Brief Professional Background:
Eric Downer is an Assistant Professor in Human Health and Disease. He has a B.A.(Mod) in Physiology and a PhD in Neuroscience, both from Trinity College Dublin. He previously held a position as Lecturer in the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at UCC (January 2013 – May 2015), where he also acted Director of the Bioseciences Imaging Centre. He joined the School of Medicine in June 2015 as Assistant Professor, and also acts as the Director of the B.Sc. in Human Health and Disease.
Dr. Downer has 28 peer-reviewed publications; he has given over 50 presentations at national and international conferences. He leads an active research group, and his research has been funded by IRCSET, HRB, the Physiological Society UK, the British Neuropathological Society, the Strategic Reseach Fund (UCC) and the Translational Research Access Programme (TRAP). Dr. Downer has been honoured with the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Early Career Award (2009) and the Neuroscience Ireland Early Career Investigator Award (2013). Eric is the secretary of the Cannabinoid Ireland research committee and acts as a council member for the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences section).
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research; Innate immune signalling; Cannabinoid Pharmacology; Neuroimmunology; Patient-oritenated research; Neuroscience; Biomarkers; Novel therapeutic targets; Neuropathology; Post-mortem studies; Dental research; Neuropathic orofacial pain; Exercise Physiology; Cognitive research;
Examples – Current Research Projects:
- Evaluating endogenous interferon signature as a therapeutic target in MS
- Neuropathological analysis of lesion activity in post-mortem human MS tissue
- Impact of aerobic exercise on immune parameters and cognition in MS patients
Overall my current and future research direction is in Neuroimmunology, with emphasis on the role of the innate immune system in neuroinflammatory processes underlying MS, both centrally and peripherally. My long-term goal is consolidate a research group in this field conducting translational research with a distinct patient-orientated research angle.