Researchers at UCD


Eoin Brennan

Postdoc Research Fellow Lvl Ii

School Of Medicine & Medical Science
Conway Institute
Dublin 4



Dr. Eoin Brennan is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Conway Institute, University College Dublin. Eoin graduated from University College Cork in 2004 with a first class honours degree in Genetics and in 2008 completed his PhD in Prof Peter Maxwell's laboratory at Queen's University Belfast, studying the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of diabetic kidney disease. Eoin completed part of his PhD studies at Sequenom Inc., San Diego, on a collaborative project investigating DNA methylation in diabetic kidney disease.

In 2009, Eoin moved to UCD to work with Profs. Catherine Godson and Finian Martin to study the genetics and signalling pathways implicated in diabetes and microvascular complications of diabetes. Eoin's research has primarily focused on investigating the pathophysiology of chronic kidney disease, including diabetic nephropathy (DN), a renal complication present in 30% of type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Eoin has participated in diverse projects focused on: determining genetic variants potentially predisposing towards or protecting against progression to DN in type 1 diabetes, and using high-throughput molecular tools (TruSeq/RNASeq) to investigate global gene and microRNA expression patterns in in vitro models of disease and human renal biopsies.

In 2014, Eoin commenced a 3-year ELEVATE Marie Curie Fellowship at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia. During this time he will work with Profs. Catherine Godson and Mark Cooper to investigate exosomal biomarkers and micro-RNA therapeutics in complications of Diabetes. Eoin will return to UCD in January 2016.




Employer: Queen's University Belfast
Position: PhD


Year 2004 Institution: University College Cork
Qualification: BSc Subject: Genetics



Peer Reviewed Journals

Sandholm, N,Salem, RM,McKnight, AJ,Brennan, EP,Forsblom, C,Isakova, T,McKay, GJ,Williams, WW,Sadlier, DM,Makinen, VP,Swan, EJ,Palmer, C,Boright, AP,Ahlqvist, E,Deshmukh, HA,Keller, BJ,Huang, HT,Ahola, AJ,Fagerholm, E,Gordin, D,Harjutsalo, V,He, B,Heikkila, O,Hietala, K,Kyto, J,Lahermo, P,Lehto, M,Lithovius, R,Osterholm, AM,Parkkonen, M,Pitkaniemi, J,Rosengard-Barlund, M,Saraheimo, M,Sarti, C,Soderlund, J,Soro-Paavonen, A,Syreeni, A,Thorn, LM,Tikkanen, H,Tolonen, N,Tryggvason, K,Tuomilehto, J,Waden, J,Gill, GV,Prior, S,Guiducci, C,Mirel, DB,Taylor, A,Hosseini, SM,Parving, HH,Rossing, P,Tarnow, L,Ladenvall, C,Alhenc-Gelas, F,Lefebvre, P,Rigalleau, V,Roussel, R,Tregouet, DA,Maestroni, A,Maestroni, S,Falhammar, H,Gu, TW,Mollsten, A,Cimponeriu, D,Ioana, M,Mota, M,Mota, E,Serafinceanu, C,Stavar (2012) 'New Susceptibility Loci Associated with Kidney Disease in Type 1 Diabetes'. PLoS Genetics, 8 . [DOI] [Details]
Brennan, EP,Nolan, KA,Borgeson, E,Gough, OS,McEvoy, CM,Docherty, NG,Higgins, DF,Murphy, M,Sadlier, DM,Ali-Shah, ST,Guiry, PJ,Savage, DA,Maxwell, AP,Martin, F,Godson, C (2013) 'Lipoxins Attenuate Renal Fibrosis by Inducing let-7c and Suppressing TGF beta R1'. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 24 :627-637. [DOI] [Details]
Brennan, E; McEvoy, C; Sadlier, D; Godson, C; Martin, F (2013) 'The genetics of diabetic nephropathy'. Genes, . [Details]
Sandholm N, McKnight AJ, Salem RM, Brennan EP, Forsblom C, Harjutsalo V, Mäkinen VP, McKay GJ, Sadlier DM, Williams WW, Martin F, Panduru NM, Tarnow L, Tuomilehto J, Tryggvason K, Zerbini G, Comeau ME, Langefeld CD; FIND Consortium, Godson C, Hirschhorn JN, Maxwell AP, Florez JC, Groop PH; FinnDiane Study Group and the GENIE Consortium (2013) 'Chromosome 2q31.1 associates with ESRD in women with type 1 diabetes'. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 24 (10):1537-1543. [Details]
Nolan, KA; Brennan, EP; Scholz, CC; Cullen, C; Ryan, A; Taylor, CT; Godson C7. (2014) 'Paricalcitol protects against TGF-β1-induced fibrotic responses in hypoxia and stabilises HIF-α in renal epithelia'. Experimental Cell Research, . [Details]
Kantharidis, P; Hagiwara, S; Brennan, E; McClelland, AD; (2014) 'The study of microRNA in diabetic nephropathy: isolation, quantification and biological function'. Nephrology, . [Details]
Docherty, NG; Murphy, M; Martin, F; Brennan, EP; Godson, C; (2014) 'Targeting cellular drivers and counter-regulators of hyperglycaemia- and transforming growth factor-β1-associated profibrotic responses in diabetic kidney disease'. Experimental Physiology, . [Details]
Williams WW, Salem RM, McKnight AJ, Sandholm N, Forsblom C, Taylor A, Guiducci C, McAteer JB, McKay GJ, Isakova T, Brennan EP, Sadlier DM, Palmer C, Söderlund J, Fagerholm E, Harjutsalo V, Lithovius R, Gordin D, Hietala K, Kytö J, Parkkonen M, Rosengård-Bärlund M, Thorn L, Syreeni A, Tolonen N, Saraheimo M, Wadén J, Pitkäniemi J, Sarti C, Tuomilehto J, Tryggvason K, Osterholm AM, He B, Bain S, Martin F, Godson C, Hirschhorn JN, Maxwell AP, Groop PH, Florez JC (2012) 'Association Testing of Previously Reported Variants in a Large Case-Control Meta-Analysis of Diabetic Nephropathy'. Diabetes, . [DOI] [Details]
Brennan, EP; Ehrich, M; Brazil, DP; Crean, JK; Murphy, M; Sadlier, DM; Martin, F; Godson, C; McKnight, AJ; Van den Boom, D; Maxwell, AP; Savage, DA (2009) 'Comparative analysis of DNA methylation profiles in peripheral blood leukocytes versus lymphoblastoid cell lines'. Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society, 4 (3):159-164. Available Online [Details]
Brennan, EP; Ehrich, M; O'Donovan, H; Brazil, DP; Crean, JK; Murphy, M; Sadlier, DM; Martin, F; Godson, C; McKnight, AJ; Van den Boom, D; Maxwell, AP; Savage, DA (2010) 'DNA methylation profiling in cell models of diabetic nephropathy'. Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society, 5 (5):396-401. Available Online [Details]
Brennan, EP; Morine, MJ; Walsh, DW; Roxburgh, SA; Lindenmeyer, MT; Brazil, DP; Gaora, PO; Roche, HM; Sadlier, DM; Cohen, CD; The GENIE, Consortium; Godson, C; Martin, F; (2012) 'Next-generation sequencing identifies TGF-β1-associated gene expression profiles in renal epithelial cells reiterated in human diabetic nephropathy'. Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1822 (4):5https://rms.u89-599. Available Online [Details]


