Prof Prehn is Director of the Centre for Systems Medicine, Chair of Physiology, and a Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator. The Centre for Systems Medicine (www.systemsmedicineireland.ie) at the RCSI Research Institute utilizes systems biology and mathematical modelling approaches to develop new prognostic tools for the treatment of neurological disorders, cancer, and diabetes, and to develop more targeted therapies for patients. Core facilities include systems modelling, dedicated clinical research centres, biobanking facilities, protein profiling platforms, genomics, high-content and high-throughput imaging analysis, as well as small animal and human imaging. Prof Prehn’s SFI-funded research team investigates mechanisms of hyperexcitation- and protein misfoldinginduced neuronal injury, using hypothesis-driven as well as systems-based research approaches. Computational modelling includes the development and application of deterministic (ODE- and PDE-based), stochastic (Cellular Automata) and statistical modelling approaches. Prof Prehn is Scientific Coordinator of two SME-focused FP7 Projects that investigate Personalised Medicine approaches in the context of cancer (APO-DECIDE and ANGIOPREDICT).
Prof Prehn also coordinates a FP7 Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnership Program in the neurosciences (OXYSENSE) and has been Principal Investigator on the FP7 Systems Biology APO-SYS Integrated Project (www.APO-SYS.eu) to develop systems biology modelling approaches of cell death signalling (€ 11m for 21 European partners). Furthermore, Prof Prehn is institutional co-ordinator of the National Biophotonics and Imaging Platform Ireland (NBIPI), a trans-institutional research infrastructure program funded through the Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) (2007-2012; total funding to RCSI € 10m).
Throughout his career Prof Prehn has held senior appointments at the interface of basic and clinical biomedical research. As a member of the Board of Directors of Molecular Medicine Ireland, Prof Prehn has acquired significant experience with the implementation of a translational and clinical research infrastructure in Ireland. He was a co-applicant on a successful Wellcome Trust/HRB Clinical Research Infrastructure grant (€18 Million). Prof Prehn is an expert on neuronal cell death mechanisms, excitotoxicity, cell death signalling and systems biology, and has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications including publications in J Neurosci, EMBO J, Mol Syst Biol, Nature Genetics, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA and J Cell Biol (h-index 44; > 6,000 citations).