Eric Figueroa, Ph.D.
Department: Pharmacology, 2020
Faculty Mentor: Jerod Denton, Ph.D.
Dissertation Title: Developing the Pharmacology of LRRC8-Containing Volume-Regulated Anion Channels
Dissertation Description: Diabetes affects more than 9% of Americans and has a cost burden of $245 billion. Kir4.2 (KCNJ15) was recently identified as a type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) susceptibility gene and it’s been shown that knock down of the gene stimulated insulin secretion, a function that is normally disrupted in diabetes patients. Together, these data show that Kir4.2 is a potential therapeutic target for T2DM. I will use pharmacological tools to investigate Kir4.2 and its role on insulin secretion in in vitro models, as well as in vivo models. My project will use a range of techniques from molecular biology to integrative physiology.