Research Interests

My research interests are focused on investigating diabetes and microvascular complications of diabetes. Diabetes is associated with complications due in part to chronic elevation of blood glucose levels and hypertension, leading to damage of arteries (cardiovascular disease-CVD) and small blood vessels of the kidney, eye and nervous system. Up to 40% of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes will develop diabetic kidney disease (DKD), which remains clinically undetectable until significant kidney damage has developed. CVD accounts for over half of the mortality seen in the diabetic population. Diabetic individuals at risk of DKD and CVD are treated with intensive regimens including strict glycemic control, blood pressure-lowering agents, lipid lowering therapy and antiplatelet agents. However, even under optimal conditions such interventions can offer at best partial protection, and novel therapies are required.

Ongoing research projects I participate in include: (1) investigating lead genetic candidates emerging from genome-wide association scans in DKD; (2) using high-throughput molecular tools and bioinformatics approaches to investigate signalling pathways involved in the development and progression of DKD; (3) investigating small-molecule lipids as a novel therapeutic strategy in diabetic complications; and (4) examining the role of micro-RNA in both DKD and diabetes-associated atherosclerosis.



Internal Collaborators

Prof. Catherine Godson, University College Dublin
Prof. Finian Martin, University College Dublin
Dr. John Crean, University College Dublin
Dr. Madeline Murphy, University College Dublin

External Collaborators

Dr. Denise Sadlier, Mater Misericordiae Hospital
Dr. Amy Jayne McKnight, Queen's University Belfast
Prof. Peter Maxwell, Queen's University Belfast
Prof. Barbara Murphy, Mount Sinai, NY
Prof. Joel Hirschhorn, Broad Institute, Boston, MA
Dr. Jose Florez, Massachusetts General Hospital, MA
Prof. Per-Henrik Groop, University of Helsinki, Finland
Dr. Clemens Cohen, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Dr. Matthias Kretzler, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Prof Mark Cooper, Bakeri IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne