Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Catalina Vallejo Giraldo, a PhD student at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway, has been awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine Ireland (RAMI) Donegan Medal. She received the award for her presentation at the Section of Biomedical Sciences annual meeting held in UCD on Thursday, 19 June. The meeting featured a high calibre scientific programme covering novel biomedical research ongoing in Ireland. The competition is open to students presenting research for the first time at a meeting or conference and the Donegan Medal is awarded to the best oral presenter. This year, 16 entrants entered the competition. Catalina won the competition for her research on improving the design of implanted microelectrodes used for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. At present, implantable, electrically stimulating systems consisting of a number of electrodes that transmit signals via electrical conduction in bodily fluids are being investigated to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s. While implanted electrodes work reasonably well for short term applications, they have had limited success over longer implantation times. With current methods the inflammatory response around the electrode interface increases to such an extent that there is neural loss and instability of the electrodes at the implantation site. It is this problem that Catalina’s research addresses by improving long-term function through use of conducting polymers to coat the implanted electrodes. Under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit, Dr Manus Biggs and Dr Eilís Dowd, she is developing polymeric neural probes for deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease. Current therapies for Parkinson’s only provide relief from the symptoms of the disease and do not offer a cure. Catalina’s research, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, offers the possibility of halting the degenerative process with potential to cure the disease. Originally from Colombia, Catalina got her BSc with honours in Biomedical Engineering at Escuela de Ingeniería de Antioquia. After this, she was awarded her MSc in Biomedical Sciences from the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA. She is starting her second year as a PhD student at NUI Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Three outstanding researchers at NUI Galway have been ranked among the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014’. Professor Henry Curran, Professor Colin O’Dowd and Professor Donal O’Regan have been ranked among the world’s top 3,000 scientific minds by the multinational media body Thompson Reuters. Those named on the list have earned their distinction by publishing the highest number of articles that rank among those most frequently cited by fellow researchers. More individuals were listed from NUI Galway than from any other Irish university. According to NUI Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne: “The report describes those listed as being ‘on the cutting edge of their fields’ and ‘among the most influential scientific minds of our time’. This is certainly true of the NUI Galway individuals who excel and out-perform in their fields of chemistry, climate change and mathematics.” Professor Henry Curranis Director of the Combustion Chemistry Centre at NUI Galway. His research interest lies in the study of the chemistry of how fuels burn in combustors in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions for a cleaner world. Professor Colin O’Dowd is the Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, at the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway. Through his pioneering work in the field of atmospheric physics, has become internationally renowned as one of the leading scientists in the field of climate change. Professor Donal O’Regan is a Personal Professor of Mathematics at NUI Galway and an internationally recognised expert in the field of Nonlinear Analysis, Differential Equations, and Fixed Point Theory. He has written over 1,000 peer-reviewed mathematical articles, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of mathematics in the world. Thomson Reuters analysts assessed papers indexed between 2002 and 2012 in 21 broad fields of study. They tracked authors who published numerous articles that ranked among the top one percent of the most cited in their respective fields in the given year of publication. These documents represent research that the scientific community has judged to be the most significant and useful. -ends-

Monday, 7 July 2014

Shane Browne, a final year PhD student at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway, has been awarded an Irish Research Council International Career Development Fellowship under the ELEVATE scheme. The award will cover his postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, USA to collaborate with Professor Kevin Healy for two years. The aim of this initiative, co-funded by Marie Curie Actions, is to allow Irish-based experienced researchers who have gained most of their research experience in Ireland to carry out research at an International Host Organisation. The scheme requires researchers to spend a mandatory one year return phase at a returning Host Organisation of their choice in Ireland. Shane will spend a third year at the NFB at NUI Galway to complete his fellowship. The project involves novel methods of treating limb ischemia which occurs when the blood supply is lost to a limb. Delayed treatment of the condition leads to morbidity, amputation and even death. Shane’s research will involve promoting new blood vessel growth to the limb using biomaterials in Professor Healy’s Laboratory. Professor Healy’s work focuses on the interface between biology and materials science to develop engineered systems to explore both fundamental biological phenomena and new applications in translational medicine. The research group at Berkeley is highly interdisciplinary, incorporating researchers from the fields of bioengineering, materials engineering, medicine, and molecular biology. Currently, Shane is completing his PhD which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit studying treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). He has received multiple rewards for his postgraduate research including a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellowship and European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) travel fellowship. His current project involves using a collagen biomaterial system, which has been developed at the NFB, for the delivery of anti-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic gene therapy to damaged heart tissue. The aim is to improve functional recovery of the heart muscle by modulating the inflammatory response following MI, and by subsequently promoting the formation of new blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity in the developed world, and yet there is currently no treatment available to patients to promote the regeneration of infarcted myocardium. One of the NFB’s goals is to develop biomaterial-based cardiac gene therapy to reduce scarring and promote regeneration of the myocardium following MI. This approach could ultimately benefit patients at risk of heart failure and lead to reduced morbidity and improved heart function following MI. -ends-

Monday, 7 July 2014

NUI Galway PhD student, Thérèse McIntyre, was recently awarded a Gold Medal for Best Radio Programme in the 'Educational' category at the recent New York Festival Awards Gala. Thérèse was awarded the Gold Medal for a series of radio shows she made while doing her PhD at NUI Galway. Thérèse, originally from Detroit in the US, came to Ireland in 1996 to pursue independent studies of the various aspects of Irish traditional culture - music, song, and dance - with a particular focus on the song tradition. She has spent several years collecting songs, both in the English and the Irish languages, from various areas throughout Ireland and America and worked with individuals who are well known both inside and outside of the tradition. Thérèse’s particular area of research allows her to combine her academic strengths in Irish Studies and History with her longstanding personal interest in Irish traditional song and ballad. Thérèse was part of the first group to graduate from the Centre for Irish Studies with a Diploma in Irish Studies in 2002.  She subsequently received her BA in History and English from NUI Galway (2008) and recently completed her Masters in Irish Studies, also at NUI Galway (2009).  Her Masters thesis, titled ‘Another Martyr for Old Ireland’: Historical ‘Fact’ versus Folk Memory - Kevin Barry as a ‘Hero’ in the Irish Ballad Tradition’, examines the legitimacy of using the narratives contained within songs of the ballad tradition as valid sources of historical information, particularly with respect to figures such as Kevin Barry, who essentially have been marginalised by historians and also explores the song’s influence on the social memory of modern-day Ireland. In 2009, Thérèse was awarded an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Science (IRCHSS) Scholarship. Her PhD, which commenced in October 2009, is titled ‘Historical ‘Fact’ versus ‘Folk’ Memory:  The Creation and Representation of ‘Heroes’ in Irish Traditional Song and Ballad'. The series 'Herosongs', based upon Chapter One of the PhD project, is an eight part series is an Athena Media production for RTÉ Radio 1. Presented by singer and academic Therese McIntyre, who traces the journey of ballads from the 16th century to today and explores how they shape or distort our understanding of history, real events and real people like Henry Joy McCracken in 1798 or Jim Larkin in 1913. In the series we hear from historians including Diarmaid Ferriter, Kevin Whelan, Eunan O’Halpin, Mike Cronin, and Lillis Ó Laoire, song collector and scholar John Moulden and traditional music experts Nicholas Carolan and Grace Toland from the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Therese is joined by singers from the Góilín Traditional Singers Club, singers Iarla Ó Lionáird, Nóirín Ní Riain, Frances Black, Niamh Parsons, Derek Warfield and composer Eric Bogle among others, who share their own relationship with history, song and these sung heroes. The series of radio shows can be found at https://audioboo.fm/boos/1502239-herosongs-1-where-history-meets-song-episode-one -Ends-

Monday, 7 July 2014

Seroba Kernel, the associate life sciences investment firm of Kernel Capital, has announced the sale of its investee company, Apica Cardiovascular for $75 million. Based at the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway, Apica Cardiovascular was sold to US-headquartered Thoratec Corporation, a world leader in device-based mechanical circulatory support therapies for failing hearts. Apica had developed an innovative transapical access and closure system that can simplify and standarise the technique used to open and close the apex of a beating heart, in order to deliver large therapeutic devices into the inner chambers of the beating heart in a minimally invasive manner. Founded in 2009, Apica’s technology began life at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. In 2010, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences led a Series A financing of the company, which was also supported by Enterprise Ireland, and Apica moved to the Business the Innovation Centre at NUI Galway where it developed its product range. Apica products enable the delivery of aortic and mitral heart valves via the transapical route (TAVI) and the implantation of heart pumps (LVADs) for patients with advance heart failure. Commenting on the announcement, Dr Daniel O’Mahony, a partner in Seroba Kernel, said: “We are delighted with the successful outcome of the investment in Apica. It validates our model of taking leading-edge technologies from the USA, where there is a shortage of finance, and implanting them in Ireland whilst retaining links to the US innovators and clinicians. It also reinforces Galway’s position as a world-class hub for med tech development.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Elite Athlete Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2014/15. The University 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 Thursday, 31 July at 5 pm. The Elite Athlete Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. NUI Galway has had an outstanding record in supporting young athletes in developing their sporting and academic careers with in recent years, scholarship athletes winning senior All-Ireland GAA titles, winning and competing at World Championship level in their chosen sport and dozens of NUI Galway students representing their country and a number who have gone on to professional careers in a number of sports. These scholarship students include: John Conlon and Domhnall O’Donovan from Clare who were just two of the large contingent of NUI Galway graduates who won the All-Ireland Hurling title last year; rower Aifric Keogh who finished fourth at the world rowing U23 championships; and Olympian Paul Hession, who recently received his medical degree recently. Applicants for Elite sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner or be a currently enrolled student at NUI Galway. 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/sports/scholarships_info.html. All applications must be submitted online at http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html -Ends- Seans amháin eile ar Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh Tá seans amháin eile le hiarratais a dhéanamh ar Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh 2014/15. Tá dea-cháil ar an Ollscoil le fada as ucht a cuid feabhais i gcúrsaí spóirt agus táthar ag cur leis an gcáil seo le héachtaí san Iomramh, Iomáint, Cispheil, Sacar agus Rugbaí chomh maith le héachtaí aonair éagsúla. Is é Déardaoin, an 31 Iúil ag 5pm an spriocdháta le hiarratas a bheith déanta ag mic léinn reatha agus ag mic léinn a bheidh ag tosú ar chúrsaí. Tá an Clár Scoláireachta do Lúthchleasaithe Éilíte dírithe ar lúthchleasaithe den scoth atá cláraithe mar mhic léinn de chuid na hOllscoile. Is iontach an teist atá ag OÉ Gaillimh maidir le tacaíocht a thabhairt do lúthchleasaithe óga i bhforbairt a ngairmeacha spóirt agus acadúla. Le blianta beaga anuas tá lúthchleasaithe scoláireachta ag buachan craobhacha CLG Uile-Éireann, tá siad in iomaíocht agus ag buachan ag leibhéal an Domhain ina rogha spóirt agus go leor de mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ag seasamh an fhóid dá dtír agus cuid eile acu a bhfuil gairmeacha proifisiúnta bainte amach acu i roinnt spóirt.  I measc na mac léinn scoláireachta seo tá: John Conlon agus Domhnall O’Donovan ó Chontae an Chláir a bhí ar bheirt den ghrúpa mór céimithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh a bhuaigh Craobh Iomána na hÉireann anuraidh; an t-iomróir Aifric Keogh a tháinig sa cheathrú háit ag Craobhchomórtas Faoi 23 an Domhain; an lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach Paul Hession ar bronnadh a chéim sa leigheas air le déanaí. Ní mór d’iarratasóirí ar scoláireachtaí spóirt Éilíte critéir acadúla iontrála OÉ Gaillimh a shásamh agus ní mór dóibh iarratas a bheith déanta acu tríd an CAO ar an ngnáthbhealach nó a bheith cláraithe faoi láthair mar mhac léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Roghnóidh painéal neamhspleách na mic léinn a shásaíonn riachtanais iontrála na hOllscoile ar bhonn fiúntais. Chomh maith le scoláireacht, gheobhaidh na mic léinn tacaíocht eile spóirt chomh maith cosúil le fisiteiripe, cóireáil do ghortú, traenáil aclaíochta, cóitseáil agus cúnamh le taisteal chuig comórtais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Tá tuilleadh sonraí faoin Scéim Scoláireachta Spóirt ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/sports/scholarships_info.html. Ní mór gach iarratas a dhéanamh ar líne ar http://www.sports.nuigalway.ie/scholarshipform.html -Críoch-

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

NUI Galway medical student Orla Hennessy has won a place at the University of Cambridge in the UK as part of the Amgen Scholarship programme. Orla, who was born in Dublin and grew up in Kilmaley, County Clare, has just completed her second year of medicine at NUI Galway and will spend the summer as a researcher in Cambridge. One of Europe’s most competitive science scholarship programmes, the Amgen Scholarship offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work in world-class labs across the continent. It is one of the only pan-European undergraduate research programmes open to students across multiple countries and offers the chance to take part in original research at labs at the University of Cambridge, Karolinska Institute or LMU Munich. Orla will work with Professor Martin Bennett in Cambridge’s Department of Medicine’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Her interest in cardiovascular medicine has a family link as both her parents are doctors and her father is a cardiologist.   Orla was only 16 when she sat her Leaving Cert. She knew by then that she wanted to do medicine, but was not sure she could do it, as she explains: “I saw how hard my father worked and how much of himself he put into his work. I wasn’t sure I could do that, but I was encouraged by my parents and my teachers. I came to realise that medicine was much bigger than what my father did and that I did not have to be a clinician. I could be a researcher or a bit of both. Medicine was not just my dad’s job. It was so much more.” Last summer she won a Health Research Board summer scholarship to do a research placement in Galway which looked at the skin ulceration in the early stages of diabetes. Dr Sean Dinneen is Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway: “Our faculty is actively engaged in innovative research in many areas, with particular emphasis on cancer, gene and stem cell therapy and biomedical engineering science. This investigative ethos is part of our undergraduate degree programme and we encourage students to undertake research opportunities. Orla should be commended for winning a sought after research scholarship and we wish her every success for the summer.” -ends-

Monday, 14 July 2014

Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger to be conferred with Honorary Doctorates NUI Galway has announced the names of two recipients of 2014 Honorary Degrees. At a special ceremony in the University on the biggest day in Irish racing, NUI Galway will honour two leading lights from the world of horse racing on Wednesday, 30 July. Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger will both be conferred with Degrees of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa) on a day when the infamous Galway Plate takes place. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking in advance of the conferring ceremony, said: “With the sporting world’s attention on Galway and Ballybrit this week, we are proud to celebrate the horse-racing heritage of our city by recognising two of Ireland’s greatest racing trainers and breeders. Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld are global figures in the world of horse-racing. They have distinguished themselves as breeders, trainers and leaders of the sport and in so doing have burnished Ireland’s global reputation as a centre of the equine industry. NUI Galway is delighted to recognise their achievements by awarding them the highest honour which the University can confer, at a special ceremony during the Galway Racing festival.” Dermot Weld one of Ireland’s most renowned and successful racehorse trainers, at home and abroad will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa). He has trained the winners of twenty-two European Classic races and remains the only trainer outside of the US and Canada, to have won a leg of America's famous Triple Crown. Dermot has won races at both the Cheltenham Festival and at Royal Ascot and has enjoyed success at both meetings this year. Australia has been a country of note in Dermot's career with two wins in the race that stops a nation the Melbourne Cup. Dermot was the first trainer based in the northern hemisphere to win this most prestigious race when Vintage Crop stormed to victory in 1993. To date, Dermot has trained in excess of 3,700 winners. A qualified Vet, Dermot was a leading amateur rider and was crowned Champion on three occasions. He also rode winners in South Africa, the UK, France and in the US. Dermot was along serving Director of the Irish National Stud and also served on the board of the Irish Horseracing Authority. In 2001, Dermot was presented with the Charter Day Medal from University College Dublin. He is currently in his second term as a Director of Leopardstown Racecourse. In 20l1 he was made an honorary member of the Galway Race Committee. Jim Bolger will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa). In a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, at 71 years of age, he remains one of the single most iconic figures in the game. The Wexford native at the age of 35 years left his job in finance and began his training career in a yard at Clonsilla near the old Phoenix Park training ground. A farmer’s son who first dabbled in buying and selling show-jumpers, Bolger possesses rare vision and an insatiable work ethic, a trait that he has always sought to instil in his horses as he earned an enduring reputation that isn’t simply one of high-standards and meticulousness. A master of his profession and a born leader, his revered genius is as evident in the characters he has nurtured as it is in the champion racehorses that he has trained. Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore and his now son-in-law Kevin Manning all emerged from his famously uncompromising academy. Since moving to Coolcullen’s Glebe House in Co Kilkenny in 1982, he has developed one of the most acclaimed and sophisticated private training centres in the world which has defined his enormous contribution to Irish racing’s globally-renowned status. Thirty years ago, Give Thanks secured him a first Classic victory in the Irish Oaks, and it is in racing’s uber-commercial Flat sphere that the self-made and inherently autonomous entrepreneur has continued to break down barriers and set the standards for others to aspire. The two graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include from the world of sport, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr and Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh among many others such as, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Enya, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan.  -Ends-

