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2014

NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants For Project On Chronic Pain In Children

NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants For Project On Chronic Pain In Children-image

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Children in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway who experience chronic pain are invited to help develop an effective pain management programme Researchers with the School of Psychology at NUI Galway are currently inviting children aged from 7-12 years who have experienced chronic or recurrent pain for a period of three months or more, and their parents, to help develop an effective pain management programme for young children which will be computer-based and accessed online.  Group sessions will be run at a number of locations across Ireland including Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast. Children with any type of chronic or persistent pain including abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and combined or widespread pains, are invited to participate. Children and their parents will use art materials to think, draw or write about ideas or topics which they think are important for children and parents dealing with chronic pain. Participants will be shown a computer-based programme designed to support pain management and are invited to give feedback, based on their personal experiences of chronic pain management.  The project will involve just one meeting with a group of children and one meeting with a group of parents to enable the researchers to decide what course of action would work best for this type of treatment programme. Group sessions will be fun and interactive, lasting 30-40 minutes. Participant views and personal experiences are extremely valuable and their input will greatly enhance research in the development of an intervention for children who suffer with chronic pain. They may also benefit from sharing their experiences and thoughts about chronic pain management with others in a similar situation, in a casual environment, while offering complete confidentiality. NUI Galway PhD student and group facilitator, Angeline Traynor said: “Chronic pain is increasingly prevalent in young people and can have a significant impact on the day-to-day quality of life. The most common types of chronic pain in children are abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and combined or widespread pains.” Ms Traynor continued, “Given the impact of chronic pain and the increasing focus on technology as a means of treatment delivery, it is essential to identify and address the needs of young children with respect to pain management. Participation is voluntary and anything you say during the group session is strictly confidential. These sessions will give children and their parents the chance to inform our research by telling us of their own personal experiences with chronic pain management.” This programme is part of a PhD research project being carried out at NUI Galway by PhD student Angeline Traynor with Dr. Brian McGuire of the university’s School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research. The study is supported by Galway University Foundation. Each group session will include 6-8 other volunteer participants and will be led by Ms. Traynor and Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. Refreshments will be provided to participants. If you would be willing to help with this important study or would like further information, please contact Angeline Traynor at a.traynor2@nuigalway.ie or 086 0378562 or go directly to www.helpkidswithpain.com  

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NUI Galway Appoints Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College Of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

NUI Galway Appoints Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College Of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences -image

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

NUI Galway has appointed Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Professor Timothy O’Brien is recognized as an international expert on vascular wall gene delivery. Professor O’Brien returned to Ireland in July 2001 as Professor of Medicine and Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Metabolism at University College Hospital Galway.   Professor O’Brien has since established a gene therapy research group the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). As Director of REMEDI, he has played a key role in establishing both the new Bioscience Building at NUI Galway the Clinical Research Facility in the hospital. Speaking about his appointment Professor O’Brien said, “NUI Galway has a long and proud tradition of serving the local, national and global communities by educating the health care providers of the future. I look forward to building on that success and working with colleagues across the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Healthcare systems to integrate the education of our future health care providers. In particular, I look forward to working closely with our colleagues in the West Northwest Hospital group to this end. This success in our education programmes is recognised by prestigious scholarship schemes such as the Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and we will strive to continue and expand on our traditional success in that programme.” Professor O’Brien continued, “The College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will continue to promote excellence and international competitiveness in selected research areas. We will pursue an innovation agenda with a focus on generation of impact. The research themes will be aligned with University and National priority areas and approaches will emphasize collaboration between our faculty members, hospitals and industry.  We will strive to enhance patient care and contribute to economic recovery in Ireland through our research performance. In addition, we will work to contribute to the Irish Government’s aim to win €1.3 billion in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme.” A native of Cork, Professor O’Brien received an honours MB BCh BAO degree from UCC in 1984. He went on to do an internship and general professional training at Cork University Hospital and one year as Registrar to Professor DJ O’Sullivan. He completed a two year residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 1990 followed by a sub-specialty fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN in 1992. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in Ireland and London in 1986 and 1987, respectively and to Fellowship of the American College of Physicians in 1995 and the American College of Endocrinology in 1996. He was awarded MD (1993) and PhD (1997) degrees from the National University of Ireland. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism in the USA and is a registered specialist in both specialties in Ireland. Since returning to Ireland Professor O’Brien has been a principal or co-applicant on grants worth in excess of €73 million. He has been a reviewer for 16 international journals, was a member of an American Heart Association Study Section, has acted as an invited reviewer on an NIH study section, and has been a reviewer for the Wellcome Trust and the Finnish Academy of Science. He served as associate editor of Endocrine Practice, the journal of the American College of Endocrinology from 1999-2006 and the e-journal of Translational Medicine. To date Professor O'Brien has published 240 original papers in peer-reviewed journals.  He has contributed to 21 books, and has been invited to present his research at over 150 national and international scientific conferences. He is an author on seven patent applications. He is the Director of the MSc in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and has supervised 18 PhD students to graduation. Professor O’Brien is Director of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) and he is also a co-founder of a spin-out company, Orbsen Therapeutics. Professor Timothy O’Brien will succeed Professor Gerry Loftus who recently retired.

