Denis studied medicine and physiology at Oxford (Gibbs Prize, 2001). Remaining at Oxford, he completed his PhD in the Department of Physiology, with Frances Ashcroft FRS. He then worked with Alex Verkhratsky at Manchester, and in 2004, was awarded a Royal Society Research Fellowship to establish a research programme on biophysics of sleep and appetite networks, which he held first at Manchester and then at Cambridge.
In 2006-2012, he taught medicine, physiology, and neuroscience at Cambridge, where he directed a research lab and held a University Lectureship at the Department of Pharmacology. During this time he also served as a Fellow and Director of Studies in Pharmacology and Neuroscience at St. John's College, Cambridge (2006-2013), and an affiliated Investigator of the Institute of Metabolic Science (2007-2012). He moved his lab to the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (now part of the Francis Crick Institute) in October 2012.
Denis was awarded an ERC-FP7 Starting Investigator award in 2008, and a Human Frontiers Young Investigator award in 2012. He served on the editorial boards of Scientific Reports, American Journal of Physiology, PLoS ONE, and Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience.
His lab recently supported several PhD students and postdocs who went on to prestigious research fellowships and positions:
- Dr Mahesh Karnani (PhD student 2008-2012) → Human Frontiers Fellow at Columbia
- Dr John Apergis-Schoute (postdoc 2010) → Royal Society Research Fellow, Cambridge
- Dr Antonio Gonzalez (postdoc 2007-2010) → Marie Curie Fellow, Dublin
- Dr Rhiannan Williams (PhD student 2005-2008) → Wolfson College Fellow, Cambridge
- Dr Anne Venner (PhD student 2008-2011) → postdoc at Harvard