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Legendary Irish goalkeeper, Packie Bonner, launched the 2014 Macron Galway Cup at a special ceremony at NUI Galway this week. The tournament will feature teams from six countries and the cream of Ireland's young talent. Speaking at the launch, Salthill Devon Chairman Oliver Daniels welcomed the Deputy Mayor of Galway John Walsh and other distinguished guest, including John Fallon of Macron the tournament sponsors and the special guest Packie Bonner. He pointed out just how important the event is to the Galway region in particular, providing approximately ten thousand bed nights, worth an estimated €2 million to the city. "We are particularly grateful to NUIG where the vast majority of the players  will stay, at the Corrib Village, throughout the tournament. Packie Bonner has been a staunch supporter of the tournament since its inception and he thanked Salthill Devon for inviting him back to Galway: "I am always delighted to get back to Galway. I have attend the Macron Cup as a both a spectator and as FAI Technical director and for me the players make it happen. I have spoken to people around the world who have played in and seen the tournament and the have nothing but the highest praise for the high standards at the event - hopefully this year will be no expectation.” The centre piece of the tournament is the Elite section for boys born in 1999. Squads from five countries, including the Irish National squad, Ipswich Town, Scunthorpe United, Chivas Guadalajara, Mexico, DC United, from the United Sates and Maccabi Haifa from Israel. According to Tournament Director, Denis Burke: "Over the years this Elite section has proved to be very competitive and  the standard of play has been consistently high. This is our second year with Macron as our main sponsor - last year was a particularly successful event and we are looking forward to long and fruitful relationship with John Fallon and his team at Macron." He continued: "Additionally we have other important supporters in Fáilte Ireland, Galway City Council, Smyth's Toys, The Ardilaun Hotel, Finches soft drinks and Supermacs and their contribution allows us to stage a quality international event.” Salthill Devon have built this tournament, year on year, into the premier event of its type in Ireland. They have done this by engaging with 'like minded' partners in the community. Galway benefits significantly from the tournament as up to 1,100 players, officials and their families converge on the city for the tournament.   A video from the launch can be viewed here.

Monday, 14 July 2014

NUI Galway has honored staff members for their outstanding contributions to Research. The President’s Awards for Research were introduced earlier in 2014 and are highly competitive. The awards acknowledge excellence in research activity across three categories: ‘Early Stage Research, ‘Research Supervision and Established Research. Recipients were honoured recently at NUI Galway’s Inaugural Research Showcase. The awards ceremony included opening remarks from NUI Galway President Jim Browne and Vice-President for Research Professor Lokesh Joshi. Professor Joshi remarked on the breadth and depth of the award recipients and thanked members of the University community for their thoughtful and moving nominations. Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “It is a privilege to preside over the Inaugural President’s Research Awards and to share our research with fellow colleagues and our broader research community. Whilst our Inaugural winners come from different Schools and Disciplines with very different research skills and objectives, they share a passion for research excellence which is internationally recognised in their cognate research areas.”  The Award Winners included: Professor Henry Curran (Chemistry), Established Research Award Professor Donal O’Regan (Mathematics), Established Research Award Dr Marie-Louise Coolahan (Humanities), Established Research Award Dr Shane Darcy (Law), Early Stage Research Award Dr Martin O Halloran (Engineering), Early Stage Research Award Professor Afshin Samali (Biochemistry), Research Supervisor Award Dr Mark Healy (Engineering), Research Supervisor Award Other events featured at the Research Showcase included a Euro Million Project Pitch with team and individuals pitching for research funding to develop a unique research idea. Seven projects were pitched to a panel of research expert with four projects awarded developmental funding.  Awards were presented to the following: • Dr Eilionóir Flynn (College of Business, Public Policy and Law) • Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile (College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies) • Dr Pádraic Moran (College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies) • Dr Audrey Morley (College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies) Sixty postgraduate researchers were also selected to present posters designed to represent their work. The event gave students the opportunity to share their research with other students and staff. The following students were acknowledged at the event for their contributions to research. Best Poster Presentations Karen Taylor (College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies) Dilip Thomas (College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences) Claire McDaniel (College of Science) Societal Impact Award Linda Connor (College of Science) Industry Impact Award Trevor Clohessy (College of Business, Public Policy and Law) Graphic/Imagery Award Leah Kidney (College of Science) Innovative Poster Award Ursula Kenny (College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences) Professor Joshi commented “This is a unique day in the calendar of the University as Engineers, Scientists and Humanities come together to debate and present their research in a forum that is open to the broader University Community. The Research Showcase gives NUI Galway students and staff the chance to share their research with new audiences and tell the world about their work.” -ends-

Monday, 14 July 2014

NUI Galway’s School of Medicine are seeking volunteers to participate in a water survey to find out what people living in Galway City and Galway County know about their drinking water. This survey is accessible at http://www.nuigalway.ie/bac/water_survey.html. It will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and will run until Wednesday, 23 July. People will also be surveyed on the street, house to house and online. The survey asks questions such as if people drink water from the tap at home, if they buy bottled water, if they know where their water supply comes from, and if they know whether their drinking water is tested regularly and treated to prevent contamination with bacteria and other organisms.  Millions of tonnes of water, from a variety of sources, are treated in Ireland every day to provide drinking water to Ireland’s population. The drinking waters produced and distributed by Irish Water are termed public water supplies and provide water to 82% of the Irish population. The rest of the population are supplied by group water schemes (6.6%), small private supplies (0.8%) and private wells (10.6%). This research hopes to gain an insight into what people served by different supply types know about their drinking water, if they’ve ever experienced difficulties with their drinking water supply and if so what impact this had on their drinking water habits.  The research, funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), will be carried out by Dr Dearbháile Morris, lecturer in Bacteriology at the School of Medicine, NUI Galway and second year medical student, Maeve Cahalan. NUI Galway’s Dr Dearbháile Morris said: “Water is everywhere and is essential for life. We all drink water everyday but this precious resource is under threat. The UN estimate that 47% of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030. So what do we really know about our drinking water? This survey aims to give us more detail on what we know, our usage and how to protect this precious commodity.” Results of this short survey will help inform a larger Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-funded research project led by Dr Dearbháile Morris, in conjunction with the Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics at NUI Galway, recently spoke at The Economist’s 18th Roundtable with the Government of Greece, ‘The Big Rethink for Europe’, in Athens. Professor Ahearne shared a panel with Enrico Letta, Former Prime Minister of Italy, and Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor, The Economist. The discussions centred on lessons to be learnt from EU members states on economic recovery and the need for EU leaders to implement their strategy for closer economic and political integration in order to restore confidence and stability. The Economist's 18th Roundtable with the Government of Greece brought together Greek ministers (including the prime minister), two former Italian prime ministers, the opposition leader and many senior business representatives. The timing made this an appropriate moment for what the meeting's subtitle called a "big rethink". Greece's economy is at a turning point after six years of recession; following the recent cabinet reshuffle several ministers could outline their priorities in their new portfolios; and instability around Europe's rim prompts some rethinking on international relations, too. "The economic recovery in Ireland is more visible in the labor market, which-after-stabilized in the last two years be refined," Professor Ahearne concluded speaking at the annual Economist. Referring to the factors responsible in the opinion of the reversal of the image in Ireland, analyzed the following three levels: ·       Basic economic forces came into play (pharmaceutical sector, medical technology, ICT, agri-food, tourism). ·       Decisive action was taken within the country (sustained effort to reduce the budget deficit and rebuild the banking system). ·       Support policies reinforced from abroad (CMT, new architecture of the Euro, revised terms on bank loans - improving the economies of the U.S. and Britain). Professor Ahearne spoke, however, the need for further macroeconomic support to address the gaps in the labor market, with emphasis on youth unemployment. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Following on the success of four international symposia devoted to the technological advances in power electronics and distributed generation, the 5th International Symposium on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems (PEDG 2014) was recently held at NUI Galway. PEDG 2014 saw representation from 24 countries, with 130 delegates and experts presenting their state-of-the-art developments in Distributed Generation Systems such as wind, solar, wave and biofuel energy sources. The conference programme included several keynote sessions at which internationally renowned researchers and industry speakers presented on topics ranging from ‘Taming the Intermittent Nature of Renewable Energy’ by Professor Ron Hui of Hong Kong University, to ‘eCar Adoption: A European Perspective’ by Patrick Foley from ESB ecars. The conference was organised by Professor Gerard Hurley and Dr Maeve Duffy of the Power Electronics Research Centre (PERC) at NUI Galway, whose aim is to foster links with industry by transferring power electronics technology from a strong research base in the University to the wider community. Current research topics in PERC include the design of miniaturised (resonant) power converters with high efficiency, and the application of photovoltaic (PV) energy to charging of electric vehicles. PEDG 2014 provided an opportunity to discuss these and other research topics with world renowned industry and academic experts.    The conference is sponsored by IEEE Power Electronics Society and was previously held in China, Denmark and the USA. Full details about the conference are available at www.pedg2014.org. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

