Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Expert Group led by the NUI Galway Whitaker Institute and the Western Development Commission also calls for a review of Remote Work Tax Relief An expert group, building on the findings of the National Remote Work Surveys and stakeholder consultations, has called on the Government to introduce a range of measures to support continued remote working. The Group made up of representatives from the NUI Galway Whitaker Institute, the Western Development Commission (WDC), and industry met with various companies, key employer and employee representative organisations and policy stakeholders throughout 2020 and has identified several recommendations for both organisations and government. While the report was written during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has acted as a catalyst for identifying the opportunities and challenges of remote working, it is aimed at identifying policies and practices which will support remote working in a post pandemic environment.  The report draws on remote working experiences from several companies who have well-established remote working practices before COVID-19. The report includes case studies and survey findings from a number of both large and small organisations including Cisco, Ervia, MHP Solicitors, Togán Labs and Employflex. Sinéad Redmond, Chief Operating Officer of Togán Labs, a small tech company operating on a fully remote basis says “ We are scattered around the country, with the majority of our people living rurally, one of the great benefits of remote working cultures being the possibility of reinvigorating rural communities and opening up life outside the standard 6.30am commuter run to a city. I love remote working for what it's given me back - so much more time in my day I used to lose to commuting and trying to do all the preparation work of being out of the house for the day.” For organisations, the group recommends the key need for leadership in supporting remote working. This will mean visible leadership from senior leaders in supporting remote workers, particularly in a mix of onsite and remote to avoid an approach that disadvantages those working remotely in terms of career development and opportunity. Structured social interaction, training on how to work remotely and support for early-career workers is crucial. For government, the group recommends various actions including awareness raising campaigns on health & safety guidance and working time legislation. Government should explore extending the right to request flexible working to all workers whose work can be completed remotely for some or all of time.  Balanced regional development, greater labour market participation and reduced emissions are just some of the significant benefits that can be accrued from remote working and which Government should support. The expert group also believe there is a need to review the applicable tax relief (the current €3.20 daily eWorking Allowance) so that it takes accounts of the costs and savings of remote working for both the employee and the employer. The report builds on and includes the findings of the two phases of the national remote working surveys during 2020. The most recent data published in October 2020 found that, among those who can work remotely, 94% were in favour of working remotely on an on-going basis for some or all the time.  The majority of those, 54%, said they would like to work remotely several times a week, 27% said five days a week and 13% said several times a month.  Speaking about the national surveys and the remote working expert group’s report, Professor Alma McCarthy said “Our research indicates that the majority of employees who can work remotely have a clear preference to continue to do so for some or all of their working week. There are many policy and employer considerations in moving to more remote working, the expert group’s report aims to help organisations and Government in how best to plan for and manage remote working”. Chair of the Group, WDC CEO Tomás Ó Síocháin said “The publication of this report is timely. Remote working offers significant benefits to the individual and to society. It can improve the work and personal lives of both rural and urban dwellers and offer new opportunities to both employers and employees. However, it is important to note that each organisation must make a conscious decision to support remote working. It requires senior leaders to embrace and lead it in each organisation. If they do, it can be transformative, sustainable, and to the benefit of all in the long run.” In late 2019, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Western Development Commission, building on ongoing work in this area over many years, met with the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway to discuss remote working. The discussion was prompted by three trends: improving technology, the transition to a low carbon economy and an increase in the demand for, and incidence of, remote working. It was decided to establish a working group to look at remote working opportunities and challenges which led to setting up the WDC-NUI Galway Whitaker Institute Expert Group on Remote Working. The members of the expert group, along with the Chair, Tomás Ó Síocháin, WDC CEO are Professor Alma McCarthy, Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, Mark Gantly, Chair of the Regional Skills Forum West, Emma Kerins, Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Chambers Ireland, Brian O’Donoghue, Systems Engineer, Cisco and Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst, WDC. View and download the full report HERE. View and download the executive summary HERE. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, today announced the appointment of Professor Anne Scott, Vice-President for Equality and Diversity, NUI Galway as the new Chairperson of the CervicalCheck Steering Committee. Minister Donnelly said: “I am delighted Professor Scott has accepted this appointment as independent Chairperson of the CervicalCheck Steering Committee. She brings a considerable wealth of experience from various roles in Ireland and abroad, and I believe she will make a substantial and valuable contribution to this important work. Significant progress has been made in addressing the issues the Committee was established to manage originally in 2018, so I have asked Professor Scott, in consultation with the key stakeholders, to consider what the key terms of reference are for the next phase of the work. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the members of the Committee since 2018 for the significant work completed to date and the vital role they have played in the policy response to the many issues that arose in relation to the CervicalCheck programme. “Under Professor Scott’s leadership, I want the Committee to continue to contribute to the important work to restore the CervicalCheck screening programme as a leading international cancer screening programme, improve public trust and confidence in screening, and further the global aim to eradicate cervical cancer.” Professor Anne Scott said:“I am delighted to accept the invitation by Minister Donnelly to Chair the CervicalCheck Steering Committee. As we move to the next phase of the Steering Committee activity, I look forward to working collaboratively with Committee members to continue to progress this important agenda in the interests of the health of women in Ireland. We must continue to focus on the strategic longer term goals to ensure a sustainable and effective cervical screening programme that maintains public confidence.”  -Ends-  

