NUI Galway to Reward Brightest Leaving Certificate Students

NUI Galway to Reward Brightest Leaving Certificate Students-image

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A new scholarship scheme for Leaving Certificate students has been launched by NUI Galway. All students who achieve at least 560 points in their Leaving Certificate, and go onto study at the University this autumn, will benefit from an automatic €2,000 scholarship. The only exception being Medical students, for whom the qualification criteria differ slightly. The ‘Excellence Scholarships’ are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. There is no need to apply for the scholarships, as the new undergraduate students who have met the Leaving Cert points criteria for the Excellence Scholarships will be automatically contacted once they enrol at NUI Galway. The Excellence Scholarships recognise the academic achievements of our brightest new entrants, who have performed exceptionally well in the Leaving Certificate,” explains Martina Ní Chúlain, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway. “These prestigious awards will provide some financial assistance to high calibre students, thus facilitating their transition into higher education and their continued academic success.” For Medical students there will be 10 special scholarships for those scoring the top 10 points, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). Meanwhile, a certain number of scholarships will be ring-fenced by individual College, to ensure allocation across the different disciplines at NUI Galway. The initiative is one of a series of scholarship schemes put in place by NUI Galway to help encourage academic success. Students at NUI Galway can also benefit from Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. For full details of all available scholarships visit -ENDS-   OÉ Gaillimh le luach saothair a thabhairt do na Daltaí Ardteiste is Éirimiúla   Sheol OÉ Gaillimh scéim nua scoláireachta inniu do dhaltaí Ardteistiméireachta. Beidh gach dalta a bhaineann 560 pointe amach san Ardteistiméireacht agus a thagann chuig an Ollscoil le staidéar a dhéanamh an fómhar seo, i dteideal scoláireacht €2,000 a fháil. Is iad mic léinn Leighis an t-aon eisceacht, beidh critéir cháilíochta rud beag éagsúil dóibh sin. Tá na ‘Scoláireachtaí Feabhais’ ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i bhfeabhas acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. Ní gá aon iarratas a dhéanamh ar na scoláireachtaí, déanfar teagmháil go huathoibríoch leis na mic léinn nua fochéime a bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha bainte amach acu san Ardteistiméireacht le cáiliú do na Scoláireachtaí Feabhais chomh luath agus a chláraíonn siad in OÉ Gaillimh. “Aithníonn na Scoláireachtaí Feabhais éachtaí acadúla na mac léinn is éirimiúla atá ag tosú linn, agus a bhfuil éacht déanta acu san Ardteistiméireacht,” a deir Martina Ní Chualáin, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh. “Tabharfaidh na dámhachtainí gradamacha seo cúnamh airgeadais éigin do mhic léinn ar ardchaighdeán, rud a chabhróidh leo agus iad ag aistriú isteach san earnáil ardoideachais agus iad ag leanúint ar aghaidh lena rath acadúil.” Beidh 10 scoláireacht speisialta ar fáil do na mic léinn Leighis a n-éiríonn leo na pointí is airde a bhaint amach, bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála (H-PAT Ireland). Ag an am céanna, déanfaidh an Coláiste líon áirithe scoláireachtaí a chur ar leataobh le cinntiú go mbeidh deis ag mic léinn atá i mbun disciplíní éagsúla orthu. Is ceann de shraith scéimeanna scoláireachta é an tionscnamh seo atá á chur ar fáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun rath acadúil a spreagadh. Tá deiseanna ar fáil do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime, ar Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta agus ar scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí ar leith dóibh siúd a n-éiríonn go maith leo ina gcuid scrúduithe Ollscoile. Chun teacht ar shonraí iomlána na scoláireachtaí ar fad atá ar fáil féach -CRÍOCH-

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NUI Galway Engineering Building Shortlisted for Architectural Award

NUI Galway Engineering Building Shortlisted for Architectural Award-image

Thursday, 14 June 2012

-Open for Online Public Vote - NUI Galway has been shortlisted for a major architectural award from the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, in both the ‘Best Educational Building’ and ‘Public Choice’ categories, for their recently completed Engineering Building. Providing facilities for research and development, educating future generations and reinforcing the relationship between Galway City and the University, this ‘Public Vote’ award, provides an opportunity for all to support their City and University. To vote for NUI Galway’s Engineering Building in the ‘Public Choice’ category visit Under the ‘Public Choice Award’ section tick the Engineering Building, NUI Galway section and click ‘vote’. This shortlisting adds to the accolades of the innovative building where recently it was awarded the Sustainability Award at the 30th Irish Concrete Society Awards, recognising excellence in both design and construction in concrete. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship and accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Celebrates First Cohort of its Youth Academy

NUI Galway Celebrates First Cohort of its Youth Academy-image

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Over 60 primary school children from across Galway City and County successfully completed NUI Galway’s Youth Academy at a special ceremony recently. The Youth Academy programme ran over a six-week period on Saturday mornings with a number of courses on offer including: Italian Language and Culture; Philosophical Discovery; Psychology- Who We Are, How We Think and What We Do; and Engineering- Structural, Environmental and Climate Studies. The Youth Academy aims to work with high-ability primary school children in the local community to support their learning and academic development. The programme aims to inspire entry into third-level education by introducing children and their families to university life and by creating positive perceptions of the University and its’ academic programmes. This pilot project was successful in receiving funding from the Bright Ideas Initiative which was launched by Professor Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway, who said: “We live in the knowledge economy and while education is important activity in its own right, it is vital that the economy is fuelled by able and knowledgeable citizens. The Youth Academy provides a fantastic start to children who at such an early stage are committed and eager to learn.” The Youth Academy is the result of a collaboration between NUI Galway’s Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative and Dr Colm O’Reilly, Irish Centre for Talented Youth, Dublin City University. Galway City Mayor Hildegard Naughton, who attended the ceremony, stressed the importance of all institutions in the education sector partnering on activities and responding to the education needs of the wider community. She congratulated NUI Galway on their vision for establishing the Youth Academy and bringing a sense of academic challenge to the young primary school children. Captain Brian Sheridan, a parent of one of the Youth Academy students, said: “It was a great few weeks, enjoyed thoroughly by my son Tom and, as a family, we all benefitted from just listening to him extol the virtues of each lecture. The future is indeed bright with children pioneering the uncut path.” For further information on the Youth Academy email the coordinator, Geraldine Marley at -ends-

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‘Festival Time in Galway’ - Young Artists’ Competition and Exhibition

‘Festival Time in Galway’ - Young Artists’ Competition and Exhibition -image

Thursday, 14 June 2012

July is festival time in Galway and to celebrate the NUI Galway Societies Office is inviting all primary school children to take part in a young artist art competition and exhibition. Children are allowed to use any media on an A4 page to explore the theme of the exhibition, ‘Festival Time in Galway’. The competition and exhibition is open to all primary school children in Galway and participants are asked to include their name, school, home address and contact number on the back of their entry. The name, age and school will be displayed on the winning posters. Deadline for competition is Friday, 22 June. As part of the exhibition, judges will select a number of pictures as winners of the Young Artists Competition. The first prize winner will receive €100 plus four tickets to one of the following children’s theatre shows: Truth Fairy, Wish Factor, What’s the Story Nellie or Do you Speak Mermish?. There will be two runners-up of €50 plus 2 tickets to one of the aforementioned theatre shows. The top 40 will be made into posters and displayed throughout Galway City during the July festivals. NUI Galway Children’s Theatre programme, scheduled for the month of July, includes four new children’s shows and five days of drama workshops. During the Volvo Ocean Race, as part of the Colours Fringe Festival running from 12-30 July, two of these shows and a drama workshop will take place from 2-6 July, from 11.30am-4pm. One of the shows, What’s the Story Nelly, incorporates interactive story telling with the entertaining Mrs Nelly Murphy and friends. In keeping with the oceanic theme Do you Speak Mermish? incorporates a multi-sensory room bringing children to the deepest ocean to meet a retired mermaid. The other two children’s shows, The Wish Factor and The Truth Fairy, brings the audience into two very different versions of story land where the children will be asked to make some important decisions. For full details on the competition and all the shows visit or email -Ends-

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Workforce Competencies Focus of 16th Annual Health Promotion Conference

Workforce Competencies Focus of 16th Annual Health Promotion Conference-image

Friday, 15 June 2012

The 16th annual Health Promotion conference will take place at NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 June. The conference entitled, Embracing New Agendas for Health Promotion Action: Developing workforce competencies for effective practice, will be comprised of plenary lectures, workshops, panel discussions and both poster and oral presentations. Current public health challenges demand new and changing competencies and skills for effective Health Promotion practice. This year’s conference considers the competencies required for effective Health Promotion action on non-communicable diseases, including adopting a settings approach and addressing the social determinants of health and health inequalities. Keynote speakers will include: Professor Michael Sparks, President of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education; Professor Sylvie Stachenko, Dean of School of Public Health, University of Alberta; and Professor Stephan Van den Broucke, Professor of Health Psychology and Prevention, University of Louvain. Key partners involved in the CompHP Project - Developing Competencies and Professional Standards for Health Promotion Capacity Building in Europe, a European project funded by the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers will also present at the conference. In addition to building consensus on core competencies and quality standards for Health Promotion practice, the CompHP project also developed a framework for an accreditation system for health promotion practitioners and education and training courses. Such work will ultimately ensure best practice and will strengthen the capacity of health systems to address health challenges and improve population health, both nationally and at a European level. Professor Margaret Barry, CompHP Project Leader and Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The work of the CompHP Project creates a new dimension in European Health Promotion by establishing the means and methods by which agreed core competencies and quality standards for Health Promotion can be implemented across Europe to stimulate innovation and best practice, thereby strengthening the capacity of health systems to deliver on improved population health.” The conference will address the need to redirect resources to health promotion and prevention and prioritise health promotion as an essential function of the Department of Health and the health service. The need for renewed investment in the implementation of health promotion policies and practices will be addressed, including workforce development, in order to ensure that the health promotion workforce is prominently placed and equipped with the core competencies to implement current knowledge, policies and practice. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway’s Synergy Project Provides Platform for Postgraduate Research Students

NUI Galway’s Synergy Project Provides Platform for Postgraduate Research Students-image

Friday, 15 June 2012

NUI Galway recently hosted the first Annual Synergy Project event which provided a platform for the University’s postgraduate research students to present their research in the form of a poster presentation to a wider audience. The event highlighted over 30 postgraduate research projects from across the five Colleges and was attended by approximately 80 students and staff members from NUI Galway. The overall Synergy Project 2012 Poster Award was presented to PhD student Inga Reich, from Germany, for her poster on ‘The impact of forestry management practices on the distribution of the Kerry Slug Geomalacus maculous Allman and the investigation of other possible factors limiting its distribution’.  The runner-up was PhD student Christine Fitzgerald, from Limerick, for her poster on ‘Towards a new future? A mixed methods study of Community Meals’. The Synergy Project provides a forum for promoting academic collaboration within, and across NUI Galway disciplines to add value and build upon the current practices with a view to enhancing the scope and quality of the research production process. According to Professor Chris Curtin, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance: “NUI Galway is committed to improving the University performance by bringing about change through innovation. Synergy is exactly the type of projects the University is fostering which will showcase the research ideas and potential of today whilst providing a platform for both our student and staff human capital to transform and shape our tomorrow.”  Richéal Burns, Synergy Project Leader, said: “The Synergy Project is about challenging the way we think about research in Universities while acting as a catalyst for igniting a higher level of interest in student and academia peer research alike thus increasing the research output across the University.” For more information: -ENDS-

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RTÉ’s Siún Nic Gearailt Launches New Media Course at NUI Galway

RTÉ’s Siún Nic Gearailt Launches New Media Course at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 18 June 2012

