NUI Galway Scientists Identify Novel Role for Small RNA Molecules in Breast Cancer

NUI Galway Scientists Identify Novel Role for Small RNA Molecules in Breast Cancer-image

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The research labs of Professor Charles Spillane (Genetics and Biotechnology Lab, NUI Galway) and Professor Michael J Kerin (National Breast Cancer Research Institute, Galway) have discovered a new genetic control system implicated in breast cancer. Their research findings have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which is considered the 7th most important scientific journal worldwide by the Eigenfactor ranking system. Professor Kerin highlighted that “Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer worldwide in women and while treatments and outcome are improving there is a compelling need for continued research into its cause and treatment. About 2700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year. Advances in cancer biosciences research provide the basis for earlier diagnosis and new treatment regimes for breast cancer.” Both research labs are collaborating to investigate a new class of genes called microRNAs which produce small RNA molecules that can switch off other genes in normal and cancer cells.  Professor Spillane indicated that “There are over 1500 different types of these small microRNA genes identified so far in human cells and it is a major scientific challenge for us to understand which ones can make the difference between a normal and a cancer cell”. Working closely with Professor Spillane and Professor Kerin, molecular biologist Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu made the discovery that a particular microRNA gene called miR-9 acts to suppress tumour growth of breast cancer cells. In the project, the team also identified a new gene involved in breast cancer called MTHFD2 whose levels are kept down by the small RNA miR-9. However, when miR-9 levels go down in a cancer cell, levels of MTHFD2 go up and promote cancer cell development. Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu indicated that “Our findings are important as they show that high levels of miR-9 in cancer cells slows down tumour cell growth by down-regulating cancer promoting genes (oncogenes) such as MTHFD2. Measuring the levels of miR-9 and MTHFD2 in patient samples holds promise for use in the clinic as a novel biomarker in breast cancer diagnostics.” The research was funded by the Irish Cancer Society, the Health Research Board and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) in Galway. ENDS

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NUI Galway hosts Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp

 NUI Galway hosts Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp-image

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Liverpool football legend, Ian Rush, was in Galway this week to launch the Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp, hosted by NUI Galway. Throughout the Summer Camp children aged between 5 and 16 will received top class soccer skills advice and a taste of the Premier League at the Liverpool Football Academy in the University’s sports grounds in Dangan.  Speaking at the launch Ian Rush said: “At Liverpool FC we pride ourselves on producing world class players and delivering exciting football to our fans. We take time to develop our younger players to ensure that they reach their full potential by guiding them through extensive training programmes and nurturing their development. As a result we have produced some world-class players over the years, which is something we’re really proud of. We apply the same principles to all age groups, including those who attend our Soccer School programmes. Liverpool FC International Football Academies run throughout the UK and are growing internationally too. So no matter where in the world you take a course, you’ll train and be coached in exactly the same way – The Liverpool Way.” Kathy Hynes, Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway is delighted to welcome the Liverpool FC official academy coaches to the University.  This is a wonderful event for everyone involved and we are delighted to provide our facilities to Liverpool FC and extending the University reach through sport into our local community.” This Academy school is held in association with the charity, Happy Children, which aims to improve the life of children in need. Brian Gallagher, from the charity Happy Children who coordinates all the soccer schools activity in Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the football academy to Galway as part of our expansion into all parts of Ireland with kids of all abilities, boys and girls, all welcome.” For more information on these soccer schools, please see -ENDS-

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Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium 2012

Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium 2012-image

Monday, 20 August 2012

The role of centres of excellence in treating cancer will feature during Ireland’s largest surgical conference next month.  Over 300 delegates are expected to attend the 37th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium which takes place from 7- 8 September. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work, and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. Dr John R. T. Monson will deliver the Memorial Lecture on ‘Role of Centres of Excellence in Rectal Cancer’ on Friday, 7 September at 3pm.  Dr Monson is Chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, New York.  Dr Monson, who was born in Dublin, most recently served as a Professor of Surgery, Head of the Academic Surgical Unit, and Deputy Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Hull in England.  His areas of expertise include the use of minimally invasive technologies in colorectal cancer treatment, and he has also been involved in basic research into a broad range of cancer-related areas.  They include such diverse topics as evaluating the activity and effectiveness of antibodies in fighting cancer, and qualitative assessments of decision-making in cancer care.  Dr Monson led the development of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in the UK since 1990 and chaired the UK’s National Training Programme.  A lecturer and award-winning author of more than 220 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters, he is a former Vice President of the British Association of Surgical Oncology, served on the Executive Council of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Professor John MacFie will deliver the State of the Art Lecture on ‘Training Surgeons for Future Service Requirements’ on Saturday, 8 September at 1pm.  Professor MacFie is Professor of Surgery at the Post Graduate Medical Institute, University of Hull.  He is current President of the Leeds Regional Surgical Club and President of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland.  In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the James IV Surgical Foundation.  He holds Honorary Fellowships with the Royal College Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, says: “Cutting-edge research is taking place here in Ireland, but this is an opportunity to engage with research from other countries, and combine that with the latest clinical knowledge. We are delighted to welcome Dr Monson and Professor MacFie to this annual event, and look forward to hearing their insights.” Surgery is a discipline within the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, teaching programmes for undergraduate medical students and postgraduate surgical trainees.  Next month will see the first intake into a new study programme, the Masters Degree in Surgery (MCh), which is designed to enhance the academic and professional development of surgical trainees by improving the level of scientific appreciation for evidence-based clinical practice. The venue for the 37th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium will be the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. For further information call 091-524390 or visit -ends-

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Chinese Experts at Conference to Confer on Environment and Health

Chinese Experts at Conference to Confer on Environment and Health-image

Monday, 20 August 2012

NUI Galway will host the 2012 Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health (SESEH 2012) starting today (Monday, 20 August) until Saturday, 25 August. The event will provide a platform for interaction between scientists, consultants, and public servants engaged in the multi-disciplinary area of environment and health. Over 200 delegates are expected to attend, including 100 experts from China. SESEH will, for the first time, provide an opportunity for a direct communication between environment and health experts from China and Europe, and help to foster and develop international collaborations. SESEH 2012 will discuss questions such as ‘Is the air we breathe still fresh?’, ‘Is the water we drink still clean?’ and ‘Is the food we eat still safe?’  “Safeguarding our environment and our health is one of the most challenging issues that we are currently facing”, explains Dr Chaosheng Zhang of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and Chair of SESEH 2012. “With economic development and improvements in our quality of life, the environment around us is under pressure, and often deteriorating. As the second largest economy in the world, we have much to learn from and discuss with our Chinese colleagues.” Dr Zhang is an expert in Geographical Information Science (GIS) and is head of NUI Galway’s GIS Centre, based in the Ryan Institute.  GIS is generally understood as a computer-based mapping system, but its functions go far beyond that to solve sophisticated spatio-temporal problems in sectors of society, ranging from socio-economy, government, commerce and business, and environmental management. The conference is sponsored by NUI Galway, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Failte Ireland, Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and GIS company SuperMap from China. -ENDS-

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CAO Points Soar for Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering at NUI Galway

CAO Points Soar for Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering at NUI Galway -image

Monday, 20 August 2012

Following national trends, points for NUI Galway’s courses has seen a dramatic increase of 51% this year. Demand for Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering have all soared in the CAO first round offers from NUI Galway, with sights firmly fixed on the jobs markets in these areas. Medicine at NUI Galway has seen a substantial increase in demand across all courses*, in particular Midwifery, up 30 points to 450 and Psychiatric Nursing degree increasing 25 points in 2012. NUI Galway’s Undenominated Bachelor of Engineering and Civil Engineering courses have increased from 400 points in 2011 to 430. Electronic and Computer Engineering has also jumped 40 points to 445 this year. Courses such as Biomedical Engineering (425 to 430), Sports and Exercise Engineering (380 to 400), Energy Systems Engineering (410 to 430), Project and Construction Management (315 to 325) and Electrical and Electronic Engineering (445 to 455) have all seen an increase in CAO points. Points for the majority of Science courses have increased this year with NUI Galway’s Biomedical Science degree seeing a substantial increase of 35 points to 550, with Biotechnology also jumping up 30 points to 445 this year. Specialised Science programmes have also increased such as Biopharmaceutical Chemistry degree increasing 80 points to 495, Mathematical Science (455 to 485), Earth and Ocean Sciences (365 to 380), Physics and Applied Physics (390 to 400) and Physics with Astrophysics (390 to 405). The Computer Science and Information Technology course has increased by 25 points to 415 this year with Business Information Systems degree also leaping to 370 from 355 in 2011. As with national trends Humanities programmes at NUI Galway has seen a dip in points this year. However specialised courses such as the BA sa Cumarsáid has increased 25 points to 350. Similar with Business courses nationally specialised programmes such as Commerce with French see a rise of 20 points to 495 this year. NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘This year, as with last year, CAO applicants have their eyes firmly set on the jobs market as we once again witness increases in the entry level points for courses in Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering, with 87% of all courses in these areas showing points increases over last year. As expected, and in line with national trends, demand for Humanities courses are down, however specialised Arts courses continue to perform well. Applicants are making well-informed decisions; they are choosing courses where the University has unique strengths and a well-established reputation. In particular, our Biomedical Science, IT and Engineering courses have proved very popular this year, which are supported by heavy investment in the Capital Infrastructure Project as new buildings, to house these courses, come on line. For example the new Engineering Building, a world-class teaching and research facility opened last year, accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. The 14,250sqm building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship.” -ENDS-   Pointí CAO méadaithe go mór don Eolaíocht, Leigheas, IT agus Innealtóireacht in OÉ Gaillimh Tá méadú suntasach 51% tagtha ar phointí do chúrsaí OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana, ag teacht leis an méid atá ag tarlú ar fud na tíre. Tá an-éileamh ar Eolaíocht, Leigheas, IT agus Innealtóireacht sa chéad bhabhta de thairiscintí CAO ó OÉ Gaillimh, mar gheall ar mhargadh na bpost sna réimsí sin. Tá an-éileamh tagtha ar gach cúrsa Leighis* in OÉ Gaillimh, go háirithe Cnáimhseachas, tá méadú 30 pointe go 450 pointe tagtha air sin agus tá méadú 25 pointe tagtha ar chéim san Altranas Síciatrach in 2012. Tá méadú ó 400 pointe in 2011 go 430 pointe tagtha ar Bhaitsiléirí Neamhainmnithe san Innealtóireacht agus san Innealtóireacht Shibhialta in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá méadú 40 pointe go 445 tagtha ar Innealtóireacht Leictreonach agus Ríomhaireachta i mbliana. Tá méadú tagtha ar phointí CAO a theastaíonn ar chúrsaí cosúil le Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis (425 go 430), Innealtóireacht Spóirt agus Aclaíochta (380 go 400), Innealtóireacht Chórais Fuinnimh (410 go 430), Bainistíocht Tionscadail agus Foirgníochta (315 go 325) agus Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach (445 go 455). Tá méadú tagtha ar phointí d’fhormhór na gcúrsaí Eolaíochta i mbliana agus tá méadú suntasach 35 pointe tagtha ar an gcéim san Eolaíocht Bhithmhíochaine in OÉ Gaillimh go 550, agus méadú 30 pointe tagtha ar Bhiteicneolaíocht go 445 i mbliana. Tá méadú tagtha chomh maith ar shainchláir Eolaíochta cosúil le céim sa Cheimic Bhithchógaisíochta a mhéadaigh 80 pointe go 495, Eolaíocht Mhatamaiticiúil (455 go 485), Eolaíochtaí Domhain agus Aigéin (365 go 380), Fisic agus Fisic Fheidhmeach (390 go 400) agus Fisic le Réaltfhisic (390 go 405). Tá méadú 25 pointe tagtha ar an gcúrsa Ríomheolaíochta agus Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise go 415 i mbliana agus léim an chéim Córais Faisnéise Gnó go 370 ó 355 in 2011. Mar atá ag tarlú ar fud na tíre, tháinig laghdú ar phointí do chláir sna Daonnachtaí in OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana. Mar sin féin, tháinig méadú 25 pointe ar shainchláir cosúil leis an BA sa Chumarsáid go 350 pointe. Cosúil le cúrsaí Gnó ar fud na tíre tháinig méadú 20 pointe go 495 ar shainchláir cosúil le Tráchtáil le Fraincis i mbliana. Dúirt Oifigeach Iontrála OÉ Gaillimh, Stephen O’Dea: “I mbliana, ach an oiread leis an mbliain seo caite, tá iarratasóirí CAO ag coinneáil súil ghéar ar mhargadh na bpost agus arís eile tá sé le feiceáil againn an méadú atá tagtha ar na pointí a theastaíonn do chúrsaí Eolaíochta, Leighis, IT agus Innealtóireachta. Tá méadú tagtha ar na pointí ar 87% de na cúrsaí sna réimsí seo le bliain anuas. Mar a bhíothas ag súil leis, agus ag teacht leis an méid atá ag tarlú ar fud na tíre, laghdaigh an t-éileamh ar chúrsaí sna Daonnachtaí, ach tá ag éirí go maith i gcónaí le sainchláir sna Dána. Tá iarratasóirí ag déanamh cinntí maithe; tá siad ag roghnú cúrsaí a bhfuil an Ollscoil láidir iontu agus a bhfuil cáil ar an Ollscoil dá mbarr. Tá an-tóir ar chúrsaí san Eolaíocht Bhithmhíochaine, san IT agus san Innealtóireacht anseo i mbliana, agus tá infheistíocht mhór déanta san Infreastruchtúr Caipitil agus foirgnimh nua á dtógáil chun na cúrsaí seo a chur ar bun iontu. Mar shampla an Foirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta, áis Teagaisc agus Taighde den scoth a d’oscail anuraidh agus ina mbíonn 1,100 mac léinn agus 110 comhalta foirne. Tá an foirgneamh 14,250 méadar cearnach ina chnámh taca ag glúin nua innealtóirí a rachaidh i ngleic le teicneolaíochtaí nua agus a thabharfaidh faoin nuálaíocht agus faoin bhfiontraíocht.” -CRÍOCH-

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Michael Cusack Online Exhibition at NUI Galway

Michael Cusack Online Exhibition at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

NUI Galway is currently running an online exhibition of unique personal material relating to the founder of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Michael Cusack. The GAA, which remains a dominant force in Ireland's cultural and sporting life, was founded in 1884 as a highly influential element of the Irish cultural renaissance of the late nineteenth century and of Ireland's struggle to re-establish its own political, linguistic and cultural identity. In 2007 the nieces of Michael Cusack's daughter-in-law, Kathleen O'Connell, donated a collection of documents and photographs associated with Cusack and his family to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. Among the most important historical items in the collection are the complete minutes of the Dublin Hurling Club, from 1883. Cusack was Vice-President of the club, a predecessor to the national organisation founded the following year. In addition, there is a diary kept by Cusack on a visit to his native Clare in 1902 and a range of personal, biographical and photographic material on Cusack's family. Many of these items are now available as part of this online exhibition created by the NUI Galway's Library archives service.  This is one of a number of digital resources and exhibitions created by the archives service to promote access to its valuable collections. Fergus Fahey, Digitalisation Librarian at NUI Galway, said: “Aside from its value for researchers into the cultural forces at work in that seminal period, and in particular the events leading up to the foundation of the GAA, the collection is unique in constituting the only known surviving material in Cusack’s own hand. It also provides an unparalleled insight into the resilient personality of Cusack, the private family man, and his vibrant and gentle wit.” Croke Park's famous Cusack Stand takes its name from Michael Cusack (1847–1906), one of eight men present at the founding of the GAA in Hayes's Commercial Hotel, Thurles, Co. Tipperary on 1 November 1884.  Cusack was appointed honorary secretary of the new organisation, whose aim was to promote and codify Gaelic games. Prior to the founding of the GAA Cusack had founded the short-lived Dublin Hurling Club in February 1883 and Metropolitan Hurling Club in December 1883. As well as his involvement in Gaelic sport, Michael Cusack a teacher by profession was a prolific journalist, contributing to titles such as United Ireland, Celtic Times, Shamrock, Fáinne an Lae and The Nation.  Many of these titles are available in the James Hardiman Library's Special Collections.  The Michael Cusack collection is available to view at -ENDS-

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Staying One Step Ahead of Disaster

Staying One Step Ahead of Disaster-image

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Ireland is now part of an academic network which hopes to improve disaster preparedness in cities worldwide. NUI Galway’s experts have joined with 67 other universities in efforts to increase society’s resilience to natural and man-made disasters. The project, called ANDROID (Academic Network for Disaster Resilience to Optimise Educational Development), aims to promote co-operation and innovation among European higher education institutions to increase society’s resilience to disasters of human and natural origin – such as earthquakes or the damage caused by ongoing wars. ANDROID, supported by an EU grant worth €800,000, will run for three years and is led by University of Salford’s Centre for Disaster Resilience, based in the UK. So far a consortium of partners from 64 European higher education institutions has embarked on the project, joined by three institutions from Australia, Canada and Sri-Lanka. Alexandra Revez from the School of Geography and Archaeology and the Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy at NUI Galway, whose current research looks at flooding issues in Ireland, explains: “We need to stay one step ahead of disaster, and be prepared for all kinds of eventualities. In the case of earthquakes, this might involve strict building regulations, in the case of flash flooding this might involve public preparedness.” Over three years, the consortium partners will describe, analyse and compare the capacity of European cities and higher education institutions to address disaster risk. ANDROID will provide the link between the research and the public, helping to reinforce the connection between education and society. “There is now recognition of the need for collaboration on a large scale that involves a plurality of actors. ANDROID is based on an inter-disciplinary consortium of partners that comprises scientists from applied human, social and natural disciplines. Addressing disaster risk is an endless or continuous process that cannot stop,” said Professor Amaratunga from the Centre for Disaster Resilience. The project was inspired by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) 'Making Cities Resilient' campaign. The campaign advocates widespread commitment by local governments to build resilience to disasters, increase national government support to cities to strengthen local capacities and to develop global goals that are applicable for all cities. The next phase of ANDROID will involve using all the data collected by the consortium partners to create laws and other practical measures to build resilience. The Institute for Business, Social Sciences and Public Policy at NUI Galway is the largest national multi-disciplinary research hub focused on building an internationally-recognised programme of research-led impacts, as well as activity contributing to public policy debates and contemporary societal issues facing Ireland and Europe. The Institute fosters a culture of research excellence by bringing together scholastic strengths from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law and the College of Arts, Social Science and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, and also facilitates, supports and enhances existing and emerging collaborative research interactions nationally and internationally. For more information, please visit -ends-

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Launch of Ryan Institute GIS Centre at NUI Galway

Launch of Ryan Institute GIS Centre at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

NUI Galway’s Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, officially launched the GIS Centre in the Ryan Institute this week. This event took place as part of the new international conference of 2012 Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health (SESEH 2012) in the Bailey Allen Hall. ‘GIS’, Geographical Information System and/or Science, covers both technology and a rapidly growing science. It is used for analysing spatial data in many sectors of society, ranging from economics, government, business, and environmental management. The most popular applications of GIS in society are Google Earth and GPS navigation systems. Dr Chaosheng Zhang, Head of the GIS Centre at NUI Galway, said: “This is a milestone for the University. We have received wide support from all colleges of the University and I am confident that the GIS Centre will grow quickly.” Director of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, Professor Colin Brown, congratulated Dr Zhang on the organisation of SESEH and his assistance in establishing the GIS Centre. “The GIS Centre is already beginning to affect the way our researchers collaborate across a wide range of topic areas. We have developed an expertise that allows us to provide practical training courses for our researchers and any clients, inside or outside NUI Galway, with an interest in GIS.” The launch of the GIS Centre was sponsored by Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) Ireland’s National Mapping Agency and Supermap, a leading GIS company from China. As part of the GIS Centre launch NUI Galway launched its new MapGenie web map service, an exciting new online service from OSi which gives online access to mapping and imagery. Geraldine Ruane, OSiCEO, said: “OSi congratulates NUI Galway and the Ryan Institute on the launch of their GIS Centre and for taking the initiative as the first university to provide OSi’s MapGenie service to its students and staff. Using mapping in this way allows for better decision making and ultimately cost-savings. Using OSi’s MapGenie service in projects or research can provide better efficiencies and lead to more effective results.” -ENDS-

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Hamilton Prize Winner goes to Harvard

