dr. Navedo’s scientific accomplishments and standing in the field. Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievements in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publication in scientific journals and other significant scientific activities, accomplishments and honors. His contributions to VCMB and Center for Scientific Review will be of great value to medical and allied research in the country. Congratulations to Dr. Navedo for this honor!

April 2016
Donald M. Bers, Ph.D.
We are proud to announce that Professor Donald Bers was awarded the 2016 Peter Harris Distinguished Scientist Award of the International Society for Heart Research (ISHR)! This award recognizes an established investigator with lifetime contributions of major discoveries in cardiovascular science. As the recipient of the honor, he presented an Award Lecture on his research (“Calmodulin and CaMKII in heart failure and arrhythmias”) at the ISHR XXII World Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21, 2016. The mission of the ISHR is to promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge in the cardiovascular sciences on a world-wide basis. To learn more about this organization, go to:

April 2016
Johannes Hell, Ph.D.
F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award 2015 for the Neuroscience Faculty

Professor Johannes Hell has received the F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2015 for Neuroscience Faculty. This is the third year in a row that he’s received this award. This award recognizes Faculty Members who have made a significant contribution to the F1000Prime Article Recommendation service over the past year, as judged by the F1000 editorial team and on the popularity of their recommendations with users of the service. Congratulations to Dr. Hell for this honor!

Spring 2016
Richard Horuk, Ph.D.
Pharmaceutical Veteran Richard Horuk Teaches Insights About Drug Development

Spring 2016 UCD Faculty Newsletter article showcasing Professor Horuk’s experience and perspective on drug development, as well as his work with Professors Rogawski, and Wulff on the Pharmacology course: Drug Discovery and Development (PHA 207). Learn More... (PDF).

February 2016
Eleonora Grandi, Ph.D.
Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring at Early to Mid-Career Level

We are proud to announce that Assistant Professor, Eleonora Grandi, has received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in recognition of her contributions in the UC Davis Health’s core mission areas of research, education, clinical care and community engagement. This is to reward her for her outstanding performance and to acknowledge her contribution as a transformative leader. Awardees will be honored at a recognition reception on March 16. Learn more about this award (PDF).

June 2015
Colleen Clancy, Ph.D.
Accepted as fellow in national executive leadership program

We are proud to announce that Professor Clancy has been accepted as a fellow into the 2015-16 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM) Program for Women at Drexel University. The program is dedicated to developing the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex health care environment, with special attention to the unique challenges facing women in leadership positions. Learn more about this news article (PDF).

March 2015
Colleen Clancy, Ph.D.
2014 Dean’s Excellence in Mentoring Award

We are proud to announce that Dr. Colleen Clancy, Professor, was selected for the 2014 Dean’s Excellence in Mentoring Award in the Research area. She was recognized for this honor at the Dean’s Recognition Reception on March 18, 2015. Multi-departmental Junior faculty nominated her for this award for the special role that she has played in their academic, research, and career development. We congratulate her for her outstanding efforts at improving her faculty colleagues’ professional development!

March 2015
Johannes Hell, Ph.D.
F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2014

Professor Johannes Hell, has received the F1000 Faculty Member of the Year Award for 2014 for the Neuroscience Faculty. This is the second year in a row that he’s received this award. The award recognizes Faculty Members who have made the most significant contribution to the F1000 Recommendation service over the past year. The recipient of the award is selected based on the viewing figures for all F1000 evaluations of the faculty member and quality of the evaluations as judged by the editorial office. We congratulate Dr. Hell for this honor!

February 2015
Crystal Ripplinger, Ph.D.
Nerve regeneration therapy has potential to prevent arrhythmias, sudden cardiac death after heart attack

Drs. Crystal Ripplinger and Lianguo Wang are co-authors on a new study, Targeting protein tyrosine phosphatase σ after myocardial infarction restores cardiac sympathetic innervation and prevents arrhythmias, published in the journal Nature Communications by researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Case Western Reserve University and UC Davis. The study investigates a therapy developed for spinal cord injuries on nerve regeneration in the heart and found that this novel treatment provides resistance to arrhythmias following a heart attack, and may lead to further development of therapeutics for post-heart attack care. To read more about their groundbreaking research methods and this study, see the UCDHS Newsroom.

August 2014
Elva Diaz, Ph.D.
Farmworkers’ son active in UC Davis research wins prestigious NIH scholarship

Dr. Elva Diaz, Associate Professor, received notification that one of her undergraduate students, Abraham Corrales, received the competitive and prestigious NIH Undergraduate Scholarship. To learn more about Abraham and this honor, go to UC Davis News and Information:

June 2014
Angie Gelli, Ph.D.
Invasion of the central nervous system by Cryptococcus neoformans requires a secreted fungal metalloprotease

Dr. Angie Gelli, Associate Professor, lead UC Davis investigators (Kiem Vu, Juhn Uhrig, Sarisa Na Pombejra, Mantana Jamklang, George Thompson III, Jennifer Bautos, and Rick Tham) in a remarkable series of experiments on Cryptococcus neoformans – the cause of a deadly meningitis -- to isolate a metalloprotease that appears to be responsible for the fungus’ ability to cross from the bloodstream into the brain. The findings were published in the journal mBio, issued by the American Society for Microbiology, in an article titled "Invasion of the central nervous system by Cryptococcus neoformans requires a secreted fungal metalloprotease". The discovery has important implications for developing a more effective treatment for C. neoformans and other brain infections, as well as for brain cancers that are difficult to treat with conventional medications. To read more about this exciting discovery, go to News from UC Davis Health newsroom.

