Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, has announced the investment for 20 projects through Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG). With awards ranging from €376,000 to €425,000 over four years, the projects funded will support 20 researchers and a further 20 PhD students.
Dr Brennan, who is also a StAR Research Lecturer at the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, RCSI has received a grant of €419,472. The funding will enable Dr Brennan and his team here at FutureNeuro to study how gene regulation and protein generation could inform new treatments for epilepsy.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by seizures and reduced cognition. Changes in how genes are expressed in neurons can drive the development of an epileptic brain following an epilepsy-inciting event. There is usually strict regulation of gene expression in brain cells which goes awry in epilepsy. Dr. Brennan will study a new method by which genes are regulated which involves chemically modifying RNA to change how it gets converted to protein.