Television broadcaster and RTÉ newsreader, Siún Nic Gearailt, has launched a new MA in Communications (MA sa Chumarsáid) at NUI Galway.  The one-year MA course, the first of its kind to be offered entirely through the medium of Irish, emphasises practical tuition from radio and television production to presenting, journalism, and acting. The course is offered by the University’s Irish language centre, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta in An Cheathrú Rua in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Students specialise in one of four streams: visual studies, applied journalism, digital media or acting for the screen. Describing how the course, previously the Higher Diploma in Applied Communications through Irish, helped lay the groundwork for a successful career in broadcasting, Siún said: “The course was very hands-on and covered a lot of the skills you need to build a career in broadcasting. The fact that it was in Irish was a huge plus, at a time when TnaG/TG4 was just taking off and there were a lot of new production companies setting up in the Gaeltacht and indeed around the country.” “The new MA will give students a real eye-opener on the media industry. If you think all that’s involved is sitting in front of a camera or a microphone and letting fly, you’ll soon change your mind. There is a vast amount of work going on in front of and behind the camera, in the control room, in the edit suite and, of course, in compiling the daily news. The structure of the MA sa Chumarsáid is designed to give the student a good understanding of some of the practical issues as well as a solid grounding in theory and ethics.” The MA sa Chumarsáid is a one-year fulltime Level 9 course (90 ECTS credits). Applications may be made through the PAC online postgraduate application system at Full details may be found at: For more information contact Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg at 091 595101 or email -ENDS-   Seolann Siún Nic Gearailt ó RTÉ Cúrsa Nua sna Meáin in OÉ Gaillimh Is í an phearsa teilifíse agus léitheoir nuachta RTÉ, Siún Nic Gearailt, a sheol an cúrsa nua MA sa Chumarsáid ag ócáid in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, le déanaí. Cúrsa lánaimseartha bliana is ea an MA sa Chumarsáid ina leagtar béim ar obair phraiticiúil i réimse leathan ábhar a bhaineann leis an gcraoltóireacht raidió agus teilifíse, leis an iriseoireacht, agus leis an aisteoireacht don scáileán. Is é an chéad chúrsa MA dá chineál atá á thairiscint go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tá an cúrsa seo á thairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge agus beidh sé lonnaithe in Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua i gConamara.  Déanann na mic léinn speisialtóireacht le linn an chúrsa i gceann de na réimsí seo leanas: staidéar na físe, iriseoireacht fheidhmeach, na meáin dhigiteacha agus drámaíocht sna meáin. Agus an MA nua á sheoladh aici, labhair Siún Nic Gearailt ar a taithí mar mhac léinn ar chúrsa eile de chuid an Acadaimh, an tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach, atá ag teacht chun deiridh anois agus an MA sa Chumarsáid ag teacht ina áit. “Bhí an cúrsa an-phraiticiúil agus bhain sé le go leor de na bunscileanna a theastaíonn chun bunús agus blaiseadh a fháil le gairm a fhorbairt sna meáin,” a dúirt sí. “Buntáiste ar leith a bhí ann gur trí mheán na Gaeilge a bhí sé, ag tráth a raibh TnaG/TG4 ag teacht ar an bhfód agus a raibh go leor comhlachtaí léiriúcháin nua á mbunú sa Ghaeltacht agus ar fud na tíre.” Dúirt Siún gur ‘oscailt súl’ a bheadh sa chúrsa do mhic léinn ar thionscal na meán. “Má cheapann tú nach gá duit ach suí os comhair ceamara nó micreafóin agus labhairt, beidh thiar ort,” a dúirt sí. “Bíonn an t-uafás oibre ar bun ag daoine os comhair agus taobh thiar den cheamara, sa seomra stiúrtha, ar an deasc eagarthóireachta agus gan dabht ag cur scéalta an lae le chéile.  Ag féachaint ar an leagan amach atá ar an gcúrsa seo, tá na haon chuma air go dtabharfaidh an MA sa Chumarsáid léargas agus tuiscint mhaith duit ar na ceisteanna praiticiúla, chomh maith leis an teoiric agus cúrsaí eitice.” Cúrsa lánaimseartha bliana is ea an MA sa Chumarsáid ag Léibhéal 9 (creidmheas 90 ECTS).  Is féidir iarratais a dhéanamh ar líne tríd an gcóras iarchéime PAC ag Tá na sonraí go léir ar fáil ag Tá a thuilleadh eolais ar fáil freisin ón Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg ag 091 595802 nó trí ríomhphost a chur chuig -CRÍOCH-

