Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal

Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, Professor Francis Giles has been awarded the Annual Saint Luke's Silver Award by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. This is the highest honour bestowed by the Academy and Professor Giles is the first NUI Galway recipient. Professor Giles also delivered the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer, in Dublin this week. The Saint Luke's Lecture is sponsored by the Academy and Saint Luke's Hospital. This lecture is in the field of oncology. The lecturer is selected by an Academy/Saint Luke's committee and receives the silver medal and an honorarium. The Annual Saint Luke s Lecture has attracted a distinguished list of speakers over the years and its prestige is recognised by the award of the highest medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Recipients must also submit a paper to the Irish Journal of Medical Science. Congratulating Professor Giles, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This accolade is a wonderful tribute to Frank s work as a leading international researcher and clinician. It highlights the calibre of work underway at NUI Galway in the area of cancer research, as part of our strong translational focus in the area of biomedical engineering science." At the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture in Dublin, Professor Giles delivered his vision for stimulating Irish anti-cancer research. His lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer defined a path based on the US National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center template. He highlighted recent relevant US activity including the creation of a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) that will focus on early phase drug development. His key recommendations include increased emphasis on collaboration with other European early phase research sites through organisations like the Developmental Therapeutics Consortium. He summarised the high standard and broad scope of research being conducted by Irish investigators around the world. With the HRB Clinical Research Facilities in Cork, Dublin, and Galway as interdigitated hubs, he emphasised Ireland's strong position as a contributor to the global efforts to relieve the suffering associated with cancer and to cure those afflicted by it. Frank Giles is a Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. He was appointed Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway in September 2010. He also was appointed Consultant Haematologist at St James's Hospital, Dublin and Galway University Hospital. Professor Giles continues to be a Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio. An award-winning Professor, he has won the BioLink USA-Ireland Lifescience Award for 2007 and the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Health Care and Medical Science, 2007. Also at this year's Saint Luke's Lecture, NUI Galway graduate Dr Patricia McGowan was awarded the Saint Luke's Young Investigator Award. This is the eighth year of the award, which is sponsored on an annual basis by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and Saint Luke's Hospital. Applicants are normally in their early years of oncology research and would in normal circumstances be no more than five years post MD/PhD or equivalent level. Dr McGowan of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science was awarded the Academy Bronze medal. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Postgraduate Students Win Bioengineering Research Awards

NUI Galway Postgraduate Students Win Bioengineering Research Awards-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway Postgraduate Biomedical Engineering Students collectively won four research awards at the recent annual Bioengineering in Ireland Conference which was held in Galway showcasing the state-of-the-art research developments in biomedical engineering in Ireland. At the conference there were 120 presentations from researchers North and South of the border including postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, senior researchers and researchers from industry. Consistent with its research-focus in the area, NUI Galway enjoyed tremendous success in terms of presentation awards at the conference. All awards won by NUI Galway were by PhD students of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering within the College of Engineering and Informatics. James Grogan from Renmore, Galway, won the prestigious Bronze Medal of the Section of Bioengineering, presented by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI). The award was given for best overall paper at the conference. James is supervised by Professor Peter McHugh and Professor Sean Leen. His presentation was entitled Computational and Experimental Characterisation of Bioabsorbable Metallic Stent Performance. Caoimhe Sweeney from Barna, Galway, also supervised by the same researchers as James, won best First Year Postgraduate Student, followed closely by Fiona Weafer from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, who took second prize in the same category. Fiona was supervised by Dr Mark Bruzzi. Finally third place in the Senior Postgraduate Student category was awarded to William Ronan from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, supervised by Dr. Pat McGarry. According to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics; "We are very proud of the performance of our students at this conference. The number and range of awards won is clear evidence of the strength and quality of biomedical engineering teaching and research at NUI Galway, and this has very positive direct impacts for the international standing of NUI Galway and on the continued growth and development of the medical technology industry locally and nationally." ENDS

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NUI Galway Launches Pioneering International Disability Law Masters

