International human rights experts to address summer schools at NUI Galway

International human rights experts to address summer schools at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 28 May 2007

The International Criminal Court and Minority Rights are the focus of two high-profile summer schools to be held at the Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), NUI Galway in June. The International Criminal Court (ICC), which is arguably one of the most important international institutions formed since the establishment of the United Nations, is aimed at combating impunity for atrocities. A host of key international experts in criminal law, including Judge Sang-Hyun Song, a judge in the Appeals Division of the ICC, will address the International Criminal Court Summer School at the ICHR, Earls' Island from 11 to 16 June 2007. Other prominent speakers include Judge Kimberley Prost, Ad Litem Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and Professor Michael Scharf, who served as counsel to the US government during the investigation into the 1988 Lockerbie terrorist attack on flight PAN AM 103. Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights will also address the school. "This is the eighth year of the summer school on the International Criminal Court. It has established itself as one of the premier intensive courses on the subject offered anywhere in the world," said Prof. Schabas. Following on from the ICC event, the annual Minority Rights, Indigenous People and Human Rights Law Summer School will take place from 17 to 22 June 2007. Key speakers include Professor Patrick Thornberry, Professor of International Law at Keele University, UK, and member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and Mr Michael Flaherty, University of Nottingham, who was the first Irish member of the UN Human Rights Committee. The course provides participants with an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues associated with international human rights law and its relationship to minority rights and the rights of indigenous peoples. The School will also draw on speakers representing the most important international organizations working in this field including the UN Committees on Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Labour Organisation and the Organisation for Security & Co-operation in Europe. "If you want to understand how successful a human rights regime in any given country is, you could do worse than examine the extent to which minorities in that country are protected. This is as true in Sudan as in Ireland," said Professor Joshua Castellino, Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, who founded the school during his time as lecturer at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. "This course has a strong reputation for being able to address the issues underlying the startling headlines of global affairs. A range of world class experts have been able to provide insights into the schisms in different societies that lead to conflict and the ensuing human misery associated with it. The great mix of nationalities, professions and perspectives of the speakers has always made this course a must-attend for those interested in global affairs and human rights." For further information and full programme details for both events see www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights/summer_schools.html and www.minority-rights.org ENDS

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€20 million investment for a new clinical research facility in Galway

