Public Lecture to discuss Cord blood and Stem Cell Banking

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Issues raised by the collection and storage of umbilical cord stem cells for future use, will be discussed at a free public talk organised by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), NUI Galway, Wednesday, 28 March at the Menlo Park Hotel at 7.30pm. Stem cell research is one of the most promising areas in medical research and there is early scientific evidence that stem cell therapy could provide treatments for a range of currently incurable diseases. One of the sources of adult stem cells is umbilical cord blood, and the current clinical use of cord blood stem cells is restricted to diseases of the blood and immune system, which are relatively rare. The likelihood that a child will require his or her own stem cells is extremely small (one in several thousand) and this has led some clinicians to advise that mothers should be discouraged from banking the cord blood. However others argue that it is likely that cord blood will become a valuable resource as further clinical use of stem cells develops. "Stem cell technology offers many opportunities for future therapy, but there are obstacles yet to be overcome" according to Prof. Frank Barry, REMEDI Scientific Director, and leading stem cell scientist. "This makes the area of cord blood banking somewhat complex as it is difficult to predict whether these cord blood stem cells will be of significant clinical importance in the future. However it is likely that cord blood stem cells will be an invaluable resource, as they are plentiful and more easily obtained than any other source of adult stem cells, and do not raise any ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells." Professor Barry will outline the scientific evidence both for and against cord blood collection, as one of the speakers at the public talk. Other speakers will include: Catherina McCauley, a parent who had to overcome resistance in Ireland to be allowed to collect and store her child's cord blood in an Irish hospital; Dr. Deirdre Madden, a Senior Lecturer in Law at UCC who will discuss the legal issues in relation to cord blood banking; and, Prof. John Morrison, Head of Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at NUI Galway and Clinical Director of the Women's and Children's Directorate at UCHG, will focus on the obstetric and labour ward aspects of umbilical cord stem cell collection. Ends

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NUI Galway research to improve local footballers' fitness levels

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Tuesday 20th March 2007: A unique agreement that will enable the physical performance of young footballers to be analysed to improve training methods has been signed by the Faculty of Medicine at NUI Galway and Salthill Devon Football Club. Medical and Informatics students at the University are involved in the Clinical Science Institute (CSI) Galway Human Performance Registry project which is being supported by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway. The medical students will retrieve, store and analyse the information and the informatics students, in conjunction with students at Hanze University, Groningen, in the Netherlands, will construct a website that can give insight into the current physical fitness of the footballers. The students will also research how to improve physical performance based on the data collected on the younger footballers. Qualified supervisors who have a sports science background will use tools such as the Interval Shuttle Run Test, the Shuttle Sprint and Dribble Test and the Vertical Jump and muscle force test to assess sports specific human performance/physical fitness. These tests have been used in Dutch premier league soccer and hockey and a spin off is expected to be developed for Gaelic football, hurling and rugby. Dr Thomas Kropmans, Department of Medical Informatics and Medical Education at NUI Galway said the Registry could be developed further to analyse secondary school children for obesity and would link up with other medical research such as that being conducted into diabetes and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation. "The outcome of these tests will be used to improve current training methods for teams and/or individuals. The assessment will take place 2 -3 times per season over a two year period," he said. Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer, Service Learning, at CKI praised the project for its mutual benefit to the students and sportspeople involved. "The CSI Galway Human Performance Registry is a win-win project for both the University and the community. First year medical students win by retrieving, storing and analyzing biological variation of human data, while the contributing sports clubs win by improving current training methods," she said. ENDS

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NUI Galway ALIVE Certificates Celebrate Students' Commitment to Community

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

A special Certificate Awards Ceremony will mark the achievements of 500 volunteer students at NUI Galway on Monday 26th March, 2006. NUI Galway Dean of Arts, Professor Kevin Barry will present the students with certificates congratulating each of them for their time spent volunteering within NUI Galway, the Galway community, and with national and international non-governmental organisations through the ALIVE programme at the University. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make to Galway by volunteering. To date over 1000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. The ALIVE programme has facilitated students who have volunteered on campus within societies, clubs and student mentoring, and off campus with the Gaf Youth Café, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to name a few. Des Mulligan of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland paid tribute to those students who had volunteered their time and energy to the benefit of the charity. "Our participation in the ALIVE Programme has been inspirational for us as an organisation because of the innovative and creative way in which students approached the whole concept of volunteering. It has been a real learning experience for us and also encouraging seeing the genuine enthusiasm and community spirit alive in young people," he said. Katie Stack, ALIVE Student Volunteer with the Galway Association, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. I hope to continue volunteering next year as we are building friendships, not just 'a volunteer and service user' relationship. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it." Students have volunteered in a variety of organisations and organised events throughout the year. Last month students pushed a bed from Ennis to Galway to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Previously students organised a 'teddy bear hospital' which brought in over 360 primary school children with their teddies in an effort to reduce children's anxieties about going to the doctor. "The ALIVE Certificate Awards Ceremony is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, instilling in them a sense civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway. ENDS For further information please contact Lorraine Tansey, 091 495346, or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie

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Leading EU Lawyer to Speak at NUI Galway

Friday, 16 March 2007

One of the foremost scholars in the area of European constitutionalism, Professor Neil Walker of the European University Institute, (EUI) in Florence is to deliver the Annual Distinguished Lecture at the Faculty of Law, NUI Galway on Friday, 23rd March 2007. The event, which is in its third year, will be held in Lecture Theatre MY001, Aras Moyola Building at 7.00pm. The theme of the lecture, Europe at Fifty: A Mid-Life Crisis, was chosen to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The EUI is Europe's leading postgraduate centre for studies in law and the social sciences. Prof. Walker was the first holder of the position of Dean of the EUI between 2003 and 2005 and this year, alongside his EUI Chair, he holds the position of Honorary Tercentenary Professor of Law at the University of Edinburgh as a prelude to his full-time return to Edinburgh next year where he will take up the position of Regius Professor of Public Law. Announcing the event the Dean of Law, Donncha O'Connell, said: "The current status of the EU Constitutional Treaty is a matter of acute political concern in all of the European Member States. We are privileged to have someone of the stature of Professor Walker to speak on this topic and we in the Faculty of Law hope that his lecture will contribute significantly to the Irish debate on this topic". Dr Niamh Nic Shuibhne, Reader in EC Law at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh will deliver a response to the lecture. Dr Nic Shuibhne is an alumna of NUI Galway and also taught in the Faculty of Law for a period of time. The event will be chaired by Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, President of the Law Reform Commission and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, NUI Galway. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the foyer of the Moyola Building at which it will be possible to meet with the speakers. For further information on the event please contact: (091) 492389 or 492752. -ENDS-

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OÉ Gaillimh mar ábhar speisialta ar chlár de chuid TG4

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Beidh OÉ Gaillimh agus na Duaiseanna Alumni faoi chaibidil ar an gclár Ardán, clár teilifíse Gaeilge de chuid TG4 á chur i láthair ag Páidí Ó Lionáird. Beidh Ardán á chraoladh an 18 Márta 2007 ag 8.30 i.n. Bhí foireann léiriúcháin de chuid RTÉ i láthair ag taifeadadh an ochtú Mórfhéasta bliantúil de chuid OÉ Gaillimh in Óstán an Radisson SAS ar an 3 Márta 2007, áit ar bronnadh na Duaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni. Seo a leanas na daoine ar bronnadh duaiseanna orthu ar an oíche agus a bheidh ag caint ar Ardán; An Dr Pat Gullane, Duais Medtronic don Chúram Sláinte agus an Eolaíocht Mhíochaine; An Dr Reg Shaw, Duais Seavite don Eolaíocht Dúlra; Irial Finan, Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil; Seán O'Rourke, Duais AIB don Litríocht, don Chumarsáid agus do na hEalaíona; Paddy agus Tom Coffey, Duais TBD don Innealtóireacht, an Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise agus an Mhatamaitic; Mairéad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge; agus Brian O'Donnell, Duais OÉ Gaillimh don Dlí, an tSeirbhís Phoiblí agus an Rialtas. Beidh aíonna ón gColáiste, iarscoláirí agus iarbhuaiteoirí duaiseanna Alumni ag glacadh páirte san imeacht speisialta seo. Ba í an láithreoir ó RTÉ Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh a bhí i mbun an ócáid a stiúradh ar an oíche agus a bheidh ina haoi ar an gclár freisin. I measc na n-aíonna mór le rá a d fhreastail ar an Mórfhéasta bliantúil bhí an tUasal Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., An tUasal Enda Kenny T.D., An tUasal Frank Fahy T.D., an tUasal Michael D. Higgins T.D. agus Ollamh Cúnta le Cearta Daonna in OÉ Gaillimh, craoltóir RTÉ Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Alan Kerins, Iománaí ar Fhoireann Shinsearach na Gaillimhe, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann, An Seanadóir Feargal Quinn ó Superquinn agus Ollamh Cúnta le Margaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh agus Gary Cullen, iar-Phríomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Aer Lingus agus Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin reatha Aer Arann. -CRÍOCH- Tuilleadh Eolais; Michelle Ní Chróinín, An Oifig Preasa, 091-493542 nó R-phost: michelle.nichroinin@nuigalway.ie

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