Monday, 14 December 2020

NUI Galway will lead three research projects as part of a coordinated COVID-19 Rapid Response Research, Development and Innovation programme. Announced by Government Ministers today the new investment of €10.5 million will support 39 COVID-19 research and innovation projects. The three NUI Galway projects awarded almost €700,000 in total will investigate: How do the antibodies our bodies make affect the course of disease in COVID-19; Respecting People with disabilities’ Needs and rights in Crisis and Emergency; and Crisis coping for marginalised youth: living and learning through COVID-19. Dr Michelle Kilcoyne a researcher and lecturer in Glycosciences at NUI Galway, will lead a project that looks at one of the ways that our bodies can fight the COVID-19 virus, by making antibodies against it. These antibodies in the blood can either stop the virus directly, or recruit cells of the immune system to kill it. However, this recruitment of immune cells is not well studied in COVID-19, and it may contribute to more severe symptoms of disease. Science Foundation Ireland is funding the project to clarify the links between blood antibodies, virus-killing activity and symptoms in patients. At present, it is not known exactly how our immune system’s antibody response to the COVID-19 virus is linked to how mild or severe the symptoms are. The research project will examine blood samples from patients with COVID-19 and look at how the type and amount of antibodies link with recruitment of immune cells and the patient’s experience of the disease. By understanding more about how the body reacts to the COVID-19 virus, and how that links to disease, the findings will help inform how to vaccinate against and treat COVID-19. Dr Michelle Kilcoyne, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway, says: “Developing vaccines and antibody therapies depends on using a particular viral antigen to recruit the correct immune response, or effector function, in the patient. However, antibody effector functions for particular viral antigens are not well studied in COVID-19 patients, and different effector functions may be linked to disease severity and outcome. Combining a strong team of clinicians and research scientists, we are applying a multiplexed and high throughput approach to understand the link between the viral antigen, the individual patient effector function, and disease severity.” Professor Eilionóir Flynn, Established Professor, School of Law and Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, will lead a new project supported by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council that will look at decisions made during the pandemic in several European countries and their impact on people with disabilities. The research will provide guidance for decision-making bodies to help them maintain their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Strategic decisions made by countries and healthcare systems in the pandemic may not always support the rights of people with disabilities. Using a framework developed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, this project will analyse laws, policies and guidelines that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, Spain, UK, Italy, Sweden and Germany. The project will provide guidance to governments, medical councils and healthcare professionals in order to maintain obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Professor Eilionóir Flynn, NUI Galway, says: “Emerging research findings, including from the International Disability Alliance and other disability groups, demonstrate that disabled people globally are disproportionately impacted by the current pandemic. Not only are disabled people at greater risk of contracting the virus and experiencing adverse effects (especially those living in institutional settings) but they are also disproportionately affected by restrictions in access to community services and supports. This research will help us to understand in more depth how countries can respond to the challenge in ways that protect the human rights of disabled people.” Professors Pat Dolan and Gerry Mac Ruairc will lead a project focusing on young people aged between 12 and 18 who are marginalised or are at high risk during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, and there is evidence that the most marginalised are becoming increasingly disconnected from school. Funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council, the project will work with marginalised young people and their families to come up with ways of coping with and improving wellbeing. The results will be tailor-made approaches and supports for marginalised young people, as well as evidence to inform policymakers and provide tools for important stakeholders, such as teachers and parents. Young people who are marginalised are at risk of disengaging from school, and from society more generally, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The research will work with marginalised young people and their families to come up with new ways to support those at risk. By developing solutions with marginalised young people, the project can inform strategies that can help them engage with school and reduce the risk of disengagement. Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway, said: “The pandemic has posed very particular threats to the education and wellbeing of marginalised youth in Ireland.” Professor Gerry MacRuairc, School of Education, NUI Galway, said: “This project is a unique opportunity not just to research the problem but, working directly with youth and their schools, to come up with real-world, practical solutions.” President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, commented: “I wish to extend my warm congratulations to Michelle, Eilionóir, Pat and Gerry on being included on the COVID-19 Research and Innovation projects announced by Government today. Research excellence is one of NUI Galway’s strategic values and is to the forefront of everything we do, and in particular when tackling the response to the COVID-19 crisis. Our main aim is to serve the public good and these diverse projects highlight how our values of respect, sustainability and excellence show we are working not only to address the health challenges created by this pandemic, but also our understanding of the social implications.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said: “Once again it is tremendous to see projects of this high calibre being led from NUI Galway in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This diverse range of disciplines highlights the innovative work being carried out by our research and innovation community in Galway. Ireland’s COVID-19 Rapid Response research and innovation funding initiative is a welcome support to these efforts, and I congratulate today’s awardees whose projects seek to address the challenges we face resulting from the pandemic in order to benefit healthcare and the wider society.” The projects included in the coordinated COVID-19 Rapid Response Research, Development and Innovation programme are supported by Science Foundation Ireland, in partnership with the Department for the Economy and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland, and the Irish Research Council and Health Research Board. Commenting on the awards Simon Harris, TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science said: “I’m delighted to announce this significant investment into furthering our understanding of COVID-19 and finding solutions to the challenges the pandemic has presented to our society and economy. As we move closer to commencing a vaccination programme, we need to understand that the virus has not gone away – supporting our expert researchers in our higher education institutions will help us to safely reopen our society. This latest research also includes nine all-island research projects, which is really exciting. COVID-19 does not know any borders. Working together across this island will help us in our fight.” Nine all-Ireland research projects were supported in areas such as surveillance in wastewater, disruption to food supply chains and a collaboration to investigate potential therapeutics. Commenting on the projects supported by the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, the Economy Minister, Diane Dodds, said: “This virus knows no frontiers and it is vital that the world-class research strengths of Northern Ireland universities are fully harnessed to address the common challenges we are all now facing right across this island, north and south. Collaboration between researchers promotes innovative and impactful outcomes and this has been underlined by the way the global science community has come together to address the threats and opportunities posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This SFI programme is very much part of this wider global effort and I welcome the opportunity it has provided for added-value collaboration across both our jurisdictions.” Welcoming the investment, Stephen Donnelly, TD, Minister for Health, said: “Research has been a key part of our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and we will continue to rely on research in the months ahead. This year, we have not just experienced a pandemic, we have also seen an infodemic. There has been an overload of often unreliable information. We have seen examples of this in relation to the use of vaccines and on unproven medicines. As we plan to introduce a COVID-19 vaccination programme, it is essential that we tackle things like misinformation. Many of these research projects will provide evidence to help us do that. I look forward to using the findings from this research for the benefit of Irish people, the health system and society.” -Ends-

Monday, 14 December 2020

Trawling introduces disturbing noise to deeper waters around submarine canyons and marine mammal habitats The noise of bottom trawling in or near underwater canyons can disturb protected mammals such as fin whales and beaked whales in important feeding grounds and along migratory paths, researchers have revealed. The team based with iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre for Applied Geosciences in NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, used hydrophones to record the impact of working trawlers on the marine environment in two surveys in the Irish Sea and Celtic Sea.  The iCRAG team said the research shows ecologically sensitive areas of the oceans need stronger environmental protection from the wide variety of potential pollution sources, including bottom trawling. Lead author on the study, Eoghan Daly, iCRAG PhD researcher with Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, said bottom trawling noise can be amplified in the sea to levels that could cause disturbance to marine life. “Raised levels of marine noise can interfere with a marine mammal’s ability to communicate, hunt and navigate using echolocation,” Mr Daly said.  “Human-derived noise in the world’s oceans comes from many sources, including shipping and exploration. Bottom trawling, the noise it creates and how it spreads in the sea, has received little attention to date. “Submarine canyons are similar to those on land and serve to channel the noise from nearby trawling due to their shape and rapid change in depth compared to nearby slopes.  “In an ocean already faced with plastic pollution and climate change, a better understanding of trawler noise pollution will highlight it as another human impact on the marine ecosystem.” The research findings have been published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.  The iCRAG team modelled how the noise generated by bottom trawling travelled through the water column, along the seabed and through a 20km long submarine canyon in the Porcupine Basin on the continental margin, off the south-west coast of Ireland. Analysis showed that the noise is focussed through underwater canyons and is carried to deeper waters, having a potentially harmful effect on the marine environment and the protected mammals which feed in them and migrate through them.  The team also found that modelled trawler sound generated on the seabed travels underwater more efficiently than sound generated at the surface by boats, adding to the potential for trawling to have a negative effect on the surrounding marine environment. The research team hopes that their findings can contribute to better environmental regulations surrounding bottom trawling in the vicinity of key marine habitats, Marine Protected Areas and potentially for any additional Special Areas of Conservation within Irish waters, in line with government plans to expand protected areas in the future.  NUI Galway’s Dr Martin White said: “The research fills an important gap in marine noise pollution monitoring. “Areas such as the Porcupine Basin and the wider European continental margin are ecologically sensitive and trawlers operating in this part of the Atlantic Ocean have more powerful engines and heavier gear.  “The enhanced currents and nutrient mixing in these parts of the ocean helps create good conditions for cold water coral mounds and for associated invertebrates, fish and mammals to thrive. Marine life should be protected from the wide variety of pollution sources, including ship noise, pile driving and from bottom trawling, as we now know.” Ends

Monday, 14 December 2020

Researchers from NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin are inviting teenagers to take part in a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their lives The Schools of Psychology in NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin have collaborated on a study to find out how teenagers are coping with and responding to the ongoing restrictions and changes in their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teenagers aged from 12 to 18 years are invited to take part in the study and if interested in taking part, parental consent is necessary. There are three surveys being carried out over 12 months, with each taking about 15 minutes to complete. Young people have experienced many changes in their personal lives and have witnessed many changes in the lives of others over the last nine months. They have made many sacrifices to protect themselves, members of their family and the broader community. It is important we understand the impact of these changes on our teenagers. The research team are interested in finding out about the impact of the pandemic on young people’s mental health and wellbeing; and what has helped young people adjust to the ongoing restrictions and changes to their lives. They would also like to identify what has been most difficult for teenagers in recent months and whether any positive changes occurred for young people. Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said: “The physical distancing measures that are in place, the limitations placed on opportunities for fun and recreational activities and the restrictions on our movements in recent times, can reduce the opportunities for face-to-face contact outside of the home. These restrictions may be particularly significant during adolescence, a time when social interaction with peers is of paramount importance.” Dr Lorraine Swords, from the School of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, reminds us of the frustrations that young people may experience as their freedom and independence may be curtailed at a time when it is developmentally appropriate for it to be extended. To find out more or to take part in the study, visit: https://www.adaptresearchstudy.com/ or contact Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology at caroline.heary@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 11 December 2020

Model emergency housing legislation addresses rented and mortgaged housing, migrant and refugee housing, housing for people with disabilities and those facing homelessness Dr Padraic Kenna from the School of Law in NUI Galway, has drafted Model Emergency Housing Legislation on housing rights with the Open Society Justice Initiative in New York, and international housing rights experts. The Model Emergency Housing Legislation is based on existing laws around the world, but builds on these to include housing rights for all. It can be used by human rights advocates and legislators to integrate the universally recognised right to housing into a binding national law.   To coincide with the release of the model legislation, the launch of a new report ‘Protecting the Right to Housing during the COVID-19 Crisis’ examines the measures taken by countries across the world in relation to housing during the pandemic. In March 2020, Ireland took immediate action to deal with the risk to human life and public health posed by COVID-19. Emergency legislation to prevent the spread of the disease and mitigate its adverse economic consequences included a rent freeze and a ban on evictions. Guidance for protecting homeless and vulnerable groups was issued in April. In line with European Banking Authority Guidelines, mortgage lenders in Ireland vowed to defer legal proceedings and repossessions against borrowers in default, and to extend payment holidays to homeowners hit by the pandemic. While medical advances will now, hopefully, protect people from the disease, it is generally accepted that the adverse economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue for some time. Just as there has been amazing progress in medicine, now is also the time to make progress in developing housing rights. Emergency measures on housing rights must be extended and developed to ensure the right to adequate housing for all. Dr Padraic Kenna, Senior Lecturer in Law, and Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway, said: “Many countries have implemented legislation to prevent evictions and rent rises during the COVID-19 pandemic. We now need to build on those housing rights protections in the context of the economic consequences of the pandemic. “This model emergency housing legislation addresses rented and mortgaged housing, but also housing rights protection for people in informal and temporary settlements, migrant and refugee housing, housing for people with disabilities and those facing homelessness. These are often the people who are most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 due to poor sanitation and overcrowding.” Marguerite Angelari, J.D., Senior Legal Officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative, involved in the drafting of the model legislation, said: “Governments must now take a comprehensive legislative approach to protecting the right to housing until the public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is over. We hope this model legislation will act as a catalyst for the acceptance of comprehensive legislation to ensure the right to housing is protected.” Economic hardship, globally, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted housing for millions around the world, accelerating homelessness, evictions, and the loss of home ownership. Even before the pandemic, approximately 1.8 billion people globally lived in what international bodies characterised as “grossly inadequate” housing conditions and homelessness. Adequate housing is a key factor affecting a person’s likelihood of being severely impacted by COVID-19, including their ability to socially distance and access clean water and sanitation. Leilani Farha, Global Director for The Shift, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing, and 2020 Open Society Foundations Fellow, said: “COVID-19 has laid bare the global housing crisis. The proliferation of homelessness, and inadequate, overcrowded, and unaffordable housing is the result of governments having prioritized housing as a means for financial investors to generate profit rather than treating it as a basic necessity and a human right. Governments must ensure domestic legislation protects housing as a human right in a manner consistent with their international human rights obligations.” The Model Emergency Housing Legislation is available here: https://bit.ly/2Lk5tmJ To read the report ‘Protecting the Right to Housing during the COVID-19 Crisis’ is available here: https://bit.ly/3lUvdTn For more about the Open Society Justice Initiative, visit: https://www.justiceinitiative.org/ -Ends-

