Friday, 22 April 2016

Taispeánfar dhá scannán ar leith le Seán Breathnach agus le hAodh Ó Coileáin, teagascóirí ar na cúrsaí cumarsáide in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, ag féilte scannán ar fud an domhain an mhí seo. Bronnadh an gradam don dráma ab fhearr ag Féile Scannán Luimnigh le déanaí ar an scannán Maidhm, a scríobh agus a stiúir Seán Breathnach. Feicfear an scannán ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán Fajr sa Tehran an tseachtain seo agus ag féile gearrscannán i Shanghai an mhí seo chugainn. Taispeánadh an scannán cheana féin ag féile gearrscannán i Málta, ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán an Daingin, ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán Chorcaí agus ag Fleadh Scannán na Gaillimhe. Bhí beirt teagascóirí eile ón Acadamh ar an bhfoireann léiriúcháin, Ray Fallon a bhí i mbun eagarthóireachta, agus Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh a dhear an fhuaim.  Céimí de chuid na gcúrsaí cumarsáide san Acadamh, Laura Ní Cheallaigh, a léirigh an scannán. Tá sí ina hEagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe le TG4. Tá aird na léirmheastóirí chomh maith ar an scannán Fís na Fuiseoige, a scríobh agus a stiúir Aodh Ó Coileáin. Taispeánadh an scannán don chéad uair ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán Bhaile Átha Cliath i mí Feabhra, agus níos luaithe an tseachtain seo ag ócáid in Ionad Ealaíon na hÉireann, Nua-Eabhrac. Beidh sé le feiceáil arís ag Féile Scannán Lá na Cruinne in San Francisco Dé hAoine beag seo (22 Aibreán), agus an mhaidin dar gcionn (23 Aibreán) mar chuid de Chúirt, Féile Idirnáisiúnta Litríochta na Gaillimhe. Baineann an scannán Maidhm, a mhaoinigh Bord Scannán na hÉireann, le hiarrachtaí leaid óig, a bhfuil uathachas ag dul do, athmhuintearas a dhéanamh lena mháthair tar éis titim amach. “Taispeántas den scoth ag an leaid óg atá i bpríomhról an scannáin seo, léiriú ar an uathachas agus ar an tionchar a bhíonn aige, ní hamháin ar an duine féin, ach ar an teaghlach ar fad,” a dúirt léirmheastóir ag Fleadh Scannán na Gaillimhe. Ainmníodh an t-aisteoir Gaillimheach, Tara Breathnach, a dhéanann páirt na máthar, le haghaidh gradam aisteoir na bliana, Gradaim Chumarsáide an Oireachtais, 2016. Sa scannán Fís na Fuiseoige pléitear an dáimh le dúthaigh a mhúnlaigh an tsamhlaíocht liteartha Ghaelach agus an féinaitheantas Éireannach ón gcianaimsir anuas. “Léiríonn portráid álainn dúthaigh agus teanga Aodh Uí Choileáin an tábhacht a bhain leis an nGaeilge ins an athbheochan, an réabhlóid chultúrtha sin a tháinig roimh Éirí Amach na Cásca.  Úsáideadh scata traidisiún a bhí ceangailte leis an nGaeilge, a bhí caillte i ngalldú na tíre chun féinaitheantas nua a shamhlú,” a dúirt Seán Finnan, Film Ireland. Ba iad Colm Hogan agus an Dr Marina L. Levitina, Counterpoint Films, a léirigh an scannán, a mhaoinigh Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann agus TG4. Ar na cúrsaí cumarsáide a chuireann an tAcadamh ar fáil tá: GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; an t-ábhar Léann na Cumarsáide ar GY101 BA Dhá Ábhar Onóracha; GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (lánaimseartha); agus GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (páirtaimseartha). -Críoch- Films by NUI Galway tutors travel the world Two films by Seán Breathnach and Aodh Ó Coileáin, who teach film and journalism at NUI Galway’s Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, will be screened at film festivals around the world this month. Maidhm was written and directed by Seán Breathnach and recently awarded ’Best Drama’ at Limerick Film Festival. It will be screened this week at the Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran and at the Long Week of Short Films Festival in Shanghai in May. Maidhm has already been seen at the Irish Short Film Festival in Malta, Dingle International Film Festival, Cork International Film Festival and the Galway Film Fleadh. Two other Acadamh staff members were also involved in the production, with editing by Ray Fallon and sound design by Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh. The film was produced by a graduate of the Acadamh’s media courses, Laura Ní Cheallaigh, who is currently working as Commissioning Editor in TG4.  Fís na Fuiseoige, written and directed by Aodh Ó Coileáin, premiered to critical acclaim at this year’s Dublin International Film Festival. The film will be screened at the Earth Day Film Festival in San Francisco on Friday (22nd April), and at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway on Saturday (23rd April). It was screened earlier this week at the Irish Arts Centre in New York. Maidhm is the story of an autistic child’s search for his mother following a tantrum which sets them apart. “The young actor who played the autistic child portrayed the impact of autism, not alone on the person but on the entire family, very effectively,” said a critic at the Galway Film Fleadh. Galway actress, Tara Breathnach, has been nominated for an Oireachtas Best Performance award for her portrayal of the mother. The film was funded by the Irish Film Board and filmed in Galway. The focus of Fís na Fuiseoige is the love for the home-place as reflected in poetry and literature in Irish. In Ireland, landscape is not just geography, but a mnemonic for literature and poetry. Landscape and stories are inseparable. “Aodh Ó Coileáin’s beautifully intimate portrait of language and place is a reminder again of the importance of the language in the Gaelic Revival, the cultural rebellion that was the catalyst for the later rebellion. In serving as a pool of traditions that were lost under anglicization, the language was used as a means of re-imagining, of conceiving of a new identity,” said Seán Finnan of Film Ireland. The film was produced by Colm Hogan and Dr Marina L. Levitina of Counterpoint Films, and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TG4. Media courses offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge include: GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; the subject Léann na Cumarsáide on GY101 BA Arts (Joint-Honours); GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (full-time), and GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (part-time). -Ends-    

Monday, 25 April 2016

A new book by a Professor of Psychology at NUI Galway argues that many psychologists fail to take a scientific approach to their work, and that much of the field’s research suffers from serious methodological flaws. The book, ‘Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience’, by Brian Hughes, was published worldwide this month by Palgrave, and was launched at NUI Galway this week. Psychology is one of the most popular subjects in universities across the world and is widely regarded to be a modern empirical science. Despite this, Hughes argues that psychology attracts significant attention from people who hold deeply negative views about science. As a result, psychology is often studied by students and researchers who lack true scientific rigour. According to Hughes, “Psychology has become a field where science meets pseudoscience.” “This is important because psychology touches all of our lives,” Hughes said. “When we talk about mental health, education, social conflict, or crime, our ability to think clearly about these topics depends on how well we study them. Psychologists often try their best to conduct rigorous scientific research. But many psychologists have a casual, and sometimes naïve, approach, and often overlook the limitations of their most conventional research approaches.” “Psychologists are excellent at identifying controversial studies and debunking them, such as the way empirical science quite rightly dismissed the alleged link between MMR vaccination and autism. But psychologists are often less effective at critiquing the quality of mainstream research, such as research about gender differences in human behaviour, evaluations of behaviour change interventions, or studies of how psychotherapy works. In short, psychologists are often very poor at critiquing their own work.” Leading British psychologist Christopher French, Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, agrees. “Brian Hughes has written an important and engaging book exploring the relationships between science, pseudoscience, and psychology,” according to French. “He argues persuasively that psychology itself can properly be considered to be a true science but one that is marred within by pockets of pseudoscience. This book should be read by anyone with a serious interest in the subject.” David Hevey, Associate Professor at the School of Psychology in Trinity College Dublin described the book as “a timely and comprehensive reminder of the critical role of science in both academic and professional applications of psychology.” Anna Phillips, Reader in Behavioural Medicine at the University of Birmingham praised the book’s message for psychology students. “This book will help students to question more critically the research they read during the course of their degree, rather than simply accepting published work as quality science,” said Phillips. Hughes’s own research focuses on the links between psychological stress and physical health. He has held visiting academic appointments at the Universities of Missouri, Leiden, and Birmingham, and at King's College London. He is the current President of the International Stress and Anxiety Research Society, and a former President of the Psychological Society of Ireland. ‘Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience’ is published worldwide by Palgrave and available from all good booksellers. ENDS

