Dr Davor Pavlovic BSc (Hons) DPhil FESC FHEA

Dr Davor Pavlovic

Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences

Contact details

College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Davor Pavlovic is an Associate Professor in Cardiovascular Sciences and a Lead for Cardiac Diseases Theme at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (ICVS). In the below video he talks about some of the exciting research that is taking place within the Cardiac Diseases Theme:

His primary research interest is to understand molecular mechanisms of ion transport in the heart and how these may be targeted to treat cardiovascular disease. His work is translational and focused on heart failure, arrhythmias and cardiorenal syndrome. Dr Davor Pavlovic has received awards by the International Society for Heart Research and European Society of Cardiology. He is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council, Animal Free Research and British Heart Foundation.

Davor publishes primary research articles and reviews in high impact journals, including Circulation Research, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, PNAS and European Heart Journal. He is a member of the International Society for Heart Research Mid-Career Investigator Committee where he acts as European Section representative.   

Davor also acts a Deputy College Lead for Postgraduate Research at the College of Medical and Dental Sciences.

In the below video Davor, along with Professor Wiebke Arlt, discusses cardiotonic steroids, heart failure and the joint research between Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR) and ICVS. 


  • Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology 2020
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2013
  • DPhil Biochemistry, University of Oxford, 2005
  • BSc Biochemistry (1st), Huddersfield University, 2001


Dr Pavlovic gained his first class BSc (Hon) in Biochemistry from University of Huddersfield in 2001. During his undergraduate degree he spent a year working at Imperial College London in a laboratory of Professor Ten Feizi where he investigated the role of oligosaccharide ligands for proteins involved in innate and acquired immunity. He obtained his PhD from University of Oxford (Exeter College) under the guidance of the then head of department of Biochemistry Professor Raymond Dwek and Professor Nicole Zitzmann. At Oxford Dr Pavlovic worked with a Nobel Laureate Dr Baruch Blumberg where he showed that Hepatitis C virus p7 protein forms ion channels that can be blocked by long alkyl chain iminosugars. He then moved to King’s College London (St Thomas Hospital campus) and took up a post of a British Heart Foundation Research Fellow in the laboratory headed by Professor Michael Shattock, where he worked on regulation of the cardiac sodium pump. His work uncovered the role of protein called phospholemman in adrenergic, nitric oxide and phosphatase mediated regulation of the cardiac sodium pump in healthy and diseased hearts.

In 2015, Dr Pavlovic was appointed as a Lecturer in Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Birmingham where he has set up his own research group. In 2020, Dr Pavlovic has been promoted to Senior Lecturer. Davor has recently been appointed as a Lead for Cardiac Diseases Theme at the ICVS and has been named a Fellow of European Society of Cardiology.


Cardiac Action Potential - Tutorial
Cardiac Myocyte Structure - Tutorial
Cardiac Contraction - Tutorial
Membrane Potential - Tutorial

Here are video clips of four tutorials demonstrating Davor's teaching on the subjects of cardiac action potential, cardiac myocyte structure, cardiac contraction and membrane potential.

Postgraduate supervision

Current and previous PhD Students

  • Sian-Marie O’Brien

    Defended thesis 2019 – "Regulation of intracellular sodium in the atria"
  • Dannie Fobian

    Defended thesis 2020 – "Translating the effect of rate control therapy in atrial fibrillation: from cellular response to cardiac function"
  • Chris O’Shea

    Defended thesis 2020 – "Developing a high-resolution optical mapping setup with integrated high-throughput analysis capabilites for dissecting molecular mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias"  
  • Simon Wells

    Defended thesis 2020 – "Cardiac estrogen synthesis and arrhythmia"
  • Jonathan Law

    Started Aug 2019 – "Scarred by kidney disease: FGF23 as a key mediator of cardiac fibrosis in patients with chronic kidney disease"
  • Nashitha Syeeda Kabir

    Started Sep 2019 – "Investigating regulatory pathways for intracellular sodium in the atria"
  • Caitlin Hall

    Started Sep 2019 – "Dissecting the interplay between cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts using human stem cell models of disease"
For any doctoral research enquiries, please see those associated with Dr Pavlovic on findaphd.com or email: d.pavlovic@bham.ac.uk


Dr Pavlovic’s research is focused on 4 major themes:

Regulation of the Cardiac Sodium Pump

Our laboratory has, over the years, significantly contributed to the understanding of how intracellular sodium is regulated in the heart. Our work has focused on the sodium pump, the primary regulator of intracellular sodium in the heart, and has demonstrated how its accessory protein phospholemman regulates its activity in health and disease. Current research is focused on identifying novel how these regulatory pathways are modified in disease and on identifying and developing novel therapeutics to target these mechanisms.

The role of Steroids in the Heart

Pavlovic laboratory investigates the effect of a number of steroids on the heart function, including cardiotonic steroids and sex steroids. More recently we have also started focusing on the role of fibroblast growth factor 23. Primary focus of the lab is to investigate the role of cardiotonic steroids. Read some of the press coverage by following these links, BHF article, BHF Blog, BHF blog 2, Phoenix paper

Optical Mapping

Optical mapping allows us to visualise electrical activity across the heart using fluorescent dyes. This technique has revolutionised cardiac electrophysiology and we are among the leading groups in this exciting new research area.  Our recent work on the optical mapping software ElectroMap has been extensively covered in the international press, including Science Daily, India Times, Equities.com, News Medical and many others   

Causes of Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common sustained arrhythmia. Electrical and structural remodelling of the myocardium are the two main causes of atrial fibrillation development. Current research is focused on identifying the differences in sodium regulation between the atria and the ventricles and how commonly used antiarrhythmic drugs affect their respective functions.


Research Group and Centres

Other activities

  • Lead for the Cardiac Diseases Theme at the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences
  • Editorial Board Member of the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
  • Member of the International Society for Heart Research Mid-Career Investigator Committee
  • Founder and coordinator of the ISHR Cardiovascular Webinar Series.
  • Deputy College Lead for Postgraduate Research.


Please see PubMed.gov for a full publications list

View all publications in research portal