The SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases
FutureNeuro is the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases.
Our VISION is to Enable people with Neurological Disorders to Live Independently
Our MISSION is Faster diagnosis, Personalized Treatments and Patient-Centered Care
We aim to change the patient journey through research informed by the needs of both patients and neurologists. This includes developing rapid and accurate tools for diagnosis, the development of therapies to correct damaged brain networks, technologies to enable patients to monitor their own health and well-being, and linking this to Ireland’s national imaging, diagnostics and eHealth infrastructure.
We are multi-disciplinary, inter-institutional and working with industry, patient organisations and the health service to transform the lives of patients in Ireland and worldwide.
FutureNeuro conducts research in three thematic areas:
(1) Diagnostics: Provision of an accurate molecular diagnosis through the discovery of genetic and circulating biomarkers of disease and developing technology for their detection.
(2) Therapeutics: Discovery of novel and disease-modifying treatments that target hyperexcitable and damaged brain networks, optimizing treatment and clinical trials.
(3) eHealth: Delivery of proactive, personalised and precision patient management and the development of research-enabled healthcare systems and connected health solutions to improve care, enrich research and facilitate clinical trials.
We focus on epilepsy, a chronic brain disease-affecting people of all ages, and ALS (also known as motor neurone disease), a rare neurodegenerative disease, which can be viewed as a model of more common neurodegenerations in terms of shared pathomechanisms, clinical pathways and patient journey. This unique approach has proven a powerful strategy for discovery that, along with our underpinning technology platforms and national clinical network, allows us to scale to other neurological disorders. That process has begun, with research underway on Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis
Professor David Henshall is a Professor of Molecular Physiology and Neuroscience at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSI) in Ireland and his main interests lie in the causes and treatment of epilepsy. He is responsible for the overall running of the centre
Some of his major research projects are looking at the patho-mechanisms underlying epilepsy development following brain injury, neonatal seizures, developing new medications for epilepsy and exploring the role of epigenetics and non-coding RNA in this disease. He has extensive experience working with industry partners and has several patents.
He was the Project Co-ordinator for EU FP7-funded project EpiMiRNA, which looked to improve our understanding of the underlying causes of epilepsy, and to open up new diagnostic and therapeutic pathways focusing on the role of microRNAs.
He is the Chair of the International League Against Epilepsy’s Task Force on genetics/Epigenetics, a Steward for the American Epilepsy Society’s Benchmark Committee, Editor-in-Chief for Pharmacology at the International Journal of Physiology, Pathophysiology & Pharmacology and past-President of Neuroscience Ireland.
Academic Partner Institutions
- Trinity College Dublin
- Dublin City University
- University of Galway
- University College Dublin
- University College Cork
- Waterford Institute of Technology
- Prof Gianpiero Cavalleri, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Prof Robert Forster, Dublin City University
- Prof Jochen Prehn, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Prof Orla Hardiman, Trinity College Dublin
- Prof Matthew Campbell, Trinity College Dublin
- Dr Colin Doherty, Trinity College Dublin
- Prof Sanbing Shen, University of Galway