€20 million investment for a new clinical research facility in Galway-image

Monday, 21 May 2007

The Health Research Board (HRB) and the Health Service Executive (HSE) have announced that they will jointly fund the establishment of a Clinical Research Facility in Galway. The aim of the HRB/HSE Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to provide the infrastructure – the physical space, facilities and the experts - needed to support patient-focused research studies. The investment by the HSE and the HRB will be of the order of €20m over five years. When fully operational, the Clinical Research Facility will employ a staff of 20. The research programme to be carried out at the facility will be through a partnership between NUI Galway researchers and clinician scientists from University Hospital Galway. The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, who met recently with the lead researchers and funders, said that this investment is a major boost for clinical research and patient care in the West of Ireland. 'I have committed over €50m in capital funding through the Health Research Board over a five-year period to support key research programmes and infrastructure. This HRB/HSE Clinical Research Facility will provide a world-class environment for patient-focused research with real benefits for patients. It will enable clinicians, the health care industry and other key partners to test innovative therapies, technologies and products and increase the speed at which scientific discoveries and innovations can be translated into better patient care. It will also build on the major investment by this Government in basic research facilities at NUI Galway in recent years,' said Mary Harney. The new facility will concentrate on patient-focused research and will make a real contribution to postgraduate research and training of health professionals. Medical doctors and nurses will work with other scientists to improve our understanding of a variety of diseases and to develop new tests and treatments to help tackle these diseases. The Centre will provide patients with the latest advances in areas such as regenerative medicine, cancer, obstetrics and gynaecology, diabetes and inflammatory diseases. Importantly, support will also be provided for studies carried out in general practice settings through analysis of samples taken, provision of statistical support and co-ordination of studies. This will include research on the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes. 'Our guiding philosophy is to stimulate, engage and support health care professionals from diverse areas of expertise to undertake high quality research. The facility will be built as an annex to the existing University Hospital Galway and it is anticipated that it will be completed in 2009. The facility will contain specially designed rooms for gene and cell therapy. When it opens, it will complete the infrastructure present in Galway to allow clinical studies to be undertaken in areas such as heart, joint and spinal cord repair, ensuring an integrated bench to bedside approach,' said Professor Tim O'Brien, Consultant Endocrinologist at Galway University Hospital, Head of the Department of Medicine at NUI Galway and Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute, a SFI-funded Centre for Science Engineering and Technology. 'The CRF will have a special focus on education of health care professionals in clinical research with plans to establish new programmes such as MSc in Clinical Research and Biostatistics and PhD programmes for clinicians', said Professor Larry Egan, Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and a co-applicant on the proposal. 'The development of Clinical Research Facilities here in Ireland is an indication of international excellence in clinical research,' said Dr Ruth Barrington. 'This is one of the most significant developments in Irish health research during my term of office,' said Dr Ruth Barrington, Chief Executive. 'The HRB have a strong track record working in partnership with Universities and Hospitals to support high quality research. We are delighted to engage with the HSE to support this landmark development in Galway,' she concluded. Alan Moran, Hospitals Network Manager, HSE West, said; 'Putting the CRF in the heart of the Hospital will allow staff to contribute to shaping the latest advances in healthcare science, and to bring the benefits of those advances to patients as early as possible. The HSE is pleased to support the energy and imagination of the many individuals from the hospital and the university who conceived this project and who worked so effectively together to make it a reality'. The CRF will be jointly governed by NUI Galway and the HSE, an example of the close ties which exist between the University and health sector in Galway. It will also connect with the new HRB / Wellcome Trust CRF at St James's Hospital Dublin and emerging facilities at Dublin teaching hospitals through the establishment of the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ICRIN). The HRB and HSE have also funded ICRIN to help ensure a greater number of patients can benefit from clinical research in the most cost effective manner. Ends

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NUI Galway Engineering Student Develops Fire Service Safety System

NUI Galway Engineering Student Develops Fire Service Safety System-image

Monday, 21 May 2007

NUI Galway Industrial Engineering student Eoin Morrissey has presented a copy of a database system to Galway Fire and Rescue Service, which he developed to assist fire fighters record and monitor the maintenance of life-critical breathing apparatus equipment. While manual recording systems were already in place to monitor the maintenance of Breathing Apparatus at fire stations throughout Galway city and county, the new software database will identify in advance when sets and compressed air cylinders are due their annual maintenance, and when individual set parts are due to be replaced. Eoin, who completed his final year exams recently, developed the database as part of his final year project, which accounts for one fifth of his degree. The Clarinbridge student approached his final year project with helping people as his main objective. He is involved in numerous community voluntary activities, the most recent of which has taken him to West Africa, where along with 20 other NUI Galway students, he is currently helping families in Ghana to build their own homes, as part of a Habitat for Humanity/NUI Galway joint initiative. Presenting a copy of the software database to Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Duffy of Galway Fire and Rescue Service, Eoin said it had been "hugely gratifying to know that this project will help protect fire fighters who provide such a valuable service to the community". Praising the technology employed by Eoin, Mr Duffy said "We are delighted with the standard of the project and we look forward to the benefits of implementing the database. This technology will make our existing system more efficient and allow the Fire Service to free up valuable resources for other projects". Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh paid tribute to Eoin, who he said was a shining example of the growing number of NUI Galway students who are engaging with the community through a culture of active citizenship positively promoted by the University's Community Knowledge Initiative. "NUI Galway is widely recognised as a student- centred University with an environment where students' interests are stimulated. I am delighted to acknowledge Eoin's contribution to the Fire and Rescue Service and his voluntary work in Ghana," said Dr Ó'Muircheartaigh. Meanwhile, Eoin hopes to pursue a career in the Fire Service following his graduation later this year, where a Degree in Engineering is currently a requirement for senior level positions. ENDS