Friday, 11 December 2020

Team behind Geec battery powered car develop fuel savings aerodynamics for HGVs The team behind the Galway Energy-Efficient Car at NUI Galway have been crowned European champions in a major student engineering competition. Usually the team would race at Shell Eco-marathon Europe, where the tests are ones of efficiency rather than speed but with slim prospects for track time this year the students took part in design competitions as part of the 2021 virtual programme. The team excelled by identifying aerodynamics as a major cause of energy loss in heavy trucks and proposed easily fitted modifications for conventional HGVs and lorries, reducing energy waste and CO2 emissions by about one fifth. Professor Peter McHugh, Head of School of Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “This is a truly amazing achievement for NUI Galway Engineering students, supported by our enthusiastic and hardworking staff. “This success is further confirmation of the world leading nature of our Engineering education at the University and the world-class calibre of our students. “It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and commitment of our students still very much to the fore even in these challenging times.” The Geec road freight team were declared outright winners of the European region for their research and innovation on improving aerodynamics of heavy trucks in the category of Decarbonising Road Freight Transport. Norman Koch, Global General Manager of Shell Eco-marathon, singled out the Geec for a special commendation. Mr Koch said: "The team did a phenomenal job across all these categories they entered, and the scores were extremely tight. So well done to the team. A lot of hard work there and some amazing results." Éanna Wood, a second-year Mechanical Engineering student and member of the road freight team, said: “We found the biggest aerodynamic inefficiencies associated with modern HGVs and designed parts to reduce these. Overall, these aerodynamic improvements could reduce fuel consumption by over 20% at motorway speeds.”  Eoghan Moylan, fourth year in Mechanical Engineering, explained the modifications: “The aim was to reduce aerodynamic drag across the whole vehicle. The first part is the front wind deflector, which also benefits safety by preventing access to the blind spot under the windscreen and also provides for energy absorption in the event of a collision. “The second part is the use of shroud between the truck cab and trailer, preventing turbulent airflow forming in this gap. The third part is a combination of dimpled wheel covers and vortex generators to minimise the extent of turbulent airflow at the rotating wheels and the end of the trailer.” Adam Fahey, Geec team member and 4th year Electronic and Computer Engineering student, said: “The team are hugely grateful to everybody who voted across Galway and Ireland and the amazing support we have received on social media. “We are limited in what we can do with the Geec itself this year but that has allowed us to devote our time and energy to other areas and apply our expertise in new and innovative ways. “Our achievements so far speak volumes about the talent being supported and empowered here in NUI Galway.”  sGeec facts - :: The car is designed, built, driven and raced by NUI Galway students from Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic, Electronic and Computer, and Energy Systems engineering, from first to fourth year. :: The three-wheeled single-seat battery-electric Geec has been designed, developed and raced since 2013 and ranked in the top 15 energy-efficient cars in Europe. :: The car achieved the equivalent of more than 10,000 miles per gallon on a London street circuit. :: The Geec won the prestigious Technical Innovation Award at Shell Eco-marathon Europe in 2018. Ends

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Dr Anne O’Connor from the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures in NUI Galway has received the first ever European Research Council Consolidator grant awarded to a project on translation and the first ever Consolidator grant in languages in Ireland. Dr O’Connor’s PIETRA project is the first, large-scale, multilingual study of the translation products and processes that underpin communication in global religion. The project focuses on translation practices in the institution of the Catholic Church and the multilingual communication of religious messages against a background of technological change. PIETRA studies how the Catholic Church has used forms of mass media in its communicative goals, asking key questions about the consistency of message in a large multilingual institution across different languages, cultures and communicative formats. The ERC announced the winners on (9 December 2020) of its latest Consolidator Grant competition for mid-career researchers. The funding is part of the EU’s current research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, and worth in total €655 million. With this support, the new grantees will be able to consolidate their teams and have far reaching impact. In this call, researchers of 39 nationalities received Consolidator Grants. The research projects proposed by the new grantees cover a wide range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, social sciences and humanities. Speaking about her award, Dr Anne O’Connor, NUI Galway, said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been awarded this prestigious grant from the European Research Council. It provides an exciting opportunity to study the multilingual output and translation strategies of large institutions and will allow us to develop novel insights into religious translation worldwide. I am extremely grateful to all of my colleagues at NUI Galway who have helped me in preparing the grant proposal and delighted to have such positive news at the end of this challenging year.”   Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, NUI Galway, said: “This is a remarkable project that considers a huge challenge for a religious organisation like the Catholic Church: how to keep a consistent message across different languages in an era of massive transformations in communication associated with social media, including Facebook and Twitter. How does a global church respond in real time? The project will capture this through big data analysis and fine grained reading of meaning in multiple languages. I can’t wait to see the results.” PIETRA analyses the translation processes and products of the Catholic Church across three different media (print, web and social media) and in two different time periods to advance understandings of how multilingual dissemination intersects with technological change and institutional ideology. The innovative methodological design offers a completely new approach to the study of religious translation, on a scale that has not been attempted before. ERC President, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, commented: “This funding not only empowers bright minds from across Europe to pursue their most ambitious ideas at a critical stage of their careers, but also helps train the youngest generation of researchers as members of their ERC teams. To prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, Europe must stick to the vision of investing in frontier research, which has proved time and again its crucial added value. That is why so many count on Europe’s leaders to endow the “Excellent Science” pillar of Horizon Europe with the resources essential to strengthen Europe as a whole.” -Ends-