NUI Galway Launches Pioneering International Disability Law Masters-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway has recently launched an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, one of the first of its kind in the world. The area of Disability Law Reform and Policy is experiencing significant growth, with the introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which in turn has resulted in the development of disability strategies at international, regional and national level. The LL.M. will be provided in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, a research centre of excellence in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The Centre is dedicated to producing research that informs the debate on national and international disability law reform and is committed to producing high quality research to contribute to that process. The Centre already has a lively cohort of PhD students who will mix and interact and enhance the learning experience of future LL.M. students. The LL.M. in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy aims to have small classes to enrich the staff/ student experience. This builds on a long tradition of an open door policy to students developed and encouraged in the School of Law. Other positive aspects of the programme include the opportunity to participate in community-based learning with disability organisations at a local, national and international level, many of which have enjoyed a long relationship with the Centre. Professor Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway School of Law, says: "We are very keen to encourage clinical legal education, so that the students gain practical and hands on experience, and disability organisations gain good legal knowledge. Our ethos is change. This new programme aims to equip students not just with knowledge and insights but also with the skills and motivation to help transform the lives of the 650 million persons with disabilities in the world." Programme Director of the LL.M, Shivaun Quinlivan says: "What we offer potential students is top-class teaching in an exciting learning environment and excellent research resources. Our lecturers are leading experts in their fields, and aim to provide an innovative and exciting programme dealing with the process of law reform in the field of disability. The programme also places an emphasis on developing students personal research, practical and professional skills for an increasingly competitive environment." The LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy is a one year programme, which runs from September to August. People can apply through www.pac.iePAC Code: GYL11 -Ends-

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Former NUI Galway Dance Group in Semi-Finals of Sky One's Got to Dance

Former NUI Galway Dance Group in Semi-Finals of Sky One's Got to Dance -image

Monday, 14 February 2011

Galway based Irish dance troupe Mystic Force, which began as part of the Dance Society (Dansoc) in NUI Galway, have claimed their place among the 28 semi-finalists in the live shows of Sky One's Got to Dance. Mystic Force manager Mark McCole was part of the NUI Galway Dance Society from 2004 to 2006 along with other current members of the troupe including Sarah Clogher; David Healy; Josephine Chrystal; Sarah Jayne Mac Laverty; Katie Mac Laverty; Eanna Ryan; Aideen Ryan and Riona Durkan. What started out as a group of friends getting together as part of NUI Galway Dansoc has developed into a polished Irish dance troupe that hope to be crowned Britain and Ireland's next top dance act. Mystic Force have made it to the semi-finals and will represent the best of Irish Dancing on an international platform. Mystic Force will appear on a live show of Got to Dance on Sky One on Sunday, 20 February, where they will battle against stiff competition for their place in the live final the following week. Mystic Force has pledged to donate £50,000 sterling to cancer research in Ireland if they are crowned champions. Got to Dance Presenter Davina McCall and judges Kimberly Wyatt; Ashley Banjo and Adam Garcia, recently travelled throughout Ireland and Britain to deliver the fate of each of the acts. Worldwide sensation Kimberly Wyatt of the Pussycat Dolls delivered the good news in person to Mystic Force, in Aras na nGael, in Galway City, while the troupe were rehearsing for upcoming performances. Mystic Force manager Mark McCole said: "The whole experience is absolutely mind-blowing and it is an absolute privilege to be invited to be part of the Got to Dance live semi-finals in London. It is the biggest and best thing that has ever happened to Mystic Force and we are working harder than ever to deliver what has to be the performance of our lives on February 20. We just hope that Galway and the West get behind us for our semi-final and help get us through to the final of Got to Dance 2011". Follow Mystic Force on their journey through Got to Dance on the group's official website www.danceforlife.ie. -Ends-

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Defence Forces Chief of Staff to be Honoured at NUI Galway Alumni Event

Defence Forces Chief of Staff to be Honoured at NUI Galway Alumni Event-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway Graduate Lieutenant General Seán McCann will be honoured at a Dinner to celebrate his appointment as Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces. The event will take place in the Officers Mess in McKee Barracks, Dublin 7 on 24 February 2011 at 7.30pm. The occasion will also celebrate more than 40 years of partnership between NUI Galway and the Defence Forces through the University Student Administrative Compliment (USAC), which has seen many officers pursue a large variety of qualifications at the University. Lieutenant General McCann holds a Bachelor of Commerce from NUI Galway which was conferred upon him in 1974. Mr J.B. Terrins, NUI Galway's Director of Alumni Relations says, "This will be a very special occasion, celebrating a relationship going back to 1969 when the first Defence Forces cadets and officers came through the gates of NUI Galway. The University is proud to count many distinguished Defence Forces officers amongst the ranks of its alumni – some still serving and others in key positions in business or other areas throughout the world. This dinner will see many of them reunited to honor Lieutenant General McCann, the first NUI Galway graduate to hold the position of Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. In his appointment to the most senior position in the Defence Forces, Lt General McCann now leads the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps. Lt General McCann, who is 60 years of age, enlisted in the Defence Forces as an Officer Cadet in 1970. Following commissioning as an Officer in 1972, he served in various Cavalry units in Plunkett Barracks. He instructed in the Military College in both the Infantry School and the Command and Staff School. In more recent years he was Chief Instructor in the United Nations Training School in the Military College. Formerly Director of Cavalry and Commandant of the Combat Support College, he has also seen service in Defence Forces Headquarters as Personal Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff and as a Staff Officer in Operations Section. He was Director of Operations at Defence Forces Headquarters in 2007, and subsequently held the appointment of General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) from 2008 to 2009. He has been The Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations since 2009, with responsibility for all operational activities of the Defence Forces. Lt General McCann has extensive overseas experience. He served with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1981 and 1987. He was Senior Operations Officer with the United Nations Iraq Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM) in 1991. He served in Sarajevo with the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in 2000; and in 2002 he was Chief of Observer Group Lebanon (OGL), part of the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organisation (UNTSO). In 2003 he was appointed Chief Operations Officer with UNTSO. The event will be attended by President of NUI Galway Dr James J Browne, and is open to all graduates of NUI Galway, to join in a reception and dinner, to celebrate the Chief of Staff's appointment. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Experts Contribute to Chronic Pain Conference

NUI Galway Experts Contribute to Chronic Pain Conference-image

Friday, 11 February 2011

A panel of experts from NUI Galway's Centre for Pain Research will participate in a conference entitled Recognising and Managing Chronic Pain - An Expert View 2011. Senator and Human Rights Activist David Norris, will also join the panel on Thursday, 17 February in The Salthill Hotel, Galway at 7.30pm. The event, which is being organised by Chronic Pain Ireland, will focus on managing chronic pain and is open to members of Chronic Pain Ireland, students, Chronic Pain sufferers and their families as well as healthcare professionals and members of the general public. A host of presentations will be followed by an open-forum question and answer session. Topics will include, understanding the causes of chronic pain, perceptions and misconceptions of the condition, the role of the General Practitioner, coping with chronic pain, and the experiences of those living with chronic pain Speakers at Recognising and Managing Chronic Pain - An Expert View 2011 will include David Norris, Gina Plunkett, Chairperson, Chronic Pain Ireland, Dr David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, Dr David O'Gorman, Consultant Pain Specialist, University College Hospital. Dr Ray Doyle, General Practitioner in Galway will also make a presentation. The event will be opened by the Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Michael Crowe. Dr David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire, Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, say "Chronic pain is a major healthcare problem in Ireland today, a disease in its own right. The overarching aim of this event, which is being organised in conjunction with Chronic Pain Ireland, is to increase awareness and understanding of chronic pain amongst patients and the general public. Attendees will learn about recent advances in the understanding and management of chronic pain from pain experts working at NUI Galway, Galway University Hospital and in General Practice. It is a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise in an important area of medicine and research, and we are delighted to be a part of it." Ongoing research in the Centre for Pain Research is supported by a variety of sources including Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, the Higher Education Authority, the Industrial Development Agency and the International Association for the Study of Pain. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researcher Contributes to UK End Loneliness Campaign

