Monday, 11 May 2015

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway is now accepting delegates for its 2015 summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will be held from 15-19 June at NUI Galway. The ICC Summer School, offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. Leading specialists will deliver comprehensive lectures over the course of five days which will provide delegates with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victims. This year’s summer school includes a special session on Palestine and the ICC involving the participation of the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland, Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek. Dr Shane Darcy, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “The International Criminal Court is the world’s first permanent court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Despite some setbacks and obstacles, the Court is now fully functional and holding trials, and it provides an avenue for those seeking justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses.” During the ICC summer school, expert presentations will be delivered by: Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Don Ferencz, Visiting Professor, Middlesex University; Professor Ray Murphy, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Dr Shane Darcy, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Kevin Jon Heller, School of Oriental and African Studies, London; John McManus, Department of Justice, Canada; Dr Mohamed El Zeidy, Pre-Trial Chamber II, ICC; Dr Rod Rastan, Office of the Prosecutor, ICC; Dr Fabricio Guariglia, Director of the Prosecution Division, ICC; Professor Megan Fairlie, Florida International University; Dr Nadia Bernaz, Middlesex University; Dr Mohamed Elewa Badar, Northumbria University; Dr Noelle Higgins, Maynooth University; Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana and University of Lincoln; and Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, Barrister, London. The registration fee is €450, which includes all course materials, all lunches and refreshments, a social activity, a closing dinner and a complimentary copy of William A. Schabas, Introduction to the International Criminal Court. The closing date for registrations is Saturday, 30 May. To register, visit www.conference.ie or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com for more information. -Ends-

Monday, 11 May 2015

CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices, has been awarded funding for the Chimera Art and Science Project. The NUI Galway0based project, will bring artists and scientists together to create a dialogue around the ethical and cultural issues of tissue engineering and medical devices. The Chimera project is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme which aims to support and develop the STEM education and public engagement sector in Ireland. Two Artists-in-Residence, Joanna Hopkins and Siobhan McGibbon, will be given access to the laboratories of CÚRAM in order to create art works and describe their experiences on social media. In addition to the Artist-in-Residency programme, eleven Fine Art students from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) are participating in a student project. The artists’ and students’ work will culminate in an exhibition which will be exhibited during Medical Devices Week at the end of the year. The exhibition will take place alongside cutting-edge medical devices in the Biosciences Building at NUI Galway and in the foyers of key medical device companies. The Chimera project will allow fruitful collaboration and communication between the two disciplines of art and science. Chimera is the brainchild of the project curator Andrea Fitzpatrick and Professor Abhay Pandit, who is the Director of CÚRAM. “Art can act as a vital catalyst for experimental practice and help develop new ways to inspire and communicate across traditional boundaries,” explains Andrea Fitzpatrick. The programme will use a hands-on approach and offer a space for creative inquiry where artists will use the technologies and tools of science. By having the artists work in laboratories alongside scientists, professionals from both disciplines will be forced to think differently and find a common ground for communication. CÚRAM is a major new national research centre based at NUI Galway. The prime objective for CÚRAM will be to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. CÚRAM is poised to design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. For more information visit http://chimeraartandscience.com/ -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

€6 million grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme A large-scale clinical trial using adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis is expected to be underway across Europe by the end of 2015. Almost €6 million has been granted to the project ‘ADIPOA-2’ by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme. The project will include 18 partners from Ireland, France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway is coordinating the project. Osteoarthritis is an incurable and debilitating disease. It has been identified as the world’s eleventh highest contributor to disability and affects over 70 million Europeans. It causes severe and chronic pain, joint stiffness and loss of function. Currently there is no drug, medical intervention or therapy that alters the progression of osteoarthritis and many patients ultimately undergo total joint replacement surgery. In its first phase, completed in 2014, the EU consortium ADIPOA carried out a first-in-man Phase I safety study in 18 patients. Treatment involved a single injection of stem cells cultured from the patients’ own fatty tissue. The results of this were sufficiently encouraging to warrant a larger, multi-centre Phase 2b study to further test the effectiveness of the treatment. ADIPOA-2 will now build on the work of ADIPOA to deliver a randomised clinical trial across 10 hospitals in Europe involving 150 patients. The research will further assess the safety and efficacy of patient-derived stems cells in the treatment of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee. Another major element of ADIPOA-2 will involve the production of consistent batches of high-quality autologous (patient’s own) stem cells under GMP-compliant conditions. These cells will be produced in centres in France, Germany and Ireland. This multi-site approach will consolidate expertise in the preparation of clinically approved batches of stem cells across Europe in a ground-breaking cooperation between manufacturing centres. Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway, is Coordinator of the ADIPOA-2 project. Professor Barry explains: “The results from ADIPOA’s first-in-man-trials were very encouraging and paved the way for another study to further test the safety and effectiveness on a wider scale. ADIPOA-2 is bringing together Europe’s leading scientific, clinical and technical expertise on this project. Professor Christian Jorgensen, Head of The Clinical Unit for Osteoarticular Diseases University Hospital Montpellier in France, who led the Phase 1 trial and is Clinical Sponsor of the new trial, said “Ambitious as it sounds, we are aiming to deliver an effective treatment for the debilitating and incurable condition of osteoarthritis within as little as five years. We have arrived at this point because of a great deal of work by many scientists, clinicians and stem cell experts who have made enormous contributions in understanding the therapeutic potential of stem cells.” -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is running a free public talk on Elder Abuse.  The aim of this public talk is to bring greater recognition of abuse of older adults wherever they live, and to highlight the need for appropriate action. The talk takes place on Monday, 15 June from 3-5pm in Áras Moyola. This talk on elder abuse is the third event of the school’s Public Lecture Series, an innovative community outreach initiative which has previously focussed on Suicide Prevention and Ebola Awareness. The series aims to share knowledge and expertise on health matters with local communities. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is celebrated on 15 June each year to allow communities around the world to engage in activities to mark the day and raise public awareness of this issue. The talk is open to the public and free of charge. If there are any future topics you would like covered in NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery Public lecture Series, please contact john.quinlivan@nuigalway.ie or mary.e.gannon@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Bon Secours Hospital Galway announce affiliation with National University of Ireland, Galway Bon Secours Hospital Galway have today announced that they will now be recognised as an affiliated teaching hospital of NUI Galway following an agreement between the two institutions. The Memorandum of Understanding will mean that NUI Galway will now offer clinical placement opportunities to final year Medical Students in Bon Secours Hospital as part of their final year Training Programme. Student nurses from NUI Galway already fulfil part of their degree course training in Bon Secours Hospital. Mr. Gerry Burke, Chief Executive Officer, Bon Secours Galway stated “We are delighted to announce that Bon Secours Galway is now an affiliated teaching hospital of NUI Galway. It is an honour to be recognised as a teaching hospital of the College and our dedicated Consultants and staff will now have an opportunity to pass on their skills and help develop the medical professionals of the future. The Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Timothy O’Brien, highlights the significance of this partnership to the University. “The College is enthusiastic about integrating more from an educational and research perspective with public and private healthcare providers within our region, consistent with the strategic plan of NUI Galway.  The partnership with Bon Secours Galway will provide our medical and nursing students with excellent exposure to clinical practice in the private hospital setting and also greatly facilitates enhanced educational and research opportunities across both organisations.”  Mr. John McCabe, Bon Secours Medical Director commented: “As an NUI Galway graduate myself and as the Medical Director of Bon Secours, Galway I am thrilled to see this valuable partnership come together. NUI Galway students will now work closely with the exceptional team of Consultants and staff at the hospital as part of their training. We are committed to offering students from NUI Galway the highest standard of education and training support in our state-of-the-art facilities.” This partnership also offers development opportunities to hospital staff with NUI Galway making teaching and learning opportunities available to hospital staff from time to time to support them in providing clinical education of the highest standard to students of NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.” The medical curriculum at NUI Galway is a five-year programme with an annual intake of approximately 180 students.  The curriculum is innovative and integrates the life sciences with clinical practice, provides for early patient exposure, immersion in a variety of clinical environments and, from the 2015/16 academic year onwards, will also be emphasising intern preparedness to a greater extent. For more information on NUI Galway please visit www.nuigalway.ie/medicine/ or for more information on Bon Secours Hospital, Galway please see www.bonsecours.ie/galway. ENDS