NUI Galway Boat club and its sister alumni club Gráinne Mhaol had a massively successful weekend at the National Rowing championships held in the National Rowing Centre in Cork over the weekend. Team NUI Galway had an encouraging opening day winning the Men’s Intermediate Coxed Four, the Women’s Club Coxed Four and in a composite entry with Cork Boat Club, the Women’s Senior Coxless Four. NUI Galway’s alumni club, Gráinne Mhaol, took the Men’s Senior Coxless Four title for the third year in a row. On Saturday, NUI Galway won the Women’s Senior Coxless Pair event with a commanding performance over the field. The final day of the Rowing Championships saw three more wins for NUI Galway rowers who took the Women’s Club Eight title, the Women’s Senior Eight title - again in partnership with Cork Boat Club - and in the final race of the regatta, NUI Galway and alumni partners Gráinne Mhaol, came from almost a length down at one stage to win the premier event, the Men’s Senior Eight, by a mere 0.41 seconds in a thrilling battle with Trinity, a third successive Irish title for this formidable unit. NUI Galway finished joint-top club with seven wins. Sports Scholarship holder and current NUI Galway Sports Award winner Aifric Keogh won three senior titles in Eight, Four and Pair. From the winning Men’s Eight, NUI Galway Sports Scholarship holders Rob O’Callaghan, Richard Bennett and Kevin Neville along with Gráinne Mhaol’s Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan will represent Ireland in the Men’s Heavyweight Coxless Fours event at the Under 23 World Rowing Championships being held in Varese, Italy from July 23-27. -Ends-      

Thursday, 17 July 2014

 As part of 20th anniversary celebration of Burren Art College in Co Clare One of the main events marking the 20th anniversary of Burren College of Art in County Clare this week will be Irish Artist Seán Scully receiving an Honorary Doctorate from NUI Galway. From 17 – 20 July, 2014 Ireland’s only independent fine art third-level college will exhibit works by over 40 of its most successful and high profile alumni and will host a symposium exploring alternative models of education, featuring contributions from groundbreaking Irish and overseas art education innovators. Irish-born American painter and printmaker and twice Turner Prize nominee, Sean Scully will receive the honorary Doctorate from NUI Galway. The Sean Scully honorary conferring takes place on Saturday, 19  July and will be followed by The Best of the Burren - a banquet of Burren food and a recital by Ballyvaughan-born Naomi O'Connell who has become an international opera star, accompanied by Archie Simpson, founder of the Lismorahaun singers. Speaking in advance of the Honorary Conferring ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “As President, may I express the pride of the entire University community in welcoming Seán Scully to the ranks of our alumni. In becoming an honorary graduate of our University, he joins a global network of over 90,000 alumni. By honouring this truly outstanding visual artist, we pay tribute to his achievements by awarding him the highest honour which the University can confer, thereby associating his name forever with National University of Ireland, Galway – and indeed – Burren College of Art.  On this very special celebratory weekend, I would like to extend warmest congratulations to Burren College of Art on behalf of all my colleagues at NUI Galway.” Located at Newtown Castle in Ballyvaughan, the Burren College of Art specialises in delivering a range of contemporary fine art programmes including photography, sculpture, painting and digital media, and in hosting leadership retreats and “audacious conversations” using creative methodologies Postgraduate programmes at the College have been accredited by National University of Ireland, Galway since 2002. Mary Hawkes Greene, President and Founder of the Burren College of Art (BCA) said the 20th anniversary celebrations are aimed at showcasing  the success of  BCA's "alternative approach to education  by providing students the time and space to develop their individual talents amidst the inspirational landscape of the world famous Burren. The anniversary will launch the College’s extended remit as a hothouse for universal creativity – accessing the creative potential in all.” She continued: "By facilitating discussion amongst leading art education innovators from around the world and by showcasing the works of our graduates, we are seeking to highlight BCA's contribution to the arts sector and to serve  as a creative springboard for re-imagining  what an art school can be at this moment of profound societal change.” The BCA 20th anniversary celebration gets underway today, Thursday 17 July when stories of historical and contemporary alternative approaches from the US and Europe will form the basis for the two-day 'Ex-centric Alternatives'symposium.  Contributors include Uffe Elbaek, former Danish Minister for Culture, founder of Kaos Pilots design school and of” The Alternativet” political party; Professor Brian Butler, Director Black Mountain College Museum; Dr Carol Becker, Dean of the School of Arts, Columbia University; Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, former rector of the Royal College of Art, London; Tracy Meisterheim, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden; and James Elkins, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The alumni exhibition, entitled “the Middle of Everywhere", opens tomorrow, Friday, 18 July and will feature the work of 40 BCA past students from the US, Mexico, Canada, UK, Ireland and Uganda. For more on the Burren College of Art, Newtown Castle, Co. Clare, and it 20th anniversary celebrations visit www.burrencollege.ie. -ENDS-

Friday, 18 July 2014

Druid Academy students at NUI Galway to Perform at Galway International Arts Festival As part of Galway International Arts Festival, on Tuesday, 22 July, NUI Galway students will be performing in a reading of a new play at Druid Theatre. A Boy Called Nedd by Emily Gillmor Murphy is being staged as part of the “Druid Debut” series at this year’s Festival, and is a brand new play from Emily Gillmor Murphy. The reading will feature NUI Galway Drama students Deirdre Ní Chloscaí, Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, Joe Power and Niamh Ryan. In a unique development for Drama and Theatre teaching in Ireland, Druid and NUI Galway launched a new Druid Academy earlier this year, as part of a 10 year partnership between the two organisations. The participation of NUI Galway students in the event is one of many collaborations between University students and Druid. As part of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, the Druid Academy covers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, as well as PhD research opportunities.  The Druid Academy also provides training in drama that meets best international practice while also embedding the values associated with Druid into the teaching curriculum. A Boy Called Nedd tells the story of a sixteen-year-old boy trying to stay on course after his brother’s suicide. Nedd’s is a fast moving world. Here a relationship goes from awkward silences to making out to throwing insults at the speed of light. Here his least step out of line goes viral at the blink of an eye. Here the lures of the adult world – guns, included – are only a text or a mouse-click away. But how fast is he going that he should confuse grief for the need for revenge?  The play has strong language and explicit content.  NUI Galway Professor of Drama and Theatre Patrick Lonergan stated that this event will be a major opportunity for the students. “This event gives our students the chance to perform in a professional setting, working with a very exciting new writer, in a major theatre company, in Ireland’s major arts festival. As part of our continuing work with the Druid Academy, our students will continue to work closely with Druid on projects such as this." Druid Director-in-Residence, Thomas Conway, says: "the play is a dispatch straight from the frontline of contemporary teenage experience in Ireland. Not only does it show the world of Irish teenagers in a no-holds-barred fashion, it gets under its skin, revealing the kinds of pressure today’s teenager routinely experience. We’re excited in Druid to have students from NUI Galway join us for its presentation. We have been impressed to date with the connection they have made with the play and feel confident they will bring many great acting qualities to its presentation." Borne out of a vision of Galway as a location for the creation of excellent theatre, teaching in the Druid Academy will follow the Druid approach, focusing on ensemble as a mode of performance, rigorous critical analysis of theatre by both practitioners and audiences, and an awareness of the importance of audience, in a variety of locations: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The Academy has also led to the development of new courses, including three new MA programmes. These are in Irish Drama, Writing for Theatre, and Theatre Practice and Production. NUI Galway also offers a part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, and has two very popular undergraduate Drama programmes. Students of the Druid Academy gain a unique insight into the world of professional theatre when they have the opportunity to stage an annual professional-standard production, directed by the Druid Director-in-Residence.  The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Marie Mullen, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Three years ago that relationship was formalised into a strategic partnership that saw Druid and NUI Galway join forces to train the next generation of theatre-makers. This partnership moves on to a new level with the announcement of the Druid Academy. For further information on the part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies please visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/drama/postgrad/ptma/ ENDS

