Pharmacology and Pharmacogenomics

Jerod Denton, PhDLed by Jared Denton, PhD

The “Molecular Revolution” beginning in the late 20th century led to an explosion in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying numerous human diseases. The development of drugs and other therapeutic strategies targeting these pathways to improve clinical outcomes represents one of the next grand challenges facing the biomedical research community. Over the last decade, Vanderbilt has invested heavily in establishing the infrastructure to support investigator-initiated programs in academic drug discovery and genome sequencing, aimed broadly at translating discoveries in the basic and clinical sciences into novel clinical interventions. BioVU is Vanderbilt’s bio-repository of DNA extracted from discarded blood collected during routine clinical testing and linked to de-identified medical records as the synthetic derivative. The goal of BioVU is to provide a resource to Vanderbilt investigators for studies of genotype-phenotype associations. Many of the investigators participating in this training program are actively using BioVU to address questions associated with perioperative care and pain. PREDICT is the personalized medicine initiative at Vanderbilt that is focused on using genomic information to guide and individualize patient management. Dr. Dan Roden is the primary leader of this initiative and an internationally recognized authority on personalized medicine.

Fellows choosing to work in the area of Drug Discovery and Pharmacogenomics will have opportunities to gain advanced training in the areas of ion channel pharmacology (Denton), G protein-coupled receptor signaling (Hamm, Currie), genomics of ion channel pharmacology and pain (Bruehl, Denton), cardiovascular genetics and pharmacology (Brown, Roden, Darbar, Stein) and personalized medicine (Brown, Roden, Darbar).