Friday, 22 September 2017

NUI Galway Secure SFI Funding to Develop New Therapeutics to Treat Cancer and Asthma and Prevent Infections like Influen

Two new NUI Galway research projects have been awarded funding under the Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme announced this week by Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan, T.D. A total of €2.6 million has been allocated to NUI Galway, with each project focused on generating new knowledge and improving patient care and outcomes. Minister John Halligan said: “This funding recognises some of Ireland’s top researchers and enables them to advance vital research areas in Ireland including health and technology. I am confident that the teams being supported will generate important new scientific breakthroughs.” Professor Paul Murphy from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway leads one of the research programmes which focuses on ‘Enhancing the scientist’s toolbox using synthetic carbohydrate chemistry for glycomimetic research’. The project involves special sugars that stick to other molecules on our organs and on our immune system, which are called sugar-binding proteins. The sugar-binding proteins cause cancer and inflammation, and can lead to infections as bacteria or viruses stick to our sugars. Professor Murphy’s project aims to develop even stickier molecules called glycomimetics to block them. This research will focus on developing these glycomimetics, which are mimics of the naturally occurring sugars. It is hoped that once the glycomimetics are developed they will be very effective in treating diseases like cancer and asthma, and preventing infections like HIV and influenza which affect millions of people globally. Commenting on his award, Professor Murphy said: “The development of new therapies or drugs based on sugars found in living organisms is still underexplored and considered difficult.  However progress is being made and some glycomimetics have recently been introduced to the clinical setting. This research funding will enable us to design and synthesise novel mimics of naturally occurring sugars (glycomimetics) that will be evaluated for their potential to block cancer and infection and importantly new design concepts for glycomimetic research will be explored in the project. The work will include collaboration with international experts in drug development based on glycomimetics.” Professor Corrado Santocanale from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway has been funded to uncover ‘The fundamental roles of the CDC7 kinase and of its regulatory subunits through genome editing technology’. This research will focus on a protein called CDC7, which is essential for cell division. Drugs that block CDC7 are a potential treatment for cancer. However, little is known about how CDC7 works. Using novel genetic technologies this research is now, for the first time, in a position to discover the role that CDC7 plays in several processes important for cell division. The project will greatly contribute to understanding how cells multiply and to the development of new therapeutic strategies for cancer patients. Commenting on his award, Professor Santocanale said: “This research will expand our knowledge of genome duplication and will inform us on cellular liabilities when specific CDC7 functions are compromised, contributing to the development of CDC7 inhibition as a strategy for the treatment of cancer. The research will not only indirectly contribute to the development of CDC7 inhibition as an anti-cancer strategy, but more importantly will contribute to the advancement of human knowledge on crucial processes leading to cell duplication.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Programme funds outstanding individuals performing excellent, impactful research. The standard of applications for the SFI Investigators Programme was exceptionally high. The quality and quantity of excellent projects on the reserve list is clear evidence of the increasingly high standard of research in Ireland. I have the highest expectations for the projects funded today, and look forward to seeing the benefits to Ireland’s society and economy.” -Ends-

News Archive

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

NUI Galway has launched the programme for the upcoming undergraduate Open Days taking place on Friday, 6 and Saturday, 7 of October. The Open Day is an excellent opportunity for schools, students, parents and families to explore the opportunity to study at NUI Galway, ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world, according to the recent QS World University Rankings report.  The main exhibition in the Bailey Allen hall with over 80 subject-specific stands is a great starting point, followed by a visit to the hands-on science workshops and interactives sessions in Engineering, IT systems, and Robotics. Tours of the campus will run throughout each day and parents are invited to attend the dedicated Parent’s Talk running on the Saturday at 11am and repeated again at 1pm. Talks on the bonus CAO performance points scholarships (for students who excel in Sports or the Creative Arts) are always a highlight of the programme. New for 2017, the Open Day Programme includes a range of Masterclasses, a series of specialised workshops on unique areas of study, employment or student life. The Masterclasses at the upcoming Open Days include a practical drama workshop, a masterclass on engineering in the future and a workshop to show students how they can fuel for success through good nutrition. Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “Autumn is a good time for Leaving Certificate students and their parents to start the preparation for progression to third level before the significant pressure of exams begins. The Open Day will have the right people on the ground to answer questions on CAO points, employability and essential planning such as accommodation, fees and grants. Being in the top 1% of universities worldwide, means that the incoming students of NUI Galway have tremendous opportunities in terms of employability and global recognition of their qualification.” To find out more visit If you are planning to attend the Open Day you are encouraged to view the programme, available here ( and plan your day on campus.  -Ends-