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

NUI Galway’s School of Education is currently seeking young women aged between 14-20 with a formal diagnosis of ADHD to participate in a study to examine the impact the condition has on their educational and social experiences. This study is open to participants living in any geographical region of the Republic of Ireland. Participants will be asked to provide their opinions and insights regarding how ADHD affects their daily lives, academic performance and achievement, and their relationships with others.  They will be asked to complete one personal interview and one online questionnaire. Those participating will not need to travel to NUI Galway, as a researcher will travel to a location of their choosing.  This project represents an important advancement in ADHD research because very few studies of ADHD have taken place in Ireland, and fewer yet have considered the impact that ADHD has on the lives of young women.  Primary researcher of this project, Andrea Lynch said: “We do a lot of talking ‘about’ people with ADHD, and yet, very little communication takes place with people affected by ADHD. This study represents an important chance for young women living with the condition to have their voices and opinions heard, and to help others understand what it is truly like to live as a young woman with ADHD in the Irish context.” Additionally, this study is seeking the insights of second-level teachers who have some experience supporting students with ADHD in the classroom. This study represents a chance for teachers to reflect critically on their own educational preparation for working with students with ADHD, as well as their own praxis, and ways in which classroom inclusion for second-level students with ADHD could be increased. Teachers are asked to complete one online questionnaire and also asked to consider completing a personal interview which can be held at a time and location of their choosing.  Ms Lynch continued: “This study also represents a chance for teachers to reflect upon their experiences of teaching students with ADHD, and is an opportunity for them to express their opinions regarding the particular needs of second-level educators in supporting students with ADHD, and ways in which educational provision for students with this condition could be improved for this population.” Those interested in participating in this study should contact research Andrea Lynch at a.lynch19@nuigalway.ie or on 087 1129868. -Ends-

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Mr. Brendan Howlin, TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform yesterday, 22 July 2014, launched Ireland’s national Open Data Portal developed by Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway together with the research reports produced by Insight. The Minister said: “I am delighted to be launching Ireland’s national Open Data portal together with research compiled by Insight. This work builds on initiatives already in place in Ireland taking into account best international practice and will enable the development of a national Open Data strategy.” Open Data forms a core element of Ireland’s first Open Government Partnership (OGP) national Action Plan which, following Government approval tomorrow, I expect to publish and transmit to the OGP Steering Committee to facilitate Ireland’s full membership of the Partnership.  Insight was commissioned to carry out this research to develop the basic building blocks for a national Open Data strategy. The national Open Data Portal (data.gov.ie) currently contains 418 datasets from 45 public bodies.  It is an alpha site, but an important first step.  The next steps to further develop it will be considered in tandem with experts in the public sector and the wider public. Going forward, the Minister would encourage public bodies to publish datasets on this portal.  The Minister said: “I am very excited about Open Data. Studies show that publication of official non-personal data in open format has the potential to drive more effective decision-making and efficient service delivery, spur economic growth, and empower citizens to take an active role in improving their own communities”.    Professor Stefan Decker, Director of Insight at NUI Galway, commented: "The Open Data Roadmap and Portal developed by Insight at NUI Galway is a great example of leveraging research results and expertise funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland for the good of society. Together with the civil society we are able to make a contribution to Ireland by enabling the use of public data assets for economic and societal benefit.” Insight’s work is being published to assist the development of an Open Data strategy for Ireland.  Submissions should be made by 5th September to opendata@per.gov.ie ENDS About Insight, the Centre for Data Analytics Insight is Ireland’s leading research centre for the study of Data Analytics. In a joint initiative between NUI Galway, DCU, UCC and UCD, Insight brings together more than 200 researchers, with 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. Established by Science Foundation Ireland, Insight focuses on new ways to capture and understand data from the world around us, making better decisions for people, communities and industry, and creating a more informed society in a healthier, more productive world.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