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President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins Addresses International Disability Conference at NUI Galway

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins Addresses International Disability Conference at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 18 June 2012

  The fourth International Summer School at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, was launched today (Monday, 18 June) by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. The Summer School, co-hosted by the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, will run from 18-23 June. Speaking at the Summer School, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins commended the University for their active scholarship and the Centre of Disability Law and Policy for the vital contribution it makes to informed thinking on disability related policy and issues in this country: “I am delighted to be here with you today to launch the 4th International Summer School in partnership with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, which this year deals with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. "This, as you know, is a convention that I strongly support and which, as a public representative, I called upon successive Governments to ratify.  This summer school and the other educational opportunities that you afford to students will educate them in the policies and reforms required to ensure that people with disabilities can be treated as Equal Citizens in Irish Society and that once ratified the requirements of the Convention will become the benchmark for all disability related policies.”  The Summer School is designed to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. President Higgins has a great interest in disability issues and has been a tireless campaigner throughout his long political life for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in Ireland and internationally. The teaching faculty for the School includes high profile senior academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the world who have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the Convention. The estimated 100 attendees will similarly be from around the world and will include people with disabilities, their families, representatives from civil society groups as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The School is directed by Professor Gerard Quinn of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway along with and Professor Michael Stein of Harvard Law School. Professor Quinn is a co-drafter of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and internationally recognised as a leader in the field of advancing the right of disabled people. Professor Gerard Quinn said: “This Summer School is all about power – restoring power to persons with disabilities over their own lives and giving them knowledge and skills based on the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Above all the School belongs to the people affected and is structured in such a way as to enable people explore for themselves the relevance of the Convention in their own lives and in the process of change.” Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, welcomed visitors and delegates from 29 different countries: “I know of the deep links between Harvard and our Centre for Disability Law and Policy and am delighted to acknowledge this wonderful, continuing collaboration at this the fourth International Summer School held by the Centre. “The impact of this Summer School is truly global.  The faculty and speakers include experts who were active in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as leading thought-leaders from around the world.  This Summer School serves to give delegates the tools to implement this very important treaty and is a wonderful example of scholarship in action.”  Further information, including the programme and speaker profiles is available from the Summer School website at: On the last day of Summer School, Saturday, 23 June, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy will also host a one day international conference Mental Health Law Reform: New Perspectives and Challenges. This event will be held in conjunction with Amnesty International and will examine issues relevant to the review Mental Health Act 2001 including Ireland’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as it moves towards ratification.  The conference is aimed at experts by experience, legal practitioners, mental health professionals, advocates, academics, policy makers, politicians, NGOs and any person or organisation interested in mental health law and policy. There is a €20 conference fee. Places are limited so early registration is advisable. Fee waiver available for students and unwaged persons. For registration details: ENDS

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Evening of Conversation with Leading New York Times Columnist in Mayo

Evening of Conversation with Leading New York Times Columnist in Mayo -image

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mayo County Council to host Civic Reception in honour of Maureen Dowd NUI Galway in association with Mayo County Council is delighted to announce an ‘Evening of Conversation’ with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and journalist and author Niall O'Dowd.  The special event will take place on Monday, 25 June at 6:30pm at the Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo and coincides with Maureen Dowd’s conferral with an honorary degree by NUI Galway later in the week. The event will be followed by a Civic Reception, to be attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, honouring Ms Maureen Dowd in Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Maureen Dowd is a 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Op-Ed columnist of The New York Times since 1995. Previously, she served as its Washington bureau correspondent where she covered two Presidential campaigns and as White House correspondent, gaining a wide following for her witty, incisive and acerbic portraits of the powerful. Ms Dowd joined The Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983 having begun her career in 1974 with the Washington Star where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter, and feature writer.  Dowd is the author of two bestselling books, Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk (2004) and Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide (2005). Ms Dowd lives in Washington. Her father, Mike, worked as a DC Police Inspector while her mother, Peggy, was a homemaker. She traces her Irish heritage to Co. Clare and Co. Mayo, from where her mother’s family, the Meenahans of Ballinrobe, emigrated. Niall O’Dowd is the founder of IrishCentral as well as of Irish America Magazine and Irish Voice newspaper. He founded the Wall Street 50, Top 100 Irish Americans, Business 100 and more recently the Top 50 Women in Business as well as the Irish Legal 100. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin for his work on the Irish peace process which was a subject of a book Daring Diplomacy and a PBS Special 'An Irish Voice' He is also adjunct professor at Columbia University journalism school. The event is open to the public however as places are limited those interested should contact the Alumni Office at NUI Galway on 091-492721 or email ENDS