Monday, 18 September 2017

Eagróidh Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh sraith ceardlann san amhránaíocht ar an sean-nós. Beidh an chéad cheardlann ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 27 Meán Fómhair.  Is í Sarah Ghriallais, a ceapadh mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach ar an Sean-nós in OÉ Gaillimh don bhliain 2017 a bheidh i mbun na gceardlann. Is as Muiceanach, Camus do Sarah agus is amhránaí ar an sean-nós den scoth í, bhuaigh sí Corn Uí Riada, an comórtas amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós is mó le rá ag Oireachtas na Gaeilge. Bhí amhránaíocht Sarah le cloisteáil ar stáitse, i gcláir faisnéise agus i scannáin. Déanfaidh Sarah cúig cheardlann amhránaíochta in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh an chéad cheardlann sa tsraith ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 27 Meán Fómhair ag 7pm. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an Chomhairle Ealaíon i bpáirt le hIonad an Léinn Éireannaigh in OÉ Gaillimh atá i mbun na scéime seo. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh i dteagmháil le: Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó -Críoch-

Monday, 18 September 2017

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of sean-nós singing workshops starting Wednesday, 27 September.  The workshops will be taught by Sarah Ghriallais, the recently appointed Sean-nós Singer in Residence at NUI Galway for 2017. Sarah who is originally from Muiceanach, Camus, is a renowned sean-nós singer with exceptional talent, a previous winner of the prestigious Corn Uí Riada, the premier sean-nós singing competition at the Oireachtas. Sarah’s singing has also featured on stage, in documentaries and in films. Sarah will give a series of five sean-nós singing workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. The first workshop in this series will take place on Wednesday, 27 September at 7pm. Workshops are free and open to all. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. For further information contact: Samantha Williams at 091-492051 or -Ends-

Events Calendar

Facebook stream

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The public are invited to a fascinating public lecture of a winter expedition with the German icebreaker “Polarstern” to Antarctica. The talk will be delivered by Professor Peter Lemke of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany on Wednesday, 14 September, at 7.30pm in the Colm O’hEocha Theatre in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway. Professor Lemke has participated in nine polar expeditions with the German research icebreaker “Polarstern”, and has collections of stunning photographs depicting the Antarctic landscape and intriguing experiences to share. He is visiting Galway to participate in the Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme which is a week-long intensive, accredited workshop examining how climate and oceans interact, with particular examples from the Atlantic Ocean and higher latitudes. The lecture is open to members of the public and is part of a workshop organised by Dr Pauhla McGrane of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) being held in Galway, from 12-19 September,offered to international postgraduate students of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. “Polar regions play an important role for our climate, but direct observations are difficult to obtain and can only be achieved with greatest effort. This is especially true in wintertime” said Professor Lemke. “Severe blizzards, being trapped between thick ice floes and forced to drift with the ice, the darkness of the polar night and temperatures around minus 30°C. This presentation will take you along on an extraordinary winter expedition into the Antarctic Ocean. It shows the beauty of the frozen ocean, presents some insight into polar and climate research, and demonstrates everyday life on a research icebreaker,” he continued. High latitudes have received attention recently because of significant changes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and on land, especially in the Arctic. The surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased about twice as fast as the global air temperature. The Arctic sea-ice extent in summer has decreased by 35% since 1979, and the sea-ice thickness during late summer has declined in the Central Arctic by about 40% since 1958. A warming has also been observed at depth in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. But surprisingly there is no negative trend observed in the Antarctic sea ice. Both, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and the sea level is rising. Most of these observed trends are in agreement with warming scenarios performed with coupled climate models, which indicate an amplified response in high latitudes to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But details of the complex interaction between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and the impacts on the ecosystem and the human society are still only marginally understood. Results will be shown from the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from a winter expedition the speaker has lead into the ice-covered Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Dr Pauhla McGrane, coordinator of SMART said: “We are delighted that Proffessor Lemke has agreed to provide his unique insight into carrying out climate research in hostile polar environments, particulaly when accompanied by such beautiful stark images. This is especially relevant as this year we will run the second North South Atlantic Training Transect on-board the RV Polarstern from Germany to South Africa which will train 24 postgraduate students, including seven Irish students, in researching climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions at sea. These innovative offshore international collaboarations, developed with AWI, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and funded by the Nippon foundation are essential in developing excellent climate and ocean scientists to measure and understand our changing planet”. Professor Lemke continues to work on the observation of climate processes in atmosphere, sea ice and ocean and their simulation in numerical models for the polar components of the climate system. On six expeditions on Polarstern he acted as chief scientist.  For more than 30 years he served on many national and international committees on polar and climate research. He was the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4 (Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground) of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC published in 2013 Proffessor Lemke worked as Review Editor of Chapter 4 and as Lead Author of the Technical Summary. All members of the public are welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme is a collaboaration between SMART, NUI Galway, AWI and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) that is funded by the Nippon foundation under NF POGO Regional Training fund.  -ends-