Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine signs a MOU with NUI Galway

Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine signs a MOU with NUI Galway -image

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) and the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway have formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), one of the leading institutes in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine in the USA. Speaking at the signing, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB, NUI Galway, said: "This agreement facilitates the establishment of student and faculty exchanges, research collaborations and the co-development of any specific tissue engineering and regenerative medicine-related projects which may have academic, clinical and commercial implications". The Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine is part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The centre has built up a significant reputation in the development of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine and is renowned for development from concept to translation in the clinic. Professor Timothy O'Brien, Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway, said: "I look forward to the potential that this agreement offers to both REMEDI and WFIRM to accelerate the translation of regenerative medicine from basic research to the clinic". The agreement between the institutions was established through Professor David Williams, who is based at Wake Forest University and who is also Scientific Advisor to the NFB and Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of NFB at NUI Galway. The NFB is a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster which has established a critical mass of biomaterials research in Galway. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Receives Grants for Ageing Research

NUI Galway Receives Grants for Ageing Research-image

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

NUI Galway has been granted funding for two research projects focussing on older people by The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI). The Centre recently granted four projects funding amounting to almost €300,000 on a national level, and NUI Galway projects account for half of them. The research is aimed at improving the lives of older people and informing future policy for an ageing population in Ireland. NUI Galway's Professor Eamon O' Shea, from the Irish Centre of Social Gerontology is Principal Investigator on "Social Exclusion and Older People in Diverse Rural Communities". This project brings together multidisciplinary researchers from NUI Galway and Queen's University Belfast with community organisations Rural Community Network and FORUM Letterfrack. The group will examine social exclusion among older people living in diverse rural areas and investigate ways to prevent social exclusion. The second project, also a collaboration between NUI Galway and Queens University Belfast, entitled: "Older Women Workers' Access to Pensions: Vulnerabilities, Perspectives and Strategies" will examine the position of older women workers, both rural and urban, in relation to their access to economic security, most particularly in the form of pensions. This is key policy consideration in Ireland due to the current economic and financial crisis. NUI Galway's Principal Investigator on this project is Dr Nata Duvvury, of the School of Political Science and Sociology. There are over one million people aged 60 or older living on the island of Ireland and this number is set to increase in the coming decades. This demographic shift will require creative policies to respond to the needs of an older population. New policies will, in turn, require improved research relating to ageing if they are to be well-designed and effective. The CARDI Grant Programme has funded 18 projects to date and aims to promote north-south research partnerships that bring together different subject areas to look at issues affecting older people in new ways. A focus of the programme is to support research that seeks to involve older people and to inform better policy making relating to ageing issues and older people. Professor Bob Stout, Queen's University Belfast, Co-chair of CARDI, said: "The four grant winners will examine crucial issues of concern for older people including social exclusion, financial security and health and social care. They also have a strong focus on the policy implications of their research work and show a commitment to partnership and interdisciplinary work, all of which underpin CARDI's mission". CARDI is a not for profit organisation developed by leaders from the ageing field across Ireland (North and South) including age focused researchers, academics, statutory, voluntary and community sector representatives with support from The Atlantic Philanthropies. It is overseen by a Steering Group and hosted by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland. For Further information go to www.cardi.ie/grantprogramme. -Ends-

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Information Evenings for New NUI Galway Students

Information Evenings for New NUI Galway Students-image

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

NUI Galway is hosting its eleventh annual series of information evenings across Ireland for students starting their studies at the University in September 2010. Parents are also invited to the information evenings or 'Student Send-Offs'. At the evening sessions, representatives from Student Services, Students' Union and Academic Staff will advise students on what to expect when arriving at NUI Galway and will answer any questions relating to university life. The topics covered will include Accommodation, Finance and the Students' Assistance Fund, Safety, Careers, Counselling, Clubs and Societies, and the Students' Union. The 'Student Send-Offs' will take place at 7pm in the following venues: · Westmeath, Monday, 30 August: Radisson SAS Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. · Dublin, Tuesday, 31 August: Bewleys Hotel, Dublin Airport. · Donegal, Wednesday, 1 September: Pier One, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal. · Mayo, Thursday, 2 September: TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. · Sligo, Friday, 3 September: Sligo Southern Hotel, Strandhill Road, Sligo Town. · Galway, Monday, 6 September: O'Flaherty Theatre, The Concourse, Arts/Science Building, NUI Galway. · Clare, Tuesday, 7 September: Temple Gate Hotel, The Square, Ennis, Co. Clare. · Galway, Wednesday, 8 September: O'Flaherty Theatre, The Concourse, Arts/Science Building, NUI Galway. Matt Doran, Administrative Officer, Student Services at NUI Galway, said: "This is an opportunity for parents and students to get first hand information and advice from University staff and the Student Representatives. It is an ideal opportunity to have your questions answered". For further information on the information evenings or to register in advance please contact Eimear on 086 8585171 or email studentsendoff@nuigalway.ie. For any other queries contact the NUI Galway First Year Hotline on 091 493999. -Ends-

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NUI Galway to Host Inaugural Geography and Archaeology Event

NUI Galway to Host Inaugural Geography and Archaeology Event-image

Friday, 20 August 2010

The School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway will next week (Tuesday, 24 August) host the University's first Annual Symposium on Environment, Society, and Development. The theme of the one-day inaugural Symposium is "Geographing the Future" and will focus on thinking critically through and developing alternatives to the various geo-political, social, economic and environmental processes that shape the world we live in. The Symposium coincides with the close of the inaugural year of the MA in Environment, Society and Development at NUI Galway. Proceedings will consist of panel discussions, keynote addresses, and themed panel sessions on topics in the field. Professor Neil Smith, City University New York, will deliver the keynote address entitled "For (Political) Climate Change". Other distinguished participants include Professor George Michael Dillon, Professor of Politics and International Relations at Lancaster, UK, and Professor Gerry Kearns, Cambridge University, London. Dr Anna Stanley, Lecturer in Human Geography and Symposium organiser, says: "Geography at NUI Galway is fast becoming a centre for excellence in the study of Environment, Society and Development; a centre operating at the forefront of scholarly research, teaching and civic engagement with the ability to attract world class students and scholars. The symposium will provide a unique and truly interdisciplinary forum within which participants can engage the most pressing issues of our day and challenge themselves to propose sustainable and just alternatives". Another event to be hosted by the School of Geography and Archaeology next week (Friday, 27 August), will be a conference surrounding early modern Ireland entitled, "People, Places and Memory", supported by the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group (IPMAG). This is the first time cutting-edge research by postgraduate students on early modern Ireland, c. 1550 – 1800 will be showcased at NUI Galway. The speakers represent young researchers from a number of different subjects such as history, archaeology, place-name studies and architecture. The meeting will offer participants the chance to lectures on themes ranging from the Munster and Ulster plantations through to the Cromwellian land settlement in Co. Clare and the mass-rocks of the penal period. The keynote speaker for the Early Modern Ireland Conference will be Dr Audrey Horning, University of Leicester, who has written and lectured widely on the archaeology of Ulster in the 16th and 17th centuries as well as on historical memories and how they impact on popular perceptions of the past in Ireland, Britain and the United States. -ENDS-

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NASA Researcher to Deliver NUI Galway Lecture

NASA Researcher to Deliver NUI Galway Lecture-image

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

NASA researcher and NUI Galway graduate Dr Jacqueline Keane will deliver a public lecture on the origins of the Earth's water. The lecture, hosted by the NUI Galway Centre of Astronomy in conjunction with the Galway Astronomy Club, will take place at 8pm on Monday, 23 August, in the Dillon Theatre, Arts/Science Building. During the lecture Dr Keane will present an overview of the University of Hawai'i NASA Astrobiology Institute studies which range from the interstellar medium to the interior of planet Earth, all designed to explain 'the origin, history, and distribution of water and its relation to life in the Universe'. She will also show pictures of many of the telescopes on Mauna Kea Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea on the island of Hawai i. The University of Hawai i investigates the astrophysical, cosmochemical, geological, and biological processes that link the history and distribution of life in the universe to that of water. NUI Galway Bachelor of Science and Masters of Astronomy graduate, Dr Jacqueline Keane is an Assistant Astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy and the University of Hawai i NASA Astrobiology Institute. Dr Keane, originally from Oranmore, Co. Galway, has previously worked with the European Space Agency Infrared Space Telescope studying the formation of water ice and organic molecules on interstellar dust grains in cold molecular clouds. Upon receiving her Ph.D., Dr Keane was the recipient of a research fellowship from the National Research Council that took her to spaces sciences division at NASA-AMES in California where she worked with the NASA infrared space-based telescope, Spitzer, for over three years. She is an expert in infrared space and ground-based observing and is the lead researcher for the UHNAI ground-based comet observing campaigns using an array of telescopes on Mauna Kea, the world's premier observation site. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of Centre of Astronomy, NUI Galway, said: "The Centre for Astronomy is please to welcome Dr Jacqueline Keane back to Galway for a short visit. Since leaving NUI Galway ten years ago she has worked with some the most advanced astronomical instrumentation at ESA and NASA. Her talk will look at the origin of the Earth's water and what are the chances of finding life on other planets". For further details on the lecture andy.shearer@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Students Sweep JCI Awards for Ireland's Outstanding Young People

NUI Galway Students Sweep JCI Awards for Ireland's Outstanding Young People-image

Friday, 13 August 2010

Three of the seven recipients of the Ireland's Outstanding Young People Award, coordinated by Junior Chamber International (JCI) are NUI Galway students. JCI, the world s largest leadership and personal development organisation for young people, recently held their annual 'Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year' Awards ceremony in Limerick where seven young Irish nominees were recognised for outstanding personal achievements. National nominees are eligible to go forward to the JCI World Outstanding Young Person of the Year to be held in Osaka, Japan in November. The winners included NUI Galway's Melanie Hennessy from Ennis, Co. Clare, a 20 year-old Medical student who helped set up a school in Nepal. Melanie also established her own University society, Draíocht, to generate funds to build an orphanage for the children of Nepal where she is currently working on improving the lives of these children. Mary Collins, a second-year Arts student from Claremorris, Co. Mayo, spearheaded the successful establishment and ongoing success of the St Patrick's Scout Group Venture section in Galway and also engineered and co-ordinated two outstanding fundraising and house building projects in Zambia and Honduras, raising €230,000. 18 year-old Sean Kearns, a second-year Nursing student from Tuam, Co. Galway, has been involved in a variety of voluntary experiences at NUI Galway. Sean established a University society, 'Best Buddies', a friendship programme that pairs college students in fun, enriching one to one friendships with students who have an intellectual disability; he was the organiser of "Ban the R Word" Campaign at NUI Galway. Speaking at the Awards ceremony President of JCI Ireland, Mark Kelly, said: "The Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award ceremony was an amazing night. It is a great opportunity for us to recognise so many great young people out there that are doing astonishing work accomplishing greatness and the awards help in highlighting these remarkable achievements. The JCI Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award recognises these young people and JCI encourages them and others to seek excellence and serve others". Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, Lorraine Tansey, said, "There is a tremendous voluntary ethos at NUI Galway and we are proud of the achievements of Melanie, Sean and Mary." For more information on the Outstanding Young Persons of the Year awards or any JCI events, visit the JCI Ireland website www.jci-ireland.org. -Ends-

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Children's Open Day at Zoology Museum in NUI Galway

Children's Open Day at Zoology Museum in NUI Galway-image

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Zoology and Marine Biology Museum at NUI Galway will host an open day for children aged between 7 and 12 years to celebrate 'Wild Child Day' of National Heritage Week on 21 August from 10.30am-12.00pm. Since it officially opened in September 2009, the museum has been home to many fine exhibits from glass models of marine invertebrates to a stuffed capybara, the favourite food of the anaconda. Visitors can wander around the Museum exploring the different exhibits, be drawn in by the beady eyes, scaly crocodiles, the skull of a minke whale, or the tooth of an elephant that is much bigger than you would expect. There is also an extensive collection of glass models of marine life from the renowned Blaschka collection, dating from the 1880's. In addition to the exhibits in glass cases, there will be some live specimens of scorpions, tarantulas, spiders, centipedes and snakes on display for children to see. Currently, a project is underway to label all the exhibits to increase information and interaction with visitors. Many of the specimens are routinely used for teaching purposes with second and third year zoology students. During the open day there will be a member of staff on hand to explain exhibits to children. Eoin Mac Loughlin, Senior Technical Officer in Zoology, NUI Galway, says: "Our Zoology Museum is a great asset to Galway, the nearest thing to it is the National History Museum in Dublin. It is interesting to young and old alike. It offers inspiration for Art students and a place to explore for children. Looking at the stuffed animals and glass models, children become captivated and learn to engage with their natural environment and wildlife, which is what National Heritage Week is all about". The Zoology and Marine Biology museum at NUI Galway has in its possession four genuine Charles Darwin specimens that have just recently been restored and put on display in the museum. They include a grison, an Azara's fox, a Patagonian cavy and a guira cuckoo originally given by Darwin to the Zoological Society of London in 1837. National Heritage Week is coordinated by the Heritage Council, the statutory body charged with identifying, protecting, preserving and enhancing Ireland's national heritage. National heritage includes monuments, archaeological objects, heritage objects, architectural heritage, flora, fauna, wildlife habitats, landscapes, seascapes, wrecks, geology, heritage gardens and parks, and inland waterways. For further information on the open day contact the Galway Civic Trust 091-564946. For more information on National Heritage Week visit http://www.heritageweek.ie. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Involved in European Radiation Research

NUI Galway Involved in European Radiation Research-image

Thursday, 12 August 2010

NUI Galway is one of the partners in a new European multi-million euro research project, investigating methods of screening radiation exposure. The project known as BOOSTER (Bio Dosimetric Tools for Triage and Responders) is an EU initiative to increase the security of citizens in the event of the malevolent use of radiation which focuses on speeding up the triaging process, which is the prioritisation of victims for treatment immediately following exposure to radiation. The €3.5 million project will have a duration of three years, (2010-2013). The new tools for screening radiation will be developed and integrated into a toolkit for the first responders in EU member states to use. The authorities responsible for responding to emergency situations vary. The task may fall to fire services, civil defence or occasionally the military. To determine the amount of radiation to which a person has been exposed, standard practice involves taking blood or another bodily fluid, looking at it under a microscope and documenting changes in chromosomes. This process typically takes up to three days to yield results and is very labour intensive. Since 2004, researchers in Biochemistry at NUI Galway have been working to reduce the period of time it takes to determine the amount of radiation to which a person is exposed. This work will now feed into phase one of the project. By counting the centrosomes, which are sub-cellular structures that control how cells divide and which multiply after irradiation, it is hoped that it will be possible to reduce the waiting time for results to less than one day. Dr Ciaran Morrison, a senior lecturer in the Centre for Chromosome Biology, who is leading the project at NUI Galway, explains: "There is urgency in triaging people exposed to radiation because it is necessary to quickly identify those who need no further intervention, those who will require close follow up, and those who will require hospitalisation. Serious exposure to large amounts of radiation can cause death in a short space of time, so rapid triaging is critical". Automation of the process to reduce labour intensity is another facet of the project, endeavouring to prepare the system for semi-industrial quantities of people, to cope with the event of a large-scale civilian disaster such as a nuclear power plant explosion. A more efficient process would also have applications for employees working in an environment where regular exposure to radiation is likely and civilian surveillance necessary. Dr Ciaran Morrison added: "It is exciting to see that the basic cell biology research we have done at NUI Galway, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board, can have a wide range of unanticipated applications in the real world". Ends

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First Year Student Hotline Launched at NUI Galway

First Year Student Hotline Launched at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

A new dedicated First Year Student Hotline has been launched by NUI Galway and will be open for calls from Wednesday (11 August) at 9am. The initiative, the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. The hotline will be open to the students, their parents and their advisers and will run until 24 September, 2010. A team of specially-trained staff and students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 21 and 28 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate Results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 11 and 12 September and it will remain in service for 2 weeks after lectures begin on September 13, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A new designated website for first years will also be created and updated on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Dr Martina Ní Chuláin, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway says: "We understand that this is such a difficult but yet exciting time for students entering University and we hope that this new initiative will provide a mechanism for quickly addressing any queries or concerns that students or their parents have. We at NUI Galway are committed to making the transition into University as easy as possible for our students and their families we look forward to taking to your calls". Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091-493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -Ends-

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Connect with Social Networking Gurus from Facebook and Google at NUI Galway

Connect with Social Networking Gurus from Facebook and Google at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Social media experts and social networking enthusiasts will descend on NUI Galway from 26-27 August for BlogTalk, an event to discuss current online trends and future developments in social media. BlogTalk will be held on the NUI Galway campus over two days, and will consist of keynote talks, discussion panels, and plenty of networking opportunities for those attending. The invited keynote talks will be given by Stowe Boyd, an authority on social tools and originator of the term 'advisory capital'; Dan Gillmor, a noted Silicon Valley journalist, author of We the Media, and director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship; and Don Thibeau, director of OpenID, an easy and safe log-in system for websites used by Yahoo, Google and many others. Other notable speakers include Blaine Cook, former lead developer with Twitter and now with BT; Charles Dowd, manager for Facebook's Platform Operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Ade Oshineye, developer advocate with the Google Social Web team. Some of the topics to be discussed will include: the need for a new kind of media literacy in our increasingly networked age; how businesses and third parties can benefit from the Facebook Platform by integrating Facebook with their own services; ensuring that citizens can trust that their identity and data is being protected by government websites; and new research data from NUI Galway illustrating how Twitter has gone beyond early adopters and trend followers to become a mature service with a constant growth rate. Irish social media gurus will also give talks, including Darragh Doyle, communications manager with boards.ie; Fergus Hurley, founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley startup Clixtr; and Ted Vickey, former executive director at the White House Athletic Center and a frequent speaker on LinkedIn. Galway native Hurley will talk about his experiences in setting up a consumer Internet startup in Silicon Valley, raising money from venture capitalists and what he's learnt from the journey. Ted Vickey will help attendees learn how to get maximum impact for their CV using the LinkedIn business networking site. The evolution of open spaces for collaborative creative activities will also be covered, using the Galway-based 091 Labs as an example. Conference chair John Breslin of NUI Galway, says: "This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts on social networks and to imagine about what is coming down the road in terms of social media. Also, the schedule has been arranged so that there will be plenty of time to meet the speakers and other like-minded people". Early bird registration is open at www.blogtalk.net until Wednesday, 18 August, and costs €149 for two days (€99 for students and unemployed). There is also a special hotel rate of €89 available for the nights of the 25 and 26 August with The House Hotel; just quote BlogTalk when booking. The event is being sponsored by socialmedia.net, a campus startup company blogging about the future of social media, and the NUI Galway Millennium Fund. -Ends-

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