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Major Stem Cell Conference Marking Ireland’s Standing in Regenerative Medicine

Major Stem Cell Conference Marking Ireland’s Standing in Regenerative Medicine-image

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference, NUI Galway, 2-3 July Focussing on adult stem cells, the Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference takes place in NUI Galway on 2-3 July. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of adult stem cell, and this event brings together the world’s leading scientists in the field to discuss their latest ideas and findings. This international meeting is the first major stem cell conference to take place in Ireland, and will look at all aspects of adult stem cells, from basic biology to manufacturing to clinical trials and therapeutics. Scientists at NUI Galway are investigating how adult stems cells might be used to develop new treatments for vascular disease, osteoarthritis and lung injury. The University has become a leading centre of translational research in adult stem cells involving its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). NUI Galway also collaborates with other Irish research institutes, including UCC and NUI Maynooth, who will participate in the event. There will also be significant participation from multinational and Irish companies working in the stem cell field.  Adult Stem Cells Stem cells can divide to produce more stem cells (self-renewal) or can change into many different specialized cell types.  There are two main types, embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in many of our tissues, where they act as the body’s own repair mechanism. They can be easily isolated from tissues such as bone marrow and fat. The focus on adult stem cells at the conference relates to the fact that these cells are at the forefront of the global translational effort in stem cell therapy and also reflects the area of particular expertise of researchers at NUI Galway.  “Work in the field of adult stem cell therapy has advanced rapidly because they are relatively easy to isolate and grow in the laboratory and because there is increasing evidence to suggest that they will represent an effective and safe treatment for a number of diseases”, explains Frank Barry who is Professor of Cellular Therapy at NUI Galway, Director of the NCBES and a principle investigator at REMEDI. Professor Barry adds: “However, stem cell therapy is complex and controversial and sometimes exaggerated claims are made. This gathering of research experts and industry leaders in Galway will focus on the realities of adult stem cell research, what is possible now and what is likely in the future.” Conference Programme The conference will cover five strands including Therapy, Immunology, Manufacturing, Gene Therapy, and Biology. Speakers include: Professor Anthony Hollander, University of Bristol, was one of a team of scientists and surgeons who successfully created and then transplanted the first tissue-engineered trachea (windpipe), using a patient’s own stem cells. The bioengineered trachea immediately provided the patient with a normally functioning airway, thereby saving her life. Professor Arnold Caplan, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio is one of the leaders in the field and the founder of Osiris Therapeutics, a global leader in of adult stem cell therapy. Professor Catherine Verfaillie, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, looks at stem cell based and stem cell derived therapies in models of hematopoietic, cardiovascular, liver and metabolic (diabetes) disorders. Professor Robert Deans works with Athersys Inc., a company developing cell therapeutics based on stem cells isolated from adult bone marrow. Professor Cosimo De Bari, fromUniversity of Aberdeen in Scotland, has expertise is in translational stem cell research for musculoskeletal repair, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Dr Luc Sensebé of University of Brest in France coordinates EU projects dedicated to the development of quality production processes for MSCs and their uses for clinical trials. Dr Elena Jones of Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine in the UK, has developed novel ideas on large-scale extraction of MSCs from soft tissues including synovium and joint fat.  Professor Barry concluded: “Given the presence of significant research programmes in MSC biology, immunology, manufacturing and transplantation in Ireland the staging of this conference in 2012 is timely and important. The event will enhance the profile of regenerative medicine research and give Irish scientists an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and industry leaders.” The conference is supported by Orbsen Therapeutics, Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway and Fáilte Ireland. -ends-

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