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Dr Kathryn Schoenrock, a postdoctoral researcher from the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway is this year’s winner of the Irish Research Council’s Early Career Researcher of the Year award. The award for Early Career Researcher of the Year is given to a current or former Irish Research Council awardee who is at an early stage in their career. They must be currently working in research in an academic institution and have demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in their field at this stage in their career. Dr Schoenrock’s research focus is kelp forest ecology along the coastlines of Ireland, which looks at how they house and provide food for the marine animals in their ecosystem. Kelp forests are known to be a habitat for hundreds to thousands of marine species and recently, they have been highlighted as an important blue carbon repository that may buffer climate change impacts to marine habitats by sequestering the increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As a postdoctoral researcher in Ireland, Dr Schoenrock led an intensive kelp forest monitoring effort over the past three years, which is the first effort of its kind. Her ground-breaking work in this field has made her the authoritative voice on Irish kelp forest ecology, and the productivity and biodiversity of these systems in nearshore waters. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “I’d like to congratulate Kathryn on winning this year’s Irish Research Council Early Career Researcher of the Year award. We are very proud of her work. Research defines us as a university and defines the excellence of NUI Galway. Kathryn’s work is inter-disciplinary, openly drawing on many different perspectives to increase our understanding of the marine environment which, given our location, is particularly important to our university. Awards such as this sustain the next generation of excellence in research so it is wonderful to see the quality of Kathryn’s research being respected and acknowledged in this way. Congratulations to her and we wish her every future success.” Speaking about her award, Dr Kathryn Schoenrock, Ryan Institute, NUI Galway, said: “I’m very honoured to receive this award and that this particular field of research is being commended. What’s really nice is that this research could be applied to many technologies and pharmaceuticals. While this is basic natural history, I’m delighted it’s being recognised as essential for our understanding of the natural world, which is very encouraging for our future.” Director of the Irish Research Council, Peter Brown, said: “Our annual Researcher of the Year awards are about recognising the very best and brightest of the Council’s current and former awardees. The standard this year was exceedingly high, and the judging panel found it difficult in many cases to choose a winner, which is a testament to the high calibre of researchers we have here in Ireland. “We launched our five-year strategic plan this year and supporting excellent ideas and talent across all disciplines is at the heart of the Council’s mandate. Having a vibrant research community, and fostering public support for research is vital, as we continue to see the positive impact it has on society, the environment, and the economy.” To hear more about Kathryn’s research, watch the following short video:  https://youtu.be/YSlfgeYNMZ8 -Ends-

