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Double Cup Success for NUI Galway at Festival of Rugby

Double Cup Success for NUI Galway at Festival of Rugby-image

Friday, 31 October 2014

NUI Galway Rugby completed a historic double over the other Irish universities to retain both women's and men's Kay Bowen and Maughan-Scally intervarsity trophies at last weekend's Irish Universities Rugby Union (IURU) Festival of Rugby in Dublin. The Kay Bowen Cup drew some of Ireland's most prestigious universities to Belfield, with Trinity, NUIM, Queen's University Belfast, UCC and NUI Galway joining hosts UCD to compete for the title. NUI Galway claimed the trophy for the second year running with wins over Trinity (33-0) and Queen's (29-0) in the pool stages, and UCC (24-5) in the final. In two years' competition, NUI Galway's women have posted more than 100 points and, through to the 18th minute of last weekend's final, their tryline remained uncrossed. At the same time as the women's side were securing a second successive intervarsity title, the men's squad contested a hard-fought final with UCD. The Galway men were also looking to become the first university to win the Maughan-Scally Cup three years in a row. A memorable day for NUI Galway concluded with the presentation of trophies to women's captain Rhona Julian and men's captain Luke Murphy, before both cups made the now-familiar journey west for another year. -Ends-

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Applications now open for NUI Galway PhD Scholarships

Applications now open for NUI Galway PhD Scholarships -image

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Scholarships available in five key research areas Applications are being accepted immediately for fully-funded PhD scholarships at NUI Galway. The Hardiman and Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will support students to undertake four year Structured PhD programmes, by providing a stipend of €16,000 per annum and fees. The deadline for applications is 21 November, 2014. The scholarships are focused on five key areas of research in which NUI Galway offers world-leading expertise: Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy Biomedical Science and Engineering Environment, Marine and Energy Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences An additional Cancer Care West Hardiman Research Scholarship will also be offered, supported by Cancer Care West. This scholarship will support research in Radiation Oncology or Surgical Oncology at NUI Galway and the associated University Hospital Galway. All the research scholarships are also supported by the Galway University Foundation. NUI Galway Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr Lucy Byrnes said: “These scholarships aim to attract the best students to NUI Galway and to support their development as innovative individuals who will contribute to economic, cultural and social development. They offer opportunities to pursue doctoral studies focused on areas of research in which the University offers leading expertise.” Applications forms and further information are available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships/ with closing date for applications at 5pm on 21 November, 2014. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Appoints Antarctic Explorer as Beaufort Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery

NUI Galway Appoints Antarctic Explorer as Beaufort Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery-image

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Antarctic explorer, Professor Bill Baker of the University of South Florida, has been appointed as Visiting Professor of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway through funding from the Beaufort Research Awards for one year. Marine Biodiscovery forms an integral part of the strategic programme for the marine sector – SeaChange, which is coordinated by the Marine Institute. The funding of the Professorship of Marine Biodiscovery at NUI Galway by the Beaufort Marine Research Awards is a critical component of the strategy to develop overall Irish research capacity and to position Ireland’s marine sector within a global knowledge-based economy. The Beaufort awards have been used to support research of international standing by making funding available for Principal Investigators and a number of researchers.  Professor Baker has established his international reputation in Marine Biodiscovery by searching for chemicals in the Antarctic. This programme at the Antarctic has been funded by the National Science Foundation in the USA for the last 24 years and now Professor Baker will turn his attention to the Irish shores in terms of searching for molecular treasures. The chemical compound Palmerolide A, one of the treasures discovered originally in the Antarctic by Professor Baker, is extremely promising against skin cancer and exploration of the Irish waters could potentially lead to a compound with similar potential. Professor Baker will provide expertise in the area of marine natural products chemistry in searching for molecular treasures from the Irish waters. The isolation and identification of novel secondary metabolites from marine organisms (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes) in Irish marine environments is still underexplored and provides an opportunity to identify bioactive agents of interest in the context of drug discovery, functional foods and other biotechnological applications. In a European and world-wide context, Ireland’s marine biodiversity is exceptionally high for its size: for example, 7.5% of the world’s marine benthic algae are found in Irish waters.  Professor Baker will conduct Chemistry, Bioassays and Biofermentation activities during his period in Ireland.  It is hoped that discoveries made during the Professorship in Ireland will lead to a better understanding of the chemistry of marine species and hopefully produce pharmaceuticals that fight killer diseases. Professor Baker will also deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway entitled ‘Treasures from the Antarctic Ice’ on Monday, 10 November at 7.15pm in the Kirwan Theatre, Arts/Science Building. During the lecture Professor Baker will describe the challenges of carrying out research in Antarctica but show the potential rewards of this research. This will be linked to his efforts in searching the Irish waters for novel chemical agents could potentially lead to new molecules to treat killer diseases. To register for the lecture visit http://billbakeratnuig.rsvpify.com. -Ends-

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World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science to convene at NUI Galway

World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science to convene at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

