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Professor Andrew Harkin

Professor in Pharmacology (Pharmacy)

Deputy Director of TCIN (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))

Andrew Harkin is Professor in Pharmacology in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Trinity College Dublin. He is a graduate of NUI Galway (B.Sc. 1994; Ph.D. 1998) and prior to joining Trinity College held a lecturing post in the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. He was elected to Fellowship in Trinity College in 2011. Over the course of his research career he worked in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Safety Pharmacology Laboratories at H. Lunbeck A/S Valby, Copenhagen and has held post-doctoral research fellowships funded by the Higher Education Authority (Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions) and the Health Research Board of Ireland (career development award, 2002). He leads the Neuropsychopharmacology Research Group in Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) funded by the European Commission (Framework 7 - Brain Imaging Return to Health [R'Birth], a Marie Curie international training network for early stage and experienced researchers and MOODINFLAME; a collaborative, large-scale focused research project with a variety of academic and industrial partners focused on early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders targeting the activated inflammatory response system. He has also received project funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council. His group collaborates with a variety of academic and industrial partners on fundamental and clinical projects. Current research interests include bi-directional nervous system immune interactions, the role of stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of mental illness, potential of anti-inflammatory agents in treating neurological and psychiatric disorders, targeting glutamate neuronal transmission in neuropsychiatric disorders and safety pharmacology of recreational drugs. He has co-authored 100 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and over 150 published abstracts/conference proceedings and has delivered numerous invited lectures and oral presentations at international conferences, workshops and various research institutions. He is a member of the International College of Neuropsychopharmacolgy (CINP), the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) and the Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society (PNIRS) and is a past recipient of the CINP's Rafaelsen award in recognition of his commitment to the field of neuropsychopharmacology. He is on the editorial boards of a number of journals including Acta Neuropsychiatrica, Brain Behavior and Immunity, PLOS ONE, and Frontiers in Neuropharmacology and Behavioural Neuroscience. He is a founder member of the Depression Interest Group, currently serves as deputy director of the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and chairs the Animal Research Ethics Committee in TCD. He has a long standing track record in mentoring and training of PhD students, 20 students having completed to date, and has participated in PhD training programmes in TCIN funded under the auspices of the PRTLI. He currently teaches on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes in TCD including the Pharmacy degree, B.A. Moderatorship in Neuroscience and M.Sc. programmes in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology, Neuroscience, Addiction Recovery and Molecular Medicine and is former Director of Postgraduate Teaching and Learning in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
  Addiction and substance abuse   Animal Research Policy   Depression   Emotional, behavioural and cognitive disorders   Ethics/Values in Science and Technology   Histology   Histology, Cytochemistry, Histochemistry   Imaging Techniques   In vitro testing, trial methods   MDMA ("Ecstasy")   Medicine   Neurobiology   Neurochemistry and neuropharmacology   Neurodegeneration   Neuroimaging   Neuroimmunology   Neuropharmacology   Neuroplasticity   Neuroscience   Neurotoxicity   PHARMACODYNAMICS   PHARMACOKINETIC   PHARMACOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION   PHARMACOLOGICAL EVIDENCE   PHARMACOLOGICAL TREATMENT   PHARMACOLOGY   Physiology   Psychiatry   Stress Response, Neuroanatomy
 Targeting the noradrenergic system for anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions in a clinically relevant model of Parkinson's disease
 Assessment of a neuroprotective role for noradrenaline in combating alpha-synuclein-related neuroinflammation toward a new treatment strategy for Parkinson's disease.
 Old drugs, new tricks. Beta2-adrenoceptor agonists for Parkinson's disease
 Connecting Connecting Pratchett, Brain Health and Neuroscience: Advancing Our Understanding and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
 The effect of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) on serum tryptophan metabolites