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Infheistíocht €20 milliún d'áis nua taighde chliniciúil i nGaillimh

Infheistíocht €20 milliún d'áis nua taighde chliniciúil i nGaillimh-image

Monday, 21 May 2007

D'fhógair an Bord Taighde Sláinte (HRB) agus Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte (HSE) go maoineoidh siad bunú Áis Taighde Chliniciúil i nGaillimh. Is é atá mar aidhm le hÁis Taighde Chliniciúil (CRF) HRB/HSE an t-infreastruchtúr riachtanach - spás, áiseanna agus na saineolaithe - a chur ar fáil d fhonn tacú le hobair taighde atá dírithe ar othair. Infheisteoidh HSE agus HRB suim €20 milliún thar thréimhse cúig bliana. Beidh 20 comhalta foirne fostaithe san Áis Taighde Chliniciúil nuair a bheidh sí ag feidhmiú mar is ceart. Is éard a bheidh sa chlár taighde comhpháirtíocht idir taighdeoirí ó OÉ Gaillimh agus eolaithe cliniceora ó Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh. Dúirt an tAire Sláinte agus Leanaí, Mary Harney TD, a chas leis na príomhthaighdeoirí agus an príomhdhream atá ag soláthar maoiniúcháin le déanaí, go gcuirfidh an infheistíocht seo go mór le taighde cliniciúil agus cúram othar in Iarthar na hÉireann. 'Tá os cionn €50 milliún curtha ar fáil agam i maoiniú caipitil tríd an mBord Taighde Sláinte le cúig bliana anuas ar mhaithe le tacú le príomhchláir taighde agus an t-infreastruchtúr taighde. Áis den scoth a bheidh in Áis Taighde Chliniciúil HRB/HSE do thaighde atá dírithe ar othair; taighde a rachaidh chun tairbhe othar. Cinnteoidh an áis seo go mbeidh ar chumas cliniceoirí agus príomhpháirtithe eile teiripí, teicneolaíocht agus táirgí nuálacha a thástáil agus luas a chur faoin méid ama a thógann sé fionnachtana agus nuálaíochtaí eolaíocha a úsáid ar mhaithe le cúram níos fearr a sholáthar d'othair. Lena chois sin, cuirfidh sé leis an infheistíocht mhór atá déanta ag an Rialtas seo in áiseanna bunúsacha taighde in OÉ Gaillimh le blianta beaga anuas,' dar le Mary Harney. Taighde atá dírithe ar othair a bheidh ar siúl san áis seo agus cabhróidh sé go mór le taighde iarchéime agus agus oiliúint gairmithe sláinte. Beidh dochtúirí agus altraí ag obair le heolaithe eile d fhonn cur leis an tuiscint atá againn ar ghalair éagsúla, mar aon le tástálacha agus cóir nua leighis a fhorbairt leis na galair seo a leigheas. Cinnteofar, trí bhunú an Ionaid seo, go mbeidh fáil ag othair ar an gcóir leighis is nuaí cosúil le leigheas athghiniúnach, chomh maith le cóir leighis i réimsí eile cosúil le hailse, cnáimhseachas agus gínéiceolaíocht, diaibéiteas agus galair athlastacha. Chomh tábhachtach céanna, tacófar le staidéar sa chleachtadh ginearálta trí shamplaí tógtha a anailísiú, tacaíocht staitistiúil a sholáthar agus staidéar a chomhordú. Ina measc seo, déanfar taighde ar bhainistiú galar ainsealach cosúil le diaibéiteas. 'Is é atá mar aidhm againn gairmithe sa chúram sláinte a spreagadh, deis a thabhairt dóibh a bheith páirteach mar aon le tacú le gairmithe ó réimsí éagsúla saineolais tabhairt faoi thaighde ar ardchaighdeán. Tógfar an áis in aice le hOspidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh agus meastar go mbeidh an foirgneamh tógtha in 2009. Beidh seomraí ar leith do ghéinteiripe agus teiripe gascheall san áis freisin. Deir an tOllamh Tim O Brien, Inchríneolaí Comhairleach in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh, Ceann an Leighis in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir Institiúid an Leighis Athghiniúnaigh - Ionad Eolaíochta, Innealtóireachta agus Teicneolaíochta arna mhaoiniú ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, go gcuirfidh an tIonad nua leis an infreastruchtúr i nGaillimh ionas gur féidir tabhairt faoi staidéar cliniciúil ar an gcroí, na hailt agus deisiú chorda an dromlaigh, mar aon le cur chuige comhtháite i leith chúram na n-othar. 'Leagfaidh an CRF béim faoi leith ar oideachas gairmithe cúraim shláinte sa taighde cliniciúil agus tá sé beartaithe tús a chur le cláir nua cosúil le M.Sc. i dTaighde Cliniciúil agus Bithstaidreamh agus cláir Ph.D. do chliniceoirí,' a deir an tOllamh Larry Egan, Ceann Roinn na Cógaseolaíochta agus Teiripice agus comhiarratasóir sa togra áirithe seo. Deir an Dr Ruth Barrington, 'go dtugann forbairt Áiseanna sa Taighde Cliniciúil in Éirinn léargas ar bharrfeabhas i dtaighde cliniciúil.' Chomh maith leis sin, deir an Dr Ruth Barrington, Príomhfheidhmeannach, 'go bhfuil sé seo ar cheann de na forbairtí is suntasaí i dtaighde sláinte in Éirinn le linn a téarma féin in oifig'. 'Tá HRB ag obair i gcomhpháirt le hOllscoileanna agus Ospidéil le fada an lá chun tacú le taighde ar ardchaighdeán. Ina theannta sin, dúirt sí gur 'cúis áthais dúinn a bheith ag obair leis an HSE chun tacú leis an bhforbairt mhór seo i nGaillimh.' Dúirt Alan Moran, Bainisteoir Líonra na nOspidéal, Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte, Réigiún an Iarthair, 'Trí CRF a lonnú san Ospidéal go mbeidh cead ag comhaltaí foirne cur leis an dul chun cinn san eolaíocht cúraim shláinte, agus go mbainfidh na hothair tairbhe as an dul chun cinn seo chomh luath agus is féidir. Cúis áthais don HSE tacú le fuinneamh agus samhlaíocht na ndaoine atá ag obair san ospidéal agus san ollscoil; daoine a chur tús leis an tionscadal seo agus a d'oibrigh le chéile go héifeachtach chun é a chur i bhfeidhm'. Beidh OÉ Gaillimh agus HSE freagrach as CRF. Is dea-shampla é seo den dlúthnasc atá idir an Ollscoil agus an earnáil sláinte i nGaillimh. Cruthófar nasc leis an HRB nua / CRF Wellcome Trust ag Ospidéal San Séamas, Baile Átha Cliath agus áiseanna nua in ospidéil teagaisc i mBaile Átha Cliath trí Líonra Infreastruchtúir um Thaighde Cliniciúil na hÉireann (ICRIN) a bhunú. Tá maoiniú curtha ar fáil ag HRB agus HSE do ICRIN d'fhonn a chinntiú gur féidir le níos mó othar tairbhe a bhaint as taighde cliniciúil sa bhealach is costéifeachtaí agus is féidir. Críoch

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Human Rights Conference to celebrate Africa Day with focus on Irish Peace-Keeper

Human Rights Conference to celebrate Africa Day with focus on Irish Peace-Keeper-image

Monday, 21 May 2007

A conference to celebrate Africa Day and International Peace-Keepers day, entitled Conference on Africa and Peacekeepers: Positive Impact? will take place at the National University of Ireland, Galway on Saturday, 26 May, 2007. Organised by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the University in conjunction with Amnesty International, and supported by Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs; the conference will address the impact of peace-keepers in general and Irish peace-keepers in particular in Africa. "With Ireland's tradition of United Nations peace-keeping, it's involvement in the mission in Liberia coming to an end and the world's attention focusing on the dire situation in Dafur this conference is timely," said Dr Ray Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. "This event offers a rare opportunity for practitioners, activists, non-governmental organisations, the African community in Ireland, governmental departments and the academic community to discuss policy in relation to Africa and peace-keeping in particular." A wide range of international experts will address the event including Dr Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Canadian Senate, international human rights advocate and academic. Other key speakers include representatives from Trócaire, the Irish Defence Forces, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Irish Aid and the Liberian Refugee Community. The conference will also hear from a representative of the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Centre, a research centre based in Ghana, West Africa that looks at the causes and subsequent management of conflict and the promotion of peace. A major focus of the event will be the Irish mission in Liberia and the current situation in Darfur. The Conference on Africa and Peace-keepers: Positive Impact conference takes place in the Fottrell Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, from 11.00am to 4.30pm. This free conference is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. For further information or to obtain full programme details log on to www.nuigalway.ie/human_rights/ or www.amnesty.ie ENDS

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Honorary Degree recipients to include Irish artist Enya

Honorary Degree recipients to include Irish artist Enya-image

Monday, 21 May 2007

Among six outstanding individuals from the worlds of business, philanthropy, justice, music and the arts announced as the 2007 recipients of honorary doctorates by National University of Ireland, Galway will be Ireland's best-selling solo artist Enya. Enya, who originally comes from the Donegal Gaeltacht of Gaoth Dobhair, a former member of the family group Clannad, now ranks alongside the most successful female artists in the world. Her musical compositions have won her many accolades. Four-time Grammy award winner, Enya and her production/writing team were nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for their work on The Lord of the Rings. Enya has won six World Music Awards and the coveted American Golden Plate Award. Also being honoured is businessman and philanthropist Bill Walsh, a long-time supporter and director of The American Ireland Fund and recipient of its Distinguished Leadership Award in 1997. International business leader and chair of Reuters, Niall Fitzgerald KBE, will receive an honorary doctorate alongside Chief Justice Pius Langa, the first African Chief Justice of South Africa. The world of the arts will be represented by honorary graduands Nicholas Carolan, who established the Irish Traditional Music Archive and Dr Jane O Leary, composer, musician, founding member of Aosdána and founder and current chair of Music for Galway. Commenting on the announcement of this year's graduands, Dr. Iognáid ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said, "While this University has had many outstanding honorary graduates in its history, those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Their contributions in many spheres – business, the arts, music, philanthropy, justice – have been outstanding, and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals." Recipients of this year's honorary degrees will be conferred during a special ceremony at the University on Friday, 29 June 2007. The honorary conferring will take place in the presence of the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr. Garret Fitzgerald ENDS

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Céimeanna Oinigh le bronnadh ar sheisear – Enya ina measc