NUI Galway Researcher Contributes to UK End Loneliness Campaign-image

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A leading researcher at NUI Galway has helped to shape a new campaign that aspires to end loneliness amongst older people in Britain. The Campaign to End Loneliness, which was launched recently, aims to help people create and maintain personal connections in older age. Professor Thomas Scharf, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, has been involved since the early stages of the Campaign. Working with some of Europe's leading researchers in the field of loneliness, Professor Scharf has helped to synthesise existing research relating to loneliness in later life. His main focus is on the ways in which loneliness relates to other forms of disadvantage that can affect people as they age, most notably low incomes and a lack of access to services. The Campaign aims to raise awareness of loneliness among older people, and build an evidence base of research into the area. A further component of the Campaign is to engage in actions to reduce and eradicate loneliness into the future and to inspire a vision for later life without loneliness for all older citizens. Professor Scharf says: "While the overwhelming majority of older people in countries like Ireland and Britain are not greatly affected by loneliness, it is important that society supports people whose life quality is severely reduced by feelings of loneliness. The Campaign to End Loneliness aims to provide some practical help and advice for people affected by loneliness in Britain. In time, I hope that this campaign might also extend to Ireland, where loneliness is an equally important issue." Professor Scharf continues: "Loneliness affects around one in ten older people, seriously limiting the quality of later life. Recent research even suggests that loneliness may be a greater threat to people's health than smoking." Information about the Campaign to End Loneliness, including details of key research findings on loneliness in later life, are available at: http://www.campaigntoendloneliness.org.uk/index.php. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Professor Receives Prestigious Award

NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Professor Receives Prestigious Award-image

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

NUI Galway's Professor Peter McHugh from the Discipline of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics, is the 2011 recipient of the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI). The coveted medal is awarded by the RAMI Section of Bioengineering for outstanding career contributions to the field of bioengineering. The Silver Medal was instituted by the Academy in 1995 and previous awardees include Professor Tony Keaveny, University of California, Berkeley, and Professor Frank Gannon, former Director of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The medal was awarded to Professor McHugh at the 17th annual Bioengineering in Ireland conference held in Galway, recently. At the conference, as is customary for the recipient, Professor McHugh delivered the annual Dr. Samuel Haughton lecture entitled Bioengineering: A Truly Grand Challenge for Engineers. Dr Samuel Haughton FRS, MRIA, 1820-1897, is regarded as the father of Irish Biomechanics. Professor McHugh is the Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, Director of the Micromechanics Research Unit at the University and Biomechanics Research Cluster Leader, at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). He is author of almost ninety international research journal papers in the field of Biomedical Engineering. According to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics, "Receiving this award is a tremendous honour for Professor McHugh and for NUI Galway. It is a testament to Professor McHugh's significant achievements in biomedical engineering over almost two decades, and it also reflects the tremendous growth and strength in biomedical engineering research and teaching at NUI Galway which is recognised internationally and which is of critical value to the local and national medical technology industry." The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) was founded in 1882 through the amalgamation of the four main medical societies including, the Dublin Society of Surgeons, the Medical Society of the College of Physicians, the Pathological Society and the Dublin Obstetrical Society. At present there are 22 sections of the Academy covering many disciplines with over 1200 Fellows, Members and Associate Members. -Ends-

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A Life Course Institute Election Event at NUI Galway

