03-05-2017 | SFI to fund neurological research centre

'03-05-2017 | SFI to fund neurological research centre' image

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has announced that it is to fund a new Research Centre which will focus on the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of chronic and rare neurological diseases, including epilepsy.

The centre, called Future Neuro will be led by Prof David Henshall from RCSI, and includes many of Ireland's leading neurological researchers including Prof Orla Hardiman, Prof Jochen Prehn, Prof Gianpiero Cavalleri, Prof Norman Delanty, Prof Robert Forster and Prof Mathew Campbell.

It is one of four new centres which will be formally launched in September 2017, and which will see millions of euro invested in cutting edge brain research. In addition to SFI funding, the Centre will also be supported by industry and international funding.

One of the new centre's main priorities will be on developing novel therapies to treat and even modify the underlying causes of epilepsy (including rare, severe forms) that are currently considered treatment-resistant.

It will also focus on understanding the genetic basis for epilepsy and identifying new biomarkers in order to better diagnose the condition and to enable precision or personalised medicine where possible.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland said: "The commitment of industry and academic bodies to come together to develop these new SFI Research Centres clearly demonstrates the potential economic and societal impact of the planned research. I look forward to working with the four new SFI Research Centres on their road to becoming world-class centres of research excellence".

As an organisation that actively supports epilepsy research, including some of the investigators involved in Future Neuro, Epilepsy Ireland supported the proposal and we warmly welcome this major step which could transform the epilepsy research landscape in Ireland.

The potential of the Centre to bring together the wider epilepsy community in Ireland (including clinicians, researchers and patients) is something we are particularly excited about as something that can only be positive for all those with epilepsy in Ireland.