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Details Date
Member of external assessment committee to evaluate proposal for Collaborative Research Centres funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation). 2018
Member of external assessment committee to evaluate proposals for Centres of Excellence for Improving International Scientific Competitiveness funded by the Estonian Research Council. 2015
I have served as External examiner for PhD candidates in United Arab Emirates University, College of Medicine, Al Ain; Aarhus University, Denmark; University of Turku, Finland; University of Tartu, Estonia; Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; University of Nottingham, UK; University College Cork; University College Dublin; National University of Ireland Galway; Royal College of Surgeons Dublin. from 2012
Consultant on psychoactive substances to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and Forensic Science Laboratory of the Department of Justice in criminal prosecution proceedings and to the Dublin coroner's court providing expert reports, opinion and testimony. from 2010
I am a member of editorial boards of Brain Behavior and Immunity, PLOS One, Frontiers in Neuropharmacology, Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience and Acta Neuropsychiatrica. from 2015
I have served as an expert reviewer for international grant awarding bodies including the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), German Research Foundation Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG); The Ontario Mental Health Foundation; Research Foundation - Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen, FWO); Estonian Research Council and National Science Centre, Poland. I have also served as reviewer of research grant applications for the Health Research Board of Ireland. from 2012
I am a regular peer reviewer for international neuroscience and pharmacology journals including Nature Communications, Neuropsychopharmacology, Psychopharmacology, Journal of Psychopharmaology, International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, European Neuropsychopharmacology, Neuropharmacology, European Journal of Pharmacology, British Journal of Pharmacology, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Behavioral Pharmacology, Brain Behavior and Immunity, Neuroscience, European Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neuroscience, CNS Drug Reviews, Molecular Brain Research, Behavioural Brain Research, Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, Neuroscience Letters, Physiology and Behavior. from 2010
Details Date From Date To
Neuroscience Ireland 2012 Present
Psychoneuroimmunology Research Society 2010 present
Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum 2003 present
British Pharmacological Society 2003 present
British Association for Psychopharmacology 1997 present
Rebecca Maher, Almudena Moreno-Borrallo, Dhruvi Jindal, Binh T Mai, Eduardo Ruiz-Hernandez, Andrew Harkin, Intranasal Polymeric and Lipid-Based Nanocarriers for CNS Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutics, 15, (3), 2023, p746-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Grandjean J, Desrosiers-Gregoire G, Anckaerts C, Angeles-Valdez D, Ayad F, Barrière DA, Blockx I, Bortel A, Broadwater M, Cardoso BM, Célestine M, Hess A, A consensus protocol for functional connectivity analysis in the rat brain., Nature neuroscience, 2023, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Plini ERG, Melnychuk MC, Harkin A, Dahl MJ, McAuslan M, Kühn S, Boyle RT, Whelan R, Andrews R, Düzel S, Drewelies J, Wagner GG, Lindenberger U, Norman K, Robertson IH, Dockree PM., Dietary Tyrosine Intake (FFQ) Is Associated with Locus Coeruleus, Attention and Grey Matter Maintenance: An MRI Structural Study on 398 Healthy Individuals of the Berlin Aging Study-II., J Nutr Health Aging, 27, (12), 2023, p1174 - 1187, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Sullivan M, Fernandez-Aranda F, Camacho-Barcia L, Harkin A, Macrì S, Mora-Maltas B, Jiménez-Murcia S, O'Leary A, Ottomana AM, Presta M, Slattery D, Scholtz S, Glennon JC., Insulin and disorders of behavioural flexibility., Neurosci Biobehav Rev., 150, 2023, p105169-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
John R. Kelly, Gerard Clarke, Andrew Harkin, Sinead C. Corr, Stephen Galvin, Vishnu Pradeep, John F. Cryan, Veronica O'Keane, Timothy G. Dinan, Seeking the Psilocybiome: Psychedelics meet the microbiota-gut-brain axis, International Journal of Clinical and Health Psychology, 2022, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
Kelly JR, Gillan CM, Prenderville J, Kelly C, Harkin A, Clarke G, O'Keane V, Psychedelic Therapy's Transdiagnostic Effects: A Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Perspective., Frontiers in psychiatry, 2021, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Roddy, D. and Kelly, J.R. and Farrell, C. and Doolin, K. and Roman, E. and Nasa, A. and Frodl, T. and Harkin, A. and O'Mara, S. and O'Hanlon, E. and O'Keane, V., Amygdala substructure volumes in Major Depressive Disorder, NeuroImage: Clinical, 31, (102781), 2021, Notes: [cited By 4], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Ryan KM, Finnegan M, Harkin A, McLoughlin DM., PBMC telomerase activity in depression and the response to electroconvulsive therapy., European archives of psychiatry and clinical neuroscience, 271, (7), 2021, p1297-1307 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
O'Neill, E. and Griffin, Ã .W. and O'Sullivan, R. and Murray, C. and Ryan, L. and Yssel, J. and Harkin, A. and Cunningham, C., Acute neuroinflammation, sickness behavior and working memory responses to acute systemic LPS challenge following noradrenergic lesion in mice, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 94, 2021, p357-368 , Notes: [cited By 4], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Opioid epidemic in, editor(s)B. Gardenour Walter , Wellness around the world: An international encycopedia of health indicators. practices and issues in cultural context., Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2020, [Harkin, A and Van Dyke, MM], Book Chapter, ACCEPTED