World-leading experts from the field of stem cell science will convene at NUI Galway on 29-30 October 2014. The Galway International Stem Cell Conference will focus on the latest developments in basic science and translational aspects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) research in Ireland, the UK and worldwide. A type of adult stem cell, Mesenchymal Stem Cells or MSCs, have shown huge potential for use in many medical therapies. In addition to plenary talks from internationally renowned speakers, the program is structured to include oral paper presentations selected from submitted abstracts. With Ireland hosting the event this year, there will be a particular focus on some of the ground breaking research taking place here. The latest plans from researchers at NUI Galway for stem cell trials in Galway, focusing on arterial disease in the lower leg and osteoarthritis in the knee will be discussed. According to Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: “The impact of this conference will be high because it focuses on those aspects of basic science and clinical evaluation which represent obstacles to translation. New biological insights have emerged recently about stem cells and their clinical potential has been demonstrated. However, there are still substantial gaps in knowledge in the field, such as how we can standardise the mass production of stem cells in facilities around the world.” As of 2014, Ireland now boasts its own specialist facility which can ‘grow’ stems cells for use in such clinical trials in humans. Located at NUI Galway, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) is a custom-built facility certified to the highest EU manufacturing standards and criteria. The CCMI at NUI Galway is the first ever facility on the island of Ireland to receive a licence from the Irish Medicines Board, and firmly positions the country as a global player in the regenerative medicine field. Alongside Professor Frank Barry, other key speakers include: Javier Garcia-Sancho, Institute for Molecular Biology & Genetics (IBGM), University of Valladolid & Spanish Research Council, Valladolid, Spain; Silviu Itescu, Mesoblast, Melbourne, Australia; Sue Kimber, Tissue Regeneration and Stem Cell Network, University of Manchester; Ian McNiece, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA; Mark Pittenger, University of Maryland, USA; and Darwin Prockop, Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Texas A&M, USA. ENDS

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ESB Networks NUI Galway SmartGrid Innovation Award

ESB Networks NUI Galway SmartGrid Innovation Award-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

ESB Networks is delighted to sponsor the NUI Galway College of Engineering & Informatics SmartGrid Innovation Award for the best group proposal from final year Energy Systems Engineering students. The students,  Kieran O’ Leary, Barry O’ Donnell, Mark Kelly and Tadgh Cullen developed an innovative, technically advanced and professional project that has the potential to contribute significantly to the rollout of SmartGrid. ESB Networks congratulates the winners on their achievement and also the other students groups who also presented some excellent ideas. John Byrne, Smart Networks Manager, ESB Networks said: “Collaboration on Smart Grid R&D is essential in this period of fundamental change within the energy sector. ESB Networks is working towards 2027 by undertaking strategic research, development and demonstration projects to meet the rapidly changing system and customer needs. We have committed to collaborating with both academia and industry to progress research and deployment innovation in Smart Grid technologies.  In this regard, we welcome the opportunity to work with NUI Galway and will continue to build upon this mutually beneficial relationship.” NUI Galway’s Dr Hugh Melvin, SmartGrid Module facilitator, said: “ESB and ESB Networks are recognised as world class and pioneering engineering organisations and are leading the way internationally in Smart Grid R&D and implementation. They both value strong associations with Academia, including NUI Galway and this award represents a strengthening of that association.” -Ends-

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Galway joins worldwide network of Startup Weekends

Galway joins worldwide network of Startup Weekends-image

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

This November, Startup Weekend is coming to Galway. Running from 14-16 November, teams of entrepreneurs and innovators will gather together to develop their ideas from an initial 60 second pitch to a scalable company. 54 hours of activity will culminate in a round of presentations to the assembled judges, mentors, and other teams, leaving attendees with valuable feedback on their ideas, new skills, great contacts, and hopefully, a viable startup business. With 36% of Startup Weekend startups not only continuing after the weekend, but through the three month mark, taking part is a great initial step for anyone wondering what it takes to launch a startup. Startup Weekends have taken place all across the world, including in Dublin and Cork, with Galway joining in for the first time in November. NUI Galway will play host for the weekend, and with the backing of the local business community behind it, Galway Startup Weekend promises to be a great addition to the annual event calendar. The organisational team includes: Dr John Breslin, senior lecturer in NUI Galway and cofounder of Boards.ie; Michael Campion of NUI Galway’s Cairnes school of Business and Economics; Michael FitzGerald, founder and CEO of sales management software company OnePage CRM; Paul Killoran, founder and CEO of research publishing software company Exordo; and Tara Dalrymple, founder and CEO of lifestyle management and outsourcing businesses, Busy Lizzie and Mission Possible. Between them, they represent the wealth of startup knowledge that exists in the Galway business community, as well as a significant skill set ranging from finance and marketing to programming and design. Startup Weekend is all about action, giving attendees the chance to test out an idea in a creative space. People will share their skills and form teams, with mentors on hand to provide guidance throughout the weekend. The 54 hours of hard work will be interspersed with meals, short talks, and some surprises along the way. Attendees usually have either a technical or business background, resulting in a diverse range of skills and mindsets and an excellent collaborative environment. Galway Startup Weekend offers the perfect opportunity to validate an idea, learn valuable skills, or simply collaborate with similarly focused people. For regular updates, see www.facebook.com/GalStartweekend, or www.twitter.com/GalStartWeekend. As well as encouraging people to attend and take part, the organisers are currently seeking volunteers to help both at the event and in the run up to it. Anyone interested in lending a hand (particularly photographers or video bloggers) should send an email to galway@startupweekend.org -Ends-

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