March 2014
Science Signaling Journal
Ye Chen-Izu, Ph.D.
UC Davis researchers discover how high blood pressure damages the heart

Dr. Ye Chen-Izu, Assistant Professor in Pharmacology, pulled together an interdisciplinary team of biophysicists, chemists, engineers, physiologists and cardiologists for a study of the biological system that controls contractility of the heart under mechanical stress such as that caused by high blood pressure. Read about their recent study — "Mechanochemotransduction During Cardiomyocyte Contraction is Mediated by Localized Nitric Oxide Signaling" — published in the March 18 issue of the journal Science Signaling and available at

December 2013
Pharmacology Holiday Party

Made possible by the generous support of our departmental faculty!

December 2013
Donald Bers, Ph.D.
Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine

Dr. Donald Bers, the Department’s Distinguished Professor and Chair, was awarded the “2013 Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine” from The Medical and Health Science Center of the University of Debrecen, Hungary. This international annual prize is offered to encourage and recognize extraordinary and sustained contributions to biomedical research. This prestigious prize is awarded to a scientist, or group, whose work has lead to significant advances in the fields of molecular medicine with demonstrated benefits applied to improved patient care. For more information about this award, please visit the Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine’s website.

November 2013
Donald Bers, Ph.D.
34 from UC elected fellows of AAAS

Distinguished Professor and Chair, Don Bers, was elected as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is 1 of 10 elected fellows for AAAS from the University of California at Davis. This honor is bestowed for scientifically distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Dr. Bers is being recognized for his innovative approaches in calcium signaling and integrative quantitative analysis that have built the modern framework of regulation of cardiac contractions and electrical activity. To read the full article, please go to UCDMC’s Spotlight, or view AAAS’ News.

September 2013
Donald Bers, Ph.D.
UC Davis researchers discover a biological link between diabetes and heart disease

Dr. Don Bers (Professor and Chair) and colleagues identified a novel molecular pathway between diabetic hyperglycemia and cardiac arrhythmias (online publication in Nature (PDF)). Hyperglycemia chronically activates the key signaling kinase CaMKII by direct attachment of a sugar, causing CaMKII-dependent ion channel effects and arrhythmias (and potential effects on many systems.

June 2013
Florin Despa, Ph.D.
A second amyloid may play a role in Alzheimer's disease, UC Davis researchers find

Dr. Florin Despa and colleagues found that amylin accumulates in the blood vessels and and brain of patients with diabetes and dementia. Additional study authors are Kaleena Jackson, Gustavo A. Barisone, Elva Diaz and Lee-Way Jin, all of UC Davis.

May 2013
Johannes Hell, Ph.D.
And colleagues discovered that the structural protein α-actinin anchors CaV1.2 at the plasma membrane and especially in spines in neurons.

Professor Johannes Hell and colleagues discovered that the structural protein α-actinin anchors CaV1.2 at the plasma membrane and especially in spines in neurons. Read about this groundbreaking research in the journal Neuron.

Heike Wulff, Ph.D.
Was awarded the 2013 Basic Sciences Kaiser Teaching Award

Dr. Heike Wulff, Associate Professor, was awarded the 2013 Basic Sciences Kaiser Teaching Award. The three recipients of this award were selected following requested nominations from students, residents and regular faculty of the School of Medicine and meet specified criteria, one of which is having a record of sustained excellence for at least three years.

April 2013
Angela Gelli, Ph.D.
Was awarded the 2012 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award and designation as a Hartwell Investigator

Dr. Angela Gelli, Associate Professor, was awarded the 2012 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award and designation as a Hartwell Investigator. Dr. Gelli’s winning research proposal represents innovative and cutting edge research that aims to develop a novel drug delivery system targeting the blood-brain barrier for the treatment of childhood brain tumors. To learn more about this honor, Please go to the Hartwell Foundation's website.

November 2012
Donald Bers, Ph.D.
UC Davis researcher recognized as distinguished scientist by the American Heart Association

Dr. Donald M. Bers, the Department’s Distinguished Professor and Chair, was awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Distinguished Scientist designation in November 2012, for his contribution to cardiovascular research. To learn more about this honor, please view the American Heart Association’s website.

February 2012
Florin Despa, Ph.D.
Pancreatic hormone linked with severe heart disease in obese and diabetic patients

June 2010
Donald M. Bers, Ph.D.
UC Davis study eliminates a possible culprit in heart arrhythmia

January 2010
Elva Diaz, Ph.D.
UC Davis researchers identify brain protein for synapse development: Discovery could expand understanding of autism and schizophrenia

September 2009
Elva Diaz, Ph.D.

Elva Diaz receives NIH New Innovator funding

September 2009
David Segal, Ph.D. & Heike Wulff, Ph.D

Innovative, collaborative projects recognized with 2009 CTSC pilot grants

Peggy Farhnam, Ph.D.
Collaboration between Peggy Farnham and Janine LaSalle results in published study on Rett's Syndrome.

April 2009
Donald Bers, Ph.D.

Professor and Pharmacology Chairman Donald Bers is recipient of the Joseph Silva Dean's Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research

June 2008
Donald Bers, Ph.D.

UC Davis appoints renowned cardiovascular researcher as Pharmacology Department Chair

June 2007
Peggy Farnham, Ph.D.

Encyclopedia of DNA Published

November 2006
Heike Wulff, Ph.D.

New drugs aimed at T cells successfully treat arthritis and diabetes in rats