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

The first female conductor at the Academy Awards, the founder of the Galway Advertiser and the man who spearheaded the global Covid-19 response are among 14 individuals who will be conferred with Honorary Degrees by NUI Galway in 2021. Galway-born composer Eímear Noone made history at the Oscars last February when she led the orchestra which performed the music of composers shortlisted for Best Original Score. Ronnie O'Gorman is the founder and owner of the Galway Advertiser. He is a renowned historian and key to the restoration of Coole Park/Thoor Ballylee and he has been at the heart of the development of Galway through his promotion of the west and the region culturally and historically. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has steered responses to lethal disease outbreaks around the world, including Covid-19, and worked in some of the world’s trouble spots, including Iraq where he was taken hostage. Others included in NUI Galway’s 2021 Honorary Conferring span the world of arts, media, academia, healthcare and business. The full list includes: Dick Byrne - Architect by profession and life-long contributor to the arts in Galway. Professor David Harper - Professor of Palaeontology at Durham University and leading international expert on palaeontology and evolution. Jean Kelly - Retired Chief Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Saolta University Health Care Group, University Hospital Galway. Professor Hubert McDermott - Former Professor of English at NUI Galway and former Governing Authority member. Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin - Director of International Biotechnology, University of California, Davis. Eímear Noone - Renowned musical conductor and composer. Máirtín O’Connor - Renowned traditional musician and composer. Ronnie O’Gorman - Founder and owner of Galway Advertiser. Mary O’Malley - Renowned poet and member of Aosdána. Evelyn O’Toole - Founder and CEO of Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS). Bob Quinn - Film-maker, director, photographer, writer, editor and member of Aosdána. Dr Mike Ryan - Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organisation (WHO).                         Professor Jerome Sheahan - Retired statistician/mathematician, NUI Galway. Ailbhe Smyth - Irish academic and activist. Speaking about the conferrals, President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. “Each one has made an excellent and distinctive contribution to public life, the betterment of society and the interests of humanity. “NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to respect and recognise these exceptional individuals. Each of those we honour also have a special bond with our region - drawing on the unique experiences, strengths and challenges with which we as a University also engage – our values of Respect, Openness, Sustainability, and Excellence; our profile on human rights, and our emphasis on excellence, creativity and innovation. In honouring these exceptional individuals, we also signal what we value in areas that matter to us and to our society.” The University aims to hold the Honorary Conferring ceremony next summer in line with public health guidelines. -Ends   Céimithe Oinigh 2021 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh Tá an chéad stiúrthóir ban ag Gradaim Acadamh Ealaíon agus Eolaíochtaí na Scannán (Academy Awards), bunaitheoir an Galway Advertiser agus an fear a bhí i gceannas ar fhreagairt dhomhanda Covid-19 i measc na gceithre dhuine dhéag a mbronnfaidh OÉ Gaillimh Céimeanna Oinigh orthu in 2021. Rinne an cumadóir Eímear Noone, a rugadh i nGaillimh, rud nach ndearnadh riamh cheana ag na Gradaim Oscar i mí Feabhra seo caite; ba í a bhí i mbun an cheolfhoireann a chas ceol na gcumadóirí a bhí ar an ngearrliosta don Scór Bunaidh is Fearr a stiúradh. Is é Ronnie O’Gorman bunaitheoir agus úinéir an Galway Advertiser. Is staraí iomráiteach é agus bhí páirt lárnach aige in athchóiriú Pháirc na Cúile/Thúr Bhaile Uí Laoigh agus bhí sé i gcroílár fhorbairt na Gaillimhe leis an gcaoi ar chuir sé an iarthar agus an réigiún chun cinn go cultúrtha agus go stairiúil. Ghlac Mike Ryan, stiúrthóir feidhmiúcháin na hEagraíochta Domhanda Sláinte (WHO), le dúshláin a bhain le ráigeanna galair mharfacha ar fud an domhain, lena n-áirítear Covid-19, agus d’oibrigh sé i gcuid de na háiteanna is mó dainseár ar domhan, lena n-áirítear an Iaráic áit ar tógadh é ina ghiall. Cuimsítear saol na n-ealaíon, na meán, an saol acadúil, cúram sláinte agus gnó leis an gcuid eile de na daoine ar a mbronnfar Céim Oinigh 2021 de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Is é seo an liosta iomlán: Dick Byrne – Ailtire a chuireann go mór leis na healaíona i nGaillimh.     An tOllamh David Harper – Ollamh le Pailé-ointeolaíocht in Ollscoil Durham agus saineolaí idirnáisiúnta mór le rá ar phailé-ointeolaíocht agus ar éabhlóid.                                      Jean Kelly – Príomh-Stiúrthóir Altranais agus Cnáimhseachais ar scor, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ollscoile Saolta, Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh.                                              An tOllamh Hubert McDermott – iarOllamh le Béarla in OÉ Gaillimh agus iarbhall d’Údarás na hOllscoile.                        An Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin – Stiúrthóir International Biotechnology, Ollscoil California, Davis. Eímear Noone – Stiúrthóir agus cumadóir ceoil iomráiteach.                                        Máirtín O’Connor – Ceoltóir traidisiúnta agus cumadóir iomráiteach.                              Ronnie O’Gorman – Bunaitheoir agus úinéir an Galway Advertiser.                                 Mary O’Malley – File iomráiteach agus ball d’Aosdána.                                             Evelyn O’Toole – Bunaitheoir agus Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Complete Laboratory Solutions (CLS). Bob Quinn – Déantóir scannán, stiúrthóir, grianghrafadóir, scríbhneoir, eagarthóir agus ball d’Aosdána. An Dr Mike Ryan – Stiúrthóir Feidhmiúcháin, Clár Éigeandálaí Sláinte, an Eagraíocht Dhomhanda Sláinte (WHO).                                        An tOllamh Jerome Sheahan – Staitisteoir/matamaiticeoir ar scor, OÉ Gaillimh. Ailbhe Smyth – Acadóir agus gníomhaí Éireannach.                                                    Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh maidir leis na bronntaí: “Tá an t-ádh le OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aige in imeacht na mblianta agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh ar mhaithe leis an saol poiblí, le feabhas na sochaí agus le leas na daonnachta. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann meas agus aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo. Tá ceangal ar leith ag gach duine a bhfuilimid ag bronnadh onóir orthu lenár réigiún – ag tarraingt ar an taithí, na láidreachtaí agus na dúshláin uathúla a bhaineann linne mar Ollscoil chomh maith – ár luachanna, mar atá Meas, Oscailteacht, Inbhuanaitheacht, agus Barr Feabhais; ár bpróifíl maidir le cearta an duine, agus an bhéim a leagaimid ar bharr feabhais, ar chruthaitheacht agus ar nuálaíocht. Trí onóir a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo, léirímid na luachanna atá againn i réimsí a bhfuil tábhacht leo dúinne agus don tsochaí ina mairimid”. Tá rún ag an Ollscoil an Searmanas Bronnta Oinigh a reáchtáil an samhradh seo chugainn i gcomhréir leis na treoirlínte sláinte poiblí. -Críoch-  

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Some 325 places on University courses and modules as part of the Government’s Covid-19 Jobs Stimulus More than 300 funded places are being made available for workers to upskill and reskill on courses at NUI Galway as part of the Government’s Covid-19 Jobs Stimulus plan. The University has lined up a wide variety of options in subject areas from business, manufacturing, and nursing. All courses will be online and on a part-time basis and either 90% or fully funded. The Government investment in NUI Galway’s reskilling and upskilling programme as part of the Jobs Stimulus plan will cover 325 places and fees to the total value of €472,000. NUI Galway’s CPD Development Officer Dr Brían Ó Donnchadha said: “The hundreds of places on courses at NUI Galway are a hugely valuable opportunity for workers who need support in making a step forward in a career. “All of the courses will be online and delivered on a part-time basis. Eligibility criteria are similar to those of Springboard+ courses, so those who are returning to education and those who are unemployed or in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will receive 100% of their fees covered. Someone who is in work, was self-employed or is a recent graduate can secure 90% funding.” Dr Ó Donnchadha said the upskilling, reskilling and training is targeted at the current and future skills needs of workers who have been impacted by Covid-19. “The numbers of funded places are limited so early application is highly recommended,” he said. Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, announced more than €30 million for free and subsidised higher education places under the Jobs Stimulus package in October. The Covid-19 response plan was aimed at helping get people back to work, to upskill and build economic confidence while continuing to manage the impact of the pandemic. Denise Rocks, manager of the West Regional Skills Forum, said: "We are delighted that so many free Higher Education Postgraduate and Modular upskilling places have been made available in the West Region. These new funded places open up exciting opportunities for professional development and the growth of companies in the West Region." The University’s Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development highlighted two of the many options available for workers. Monitoring for Health Hazards at Work explores different exposure control options, including containment technologies, ventilation and personal protective equipment. The course would be of interest to a wide range of personnel working in industry. As businesses face many challenges and as good managers need to retain the skills needed to work well with colleagues across an organisation, the module on Management Skills encourages participants to evaluate their behaviour, to change it and to assess the impact of that change. Applications for courses are open now. Details about all of the funded courses, including how to apply are available at  Jobs Stimulus Courses - NUI Galway Ends Na céadta áiteanna athoiliúna agus breisoiliúna á gcur ar fáil ag OÉ Gaillimh d’oibrithe 325 áit ar chúrsaí agus ar mhodúil ollscoile mar chuid de Spreagthacht Phoist Covid-19 an Rialtais Tá níos mó ná 300 áit mhaoinithe á gcur ar fáil d’oibrithe ar mhaithe le breisoiliúint agus athoiliúint a fháil ar chúrsaí in OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de phlean Spreagthachta Poist Covid-19 an Rialtais. Tá réimse leathan roghanna curtha ar fáil ag an Ollscoil i réimsí ábhair idir ghnó, dhéantúsaíocht agus altranas. Beidh gach cúrsa ar líne agus ar bhonn páirtaimseartha agus beidh siad 90% maoinithe nó maoinithe go hiomlán. Clúdóidh infheistíocht an Rialtais i gclár athoiliúna agus breisoiliúna OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid den phlean Spreagthachta Poist 325 áit agus táillí ar luach iomlán €472,000. Dúirt an Dr Brian Ó Donnchadha, Oifigeach Forbartha CPD OÉ Gaillimh: “Is deis an-luachmhar iad na céadta áiteanna ar chúrsaí in OÉ Gaillimh d’oibrithe a dteastaíonn tacaíocht uathu chun céim chun tosaigh a ghlacadh i ngairm. “Beidh na cúrsaí go léir ar líne agus á seachadadh ar bhonn páirtaimseartha. Tá na critéir cháilitheachta cosúil le critéir chúrsaí Springboard+, mar sin íocfar 100% de tháillí do na daoine atá ag filleadh ar oideachas agus iad siúd atá dífhostaithe nó a fhaigheann an Íocaíocht Dífhostaíochta Phaindéime. Is féidir le duine atá ag obair, a bhí féinfhostaithe nó ar céimí le déanaí iad maoiniú 90% a fháil.” Dúirt an Dr Ó Donnchadha go bhfuil an bhreisoiliúint, an athoiliúint agus an oiliúint dírithe ar riachtanais scileanna atá ag oibrithe faoi láthair nó a bheidh acu amach anseo de bharr Covid-19. “Tá líon na n-áiteanna maoinithe teoranta mar sin moltar iarratas a dhéanamh go luath,” a dúirt sé. D’fhógair Simon Harris, an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, níos mó ná €30 milliún d’áiteanna ardoideachais saor in aisce agus fóirdheonaithe faoin bpacáiste Spreagthachta Poist i mí Dheireadh Fómhair. Bhí plean freagartha Covid-19 dírithe ar chabhrú le daoine filleadh ar an obair, breisoiliúint a fháil agus muinín eacnamaíoch a fhorbairt agus ag an am céanna déileáil le tionchar na paindéime. Chuir Denise Rocks, Bainisteoir Fhóram Scileanna Réigiúnacha an Iarthair an-fháilte roimh an nuacht faoin maoiniú agus dúirt: ‘Tá an-áthas orainn go bhfuil an oiread sin áiteanna breisoiliúna Iarchéime agus Modúlach Ardoideachais curtha ar fáil i Réigiún an Iarthair. Cuireann na háiteanna nua maoinithe seo deiseanna spreagúla d’fhorbairt ghairmiúil agus d’fhás cuideachtaí ar fáil i Réigiún an Iarthair.' Tharraing an tIonad Foghlama agus Forbartha Gairmiúla d’Aosaigh san Ollscoil aird ar phéire den iliomad roghanna atá ar fáil d’oibrithe. Déanann Monatóireacht ar Ghuaiseacha Sláinte ag an Obair iniúchadh ar roghanna éagsúla rialaithe nochta, lena n-áirítear teicneolaíochtaí coimeádta, aeráil agus trealamh cosanta pearsanta agus bheadh spéis ag raon leathan pearsanra atá ag obair sa tionscal ann. De bhrí gur iomaí dúshlán atá roimh ghnólachtaí agus de bhrí go gcaithfidh bainisteoirí maithe na scileanna a theastaíonn chun oibriú go maith le comhghleacaithe ar fud eagraíochta a choinneáil, tá an modúl ar Scileanna Bainistíochta go maith chun rannpháirtithe a spreagadh lena n-iompar a mheas, a athrú agus tionchar an athraithe sin a mheas. Is féidir iarratas a dhéanamh ar chúrsaí anois. Tá sonraí faoi na cúrsaí maoinithe go léir chomh maith leis an gcaoi le hiarratas a dhéanamh le fáil anseo http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/cpd/jobsstimuluscourses/ Críoch

