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Two Prestigious Awards for Medical Device Researchers at NUI Galway

Two Prestigious Awards for Medical Device Researchers at NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Two medical device researchers have been awarded funding to carry out their research at NUI Galway. Adam Santorelli and Dr Emily Porter will be based at the Medical Device Research Group within the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway. Adam Santorelli, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada, has been awarded a James M. Flaherty Research Scholarship from the Ireland-Canada University Foundation (ICUF). This competitive award targets emerging researchers and supports a short research visit to investigate topics of strategic importance and encourage partnerships between Canada and Ireland. A final-year PhD student, Adam’s research focuses on developing low-cost hardware for microwave imaging. At NUI Galway, he joins a research team focused on microwave medical imaging, led by Dr Martin O’Halloran. Microwave imaging is a highly promising technology that is just now reaching the stage of clinical testing. It has the potential to offer extremely cost-effective medical imaging, enabling wider access to cancer screening, particularly in remote or developing regions. Working alongside the team at NUI Galway, his research looks to develop advanced imaging techniques for low-cost radar-based systems. Dr Emily Porter has been awarded the Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Grant, which are bestowed on early-career postdoctoral researchers to enable short but high-impact research-related travel missions. The award aims toward encouraging excellence in all areas of Irish scholarship and facilitating research on an international stage. Dr Porter works with the European Research Council research team in the new Translational Research Facility at NUI Galway. Her research, supervised by Dr Martin O’Halloran, she examines the dielectric properties of human tissue and how these properties can be utilized in up-and-coming medical technologies. The Charlemont Grant will enable her to visit a well-established dielectric property laboratory, run by Dr Sammut at the University of Malta, where she will be in a unique position to learn from some of the best in the field. The research trip promises to facilitate future collaborations with the University of Malta and help to accelerate the investigation of tissue properties at NUI Galway. Dr Martin O’Halloran, ERC Research Fellow and Head of the Medical Device Research Group in the Lambe Institute, said: “These awards highlight the quality of researchers now joining the ERC-funded Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway, and are an early success for the newly-opened Lambe Translational Research Facility.”  -Ends-

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Dementia patients and carers to benefit from €4.5 million research investment

Dementia patients and carers to benefit from €4.5 million research investment-image