As the Galway race festival continues, NUI Galway today conferred honorary degrees on two outstanding individuals from the world of Irish horseracing: Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said: “With the sporting world’s attention on Galway and Ballybrit this week, we are proud to celebrate the horseracing heritage of our city by recognising two of Ireland’s greatest racing trainers and breeders.  Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld are global figures in the world of horseracing.  They have distinguished themselves as breeders, trainers and leaders of the sport and in so doing have burnished Ireland’s reputation as a global centre for the equine industry. By honouring these two truly outstanding men, we pay tribute to their achievements by awarding them the highest honour which the University can confer, thereby associating their names forever with NUI Galway.” Dermot Weld, one of Ireland’s most renowned and successful racehorse trainers, at home and abroad, was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts honoris causa. To date, Dermot has trained in excess of 3,700 winners. He has trained the winners of twenty-two European Classic races and remains the only trainer outside of the US and Canada, to have won a leg of America's famous Triple Crown. Dermot has won races at both the Cheltenham Festival and at Royal Ascot and has enjoyed success at both meetings this year. Australia has been a country of note in his career with two wins in “the race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup. Dermot was the first trainer based in the northern hemisphere to win this most prestigious race when Vintage Crop stormed to victory in 1993. A qualified vet, Dermot was a leading amateur rider and was crowned champion on three occasions. He also rode winners in South Africa, the UK, France and in the US. Dermot was a long-serving director of the Irish National Stud and also served on the board of the Irish Horseracing Authority.  He is currently in his second term as a director of Leopardstown Racecourse. In 20l1, he was made an honorary member of the Galway Race Committee. Introducing Mr Weld, Dr John Newell, Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics at NUI Galway, reminded guests on Galway Plate Day, the highlight of the Galway racing festival, how synonymous this trainer is with Galway. “His attachment to the festival began when, as a nine-year-old, he led his father's horse, Highfield Lad, into the winner’s enclosure after victory in the Galway Plate.   Six years later, Dermot rode his first ever winner, steering Ticonderoga to victory in the Galway Amateur Handicap.Dermot holds the record of 17 winners over the seven days and won the Leading Trainer award for the 27th time last year.  So dominant has he been at Ballybrit over the last two-and-a-half decades, Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power suggested renaming the Galway Races to the ‘Dermot Weld Retirement Fund’.” Jim Bolger was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts honoris causa. In a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, at 71 years of age; he remains one of the single most iconic figures in the game. At the age of 35, the Wexford native left his job in finance and began his training career in a yard at Clonsilla near the old Phoenix Park training ground. A farmer’s son who first dabbled in buying and selling show-jumpers, Bolger possesses rare vision and an insatiable work ethic. A master of his profession and a born leader, he has nurtured the careers of many of  leading figures in Irish racing, including Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore and his now son-in-law, Kevin Manning all of whom emerged from his famously uncompromising academy. Since moving to Coolcullen’s Glebe House in Co Kilkenny in 1982, he has developed one of the most acclaimed training centres in the world. Professor Michael Kerin, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), explained the honour for him in introducing Mr Bolger, “The elite realm of international flat racing is dominated by wealthy sheikhs, royalty and commercial conglomerates but Jim Bolger has fashioned a unique empire based on his eye for a horse, intellect, enthusiasm, ambition and hard work. It is a great honour for me to present Jim Bolger, Champion Horse Trainer and Breeder, Family Man, Educator, Organiser and Inspiration for the Doctor of Arts here at NUI Galway today.” The two graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. -Ends-   Bronnann an Ollscoil Onóir ar Mháistrí na Rásaíochta   Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céimeanna Oinigh ar Dermot Weld agus ar Jim Bolger   Agus féile rásaíochta na Gaillimhe faoi lánseol, bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh ar bheirt mór le rá i saol na rásaíochta capall in Éirinn inniu: Dermot Weld agus Jim Bolger.   Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas bronnta: “Agus aird an domhain spóirt ar Ghaillimh agus ar Bhaile an Bhriotaigh an tseachtain seo, táimid bródúil oidhreacht rásaíochta capall na cathrach a cheiliúradh trí aitheantas a thabhairt do bheirt de na traenálaithe agus tógálaithe capall is fearr in Éirinn.    Tá aithne i bhfad is i ngearr ar Jim Bolger agus ar Dermot Weld i saol na rásaíochta capall.  Tá cáil bainte amach acu dóibh féin mar thógálaithe agus mar thraenálaithe capall agus mar cheannairí sa spórt agus ag an am céanna tá cáil bainte amach acu d'Éirinn mar ionad domhanda don tionscal eachaí.  Tá an onóir is airde is féidir le hOllscoil a bhronnadh ar dhuine á bronnadh ar an mbeirt iomráiteach seo as a gcuid éachtaí, rud a chiallaíonn go mbeidh a gcuid ainmneacha luaite go deo le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.”   Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa ar Dermot Weld. Tá an tUasal Weld ar cheann de na traenálaithe capall rása Éireannacha is mó cáil agus is rathúla, sa bhaile agus thar lear.Go dtí seo, tá breis is 3,700 buaiteoir traenáilte ag Dermot. Tá dhá chapall is fiche traenáilte aige a bhuaigh ag rásaí Clasaiceacha Eorpacha agus is é fós an t-aon traenálaí, lasmuigh de Mheiriceá agus de Cheanada, a bhuaigh staid de Choróin Thriarach cháiliúil Mheiriceá. Tá rásaí buaite ag Dermot ag Féile Cheltenham agus ag Royal Ascot agus d'éirigh go maith leis ag an dá ócáid seo i mbliana.   Bhí baint mhór ag an Astráil le saol gairme Dermot agus bhí an bua aige ag Corn Melbourne faoi dhó, rás a ndeirtear faoi go stopann an tír ar fad le breathnú air. Ba é Dermot an chéad traenálaí lonnaithe sa leathsféar thuaidh a bhuaigh an rás iomráiteach seo le Vintage Crop sa bhliain 1993.   Is tréidlia cáilithe é Dermot agus bhí sé ina shármharcaí amaitéarach agus ina sheaimpín trí huaire. Bhí an bua aige chomh maith ag marcaíocht san Afraic Theas, sa Ríocht Aontaithe, sa Fhrainc agus i Meiriceá. Bhí Dermot ina stiúrthóir ar feadh i bhfad ar Ghraí Náisiúnta na hÉireann agus bhí sé ar bhord Údarás Rásaíochta Capall na hÉireann chomh maith.  Tá sé faoi láthair i mbun a dhara théarma mar Stiúrthóir ar Ráschúrsa Bhaile na Lobhar. Sa bhliain 2011, rinneadh ball oinigh de Choiste Rásaíochta na Gaillimhe de.   Agus é ag cur as Uasail Weld i láthair, chuir an Dr John Newell, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Bithstaitisticí in OÉ Gaillimh, i gcuimhne do na haíonna a bhí i láthair ar Lá an Galway Plate, buaicphointe fhéile rásaíochta na Gaillimhe, cé chomh mór is a shamhlaítear an traenálaí seo le Gaillimh.  “Thosaigh a ghrá don fhéile agus gan é ach naoi mbliana d’aois nuair a thug sé capall a athar, Highfield Lad, isteach i gclós na mbuaiteoirí tar éis dó an Galway Plate a thabhairt leis.   Sé bliana ina dhiaidh sin, bhí Dermot sa diallait dá chéad bhua riamh ar Ticonderoga i gCisrás Amaitéarach na Gaillimhe.Is ag Dermot atá an churiarracht as 17 mbuaiteoir thar na seacht lá agus bhuaigh sé an gradam don Traenálaí is Fearr don 27ú huair anuraidh.  Bhí sé chomh ceannasach i mBaile an Bhriotaigh le cúig bliana is fiche anuas gur mhol na geallghlacadóirí Éireannacha, Paddy Power, gur cheart “Ciste Scoir Dermot Weld” a thabhairt ar Rásaí na Gaillimhe feasta”.   Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa ar Jim Bolger. Bhí gairm den scoth aige a mhair caoga bliain, agus tá sé fós, agus é anois in aois a 71 bliain, ar cheann de na daoine is mó cáil i saol na rásaíochta capall.   In aois a 35 bliain, d'fhág fear Loch Garman a phost le cúrsaí airgeadais agus chuir sé tús lena ghairm thraenála i gclós i gCluain Saileach gar do sheanfhaice traenála Pháirc an Fhionnuisce. Mac feirmeora é Bolger a thosaigh ar dtús ag díol agus ag ceannach seóléimneoirí agus tá fís ar leith aige chomh maith le heitic oibre dhoshásaithe.   Máistir a ghairme agus ceannaire ó thús, is iomaí duine mór le rá i saol na rásaíochta capall in Éirinn ar chabhraigh sé leo, ina measc Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore agus Kevin Manning, atá pósta lena iníon anois. Tháinig siad ar fad amach óna acadamh a bhfuil cáil na diongbháilteachta air.  Ón uair a bhog sé go Teach Gléibe, Cúl an Chuilinn i gCo. Chill Chainnigh sa bhliain 1982, tá ceann de na hionaid traenála is mó cáil sa domhan forbartha aige.   Mhínigh an tOllamh Michael Kerin, Ollamh le Leigheas in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir Taighde na hInstitiúide Náisiúnta um Thaighde ar Ailse Brollaigh (NBCRI), an onóir a bhain leis an Uasal Bolger a chur i láthair, “Tá domhan éilíte na rásaíochta ar an gcothrom faoi cheannas móruaisle saibhre, lucht ríoga agus ilchuideachtaí tráchtála ach tá impireacht uathúil cruthaithe ag Jim Bolger le cúnamh ón gcumas nádúrtha atá aige féin ag plé le capaill, a chlisteacht, a dhíograis, a mhian agus obair chrua. Is mór an onóir domsa Jim Bolger, Traenálaí agus Tógálaí Seaimpín Capall, Fear Teaghlaigh, Oideachasóir, Eagraí agus Inspioráid a chur in bhur láthair inniu don Dochtúireacht sna Dána anseo in OÉ Gaillimh.   Beidh an bheirt seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood.   -Críoch-  

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Scientists from NUI Galway have been involved in a significant new international study that explains how blood production declines with age. Published in this week’s Nature magazine, the research may provide ways of mitigating the effects of ageing on the blood which can lead to diseases such as anaemia, immunoscenescence, bone marrow failure and myeloid malignancies. The study was led by the University of California, San Francisco, in conjunction with NUI Galway’s Centre for Chromosome Biology and other researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Madrid, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Our blood system can renew itself during our life. However, the key stem cells that are responsible for this become less effective as we age. This can give rise to blood diseases in older people, so the scientists sought to understand how these cells age. The study shows that critical components of blood stem cells’ replication machinery are lost during ageing, giving rise to replication stress, which is associated with cell cycle defects and chromosome gaps/breaks.This leads to particular biochemical marks being made on the genetic material that alter how genes work in aged blood stem cells and indicate the transcriptional silencing of ribosomal genes. It may be possible to manipulate these genetic marks for therapeutic or rejuvenation purposes. The research was led by was led by PhD student Johanna Flach and Professor Emmanuelle Passegué from the University of California. The collaborators from NUI Galway were Dr Pauline Conroy and Professor Ciaran Morrison, of the Centre for Chromosome Biology. Commenting on the work, NUI Galway’s Professor Morrison said: “Many changes happen in cells at the molecular level during ageing - key genes are affected and even the integrity of the genome itself may be altered. How these changes affect cell functions is complicated. We need to understand the mechanisms behind each biochemical activity to get an overall picture of how stem cells work and of how they age. This study indicates an important pathway toward ageing in haematopoietic stem cells - understanding this may ultimately let us mitigate the effects of ageing on the blood.” This work was funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the US National Institutes of Health, with the NUI Galway work being supported by Science Foundation Ireland.  The 60 scientists led by 11 Principal Investigators at the Centre for Chromosome Biology in NUI Galway are dedicated to understanding many different areas of chromosome biology, such as how cell proliferation is controlled, the structure and maintenance of the genome, precise control of genome duplication and how genes are expressed. Their work is critical to the ongoing scientific battle against cancer and other areas including human reproduction and fertility and genetic diseases such as Huntington’s Disease. -ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway has opened registration for delegates for the 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court. The 2014 Summer School will be held on the 16-20 June in Galway. The summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC) offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights is widely recognised as the leading programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. Leading specialists will deliver comprehensive lectures over the course of five days which will provide delegates with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victims. Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway says “Despite the recent veto of the proposal to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC, the Court is arguably the most important international institution to have been established since the creation of the United Nations. Its aim is combating impunity for atrocities, and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability and justice around the world.” The 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court will feature expert presentations from Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Don Ferencz, Middlesex University; Dr Shane Darcy, Dr Noelle Higgins and Professor Ray Murphy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights; John McManus, Department of Justice, Canada; Dr Mohamed El Zeidy and Dr Rod Rastan and Dr Fabricio Guariglia International Criminal Court; Professor Megan Fairlie, Florida International University College of Law, USA; Dr Nadia Bernaz, University of Middlesex; Dr Mohamed Elewa Badar, Reader in Comparative and International Criminal Law and Islamic Law at Northumbria University School of Law; and Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana. To register, visit www.conference.ie or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com for more information. -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Large network of underground rivers stretching up to 30 miles long and 70ft wide may be hidden under the seabed of Galway Bay, off the West coast of Ireland Geologists from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway have discovered large networks of underground rivers hidden under the seabed of Galway Bay, off the West coast of Ireland. The significant discovery was made by the researchers following conversations with residents from Inishmaan on the Aran Islands, who said their well of fresh water never ran out, when typically islands experience water shortages, and from fishermen who refer to freshwater risings along the south coast of Galway Bay. NUI Galway’s Earth and Ocean Sciences researchers concluded the water was likely to be flowing for several miles before emerging as 'freshwater rivers' out of the sea bed of Galway Bay. This water flow is caused by rain falling on the land, it runs through the limestone and then goes out under the sea. Research carried out by the NUI Galway Geologists identified that the 'freshwater rivers' are formed by water dissolving the limestone that underlies southern Galway and north Clare. This karstification process slowly created not only the distinctive topography of the Burren, but the conduits reaching out under Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, which could be up to 30 miles long. Wells intersecting these conduits produce more water than falls on the island as rain indicating that the water is sourced from the mainland. Dr Tiernan Henry, Lecturer in Environmental Geology, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway said: “We were told about a well at a local hotel on Inishmaan that had an excellent supply of fresh water. The islands can have water problems, they are always short, but this well went deep into the rock and was getting more water than falls on the whole island.” The pure bedded limestones that form the islands are found throughout north Clare and south and east Galway. These rocks are particularly susceptible to dissolution by rainfall (and time) forming the distinctive drainage patterns of turloughs, swallow holes, sink holes and sinking rivers. Almost all of the freshwater in these areas flows in discrete zones within the rock discharging in springs found at the coast and in the bays and sea. The means by which these passages and conduits form is well known and well understood, but where they form, and the shapes they take are less easy to predict.  The research was funded by the Griffiths Award and supported by the University’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research. For more information visit the School of Natural Sciences at http://www.nuigalway.ie/natural_sciences/ or Earth and Ocean Sciences at http://www.nuigalway.ie/eos/ -ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

