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Tobias is a funded investigator in FutureNeuro investigating the role of purinergic signaling during epilepsy. He holds a PhD in Neuroscience and is also a Lecturer in the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics at RCSI.

Tobias established his own research group at RCSI in 2014, which is focused on the identification of new diagnostics and therapeutics for epilepsy based on purinergic signalling.

In 2015 he was appointed a StAR lecturer at RCSI, followed in 2016 by his appointment to Lecturer in the Department of Physiology and Medical Physics. His team were the first to show that by targeting the ATP-gated P2X7 receptor they were able to reduce seizure severity in animal models (Engel et al., FASEB J, 2012; Jimenez-Pacheco, Epilepsia, 2013) and that P2X7 antagonists may provide disease-modifying effects during epilepsy (Jimenez-Pacheco, J Neurosci 2016).

More recently, they have also shown how the P2X7 receptor is regulated in the brain during seizures involving microRNAs and calcium signaling (Jimenez-Mateos, Sci Rep, 2015; Engel et al., Biochim Biophys Acta, 2017). An emerging research focus is the identification of purinergic signaling-based biomarkers to support the diagnosis of seizures and epilepsy.

His research is funded by national and international funding agencies including Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board and H2020.

He is the coordinator of a European-wide PhD student training network  PurinesDX “Purinergic signaling in brain diseases” comprising over 20 Principal Investigators,  including academia, industry and clinicians.

Thematic Areas


Recent Publications

Current Awards

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 2018
Role: Supervisor
Title: New treatments and novel diagnostic tests for neonatal seizures based on purinergic signaling
Amount awarded: € 184590
Period: 10/2019 – 09/2021

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 2018
Role: Supervisor
Title: Targeting Purinergic Pathway in drug-resistant epilepsy using human Neurons and Glia
Amount awarded: € 196590
Period: 04/2018 – 03/2021

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship 2017
Role: Supervisor
Title: Control of the blood-brain barrier integrity during seizures via the ATP-gated P2X7 receptor
Amount awarded: €175,866
Period: 04/2018 – 03/2020

SFI Career Development Award
Role: Principal Investigator
Title: The ATP-gated purinergic P2X7 receptor as novel target for the treatment of drug-refractory epilepsy“
Amount awarded: €504,000.00
Period: 04/2018 – 03/2022

Marie Skłodowska-Curie-Innovative Training Networks 2017
Role: Coordinator; Amount awarded: €3,487,463 (allocated to PI: €531,349)
Title: Interdisciplinary training network on the purinergic P2X7 receptor to control neuroinflammation and hyperexcitability in brain diseases
Period: 09/2017 – 07/2021


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