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Corrigan M, O'Rourke AM, Moran B, Fletcher JM, Harkin A., Inflammation in the pathogenesis of depression: a disorder of neuroimmune origin., Neuronal Signal, 13, (7), 2023, pNS20220054-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
O'Reilly K, O'Farrell K, Midttun O, Rakovets Y, David-Bercholz J, Harkin A., Kynurenic Acid Protects Against Reactive Glial-associated Reductions in the Complexity of Primary Cortical Neurons., J Neuroimmune Pharmacol., 16, (3), 2021, p679 - 692, Journal Article, PUBLISHED
Cardoso dos Santos LE, Rakovets, Y, Harkin, A, and Gobbo, OL and Ruiz-Hernandez E , In vivo evaluation of a hydrogel-nanoparticles formulation to treat glioblastoma multiforme, Controlled Research Society , Vitrual Annual Meeting, June 2020, 2020, Poster, PUBLISHED
Harkin, A., Inflammation and psychiatric disorders; Is inflammation getting on your nerves?, Invited lecture, United Arab Emirates University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, June , 2019, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
O'Neill, E., Harkin, A., Beta2-adrenoceptor stimulation restrains microglial activation and attenuates advancements in dopamine cell loss and motor dysfunction following systemic inflammation in an animal model of Parkinson's disease, British Neuroscience Association, Festival of Science, Dublin, April, 2019, 2019, Poster, PUBLISHED
Harkin, A., Neuroinflammation in Psychiatric Disorders, Institute of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Innsbruck, 2018, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
O'Reilly, K., David, J., O'Toole, E., Harkin, A., Astrocytic ablation by L-alpha amino adipic acid (L-AAA) induces neuronal atrophy; rescue by NMDA-R amtagonists and inhibitors of the PSD-95/nNOS interaction., All Ireland Schools of Pharmacy Conference, University College Cork, 2017, 2018, Poster, PUBLISHED
Harkin, A., Stress, inflammation and tryptophan metabolism in the pathogenesis of depression, Novel mechanisms of resilience and stress-related disorders, Goethe University Frankfurt, September, 2017, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Harkin, A., Targeting Glial associated neuronal atrophy in stress, inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma Gmbh +Co. KG, CNS Discovery Research, 2017, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Harkin, A., Glial associated neuronal atrophy in schizophrenia; insights and concepts of therapy., iPsychosis international meeting on basic and clincal aspects of immune function in psychosis, National University of Ireland, Galway, 2017, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED


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Award Date
Recipient of TCD Provost's PhD Project Award 2019
Honorary Professor (Translational Neuropsychiatry) Aarhus University 2018
Fellowship Trinity College Dublin 2011
British Association for Psychopharmacology Certificate in Psychopharmacology 2005
CINP Young Investigator Award. 2004
Health Research Board career development fellowship 2002
My research falls within the remit of Neuropsychopharmacology, a discipline that links neuroscience to the pharmacological treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders. My work contributes to understanding the psychopharmacology of nitric oxide (NO), targeting glutamate neuronal transmission for antidepressant action, the role of stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of brain disorders, anti-inflammatory properties of noradrenergic agents as a potential therapeutic strategy in neurodegenerative disorders and safety pharmacology of recreational drugs, reported in over 100 peer-reviewed publications in international journals. My group utilize a range of behavioural, imaging, molecular, cellular and analytical techniques including bottom up laboratory and top down clinical approaches and I have ongoing collaborations with a number of industrial partners and investigators from a variety of disciplines. Current research on neuroinflammation and glia-neuronal interactions is focused on molecular pathways including glutamate-NO, noradrenaline and tryptophan-kynurenine pathways implicated in neurodegeneration in efforts to identify pharmacological interventions of potential therapeutic benefit. Furthermore, inhibition of the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDA-R) subtype has shown considerable promise as a drug target to produce new antidepressants that work faster, and are more effective than existing antidepressants. A working hypothesis is that targeting signalling events down-stream of NMDA-R including NO may provide a more viable approach and current research is assessing such targets for development of novel antidepressant agents. I have engaged in projects funded by the European Commission including "ReBirth", a Marie Curie funded international training network for early stage and experienced researchers; MOODINFLAME, a collaborative research project with a variety of academic and industrial partners focused on targeting the activated inflammatory response system in mood disorders; and participated in "MolCellbio", a PhD training programme funded by the Higher Education Authority. I have also received funding from Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council.