NUI Galway is pleased to announce an international history workshop entitled ‘Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I: Europe and the Wider World’ which will take place at the Hardiman Library in NUI Galway from 13-14 June. Organised by the discipline of History at NUI Galway, the conference will look at how the war impacted peoples, such as the Irish, who found themselves on the periphery of great powers and empires. Ranging from Ireland to Australia to Central Asia, the twelve speakers, including NUI Galway’s Dr John Cunningham, will consider how the war linked ordinary men and women from across the world to the conflict in Europe and across the globe. The keynote address will be delivered on Friday at 4.30pm by prominent American historian of World War One, Professor Michael A. Neiberg of the US Army College in Pennsylvania. Professor Neiberg will speak on ‘Small Nations inside a Big State: American Immigrant Communities react to War, 1914-17’. Professor Neiberg is the author of several widely-read books on ‘World War One, including Fighting the Great War: A Global History’ and ‘Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of WWI’. The conference is open to all, especially those interested in the World War I centenary. For further information on the conference visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/history/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Following the success of the Bio-EXPLORERS Easter Science Camp, the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences is now taking bookings for three summer camp sessions. The Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camps will begin on Mondays, the 14, 21 and 28 of July, with each camp running for five days. Registrations are open to all aspiring young scientists aged 8 to 13 years old. The camps will run from 9.30am until 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. The cost for this exciting course packed with fun and exciting activities is €160 per child (€145 for additional siblings). Children will work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  In the mornings, children will work with Dr Michel Dugon, the host of the RTE TV programme ‘Bug Hunters’. Activities will include discovering live local and exotic plants and animals, studying their habitats and understanding how they interact with their environment. In the afternoons, participants will understand how cells make our body work. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, they will run their own experiments such as extracting DNA from cells, observing their own cells under small and large microscopes and building models. Bio-EXPLORERS is run and supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and is composed of two science communication and public engagement programmes: Cell EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Muriel Grenon, and Eco-EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Michel Dugon. The programme’s primary goal is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. It proposes activities that are designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. Since its creation, the programme has engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland and was actively involved in the Galway Science and Technology Festival. The ‘Fantastic DNA’ school visits and other Cell EXPLORERS activities are well known to primary school children in County Galway. The programme‘s volunteers have engaged more than 2000 pupils, teachers and parents since September 2013. The programme received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to STEM’ Award from the Galway Science and Technology Festival this year. Since October 2013, Eco EXPLORERS has engaged over 6000 pupils across the West of Ireland on topics related to ecology, biodiversity and zoology. Bug hunting and live exotic creepy crawlies (including reptiles, spiders and giant beetles!) are at the core of the Eco EXPLORERS experience. Activities are led by Dr Michel Dugon, who is also the host of the RTE TV programme Bug Hunters. The 15-episode TV series has been selected to represent RTE at several prestigious media festivals (IFTA, Celtic Media Awards and Prix Jeunesse International). For further information on the Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camp or to register, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/bughunters/ or email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie. Places at the Camp will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Minister Kathleen Lynch to open ‘Disability Policy Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century – Turning Ideas into Change that Transforms Lives’ from 23-25 June 2014 Minister for Disability, Older People, Equality and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch TD will open a major international conference ‘Disability Policy Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century – Turning Ideas into Change that Transforms Lives’, on 23 June at NUI Galway. The conference will link future disability reform agendas with the research and policy work of the EU Marie Curie Initial Training PhD Network DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets) coordinated by NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy. This event will bring together major agents of change in the disability policy field around the world and will focus in particular on how to translate the generalities of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into practicable reform strategies. Speakers will include international figureheads from research and policy including Baroness Vivien Stern CBE, and video addresses from Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, European Commission and Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The conference will build on the work of the European-wide DREAM PhD network, which for the past three years and which focused on how to give practical effect to the UN Convention in areas such as: fundamental rights, e.g. the right to community living; expanding economic and market opportunities for persons with disabilities; and sustaining change with appropriate and effective institutional mechanisms at regional and national level. This PhD network was among the first in the world with a focus on the UN disability convention and was funded by the European Union as a Marie Curie Initial Training Network. The 14 researchers have all had placements in policy-oriented institutions and have gained valuable experience in translating ideas into action. “We did not want to produce PhD books that remain on the shelf. We wanted to impart skills to people to become real agents of change and to perform useful roles in the future. It might be within governments, but it could also be in civil society or in commercial organisations,” says Professor Gerard Quinn, Principal Investigator on the project and Director of the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. “The phrase I use to sum it up is ‘policy entrepreneurship’ – developing people who can really bring about change that transforms the lives of our citizens with disabilities.” he concludes. The DREAM network includes NUI Galway, the University of Leeds, Maastricht University, the University of Iceland, NOVA Norwegian Social Research, Fundosa Technosite S.A. and Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF). More information is available at http://www.disability-rights.eu/ The event will interest all those concerned with the process of change including NGOs, DPOs, governments, international and regional organisations as well as business and services. It will also be of importance to academics, students and researchers interested in the UN convention as an engine of positive change for persons with disabilities. For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/dream/events.html or email dream@nuigalway.ie   -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

NUI Galway’s Professor Daniel Carey has been admitted as new members of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) at a special ceremony in Dublin recently. This year Professor Carey was one of only 15 academics to receive Ireland’s highest academic distinction. Professor Careyis a Personal Professor with the Discipline of English at NUI Galway. Professor Carey's work explores the relationship between travel, colonialism and cultural difference in the period from 1550-1800. In addition to a publishing a book on the problem of cultural diversity in the work of John Locke and his contemporaries, he has edited six collections of essays on themes ranging from Asian travel in the Renaissance, to Gulliver's Travels. He has also investigated the history and philosophy of money and credit in the Enlightenment. He is co-general editor of Richard Hakluyt's Principal Navigations...of the English Nation (1598-1600), to appear in 14 volumes with Oxford University Press, the first ever critical edition of the landmark compilation of English travel. Congratulating Professor Carey, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “Research and academic excellence are the cornerstones of all that we do here at NUI Galway. I am very proud to see the work of my colleague, Professor Daniel Carey recognised by the Royal Irish Academy. Admission to the Academy is the highest academic honour in Ireland.  It is a testament to the calibre of our staff and research to see the work of one of our finest humanities scholars honoured in this way.” At the ceremony admitting the new members, Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy said: “There is a major onus on Irish researchers to ensure that Europe remains a world leader in the twenty-first century. But the emphasis on research that yields a return in the form of patents, company formation or new drugs tends to deny researchers the necessary breathing-space, the time to reflect, to allow for the wrong turns, the brilliant idea that collapses, or the unexpected lines of inquiry that might ultimately deliver something different from the original proposal, but something that is much more exciting. When the Royal Irish Academy elects members, it does soon the basis of a candidate’s publications and research record, the sole criterion is quality. This research may help in the treatment of disease, or it may enhance our understanding of a past civilisation. Members of the Academy should not shirk from their responsibility to let people know that basic research is important and that government support for fundamental research is a hallmark of a civilised society.” For 229 years, membership of the RIA has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. There are now 482 members of the Academy, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name. -Ends-

