David Finn

David Finn


David Finn is Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research and Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre at NUI Galway. His research aims to increase understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the development and treatment of pain, inflammation, mood disorders and impaired cognition.

Prof. Finn’s research has been concerned with elucidating the role of a number of different receptor types (cannabinoid, opioid, adrenoceptor, imidazoline, serotonin, vanilloid, PPARs, N-type Ca2+channels) in mediating and modulating behavioural, neurochemical and neuroendocrine responses relevant to pain, anxiety, depression and cognition. He is particularly interested in the impact of stress and negative affect on pain and the underlying neurobiological mechanisms.

An integrative, whole systems neuroscience approach is employed, combining behavioural models with in vivo and ex vivo measurement of neurotransmitters, lipids (e.g. endocannabinoids), proteins or genes (e.g. cytokines, receptors, enzymes, signal transduction molecules, immediate early genes and transcription factors) in discrete brain regions. 

His research aims to make a significant contribution to the knowledge-base on pain and stress-related psychiatric disorders and support the development of novel therapeutic agents for their treatment.

His research is applied in the following clinical targets: Acute and persistent pain (inflammatory, neuropathic and post-operative), anxiety disorders, depression, cognitive impairment, neuroinflammation.

Prof. Finn is a former recipient of the President of Ireland Young Researcher Award from Science Foundation Ireland, the Wyeth Award for outstanding research in Preclinical Psychopharmacology from the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the Pain Research Medal from the Irish Pain Society. 

He is currently President-Elect of the Irish Pain Society, and he sits on the Scientific Advisory Panel of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, as well as the Council of the Biomedical Sciences Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.  He is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the Society for Neuroscience, the International Association for the Study of Pain and F1000 Prime. 

Prof. Finn has published more than 105 papers in peer-reviewed journals and over 220 conference presentations.  He has filed two patent applications and has several ongoing collaborations with national and international academic and industry partners.

Prof. Finn is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Psychopharmacology and has been Guest Editor for special issues of the British Journal of Pharmacology and the Journal of Psychopharmacology and Co-Editor of two pain-related books for Springer and Karger.  He has refereed papers for over 30 different journals, supervised numerous undergraduate, graduate (PhD) and postdoctoral researchers, and organised national and international conferences.

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Link to published papers on PubMed