Cookies on The Southern Star website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Southern Star website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does The Southern Star use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don’t sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • News

Multiple Sclerosis pioneer wins prestigious award

Thursday, 26th September, 2013 2:11pm
Jump to comments
Multiple Sclerosis pioneer wins prestigious award
Multiple Sclerosis pioneer wins prestigious award

UCC’s Dr Eric Downer has received a Neuroscience Ireland Early Career Investigator Award for his pioneering research into the cannabinoid system and how it can contribute to treating Multiple Sclerosis.

‘It is an important time in the field of cannabinoid-based scientific research, particularly in terms of cannabis-based therapies associated with MS’, says Dr Downer, a principal investigator and lecturer in the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience, UCC.

‘My research has indicated that MS patient cells, and not cells isolated from healthy individuals, respond to cannabinoid therapy in terms of boosting protective intracellular signaling events. The current goal of my research group is to establish the precise cellular and molecular mechanism by which cannabinoids control such events in MS patients, and furthermore aims to establish the relevance of this to the progression of the disease.’

Dr Downer, who was appointed to a UCC lectureship in January 2013, received the award at the eighth Neuroscience Ireland Conference, hosted recently by UCC. He is currently involved in teaching anatomy and neuroscience modules for Dental, Science, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy students.

Dr Downer’s research interest is rooted in Neuroimmunology, with emphasis on the role of the innate immune system in neuroinflammatory conditions. He has a particular interest in the cannabinoid system, and its role in regulating neuroinflammation.

His research in this field has made significant contributions to our understanding of cannabinoids as anti-inflammatory therapies, particularly in Multiple Sclerosis. He leads an active research group, and his research has been funded by the Irish Research Council for Science and Engineering and Technology (IRCSET), the Health Research Board (HRB) and the Translational Research Access Programme (TRAP).

Dr Downer has published 21 research articles and book chapters, and acts as an expert reviewer for 13 journals, and as Editor for the British Journal of Pharmacology, Advances in Medicine, International Journal of Cell Biology and Neuroscience Journal. He is the current secretary of the Cannabinoid Ireland Research Committee, and acts a council member for the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences section).

Dr Downer has been previously honoured with the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Early Career Award (2009).

<

Keep up-to-date with the latest news from around the county with a Southern Star epaper subscription. Click here for more