Thursday, 4 February 2016

NUI Galway awarded Research Leader role to implement Ireland’s first National Dementia Strategy to be underpinned by high-quality evidence through research projects funded by the Health Research Board (HRB) and The Atlantic Philanthropies Professor Eamon O' Shea, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway has been selected as Research Leader of Dementia Care as part of the establishment of a new National Centre for Social Research on Dementia, which will start this year as a result of significant investment from the Health Research Board (HRB) and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The establishment of a new National Centre for Social Research on Dementia and a suite of applied projects, exploring topics such as the use of home computer tablets for care management, dementia-friendly hospital design and the links between stroke and dementia, will start this year as a result of significant investment from the HRB and The Atlantic Philanthropies. "The awards are part of a very deliberate and focused plan to improve dementia care", says Graham Love, the Chief Executive of the Health Research Board. "They are aligned with the National Dementia Strategy and they all focus on improving quality of life for people living with dementia and those caring for them. From making our hospitals more friendly for dementia patients, or using technology to remotely track health markers like patient blood pressure and weight, each of these new projects will make a very real and tangible impact on people's lives and improve how we deliver their healthcare services." Mary Sutton, Country Director for The Atlantic Philanthropies added that, "This is part of a broader investment by Atlantic in the development of dementia health and social care. With the HRB, we want to see the dementia landscape transformed through an infusion of new leadership in thought and practice, building research collaborations between academia and the wider practice and policy community both here in Ireland and also internationally." A cornerstone of this integrated approach is the HRB Research Leader position in Dementia care. Professor Eamon O'Shea is a world-renowned expert on dementia and his Research Leader Award (RLA) represents a 5-year investment in dementia research between the HRB, NUI Galway and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The post will be expected to influence and inform national policy and practice and strengthen an evidence-informed approach to healthcare delivery. According to Professor O'Shea, "Too often people use the word 'burden' when talking about dementia. My vision is to champion a research programme and strategy that focuses on choice, capabilities, connectivity and personhood for people with dementia. This investment by the Health Research Board and The Atlantic Philanthropies will enable us to create a National Centre for Social Research on Dementia where the research focuses on the person living with the dementia and their needs, not just their symptoms. Our aim is to do research that looks at the best ways to provide care for people living with dementia that are based on choice rather than just relying on the traditional residential care model. We want to understand how the person connects with others during the care process, and the role of family carers in understanding and delivering care.  Our interest is in personalised, non-pharmacological approaches to care such as physical exercise and the beneficial effects of non-pharmacological interventions. Ultimately it is about putting the person with dementia at the centre of decision-making at all times. We have been very deliberate in our proposals. We are committed to working in partnership with key stakeholders in dementia-related activity and care in Ireland such as the Health Service Executive, the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland, and Genio. We will examine social, economic, civic, cultural and legal aspects of dementia so that we can enhance and enrich the lives of those with the condition." Dr Dympna Casey from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway will also participate in the dementia research programme. Dr Casey’s role will focus on Comprehensive Resilience-building Psychosocial Intervention (CREST) to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their carers. The project will combine a number of separate interventions into one umbrella programme to improve the quality of life for patients. It will comprise of four components to address: cognitive stimulation; group physical activity; dementia education; assistive technologies to support personal control and retain skills. The project will finalise the CREST intervention and undertake a pilot evaluation that will lead to a subsequent randomised control trial. The new funidng will support: A HRB Research leader in Dementia to influence and inform national policy and practice and strengthen an evidence-informed approach to healthcare delivery (Award value: €1.6m over five years). A new HRB Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) Award (Award value: €572,000, over three years) to support three post-doctoral positions to examine the links between stroke and dementia. Five new Applied Research Projects in Dementia (Award value €1.5m, with each lasting between two and three years). See summaries below for more detail. A new dementia research and practice knowledge exchange network (Award value: €150,000 over two years). This will support an independent, multi-disciplinary network of dementia related researchers, practitioners, patients, families and other stakeholders, to enhance exchange of information and views among members, improve dissemination and awareness of Irish dementia and related research, enhance exchange and public and patient involvement in dementia research and consolidate links and cooperation between all who have an interest in dementia or research. Four PhD Scholarship positionssupported by the HRB SPHeRE programme. This 'first-of-its-kind' in Ireland training programme was established by the HRB to develop a pool of researchers with the specialist skills to conduct population health and health services research. The four scholarships will have a special emphasis on dementia-related topics. ENDS

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NUI Galway Scientists Sign up for FAMELAB

NUI Galway Scientists Sign up for FAMELAB -image

Thursday, 4 February 2016

First time a regional heat has been held in Galway Ten NUI Galway scientists will battle it out for a place in the national final of FAMELAB, the largest science communication competition in the world. This is the first time ever that a regional heat for the international competition has been held in Galway. The competition will be held on Tuesday, 9 February, at An Taibhdhearc Theatre at 7pm and is free to attend. The ten scientists come from a variety of backgrounds, from a Professor of Mathematics to a researcher in medical device design. Presentations will answer a range of questions from ‘Can biomaterials fix a broken heart?’ to ‘Will we use light to control the brain?’ to ‘How can coral reefs survive in cold, wet Ireland?’. The competing scientists will be given a total of three minutes each to explain their research, or any scientific concept, as clearly, simply and charismatically as possible, to a public audience and a panel of judges. This will be followed by three minutes of questions from the judges and the audience. Scientists are given the instruction that they can use ‘only what they can carry with them onto the stage’ to help illustrate their stories. Two finalists will be announced on the night and will be sent forward to a communications master class in Dublin on 19-20 March. They will then compete in the Irish final of FAMELAB which will be held in the Science Gallery in Dublin on Thursday, 7 April. The overall national winner will attend the Cheltenham Science Festival, UK in June 2016 and will compete in the FAMELAB International finals. The judges include: Professor Dónal Leech, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Science Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press Officer, NUI Galway Dr Miriam Haughton, Lecturer, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway Brendan Smith, Education and Community Outreach Officer, Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway To attend FAMELAB please register at https://famelabgalway2016.eventbrite.com. Follow the Galway competition on @FameLab_Galway. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Law School to Host Major Conference on Surrogacy

