College of Medicine – Phoenix welcomes new Department of Basic Medical Sciences chair, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, MD

May 15, 2024

College of Medicine – Phoenix

Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Chiamvimonvat is a physician scientist whose career has been dedicated to treating patients with cardiac arrhythmia disorders. Her research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to cardiac arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in heart failure.

Chiamvimonvat joins the College of Medicine – Phoenix from the University of California, Davis, having served as the Roger Tatarian Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and associate chief for research in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. She also served as co-director of the UC Davis Cardiovascular Research Institute and the director for the longstanding T32 Training Program in Basic and Translational Cardiovascular Science, that has trained over 80 trainees through the program.

An award-winning educator, Chiamvimonvat’s appointment will help elevate the College of Medicine – Phoenix’s contributions to the body of knowledge in medicine. She will lead the translation of basic science innovation and discovery into their undergraduate medical education curriculum. Chiamvimonvat shares the College of Medicine – Phoenix’s commitment to training future physicians with strong foundations in basic sciences and clinical skills to better serve patients in the community.

Her laboratory utilizes multiple approaches to determine the functional significance of the proteins that interact with cardiac Ca2+ and K+ channels. Her team was the first to identify several isoforms of small conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (SK channels) that underlie Ca2+-activated K+ current in human atrial myocytes, positioning SK channels as a potential novel drug target for atrial fibrillation. Her team’s research also demonstrated beneficial effects of a novel class of anti-inflammatory agent, soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors, in adverse cardiac remodeling in heart failure and arrhythmias. 

Her laboratory has been continuously funded over the past two decades by research grants from the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association and Department of Veterans Affairs. She currently serves as the center director for the UC Davis PRECISE Center funded by AHA Strategically Focused Research Network as well as one of the principal investigators for the NIH-funded HeartShare Clinical Center. Her significant contributions have been recognized by numerous awards for research and teaching. In 2023, she received the UC Davis School of Medicine Research Award and the Kaiser Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching in Basic Sciences.

After receiving her medical degree from the University of Toronto, Chiamvimonvat completed her residency in internal medicine at the same institution. She finished a fellowship in cardiology at the University of Western Ontario and later completed fellowship training in clinical cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Calgary. She received additional research training at Johns Hopkins University.

Chiamvimonvat will assume her role July 8.