Céimeanna Oinigh le bronnadh ar sheisear – Enya ina measc-image

Monday, 21 May 2007

Tá sé fógartha go bhfaighidh seisear den scoth ó shaol an ghnó, an daonchairdis, an cheartais, an cheoil agus na n-ealaíon céimeanna dochtúireachta oinigh ó Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh in 2007 agus beidh sáramhránaí na hÉireann – Enya – ina measc. Tá Enya, ó Ghaoth Dobhair i nGaeltacht Dhún na nGall ó dhúchas, agus a bhí sa bhanna Clannad lena teaghlach tráth, i measc na n-amhránaithe ban is cáiliúla ar domhan anois. Is iomaí gradam atá bainte amach ag an gceol a scríobhann sí. Tá ceithre Grammy buaite ag Enya agus ainmníodh í féin agus a foireann léirithe/scríbhneoireachta do Golden Globe agus do Oscar as a saothar ar The Lord of the Rings. Tá sé cinn de Ghradaim Cheoil an Domhain buaite ag Enya chomh maith leis an American Golden Plate Award. Beidh céim oinigh á bronnadh chomh maith ar an bhfear gnó agus an daonchara Bill Walsh, fear atá ag tacú le fada leis an American Ireland Fund chomh maith lena bheith ina stiúrthóir air agus fuair sé an Gradam Ceannaireachta uathu i 1997. Gheobhaidh an fear gnó idirnáisiúnta agus cathaoirleach Reuters, Niall Fitzgerald KBE, céim dhochtúireachta oinigh chomh maith leis an Ard-Bhreitheamh Pius Langa, an chéad Ard-Bhreitheamh Afracach san Afraic Theas. Ó shaol na n-ealaíon, bronnfar céim oinigh ar Nicholas Carolan, a bhunaigh Cartlann Cheol Traidisiúnta na hÉireann agus an Dr Jane O Leary, cumadóir, ceoltóir, duine de lucht bunaithe Aosdána agus bunaitheoir agus cathaoirleach Music for Galway. Ag labhairt dó agus céimithe oinigh na bliana seo fógartha, dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, "Cé go bhfuil go leor céimithe oinigh bronnta ag OÉ Gaillimh thar na mblianta, is grúpa ar leith iad siúd a bhfuil céim oinigh á fáil acu i mbliana. Tá neart déanta acu sna réimsí éagsúla lena mbaineann siad – gnó, na healaíona, ceol, daonchairdeas agus ceartas agus tá an-áthas ar an Ollscoil a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine iontacha seo." Beidh searmanas speisialta ann Dé hAoine, an 29 Meitheamh 2007 chun na céimeanna oinigh a bhronnadh i mbliana. I láthair ag an searmanas beidh Seansailéir Ollscoil na hÉireann agus an tIar-Thaoiseach, an Dr Garret Fitzgerald. CRÍOCH

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NUI Galway invites graduates to celebratory Reunion Weekend

NUI Galway invites graduates to celebratory Reunion Weekend-image

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Graduates of NUI Galway/UCG over the past 50 years are invited to a Reunion Weekend, from Friday 8 – Sunday 10 June 2007, where they can renew lost friendships and discover the many changes to their alma mater in recent years. This year's event invites the Classes of 1957, 1967, 1977, 1982 and 1997 to attend events on campus to celebrate their time at and association with the University. Alumni who graduated 50 years ago will commence celebrations on Friday, 8 June with a welcome luncheon on campus hosted by Mr JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations. NUI Galway President Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh will then welcome the graduates into the 50 Year Club by presenting with commemorative scrolls acknowledging their status as Cumann Caoga Bliain graduates. The day is topped off with a reception and celebration dinner in the Galway Bay Hotel. The 'Through the Years' Reunion BBQ will be held on Saturday, 9 June at 7.00pm where classes celebrating their 50th, 40th, 30th, 25th, and 10th reunions will come together for an informal evening held on campus in the Students' Union Bar and Áras na MacLéinn. The weekend concludes for the Class of 1957 with a remembrance service in the University Chapel at 12.00pm on Sunday, 10 June, followed by a farewell lunch in the Aula Maxima. "The highlight of NUI Galway's calendar of events on campus is our annual programme of Class Reunions for those who graduated ten, twenty-five, thirty, forty and fifty years before. Reunions are particularly special and enjoyable as graduates get a rare chance to revisit old haunts and renew friendships with classmates and mentors from their days at UCG." says Mr Terrins. "As well as the many graduates returning to campus from within Ireland and the UK, this year we are also welcoming graduates back from such far-flung destinations as Africa and the U.S. People realise this opportunity very seldom comes around in a lifetime and they know a very warm welcome from familiar faces will be waiting for them." All those interested in attending the weekend's event should contact the NUI Galway Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie ENDS