NUI Galway Law School to Host Major Conference on Surrogacy-image

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

The School of Law at NUI Galway is to host a major conference on surrogacy and the law on 12 March 2016. Among the speakers is the world-leading child psychologist, Professor Susan Golombok, Director of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge. Also presenting are Dr Kirsty Horsey, an academic and member of the Surrogacy UK Working Group on Surrogacy Law Reform, and NUI Galway alumna, Deirdre Fottrell QC, who has acted in a number of leading surrogacy cases that came before the superior courts in the UK. Other speakers include Professor Deirdre Madden from UCC and Dr Andrea Mulligan, a barrister and academic. The conference is being organised by Dr Brian Tobin, a family law expert at the School of Law, NUI Galway, who provided legal expertise on the assisted reproduction provisions contained in the Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality.       Announcing the conference, Dr Tobin stated: “Ireland has yet to enact legislation regulating surrogacy. Laws proposed in 2014 by the then Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, were scrapped later that year as the Government felt that further consultation was required. However, there is a concern that the issue of surrogacy could lose priority. This conference is therefore timely and designed to bring together experts in the field with a view to forging a framework for the regulation of surrogacy in Ireland.” -Ends-

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Third ‘Lectures in the Library’ will focus on Richard Henebry

Third ‘Lectures in the Library’ will focus on Richard Henebry -image

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The third in the ‘Lectures in the Library’ series, curated by NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising will focus on Richard Henebry, a trenchant critic of attempts to modernise Irish language writing, who compared Pádraig Pearse’s short stories to ‘the mincing of an underassistant floor-walker of a millinery shop’. The Reverend Dr Richard Henebry was a Waterford-born scholar, priest and patriot whose commitment to Irish traditional music is evident in the posthumuosly published A Handbook of Irish Music (1928), a unique analysis of traditional music.   The lecture, ‘Dr Richard Henebry, 1863-1916’, will be delivered by Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin and will focus on Dr Henebry as a revivalist and scholar in the field of traditional music and will contextualise his scholarship in Ireland of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  The lecture will begin at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 9 February at Galway City Library. -ENDS-

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Bank of Ireland Awards €10,000 Bursary to NUI Galway Societies

Bank of Ireland Awards €10,000 Bursary to NUI Galway Societies-image

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

NUI Galway’s Societies have been awarded the second annual Bank of Ireland Society Bursary. The Bursary, worth €10,000, promotes the valuable work of student societies, enhancing the student experience and enriching the wider community. The aim of the award is to support the societies in organising events of social, cultural, humanitarian and educational importance. Events with creativity and originality are also especially encouraged. Among the events which received funding, €1,000 was awarded to Dramsoc for the Irish Student Drama Awards (ISDA) annual Theatre Festival, a week-long festival in which third-level drama societies will travel to Galway and perform plays from their home college. The Festival will be running from 17-24 March. Cumann Staire (History Society) received €700 for Irish History Students Association (IHSA) Annual Conference, which is taking place on the weekend of February 19-21. The Conference offers a unique opportunity for not only students, but also the wider community to engage with history in a less formal setting. It is the only fully student-led constituent event on the University’s ‘A Nation Rising’ programme of events to mark the centenaries of the 1916 Rising and the Battle of the Somme. Other winners of the Bursary this year include: The Literary and Debating Society; Irish National Law Debates; Cancer Soc; Relay for Life; Neuro Soc; Seeing the Light; Friends of MSF; Refugee Crisis Week; Slainte Society; Movember; Tag Rugby; Potter Society; Triwizard Tournament; African Caribbean Society; Afrofest; India Society; Diwali; and the Juggling Society’. The bursary was presented by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Tom Joyce, Chief Executive of Galway University Foundation and Marie Cassidy, Customer Service Manager at the NUI Galway branch of Bank of Ireland. More information on upcoming society events can be found on http://socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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