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

‘Rails Girls’, a worldwide movement that aims to bridge the gender divide in technology and teach women how to code, is back to Galway for a third year edition. The free weekend workshop will let females of all ages into the world of building web applications and software services.   Funded by NUI Galway’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics' Outreach Programme, ‘Rails Girls’ will take place from 27-28 June at Insight in the Dangan IDA Business Park.   The organisers comprise of young female IT engineers and researchers involved in local third-level colleges, businesses, schools and volunteer digital makers’ clubs such as CoderDojo and 091Labs. The workshop will use 'Ruby on Rails', a powerful web application framework for the Ruby programming language. No prior knowledge of programming is required and is suitable for absolute beginners to computer coding.   Myriam Leggieri, PhD student with Insight at NUI Galway and founder of the Rails Girls Galway chapter, said: “There are stereotypes in our society that lead us to imagine programming as a boring, too complicated, isolated activity. We want to demonstrate that it can be a social, creative and fun job. The country desperately needs a generation of young coders of both sexes to help lay the foundations of a ‘Knowledge Economy’ and create the jobs for a sustainable future. But there is, in particular, a dire shortage of female IT developers in Ireland and across the world as well as in the professions of science, technology, engineering and maths professions generally. There is no reason why this should be the case except for lack of exposure to such environments. Events such as 'Rails Girls' directly address this issue and empower girls to take the first step in learning these in-demand skills and acquiring the tools to conquer one of the last great frontiers of science, namely the World Wide Web.”   The first event, launched by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen, was held in Helsinki in 2010 and is a worldwide phenomena.   Further information and application forms are available at www.railsgirls.com/galway. The closing date for applications is Sunday, 31 May. There are a limited amount of places available so early registration is recommended.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Galway County Fleadh will be held in NUI Galway this weekend, from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 May after a 35 year absence from the city. The event sees the cream of the county’s traditional musicians visiting campus and competing to represent Galway at provincial level. With over 1,000 entries to the various competitions, the Fleadh Cheoil promises to bring energy and fun to the campus, and all are welcome to join in the festivities. Most competitions take place on the concourse in the heart of the campus. The most popular competitions will be held in lecture theatres, so there will be lots of room to hold the 3,000 spectators expected. The dancing competitions, the céilí bands and the grúpaí ceoil attract the largest followings and these will be held in the University’s Bailey Allen Hall. There is a particular interest in the Irish language competitions this year, and they will take place in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway’s main location for Irish language education. The Fleadh Cheoil is organised this year in partnership between the Moycullen and Knocknacarra branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and the opening night concert on Friday will see local talent from the branches and from schools in the area performing in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Fleadh Cheoil is a great opportunity for young and old to explore the University campus. According to Rúnaí na hOllscoile, Gearóid Ó Conluain, “We are delighted to partner with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in bringing the Galway County Fleadh to NUI Galway. The University is committed to opening up our campus to the wider community, and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to campus to enjoy the best of traditional music from the county.” Competitions will be held on Saturday and Sunday, beginning in the morning at 10am and running until 6pm, and there will be lots of traditional music sessions dotted around campus over the weekend. All are welcome to come and enjoy the music, with admission to most events free-of-charge. Parking on campus will also be free over the weekend, and volunteers will be on hand to direct visitors to the competitions. For more information and for a programme of events and competitions, visit: www.galwayfleadh.ie ENDS Fáiltíonn OÉ Gaillimh roimh Fhleá na Gaillimhe ar ais sa chathair den chéad uair le 35 bliain Beidh Fleá Chontae na Gaillimhe ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh an deireadh seachtaine seo, idir Dé hAoine, an 15 Bealtaine go dtí Dé Domhnaigh, an 17 Bealtaine agus é 35 bliain cheana ó bhí sé ar siúl sa chathair. Tabharfaidh na ceoltóirí traidisiúnta is fearr sa chontae aghaidh ar a chéile ar an gcampas agus iad san iomaíocht chun ionadaíocht a dhéanamh ar Ghaillimh i gcraobh an chúige. Beidh breis is 1,000 duine istigh ar na comórtais éagsúla. Beidh fuinneamh agus spraoi ar an gcampas dá bharr agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Beidh formhór na gcomórtas ar siúl ar an tslí dála, i gcroílár an champais. Beidh na comórtais is mó tóir ar siúl sna léachtlanna agus beidh siad in acmhainn an 3,000 duine a bhfuil súil leo a thógáil. Is iad na comórtais damhsa, na bannaí céilí agus na grúpaí ceoil is mó a mheallann daoine agus beidh siad seo ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen san Ollscoil. Tá béim ar leith ar na comórtais Ghaeilge i mbliana, agus beidh siad sin ar siúl in Áras na Gaeilge, príomhionad oideachais trí Ghaeilge san Ollscoil.  Tá an Fhleá Cheoil á reáchtáil i mbliana ag craobhacha Mhaigh Cuilinn agus Chnoc na Cathrach de Chomhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, agus beidh ceolchoirm ar siúl oíche Dé hAoine ag ceoltóirí áitiúla as na craobhacha agus as scoileanna an cheantair i Halla Bailey Allen. Is deis iontach an Fhleá Cheoil do dhaoine óg agus aosta leis an gcampas a fheiceáil ar a gcompord. Deir Rúnaí na hOllscoile, Gearóid Ó Conluain, “Tá ríméad orainn dul i gcomhar le Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann chun Fleá an Chontae a reáchtáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an Ollscoil diongbháilte ar an gcampas a oscailt do phobal níos leithne agus táimid ag súil le fáilte a chur roimh na mílte cuairteoir ar an gcampas chun scoth an cheoil thraidisiúnta a chloisteáil.” Beidh comórtais ar siúl Dé Sathairn agus Dé Domhnaigh, ag tosú ag 10am ar maidin go dtí 6pm tráthnóna, agus beidh neart seisiún ceoil ar fud an champais ar feadh na deireadh seachtaine. Tá fáilte roimh chách agus tá saorchead isteach chuig formhór na n-imeachtaí. Beidh an pháirceáil saor in aisce ar an gcampas chomh maith ag an deireadh seachtaine agus beidh oibrithe deonacha ar fáil chun cuairteoirí a threorú chuig na comórtais. Chun tuilleadh eolais agus clár imeachtaí a fháil téigh chuig: www.galwayfleadh.ie. CRÍOCH

Thursday, 14 May 2015

NUI Galway will host the 51st Annual Irish Neurological Association (INA) Meeting from 28-29 Mayin the Bailey Allen Hall.The INA meeting is the largest annual clinical neuroscience meeting in Ireland. Clinical Neuroscience Departments in the Republic and Northern Ireland are invited to participate in this meeting. Dr Peter Calabresi, Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medical School Baltimore, will deliver the Callaghan Guest Lecture at the meeting, entitled ‘Mechanisms underlying disease progression in multiple sclerosis and strategies for tissue protection and repair’. Abstracts presented at the meeting will include:   Dr Layan Akijian and Professor Peter Kelly, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, who will present research on why patients with mini-strokes (TIAs) have a higher risk of recurrent stroke than those who have had a prior completed stroke.This study may have important public health educational implications.     Catherine Moran and Daniel Rawluk, Beaumont Hospital, will present results of a new Neurosurgical Treatment for a painful neurological condition called trigeminal neuralgia.   Dr Diana Olszewska and Professor Tim Lynch, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, will present results on the incidence of familial Parkinson’s disease in Ireland   Dr Stephanie Rutledge and Professor Niall Tubridy, St. Vincent’s University Hospital will present research measuring early mobility difficulties in patients with MS using electronic sensors, which may be useful in guiding treatment. Two presentations concern the impact of Smartphones on epilepsy; one presentation is a case report of epilepsy induced by texting, while the other presentation concerns the clinical usefulness of smartphone videotaping of seizures to assist with diagnosis. Dr Timothy Counihan, Consultant Neurologist with Galway University Hospitals, and Irish Neurological Association President 2015, said: "It is particularly fitting that the 51st meeting of the Irish Neurological Association will be taking place at NUI Galway. The University is home to the only stem cell manufacturing facility in Ireland and also the location of a state-of-the-art Clinical Research Facility. It is therefore a pleasure to welcome neuroscience colleagues from all over Ireland and elsewhere to share research ideas and improve the care of patients with neurological disorders." The Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience is an All-Ireland charity and limited company which aims to promote research and education in clinical neuroscience in Ireland. It organises academic meetings where teaching is carried out and where findings from neuroscience research are presented. It endorses and offers support for conducting research in neuroscience in Ireland. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The School of Psychology at NUI Galway, in association with the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Division of Health Psychology, will hold two major linked conference events on 8 and 9 June, 2015. The events will focus on the area of health psychology, which applies psychological theory, research, and practice to the promotion and maintenance of health and prevention of physical illness. In healthcare, there is a growing emphasis on changing behaviours such as smoking, diet and alcohol consumption to prevent and manage chronic illnesses. Health Psychology, with its focus on promotion of healthy behaviours and self-management of chronic illness, has much to contribute to improving health outcomes for all. Innovations in Health Psychology On 8 June, the School of Psychology will celebrate 21 years of health psychology at NUI Galway hosting an event entitled ‘Innovations in Health Psychology’. The event will have a mix of invited speakers, panel discussions and poster presentations. International invited speakers will share the experience of health psychology in other European countries, and leading health psychologists in Ireland will present their current work. The event aims to promote discussion and debate about key achievements and new directions for Health Psychology and takes place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. According to Dr AnnMarie Groarke, Head of the School of Psychology: “Twenty-one years on, we have substantial expertise nationally. NUI Galway is a leading centre of training and research in health psychology. Indeed, there has been great interest in our ‘Innovations in Health Psychology’ event, and we hope that it will further raise the profile of health psychology in Ireland.” Chair of Innovations in Health Psychology, Dr Molly Byrne, NUI Galway said: ‘The event will provide a unique opportunity to bring together the health psychology community in Ireland and abroad, in combination with leading health service providers and policy makers in the areas of health service delivery and health promotion. We have pulled together a broad range of presentations to showcase existing initiatives. We hope that interactive panel discussions during the day will give attendees the opportunity to explore and debate the future role of health psychology in health-related practice, policy and research. We are particularly delighted that Dr Stephanie O’Keefe, HSE National Director of the Health and Wellbeing Division, will join us to discuss the role of health psychology in improving health outcomes in Ireland through the roll out of the Healthy Ireland programme.” Mhealth Conference On 9 June, the recently established Mhealth research group at the School of Psychology will demonstrate some of the practical applications of health psychology in this growing field. ‘Mhealth’ is a term used for the practice of medicine and health supported by mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers and PDAs. M-health research encompasses a variety of topics, including increased access to healthcare and health-related information (particularly for hard-to-reach populations); improved ability to diagnose and track diseases; more timely and actionable public health information; and expanded access to ongoing medical education and training for health workers. NUI Galway’s Dr Jane Walsh is Chair of the Mhealth research group said, “This interdisciplinary event is the first of its kind in Ireland and will serve to showcase some of the cutting edge international research in the area of Mhealth. This conference is being organised with the Health and Wellbeing cluster of the Whitaker Research Institute.  The event will aim to promote the development of high quality multidisciplinary research networks through which NUI Galway can achieve the highest quality of scientific excellence working with international research leaders and all the various stakeholders from in healthcare and industry.” This event is supported by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland ‘New Foundations’ Scheme award held by Dr Jane Walsh and PhD student Eimear Morrissey with additional support from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, the Whitaker Institute and a Health Research Board Research Leaders award held by Dr Brian McGuire. The Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway will be the venue for the event. Health Psychology Health psychology has grown steadily in Ireland over the past two decades, especially with the introduction of an MSc in Health Psychology at NUI Galway in 1994, by Professor Ruth Curtis. Many of the field’s current experts and leaders are graduates of this Masters programme; now working in diverse areas such as research, education, public policy and clinical health practice. Impact on Irish health and wellbeing‘Healthy Ireland’ is the recently published national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland. Health psychology, which helps us understand how to promote behaviours such as exercise and healthy eating, is ideally placed to inform the delivery of the Healthy Ireland vision in the coming decade. ends

Thursday, 14 May 2015

NUI Galway recently held the EXPLORE Celebration Showcase celebrating over 80 innovation projects. Launched by NUI Galway and the University’s Students’ Union in 2012, the EXPLORE project supports students and staff to work together to pilot new ideas. To date, EXPLORE, the first scheme of its kind in Irish higher education, has delivered over 80 new projects not only on campus, but also nationally and globally, with more than 500 participants. Professor Chris Curtin, Vice-President for Innovation and Performance, at NUI Galway said: “EXPLORE is part of a wider initiative at NUI Galway to foster an innovative, ideas culture where students and staff are encouraged to come up with ideas and run with them. It’s about building a network of campus innovators. EXPLORE gives students a real opportunity to transform ideas into practice. But, it also gives them an opportunity to work hands on with staff on an on-going basis. I think this is a really important part of the EXPLORE initiative since many students experience staff at a distance in lecture halls, or in seminars, or in tutorials.” The wider community benefits from EXPLORE as many projects are specifically developed to address societal needs, and the reach of EXPLORE projects already stretches into the thousands both on and off campus. Over 12,000 school children have directly engaged with EXPLORE, while digital teaching and study aids created by EXPLORE projects have had well in excess of 60,000 views. In comparison with traditional enterprise success and attrition rates, EXPLORE has an 85% project completion rate. EXPLORE projects have recently been showcased at the Apple iStore, Regent Street, London; and The World Teaching and Learning Conference. NUI Galway Students’ Union President Declan Higgins said: “The unique opportunity for students and lecturers to collaborate on these projects is invaluable. It invites both out from the oasis of their comfort zones to the realm of the uncertain – often times with excellent and inspiring results, and today is testament to this. -Ends-

Friday, 15 May 2015

NUI Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, has heralded next week’s royal visit as an “an important milestone in this University’s proud 170 year-old history” NUI Galway is delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to NUI Galway as part of their private visit to Ireland this coming week. The visit to the campus will take place on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, stated: “It is with great pleasure we welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to NUI Galway and the west of Ireland. Founded in 1845 as one of three Queen’s Colleges, this historic visit is an important milestone in this University’s proud 170 year-old history. We are honoured to host a reception at NUI Galway to celebrate this royal visit and we look forward to showcasing the University’s many and diverse achievements to the royal visitors. Ranked among the top 2% of universities in the world, our students, teachers, researchers and alumni have a well-respected reputation. The NUI Galway community constantly builds it network of relationships that span the globe and as an extension to this we very much look forward to extending a Céad Míle Fáilte to The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.” Preparations are underway at the University to showcase its heritage as well as its current impact on the world to Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The Irish language and Celtic studies will be central to the showcase as will key research areas such as Biomedical Science and Engineering; Environment, Marine and Energy; Social Science and Policy; Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences; and Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities. Highlights of the visit will include current students meeting with the royal guests and a special tree planting ceremony. Follow the event live! The University is delighted to announce that the public can follow the event live as a live stream will be available at www.nuigalway.ie/royalvisit Event commentary via Twitter will be available by following @nuigalway and other social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin will update as the preparations for the royal visit continue. While it will be business as usual for the majority of staff and students, some restrictions will apply to the Quadrangle and nearby buildings on 18-19 May. The University is working with An Garda Síochána to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. ENDS Cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh fáilte roimh an gCuairt Ríoga ar an gCampas D'fhógair Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, cuairt ríoga na seachtaine seo chugainn mar “bhuaicphointe in oidhreacht 170 bliain na hOllscoile” Is mór an ríméad atá ar OÉ fáilte a chur roimh a Mórgachtaí Ríoga, Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine chuig OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de chuairt phríobháideach ar Éirinn an tseachtain seo chugainn. Tabharfaidh siad cuairt ar an gcampas Dé Máirt, an 19 Bealtaine 2015. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is mór an t-údar ríméid dom fáilte a chur roimh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga, Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine, chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus Iarthar na hÉireann. Bunaíodh an Ollscoil i 1845 mar cheann de thrí Choláiste na Banríona agus is ócáid an-stairiúil a bheas sa chuairt seo in oidhreacht 170 bliain na hOllscoile seo. Is mór an onóir fáiltiú a bheith againn don chuairt ríoga seo in OÉ Gaillimh agus beidh deis againn éachtaí éagsúla na hOllscoile a chur i láthair na gcuairteoirí ríoga ar an lá. Tá áit bainte amach ag an Ollscoil seo i measc an 2% is fearr sa domhan, agus tá dea-cháil ar ár mic léinn, ár dteagascóirí, ár dtaighdeoirí agus ár n-alumni. Bíonn pobal OÉ Gaillimh i gcónaí ag cur leis na naisc atá againn ar fud na cruinne agus ní haon iontas mar sin go bhfuilimid ag súil go mór le fáilte ó chroí a chur roimh Phrionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine.” Tá ullmhúcháin ar bun san Ollscoil faoi láthair chun a hoidhreacht agus an lorg atá fágtha ag an Ollscoil ar an saol mór a léiriú do Phrionsa na Breataine Bige agus do Bhandiúc Chorn na Breataine. Beidh páirt mhór ag an nGaeilge agus ag an Léann Ceilteach sa chur i láthair seo chomh maith le réimsí móra taighde cosúil le hEolaíocht agus Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis; Comhshaol, Muir agus Fuinneamh; Eolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus Beartas; Ionformaitic, Anailísíocht Sonraí, Eolaíochtaí Fisiciúla & Ríomhaireachta; agus na Daonnachtaí i gComhthéacs, na Daonnachtaí Digiteacha san áireamh. I measc bhuaicphointí na cuairte beidh mic léinn ag casadh leis na cuairteoirí ríoga agus searmanas speisialta ag cur crainn. Lean an ócáid beo ar líne! Tá an-áthas ar an Ollscoil a fhógairt go bhféadfaidh an saol mór an ócáid a fheiceáil mar bheoshruth ag www.nuigalway.ie/royalvisit Beidh tráchtaireacht ar an ócáid ar Twitter ach @nuigalway a leanúint agus beidh na socruithe is deireanaí maidir leis an gcuairt ríoga le fáil ar mheáin shóisialta eile cosúil le Facebook agus Linkedin. Cé go bhfeidhmeoidh formhór na gcomhaltaí foirne agus na mac léinn mar is gnáth, beidh roinnt srianta i bhfeidhm ar an gCearnóg agus ar roinnt foirgneamh eile in aice láimhe an 18-19 Bealtaine. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGarda Síochána chun a chinntiú nach mbeidh aon fhadhbanna ar an lá. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

