Professor Matthew Campbell, Principal Investigator with FutureNeuro and Assistant Professor & Lecturer in Genetics, Trinity College Dublin has been awarded €125,610 in funding as part of a €4.5 million investment by Science Foundation Ireland.

His project will investigate whether restoring the function of a gene which regulates the blood-brain-barrier and has been found to be disrupted in brain material from epilepsy patients will prevent seizure activity and thereby treat refractive epilepsy.  

Commenting on the award, Prof. Campbell said:

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, announced the €4.5 million in funding for 38 research projects to support the commercialisation of government-funded research. 47 research positions will be supported through the awards, in areas such as cancer research, preterm infant care, medical devices, agriculture, energy and food technologies, for a duration of 12 months.

Speaking of the awards, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said:

The funding is provided through Science Foundation Ireland’s Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) programme, which has been running since 2009. The programme provides project development funding and training in entrepreneurship skills to third-level researchers, to support them in exploring commercial opportunities associated with their research. Researchers will demonstrate if an applied research project (that is, research used to find practical solutions to everyday problems, cure illness, etc.), is technically feasible, and has potential for further commercial development.

Researchers funded through the TIDA programme will also participate in the new SFI Spark Pre-Accelerator, which is an intensive five-day programme delivered by the DCU Ryan Academy for Entrepreneurs. This will support STEM researchers to develop skills in areas such as evidence-based entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking and facilitates mentoring and networking.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said: