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Jerod S. Denton, PhD, Principle Investigator

Jerod Denton

I am an Associate Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology at Vanderbilt. I grew up in a small town in Arkansas, earned my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from the University of Central Arkansas, and then went on to Dartmouth Medical School for my Ph.D. in Physiology. The major focus of my lab is on developing the molecular pharmacology of inward rectifier potassium channels, and using these tools to explore the integrative physiology and "druggability" of Kir channels in various diseases. We use high-throughput screening, electrophysiology, mutagenesis, molecular modeling, and medicinal chemistry for our work. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two sons, and dog Elsa, and collecting/listening to music on vinyl. Contact me at: 

Sujay Kharade, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Sujay Kharade, Ph.D.

I am postdoctoral research fellow in the Denton lab at Vanderbilt. I was born and brought up in a small town in western India. I did my B.S. in pharmacy from Govt. College of Pharmacy, Karad, Maharashtra and M.S. in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology from NIPER, Mohali, Punjab. I earned my PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UAMS, Little Rock, AR. I enjoy discovering new tool compounds for developing the molecular pharmacology of inward rectifier potassium channels and exploring their therapeutic potential. I mainly use high-throughput screening, electrophysiology, mutagenesis and preclinical animal models. In my spare time, you will find me either cooking with my family, volunteering, hiking or riding my motorcycle. Contact me at: 

Eric Figueroa, Pharmacology Graduate Student



I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona where I spent most of my days riding my bike and enjoying the Arizona sun. I received my B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona. When I am not in the lab, I enjoy going to shows, riding my bike and going to the movies. 


Diabetes affects more than 9% of Americans and has a cost burden of $245 billion. Emerging data suggest that pharmacological inhibition of Kir4.2 (KCNJ15) function might enhace glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, which is disrupted in diabetes patients. I am using pharmacology and genetics to investigate Kir4.2 as a therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes. I'm currently supported by the Pharmacology Training Grant (4T32GM007628-39). Contact me at:

Meghan Kramer, Research Assistant I


I am a Research Assistant I in the Denton Lab. I grew up in rural northern New Hampshire and earned my Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Spanish from Berea College in Berea, KY. I plan on attending medical school. In my spare time, I enjoy running and lifting, cooking and baking, and, spending time with my roommate and friends. Contact me at:

Takahiro Mori, Research Scientist, Ono Pharmaceuticals

Taka Mori

I joined the Denton lab as a visiting research fellow as part of a collaboration with Ono Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd. in October of 2015. I was born and grew up in Japan, earned my B.S. and M.S. degrees in Pharmacology from the University of Toyama. In 2012, I entered Ono Pharmaceutical where I have worked on biology and pharmacology for early-stage and late-stage drug discovery projects targeting ion channels. I enjoy jogging and travelling. Contact me at: