NUI Galway Students Scoops Watts Medal

NUI Galway Students Scoops Watts Medal-image

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Four NUI Galway Medical students were recently presented with prizes from the Health Research Board (HRB). The overall winner of the Watts Medal was fourth-year medical student Dympna O’Dwyer from Mullagh, Co. Clare, with second place going to Sarah Cormican from Oranmore, Co. Galway, a third-year medical student at the University.Fourth-year medical student Urszula Donigiewicz from Carrigtwohill, Co. Sligo was presented with first place in the Watts Poster competition and third place was awarded to third-year medical student Maria Duignan from Boyle, Co. Roscommon.The Watts Medal is an annual prize awarded for the best presentation of scientific work to a lay audience. Undergraduate students who win a HRB Summer Scholarship are entitled to enter. Their entries are reviewed by scientists, and the best entries are selected for entry into the Watts Poster competition, with the top projects from that selected to compete for the Watts Medal proper.Commenting on the competition, HRB CEO Enda Connolly said: “The quality of the work on display both in the poster competition and the Watts Medal presentations was truly astounding. The students have shown ingenuity, commitment and drive to have accomplished so much in the eight weeks that their HRB Summer Scholarships lasted. They have been able to tackle complex problems, come up with genuine solutions, and place their research into the wider social context of how it translates to making people healthier and delivering better treatments.”Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway, hopes to build further on this outcome by encouraging clinical and biomedical research as an integral part of undergraduate medical education, “Research is an extremely important component of disease specific knowledge and treatment but also contributes significantly to population health and health services research. The awards have occurred as a result of the commitment of undergraduate students to research, the supervision and mentoring of students by staff within the school, and the high calibre of the research being conducted” she said.-ENDS-

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December 2011

HP Galway and NUI Galway announces Masters Fellowship in Commerce

HP Galway and NUI Galway announces Masters Fellowship in Commerce -image

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Hewlett Packard Galway and NUI Galway recently launched a Masters Fellowship in Commerce as part of the 40thanniversary celebrations of HP Galway. This research based Masters Fellowship in commerce will examine the impact of HP Galway on the regional and national economy over the last 40 years. The research will investigate the spill over effects of HP Galway in terms of the economic development of Galway, the Western region and nationally and will also focus on other impacts particularly the development of the ICT industry in Ireland, management capabilities, the creation of start-ups, educational support at secondary and teritary levels.  Speaking on the launch of the fellowship Dr Chris Coughlan HP Galway “The forty years of Digital to HP in Galway had a profound and positive effect on Galway and Ireland, with this fellowship we hope to document and analyse this and apply the lessons learned to help industries to grow and increase employment.” Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy added: “We are delighted to collaborate with Dr Chris Coughlan and his colleagues at HP Galway and this study will compliment our research activities at NUI Galway in understanding the impacts of HP Galway on Galway city and the region.” Details of the masters fellowship are available at www.nuigalway.ie/cisc and the closing date for applications is the Wednesday, 18 January, 2012.   -Ends-

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Success is Proving Sweet for NUI Galway Researchers

Success is Proving Sweet for NUI Galway Researchers-image

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Diagnosing cancer, maintaining a healthy gut, and improving baby formula are just some of the challenges which glycoscience researchers at NUI Galway are undertaking. This area of research is expanding at the University within the Glycoscience Group under the direction of Professor Lokesh Joshi. In total, the research has secured over €3 million in funding this year. Glycoscience is the study of the complex sugars which cover all cells in the human body, and many of the proteins in the bloodstream. These sugars and the proteins they bind to are like glue, linking our cells together. Understanding how these sugars change as the body grows or as disease develops could lead to some scientific breakthroughs. According to Professor Lokesh Joshi, who heads up the Glycoscience Group at NUI Galway and also works with the University’s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering (NCBES): “We are delighted with the additional funding of our research which is really gathering momentum here in Galway. Our research is aimed at the development of new tools for the detection and measurement of carbohydrates in biological systems and the identification of new pathways for exploitation of these important biomolecules as diagnostic targets, therapeutics or novel food components. This is a relatively new scientific field and a very exciting area for us to be involved in.” Recent new funding announcements include two projects in the Glycoscience Group under the Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM) programme, as announced recently by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, TD. In total, 23 projects in 13 research institutions were funded for collaborative research projects in the agri food area, to a total value of €10 million.  The NUI Galway projects, which will be carried out in collaboration with researchers in Teagasc Research Station in Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, aim to study the sugar components of milk with a view to benefiting the Irish infant formula industry, a major producer of infant formula for the world market. The Glycoscience Group has also been successful in securing Technology Innovation Development Awards (TIDA), from Science Foundation Ireland in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland. The Glycoscience Group will lead one of the successful awards and is a collaborator on two others, the goal of which includes the identification of innovative glycoscience research ideas for commercial benefit. A further raft of funding for the Science Foundation Ireland supported Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (www.AGRC.ie) has also been agreed. The AGRC, established in 2009, is a collaboration between glycoscientists and alimentary microbiologists from a number of Irish universities and research institutes and led by NUI Galway. It also has several industrial partners. The main focus of the AGRC is to explore the role of sugars in the gut, with a view to developing novel ways of combating gut pathogens, and improving probiotic/prebiotic treatments to foster and maintain a healthy gut. In the field of cancer diagnostics, a young Galway medical doctor has recently joined the Glycoscience Group to investigate the role of glycosylation in the development and progression of Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of antibody-producing plasma cells in the bone marrow. Dr Siobhan Glavey, a graduate of NUI Galway, received a prestigious award from the Health Research Board under their National SpR/SR Academic Fellowship Programme 2011 to fund this work, which will be carried out under the direction of Professor Joshi and Professor Michael O’Dwyer of the Haemotology Department at University Hospital Galway. Arising from these new funding awards, a number of vacancies now exist for qualified researchers in Glycoscience Research at NUI Galway (see www.nuigalway.ie/about-us/jobs/).   -ends-  

