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Protein Identified which Helps Cancer Cells to Survive Stressful Conditions
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Researchers at NUI Galway have made a discovery that could lead to the development of more effective treatments for a number of diseases. They have shown that a protein produced when cells are stressed interacts with a stress sensor allowing cells to survive conditions of intense stress. Understanding this interaction may help scientists interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. These findings are published next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. Healthy cells are not usually under stress, but unhealthy cells, such as cancer cells, are often under considerable stress because they grow rapidly in places where they are not supposed to grow. When a cell is under these stressful conditions, the stress protein Hsp70 is activated to help the cell. Professor Afshin Samali, lead author of the publication and head of the Department of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, and his team have discovered that under cell stress conditions Hsp70 interacts with a receptor in the cell, activating survival mechanisms and preventing apoptosis, the normal cell death mechanism. By understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function, allowing unhealthy cells to succumb to stress and die . This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumor cell death. In contrast in diseases where there is too much cell death such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, and Diabetes, increasing the levels of Hsp70 could potentially be used to help these cells to survive stressful conditions. Professor Samali added: "Our results have identified a novel protein-protein interaction that helps cancer cells to survive stressful growth conditions. By interfering with this interaction we hope to develop a new class of anticancer drugs. This work was funded by Science Foundation Ireland and will have a significant impact on cancer research and drug design". -Ends-
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NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research
Monday, 5 July 2010
Eleven NUI Galway research students were recently awarded Summer Student Scholarships by the Health Research Board (HRB). The aim of the HRB Summer Student Scholarships is to encourage an interest in health research and to give students an opportunity to become familiar with the research process, research techniques and methodologies through conducting a summer project. Nine of the NUI Galway awardees are from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway: Catherine O'Connor from Dunmore, Co. Galway; Maria Costello from Grattan Road, Galway; Blathnaid Murphy from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath; Caitriona Fahy from Loughrea, Co. Galway; Bríd Reale from Murroe, Limerick; Kate Fitzpatrick from Clonmel, Co. Waterford; Ruairí Irwin from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Nicola Kavanagh from Arklow, Co. Wicklow; and Andrew Carroll from Knocknacarra, Galway. Also included in the scholarships were John Birrane from Ballina, Co. Mayo and Noreen Lenihan from Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry, from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The Scholarship scheme is open to undergraduate students who are studying in a health-related discipline in a university in Ireland and who are not in the final year of their degree course. The research project must be in one of the following research areas: applied biomedical research, clinical research, health services research and population health sciences research. The Scholarship will support the students' participation in research over the summer and they will receive €250 per week for a maximum of eight weeks. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: "The School of Medicine is delighted and proud of our medical students who have been awarded Summer Research Scholarships from the HRB. These awards are highly competitive and reflect the calibre of our students and supervisors. The strategic plan for the School of Medicine aims to embed research as an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum and encourage all students to become research active. These awards will promote this aim". -Ends-
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Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme
Monday, 5 July 2010
NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2010/11. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Friday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes get better at their sport while they are succeeding academically at university, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past it is an award to help you get better in the future". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: "Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals" For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/campus-activities/sports.html-Ends-
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2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced
Monday, 5 July 2010
NUI Galway and Leitrim County Council have announced that the fourth John McGahern International Seminar commemorating the work of the renowned Irish writer, will take place from 22-24 July in Co. Leitrim. Last year's International Seminar attracted more than 150 participants from Ireland and overseas. The theme of the seminar is 'Literature and Education', and the keynote lecture will be given by Fintan O'Toole of The Irish Times. Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway says: "It is particularly exciting this year to have Fintan O'Toole as our keynote speaker. Not only is Fintan one of the foremost journalists in the analysis of modern Irish society and politics, as he demonstrates again in his recent book Ship of Fools, but he has also long been one of our most astute cultural and literary critics. His lecture promises to be an ideal combination of attention to McGahern's own work and the context of education in Ireland today". Other speakers at the event will include Dr Stanley van der Ziel of University College Dublin; Professor Joan Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway; and the American short story writer, David Means. Dr John Kenny added: "This year's theme is especially appropriate at a time when Irish education at all levels is experiencing enormous challenges. As the son of a teacher and as a trained primary teacher himself, McGahern had a natural lifelong interest in education and this is deeply reflected in his fiction. He was an articulate exponent of the key role of reading and imaginative development in education – again and again in his essays and lectures he extolled the virtues of literary study". There will also be a viewing of the screen adaptation of McGahern's major novel, Amongst Women, after which the screenwriter, Adrian Hodges, will give a talk and discuss his encounter with McGahern's work. The Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the publication of volume 3 of The John McGahern Yearbook, edited by Dr John Kenny. The Yearbook is a lavishly illustrated hardback and it includes proceedings of the 2009 Seminar as well as a range of articles by writers and critics. The book will be launched on the opening night by Professor Seán Ryder, Head of English at NUI Galway. In addition to the public seminar, NUI Galway has organised the third intensive International Summer School on McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 27th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern and his life and times in 20th Century Ireland. The Summer School incorporates the International Seminar and continues at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim the week after the Seminar. The 2009 Summer School was attended by students from Italy and the United States as well as Ireland. Contributors to this year's Summer School, directed by Dr John Kenny, will include David Means; Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Irish authors Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York. Special guest writers will discuss the creative and local contexts of McGahern's life and work. Announcing the McGahern events, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School NUI Galway is working to broaden access to the study of the craft of writing. We are delighted to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this important archive in the West of Ireland, we hold in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and especially for this region which we have served for over 160 years. I wish the 2010 McGahern International Seminar & Summer School every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". Speaking at the launch of the 2010 programme, Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire, said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to work in partnership with NUI Galway in organising the fourth International Seminar and Summer School. The Seminar is now an important part of Ireland's literary calendar and presents an excellent opportunity for both academic and general readers to engage richly with the work of John McGahern". For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar & Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Ends-
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PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick
Thursday, 1 July 2010
The University of Limerick and NUI Galway today (Thursday, 1 July) launched a new four-year structured PhD in New Media and Film. This development is one of the initiatives to come out of the NUI Galway-UL Alliance recently launched by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D and will start in September 2010. Also announced at the launch was a Fellowship initiative to support the joint PhD through the award of a Doctoral Scholarship to the value of €15,000, to a student of the programme at each institution. The Scholarships are tenable for a maximum of four years. This structured doctoral programme is run jointly by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway and the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication at University of Limerick. It aims to promote research that integrates theoretical discourses on the impact of digital media on cultural and social expression with practical concerns and the media industries. Dean of UL's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Professor Pat O'Connor, welcomed the announcement: "This exciting development at fourth level exemplifies the way in which cross institutional collaboration can advance the Arts and Humanities in an innovative medium. The collaboration demonstrates that the combined strengths of universities can create innovative teaching programmes and move research to a higher level". Professor Pat O'Connor added: "The issues this new research initiative promises to address are of great significance for the art of cinema and for culture. The impact of digital technologies on the way audio visual works is produced and, importantly, how they are received and understood by audiences, will be at the centre of media research for some time". Dr Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: "Access to a wider range of complementary courses in a neighbouring university will enhance the possibilities for research in both institutions and build on our strengths". Contemporary work in this area is at the leading edge of study linking digital media to the traditions of narrative and image making. Whilst academically strong, the research should also lead to new concepts that are applicable to practice. It is based on the complementary nature of developed areas of teaching and research at both institutions. Dr David Coughlan, of UL's School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication: "Recent recognition of Irish achievements in film and visual effects shows that Ireland can compete internationally in the fields of new media and film, combining artistic brilliance with technical excellence. In the context of a media industry constantly seeking technical innovation and original vision, this unique programme, the result of UL's alliance with NUI Galway, represents an important investment in, and commitment to, Ireland's creative future." The NUI Galway-UL Alliance is an institution-wide alliance across all areas of activity including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The new Alliance will see NUI Galway and UL collaborate extensively in the area of teaching and learning. Exciting new initiatives include a unique 'Link to Learn' student exchange programme, which will enable students at either university to choose modules from the other institution as part of their programme. Other developments include the creation of a new joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals, in addition to the development of a programme of activities to respond to the national objectives of building strong foundations in mathematics and science in primary and second level education. -Ends-
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