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EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn to Open 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers Association Conference at NUI Galway

EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn to Open 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers Association Conference at NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

‘Inspiring Science from Ireland’s Silicon Valley’ is the theme of the Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) Conference NUI Galway will host the 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) Conference from the 11-12 April. European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan Quinn and President Jim Browne of NUI Galway will officially open the Conference entitled “Inspiring Science from Ireland’s Silicon Valley”. The Irish Science Teachers' Association is the professional association of science teachers in the Republic of Ireland. It is over 50 years in existence and is the longest established provider of Continuous Professional Development for science teachers, with internationally renowned speakers invited to present frontier science to teachers. The Conference will host a total of 30 exhibitors in the area of science education. On Saturday 12 April there will be a full day of events in the Arts/Science Building at NUI Galway, starting with parallel talks and workshops in the morning and plenary sessions in the afternoon. Topics vary from ‘The Physics of Cancer’ to ‘Life Saving Chemistry’. Professor Donal O’Shea will give a talk on Childhood Obesity and FameLab science communicator Fergus McAuliffe will also be on stage. Workshops in biology, chemistry and physics will be conducted by teams from the Professional Development Service for Teachers, and there will also be short presentations on EU linked projects such as SCIENTIX, TEMI (Teaching Enquiry with Mystery Incorporated) and Chain Reaction. Primary Science is also included, as Dr Maeve Liston from Mary Immaculate College will present a practical workshop for primary school teachers. In the first plenary session of the afternoon the Nottingham based Professor Martyn Poliakoff, of Periodic Table Videos fame, will give a talk entitled ‘From Test-Tube to YouTube’. This will be followed by the launch of the Hyland Report which looks at International best practice in the design of science syllabi for second level schools. European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will provide the keynote address at the opening of the Conference and added, “I am delighted to be able to join you for the Irish Science Teachers’ Association Annual Conference this year. The work you do as an association and as individual teachers every day in the classroom, provides the foundation upon which Irish children and young adults are successfully equipping themselves for careers as researchers, academics, scientists in industry and informed citizens. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn continued, “Science and innovation are at the core of our daily lives and will, I believe, unlock a bright new future for generations. As teachers you have the privilege and responsibility to inspire and nurture our young people. I have great confidence in your ability and willingness to step up to the challenge, and continue to produce Europe’s brightest and best young scientists.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said, “It is a great pleasure to welcome the Irish Science Teachers’ Association to NUI Galway for your annual conference. This University has a long and proud tradition of scientific excellence in teaching and research. From our popular degree courses to world-leading research, science has been a cornerstone of the University for well over a century. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Irish Science Teachers’ Association continued success for the future. The work that you do to ignite curiosity and inspire young scientists is pivotal to the future of science and technology in Ireland.” The first lecture will be presented by Professor Elaine Fox from the University of Oxford and is entitled: ‘Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain; From Pessimist to Optimist, can we really change?’ It will take place at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday 11 April at 8pm. Professor Fox’s work has been discussed in New Scientist, The Economist and the New York Times. There will also be an update from ISTA members on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment development groups in relation to new syllabi at the Annual Business Meeting; this is the only session that is for members only. The closing talk will be given by the well renowned Professor Jim Al Khalili from the University of Surrey in which he will address the question: ‘Is Life Quantum Mechanical?’ Events take place on Saturday 12 April in the Arts/Science Building. The Association for Science Education representatives from the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland will attend the conference and Professor Teresa Kennedy from the USA will represent ICASE. Both events take place on Saturday 12 April in the Arts/Science Building. The organisation, led by Mary Mullaghy, National Chairperson of ISTA, is one of the pioneers of collaborative learning in association with the Department of Education and Skills, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, State Examinations Commission, Professional Development of Secondary Teachers, Institutes of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Technology Exhibition, BT Young Scientist, SciFest, industry and third level institutions. Many organisations communicate their outreach initiatives through the association as there is an extensive communication network. A Conference dinner and awards ceremony will take place in Hotel Meyrick and will be attended by some of the founding members of the Association including Sr Mercedes Desmond aged 92 years. Advance booking is advised. Full programme details and bookings are available on www.ista.ie and on social media @IrishSciTeach and Facebook. For registration visit http://istaannualconference2014.weebly.com

