Dr Gerard Wall, Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway’s Microbiology and CÚRAM, the SFI-funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices
Jun 16 2015 Posted: 12:44 IST

Dr Gerard Wall, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway’s Microbiology and CÚRAM, the SFI-funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices, has been awarded a Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar Award to carry out research at the University of Wyoming, US. Other Fulbright recipients included three NUI Galway graduates, Emma Lowry, Méabh Ní Choileáin and Séamus O’Sullivan.

A total of 31 Scholarships were announced recently at an event hosted by the Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. and the US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley.

Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and US governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States.

Dr Gerard Wall, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway’s discipline of Microbiology and the SFI-funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), has been awarded a Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar Award to carry out research at the University of Wyoming. Dr Wall’s research involves cloning and exploiting antibodies, derived from the human immune system, in medical devices and drug delivery applications. While based at the University of Wyoming, he will work to develop a novel, handheld sensor device, based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy, for point-of-care toxin detection. The technology platform will initially be developed for marine monitoring but will also be applicable to rapid identification of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in human serum and saliva.

Dr Wall’s current research in Microbiology and CÚRAM encompasses targeted drug delivery and materials functionalisation programmes. He currently coordinates an EU-funded research programme on cardiovascular stent development, with partner groups in materials science, stent production and cardiology in Poland and Slovakia. Here the goal of the cross-sectoral consortium is to design and produce cardiovascular stents with increased biocompatibility in the body, leading to a reduced frequency of complications such as stent re-blocking.

Emma Lowry from Glasnevin, Dublin has been a secondary school teacher in Dublin’s Gaelcholáiste Reachrann for seven years. Emma graduated from NUI Galway with a Dióploma sa Iarchéime Oideachas and Master’s in Language Education and has a Degree in Irish from University College Dublin. Emma will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana.

Méabh Ní Choileáin studied Applied Communications at NUI Galway and is a recent graduate of St. Patrick’s College, where she qualified as a primary teacher. She currently works as Children’s and Education Editorial Assistant for Penguin Books, London. Méabh, from Ranelagh, Co. Dublin, will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC.

Séamus O’Sullivan from Listowel, Co. Kerry, graduated with a BA in English and Modern Irish from NUI Galway in 2013 and went on to complete an MA in Modern Irish at UCC in 2014. During his BA he completed a year-long apprenticeship in creative writing funded by Forás na Gaeilge. He will be the first Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Idaho State University. 

US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley said: “Year on year US and Irish Fulbrighters provide a fascinating insight into the direction of global research in a wide variety of fields. This year we have seen a particular increase in research in the areas of health and technology. The Fulbright program provides a unique platform for international scholars to break new ground, to collaborate with other world class researchers and to make a difference.”

The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Monday, 31 August. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website, www.fulbright.ie, for more information. All applications for the 2016-2017 academic year will be due on Friday, 30 October.

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