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Industry Giants Mentor Next Generation at NUI Galway

Industry Giants Mentor Next Generation at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Focusing on preparing students for the challenging jobs market NUI Galway recently held Career Mentoring events. The events, organised by the NUI Galway J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, were attended by 40 students from the University and 20 mentors from a range of international and national industries and professions. During the events students participating in the career mentoring were given the opportunity to meet with a number of mentors on a one to one basis, to gain insights into the world of employment. The mentors shared their experiences and wisdom with the students allowing them the opportunity to get advice and discuss their career direction and employment goals. Speaking about the events, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the School of Business and Economics said, “We are delighted to once again host these career mentoring events.  This initiative highlights the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics commitment to preparing its students for careers in the real world.  It also complements our newly introduced modules focusing on Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise and Skills for Work Life on all of our undergraduate business programmes.” Keith Rynhart, second year Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) student, found the opportunity to meet with senior professionals invaluable. “The career mentoring session was a wonderful experience, it really helped me clarify the path that I wish to take in the future and make some contacts in the business world.”   -Ends-

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NBCRI Donate €1 Million for Medical Research Facility at NUI Galway

NBCRI Donate €1 Million for Medical Research Facility at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

NBCRI has donated €1 million to the development of the Translational Research Facility at NUI Galway through Galway University Foundation.     The Translational Research Facility at NUI Galway is being developed on the grounds of University Hospital Galway adjacent to the Clinical Sciences Institute. It will house ten principal investigators and one hundred and twenty researchers across a broad range of disciplines in cancer biology as well as other key research programmes in clinical disciplines. The capacity for this space to be flexible and adaptable to different research needs means that there will be a continual flow of research programmes throughout its lifetime. This will be achieved by creating open-plan wet laboratory space, with an adjoining open plan write-up area, allowing research groups to expand and contract as their requirements change. The ten offices for principal investigators together with support facilities such as tissue culture and microscopy will be situated around the open plan area. The design of the building will, because of its open plan nature, help to facilitate the growth of multidisciplinary approaches to clinical problems. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway Michael Kerin: “The NBCRI has an extraordinary track record in funding breast cancer research since its establishment in 1991.  This latest gift will enhance the ability of the University to be internationally competitive and will ensure that the NBCRI has a footprint in the exciting Sate of the Art Translational Research Facility.  The infrastructure here will now be on a par with the world’s great Research Facilities and will enhance clinical developments and translational science for the West of Ireland’s population.”  Medical Research at NUI Galway NUI Galway is continually responding to the needs of the transforming healthcare service through aggressing research programmes and state of the art capital developments. The University’s vision in developing research Institutes and programmes in selected areas where we have a critical mass of experience and are recognised internationally has resulted in the development of many renowned research institutes such as the Regenerative Medicine Institute and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science. Interdisciplinary team-based research in regenerative medicine, cancer biology and therapeutics, biomedical engineering, glycoscience and neuroscience is focused on developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions to medical challenges including cardiovascular disease, orthopaedics, neurological disorders and cancer. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is very pleased to accept this generous donation towards the development of our Translational Research Facility.  This new facility will allow our researchers to ‘translate’ their work into practical strategies which will help patients and those facing currently intractable health problems.  The cutting edge work being done by Galway scientists and clinicians will be brought from ‘bench to bedside’ in the new Translational Research Facility.  On behalf of NUI Galway I would like to sincerely thank the NBCRI, who do such sterling work to raise awareness of breast cancer.  Their generous support will enable cancer sufferers to benefit from innovative treatments to address their health concerns in the future.”  NCBRI The National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) is a voluntary based charity located at the Clinical Science Institute, University College Hospital, Galway. Launched in 1991, the key objective of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute is to conduct relevant, ethical research into the biology of breast cancer, to determine the cause of this disease and improve the treatment for patients. The National Breast Cancer Research Institute also work to raise awareness of breast cancer and fundraise to provide improved breast cancer services for women throughout Ireland. Up to 2000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year. As yet breast cancer cannot be prevented, its incidence can only be reduced by early detection. The cause and mechanism of action of breast cancer remain unknown. Treatments are available for breast cancer but ongoing research is essential to ensure the optimal treatment for all patients, to reduce their side effects, improve their quality of life and, primarily, increase their chance of survival. The research team at The National Breast Cancer Research Institute are currently investigating the presence of biological markers involved in the detection, development and spread of breast cancer. The NBCRI funds postdoctoral scientists and postgraduate researchers and provides financial support for the running of the research laboratory.   ENDS

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First Prize for NUI Galway Nursing Students in National Awards

First Prize for NUI Galway Nursing Students in National Awards-image

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

For the sixth year in a row, an NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery student has won first prize in the prestigious national NUI Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships Awards. This competition is open to all the NUI universities and the award is based on student’s results from the final degree examinations in Nursing or Midwifery.  NUI Galway students were first awarded the top prize in 2006 and since then students from the School of Nursing and Midwifery have been presented with the first prize in the awards every year. This year Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships awarded first prize awards to Ester Afolalu and Laura Coyne, both General Nursing students and from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Second prize was awarded to NUI Galway Midwifery student, Siobhan Eccles from Ennis, Co. Clare.  Professor Kathy Murphy, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, said: “Winning again this year is yet another great achievement for the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Our students have now got first place each year for the past six years, that's a remarkable achievement and demonstrates the high calibre of NUI Galway students.” NUI Galway’s Professor Declan Devane, Ireland’s first Professor of Midwifery, commented, “I am delighted for Siobhan and her colleagues on their wonderful achievement. It is fitting recognition to the quality of their work and to the quality of the nursing and midwifery education at NUI Galway. I have no doubt that they will each make a substantial contribution to the quality of health care.”   -Ends-

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Minister For Education Presents Ria Gold Medals

Minister For Education Presents Ria Gold Medals-image

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, T.D., recently presented the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) Gold Medals to the international human rights scholar Professor William Schabas and engineer Professor John O’Scanlan in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Social Sciences and the Engineering Sciences. The RIA Medals acclaim Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning and science. The Gold Medals are awarded to two outstanding academics each year and are recognised as a truly national expression of celebration for scholarly achievement. The medals are sponsored by The Higher Education Authority and The Irish Independent. In presenting the medals, Minister Quinn said, “The Academy Gold Medals acclaim Ireland’s foremost contributors to the world of learning and science. The work of this year’s recipients illustrates Ireland’s high standing in the world of learning.” Professor William Schabas, Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, is one of the leading scholars in the field of international criminal law. His work is closely linked with a range of international judicial institutions including, the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Court (ICC). His writings are regularly cited by international courts and tribunals, including the ICC and the European Court of Human Rights. Professor Schabas’ seminal book on the Genocide Convention was cited in the opinions of the ICC in the 2007 Bosnia v. Serbia judgement and clearly influenced the thinking of the court as a whole. Professor John O’Scanlan, UCD, is widely recognised as one of the leading international living circuit theorists who has made a fundamental contribution to the field of electronic engineering, including electronic circuit and system design, digital circuits and computing, communications and signal processing. Professor Scanlan has many awards and distinctions, a former President of the Royal Irish Academy (1993-1996); he is also a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and is a recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal of the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. Welcoming this award NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I extend warmest congratulations to our colleague, Professor Schabas on receiving this wonderful distinction from the RIA.  This accolade will undoubtedly add lustre to his international academic standing, as well as underscore this University’s reputation as a centre of world-class research and teaching.”    -ENDS-

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New Competition Challenges Students to Build Super App

New Competition Challenges Students to Build Super App-image

Friday, 16 December 2011

GMIT AND NUI GALWAY LAUNCH CODE NINJA STUDENT COMPETITION A new competition ‘Code Ninja’ has been launched for students at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and NUI Galway. Code Ninja is an App development competition, designed to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own tech ideas. The competition is open to all disciplines of students in NUI Galway and GMIT, either individuals or groups, who want to build a web or mobile App. Students who enter the competition will get all the skills required to build their own App, including training, workshops, design, web and mobile App building, coding with feedback and mentoring from App experts. A range of prizes includes an iPad, iPod Touch and cash awards. Code Ninja will foster students’ spirit of creativity and enable them to cultivate their own technology ideas. According to Dr Jim Duggan, NUI Galway, and Dr Sean Duignan, GMIT, “This is a unique opportunity for NUI Galway and GMIT students from any discipline to work on the leading edge of web technology. Students from any discipline can learn new skills, network with the technology entrepreneurs and academic experts with a view to fostering a culture of creativity, excitement as well as adding value to their curriculum vitae.”  Code Ninja demonstrates how NUI Galway and GMIT are fostering a culture of innovation across their respective campuses and this is supported by the local business community. Galway technology entrepreneurs Mike FitzGerald, CEO, OnepageCRM and Paul Killoran, CEO of Starlight.ie, agree that this is an opportunity which sows a seed to build on the blossoming tech start up culture that exists in Galway whilst building links with NUI Galway, GMIT and the Galway tech scene.  Code Ninja is supported by the Bright Ideas Initiative at NUI Galway, GMIT, ExOrdo for Academics and OnepageCRM. More information about the competition Code Ninja is available at http://codeninja.ie/   -ends-

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NUI GALWAY LAW LECTURER APPOINTED TO LEGAL AID BOARD

NUI GALWAY LAW LECTURER APPOINTED TO LEGAL AID BOARD-image

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

NUI Galway law lecturer, Donncha O’Connell, has been appointed by the Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter, TD, to the new Legal Aid Board. Announcing the membership of the new Board yesterday, Mr Shatter said: “I am delighted to announce this new Legal Aid Board.  In the last four years there has been a considerable increase in demand for legal services and this coincides with the downturn in the economy.  Evidence internationally has pointed towards a greater need for access to legal services in areas such as family law, debt and employment during times of economic stress and Ireland appears no different in this regard.  This has inevitably created huge pressures for the Board and its capacity to deliver legal services within a reasonable period of time.  There are many challenges ahead for this new Board, including piloting, early in 2012, a somewhat different approach to the provision of legal services by way of an attempt to ensure that every applicant for legal aid gets an appointment within a period of three or four weeks. In November of this year, I also announced the formal integration of the Family Mediation Service with the Legal Aid Board and the functions of the Legal Aid Board have now been extended under Part 16 of the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act to include a family mediation service.  The Board is also, in taking a range of other measures, keeping all of its services under review with a view to ensuring that its resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible.  I am confident that the new Board members will all bring their considerable skills and expertise to the work of the Legal Aid Board and that their presence on the Board will ensure that it continues to operate as innovatively, efficiently and effectively as it has always done, in what is, a much more difficult economic environment than at any time in its history.” O’Connell was the Dean of Law at NUI Galway from 2005-2008 and he continues to teach European Human Rights and Constitutional Law in the School of Law. He has extensive experience on European human rights bodies having served as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the EU Commission in 2002 and as the senior Irish member of FRALEX, the legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna. He spent the academic year 2009-2010 as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights LSE and is the editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review published annually by Clarus Press. Donncha was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) from 1999-2002 and he has, in the past, been a board member of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd and Amnesty International-Ireland. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the London-based NGO, INTERIGHTS – The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Rights. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), a project of FLAC.   ENDS

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New E-Commerce Venture in Education

New E-Commerce Venture in Education-image

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

NUI Galway has embarked on a new initiative with Transition Year students from the Presentation Secondary School in Galway City. The students have devised a new e-Commerce module which is facilitated by their business teacher Eleanor Fogarty. The project involves developing an e-Marketing strategy for an illustrated children’s book called Willou Mac Wiggle and the Dive Dive Birds.  This children’s story was illustrated by Rebecca Kane, one of the Transition Year students in the Presentation School and written by Declan Clarke. Aimed at children between two and six years of age, Willou Mac Wiggle and the Dive Dive Birds has already been launched on iTunes as an e-book for the iPad, and is *available to buy for €3.99. Dr Ann Torres, Lecturer in Marketing with the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “The MSc Strategic Marketing cultivates students’ practical skills through the application of theory to real business situations, such as developing an e-marketing strategy for an e-book. It is this link between practice and theory that enhances the MSc. students’ capability to perform as an effective marketer. Further, NUI Galway’s involvement with the Presentation Secondary School is a valuable gateway in which secondary school students may gain an insight into the opportunities associated with third-level education.” Introducing the students to e-Commerce is essential as the world moves towards buying and selling online. Part of the Transition Year students’ project will be to devise an e-marketing campaign to promote the book and to expand the network of interest through Facebook. The students will gain a real-life understanding of the launch of the new book which will be an extremely valuable experience for them.   -ENDS-

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