President Dr Jim Browne will welcome the royal couple A commemorative oak tree will be planted The historic Quadrangle at NUI Galway will be the setting today for an elaborate showcase of heritage, culture, research and education. NUI Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, will welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to the campus for the start of their visit to Galway, Clare and Sligo. The visitors will be greeted by Irish music and dance in the ‘Quad’, followed by an ‘NUI Galway Expo’ and reception. The Expo will provide the visitors with first-hand insights into the University’s heritage, the Irish language and Celtic studies, and the latest cutting-edge research. There will also be an opportunity to meet with students from Ireland and across the Commonwealth. Ahead of the visit, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, stated: “It is with great pleasure we welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to NUI Galway. There is huge resonance to this visit for the NUI Galway community because of the decision made in the 1840s to establish three Queen’s Colleges in Galway, Cork and Belfast. That decision – at the height of the Irish Famine – a time of real austerity – was transformative for our country – and especially our region. This is evident from the impact on society which our alumni, our academics, our students and our researchers have to this day.” Heritage Their Royal Highnesses will be shown memorabilia from the founding times of the University. NUI Galway’s prestigious history spans back 170 years to its foundation in 1845. Known then as Queen’s College Galway, the University was one of three Queen’s Colleges, the others located in Cork and Belfast. Items on show will include original architectural plans, pencil, ink and watercolour on canvas, of the Quadrangle, built in local limestone and modelled on Christ Church at the University of Oxford. They will also be shown the first roll-book, also known as ‘The Declaration Book’, dating from 1849, original leather binding with gilded inlay and insignia, contains the signed oath and declaration of the first Presidents, all academic staff and register all students who matriculated and enrolled as Queen’s College Galway from its first academic year of 1849-50. Initially, there were only 63 students enrolled at the College, which is now home to over 17,000 students. Irish Language and Celtic Studies A unique aspect of NUI Galway’s role as a University is its strategic commitment to the provision of University education through the medium of Irish and the University’s aim to serve the Gaeltacht and the Irish language community, and to create an exemplary bilingual campus. The guests will be given a presentation on the standard reference English-Irish dictionary. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, Irish writers claimed the ‘Crown of Ireland’ was theirs to bestow on their preferred candidate as the rightful king of the three kingdoms. For Irish language writers of the late medieval period, cultural allegiance was more significant than religious or political affiliation as a marker of Irish identity. The Royal Couple will be presented with an image from Breandán Ó Buachalla’s book The Crown of Ireland. Research Impact Situated on the edge of Europe, NUI Galway is a dynamic location for research and innovation. The University’s approach is to be collaborative, creative, interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial. NUI Galway partners with almost 3,000 research institutes worldwide to create global networks of expertise. The ‘Expo’ will showcase research across five broad areas, including: Applied Social Sciences and Public Policy; Biomedical Science and Engineering; Environment, Marine and Energy; Humanities in Context, including Digital Humanities; and Informatics, Data Analytics, Physical and Computational Sciences. Of particular interest to Their Royal Highnesses may be NUI Galway’s research in: Medical devices and regenerative medicine: Researchers at CÚRAM Centre for Medical Devices, will discuss novel devices for treating bone degeneration disease such as osteoporosis. CÚRAM researchers are creating nanoscale fibres from polymers and incorporating these into a mesh-like scaffold that mimics the natural bone matrix. Importantly, these scaffold materials can be utilised for the regeneration of large bone defects, which do not undergo spontaneous regeneration normally. Violence against Women and Girls: Their Royal Highnesses will also hear about a new research project in the University’s Global Women’s Studies Centre funded by the UK Department for International Development called What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls. NUI Galway is leading the component of the programme which aims to understand the economic and social costs of such violence in three developing states: South Sudan and the commonwealth countries of Pakistan and Ghana. It is known that Violence against Women Girls (VAWG) has consequences for individuals and families; this project aims to deepen and extend our understanding of the impacts of VAWG by examining the economic costs that limit growth and development and the social costs that may contribute to social fragility and conflict. Abbey Theatre Archive: NUI Galway is working with the Abbey Theatre to digitise their entire archive in the largest such project in the world. In addition to the digitisation, the Insight Centre at NUI Galway is using advanced technologies to make this priceless resource accessible to as broad an audience as possible. This allows us to uncover previously unknown knowledge such as connections between specific actors and directors during the theatre’s history. Supporting youth: In work aligned to the Prince’s Trust programmes, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is developing a cadre of (nation based) community of youth as peer mentors/supporters. Commissioned by UN/UNESCO, the Centre will co-lead on a research project on the prevention of youth extremism through civic engagement.  One strand, (Marie Curie funded) will focus on understanding youth Multi-cultural and Disadvantaged (London and Dublin); Post-Conflict ( Belfast) and Rurally isolated (Galway). Their Royal Highnesses will have the opportunity to meet some Youth Researchers (trained by the UNESCO Centre) whom form a key aspect of the research programme. Marine and Energy Research: The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research contributes to some of the most important national and international, long-term, environmental, marine and energy research issues. The Ryan Institute's affiliated researchers are committed to knowledge sharing and collaboration across the sciences, engineering, social sciences and medicine. Specifically to be discussed will be marine renewable energy, earth observation for environmental change, marine zoology, deep-sea habitats and anaerobic digestion in agriculture. Tree planting ceremony NUI Galway is Ireland’s most biodiverse university, and over 100 specimen trees surround the historic Quadrangle, some as old as the building itself. Today, in a special ceremony, Their Royal Highnesses will plant a sessile oak beside the Quadrangle. The sessile oak has particularly special meaning as it connects Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. It is the official National Tree of Ireland, where it is known as the Irish oak or Dair ghaelach (‘Gaelic oak’). Also, it is the national tree of Wales and is considered the national tree of Cornwall, as reflected by its other common names, the Welsh oak and the Cornish Oak. Event commentary via Twitter will be available by following @nuigalway and other social media channels such as Facebook and Linkedin will update as the preparations for the royal visit continue. #royalvisitireland While it will be business as usual for the majority of staff and students, strict restrictions will apply to the Quadrangle and nearby buildings on 19 May. The University is working with An Garda Síochána to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. ENDS   Cuirfear tús leis an gCuairt Ríoga ar OÉ Gaillimh le taispeántas oidhreachta agus taighde Cuirfidh an tUachtarán, an Dr Jim Browne, fáilte roimh an lánúin ríoga Cuirfear crann darach comórtha Is i gCearnóg stairiúil OÉ Gaillimh a dhéanfar taispeántas iontach d’oidhreacht, cultúr, taighde agus oideachas inniu. Cuirfidh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, fáilte roimh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine chuig an gcampas chun tús a chur lena gcuairt ar Ghaillimh, ar an gClár agus ar Shligeach. Seinnfear ceol agus déanfar damhsa traidisiúnta na hÉireann do na cuairteoirí sa Chearnóg, agus ina dhiaidh sin beidh ‘Taispeántas OÉ Gaillimh’ mar aon le fáiltiú. Tabharfaidh an Taispeántas léargas pearsanta do na cuairteoirí ar oidhreacht na hOllscoile, ar an nGaeilge agus ar an Léann Ceilteach, agus ar an taighde ceannródaíoch is déanaí. Beidh deis ag an lánúin chomh maith casadh le mic léinn as Éirinn agus as an gComhlathas. Ag labhairt dó roimh an gcuairt, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Is mór an t-údar ríméid dúinn fáilte a chur roimh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga Prionsa na Breataine Bige agus Bandiúc Chorn na Breataine chuig OÉ Gaillimh. Tá spéis ollmhór ag pobal OÉ Gaillimh sa chuairt seo mar gheall ar an gcinneadh a rinneadh sna 1840í trí Choláiste de chuid na Banríona a bhunú i nGaillimh, i gCorcaigh agus i mBéal Feirste. Bhí an cinneadh sin – i lár an Ghorta Mhóir, tráth a raibh déine i mbarr réime – athraitheach dár dtír – agus go háirithe dár réigiún. Tá sé seo soiléir ón tionchar atá ag ár alumni, acadóirí, mic léinn agus taighdeoirí ar an tsochaí fós sa lá atá inniu ann.” Oidhreacht Taispeánfar earraí cuimhneacháin do na Mórgachtaí Ríoga ón uair a bunaíodh an Ollscoil. Áiríonn oidhreacht shaibhir OÉ Gaillimh 170 bliain ag dul siar go dtí bliain a bunaithe i 1845. Tugadh Coláiste na Banríona, Gaillimh air agus bhí an Ollscoil ar cheann de thrí Choláiste na Banríona, bhí an péire eile i gCorcaigh agus i mBéal Feirste. I measc na n-earraí a bheidh ar taispeáint beidh bunphleananna ailtireachta i bpeann luaidhe, dúch agus uiscedhath ar chanbhás, den Chearnóg a tógadh le haolchloch áitiúil agus a múnlaíodh ar Ardeaglais Chríost in Ollscoil Oxford. Taispeánfar dóibh chomh maith an chéad leabhar rolla, ar a dtugtar ‘An Leabhar Clárúcháin’, a théann siar go dtí 1849, ar a bhfuil an bunchlúdach leathair le hinleagadh agus le hionchomhartha ór, ina bhfuil mionn agus dearbhú sínithe na Chéad Uachtaráin, gach comhalta foirne acadúil agus gach mac léinn a ghnóthaigh máithreánach agus a chláraigh i gColáiste na Banríona ón gcéad bhliain acadúil 1849-50. I dtús aimsire, ní raibh ach 63 mac léinn cláraithe sa Choláiste, áit a bhfuil os cionn 17,000 mac léinn anois. An Ghaeilge agus an Léann Ceilteach Gné uathúil de ról OÉ Gaillimh mar Ollscoil is ea a tiomantas straitéiseach d’oideachas Ollscoile trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fáil agus aidhm na hOllscoile freastal ar an nGaeltacht agus ar phobal na Gaeilge, agus campas dátheangach eiseamláireach a chruthú. Déanfar cur i láthair do na haíonna ar an bhfoclóir caighdeánach tagartha Béarla-Gaeilge. Ón séú go dtí an naoú hAois déag, d’áitigh scríbhneoirí na hÉireann gur leo ‘Coróin na hÉireann’ le bronnadh ar an iarrthóir ab ansa leo mar rí dlisteanach na dtrí ríocht. Bhraith scríbhneoirí Gaeilge na tréimhse meánaoisí deiridh go raibh dílseacht chultúrtha níos suntasaí ná dílseacht reiligiúnach nó pholaitiúil mar léiriú ar an bhféiniúlacht Éireannach. Bronnfar íomhá ó leabhar Bhreandáin Uí Bhuachalla The Crown of Ireland ar an Lánúin Ríoga. Tionchar Taighde Lonnaithe ar imeall na hEorpa, is suíomh dinimiciúil é OÉ Gaillimh don taighde agus don nuálaíocht. Tá cur chuige na hOllscoile comhoibríoch, cruthaitheach, idirdhisciplíneach agus fiontraíoch. Tá OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhpháirtíocht le beagnach 3,000 institiúid taighde ar fud an domhain chun líonraí domhanda saineolais a chruthú. Beidh taighde as cúig réimse ghinearálta le feiceáil sa ‘Taispeántas’, lena n-áirítear: Eolaíochtaí Sóisialta Feidhmeacha agus Beartas Poiblí; Eolaíocht agus Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis; Comhshaol, Muir agus Fuinneamh; na Daonnachtaí i gComhthéacs, na Daonnachtaí Digiteacha san áireamh; agus Ionformaitic, Anailísíocht Sonraí, Eolaíochtaí Fisiciúla agus Ríomhaireachta. D’fhéadfadh suim faoi leith a bheith ag na Mórgachtaí Ríoga i dtaighde OÉ Gaillimh sna réimsí seo a leanas: Feistí leighis agus leigheas athghiniúnach: Pléifidh taighdeoirí ag CÚRAM, an tIonad Taighde d’Fheistí Leighis, feistí nua chun dul i ngleic le galar meathlúcháin cnámh cosúil le hoistéapóróis. Tá taighdeoirí CÚRAM ag cruthú snáithíní nanascála ó pholaiméirí agus á n-áireamh go scafall cosúil le mogall a dhéanann aithris ar mhaitrís na cnáimhe nádúrtha. Tá sé tábhachtach gur féidir na hábhair scafaill seo a úsáid chun máchailí móra cnámh a athghiniúint, nach dtarlaíonn uath-athghiniúint dóibh go nádúrtha. Foréigean in aghaidh Cailíní agus Ban Cloisfidh na Mórgachtaí Ríoga faoi thionscadal nua taighde Léann na mBan Domhanda atá maoinithe ag Department for International Development na Ríochta Aontaithe dar teideal What Works to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls. Tá OÉ Gaillimh i gceannas ar an gcuid sin den chlár atá ag iarraidh tuiscint a fháil ar chostais eacnamaíocha agus shóisialta an fhoréigin sna trí stát atá i mbéal forbartha: An tSúdáin Theas agus na tíortha comhlathais an Phacastáin agus Gána. Bíonn tionchar ag Foréigean in aghaidh Cailíní agus Ban (VAWG) ar dhaoine agus ar theaghlaigh; tá sé mar aidhm leis an tionscadal seo tuiscint níos fearr a fháil ar an tionchar a bhíonn ag an bhforéigean sin trí bhreathnú ar an gcostas eacnamaíoch a choscann fás agus forbairt agus an costas sóisialta a chuireann le leochaileacht shóisialta agus coimhlint. Cartlann Amharclann na Mainistreach Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag obair le hAmharclann na Mainistreach ar an tionscadal is mó dá leithéid riamh ar domhan chun a gcartlann a dhigitiú. Chomh maith leis an digitiú, tá Ionad Insight OÉ Gaillimh ag úsáid na dteicneolaíochtaí is deireanaí chun an acmhainn luachmhar seo a chur ar fáil don líon is mó lucht féachana agus is féidir. Tugann sé seo deis dúinn teacht ar eolas nach raibh ar fáil roimhe seo cosúil leis an gceangal idir aisteoirí agus léiritheoirí áirithe i rith shaolré na hamharclainne. Ag tacú leis an óige In obair a bhaineann le hIontaobhas an Phrionsa, tá Ionad Taighde Leanaí agus Teaghlach UNESCO in OÉ Gaillimh ag forbairt pobal caidre den óige mar mheantóirí/tacadóirí. Tá an tIonad coimisiúnaithe ag na NA/UNESCO, agus beidh an tIonad ag comhstiúradh an tionscadail taighde a dhíreoidh ar antoisceachas na hóige a chosc trí chomhpháirteachas poiblí.  Díreoidh sraith amháin, (atá maoinithe ag Marie Curie) ar thuiscint a fháil ar an óige ilchultúrtha agus faoi mhíbhuntáiste (Londain agus Baile Átha Cliath); iar-choinbhleacht (Béal Feirste) agus iargúlta faoin Tuath (Gaillimh). Beidh an deis ag na Mórgachtaí Ríoga casadh le cuid de na Taighdeoirí Óige seo (atá oilte ag Ionad UNESCO) ar cuid lárnach iad den chlár taighde. Taighde Mara agus Fuinnimh Cuireann Institiúid Uí Riain do Thaighde Comhshaoil, Muirí agus Fuinnimh na ceisteanna móra tábhachtacha taighde, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta de, go fadtéarmach, ó thaobh an chomhshaoil, na mara agus an fhuinnimh de. Tá taighdeoirí Institiúid Uí Riain ag iarraidh eolas a roinnt agus comhoibriú sna heolaíochtaí, san innealtóireacht, sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta agus sa leigheas. Déanfar plé ar fhuinneamh in-athnuaite na mara, grinniú an domhain don athrú comhshaoil, zó-eolaíocht na mara, gnáthóga domhainfharraige agus díleá anaeróbach sa talmhaíocht. Crann á chur Is í OÉ Gaillimh an ollscoil is bithéagsúla in Éirinn. Tá breis is 100 crann taispeántais timpeall ar an gCearnóg stairiúil agus tá cuid díobh chomh sean leis an bhfoirgneamh féin. Ag searmanas speisialta inniu, cuirfidh a Mórgachtaí Ríoga dair ghaelach in aice leis an gCearnóg. Tá brí ar leith leis an dair ghaelach mar go gceanglaíonn sí Éire, an Bhreatain Bheag agus Corn na Breataine le chéile. Is é crann oifigiúil Náisiúnta na hÉireann é, áit a dtugtar an Dair Ghaelach air. Is é crann náisiúnta na Breataine Bige é chomh maith agus breathnaítear air mar chrann náisiúnta Chorn na Breataine, agus tugtar an dair Bhreatnach agus an Dair Choirnise air chomh maith. Beidh tráchtaireacht ar an ócáid ar Twitter ach @nuigalway a leanúint agus beidh na socruithe is deireanaí maidir leis an gcuairt ríoga le fáil ar mheáin shóisialta eile cosúil le Facebook agus Linkedin. #royalvisitireland Cé go bhfeidhmeoidh formhór na gcomhaltaí foirne agus na mac léinn mar is gnáth, beidh roinnt srianta i bhfeidhm ar an gCearnóg agus ar roinnt foirgneamh eile in aice láimhe an 19 Bealtaine. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGarda Síochána chun a chinntiú nach mbeidh aon fhadhbanna ar an lá. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Stroke patients, mothers and babies, primary care and intensive care patients will all benefit from the four new clinical trial networks, which will improve people’s health and patient care by addressing important research questions. Dr Graham Love, the Chief Executive at the Health Research Board (HRB) says, ‘Clinical trials matter. These new HRB networks will show whether specific interventions work, or indeed don’t work, in the areas of stroke, intensive care, perinatal care and primary care. The clinical trial network approach is effective. We know this because we have our own tried and tested network in Cancer called ICORG*, which is co-funded by the Irish Cancer Society.  Since the HRB started funding ICORG in 2001, it has attracted 270 international trials to Ireland, provided more than 13,000 Irish cancer patients with access to new research treatments and drawn in €6.95 million in funding from industry in the last three years alone’. Following a rigorous application process, an international panel of experts selected the four networks based on their potential for having outstanding health, scientific, societal and economic potential. Each network is led by exceptional individuals with a proven track record of delivering innovative health research that makes a difference to patients. The four Clinical Trials Networks are: HRB Irish Stroke Clinical Trials Network led by Professor Peter J Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin (UCD). HRB Irish Critical-Care Clinical Trials Group led by Professor Alistair Nichol, St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD. HRB Ireland Perinatal Clinical Trials Network co-led by Professor Fergal Malone, Rotunda Hospital and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Professor Louise Kenny, Cork University Maternity Hospital and INFANT, University College Cork (UCC). HRB Irish Primary Care Trials Network led by Professor Andrew Murphy, Foundation Professor of General Practice NUI Galway and General Practitioner Turloughmore, County Galway. Short case studies on each Clinical Trials Network, the trials they will run and quotes from the network leads are provided below. The HRB Irish Stroke Clinical Trials Network led by Professor Peter J Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world, the leading cause of new disability, and a major cause of dementia and health costs. ‘This Stroke Clinical Trials Network will give Irish patients access to cutting edge new treatments with the potential to prevent strokes, or to improve emergency treatment and recovery after stroke,’ says Professor Kelly, Mater University Hospital and University College Dublin. 'We recently saw the benefit to Irish patients of participating in clinical trials via Irish involvement in the ESCAPE trial. This trial was one of the first to prove that emergency clot extraction for carefully selected patients after stroke resulted in a 3-fold improvement of disability, and reduced the risk of death by half, from 20% to 10%. Irish patients were among the first in Europe to benefit from the treatment, which they otherwise would not have accessed.' In the Network, Irish researchers in hospitals will: - Join several new international trials of new treatments for emergency care, prevention, and recovery after stroke. Lead a new clinical trial aiming to prevent second strokes and heart attack after first stroke. Train new doctors, nurses, and therapists in how to perform safe high-quality clinical trials, and will work with patient groups and the private sector to bring new treatments to patients with stroke. The Network will initially involve eight Irish hospitals, six leading universities, and all seven Hospital Groups, including colleagues from UCD, RCSI, Trinity College, UCC, NUI Galway, and University of Limerick. It will have strong links with international researchers in the UK, Europe, and North America. In addition to the HRB, other Network partners are the Irish Heart Foundation, who will fund new Stroke Research Nurses, and seven industry partners, who will fund education and training activities. The HRB Irish Critical-Care Clinical Trials Group (IC-CTG) led by Professor Alistair Nichol, St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD Thousands of critically ill patients pass through our intensive care units (ICU) each year. Sadly the nature of their conditions can often result in death, or mean they survive with a long term disability. The HRB Irish Critical-Care Clinical Trials Group will bring together doctors, nurses and researchers to test new treatments that can improve outcomes for these patients. ‘Our network will offer ICU patients the highest quality care, give them access to the latest innovations in intensive care and ensure future patients benefit from the lessons learned in national and international research. The group includes the academic leadership in our speciality and encompasses more than 75% of all the ICU capacity in Ireland,’ says Professor Alistair Nichol, Director of the network, St Vincent’s University Hospital and UCD. Initial work to be addressed by the IC-CTG: PHARLAP- will establish whether the way we ‘set’ the breathing machine helps reduce further lung damage in patients with a severe lung disease (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome  or ‘ARDS’). A small research study by some of the group members showed that reducing the size of each breath in conjunction with an occasional sustained deep breath through the ventilator appeared to reduce further damage to the lungs. But the study size was too small to make definitive conclusions. So a larger study, which this HRB network now makes possible, will assess whether patients with ARDS are better off on this PHARLAP breathing strategy. TRANSFUSE- Does giving ‘fresher’ blood versus ‘older blood’ in transfusions make a difference to patients who are admitted to ICU. This study will result in a worldwide practice change if it finds freshest available blood use is best for ICU patients, but if there is no difference this will provide great confidence to blood banks that current practice is optimal. The network will also carry out test studies to determine which of the common treatments used to help reduce bleeding from the stomach when people are very unwell is best. The network will also provide extra training for junior doctors and nurses in Ireland, so they can be future world leaders in research within the Irish health system. Prof Nichol adds, ‘We will be conducting studies with colleagues from Australia and New Zealand where a similar group to ours have made an enormous impact on improving ICU care. We very much hope to replicate their success in Ireland’. HRB Ireland Perinatal Clinical Trials Network co-led by Professor Fergal Malone, Rotunda Hospital and RCSI and Professor Louise Kenny, Cork University Maternity Hospital and INFANT, UCC Unfavourable pregnancy and birth outcomes can have devastating effects and lifelong consequences for infants and their families.  ‘The HRB Ireland Perinatal Clinical Trials network will be home to more than 200 multidisciplinary researchers whose focus will be to improve care of pregnant women and new born babies by answering important research questions’,  according to Professor Fergal Malone, Rotunda Hospital and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. ‘The network brings together leading Irish obstetric, midwifery and neonatal researchers with more than ten years’ experience in conducting important research into women and children’s health. The initial work programme for the HRB Ireland Perinatal CTN includes: The STRIDER trial, which will examine on the use of sildenafil citrate (Viagra) for the treatment of babies in the womb whose growth is severely compromised and for whom no other treatment exists. The PARROT trial, which will examine the use of a novel testing method for diagnosing Pre-eclampsia (PET), a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication caused by high blood pressure. The TEST pilot study - the first national drug trial in pregnancy, assessing the use of aspirin in low risk women to prevent pregnancy complications. MINT - a drug trial to help assess the best treatment for babies born with breathing difficulties. IRELAND - a drug trial to help assess the best treatment to prevent pre-eclampsia in women with Diabetes. Launching a nationwide follow up programme for the children who participate in these and other studies. Establishing a research programme targeted at the methodology of how we design, conduct, analyse and report clinical trials. ‘Clinical trials in pregnancy and new-born babies are challenging and there are only a handful of such networks globally’, adds Prof Louise Kenny, Cork University Maternity Hospital and INFANT at UCC. ‘Each partner already has extensive, international connections and a balanced portfolio of trials and interventions. This collaborative network will create a critical mass that ensures  Ireland remains an international leader in the delivery of interventions that save lives and improve the health of mothers and babies internationally’. Background: This network represents collaboration between two established research groups; the SFI Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) and HRB Perinatal Ireland. INFANT has been a world-leading centre for innovative research and the development of novel interventions for pregnancy and new-borns. Perinatal Ireland is a consortium of clinicians from the seven largest maternity Hospitals on the island of Ireland, which when combined, provides a potential research cohort of over 55,000 babies per annum. Perinatal Ireland research outputs have already underpinned the development of at least two national clinical guidelines. The HRB Irish Primary Care Trials Network led by Professor Andrew Murphy, Foundation Professor of General Practice NUI Galway and General Practitioner Turloughmore, County Galway Primary care, often provided by a local GP, is the first port of call for most patients when they are sick. More than 20 million GP consultations take place in Ireland each year. ‘Ninety percent of all health problems can be addressed by GPs and primary care services, so it is vital that GPs have firm evidence on which to make informed decisions about which medication or treatment is right for each patient. This network will deliver such evidence, first in relation to common conditions such as urinary tract infection and also how to manage patients on many medicines effectively,’ says Prof Andrew Murphy, Foundation Professor of General Practice NUI Galway and General Practitioner Turloughmore, County Galway. Initial work to be addressed in the HRB IPC network: Trial 1: Establish whether an antibiotic, or an over-the-counter painkiller, has a better outcome for patients with simple urinary tract infections. Trial 2: Help GPs prescribe the most appropriate combination of medications for older patients who are already on a lot of different drugs. Bring together all the key people in Ireland who are interested in running clinical trials in primary care involving GPs and their patients. Explore patient safety in primary care and will investigate how best to recruit patients and GPs into clinical trials. Initiate an education component teaching primary care staff how to best conduct clinical trials and support people to work closely together to plan and conduct clinical trials and to share the results with GPs and patients. The partners bring a wealth of prior experience in the area along with an already developed, data commissioner approved, ICT system that enables the upload and storage of anonymous, comparative clinical data direct from GP clinics. The Network has partners from NUI Galway, the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the HRB Centre for Primary Care Research. ENDS

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

NUI Galway has announced that a patient attending University Hospital Galway is the first patient worldwide to start treatment in a clinical study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational drug candidate for sufferers of acute myeloid leukemia. The announcement was made today and co-incided with International Clinical Trials Day. Adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults, and it is estimated that there were over 18,000 new cases and over 10,000 deaths from the disease in 2014 world-wide. Unlike other cancers that start in an organ and spread to the bone marrow, AML is known for rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that gather in the bone marrow and as a result, impede normal blood cell production. While leukemic cells move into the blood, the lack of normal blood cells can cause some of the symptoms of AML such as anaemia and increased risk of infections or excessive bleeding. Current treatment options for AML are chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation, both of which can destroy cancer cells but do not reduce the related side effects. The investigational drug candidate in the Phase 1/2 clinical study in Galway is being developed by US based company GlycoMimetics, who are exploring the clinical use of the drug candidate in blood cancers. The company announced last week that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation to GMI-1271 for treatment of AML. Professor Michael O’Dwyer, NUI Galway, Principal Investigator on the study, stated that: “Based on preclinical data and on a favourable safety profile in healthy volunteers, we believe that GMI-1271 has the potential to be an important new therapy for people with certain blood cancers. It seems that the therapeutic agent in this potential treatment can reverse resistance to chemotherapy which is caused by AML cells’ ability to bind to a receptor called E-selectin in the bone marrow.” NUI Galway’s key strategic research priorities include Cancer Research, Regenerative Medicine and Medical Devices. The University is due to open a new facility for patient-centered clinical research and first-in-man clinical trials, as well as translational research, in the coming months. Ends

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Last week Volunteer Galway, NUI Galway’s volunteer programme ALIVE, and GMIT joined forces to celebrate National Volunteering Week, encouraging people of all ages to think about how they can get more involved it their local community as a volunteer. Research has shown that not only does volunteering have a positive impact on the local community, but volunteers themselves also benefit through acquiring new skills, increasing their employability and improving their mental health. “The aim was to get as many people as possible volunteering. There are many ways to help out in your community and we can provide advice and support around this.” said Donncha Foley of Volunteer Galway, who has developed workshops for organisations seeking to take on volunteers. Sam O’'Neill, GMIT Students Union President and Irish Heart Foundation volunteer, said: “It is fantastic to see so many students volunteering throughout Galway and beyond because of this initiative. They are being shown the value of volunteering, not just for themselves in terms of boosting their employability, but also the benefit it has to society as a whole. Volunteers may not be paid but the work they do throughout the year is priceless.” To mark the 2015 National Volunteer Week, the Galway City and County Age Friendly Older Persons Council met with students from GMIT and NUI Galway. Joan Kavanagh Chairperson of Galway Age Friendly, said, “We have seen a great opportunity through volunteering for intergenerational collaboration across the city between all age groups committed to fostering a city committed to addressing social justice.” The ALIVE programme at NUI Galway harness, support and reward student voluntary activity across the University, Galway city and wider communities to develop their own practical skills and civic awareness. Volunteer Galway provides information and advice to people interested in volunteering, by advertising volunteer roles on behalf of community organisations and charities, and by helping members of the public to find suitable volunteer roles. Volunteer Galway also assists organisations in recruiting and managing volunteers. -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2015

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD, today announced funding of €1.5 million for a new research project at NUI Galway which will seek to address technical challenges associated with the development of improved imaging quality for smartphone cameras. Delivered by the Department of Jobs, through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the funding is part of SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme and includes a €750,000 industry contribution from Galway-based computational imaging company FotoNation.  The research project will run for 4 years and will sustain positions for six PhD researchers and three post doctorial researchers. Commenting about the announcement, Minister English said: “A key part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs is to identify strategic opportunities based on emerging global trends. Social media content is becoming increasingly visual with huge growth in the amount of photos and videos now being shared online. This trend is driving strong demand for advancements in smartphone camera technology. This demand presents a strong strategic opportunity for Ireland in the years ahead, and that’s why funding for a project like this through SFI is enormously important.” Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway commented: ”We are delighted to be associated with this ground-breaking applied research and to be partnering with FotoNation, which is the global leader in smartphone image analytics. Our academic researchers are pioneers in this new industry and we are committed to supporting close-to-market R&D as the foundation for future economic growth in Ireland.” Dr. Peter Corcoran, Principle Investigator on the project said: “This proposal provides a unique opportunity for engineering PhD researchers at NUI Galway to work on research topics driven directly by the future needs of the global consumer electronics industry. Many of these researchers will have opportunities to engage with, learn from, and contribute to an industry-leading innovation and intellectual property development process. This forward-looking research partnership is a bold step towards the future of PhD education in Europe. ” Dr. Petronel Bigioi, General Manager of FotoNation added: “FotoNation has a long history of innovating and advancing state of the art in image processing. Over 2 billion digital cameras and smartphone devices are powered by the imaging technologies designed by FotoNation engineers. This collaboration with NUI Galway will allow us to continue our quest for innovative solutions to technical issues associated with the development of improved imaging quality for smartphone cameras. ” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, also welcomed the announcement: “SFI’s Strategic Partnership Programme is specifically aimed at funding compelling research opportunities of scale with strong potential for delivering economic and societal impact to Ireland. The explosion of imaging technology globally creates very clear opportunities for Ireland and we are pleased to be in a position to support Dr. Corcoran and his team at NUI Galway in helping to position Ireland as a leader in research and innovation this area.”   SFI is focused on building strategic partnerships that fund excellent science and drive that science out into the market and society as part of its Agenda 2020 strategy. These partnerships enhance the delivery of SFI’s strategy through leveraging its investment and capability to the maximum extent possible. The SFI Partnership Schemes aim to provide a flexible mechanism by which SFI can build strategic collaborations with key partners such as industry, funding agencies, charities, philanthropic organisations or higher education institutes (HEIs) with the goal of co-funding outstanding opportunities.  About FotoNation FotoNation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tessera Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSRA), is giving life to computational imaging by merging technology with emotion. With technology in more than 60 percent of global tier-1 smartphones, FotoNation develops technologies that serve the computational imaging space for handsets and cameras, as well as the automotive, surveillance, security, and augmented reality markets. The creation, of the next generation of computational imaging algorithms is our mission. The art of engineering new ways to reach the highest possible performance while keeping system requirements to a minimum is our core skillset. FotoNation has a long history of innovating and advancing the state of the art in image processing. More than a decade ago, FotoNation was the first to integrate a commercially successful computational imaging solution into an embedded mobile device. Today the company remains the unchallenged leader in computational photography and computer vision. Nearly 2 billion digital cameras and smart devices are powered by the imaging technologies designed by the sharp minds and passionate hearts of FotoNation engineers.  For more information visit www.fotonation.com. ENDS

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

NUI Galway, in collaboration with 19 software industry partners, is offering a limited number of free places on its Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development Programme – Industry Stream. This programme was recently awarded the accolade of being Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology by Grad Ireland. 90% of graduates from the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development have secured immediate employment in software development roles. Many of the graduates are employed with some of Ireland’s leading software companies. NUI Galway has designed this one-year conversion programme in conjunction with 19 leading IT employers which enable graduates to re-skill for employment in the software development area. Student fees for the course are funded by the Higher Education Authority, given the strategic importance of developing skills in this area. Successful applicants therefore, pay no fees, only a student levy of €224. The overall goal of this postgraduate conversion programme is to strategically increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience. Applicants are paired with an industry partner from the start of the programme and are then trained in key technologies for that employer’s needs, so they are then able to maximise the impact of a paid industry internship towards the end of the programme. The Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region. The course also involves a guaranteed three-month paid internship to gain industry experience, and as a result provides the opportunity to kick-start a career as a software developer. The industry partners include Avaya, IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, INSIGHT, Storm Technologies, Aspect Software, The Marine Institute, Solano Tech Ltd, NetFort Technologies and Schneider Electric. Dr Enda Howley, NUI Galway Course Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates particularly from engineering, maths and science backgrounds, to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners. They will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector. This sector is experiencing rapid expansion at the moment, and there is a growing skills shortage for ICT graduate roles that these students are ideally suited to fill. The highly intensive programme is designed to begin software development from scratch, but we are particularly keen to receive applications from those who have had some exposure to code and realise that this is something they potentially have a flare for. People with technical or strong numerical backgrounds often perform best in these types of programmes and we strongly encourage applicants who have strong maths skills. This could be a strong maths result from their leaving cert or from certain modules in their undergraduate degree. This isn’t essential, but often indicates a strong problem solving and logical skillset.” Dr Howley continued: “The career prospects for our graduates are extremely strong and demand is dramatically outstripping supply. The progamme is now highly respected among many of Ireland’s leading employers and many of our graduates are receiving multiple job offers before they even complete the programme. Our recognition as Postgraduate Programme of the Year in Information Technology has propelled both the programme and our graduates to the front of the list for many recruiters and we are delighted with the feedback and positivity we have been receiving from our past graduates and their employers alike.” The programme is open to all those who have a Level 8 degree or alternatively those with a Level 7 degree and some relevant industry work experience. The programme is ideal for those from a Mathematics, Science or Engineering background, and who relish challenges along the lines of problem solving or project work. NUI Galway is now processing applications and those interested can make their application through www.springboardcourses.ie, or seek more information via the twitter account @hdipindustry.  Significant interest in this free course is expected and early application is advisable. Deadline for final applications is Friday, 15 June. For further information contact the Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Members of the Galway City Community Network and interested members of the public are invited to a unique workshop on Saturday, 6 June, which will focus on wellbeing in Galway City. Organised by the Galway City Community Network (GCCN) and NUI Galway, the aim of the interactive event is to develop a ‘Statement of Wellbeing’ for current and future generations in Galway City. The workshop runs from 9am – 1pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. While traditional economic models have often equated wellbeing with economic growth, new research is showing the importance of the wider question of what really matters in life. This in turn has triggered an ongoing debate about how best to measure and foster individual and societal wellbeing. Tommy Flaherty, GCCN Chairperson said: “Wellbeing is something we should all be aiming for. It is more than the absence of ill-health. It is about how we plan our communities, our cities, and our environment so we can have a sense of wellbeing. We want to get individuals, groups and organisations from the community, voluntary and environmental sectors in Galway involved. We want them to share their visions for how we can embed wellbeing in Galway city for ourselves, our children and our children’s children.” The workshop will use a technique called ‘collective intelligence’ to allow the gathering and structuring of ideas to inform the wellbeing statement. Michael Hogan, co-leader of the Health and Wellbeing research group at the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway said: “Galway is such a wonderful place, we’re so delighted to be able to contribute to the great work that is ongoing across the city. Our role at this collective intelligence event is to act as facilitators - the people who come to our event have all the intelligence.” Michael Hogan added: “This work is difficult in part because when many minds converge on the issue of understanding and promoting wellbeing, many different ideas emerge and research is slow to establish coherence. Increasingly recognised as important is empowering groups to work together to establish a shared vision of wellbeing that they can act upon – and promoting systems thinking in groups such that they can understand how their different wellbeing objectives relate to one another. Notably, international best practice suggests that understanding well-being and developing well-being actions is best approached by focusing on the key strategic objectives and goals that guide our collective efforts to enhance wellbeing.” International perspective will also be brought to the event with the participation of Professor Benjamin Broome of Arizona State University. Commenting on the logistics of the event, Ann Irwin GCCN Co-ordinator, said: “The workshop will consist of six working groups of about 20 people each. In the working group participants will be asked to brainstorm a series of ideas that will eventually lead us to a Wellbeing Statement for Galway. This process will be facilitated by an experienced facilitator and start at 9am. Anyone interested is asked to register using the online registration process as soon as possible as there is a trigger question that all participants are asked to answer before the workshop. This enables the facilitators to prepare the session. All the details are on the website www.galwaycitycommunitynetwork.ie.” Galway City Community Network is the Public Participation Network for Galway City which ensures extensive input by organisations and groups in the community, voluntary and environmental sectors into local decision and policy making bodies including at local authority level. -ends- 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NUI Galway’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development was officially launched by Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn recently. Offering a range of part-time, flexible programmes for adult learners, the Centre combines the best in educational technologies to provide an education that meets the personal and professional needs of adult learners. Commenting on the changing education landscape, Centre Director, Nuala McGuinn said: “The way people are learning has to change to respond to people’s lifestyle and their working circumstances. Workers are commuting long distances and working irregular hours so the challenge is to be able to respond to their needs in a flexible manner.” Maintaining all that has been the hallmark of Adult Education since its early days of outreach education in the 1970s the Centre has refocused its services in line with the University’s new strategic plan. One of the objectives of the new plan is to grow the range of flexible programmes and increase the overall percentage of adult learners at the University to 20% by 2020. Speaking at the launch Dr Maire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “Lifelong learning is important for adults and an essential requirement in a person’s working life. Never before has the need to re-skill, up-skill and convert to new roles throughout our working lives been as important as it is today. At European level, a government target to is to have a 15% representation of adult learners in higher education and I would like to congratulate NUI Galway on its strategic objective to go beyond this target.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “The University’s long history in the provision of adult education programmes, which saw lecturers travelling to outreach locations late in the evening to bring university education closer to their homes. There has been a huge advance in teaching technologies and flexibility available to adult learners both in the range of courses on offer and the modes of delivery used. I would like to congratulate the Centre on their work to date and also on their recent achievement under the Springboard programme where NUI Galway received over 100 places as part of the Springboard and ICT Skills incentive.” Programmes in Innovation Management, Technology Commercialisation, Lean and Quality Systems, Medical Device Science and Automation and Control are now offering funded places for the unemployed providing an opportunity to re-skill and return to the workplace. For more information contact the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at adultlearning@nuigalway.ie or 091 495241, or visit the Centre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adulted. -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

NUI Galway Global Women’s Studies student, Faith Amanya, was one of small group invited to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the United National Training School Ireland in the Curragh on Monday. Faith Amanya is currently undertaking a Masters in Gender, Globalisation and Rights with the Centre for Global Women’s Studies in School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. Ms Amanya who is a local government development officer in western Uganda is one of two Irish Aid scholars in the Global Women’s Studies Masters programme this year. As part of her Masters studies, Faith recently completed a six-week professional placement with the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence, which brings together Ireland’s leading development and humanitarian organisations, relevant Government departments and the Irish Defence Forces to work in partnership to tackle gender based violence. In this context, Faith had contributed to training sessions at the United National Training School Ireland (UNTSI) for members of the Irish Defence Forces getting ready to go on UN peace support operations.   On learning that the Irish Defence Forces had invited Faith to return to the Curragh to meet with Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Ms Amanya, said: “I am grateful and honoured. I am passionate about stopping gender based violence and engaging men in this work. Sharing my experience with future Irish peace keepers at UNTSI and being invited to meet the UN Secretary General during his visit to Ireland are very special experiences for me.” The Masters in Gender Globalisation and Rights is the flagship programme of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies. Course director, Dr Niamh Reilly, said: “Faith’s experience is a wonderful illustration of the strengths of our Masters programme, which brings together recent graduates and mature students from Ireland and overseas to gain the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to advance gender equality and human rights in responses to global issues.” The Centre for Global Women’s Studies was recently awarded a major research contract with Department for International Development (UK) to examine the social and economic costs of violence against women and girls in Ghana, Pakistan and South Sudan. -ends-   

Thursday, 28 May 2015

NUI Galway will host a unique, participatory and interactive event that explores the potential of public procurement to support Ireland’s budding social economy. This discussion forum, ‘Spending Socially - Achieving Social Value through Public Procurement’ will take place on Monday, 15 June. The event was borne out of an identified need to support local enterprises to engage in public procurement process discovered while exploring the possibilities of setting up a community café in a new building at NUI Galway. Derek Nolan T.D. will open the event which will bring together a unique range of experts in the fields of public procurement and the social economy. Speakers will include members from the Office for Government Procurement, the Strategic Investment Board, the NOW Project, and the 'Ready for Business' Organisation and many more experts and advocates. The aim of the discussion forum is to explore the potential uses of social clauses in public contracts and to encourage a discussion on the social benefits that can be achieved through targeted government spending. The event will explore the procurement landscape in Ireland with a view to understanding how social enterprises could be supported to offer their services and bid for tenders. Throughout this discussion a particular focus will be placed on how to improve employment opportunities for marginalized groups, most specifically, persons with disabilities. All are welcome to attend this event particularly those with interest in supporting social and micro enterprises, community organisations, service providers and entrepreneurial individuals, local development networks, students, anyone with interest in supporting local business and enterprise and those involved in public procurement whether as an advisor, policy-maker or tenderer.  The forum is being organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, and Employ Ability Galway, and is funded by the Irish Research Council under its New Foundations Scheme. For more information and to register please see: https://spendingsocial.eventbrite.com. -ends- 

Thursday, 28 May 2015

NUI Galway will host the 30th Summer Conference on Topology and its Applications (SumTop30) from 23-26 June. This is the first time this conference will take place in Ireland. Hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, SumTop30 is an annual major international event in mathematical research and is held primarily in North America. With an expected attendance of more than 150 international delegates, this event will distinguish Ireland as a model of excellence in mathematical research communication, mentorship and collaboration. This year the conference has an ambitious scientific programme that showcases state-of-the-art research in topology with particular emphasis on connections and applications. Speakers this year include some of the most exciting new talents, alongside the most distinguished players in the field. With scientific excellence and its communication as a primary objective, the conference will present a diverse range of speakers in terms of career-point, geographical location, research interest and gender. Keynote speakers include Jan van Mill, University of Amsterdam, Justin Tatch Moore, Cornell University and Ross Geoghegan, Binghamton University, New York. The 18th Galway Topology Colloquium will also take place at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 June. The Colloquium is distinguished by its particular focus on graduate and early-career researchers, providing a relaxed and informal environment in which to discuss and develop research interests. Special features for the Colloquium include working groups of participants to prepare in particular for the SumTop30 workshops, and also a panel discussion whose panel will be populated by key SumTop30 invited speakers. Dr Aisling McCluskey, Conference Co-organiser and Senior Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, said: “The conference with its broad scientific focus indicates the strength of Ireland’s research position within pure mathematics generally, and within topology and its applications specifically on the world stage. It will showcase a diverse range of topological research with applications that will attract young graduates to a correspondingly diverse range of career options within STEM particularly.” The conference is sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway, National Science Foundation (USA), Fáilte Ireland and Irish Mathematical Society. -ends-

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Research findings presented at a conference today (Thursday, 28 May) in NUI Galway reveal that arts and creative activities are of real benefit to young children. As well as building confidence, and encouraging critical reflection and creative thinking, they also provide a powerful base for team working, problem solving and future development. The research was carried out by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway and looked at an innovative three-year project, BEAST!, developed and operated by Baboró International Arts Festival for Children in Galway. BEAST! (Baboró: Environment, Arts, Science and Technology) took the form of an educational arts and science initiative for primary school children, aged predominately between 9 and 12 years. The project worked with schools on using the arts as a teaching methodology to achieve a higher profile for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Some of the exercises involved the pupils learning about energy usage and climate change with Dr Edward Curry, a scientist from Insight at NUI Galway.  They carried out energy audits in their homes to learn ways of reducing their energy footprint and they also worked with artists to create cartoon animations and storyboards as a means of expressing what they’d learnt. These exercises allowed science to be taught in a more practical and accessible way. Commenting on result findings, which will be presented at the conference ‘Opening the Door to Creative Teaching and Learning’ today, Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway said: “The development of education of children through creativity and the arts should be given equal attention as learning through reading writing and mathematics. Apart from being the gateway to human expression and innovative learning, it affords children the opportunity to see school as a forum for empathy development, resilience building and attainment of mastery and is in essence an ‘antidote’ to classroom bullying. It is imperative that the Department of Education enable and enhance such capacity building in all schools, and particularly for younger students in need of support.” Dr Cormac Forkan who led the social research team at NUI Galway commented that: “At the highest level, the project enabled the children to be reflective in their own activities and to develop critical thinking. Ultimately education is not just about education for a job, it’s about developing critical citizens.” The research findings showed that: There was a high level of engagement in the workshops by children and teachers. Children talked about changes in the ways that they perceived science and showed a deeper understanding of science concepts. Parents noted their children demonstrated an increasingly positive attitude towards science and that their thinking about the role of science had changed. Children were taught about various art forms in a highly engaging and collaborative way, allowing children to learn about the societal value of the arts and about the importance of collaborating and sharing with others. Teachers were very positive about the benefits of the more open, creative and flexible approach adopted by the science and arts practitioners and stated they were adapting their own teaching styles, to incorporate cross-curricular and more creative and interactive approaches. The research process provided space to consider and develop a theoretical base for BEAST! from the academic literature, linking the project to concepts such as collaboration, creativity, engagement and participation, creative teaching and creative learning. Creativity is a multi-layered concept that involves multiple actors participating in continuous interactive processes of knowledge sharing, learning and engagement. Embedding an ethos of creativity in the curriculum is not a linear or straightforward process. There are numerous barriers to enhanced creativity that include attitudes towards creativity and knowledge, behaviours established practices, time and resources and others that mediate against improving creativity in the curriculum. Paul Collard, CEO from Creativity, Culture and Education in the UK, is guest speaker at the conference: “Without creative skills, problem-solving skills, collaborative skills and a good work ethic young people will not be able to succeed in the world of employment. Now is the time to start thinking about how we reimagine education to put the development of these skills at the heart of the curriculum in order to develop the young people we need, to build the society of tomorrow.” The conference is aimed at parents, teachers and anyone interested in improving levels of confidence, creative and critical thinking and problem solving in primary school children. Speakers at the conference include Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway; Dr Cormac Forkan, NUI Galway; Paul Collard, CEO of Creativity, Culture and Education and Lali Morris and Teenagh Cunningham from Baboró. Delegates will also have an opportunity to meet with pupils, artists, scientists and teachers who took part in the project to see the work they created. Baboró’s BEAST! conference, ‘Opening the Door to Creative Teaching and Learning’, takes place on Thursday, 28 May, at the Lifecourse Building, NUI Galway from 10am to 4pm. More info at http://www.baboro.ie/events. Enquiries to the Baboró office on 091 562667 or beast@baboro.ie  The BEAST! project has been funded by NUI Galway, Science Foundation Ireland, The Ireland Funds, Galway City and County Councils and Galway Local Enterprise. -ends-

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Students of Enactus NUI Galway recently held a project launch and showcase event. Enactus is a global student-lead initiative where students, along with the guidance of business and faculty advisors, create projects which benefit society socially, economically and environmentally and in doing so engage members of society. The recent event gave Enactus students the opportunity to present this year’s four projects, including the Wallflower Initiative, Bike Back, Eat Your Words and TARA, as well as the future plan for these projects. NUI Galway was one of the founding Irish teams of Enactus Ireland and this year will mark its fourth year of involvement. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, participating students from all disciplines form a team on their university campus and apply business concepts to create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. The current Team Leader and master’s student at NUI Galway, Elizabeth O’Brien, has been involved in Enactus for three years and also attended the Enactus World Cup 2014 which took place last year in Beijing, China. Elizabeth said: “Enactus has given me the opportunity to improve our local community but also enhance my educational experience. It has helped me to understand special challenges and issues, develop solutions and make a difference in people’s lives. It was an honour to open our launch event and share the good work that we are doing.” Michael Campion, a lecturer at NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Faculty Advisor for Enactus NUI Galway, said: “The typical student who engages with Enactus is enthusiastic and passionate about making things better for others. Designing and developing Enactus projects is not easy due to the criteria laid down and it challenges students to be creative, enterprising and tenacious. It’s a privilege to work with and support such students in their Enactus endeavours.” In May, Enactus NUI Galway students, along with seven other third-level institutions, will gather at the Chartered Accountants of Ireland in Dublin for the Enactus Ireland National Final 2015. This will give one team the opportunity to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa to represent Team Ireland for this year’s World Cup Final where Enactus students from 36 countries will be represented and each team will present their projects to a judging panel of global business leaders. -Ends-  

