Programme led by

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

Tobias Engel

SFI Centre: FutureNeuro
RCSI - University of Medicine and Health Sciences

Domain / Application Expertise


Tobias is a funded investigator in FutureNeuro investigating the role of purinergic signalling during epilepsy. 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, 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 signalling (Jimenez-Mateos, Sci Rep, 2015; Engel et al., Biochim Biophys Acta, 2017). An emerging research focus is the identification of purinergic signalling-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 PhD student training network "PurinesDX" (Purinergic signalling in brain diseases) comprising over 20 Principal Investigators, including academia, industry and clinicians.

Research Keywords
MicroRNA, Biomarkers, Seizures, Epilepsy