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NeuroInsight awarded €4.7 million Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND

Submitted on Wednesday, 05/05/2021

NeuroInsight, a new research training programme established by RCSI led FutureNeuro: SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Disease, in partnership with Insight SFI Centre for Data Analytics, has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND worth €4.7 million.

The programme will see scientists from around the world working in Ireland to develop advanced data skills for research into neurological conditions, including motor neuron disease, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

The two centres will deliver an integrated and applied training programme for research fellows, building upon respective health and data analytics expertise available across both. Collectively, FutureNeuro and Insight already support over 500 researchers who are working on a new generation of neuroscience and data analytics technologies.

The voice of people living with neurological conditions will be at the core of the programme, with all projects under the scheme designed with input from patients at the outset. The researchers will also be seconded to hospital and industry settings during their fellowships, to ensure their findings are transferable to devices, diagnostics or treatments that ultimately improve the lives of people impacted by neurological disease.

NeuroInsight will offer 24-month fellowships to 33 experienced researchers from around the world, who will work on projects across the FutureNeuro and Insight centres. The programme will equip this future generation of research leaders with competencies in fields such as precision medicine and artificial intelligence.

NeuroInsight programme lead, Professor Gianpiero Cavalleri, Deputy Director of FutureNeuro and Professor of Human Genetics at RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences said: “As a society, and particularly in our healthcare systems, we are generating more and more data, insights from which can help us better understand and treat neurological disease. This programme is about training and equipping the next generation of researchers to safely and effectively engage with these datasets in a manner that positively impacts on the lives of people with neurological conditions.

“NeuroInsight is a significant programme that will bring together Ireland’s leading researchers in the fields of neurosciences, e-health and data analytics. Partnering with the Insight Centre, we will work to create a culture of patient-centric entrepreneurship that will ultimately transform the patient journey for people with chronic and rare neurological conditions.”

Professor Alan Smeaton, Academic Lead for NeuroInsight from the Insight Centre said: “Data analytics and artificial intelligence are now at the core of much of our work, our leisure and our health activities, though it is not always obvious and apparent that they are being used in our day-to-day lives. There is huge opportunity to work with our colleagues in FutureNeuro and with patient organisations to apply such techniques to improve the lives of people living with neurological conditions, and we look forward to meeting the challenges and making an impact.”

Professor Fergal O’Brien, Director of Research and Innovation at RCSI said: “As a university with a singular focus on health sciences, we are proud that our FutureNeuro centre will lead and co-fund the NeuroInsight Fellowship programme in partnership with Insight. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of these important research projects that will address some of the healthcare challenges arising from neurological conditions across the globe.”

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The NeuroInsight Fellowship programme confirms Ireland’s position as a European leader in advanced research training. The significant funding that the NeuroInsight programme has attracted is a testament to the critical mass of expertise brought together by FutureNeuro and Insight and highlights the world-class standard of our SFI Research Centres. This collaboration will influence the lives of many people living with neurological conditions for years to come.”

For expressions of interest in the NeuroInsight programme, visit bit.ly/NeuroInsight.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034252.