Monday, 25 April 2016

 NUI Galway School of Education combine technology and history for new classroom iBooks The story of the 1916 Rising in Dublin is told in two new multi-touch books Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 produced as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. They are packed with videos, interactivity and multimedia to engage readers with an authentic learning experience, which brings this period of Irish history to life.The iBooks were launched today at Scoil Chroí Íosa in Galway city. The publications were produced by Seán Ó Grádaigh, Lecturer in Education at NUI Galway, in collaboration with partners, Century Ireland, Boston College, National Library of Ireland, COGG and the School of Education at NUI Galway. “These resources were built as iBooks using iBooks Author which allows teachers to create stunning multi-touch textbooks” remarked Seán Ó Grádaigh. “The rich digital media content and interactivity along with the built-in assessment and accessibility features facilitate all types of learners in a way that the printed page never could.” At the launch, Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President remarked: “This year marks a special moment of national reflection for all citizens.  This project ensures that schools have a wonderful new interactive tool to help teachers and students to learn more about 1916 in a dynamic and fun way.  I’m delighted that NUI Galway has been involved in this effort and I’d like to congratulate Seán Ó Grádaigh and all the team involved in putting together such an engaging publication.” Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education, NUI Galway said “The teaching of educational technology and in particular content creation for education is a key focus on our teacher education programmes. We hope that these new resources will engage and be enjoyed by teachers and learners in both primary and second-level schools” Speaking at the launch, John Concannon, Director of Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, said: “Bringing history to life for young people was always a core ambition of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.  This multimedia book is a great example of how that can be done.  We are delighted to support it.”  Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 were launched on Friday April 22 in Scoil Chroí Íosa, Newcastle Road, Galway. The books are now available as free downloads from the iBook Store.  https://itun.es/ie/erY1bb.n -ends  Téacsleabhair dhigiteacha ilmheánacha faoi Éirí Amach 1916 á gcur amach ag Scoil an Oideachais, OÉ Gaillimh Déanann an dá leabhar idirghníomhacha seo Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 cur síos ar an méid a tharla i mBaile Átha Cliath le linn Éirí Amach 1916. Tá físeáin, tascanna idirghníomhacha agus gnéithe ilmheánacha fite fuaite trí na leabhair chun aird an fhoglaimeora a ghabháil. Go deimhin, is mar gheall ar idirghníomhaíocht seo a éiríonn leis na leabhair léargas bríomhar ar a tharla sa tréimhse seo i stair na hÉireann a chur ar fáil.  Is é Seán Ó Grádaigh, léachtóir de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh a rinne na leabhair i gcomhar le Century Ireland, Boston College, Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, COGG agus Scoil an Oideachais, OÉ Gaillimh.  “Is iBooks iad na háiseanna seo ar úsáideach iBooks Author chun iad a chur i dtoll a chéile,” a dúirt Seán Ó Grádaigh. “Freastalaíonn na leabhair ar riachtanais na gcineálacha éagsúla foghlaimeoirí ar bhealach nach bhféadfadh leabhar clóite a dhéanamh riamh a bhuí leis an ábhar digiteach, an idirghníomhaíocht agus an measúnú atá lárnach sna leabhair.” Dúirt Uachtarán na hOllscoile, Dr Jim Browne, ag an seoladh: “Is bliain speisialta í seo do shaoránaigh uile na hÉireann chun machnamh a dhéanamh ar stair na tíre. Cinntíonn an togra seo go bhfuil uirlis iontach idirghníomhach ag scoileanna le go mbeidh múinteoirí agus daltaí in ann foghlaim a dhéanamh faoi Éirí Amach 1916 ar bhealach atá spraíúil agus fuinniúil. Is cúis áthais dom go raibh baint ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh leis an togra seo agus ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le Seán Ó Grádaigh agus leis an bhfoireann uile faoin bhfoilseachán tarraingteach seo a chur le chéile. “Cuirtear an-bhéim ar mhúineadh na teicneolaíochta don oideachas ar na cláir oiliúna múinteoirí atá againn agus dírítear ar ábhar a chruthú ach go háirithe,” a mhínigh Mary Fleming, Ceann Scoil an Oideachais, OÉ Gaillimh, “tá súil againn go mbainfidh idir mhúinteoirí agus daltaí ag leibhéal na bunscoile agus ag leibhéal na meánscoile araon tairbhe as na háiseanna.” Dúirt John Concannon, Stiúrthóir ar Ireland 2016, “Ag cur beocht agus beatha sa stair don aos Óg, sin croí aidhm le clár comórtha céad bliain 2016. Sampla iontach is ea an leabhar ilmheáin seo ar conas an sprioc sin a bhaint amach. Tá an-áthas orainn tacú leis.” Seolfar Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 ar an Aoine 22 Aibreán, i Scoil Chroí Íosa, Bóthar an Chaisleáin Nua, Gaillimh. Is féidir na leabhair a íoslódáil soar in aisce ón iBook Store anois. https://itun.es/ie/ CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A colloquium on commercial sex will be hosted by the Commercial Sex Researchers Network of Ireland (CSNRI) in conjunction with the NUI Galway-UL Gender Arc on Tuesday, 3 May in Room 110, St. Anthony’s Building, NUI Galway. Entitled ‘Research on the margins? Commercial sex, the researcher and the researched’, this is an interdisciplinary event which encapsulates local and international expert opinion on the issue of commercial sex is organised by Seán Burke, a PhD candidate at NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology. Keynote speaker Dr Lorraine Nencel will critically explore how researchers make sense of knowledge about the sex trade, how they work with sex workers, and some of the implications of that. She will draw on her 20 year experience of research with sex workers in Peru, Netherlands, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Dhaka Bangladesh, and make the case that researching the sex trade is not like researching any other topic, or not ‘a job like any other’.  Dr Nencel’s address will be followed by two interactive workshops hosted by NUI Galway’s Dr Eilís Ward and Dr Leigh-Ann Sweeney. Dr Nencel is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at the VU University, Amsterdam. Trained as an anthropologist, she has been researching the subject of sex work for more than twenty years, beginning with her research in Lima Peru. Momentarily, she is finishing research on migrant sex workers in the Netherlands, has a project concerning ‘economic empowerment’ and sex workers in Kenya and Ethiopia, and has recently began a project on migrant young women and sexual and reproductive rights in Dhaka Bangladesh, which also works with sex workers.  Dr Eilís Ward is lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway and has been researching and publishing on the politics of the sex trade for over ten years. She is a member of the management committee of the EU funded Cost Action network, ProsPol, and co-editor of a forthcoming book on the state, feminism and prostitution politics.  Furthermore, Dr Ward has contributed to the national debate on prostitution by giving submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee Justice Equality and Defence, which investigated legislating for prostitution in Ireland. Dr Leigh-Ann Sweeney is a Health Services Postdoctoral Researcher at NUI Galway’s Health Promotion Research Centre. Her research to date has focused on qualitative, service-user led research, with a specific interest in narrative inquiry. Dr Sweeney’s PhD research topic, ‘The psychosocial experiences of women involved in prostitution: An exploratory study’, provides empirical evidence on the health needs and experiences of women in the sex industry. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a place, contact Seán Burke at seandeburca1986@gmail.com.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUI Galway launch ‘Citizen Authored Briefs’ that draw on research conducted by older people, children and youth and people with disabilities to highlight community issues A new research collaboration empowering local residents to highlight community issues for children, older people and people with disabilities has been carried out by the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) at NUI Galway. In an innovative partnership with the Project Lifecourse group at ILAS, children and youth, older people, and people with disabilities conducted research in six neighbourhoods across Dublin, Galway and Limerick. Offering a unique insight and voice into the experiences of these groups, the research captures the impact of community change from the viewpoint of local people and vulnerable groups within each neighbourhood context in Ireland. Speaking about this collaboration, Alexandra Revez, one of the NUI Galway researchers, said: “This initiative has allowed the coming together of these residents, from very different backgrounds and different types of neighbourhoods, to really unearth the lived experiences of growing up, ageing and living with a disability in today’s urban society.”      This exciting research collaboration is marked by the launch of the ‘Citizen Authored Brief Series’. These briefs document research on important issues such as: safety and the built environment; social and economic disadvantage; community identity and intergenerational relationships; migration and the value of intercultural spaces, and community activism. Asked about their motivation to participate in this initiative one of the Citizen Researchers remarked that this collaboration was: “A chance to open people’s eyes to what I see and an opportunity to have my voice heard.” The Citizen Researcher Initiative is part of NUI Galway’s 3-Cities Project, which aims to engage in a collaborative process to re-imagine services and communities to maximise participation for children and youth, older people and people with disabilities in their localities and cities. The project, focusing on Claddagh and Doughiska (as part of the greater Ardaun, Roscam and Doughiska community area) in Galway, East Wall and the Liberties in Dublin, and South Circular Road and Garryowen in Limerick, is interested in the urban environment and the impact it has on the life-course trajectories of individuals. This research also explores the impact of different community participation practices on the lives of older people, children and youth and people with disabilities. The Citizen Researcher Initiative represents international best practice in the activation and empowerment of members of the public as researchers. By engaging in this process the project has strived to provide local members of the community which represent older people, children and youth and people with disabilities with a way to contribute to and direct the 3-Cities Project research and its outputs. The 3-Cities Project marks the first major programme of work undertaken by Project Lifecourse, which is the flagship research initiative at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) in NUI Galway. This initiative is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and represents Ireland’s most visible contribution to the growing international field of life course studies. For more information on 3-Cities Project please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/ilas/project-lifecourse/thethreecitiesproject/ ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Breast Cancer Now-funded research aims to determine why one third of breast cancer patients treated with anti-estrogen therapies relapse within 15 years Monday, 25 April, 2016: Scientists at NUI Galway have completed a research study funded by Breast Cancer Now that has begun to unravel why women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer develop a resistance to endocrine treatment, and have found a potential new approach to overcome the problem. Such findings may pave the way for new therapies to treat breast cancers resistant to endocrine therapy. The study was published today (April 25) in the international journal Oncogene by Nature Publishing Group. A cancer is called estrogen-receptor-positive if it has receptors for estrogen. This suggests that the cancer cells, like normal breast cells, may receive signals from estrogen that could promote their growth. Every woman has estrogen and progesterone hormones in her body, which can serve as fuel for some types of breast cancer. They help the cells grow and spread. Hormone therapy, also called endocrine therapy, adds, blocks, or removes those chemicals to treat the disease. Approximately 70% of breast cancers are positive for estrogen receptor and are treated with hormonal therapy. However, one third of breast cancer patients treated with hormonal therapy relapse within 15 years, which is why it is so important that this research continues, to help determine how the cancer finds ways to survive in these patients. The research was performed by a team of scientists and clinicians led by Dr Sanjeev Gupta at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway and lead author of the study, Dr Ananya Gupta, Lecturer of Physiology at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway. XBP1 is a protein that is involved in a cell’s response to stressful conditions, which allows tumours to grow and survive when they are deprived of nutrients. Dr Sanjeev Gupta and his team found that XBP1 increases the production of the protein, NCOA3 that enables the breast cancer cells to avoid anti-estrogen treatment. This indicated that combining standard hormonal therapies with a XBP1 inhibitor (this blocks the XBP1 function), could improve treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients by preventing relapse due to therapy resistance. Dr Sanjeev Gupta, who has been working on XBP1 since 2007 says that: “This research could lead to better approaches to predict an individual patients responsiveness to endocrine therapies.” Analysing human patient specimens, Dr Gupta and his team found that testing for high levels of XBP1 and the protein NCOA3, could predict whose breast cancer is likely to be resistant to anti-estrogen drugs and which patients could benefit most from combined treatment with hormonal therapies and a XBP1 inhibitor. The findings suggest that resistance to anti-estrogen treatment could be overcome by targeting the cancer cells with a XBP1 inhibitor, using the cell’s reliance on XBP1 as their Achilles heel. Dr Ananya Gupta from NUI Galway and lead author of the research said: “The next step is to identify a suitable therapeutic target in the XBP1-NCOA3 pathway. XBP1 is a transcription factor, and transcription factors have been very difficult to target with small molecules. We look forward to developing new ways to target this molecule in breast cancer.” Dr Richard Berks, Senior Research Communications Officer at Breast Cancer Now, said: “This study reveals how the XBP1 protein could be helping some breast cancers survive anti-hormone treatments. We look forward to further research to find out whether blocking this protein could reduce the risk of a patient’s breast cancer spreading or returning, ultimately helping to stop women dying from the disease. It’s crucial that we continue to find ways to make breast cancer therapies even more effective, and match individual patients with the treatments most likely to work for them.” The study was led by NUI Galway and co-authors included Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital (GUH) and Director of Breast Cancer Research; and Grace Callagy,  Professor of Pathology at NUI Galway and GUH. The research was funded by Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign. To read the full study in Oncogene visit: http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/onc2016121a.html  ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUI Galway in partnership with Mindfulness Ireland and Plum Village, Bordeaux is delighted to announce a free public event ‘An Evening of Mindfulness’ NUI Galway is delighted to host a very special event entitled ‘An Evening of Mindfulness’ in association with Mindfulness Ireland, exploring the practice of Mindfulness. The free event is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, 28 April from 6pm to 8pm in the Aula Maxima Lower at NUI Galway. The Mindfulness session will be presented by Teacher Sister Jina, and her colleagues Sr Tri Nghiem and Sr Tao Nghiem from Plum Village in Bordeaux. Sister Jina is a Senior Dharma Teacher within the Plum Village Mindfulness tradition and lives her daily life practicing mindfulness and leading mindfulness retreats around the world. In the hectic lives we lead it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day eventualities. Between going over what happened yesterday to worrying about and planning for tomorrow we can sometimes forget about enjoying today. The practice of mindfulness is about being present and awake to each moment of our daily lives. It will give people the opportunity to look at ways in which we can improve the quality of our lives and that of those around us by listening deeply, building community and paying attention to how we live. Plum Village, near Bordeaux in southwest France, is the largest international practice centre in the Plum Village tradition, and the first monastic community founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment - the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. This unique event is part of NUI Galway’s ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture and the importance of mindfulness in higher educational institutions and the wider community. The event is open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway and coordinator of the University’s Mindful Way initiative said: “NUI Galway is on a journey to adopt a mindfulness culture to benefit both staff and students that is being shared with the wider Galway community. We are honoured to host Sr Jina and her monastic colleagues from Plum Village and hope that everyone who attends will enjoy this truly unique evening with such a globally revered group.” The Plum Village Monastics are in Galway as part of Mindfulness Ireland's Annual Retreat Programme, which takes place every year over the May Bank Holiday weekend. For more information visit www.mindfulnessireland.org/ and www.plumvillage.org To register attendance please contact Martina Finn on galwaysangha@gmail.com or 087 2201972. For more information regarding NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

NUI Galway to host workshops for teenagers based on the perception of art and science and exposing the idea that both are not mutually exclusive The outreach team from the Department of Chemistry in NUI Galway, funded by EXPLORE Innovation Initiative will host free workshops entitled ‘Explore Science in Art’ on the University campus over three separate days in April and May. The workshops will gauge the perception of art and science among secondary school students aged 14-18 years and will blur the boundaries between art and science by showing the scientific method and principles involved in art and the creativity required in science. The practical workshops will consist of three parts: Chemically synthesise pigments for paintings as they were made hundreds of years ago and use them to create artwork. Making and using fabric dyes. Create your very own masterpiece. On Friday, 6 May the School of Chemistry will host two free talks entitled ‘Talks @ Explore Science in Art’ linking two disciplines that are generally considered unrelated, exposing the idea that science and art are not mutually exclusive. A conservation scientist will talk about how science helps us better understand art while a scientist will discuss how understanding art and being creative helps science! The first talk ‘From Art to Science and back again...’ by Dr Peter Crowley from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will take place at 5pm on Friday, 6 May. The second talk entitled, ‘Lapis & Gold: looking at manuscripts through the eyes of a Conservator’, by Ms Kristine Rose Beers from the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, will take place at 5.30pm. Both talks will take place in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. On Monday, 9 May the ‘Talks @ Explore Science in Art’ will continue with the man who made Yoda himself - on how science helps us understand art better. Dr Spike Bucklow from Hamilton-Kerr Institute at the University of Cambridge will discuss ‘Can science help you understand art better?’ The talk will take place from 5.30pm to 6.30pm in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts and Science Building at NUI Galway. Saturday, 30 April workshops will take place in the Chemistry Teaching Labs in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. For registration and further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/explore-science-in-art-tickets-24301970849 The talks on Friday, 6 May will take place from 5pm to 6.30pm in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. For registration and further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talks-explore-science-in-art-tickets-23913873038 For registration and further information on Friday, May 9 talks, visit: https://goo.gl/GVTxdI ENDS

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

 NUI Galway student selected as prize winner from 1,100 global submissions and awarded Illumina Next-Generation Sequencing technology to advance research in breast cancer A PhD student from NUI Galway has been selected as a prize winner from 1,100 submissions worldwide to win the ‘Go Mini Scientific Challenge Program’. Úna McVeigh was awarded cutting edge technology to the value of $4,500 to further support her research in the genetics of breast cancer. The announcement was made at a reception at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in New Orleans in Louisiana. The Scientific Challenge Program was launched to highlight the range of applications that can be performed using Illumina’s MiniSeq System. The MiniSeq, unveiled earlier this year is Illumina’s smallest and simplest next-generation sequencing (NGS) system ideally suited for research and industrial applications in many segments including cancer, infectious disease, inherited disease, and reproductive health. Úna McVeigh, a PhD student at NUI Galway and originally from Tourlestrane in Sligo, will receive three sequencing runs on a MiniSeq System facilitated by Illumina. She will study the genetics of breast cancer in the population of the West of Ireland, specifically in women with a strong family history of the disease, to understand the role of genes other than BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 in cancer susceptibility. Ms McVeigh’s translational research study, which leverages samples from a large biobank at NUI Galway’s department of surgery, aims to identify the frequency of genetic variants, their effects on breast cancer risk, and the clinical utility of testing for them. She hopes to be able to validate new clinically-relevant variants that are potentially applicable in broader populations. Commenting on her research, Úna McVeigh said: “Next-generation sequencing is an invaluable tool for identifying new cancer susceptibility genes. Despite the discovery of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, the majority of inherited predisposition to breast cancer remains unexplained. We hope our research can begin to identify new genetic drivers of breast cancer, so that one day better patient screening can improve health outcomes for populations with a genetic predisposition to the disease.” Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway and Research Director of Breast Cancer Research said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for a young researcher starting out on her PhD studies to undertake, being invited to attend one of the most important Cancer Research conferences in the world. Úna is working in the exciting area of breast cancer genomics and with support from Breast Cancer Research she is investigating a panel of genes of interest that will add to the growing knowledge around inherited breast cancer risk.” The research was funded by Breast Cancer Research, a national charity that raises funds in support of world-class breast cancer research at NUI Galway. Commenting on the MiniSeq award, Helen Ryan, Board Chairperson of Breast Cancer Research said: “We are delighted for Úna on winning this much sought after award for her research on the genetics of breast cancer. Innovative research like Una’s is advancing Breast Cancer Research’s vision of having a real and measurable impact on outcomes for breast cancer patients.” Sam Raha, Vice President of Global Marketing for Illumina said: “The diversity and creativity of the scientific challenge applications that we received is a testament to the versatility of the MiniSeq. We’re excited that MiniSeq will be used to advance scientific understanding in entomology, virology, and oncology, through the work of these researchers and look forward to seeing our other customers use the system on a myriad of applications critical to improving human health.” For further information about the winners announced at the first Illumina MiniSeq Scientific Challenge visit: http://www.illumina.com/company/news-center/feature-articles/illumina-announces-winners-of-miniseq-scientific-challenge.html  ENDS

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ben Gwalchmai, a PhD student in Digital Arts and Humanities at NUI Galway, has been awarded a prestigious Venice Biennale Fellowship. The Fellowship, coordinated by The British Council, awards a sponsored grant of £1,600 to cover travel, accommodation and living costs. Ben, who is originally from Wales, will spend one month in Venice as part of a group of eight individuals responsible for invigilating the British Pavilion each month and taking part in a dedicated research programme. The 15th Venice Architecture Biennale will run from 28 May-27 November 2016, with a preview taking place on 25-27 May and offers an important opportunity to review and rethink important aspects of architecture. The Biennale is focussed on the resourcefulness and vitality in which architecture responds to the demands of civil society.  Fellows will undertake site-specific research considering how architecture in Venice responds to periods of occupancy. Under a structured research programme, fellows will devise a research proposal in advance of their travel to Venice, and will be assisted by receiving feedback from British Pavilion exhibition contributors and industry experts. Ben’s particular focus in ‘Reporting from the Front’ is in line with his PhD at NUI Galway. He will be looking at the historical changes in public space in Venice alongside charting which and how many private homes – in line with the Home Economics exhibition – have become public spaces. Ben said: “It’s an honour to be a British Council Venice Fellow and I look forward to making long-lasting, international connections.” Dr Justin Tonra, Humanities Director of NUI Galway’s Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme, said: “Ben’s receipt of this prestigious British Council Fellowship is fitting reward for his track record of achievement and wide-ranging scholarly and artistic interests, and his research project in Venice closely relates to his PhD topic of utilising open public data to understand and reshape public spaces. The award is a great honour for Ben, and continues the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme’s record of close collaboration with prominent cultural bodies and institutions.” For further information on the Venice Biennale Fellowship visit http://design.britishcouncil.org/. For more information on the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme at NUI Galway visit http://dahphd.ie/. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Biomedical Sciences Building has been awarded one of the prestigious Top Ten Design Award for Sustainability by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE), the only award outside of the United States.  The COTE Top Ten Awards program, now in its 20th year, is the profession’s most rigorous recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. NUI Galway’s Biomedical Sciences Building opened in 2014 and provides high technology science research space dedicated to cancer research, medical device technology, biomaterials science, glycoscience, regenerative medicine and chemical biology.  On awarding the honour the AIA said: “The design of the Biomedical Sciences Building embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project is able to take advantage of natural ventilation. Due to this approach, 45% of this intensive research building is able to function without mechanical ventilation. This is an extremely simple, yet radical approach and is rarely implemented to even a modest extent in similar laboratories in comparable US climates.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “The same design team also delivered the University’s Lambe Institute for Translational Research which works in collaboration with the Biomedical Sciences Building to provide a unique blend of research in the field of biomedical science.” Speaking of the award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with this award for the Biomedical Sciences Building. This is well-deserved recognition by the American Institute of Architects for the collaborative and innovative design by Payette Architects, Anthony Reddy Architects and their design team, and the design and build team led by J.J. Rhatigan & Company. It is further demonstration of NUI Galway’s commitment to sustainability in the development and operation of its buildings and estate.” More information on the Top Ten Awards is available at http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB108782. -Ends-

Friday, 29 April 2016

NUI Galway research study discovers the partial or complete suppression of an individual’s immune system following major surgery can lead to post-surgical mortality Scientists at NUI Galway completed a research study which has revealed that post-traumatic immunosuppression (PTI) is one of the leading causes of post-surgical mortality and makes patients vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections, multiple organ failure and many other complications. The study was published today (29 April) in the international journal Clinical & Translational Immunology by Nature Publishing Group. Lead author of the study, Professor Rhodri Ceredig, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, said: “An evolutionarily sophisticated and balanced immune system exists in our body whose equilibrium can be altered by different physical, environmental or psychological stresses. Trauma, including major surgery and accidental injury, leads to post-traumatic immunosuppression (PTI) increasing a patient’s vulnerability to hospital-acquired infections. Florence Nightingale initially raised this question during the Crimean War and great efforts were then made to improve hospital hygiene. Although sanitation has been improved in hospitals, an equivalent phenomenon of post-traumatic deaths from systemic infections persists to this day. ” Professor Ceredig added, “More and more new infections are still threatening major trauma patients. An important question remains, ‘why do wounded patients acquire systemic infections even in a hygienic environment?’ Research over the past two decades suggests that following trauma, a patient’s immune system is imbalanced, thereby increasing their vulnerability to acquired infections. However, the underlying mechanisms of PTI are poorly defined and as yet, there are no universally accepted treatments. Our study, carried out by Dr Md. Nahidul Islam at NUI Galway in collaboration with Professor Benjamin Bradley of the University of Bristol, used total knee replacement surgery as a model of sterile surgical trauma.” At sites of tissue damage, whether it be following major surgery or accidental injury, many bioactive molecules are produced. These molecules include so-called ‘danger’ signals expressed by damaged cells that in turn stimulate production by local, undamaged, cells of very potent, soluble hormone-like molecules. Some of these molecules dampen, whereas others stimulate inflammation. It is thought the overall purpose of these early local events is to create an environment favourable to tissue healing. However, some of the molecules produced locally enter the blood stream and have effects on distant organs such as the liver, brain and organs of the immune system. The overall effect of these is to dampen immune responses thereby rendering the patient more susceptible to oportunistic infections. The origin of such infections can be either external or internal, for example from an imbalance of gut bacteria or failure of the body to control low-grade infection. In some respects, the profile of bioactive molecules circulating in the blood following sterile surgical intervention can resemble that seen in the early stages of serious bacteriological infections. Hospital-acquired infections and their treatments pose a huge economic burden on healthcare services and are a cause of serious morbidity and even mortality. One key finding of this study was that additional research is necessary in order to be able to distinguish immunosuppression following sterile trauma from that seen in the early stages of non-sterile infection, thereby providing guidelines for the initiation of appropriate treatments. This study was supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and North Bristol NHS Trust. To read the full study in Clinical & Translational Immunology visit: http://www.nature.com/cti/journal/v5/n4/full/cti201613a.html ENDS

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

NUI Galway has announced that RTÉ 2FM broadcaster Will Leahy will host this year’s Gala Banquet featuring the 2016 Alumni Awards ceremony. Will Leahy, is an NUI Galway graduate BA (1992) LLB (1994) who is a Limerick based solicitor specialising in Local Authority and Family Law. He is also an award winning broadcaster with both RTÉ Radio and Television presenting primarily on RTÉ 2FM and RTÉ Radio One. The 2016 Alumni Award winners will be presented with their awards at the Gala Banquet on Saturday, 5 March, 2016 in the Bailey Allen Wing located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2016: Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by AIB - Siobhán Ní Ghadhra, Owner/Producer at Danú Media. Alumni Award for Business and Commerce – sponsored by Bank of Ireland - Ruth Curran, Managing Partner in MERC Partners and Global Chair IIC Partners. Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government – sponsored by Galway University Foundation - Dr Mathilda Twomey, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Seychelles. Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology – sponsored by Aramark - Gearóid Faherty, Former CEO and Chairman of Eurand NV. Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic - Dr Joe Murray, Professor of Medicine and Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic. Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Bank of Ireland - Dr Paul Hession, Olympic and world champion sprinter and junior doctor in Tallaght Hospital. ENDS

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Student Services will hold its inaugural Wellness Week from 7-10 March. The aim of the initiative is to show students and staff that getting active and eating healthy are essential contributions to your general wellbeing. As part of Wellness Week, the Societies Office are running a new programme called ‘Good Morning NUI Galway’, a series of early morning dance classes, fitness and meditation workshops designed to start the day off in a positive mood. From 8am, societies will be leading salsa, zumba, capoeira, and mindfulness classes, and silent discos. The Climate Change and Food Safety (CCAFS) and Baking Societies will team up with the Societies Office to bring the ‘The Great Chef Challenge’ competition to campus. During the week, four campus chefs will battle it out to see who can create the healthiest week worth of dinners for a shopping basket of €20. Students can taste their creations in An Bialann, College Bar, Friars and Clinical Science Cafe every day and vote for their favourite with the grand final in Áras na Mac Léinn on Thursday, 10 March from 3-5pm. On Wednesday, NUI Galway’s Dance Society will hold a ‘Strictly Come Dansoc’ night in the Bailey Allen Hall from 7.30pm. And on Thursday, the Baking Society will hold a Baketastic Bash, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, in the Bailey Allen Hall from 11am-6pm, which will include a Food Fair with healthy and delicious food ideas, as well as the launch of their new cookbook. Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway, said: “With music, art, a sleep hygiene workshop, Malaysian food, a positive mental health exhibition and the launch of Botany Societies’ ‘Grow it Yourself’ initiative, the week promises to be full of tips on how to increase your wellness and have fun in the process.” The Wellness Week also coincides with Refugee Awareness Week, organised by the Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières and Gender Awareness week organised by Feminist Society. For more information on Wellness Week and other society events in NUI Galway visit www.nuigstudents.ie and www.socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

PotterFest Galway, Ireland’s only convention celebrating J.K. Rowling’s much loved Harry Potter series, returns to NUI Galway on 12-13 March. The aim of the event is to provide fans of the Harry Potter series with a memorable and magical experience over the course of the weekend. The two-day convention, organised by NUI Galway’s Harry Potter Society, will include events for Potter fans of all ages, including a Hogwarts House Sorting Ceremony, Hogwarts classes, and the chance to play the most popular sport in the wizarding world, Quidditch. Other events include a family fun day, cosplay events, arts and crafts workshops, a petting zoo, and a bouncing castle. Special guests at PotterFest 2016 will include: actor Hugh Mitchell, who Potter fans will recognise as Colin Creevey in ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’; Brian Holden and Meredith Stepien of Team Starkid; and Will Naameh, who runs The Potter Trail in Edinburgh. All guests will take part in panels across the weekend, and will be available for photo opportunities with visitors. On Friday, 11 March, NUI Galway’s Harry Potter Society will be hosting a Yule Ball in the Aula Maxima to celebrate the beginning of the convention, and to bring to a close the Tri-wizard Tournament that has been taking place throughout the year. Tickets for the Yule Ball are €25 and the event is strictly over 18s. Pre-registration tickets for PotterFest Galway, and tickets for the Yule Ball, are available at www.socsbox.nuigalway.ie. Full weekend tickets are €30. Day tickets can also be purchased with Saturday tickets costing €20, and Sunday tickets costing €15. Tickets will also be available at the door across the weekend. For more information, please contact Rebecca Davitt at potterfestgalway@gmail.com, or visit www.potterfestgalway.org. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

First programme of its kind to be offered in Ireland NUI Galway has launched a new Masters programme in Biomedical Genomics, the first of its kind to be offered in Ireland. This programme places NUI Galway at the forefront of training the next generation of scientists and clinicians in the use of cutting-edge DNA sequencing technologies, both within fundamental scientific discovery and in clinical applications. Based at the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, this Masters is an inter-disciplinary programme drawing on expertise from across the University. The programme has been specifically designed to address the growing need for scientists with the quantitative skills necessary to help realise the enormous potential of sequencing-based technologies to deliver on the promise of personalised medicine in order to better understand, diagnose, and treat disease. Keynote speaker at the launch, Dr John Greally, an NUI Galway graduate, Professor of Genetics and Medicine and Director of the Center for Epigenomics at the Einstein College of Medicine in New York, said: “As both a clinician and director of a research laboratory, I see on a daily basis how contributions from genomics scientists in areas such as drug discovery and diagnosis of rare genetic diseases are transforming the field of medicine. I am really excited by this new programme because it provides the unique combination of molecular and analytical skills that are critical in order to take advantage of the current wave of innovation in genomics-based technologies. With this programme, I can see NUI Galway establishing itself as a major centre for biomedical genomics training and research in Europe.” Professor Cathal Seoighe, Director of the NUI Galway programme added: “This exciting new programme will bring together students from diverse academic backgrounds who share the common goal of learning how to apply newly-developed genomics technologies to biomedical problems. I'm delighted that NUI Galway and the College of Science are leading the way in recognising the transformative potential of genomics science both in human health and in basic research.” Graduates of the programme will have a highly marketable and transferable combination of computational and analytical skills as well as specialist knowledge of the application of these skills in the analysis of genomics data. They will be well placed to seek employment in the new field of precision medicine, in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies making use of genomics technologies, or in research roles in both industry and academic settings. This programme will have its first intake of students in the academic year 2016/17. For further information on the MSc in Biomedical Genomics visit http://bioinf.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Mystics Ladies Basketball team recently captured the Basketball Ireland Women’s Division 1 national league title. The deciding game against Father Matthews of Cork ended in 67-64. NUI Galway Mystics have ended their regular season on 16 wins and 1 loss. The winning team was included Marritta Gillcrease, Hannah Coen, Ailish O’Reilly, Lauren Murray, Deirdre O’Shea, Rebecca Hansberry, Emer Smyth and Aoibhin O’Neill. Pictured are the NUI Galway Mystics Basketball team. >>> Read a report on the Mystics in The Irish Daily Star

Thursday, 3 March 2016

NUI Galway recently celebrated five years of the Hardiman and the Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships schemes with a special ceremony in the University. The Hardiman PhD Scholarship scheme was established in 2011 with the objective of attracting the best Irish and international students to NUI Galway. The fully-funded scholarships support students who undertake four-year Structured PhD and are focused on five key areas of research: 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. To date the scheme has provided financial support for over 100 PhD students to undertake research in the University’s priority research themes and has been strongly supported by the Galway University Foundation and its donors, most notably the Broderick and Glynn endowments, Cancer Care West and the Ryan Foundation. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, congratulated the Hardiman scholars on their research achievements. Speaking at the event Dr Browne said: “In Vision 2020, NUI Galway’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020, the goal for research and innovation is to produce research that is recognised as being excellent, transformative, and relevant to societal and economic needs, while we train the next generation of researchers. The Hardiman Scholarship scheme is a key component of the University’s support for PhD students.” Posters at the event demonstrated the Hardiman and Dr Tony Ryan scholars’ research achievements including: Sally McHugh, 2014 Hardiman scholar, who showcased the CampusCreate project; and Mary McGill, 2015 Hardiman scholar, fresh from her recent Galway TEDx talk, who gave a talk on how to adapt academic ideas and presentation styles for events. Professor Lucy Byrnes, Dean of Graduate Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Hardiman PhD scholarship scheme is the most prestigious scholarship scheme at NUI Galway and has a significant international reach, with over half of the scholars coming from other universities across the globe to complete their PhDs. A third of Hardiman scholars’ initial funding came from the Hardiman scholarship scheme but they then competed successfully for national scholarships, such as those from the Irish Research Council, further augmenting the support for PhD students at NUI Galway.” 28 new Hardiman scholars, and one new Dr Tony Ryan scholar, will begin their PhDs in September 2016 and shortly thereafter the 2017 competition will be launched. For further information on the Hardiman PhD Scholarship scheme visit www.nuigalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships. -Ends-

Friday, 4 March 2016

New consortium appointed to run Ireland’s National Rural Network with NUI Galway leading the research to achieve better outcomes under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 The School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, led by Dr Maura Farrell has been appointed as lead researchers of a new consortium to run Ireland's National Rural Network (NRN), as announced by the Department of Agriculture. The new consortium will be responsible for facilitating all stakeholders and interested groups in achieving better outcomes across all the measures under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP). The National Rural Network, which is being led by Irish Rural Link, is part of the implementation architecture for Rural Development Programmes across the European Union. Its primary aims are to increase stakeholder involvement, improve quality of implementation, inform the public and potential beneficiaries, and foster innovation in agriculture, food production, forestry and rural areas. Commenting on the announcement, Dr Maura Farrell, Director MA in Rural Sustainability in the School of Geography and Archaeology and Project Leader for NUI Galway, said: “The National Rural Network consortium will endeavour to create strong linkages between the administrative structures and organisations delivering Rural Development in Ireland. Through a resilient and systematic communications structure, the Network aims to increase stakeholder participation, expand the quality of rural development programmes and advance and disseminate innovative practices that can positively influence individuals and societies throughout rural Ireland. Such practices will be drawn from projects funded under the LEADER programme, and also from best practices in agriculture, biodiversity and small town development and rejuvenation.” The School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, through its Rural Research Cluster and the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, is a leading body with the strongest rural development credentials. Its alumni in agriculture and rural development occupy prestigious positions throughout the sector. It has unrivalled credentials in the fields of rural research and innovation. The NUI Galway team undertake research projects, co-ordinate innovation initiatives, and undertake monitoring and evaluation initiatives. Seamus Boland, Chief Executive of Irish Rural Link added, “The ambition of the new consortium is to maximise the impact of the Rural Development Programme by bringing it into the lives of as many people and communities as possible. We aim to transform levels of engagement with the programme, and by building participation in its implementation, and a sense of ownership of the programme amongst stakeholders, to maximise the positive impact in the lives of people and communities across rural Ireland.” Additional members of the consortium include The Wheel and Philip Farrelly & Co. For more information about the programme visit: www.nationalruralnetwork.ie or email info@nationalruralnetwork.ie. ENDS   

Friday, 4 March 2016

CÚRAM PhD student wins best paper award for her research to develop polymeric neural probes, which measure the electrical activity of neurons in our brains, for deep brain stimulation for patients with Parkinson’s disease Catalina Vallejo Giraldo, a PhD student at CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, has just received the Best Paper Award at ‘Biodevices 2016’, the 9th International Conference on Biomedical Electronics and Devices in Rome. Ms Vallejo Giraldo’s paper titled ‘Electrochemical Analysis of Accelerated Aging of PEDOT-PTS Coated Screen-printed Electrodes’ (authors, Nathalia Peixoto, Tjerignimin Silue, Catalina Vallejo-Giraldo and Manus Biggs), was selected from a set of outstanding papers, based on the quantitative and qualitative classifications assessed by the distinguished program committee reviewers. At CÚRAM, under the supervision of Dr Manus Biggs, Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr Eilis Dowd, Catalina’s research aims to develop polymeric neural probes (which measure the electrical activity of neurons in our brains) for deep brain stimulation in patients with Parkinson’s, as well as reducing the development of scarring at the probe interface in the brain. Originally from Colombia, Ms Vallejo Giraldo’s research interests are focused on the area of biomaterials, with applications for tissue engineering and drug delivery, bio-interfaces, nerve regeneration and Parkinson’s disease. Commenting on her work, Ms Vallejo Giraldo said: “Studies on using materials that conduct electricity to coat electrodes used in deep brain stimulation have been shown to enhance tissue/electrode integration and electrode performance. Current treatment strategies using electrodes for deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s patients have focused on reducing the complex ratio of the voltage to the current in an alternating current (AC) circuit, and the use of proteins to enhance the integration of the electrodes in the brain. We hope to develop biomaterial coatings for these electrodes so that they are accepted more readily by the body, perform more efficiently and for longer, thereby creating a much better therapy option for the patient.” Congratulating Ms Vallejo Giraldo on her success, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “I am delighted to see more of our researcher’s successes at international conferences. It really reflects the high quality of research being carried out here at CÚRAM and in the Med Tech industry in Ireland in finding solutions for patients suffering from chronic illness.” Over 200 renowned experts in biomaterials, drug delivery, cell therapy, glycoscience and device design are working on blue sky research and industry projects associated with CÚRAM, which aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness, by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. CÚRAM is a Science Foundation Ireland centre for research in medical devices, bringing together experts from Ireland’s leading universities and research institutes. Its academic partners, led by NUI Galway, include UCD, UCC, TCD, UL, The Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and Molecular Medicine Ireland. ENDS

Friday, 4 March 2016

Déanfar Comhdháil Chumann Idirnáisiúnta na gCoimisinéirí Teanga a reáchtáil i nGaillimh idir Dé Luain 7 Márta agus Dé Céadaoin 9 Márta.Is é Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins, a dhéanfaidh imeachtaí na Comhdhála a sheoladh go hoifigiúil oíche Dé Luain 7 Márta san Aula Maxima in OÉ Gaillimh. Is é an tOnórach an Breitheamh Adrian Hardiman, Cúirt Uachtarach na hÉireann, a thabharfaidh Léacht na Comhdhála. Beidh teacht ar bheoshruth idirlín de Sheoladh Oifigiúil agus de Léacht na Comhdhála ar chainéal Youtube OÉ Gaillimh oíche Dé Luain. Is é An Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, agus Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga atá i mbun na Comhdhála seo a eagrú i gcomhpháirt le hOÉ Gaillimh. Beidh Coimisinéirí Teanga ó na tíortha seo a leanas ag freastal ar imeachtaí na Comhdhála: Ceanada, An Bhreatain Bheag, An Chosaiv, An Chatalóin, Tír na mBascach agus An Bheilg. Beidh cuairteoirí gradamúla eile ag freastal ar an gComhdháil ón Nua-Shéalainn, Albain agus an Fhionlainn. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh agus Dónall Ó Braonáin ó OÉ Gaillimh: ‘Beartas suntasach a bhí in Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla don phobal teanga sa stát seo. Léiríonn clár na comhdhála seo cén tábhacht idirnáisiúnta a bhaineann le cearta, stádas agus úsáid teangacha sa saol poiblí i ndlinsí agus i stáit éagsúla. Ceisteanna iad seo a bhfuil aird phobal na Gaeilge orthu ó rinneadh athbhreithniú ar an Acht le deireanas agus tá áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith ag obair i gcomhpháirt leis an gCoimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, agus an chomhdháil seo á reáchtáil i nGaillimh den chéad uair.’ Is in Óstán Chuan na Gaillimhe a dhéanfar seisiúin phoiblí na comhdhála a reáchtáil Dé Máirt 8 agus Dé Céadaoin 9 Márta. Tá clár iomlán na Comhdhála le fáil ar shuíomh idirlín an Choimisinéara Teanga ag www.coimisineir.ie I measc na n-ábhar a phléifear le linn na comhdhála, beidh: Fás agus Forás: Éabhlóid an Dlí Teanga: Meri Huws, Coimisinéir Teanga, An Bhreatain Bheag; Bart Weekers, Ombudsman na bPléimeannach; Katherine D’Entremont, Coimisinéir na dTeangacha Oifigiúla,New Brunswick; Rafael Ribó, Ombudsman na Catalóine. Glór mo Mhuintire: Teanga & Féiniúlacht: Slaviša Mladenović, Coimisinéir Teanga, An Chosaiv; François Boileau, Coimisinéir do Sheirbhísí Teanga nanFraincise, Ontario; Manuel Lezertua, Ararteko - Ombudsman Thír na mBascach. Cearta Mionteangacha in Aois na Móréagsúlachta Teangeolaíche:Stephen May, Ollscoil Auckland, An Nua-Shéalainn. Ról na Reachtaíochta i gCosaint Cearta Teanga: John Walsh, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh; Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin, Ollscoil Luimnigh. Beart de Réir ár mBriathair: Feidhmiú Reachtaíocht Teanga: Deirdre Ní Loingsigh, Ollscoil Luimnigh; Máire Seó Breathnach, Comhairle Cathrach agus Contae Phort Láirge; Dyfan Sion, Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga, An Bhreatain Bheag. Ról na Féiniúlachta i Saothar Robert Flaherty: Sandra Inutiq, Coimisinéir Teanga, Nunavut Tuaisceart Éireann; Cearta Teanga & Acht Teanga: Robert Dunbar, Ollscoil Dhún Éideann, Albain Oideachas Trí Ghaeilge; sa Ghaeltacht, Taobh Amuigh den Ghaeltacht & i dTuaisceart Éireann: Muireann Ní Mhóráin, An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta; Bláthnaid Ní Ghréacháin, Gaelscoileanna Teoranta; Liam Ó Flannagáin, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta. An Tábhacht le Teanga i Luath-Oideachas – Dearcadh ón Fhionlainn: Pär Stenbäck, Aire Stáit, An Fhionlainn Críoch

Monday, 7 March 2016

First time an event of this type has been held in Ireland NUI Galway will host a Masterclass in Health Economics from 21-24 March. This is the first time an event of this type has been held in Ireland and offers a rare opportunity for early career researchers to gain access to preeminent researchers at a critical juncture of their career and in the case of Ireland in the development of our healthcare system. Health care systems have and will come under increasing pressure as demand for care rises, more new and expensive technologies become available and the expectations of the public for services continue to rise. Within this context, it is more important than ever that there exists in Ireland people with the skills to critically assess the challenges that face the system, the claims and counter claims made in respect of it and; who can help provide evidence based solutions to the challenges faced. The class will expose early career researchers from Ireland, the USA, the UK and continental Europe to the work of preeminent economists working in the area of health. The faculty contributing to the class include internationally recognised experts who have provided advice to government and industry in the US, UK and Ireland, as well as pioneering the use and teaching of economics to address issues and problems in health and health care. Delegates will be exposed to the latest research in lectures, laboratories and smaller informal discussion sessions, share their experiences and given hands-on experience in the use of data in laboratory sessions. They will also have the opportunity to meet and discuss with editors of leading academic journals publication strategies and with policy advisors on ensuring the effective translation of research into policy design and practice. Professor Ciaran O’Neill, NUI Galway’s discipline of Economics, said: “The class is being provided with support from AbbVie Limited and NUI Galway that has allowed us to heavily subsidise attendance by delegates. The event is being run on a strictly non-profit basis and we hope will help develop a group of individuals with critical skills to meet the growing challenges for healthcare in Ireland and beyond.” Speakers and topics covered at the Masterclass will include: John Cawley, Cornell University – The Economics of Obesity Dave Madden, UCD – Health Transitions: Applications in Adolescent Obesity Mark McClellan, Duke University – Recent developments and expected trends in healthcare finance and delivery reforms John Mullahy, University of Wisconsin – Health outcomes in economic analysis Anne Nolan, The Economic and Social Research Institute – Access to and use of healthcare: studies in primary care Ciaran O'Neill, NUI Galway – Uptake of preventive services: studies in cancer Eamon O'Shea, NUI Galway – The economics of dementia Mark Pauly, University of Pennsylvania – The Future of Health Insurance: Will Lower Income People Be Allowed to Choose Plans with Cost Sharing? Jody Sindelar, Yale University – Economic issues in addiction Jonathan Skinner, The Dartmouth Institute – Publishing economics in medical journals -Ends-

Monday, 7 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Discipline of Management in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics will host an open information evening for its three highly regarded Masters programmes from 6pm Thursday, 10 March. The information evening will provide an opportunity to meet the Programme Directors, faculty and successful graduates now working in senior roles with companies such as Google, Accenture and Volkswagen. The MSc in Human Resource Management (HRM) is a one year full-time programme accredited by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD). The MSc HRM is designed to develop a thorough knowledge and applied competence in the fundamentals of human resource management and employment relations. Students learn the nature of work and explore human resource policy and practice in national and multinational organisations. The programme includes an international study visit to Toulouse Business School in France. The one year full-time award winning MSc in International Management (IM) provides students with in-depth knowledge and expertise in the principles and application of international business and management. The degree provides a solid foundation for a career in international management with multinational corporations, internationally-focused and newly internationalising domestic firms. The MSc IM includes an international study visit to Hong Kong. The MSc in Strategy, Innovation and People Management (SIPM) focuses on critical determinants of enterprise success and their interfaces. The MSc SIPM is an innovative programme designed and developed to meet graduate and employer needs in the globalised Smart Economy. It is one of only a small number of programmes accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and is unique in focusing on critical areas of management in addition to HRM. Dr Alma McCarthy, Head of the Management Discipline, NUI Galway, said: “The MSc programmes in HRM, IM and SIPM have been running for a number of years and we are very proud of the achievements of our graduates. Many of our graduates hold senior roles in leading international companies including Accenture, Google, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Intel and Amazon. Graduates also play key roles in national organisations including IBEC, Enterprise Ireland, the Civil Service and The Irish Times.” The information evening will take place in room CA118 in the Cairnes Building on campus. Full details about each programme are available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/cairnes/courses/taught/ or by contacting Gerry Campbell at 091 493771 or gerry.campbell@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 7 March 2016

Senator Sean Barrett, Independent Senator in Seanad Éireann and member of the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, will deliver a talk in NUI Galway on the banking inquiry. Organised by NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and the University’s Finance Society, ‘Learning the Hard Lessons from the Banking Inquiry’ will take place on Wednesday, 9 March from 2.30-4pm in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. The Irish Banking Guarantee of 2008 and subsequent 2010-2013 Troika Bailout was a national trauma. The Oireachtas Inquiry into the Banking Crisis was to outline the causes of banking crisis and subsequent bailout and provide guidance for future policy formation so as to prevent a re-occurrence. The analytical framework used by the Inquiry was termed the Bank-State-Property Nexus. Senator Barrett was the only independent member of the Inquiry. During the panel discussion he will outline what lessons he learnt during the process of the Inquiry, what needs to be done in the future to prevent it and how students can use the materials published and collected by the Inquiry for future scholarship and research.  The panel will be chaired by NUI Galway student and member of the Finance Society, Brendan O'Driscoll, with NUI Galway’s Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics, and Professor John McHale, Director of the Whitaker Institute, participating. Brendan O'Driscoll, of NUI Galway’s Finance Society said: “The 2014 Oireachtas Banking Inquiry was established to investigate factors contributing to a systemic failure in Irish banks. The enduring legacy of this inquiry will not be as a punitive reaction, neither can it mitigate the hardship born by Irish society in the dark years that followed. Its true success will be measured in how well it educated and admonished the next generation so as to prevent such a crisis ever re-occurring. As the inheritors of not only a recovering economy, but the government and financial system at the heart of the crisis, millennials must heed the lessons learned in fiscal prudence, corporate and political integrity and social responsibility.”     -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Andrea Mahon, a PhD student in the Discipline of Podiatric Medicine at NUI Galway was recently awarded a prestigious Journal of Wound Care Award for The Best Laboratory/Pre-Clinical Study. This achievement was in recognition of research undertaken in fulfillment of her Masters by Research degree and was presented at a special ceremony in London. To address the need for advanced wound therapies; Andrea designed a preclinical study to assess topical stem cell therapy in a diabetic wound model. A stem cell clinical trial in diabetic foot ulcers will be planned by the outcome of this research. From Oranmore, Co. Galway, Andrea’s research was supervised by Professor Caroline McIntosh, Head of Discipline of Podiatric Medicine, Professor Timothy O’Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Dr Claire MacGilchrist, Lecturer in Podiatric Medicine. The Journal of Wound Care Awards recognises innovation and excellence in research and practice within the field of wound care. The aim is to recognise individuals and teams who have improved, implemented or excelled in some field of wound care. Professor Caroline McIntosh said: “This is a fabulous achievement which highlights the high quality of research being undertaken in wound healing and tissue repair at NUI Galway. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of lower limb ulceration and amputation. Diabetes related foot ulcers are challenging to manage with many failing to respond to standard wound therapies. There is a need to research advanced therapies for application on non-healing wounds. The findings of Andrea’s research will help in the design of first in human studies of Mesenchymal stem cell application for non-healing neuropathic diabetic foot ulcers.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

As part of the international Brain Awareness Week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Centre will hold a public information exhibit from 9.30am-3.30pm on 15-16 March in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. Members of the public and children from local schools will have the opportunity to visit the exhibit to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work. The exhibit will consist of interactive displays where visitors can learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way. There will be various puzzles and tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum and visitors will have the chance to learn more about the brain and related disorders through a series of large information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre. The posters will cover a variety of illnesses including: epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, pain, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury. Information leaflets from brain-related charities and organisations such as MS Ireland, Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, Aware, Chronic Pain Ireland, Shine, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and Brainwave, will be available for the public to take away. Plastic models of the nervous system and microscopes, which can be used to view brain cells and brain tissue sections, will be available for those interested in seeing what a brain cell and brain tissue really looks like. The Galway Neuroscience Centre acknowledges funding from the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science in NUI Galway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

NUI Galway will host the third International Irish Narrative Inquiry Conference from 10-11 March. Co-organised and supported by NUI Galway, Institute of Technology, Sligo and Maynooth University, this unique gathering of Irish and international scholars, practitioners, artists and creative inquirers will focus on the use of stories and how the stories we tell about our own and other people’s lives can be deployed in research and practice. The focus of the conference is how to use story and narrative in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The conference will look at what it means ‘to do’ narrative inquiry and this question will guide the explorations, discussions, reflections and exchanges during the conference. Keynote speaker is Ann Phoenix, Professor of Psychosocial Studies at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Department of Social Sciences, UCL Institute of Education, University of London and a Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Phoenix co-directed the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre and is the Principal Investigator on NOVELLA (Narratives of Varied Everyday Lives and Linked Approaches), an ESRC National Centre for Research Methods node. Her research is mainly about social identities and the ways in which psychological experiences and social processes are linked. It includes work on racialised and gendered identities and experiences; mixed-parentage, masculinities, consumption, young people and their parents and the transition to motherhood.  Much of her research draws on mixed methods and includes narrative approaches. Dr Anne Byrne, co-organiser and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology, said: “Stories bring power to narrative and are used to make sense of the complex world we live in across a multitude of research settings. We debate and critique the power of the stories we live by in this conference as well as celebrating the pleasure of listening to and telling stories.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The final lecture in the Lectures in the Library series curated by the Centre for Irish Studies to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising will take place on Tuesday, 15 March. The lecture will focus on the contribution of Craughwell blacksmith, Tom Kenny (1877-1947) to revolutionary politics in Galway in the decade before the rebellion. Dr Tony Varley will deliver the lecture and explore the tension between Kenny and Liam Mellows, ‘captain’ of the Galway rebels who told the blacksmith later that year that he ‘had taken no part in the Rising’ and the extent to which the Galway rebels were let down by incompetent leadership. The lecture will begin at 6.30pm at Galway City Library in Augustine Street.  -ENDS-

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies and Comhrá Ceoil have announced details of the next talk in the Martin Reilly Lecture Series for 2016. Taking place on Tuesday, 22 March at 6.30pm in the Galway City Library, the talk will be delivered by Dr Seán McElwain. ‘Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over it: Retracing the musical imprints of the Sliabh Beagh region of Monaghan/Fermanagh’ draws on PhD research into the traditional musical heritage of the north Monaghan/east Fermanagh region conducted by Dr McElwain at Dundalk Institute of Technology. The album ‘Our Dear Dark Mountain with the Sky Over it’ is the culmination of this academic research and was recently awarded the prestigious TG4 Comharcheol Gradam Cheoil. Uncovering a wealth of previously neglected material, this lecture will present an overview of the research findings behind the recording project, illuminating some of the major musical figures in that region’s musical history. From Co. Monaghan and now resident in Dublin, Seán is an academic researcher and member of the traditional group Téada, with whom he has toured and recorded extensively. He is centrally involved in the Scoil Cheoil na Botha traditional festival in Scotstown, Co. Monaghan. This series of talks is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated Galway uilleann piper, and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum. The success of the series thus far confirms the interest in research of this kind in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city. Everyone welcome and free admission to all talks. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

NUI Galway to host public talk titled ‘Leeches upon our tax payers: The Deportation of Irish Migrants from America and Statelessness in Irish Diaspora 1840-1880’  Dr Hidetaka Hirota of Columbia University in NewYork will give a public talk titled ‘Leeches upon our tax payers’: The Deportation of Irish Migrants from America and Statelessness in Irish Diaspora 1840-1880’ at NUI Galway on Monday, 14 March. The story of Irish emigration to America in the nineteenth century is well known, before, during and after the Famine. What is less known is the fate of destitute Irish migrants who were deported from the United States back to Ireland and Britain in the period from the 1840s to the 1880s. In this public talk, Dr Hidetaka Hirota will discuss the state policy of Massachusetts in arranging these deportations. Anti-Irish attitudes in nineteenth-century America were stronger than we have realised, leading to harsh practices of physical removal. This policy formed part of a broader system of making poor Irish migrants stateless people in the nineteenth-century north Atlantic World. Professor Daniel Carey of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, commented: “The hardship faced by Irish immigrants to America did not end on their arrival in the New World. For some, the ordeal continued in subsequent deportation when their meagre funds ran out.” Dr Hidetaka Hirota is a postdoctoral researcher in the Society of Fellows at Columbia University. He took his first degree in Japan and developed his interest in Irish migration as a PhD student at Boston College. His book Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Origins of American Immigration Policy will be published in 2017. The talk will take place on Monday, 14 March at 4.15pm in the Seminar Room of the Moore Institute, Room G010 of the Hardiman Research Building. All are welcome and admission is free. ENDS