A Life Course Institute Election Event at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Life Course Institute (LCI) at NUI Galway will host a pre-election debate entitled Future Policies: Older People, Children and Families, and Persons with Disabilities. The event, to be held in Aras Moyola on the North Campus of NUI Galway, will take place on Thursday 17 February at 8pm. The organisers of this event have invited the election candidates from the main political parties to set out their future policy plans for older people, children and families, and persons with disabilities. Each of these policy areas is central to the work of the LCI. Representing the political parties are Fidelma Healy Eames (Fine Gael); Michael D. Higgins (Labour); Niall Ó Brolcháin (Green); Trevor O'Clochartaigh (Sinn Féin); and Eamon O'Cuiv (Fianna Fáil). Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent at the Irish Times Newspaper will chair the proceedings. Donncha O'Connell, of the School of Law at NUI Galway, will act as Rapporteur. Each of the representatives will have the opportunity to outline their party position, followed by a question and answer session with representatives from a range of community groups and members of the public. Professor Pat Dolan, Academic Director of the Life Course Institute, said "the event will provide an opportunity for the stakeholder groups to engage in a discussion with the political parties on the proposed policies which are directly relevant to them. Scrutinising party policies in relation to children and families, persons with disabilities and older people is critically important, particularly in a time of limited resources." The Life Course Institute comprises a multidisciplinary facility which is intended to integrate and enhance the work of three existing centres at NUI Galway, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Child and Family Research Centre, and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. The aim of the Life Course Institute is to impact positively on future policies for children and families, persons with disabilities and older people through advancing an integrated approach to research, policy and services. Each of the three centres already makes an important contribution to its respective field in Ireland and internationally. The Life Course Institute will add value to this existing work through collaboration - while retaining each centre's distinct identity. The Institute is funded through philanthropic donations and in collaboration with The Atlantic Philanthropies. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and anyone wishing to attend must register online at www.conference.ie - when registering please notify the organisers if you have any special requirements. ENDS

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NUI Galway Student Named TG4 Young Musician Of The Year

NUI Galway Student Named TG4 Young Musician Of The Year-image

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

An NUI Galway student has been named TG4 Young Musician of the Year at this year's TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2011 (Traditional Music Awards). Uilleann piper Pádraic Keane hails from Maree, Co Galway and was born into a great musical family in 1991. He is currently a second year student in NUI Galway pursuing a BA degree with Irish Studies. His father Tommy is a well known piper, originally from Waterford who was taught by the legendary piper Tommy Kearney. His mother Jacqueline McCarthy is a very respected concertina player and is the daughter of the late Tommy McCarthy from West Clare who was a multi-instrumentalist playing pipes, whistle and concertina. Jacqueline's sister Marion also plays pipes. Pádraic began learning the pipes at the age of eight under the guidance of his father. He also received tuition from many leading pipers at various summer schools including Robbie Hannan, Mick O'Brien, Emmett Gill, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran, Seán McKeon, Brian McNamara and Ronan Browne. His first pipes were a practice set borrowed from Na Píobairí Uilleann under their Pipes on Loan scheme. Since then Pádraic has inherited his grandfather's pipes – a concert pitch set made by Leo Rowsome. When playing solo he likes to perform on a flat set in C made by Geoff Wooff. He has performed at many events organised by Na Píobairí Uilleann, including recitals at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, NPU Annual Tionól, Session with the Pipers in The Cobblestone and Ceol sa Chlub, the latter in the company of his fiddle playing sisters – Siobhán and his twin Maisie-Kate. His music has been broadcast on Clare FM, Galway Bay FM, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTÉ Radio 1. He is a member of the traditional group Eamhain Mhacha – a group of musicians who became friends at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and Scoil Acla. They competed in the Gael Linn Siansa competition, have appeared on RTÉ Television, played support to The Chieftains and performed at the Cooley Collins Festival in Gort. His piping comes from the style of Willie Clancy but other influences such as Seán McKiernan and Séamus Ennis are also discernable in the playing of a young man who is acutely aware of the tradition from which he stems and who displays a musical maturity and understanding way beyond his years. He in turn is now passing on his love for piping and has a number of fledgling pipers coming to him for tuition. -Ends-

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