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December 2014

Threesis Winners Announced

Threesis Winners Announced-image

Monday, 1 December 2014

A first-year biotechnology student, Edel Browne from Athenry, Co. Galway took first prize at NUI Galway’s third annual Threesis Competition which took place last week. The competition consisted of quick-fire presentations, with NUI Galway researchers presenting three slides, in three minutes, to three judges. The competitors had come through a series of heats already held on campus, to take on the final challenge at a public event in An Taibhdhearc. The winners were judged on how well they conveyed and communicated their subject to a general audience. Edel Browne’s presentation was on ‘Free Feet’, a simple and innovative use of laser technology that has revolutionised potential treatment methods for Freezing of Gait in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Second and third prize went to Anne O’Connor from Loughrea, Co. Galway and Killian O’Brien from Bishoptown, Cork City. Anne’s work widens our understanding of cultural exchange in Ireland by studying translation and translators and their impact on Irish history whilst Killian researches exosomes and their potential as a viable method of delivering therapies in breast cancer treatment. Máire-Caitlín Casey from Ballydoolough, Co. Galway won the audience prize for her presentation ‘Now you see me’; her research aims to improve our evaluation of breast cancer, particularly in response to chemotherapy, by investigating a novel imaging technique, photoacoustic imaging (PAI). The event focused on taking researchers out of their comfort zones to present their research to a general audience using only three slides over three minutes to three judges. The focus was on impact; how research at NUI Galway impacts upon our daily lives, those of our family and our broader community. Research areas represented at the event included science, engineering, information technology, humanities, social sciences and medicine, with topics ranging from novel tests for early detection of breast cancer to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. The three judges - Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, NUI Galway, Caroline Crawford, Western Correspondent for the Irish Independent and Dr Marcus McHale, Postdoctoral Research at the Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre, NUI Galway had the responsibility of choosing the overall winners of the night. Jonathan McCrea was Master of Ceremonies for the event. Jonathan is a multi-award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, who presents The Science Squad on RTÉ, The Lie on TV3 and Futureproof on Newstalk 106-108fm. Dr Pat Morgan said: “There are twelve winners here tonight; unfortunately we only have prizes for a small few. I am incredibly proud to call you all members of the NUI Galway family and delighted to preside over such an important event in the University calendar.” Other finalists at the event; James Brown (Discipline of Surgery), Doireann Joyce (Discipline of Surgery), Donna Cosgrove (School of Psychology), Alan Kirwan (AGRC), Martin O’Donoghue (Moore Institute), Bianca Perira (Insight), Ihab Salawdeh (Insight) and Sara Vero (Ryan Institute). Ends

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NUI Galway Students take to the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe

NUI Galway Students take to the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe -image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Students will be performing readings of the winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award 2014 NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance has announced details of a new relationship with Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, with the rehearsed readings of the three winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award.  The readings will take place on the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe at 7pm on Thursday, 4 December.  The chosen scripts, An Love Micheart by Manchán Magan, Díonta by Biddy Jenkinson and Ar Strae by Éidin Nic Éinrí will all be read by students of NUI Galway’s BA and MA drama programmes. NUI Galway offers classes in performing drama in Irish as part of its BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance and its MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. These drama students have been working closely with the writers, script editors and staff of An Taibhdhearc over the last month as part of the script development process. NUI Galway has a long tradition of supporting the development of new writing in Irish.  In the last five years alone the University has commissioned plays and adaptations from prominent writers such as Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock and Diarmuid de Faoite, which have been performed by drama students of NUI Galway.  “This new relationship between An Taibhdhearc and NUI Galway will open the doors on a whole range of exciting new possibilities within the creative arts as Gaeilge”, says Anne McCabe, Artistic Director of An Taibhdhearc. Tickets are available from the box office of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe on 091 563600. Please contact Marianne Ní Chinnéide on 087 9080194 for any further information.  -Ends- Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce Beidh na mic léinn ag léamh na scripteanna a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014 Fógraíonn an Lárionad Drámaíochta agus Léiriúcháin an caidreamh nua leis An Taibhdhearc leis an léamh cleachtaithe ar na thrí dhráma nua-scríofa a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014.  Cuirfear an léamh cleachtaithe ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce ag 7pm, Déardaoinr an 4 Nollaig, áit a bheidh An Love Mícheart le Manchán Magan, Neainí Golue le Biddy Jenkinson, agus Ar Strae le Éidin Nic Éinrí á léamh ag mic léinn drámaíochta Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh. Cuireann OÉGaillimh ranganna ar stáitsiú dhrámíocht na Gaeilge, as Gaeilge, ar fail mar chuid dá BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance agus a MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. Tá traidisiúin fada ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag forbairt dhrámaí nua-scríofa na Gaeilge.  Le cúig bhliain anuas tá coimisiúniú déanta ag an Ollscoil ar scríbhneoirí ar nós Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock agus Diarmuid de Faoite le drámaí a scríobh agus a athchóiriú do mhic léinn na hollscoile atá ag tabhairt faoi staidéar na drámaíochta.  “Osclóidh an caidreamh nua seo na doirse ar réimse leathan féidireachta ó thaobh na healaíona cruthaitheacha Gaeilge de” a deir Anne McCabe, stiúrthóir ealaíona na Taibhdheirce. Tá na mic léinn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tar éis a bheith ag obair go dlúth leis na scríbhneoirí, an eagarthóir scripte agusfoireann na Taibhdheirce mar chuid den phróiséis forbhartha scripte le mí anuas. Ticéid ar fáil ón Taibhdhearc ar 091-563600. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Mharianne Ní Chinnéide ar 087 9080194. -Críoch-

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Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the sixth cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 210 primary school children from across the Western region received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to University life. Since its foundation, almost 1000 children have graduated from a variety of courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Water Enginnering, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, English Literature, Irish History, Déan Scannán, Eco-Explorers, The World of Cops and Robbers, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University.  We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a University. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how this University can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” The Youth Academy co-founders received SFI funding for Youth Academy scholarships in STEM courses. This funding enhances community university partnership through STEM knowledge sharing activities offered to DEIS school/communities and elevates the educational potential of children and challenges their academic development. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Explore Galway’s Buildings in Stone with the new NUI Galway Guidebook

Explore Galway’s Buildings in Stone with the new NUI Galway Guidebook-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Galway City Walks Buildings in Stone was compiled by NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Feely and Dr Alessandra Costanzo and contains an accompanying street map displays the locations of the buildings described along the course of each of three walks. The three walks are as follows: Walk N1 West of the River Corrib starts at NUI Galway and includes Galway Cathedral, City Museum, Spanish Arch and Blake’s Castle; Walk N2 Galway City Centre highlights the buildings along Quay Street, High Street and Shop Street and includes St Augustine’s Church, St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church and Lynch’s Castle; and Walk N3 Eyre Square Area includes the Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland buildings, Meyrick Hotel and the Railway Station. The city’s building stones display a variety of textures and fossils that reflect their geological origins. The walks can be followed by the city's visitors and geologists alike. It will prove very useful for urban geology fieldwork by primary, secondary and third level student parties. It provides an opportunity to study rocks from around the globe including some from China, Finland, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, Norway, Brazil, UK and of course Ireland in a matter of a few hours. The book is an invitation to enjoy learning about the geological heritage that surrounds us in Galway’s inner city. Co-author Professor Martin Feely said: “Dr Costanzo and I would like to thank Dúchas Na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust for assisting with the publication of this book and in particular Delo Collier for her encouragement during the course of this project.” Local Historian, Tom Kenny, launched the new guide book, the latest in a series of Galway City walks called Buildings in Stone at the Hall of the Red Earl, Druid Lane, Galway. Galway City Walks Buildings in Stone is available at the offices of Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust, Druid Lane at a special launch price of €3. -Ends-