Thursday, 5 June 2014

An NUI Galway spin-out company, Sedicii.com, have beaten thousands of other start-ups competing for the honour of appearing at TechCrunch Disrupt. TechCrunch Disrupt is seen as one of the critical battlefields for globally facing tech start-ups to prove their mettle.  Once a year the most promising stat-ups on the planet get an opportunity to pitch their ideas on the TechCrunch stage in the hunt for a prize of $50,000. The pitches take place in front of one of the most influential groups of angels and investors in the world today with the exposure gained often leading to substantial investment in the start-ups. Sedicii.com is a startup company that was incorporated as a result of an EI funded commercialisation project carried out by the Applied Innovations group in Insight at NUI Galway, in collaboration with Robert Leslie of GBRDirect. Building on original work by Dr Slavomir Grzoncowski in the area of zero knowledge proofs, Sedici has been developed into an authentication system and is being further developed into a federated identity verification system. British Telecom (BT) took a strong interest in the federated identity verification aspect of Sedici and have now named Sedicii.com as winner of its BT Infinity Lab competition. The prize is TechHub membership and desks for the six months, and BT is providing a team of technical and commercial people to validate the technology and to evaluate commercial opportunities. Further contact information Robert Leslie at rob.leslie@sedicii.com or visit www.sedicii.com. -Ends-  

Friday, 6 June 2014

The 18th annual Health Promotion Research Centre Summer Conference will take place at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 11 June in Áras Moyola. Plenary lectures, workshops, oral and poster presentations will focus on ‘Applying the Principles of Health Promotion to Population Health Improvement’.   In the context of the national policy framework ‘Healthy Ireland’, which was launched last, this conference brings together practitioners, researchers, academics and policy makers to consider the impact of Health Promotion on population health and how the core principles of Health Promotion can be applied in Ireland. Professor Louise Potvin, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Community Approaches and Health Inequalities at the Université de Montréal, Canada will deliver a keynote lecture which argues for population health intervention research as an emerging yet fundamental science for Health Promotion. Professor Potvin said: “It is vital that we base interventions to improve health on clear good-quality research and ensure that this is translated into policy and practice nationally and internationally. We should also manage to learn more from the innovative practices of practitioners and community organisations and research their efforts to improve the local conditions.” Dr Antony Morgan, an epidemiologist and Associate Director, at the Centre for Public Health Excellence, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), England, will discuss the Assets Model for improving health and wellbeing. The Assets Model, rather than focusing on a deficits or needs approach, identifies the potential strengths of individuals and communities and promotes joint solutions between communities and outside agencies. Dr Morgan said: “The Assets model provides some of the answers to unlocking persistent barriers to reducing health inequalities at the population level.” Biddy O’Neill, Barry McGinn and Cate Hartigan of the HSE will bring the national perspective to the plenary sessions in the conference. The implications and opportunities for Health and Wellbeing services in Ireland as a result of implementation of Healthy Ireland and the impact on service management and evaluation will be discussed. This session is relevant to delegates as practitioners or indeed as service users.   Participants will also hear and debate the latest research on alcohol misuse, food environments, men’s health and physical activity promotion affecting the Irish population across the life span. Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Annual Conference 2014, said: “The conference is a key event in the Health Promotion calendar in Ireland and it provides a unique opportunity to debate the issues and challenges facing Ireland as it strives to be a healthy society. The platform provided by the conference will help to showcase and disseminate the impact of health promotion on population health improvement in Ireland.” -Ends-   

Monday, 9 June 2014

Two NUI Galway students and an NUI Galway staff member have been invited to Las Vegas to share their EXPLORE project, ‘NUI Galway Mobile App’, which won the Best Presentation Award at the Blackboard European Teaching and Learning Conference in Dublin last week. The ‘NUI Galway Mobile App’ is being developed by Fionn Delahunty, a first year psychology student and Darren Kelly, a first year Biomedical Science student, both in NUI Galway and both from Salthill, Galway City. Fionn and Darren originally decided to make an app which would enhance the first year experience and this project was a fit for the EXPLORE campus innovation initiative.   Speaking about the app, Fionn said: “We soon realised that an app with just a few key functions and without a major cost was the solution and it had to be made with staff and student collaboration. We came across Mosaic by Blackboard which seemed like a perfect platform, allowing us to spend time gathering information with the knowledge that all we had to do is bring it back and plug it in for a functioning app. We approached and received an enthusiastic response from Dr Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director with CELT, NUI Galway, as well as Zara Sheerin and John Caulfield in the Marketing and Communications Office. Then the ‘NUI Galway Mobile App’ journey began.” The NUI Galway Mobile App features campus maps, tours, student mail and much more. The app responded to a campus need desired by many students, whilst using the skills and experience available around the University to produce an app that is useful to almost everyone on campus.  Dr Sharon Flynn, Assistant Director with CELT, NUI Galway, added: “The Student-As-Producer aspect to this project has been core to its success. This is an app designed by students for students, meeting their needs, based on their experience, and as staff members we're delighted to be in a position to facilitate that.” As winners of the Best Presentation Award at the Blackboard European Teaching and Learning Conference, Dr Flynn, Fionn and Darren will now invited to present to a global audience at the Blackboard World conference in Las Vegas in July where they will be joined by over 2,500 education experts and practitioners.  The NUI Galway Mobile App will be available mid-July from the Apple Store. More information on the EXPLORE projects are available at http://www.su.nuigalway.ie/projects. -Ends-

Monday, 9 June 2014

Tom Healy, Chair of the Fulbright Scholarship Board, officially announced 40 new Irish Fulbright Awardees at an event at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence. Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and U.S. 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. Among the 40 awardees were six winners from NUI Galway: Dr Gavin Collins is a lecturer in microbiology and European Research Council Fellow at NUI Galway, and a British Science Association Media Fellow at The Irish Times. As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California Berkeley, Dr Collins will investigate microbial genomics in bioenergy production and enhanced oil recovery processes. Professor Fidelma Dunne is the Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway. Professor Dunne will research alongside Professor Mary D’Alton at Columbia University in New York. She will compare and contrast the screening for and clinical outcomes for women with Gestational Diabetes in both states to include a cost benefit analysis. Colm Mac Fhionnghaile is an MA candidate in Modern Irish at NUI Galway. Colm will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant in the University of Connecticut. Dr Emer Mulligan is Head of the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. As a Fulbright-CRH Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Dr Mulligan’s research activities will focus on taxation in practice in US multinational corporations and US tax policy and administration. Julanne Murphy completed a Professional Diploma in Education at NUI Galway in 2012 and is currently a secondary school teacher at Ardscoil Ris, Limerick. Julanne will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. Alena Yuryna Connolly is currently undertaking a PhD in Information Systems Security at NUI Galway. While at the University of California Berkeley, Alena will research socio-cultural measures that promote security-cautious behaviour of employees in organisational settings. Patrick McDermott, Chair of the Fulbright Commission Board, commented: “The breadth and diversity of specialist knowledge, combined with immense leadership ability, makes this contingent an incredibly powerful group of representatives for Ireland. Each individual has overcome a rigorous selection process where research and study objectives were judged based on their potential to drive the Irish knowledge economy. “However, their mission extends even beyond academia. Fulbrighters are recognized for their capacity to forge meaningful collaborations between Ireland and the US. This element of inter-country collaboration is crucial to driving creativity which is at the core of all innovation and Fulbright itself. “Recognising global needs in digital technology, the Irish Fulbright Commission has also launched the TechImpact Awards this year. These are new short-term grants intended to facilitate faster movement for cutting edge digital research. This year six TechImpact candidates will explore areas such as optical communications, online laboratory environments, human-computer interaction technology and digital humanities.” A number of other agencies sponsor Fulbright Awards including CRH plc, Enterprise Ireland, the Marine Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency and Teagasc. The Irish Language Awards for teachers are supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht and the National Lottery. Speaking about the diverse nature of the awardees, Colleen Dube, Executive Director of the Fulbright Commission, added; “Year on year Irish Fulbrighters provide a fascinating insight into the direction of progressive global research. This year we have seen a particular increase in research that crosses traditional academic boundaries as the digital world impacts on everything around it. Fulbright provides a unique platform for Ireland’s brightest scholars to forge ahead in breaking new ground, while collaborating with other world class researchers in making a genuine difference to society.” The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Tuesday, 26 August, 2014. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website, www.fulbright.ie, for more information. All applications for the 2015-2016 academic year will be due on Wednesday, 12 November, 2014. -Ends-