• Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), México City – MD
  • Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)/Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX – PhD in Biomedical Research

Professional Activities

Dr. Héctor Valdivia is a faculty member of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine within the Department of Medicine, and the Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology. He is an established investigator-leader in the field of excitation-contraction coupling of the heart and calcium release channels/ryanodine receptors.

He is the director of the University of Wisconsin Cardiovascular Research Center. In this capacity, he oversees the operation of the Center and coordinates research efforts of its more than 130 members. He is also the faculty director of the MATRIX (Mentoring to Achieve Research Independence) program, which aims to increase funding rates for University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health faculty applying for their first R01 or equivalent grant.

Dr. Valdivia was awarded the 2018 Fulbright-Tocqueville Distinguished Chair Award (UW-Madison/Université Paris-Saclay), in addition to being a Fulbright Specialist twice (La Plata, Argentina and Mexico City). As part of these awards, he carried out research and teaching programs in cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology.  

Dr. Valdivia has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to mentorship, career development and increasing the representation of women and underrepresented minorities at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He was a founding faculty of the Centennial Scholars program and was its co-chair from 2020-2022. He also has been a BEAM (Building Equitable Access to Mentorship) program mentor since the inception of this program.

Research Interests

View Dr. Valdivia’s publications on PubMed

Dr. Valdivia has more than 25 years of experience in the field of cardiovascular physiology. Since its inception in 1994, his laboratory has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health to investigate the normal and pathogenic role of ryanodine receptors in cardiac physiology and disease. His research has led to the discovery of a novel family of ryanodine receptor ligands with potential therapeutic value to treat cardiac arrhythmias.

He has published more than 130 refereed papers on the physiology and pharmacology of ion channels and calcium dynamics in the heart. Using state-of-the-art methods such as electrophysiological recording of single ion channel currents, patch-clamping, laser scanning confocal microscopy, calcium imaging, etc., he has published on L-type calcium channels, voltage-dependent K channels, Calcium-dependent (big) K channel, and epithelial Cl channels.

More recently, his lab has focused efforts on cardiac excitation-contraction coupling, ryanodine receptors, and intracellular calcium homeostasis.

Dr. Valdivia is an editorial board member of Frontiers in Bioscience, Journal of Molecular & Cellular Cardiology, and Circulation Research. He has been appointed a permanent member of these chartered NIH review panels: the Cellular Molecular and Developmental Neurobiology (MCDN) study section (1999-2004), the Electrical Signaling, Transmission and Arrhythmias (ESTA) study section (2006-2010), and the Skeletal Muscle & Exercise Physiology (SMEP) study section (2011-2017), and has chaired several Special Emphasis Panels (2010-2017). His work in general has been cited more than 10,900 times.