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Stem cell society meets at NUI Galway to advance research into medical treatment

Stem cell society meets at NUI Galway to advance research into medical treatment-image

Monday, 14 May 2007

Challenges impeding the field of gene and stem cell therapy will be addressed at the inaugural conference of the Irish Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ISGCT) at NUI Galway on Friday, 18 May 2007. Initiated by the directors of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, Professor Timothy O'Brien and Professor Frank Barry, the ISGCT was established to advance gene and cell therapy research in Ireland. The aim of the society is to promote advances in gene and cell therapy research for the development of novel therapies to relieve pain and suffering. "What is significant about this conference is the bringing together of leading scientists and clinicians to speed up progress in gene and cell therapy towards clinical trials," said Prof. O' Brien, who leads the gene therapy research programme at REMEDI, and is Professor and Chair of Medicine at NUI Galway. "Stem cell and gene therapy have enormous potential for the treatment of many incurable diseases including heart disease, arthritis and neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's. This new society will interact with regulatory agencies to translate advances in this research area into clinical treatment options for patients, with patient safety as the primary motive," he added. Among the keynote speakers at the conference include; Dr Robert Montgomery, Senior Investigator, Blood Research Institute, Blood Centre of Wisconsin, USA; Prof George Dickson, Director of Research & Chair of Molecular Cell Biology, School of Biological Sciences, University of London; Dr Aideen Sullivan, Dept of Anatomy & Neuroscience, University College Cork; Dr Jane Farrar, Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin and Dr Gabor Rubanyi, Chief Scientific Officer, Cardium Therapeutics Inc., a medical technology company based in San Diego, California. REMEDI is the leading centre in Ireland conducting stem cell research and one of a limited number of centres in Europe combining the technologies of stem cell and gene therapy to regenerate and repair tissue. The ISGCT inaugural conference is being hosted by REMEDI and includes presentations from some of the most talented and innovative investigators working in the field. END

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NUI Galway Volunteers Travel to Estonia to Work on Rural Development Project

NUI Galway Volunteers Travel to Estonia to Work on Rural Development Project-image

Monday, 14 May 2007

Pictured at the statue of Estonian writer Eduard Wilde on William Street in Galway City is NUI Galway student Ann Browne from Lifford, Co. Donegal and Marie Conlon, Ballinode, Co. Sligo. The students are preparing to travel to Estonia as part of a team of student volunteers to work with a rural development project. Twenty NUI Galway students will travel to Tarfu County, Estonia on Sunday, May 21, 2007 to volunteer with a rural community development scheme. For two weeks, the students will work alongside volunteers from the local area to renovate a community centre, build playgrounds and create forest trails. This is the second consecutive year students from NUI Galway will volunteer in Estonia. The project is part of the President's Award which encourages young people between the ages of 15 and 25 years to set themselves a challenge. Training and support for the Estonia trip is being provided by NUI Galway's volunteering programme ALIVE. As part of the preparation and support structure, sessions are under way on team building, communication and health & safety. Lorraine Tansey, Volunteer Co-ordinator for NUI Galway's ALIVE programme, who is also volunteering for the Estonia project, commented, "ALIVE is all about creating an ethos of volunteering in local communities at home and abroad. Increasing numbers of students are using their summer holidays to volunteer. The trip to Estonia is just one of many examples". She continued, "We are prepared for some hard physical labour. The accommodation will involve bunking down in the community hall in our sleeping bags. Nonetheless, there is huge excitement and anticipation among the Irish team. We know along with the hard work will come the opportunity to get to know the local community in Estonia. We will also have a huge sense of satisfaction at the end of the two weeks." NUI Galway students interested in volunteering in Ireland or abroad can contact the ALIVE programme at studentvolunteering@nuigalway.ie. For more information about the President's award, visit www.p-award.net. ENDS

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