Hamilton Prize Winner goes to Harvard-image

Friday, 24 August 2012

NUI Galway graduate and 2011 Hamilton Prize winner, Fionnuala Connolly, is about to embark on a PhD in Engineering and Applied Sciences in Harvard University. Having recently completed a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway, Fionnuala, from Knocknacarra, Galway City has been offered a full scholarship as well as a Pierce Fellowship which is awarded to the top 5% of graduate students. "We are thrilled for Fionnuala and her success in applying to the best graduate schools abroad", says Professor Michel Destrade, Head of Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway. “It is a testimony to her remarkable academic achievements so far, and also to the excellent reputation of Irish Applied Mathematics. We are sorry to see her leave Galway, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which cannot be turned down.” Dr Ray Ryan, Head of the School of Mathematics at NUI Galway, said: “The Hamilton Prize is awarded each year to the third-year student who is best in mathematical sciences at NUI Galway. It has gone to students majoring in Pure Maths, Applied Maths, and Financial Maths. Its prestige is undeniable, and we encourage all students to strive in mathematical subjects and aim for it. Fionnuala has been an outstanding student – she has attained first-class honours in every exam she has taken in NUI Galway and I was not at all surprised to hear that she was offered fellowships by one of the best universities in the world.” Fionnuala began at NUI Galway in 2008, originally to study Physics with Medical Physics. “At the end of my first year, I realised I enjoyed mathematics and decided to immerse myself fully into its application to real-world problems and am grateful to the College of Science to have allowed me to switch to a degree in Applied Mathematics.” While at Harvard, Fionnuala is hoping to work in a field related to modelling in engineering or medicine, possibly with links to neurosciences. In recent years, Mathematical Sciences at NUI Galway have undergone several major changes, with for example the fusion of the former Departments of Mathematics, which included Statistics, and Mathematical Physics into a School with four Disciplines of Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Statistics, and Bioinformatics, and the launch of a new Degree in Mathematical Science. -ENDS-

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Marine Student on Board Semester at Sea Abroad Program from Halifax to Galway

 Marine Student on Board Semester at Sea Abroad Program from Halifax to Galway-image

Friday, 24 August 2012

500 visitors come onshore for one day showcase of Galway Friday, 24 August, 2012: Over 500 students, faculty, and staff of Semester at Sea® (SAS), the nation’s premier shipboard program for study abroad, will arrive in Galway at 8:00 am on 31 August for a one day exploration of Galway before also docking in Dublin. Ireland is the first country on the academic voyage itinerary. Sarah Cosgrove, a student from the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway joined the shipboard community in Halifax where embarkation took place on 23 August. All participants are traveling aboard the MV Explorer, a state-of-the-art passenger ship that Semester at Sea has outfitted as a traveling university. Speaking in advance of her departure, Sarah Cosgrove, from Sligo and a postgraduate researcher at NUI Galway, said: “I began a Marine Science degree in NUI Galway in 2006 and I am extremely happy to be continuing my studies as a postgraduate researcher. The University has provided me with so many fantastic opportunities over the last six years and my current involvement with the semester at sea program is a perfect example of such an exciting and rewarding opportunity.” Sarah added: “I think the idea of this ‘floating campus’ which invites students from over 25 campuses across the US to travel the globe visiting a vast number of countries and experience multi-cultural diversity is a simply out-standing concept. I am both honored and delighted to share this experience and I am very much looking forward to educating and informing so many international students on what we have to offer here in Galway and the West of the Ireland. It is definitely a once in a life-time opportunity.” Semester at Sea is a global study abroad program that traces its roots to 1963. Participants, who hail from more than 250 U.S. and international universities, circumnavigate the globe aboard the 24,300-ton campus of the MV Explorer, attend classes in a closely knit environment with an international faculty, complete fieldwork and travel while in port, and receive course credit from the University of Virginia, the academic sponsor. “Ensuring a positive message about Galway Harbour and NUI Galway is vitally important to open new avenues and form new relationship with the Semester at Sea program. Galway Harbour Company is delighted to be able to support Sarah Cosgrove in delivering the key messages of promoting Galway as a cruise destination on the transatlantic passage from Halifax to Galway onboard the cruise ship Explorer”, said Galway Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan. The autumn voyage departed Halifax, Nova Scotia on 23 August 2012 and will travel to international destinations including Ireland, England, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Dominica before returning to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA in December. This is the 111th voyage of Semester at Sea. Eamon Howley, Managing Director of BEM Ireland Ltd, said: “BEM Ireland was proud to be selected as the preferred Destination Management Company in the region by the Galway Harbour Board last September. We have put together a number of one day and three day tour packages for Semester at Sea that will showcase Galway and the West. BEM Ireland is delighted to be supporting Sarah Cosgrove, a marine student from NUI Galway, who will join the students from Semester at Sea aboard the Explorer on her journey from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Galway. Sarah will be presenting information on the West of Ireland and helping the students to select the tours that are of most interest to them. We hope she has a very enjoyable voyage and a great life experience.” Over the years, Semester at Sea has achieved a number of significant milestones, including groundbreaking visits to countries such as the former Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cuba, and Myanmar, and participants have met with prominent leaders including Fidel Castro, Anwar Sadat, Indira Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Corazon Aquino, Sidi Mohammed, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. ENDS

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