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Rebecca Henry


Rebecca Henry is a lecturer at the University College Cork, working in the department of Anatomy & Neuroscience. She graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Physiology in 2011. Dr. Henry then carried out her Ph.D. at NUIG, and graduated in 2015. Her doctoral studies investigated the effect of pharmacological modulation of the body’s endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system on toll-like receptor (TLR)-induced neuroinflammation. Dr. Henry subsequently carried out her postdoctoral training at the Shock Trauma and Anesthesiology Research Center (STAR), University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), Maryland, USA. Her postdoctoral research investigated the underlying mechanisms driving chronic neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative processes in preclinical traumatic brain injury (TBI) models.

Research Interests

Investigation of effects of obesity on TBI outcomes; investigation of novel therapeutic interventions: This is an important question to address because clinically obese patients who experience a TBI have increased complications and higher mortality rates (36%) compared to lean patients. The goal of Dr. Henry’s studies is to investigate the mechanistic pathways involved in the bi-directional relationship between the brain and visceral adipose tissue under co-morbid obesogenic and injurious conditions. Such studies are important at a fundamental physiological level and for the development of therapeutic targets for TBI patients with underlying metabolic dysfunction.


February 2020            Awarded the MPower Brain Health and Human Performance seed grant proposal ($63,616) for “Investigation of the underlying mechanisms driving diet-induced obesity exacerbations of TBI neuroinflammatory responses and neurological deficits”

May 2018                    Awarded the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship Research Project Grant (€91,910) for “Investigation of the role of inflammatory micro-RNAs (miRs) on the development of post-traumatic epilepsy”.

Honours and Awards:

July 2021                     Awarded the National Neurotrauma Award Rising Star Award for significant contributions in the field of traumatic brain injury, at the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS) Annual Meeting.

February 2021            Awarded the “Seal of Excellence” with an overall score of 89.2 % for my Marie Curie Individual Fellowship grant application entitled “Diet bRain injury Induced Dysfunction (DRUID): preclinical investigation of neuroimmune mechanisms in a model of traumatic brain injury with pre-existing obesity.”

May 2020                    Awarded the Johns Hopkins/UMB Collaborative Teaching Fellowship at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

July 2019                     Awarded the TEAM Neurotrauma Award for the topped ranked trainee poster presentation, by a female, at the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS) Annual Meeting held in Pittsburgh, PA.

May 2019                    Poster Prize Award (2nd place) at Anesthesiology Research Retreat, University of Maryland School of Medicine.

March 2017                Poster Prize Award (3rd place) and Data Blitz Oral Presentation at the National Capital Area TBI Research Symposium 2017 at the NIH, Bethesda, MD.




Peer-reviewed original research article

Summary: 21 peer-reviewed articles; H index = 11. ORCID link:

Google Scholar link:

  1. Khan NZ, Cao T, He J, Ritzel RM, Yun L, Henry RJ, Colson C, Stoica BA, Faden AI, Wu J. Spinal cord injury alters microRNA and CD681+ exosome levels in plasma extracellular nanoparticles with neruoinflammatory potential. Brain Behav Immun. 2021 Feb;92:165-183. PMID 33307173. Impact Factor: 6.633; # citations: 2
  2. Makarevich O, Sabirzhanov B, Aubreacht T, Glaser E, Polster B, Henry RJ, Faden AI, Stoica BA. Mithramycin selectively attenuates DNA damage-induced neuronal cell death. Cell Death Dis. 2020 Jul 27;11(7):587. PMID: 32719328. Impact Factor: 6.304; # citations: 0
  3. Henry RJ, Loane DJ. Targeting chronic and evolving neuroinflammation following traumatic brain injury to improve long-term outcomes: insights from microglial depletion models. Neural Regen Res. 2021 May;16(5):976-977. PMID: 33229740. Impact Factor: 3.171; # citations: 0
  4. Henry RJ, Meadows VE, Stoica BA, Faden, AI, Loane DJ. Longitudinal assessment of sensorimotor function following controlled cortical impact in mice: comparison of beamwalk, rotarod and automated gait analysis tests. J Neurotrauma. 2020 Dec15;37(24):2709-2717. (corresponding author). PMID: 32484024. Impact Factor: 4.056; # citations: 1
  5. *Henry RJ, Ritzel RM, Doran SJ, Barrett JP, Faden AI, Loane DJ. Microglial depletion and repopulation during the chronic stages of experimental traumatic brain injury in mice improves long-term neurological recovery and reduces chronic neurodegeneration. J Neurosci. 2020 Feb 24. Pii: 2402-19. PMID: 32094203. Impact Factor: 5.674; # citations: 44*
  6. Barrett JP, Henry RJ, Doran SJ, Vogel SN, Faden AI, Loane DJ. Type I interferons drive pro-inflammatory neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration following experimental TBI in mice. J Neurosci. 2020 Mar 11;40(11):2357-2370. PMID: 32029532. Impact Factor: 5.674; # citations: 8
  7. Bhat S, Henry RJ, Ciesinski A, Stoica BA, Loane DJ, and Faden AI. Enhanced Akt/GSK-3b/CREB signaling underlies the anti-inflammatory actions of mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators in microglia and following traumatic brain injury. J Neurochem. 2021 Jan;156(20:225-24814954. PMID: 31926033. Impact Factor: 4.066; # citations: 3
  8. Doran SJ, Henry RJ, Shirey KA, Barrett JP, Ritzel RM, Lai W, Blanco J, Faden AI, Vogel SN, Loane DJ. Traumatic brain injury-induced immunosuppression inhibits monocyte response and increases mortality to Streptococcus pneumoniae lung infection. Crit Care Med. 2020 Mar 5. doi: 10.1097. PMID: 32149839. Impact Factor: 7.414; # citations: 5
  9. Henry RJ, Doran S, Barrett JP, Meadows VE, Sabirzhanov B, Stoica BA, Loane DL, Faden Inhibition of miR-155 limits neuroinflammation and improves functional recovery after experimental traumatic brain injury in mice. Neurotherapeutics. 16(1):216-230, 2019. PMID 30225790. Impact Factor: 6.035; # citations: 31
  10. Kumar A, Henry RJ, Stoica B, Loane D, Abulwerdi G, Bhat S, Faden A. Neutral Sphingomyelinase Inhibition Alleviates LPS Induced Microglia Activation and Neuroinflammation after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 368(3):338-352, 2019. PMID 30563941. Impact Factor: 3.561; # citations: 17
  11. Fitzgibbon M, Kerr DM, Henry RJ, Finn DP, Roche M. Endocannabinoid modulation of inflammatory hyperalgesia in the IFN-a model of depression. Brain Behav Immun 2019 Nov;82:372-381. PMID 31505257. Impact Factor: 6.633; # citations: 7
  12. Doran SJ, Ritzel RM, Glaser EP, Henry RJ, Faden AI, Loane DJ. Sex Differences in Acute Neuroinflammation after Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury Are Mediated by Infiltrating Myeloid Cells. J Neurotrauma 1;36(7):1040-1053, 2019. PMID 30259790. Impact Factor: 4.056; # citations: 41
  13. Sabirzhanov B, Faden A, Aubrecht T, Henry RJ, Stoica BA. miR-711 induced down-regulation of Angiopoietin-1 mediates neuronal cell death. J Neurotrauma 15;35(20):2462-2481, 2018. PMID 29774773. Impact Factor: 4.056; # citations: 14
  14. Ritzel R, Doran S, Barrett J, Henry RJ, Ma E, Faden A, Loane DL. Chronic alterations in systemic immune function after traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 1;35(13):149-436, 2018. PMID 29421977. Impact Factor: 4.056; # citations: 33
  15. Barrett JP, Henry RJ, Villapol S, Stoica BA, Kumar A, Burns MP, Faden AI, Loane DJ. NOX2 deficiency alters macrophage phenotype through an IL-10/STAT3 dependent mechanism: implications for traumatic brain injury. J Neuroinflammation. 24; 14(1):65, 2017. PMID 28340575. Impact Factor: 5.793; # citations: 41
  16. Flannery LE, Henry RJ, Kerr DM, Finn DP, Roche M. FAAH, but not MAGL, inhibition modulates acute TLR3-induced neuroimmune signalling in the rat, independent of sex. J Neurosci Res. 20; 10. 1002, 2017. PMID 28726298. Impact Factor: 2.645; # citations: 11
  17. Lydon S, Healy O, Roche M, Henry RJ, Mulhern T, Hughes BM. Salivary cortisol levels and challenging behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Volume 10, 2015, Pages 78-92. Impact Factor: 2.907; # citations: 23
  18. Henry RJ, Kerr DM, Flannery LE, Killilea M, Hughes EM, Corcoran L, Finn DP, Roche M#. Pharmacological inhibition of FAAH modulates TLR-induced neuroinflammation, but not sickness behaviour: An effect partially mediated by central TRPV1. Brain Behav Immun. 62:318-331, 2017. PMID 28237711. Impact Factor: 6.633; # citations: 15
  19. Henry RJ, Kerr DM, Finn DP, Roche FAAH-mediated modulation of TLR3-induced neuroinflammation in the rat hippocampus. J Neuroimmunol. 15;276(1-2):126-34, 2014. PMID 25245162. Impact Factor: 3.125; # citations: 25

(B) Peer-reviewed review articles

  1. Faden AI, Barrett JP, Stoica BA, Henry RJ. Bidirectional Brain-Systemic Interactions and Outcomes After TBI. Trends Neurosci. 2021 Jan 22;S0166-2236(21)00002-3. PMID: 3349502. Impact Factor: 12.891; # citations: 0
  2. Henry RJ, Kerr DM, Finn DP, Roche For whom the endocannabinoid tolls: Modulation of innate immune function and implications for psychiatric disorders. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 4;64:167-80, 2016. PMID 25794989. Impact Factor: 4.361; # citations: 28


Teaching Activity

Dr. Henry’s teaching philosophy is that the role of an educator is to actively engage with and excite students about each learning topic. She believes that the most effective educational experiences occur when students are empowered to take ownership of their learning and the instructor is committed to using best practices and evidence-based teaching strategies. She is committed to facilitating this partnership by using the skills and experiences that she currently possesses to create an enriching learning environment for students. Teaching and Learning Approaches: Active Learning Strategies; Active demonstration; Small group learning.



Rebecca Henry

Contact Details:




Academic, College Lecturers

Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience

Anatamaíocht agus Néareolaíocht

Room 2.33, 2nd Floor, Western Gateway Building, University College, Cork, Ireland