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Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success

Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A major conference on neurodegenerative diseases in Galway last week has been hailed a huge success by organisers. This was the first time the Annual Meeting of the Network of European Central Nervous System Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR) was held in Ireland. NECTAR saw researchers gather to discuss the latest developments in cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. One of the highlights of the conference was a talk by Sheila Roy, who is undergoing an experimental gene therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease. She first started the treatment in 2011, as part of a trial for ProSavin, a viral gene therapy manufactured by Oxford BioMedica. Sheila Roy has seen some progressive improvements since she volunteered for the radical treatment, and she has been able to reduce her medication by 50 per cent. The Chair of the local organising committee is Dr Eilís Dowd, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, and a member of the University’s NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre. Speaking about the conference, she said: “Sheila Roy gave a moving depiction of what life is like with Parkinson’s disease, and we are so thankful to her for sharing it with us. Her contribution rounded off a truly successful event.” The major remit of the 2014 NECTAR conference was to bring together scientists, clinicians, patient advocates and industry partners from across Europe and the international community to share the latest research in repairing the damage to the central nervous system as a result of degenerative diseases. At the conference, Dr Dowd was elected as President of NECTAR, an organisation which was founded more than 20 years ago: “Neurodegenerative diseases are currently treated using drugs that neither address the underlying causes of disease nor prevent neurodegeneration. They simply treat the symptoms of the disease. Cell and gene therapies aim to treat the disease itself and try to reprogramme the body’s mechanism to protect or even repair the brain. The science is moving rapidly, and networks such as NECTAR are facilitating the sharing of information among researchers in the field. However, we are still quite a way off any potential cure, but conferences like this renew our determination to succeed.” Eighteen international experts from across Europe, Australia and Canada spoke at the meeting. These included major international scientific speakers such as Professor Colin Masters, University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Anders Björklund, Lund University, Sweden, as well as policy makers such as Dr Mary Baker, Past President of the European Brain Council, patient advocates, experts in clinical trial design and industrial speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, there were also several “data-blitz” sessions of short oral communications delivered by Irish and international researchers. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers played a significant role at the conference, adding to the environment of vibrancy and collaboration that lies at the heart of NECTAR. Neuroscience research and teaching are very vibrant at NUI Galway, and the University’s Galway Neuroscience Centre is proud to support both the NECTAR and CNS2014 meetings. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledged the support they have received from several funding agencies including the Campaign for Alzheimer’s Research in Europe, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Fáilte Ireland. More information on the conference can be found at (http://www.nectar-eu.net/) Ends

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NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award

NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award-image

Monday, 8 December 2014

A graduate from NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, Will Collins has been nominated for an ANNIE Award. Now in its 42nd year, the Annie Awards are awarded by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, and recognise the year’s best in the field of animation and is animation's highest honour. Will, originally from Kanturk, Co. Cork, graduated with a Masters in Screenwriting in 2006. The animation, Song of the Sea, has been nominated in the Best Animated Feature and is one of eight films nominated. Produced by Cartoon Saloon which is based in Kilkenny, Song of the Sea has also been nominated in Best Character Development category. “The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is absolutely delighted with the seven ANNIE nominations (the Oscars for animated films) for Song of the Sea and in particular the nomination of our MA Screenwriting graduate Will Collins who wrote the screenplay. To be in the same category as blockbusters like The Lego Movie, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, The Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an incredible achievement for an independently produced Irish animation feature and we send our congratulations to all involved” said Tony Tracy, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. This week Galway has awarded the first Irish City of Film designation from UNESCO, one of only five cities around the world to hold the title. Over 50 organisations were involved in the Galway bid including NUI Galway. Dr Pat Collins and Dr Jenny Dagg from the University’s Whitaker Institute prepared background data for the bid, while the Huston School of Film and Digital Media were involved through the Audio Visual Forum for the West. The awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles in January 2015. -Ends-

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NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit

NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit-image

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Agreement with Tsinghua University builds on long-standing tradition of educational and research exchange, and highlights alumni connections NUI Galway will sign an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, will sign the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities at 9am GMT (5pm Beijing time) on Tuesday. The agreement will feature: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing will take place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003.  Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, will be the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit will aim to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President will be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne is travelling as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He will also be accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community.  

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