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Professor Brian McStay, from, NUI Galway has secured €1.5 funding from the SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership to study uncharacterised regions of the genome that could advance our understanding of a wide range of human diseases.                                         According to Professor McStay, who works in the Centre for Chromosome Biology, School of Natural Sciences at NUI, Galway: "This project will explore some of the unmapped regions of the human genome that play a key role in how ribosomes, which make proteins, are made. We will look at the genetic factors that influence how ribosomes themselves are put together. We know that unregulated ribosome production plays an important role in many types of cancer, so a better understanding of what impacts ribosomes has obvious potential to help our understanding of cancer and a range of human diseases which are collectively termed ribosomopathies." Commenting on the award, Graham Love Chief Executive at the Health Research Board says, "This funding is not easy to get and competition is intense, so Brian’s success should be acknowledged.  Biomedical research like this, which will help us to better understand our fundamental human make up, is central to providing new avenues for scientists to explore in the search for better and more effective treatments." Dr Michael Dunn, Head of Genetics and Molecular Sciences at the Wellcome Trust, adds, "Wellcome Trust Investigators represent some of the very brightest minds in biomedical science.  We are delighted to make an award to Professor Brian McStay whose work aims to address an important aspect of basic chromosome biology that is still poorly understood.  The award provides generous, long-term, flexible funding, which we hope will enable Professor McStay to make significant advances in knowledge in this important field and thereby help the Wellcome Trust to achieve its mission of improving human and animal health." Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland said,  "The SFI-HRB-Wellcome Trust Partnership supports research into some of the most pressing biomedical and clinical research questions in health, ultimately delivering a social impact by enhancing the quality of patients care.  This joint funding scheme also boosts Ireland’s biomedical research credentials internationally, thereby attracting investment and ultimately creating jobs.  The fact that Professor McStay’s study secured the funding ahead of international competition underlines the quality of the world class research taking place in Ireland." -Ends-

Thursday, 2 April 2015

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the seventh cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy, with 225 primary school children from across the western region receiving their certificates. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing primary school students and their families to university life. Since its foundation, over 1,000 students have graduated from a variety of  courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Film Studies, Engineering to English Literature, Cell-EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry to Smart Act-Aisteoirí óga anseo!, and The World of Cops and Robbers to Drama. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high-ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, Registrar and Vice-President of NUI Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University. We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the university can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The findings from the national stakeholder consultation process present “compelling evidence of the timely need to create a comprehensive registry and biobank.” 93% of respondents to a national survey believe that a registry and biobank for autism in Ireland is needed, according to the findings from a nationwide stakeholder consultation process launched today on World Autism Awareness Day. The consultation process engaged with all stakeholders affected by or involved with autism or other related neurodevelopmental disorders including self-advocates, families, clinicians, health professionals, service providers, advocacy agencies and researchers. The aim of the initiative is to advance world-class clinical, biomedical and environmental research in Ireland and inform best practice in health, education and service provision for individuals with ASD/ NDD and enable the best possible quality of life. The Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Group at Trinity College Dublin partnered with the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) at NUI Galway and the US-based Autism Speaks for this initiative. The consultation process was launched following a private members bill, The Autism Bill, brought forward to Government in 2013 and the National Review of Autism Services in 2012, both of which called for the creation of a national database for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD). The authors of the report and the respondents believe the biobank and registry would support policy decisions by providing reliable information on the scale of these conditions in Ireland as well as their social and economic costs. The key concern most respondents had was around the area of data privacy and protection and in particular who would have access to the data. Currently in Ireland there is no effective health information system or biobank gathering essential data for ASD/NDD, nor are there any accurate prevalence rates, despite the fact that ASD and NDD are lifelong conditions which have significant implications for families, state services, society and the individuals themselves. Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Trinity, Louise Gallagher said: “It is clear from the responses of those who took part in the national survey and the regional town hall meetings that there is a huge and positive appetite for the establishment of a registry and biobank for Autism in Ireland. Parents said it was the first time they had ever been asked what would make their child’s life better.” Professor Gallagher continued: “It is now timely to act and invest resources to build this registry and biobank with the potential to alleviate the rising financial and resource challenge on Irish public health system and align with upcoming government health strategies, e.g. Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People. This is Ireland’s opportunity to propel world-class research and its application for the public good with an innovative unique registry and biobank for a major public health challenge.” Dr Geraldine Leader, Director of the Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research at NUI Galway commented that: "The lack of reliable and systematic information on ASD/NDD not only affects children with these conditions but also impacts adolescents, adults and older adults. There are huge gaps in service provisions and care for adults and the elderly with ASD. They can be left undiagnosed, receive inappropriate services or struggle with no access to proper enabling environments which would assist with employment and independent living. The development of an autism specific registry and biobank targeted at the health, educational and long term needs of the Irish autism community will be a vital resource to inform service planning and delivery and will also support a range of important research questions.  The Irish Autism Registry and Biobank will be transformative in accelerating the pace of autism research in Ireland.” June O’Reilly, parent and chairperson of the stakeholder advisory group spoke about the benefits from a parent’s perspective: “When you receive a diagnosis for your child there are so many questions that you search for answers to in order to maximize your child’s potential. Questions like what interventions should my child be getting, what type of education would be best, or how will they progress as they get older.  The registry gives all stakeholders an opportunity to work in partnership and address these questions.  It will help indicate the most effective approaches, throughout the lifespan from early intervention and treatments for young children through to adulthood, giving informed feedback to parents and stakeholders about best outcomes.” She continued: “I am excited about the registry and biobank as I see it impacting best-practice service provision and education for our children, leading to research discoveries in new treatments and empowering our children who have immensely inspirational strengths and talents.” Dr Amy Daniels, Assistant Director of Public Health Research from the US-based Autism Speaks said: "We are excited to present these findings from the stakeholder consultation, as they document an overwhelming support from the community for developing a national registry for autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities in Ireland. From the perspective of the advocacy community, our hope is that the registry will be a valuable tool for informing how best to enhance services and the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families now and in the future." The collaborative research team are currently in the process of developing and implementing a pilot registry and are working on this with OpenApp, who provide Quality Assurance and Disease Registry type software solutions for Healthcare within the Irish and other health service settings. The full report on the Consultation for a National registry and Biobank for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders is available here: www.iarb.ie/national-stakeholder-consultation-report/  -Ends-  

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Two NUI Galway postgraduate courses have been shortlisted for the national postgradireland Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2015. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 30 April at a reception in the Mansion House in Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. The Higher Diploma in Software Design & Development (Industry Stream) is shortlisted in two categories: Postgraduate Course of the Year in Engineering Award and also in the Postgraduate Course of the Year in IT Award. The MSc (Biotechnology) programme is shortlisted in the Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science category. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being acknowledged, as is their effectiveness in terms of employability, and interaction with industry and business. The courses in question are accepting applications now and those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie/nuigalway. This year we’re also offering generous full-time taught masters scholarships for first-class students, so that’s another reason to consider NUI Galway for postgraduate studies.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091-495148 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/courses. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Nanomedicine has published a special focus edition on the combined force of nanomedicine and regenerative medicine; two fields that continue to develop at a dramatic pace. Titled ‘Engineering the nanoenvironment for regenerative medicine’, the issue is guest edited by Professor Matthew Dalby of the University of Glasgow, UK, and associate editor of Nanomedicine, with Dr Manus Biggs of the of the newly established Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway. It comprises nine primary research articles and three reviews covering topics relevant to the current translation of nanotopography and nanofunctionalization for nanoscale regenerative strategies in medicine. Indeed, the field of ‘nanoregeneration’ has grown exponentially over the last 15 years, and fields of study focusing on the nanobiointerface now include nanotopographical modification, formulation of existing biomaterials and modification of the extracellular matrix, as well as the development of targeting techniques using nanoparticles. Nanoscale platforms are becoming increasingly recognized as tools to understand biological molecules, subcellular structures and how cells and organs work. Therefore, they could have real applications in regenerative medicine and increase our knowledge of how stem cells work, or in drug discovery and cell targeting. “The fields of nanomedicine and regenerative medicine continue to evolve at a dramatic pace, with new and exciting developments almost a daily occurrence. This special focus issue highlights the translational research, reviews current thinking and ‘shines a light’ on the future potential of a field where nanomedicine converges with regenerative medicine,” said Michael Dowdall, Managing Commissioning Editor of Nanomedicine. “We feel this is an important subject for our readers to have a comprehensive and contextual overview of. The special focus issue helps provide this context for researchers, by framing the potential applications of nanomedicine/nanoengineering in terms of the current ‘state of the art’ regenerative medicine techniques.” Dr Biggs commented: “This special issue on regenerative medicine within the nanorealm focuses on basic and translational aspects of nanofabrication and nanofunctionalization strategies, and also gives perspective to future developments in biomedical nanotechnology and the challenges associated with clinical translation. Critically, leading experts in the field have contributed to the special issue, in which we outline the latest developments in nanomedicine.” Members of RegMedNet, the online community for those working in the field of regenerative medicine, can access select articles from the special focus issue through the online platform. A full listing of articles included in the issue is available at: http://www.futuremedicine.com/toc/nnm/10/5 -Ends-

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

To celebrate International DNA Day 2015 on Saturday, 25 April, NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences will hold a special event for second-level students in senior cycle Biology. ‘DNA day – Learn how to unlock the DNA code’ is a free three hour practical experience in the NUI Galway Biomedical Sciences laboratories. Human DNA contains the blueprint for many aspects of what makes us who we are - what our eye, skin and hair colour will be, how tall or short we may grow to be, and even if we are more susceptible to getting certain diseases. During the workshop students will learn how scientists identify differences in the DNA code and how we can use these techniques to diagnose genetic disorders or determine if one person may be more susceptible to a disease than another. The DNA workshop is organised by Dr Derek Morris, Programme Director for the BSc in Biomedical Science and Dr Muriel Grenon, Director of the Cell EXPLORERS Science Outreach Programme, both from the School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. Dr Derek Morris, a human geneticist, will discuss his research which focuses on understanding how small changes in our DNA code can put us at risk of lots of common illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, cancer and schizophrenia. By studying the DNA code in different people, Dr Morris aims to identify genes that are responsible and develop new methods of diagnosis and treatment that can help patients. The DNA day practical experience will teach students about the power of genetics by providing them hands-on experience of DNA analysis in a research laboratory setting. They will be mentored by a team of young postgraduate researchers into performing authentic experiments individually. The practical activities proposed have been optimised by a group of final year Biochemistry students as part of the Cell EXPLORERS science outreach programme. The activities have been designed to introduce these topics in a fun and exciting way, allowing the students to take the lead and providing a real insight into science at university level. Dr Morris said: “The amazing instruction book contained in each of our cells is celebrated every year on DNA Day, 25 April. This is a special day in DNA’s history as on this day in 1953 the structure of DNA was published and on the same day in 2003 it was announced that the Human Genome Project, a mission to sequence all the human genes, had been completed. These remarkable achievements have led to huge advances in the fields of genetics and have allowed scientists to uncover many of the mysteries of how DNA controls our make up and impact on our health.” This event will take place on Saturday, 25 April, from 2-5pm and coincides with the NUI Galway Open Day. Students attending this event can spend the day on campus and also find out more about at the third-level courses available at NUI Galway, such as the flagship Biomedical Science undergraduate course. To register go to www.cellexplorers.com, download the application form and return it by post before Friday, 17 April to: Dr Derek Morris, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. -Ends-