Friday, 4 December 2020

Actor Cillian Murphy supporting youth-led research to explore pandemic issues and to devise solutions More than 100 countries taking part in Youth As Researchers study Initiative led by UNESCO chairs in NUI Galway and Penn State University  A global UNESCO study being coordinated by NUI Galway has been formally launched to identify the impact of Covid-19 on youth around the world. More than 100 countries have signed up and 6,000 young people applied to be researchers on the international project being led by Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the University. The Youth As Researchers global initiative on Covid-19 is the single biggest study of its kind. It is by young people and for young people, focusing on how the pandemic has affected wellbeing, education and learning, use of technology, human rights and youth-led action and civic engagement. Actor Cillian Murphy, patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, addressed the online launch and highlighted that despite 40% of the world’s population being under 24 the voice of youth is not being heard in the pandemic. “What is even more important is that this research is not about adults asking youth what they think or how they feel about Covid-19, but it is young people, trained as youth researchers, from all over the world asking other youth for their views - this makes the study truly authentic,” he said. “Whether thinking about the impact of lockdown on youth mental health, education, relationships or wellbeing, in order to support young people as part of our global family we need to hear from youth themselves - what helps them cope and what doesn’t.” Quoting Seamus Heaney, the actor had a message for those taking part in the study: “Most of all thank you to all you youth participants in the study, I take hope from Seamus Heaney, the amazing Irish poet, who once said ‘If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way’.” NUI Galway President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh also sent a message of support to the project. “This is yet another fantastic initiative, firstly in the context of engaging with research that matters, research with impact and research which is important for its sense of empathy with others,” the President said. Mr Ó hÓgartaigh said the project mirrored the lived values of NUI Galway – Respect, Excellence, Openness and Sustainability. “The UNESCO project and the example of Youth As Researchers shows us the value of research which does not make an object of others, but that they are engaged with it and involved,” he said. The UNESCO study is being conducted by researchers aged 18 to 35. A broad representative of youth will take part in questionnaires, surveys, workshops and focus groups and other methods. Videos, posters, reports, policy briefs and other content will be produced to showcase the results and share them in the media and on social media as well as within the UN, across governments and UNESCO partners. Two NUI Galway undergraduates John Gaffey and Ella Anderson are trained as Youth As Researchers, including on issues such as ethics in research, non-bias questionnaire design, sampling methods. They moderated the live event and will work on the European end of the project. UNESCO appointed Professor Dolan co-principal investigator along with Professor Mark Brennan, fellow UNESCO Chair at Pennsylvania State University. They will lead a consortium of youth-led researchers through training, mentoring and coordination. Professor Dolan said: “We know some of the problems. We know people are affected differently, across classes and cultures. We need young people to help us understand that and help us with the solutions. By using the Youth As Researchers initiative we can do that and produce results that are usable, rather than research that no one reads, most of all young people. “Over the course of the pandemic the worst assumptions have been made about young people in our society. On too many occasions, people in authority have been too quick to claim young people are irresponsible and lack consideration for society. The UNESCO Youth As Researchers programme aims to prove these assumptions wrong.” Ends

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Funding of $750,000 for cutting edge imaging research to expand knowledge and understanding of health and disease A scientist at NUI Galway has been awarded more than $750,000 to radically expand microscopy training for scientists and researchers in academia and industry in Ireland. The funding was confirmed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a philanthropy founded by Dr Priscilla Chan and her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, that matches engineering with grant-making, impact investing and policy and advocacy work. It is part of a $32 million philanthropic package to support biomedical imaging researchers and the development of technology to drive the discovery of cures, prevention or management of disease. Dr Kerry Thompson, a researcher in anatomy at NUI Galway’s School of Medicine and Centre for Microscopy and Imaging, will use the funding to support accelerated learning and research in biological sciences. “We use microscopy to visualise, measure and analyse the biological processes that underlie health and disease,” she said. “There are hundreds of scientific roles that require specially trained microscopists and imaging scientists. One example is accelerated drug discovery which was used for the development of covid vaccines – it would not have been possible without imaging experts. “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative recognises how scientific imaging advances research. The invaluable funding we have secured places imaging scientists at the heart of ground-breaking research to accelerate discovery.” Dr Thompson is one of 22 imaging scientists in 11 countries around the world who are being supported with CZI’s latest funding round, while NUI Galway is the only institution on the island of Ireland to have been supported by CZI. The funding will support a new centre of excellence at NUI Galway offering STEM professionals, scientists and researchers cutting edge training in bio-imaging and analysis.  “Microscopy is the linchpin of modern biological research,” Dr Thompson said. “The funding will facilitate a paradigm shift in research in Ireland. It will elevate the role that imaging has at the frontline of discovery. The critical expertise and capabilities that we will be able to impart will be invaluable as we develop advanced training programmes to enhance technical aptitude.” Professor Peter Dockery, Established Professor of Anatomy at NUI Galway, said securing such a significant funding award from the Zuckerbergs was an enormous achievement. “Dr Thompson has played an instrumental role in the development of the core Centre for Microscopy and Imaging at NUI Galway which provides access to essential imaging technologies for the research community. The work and training that will take place in our university as a result of the funding will take the drive for higher standards and expertise to another level.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway and Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Saolta University Healthcare Group, said: “Advanced microscopy is a fundamental component of modern biomedical discovery and this programme will accelerate research in this area. “This will have benefits for multiple other research groups in NUI Galway and throughout the country. We are delighted to receive this prestigious award for Dr Thompson which is based on a long track record of advanced microscopy in the Discipline of Anatomy at NUI Galway.” Ends

Thursday, 3 December 2020

A project that connects patients with their loved ones, against a backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions on visits to hospitals, has seen NUI Galway win a National Impact Award.   The university worked with industry partners Cisco and IBM to deliver a state-of-the-art video call system, ICU FamilyLink, specifically for the intensive care unit setting at University Hospital Galway (UHG). The project won the Knowledge Transfer Ireland Impact Award, in the ‘COVID-19 Response’ Category on 26 November.  ICU FamilyLink When hospital visiting restrictions were introduced in early March, the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) team at University Hospital Galway (UHG) appreciated that it was going to be very difficult to keep families and patients in the ICU updated and connected, particularly where family members may be in physical isolation in different locations. In an effort to address these challenges, they reached out to their academic partners in NUI Galway, who in turn reached out to industry contacts in Galway and beyond.  NUI Galway, Cisco and IBM assembled a team to answer the call and working closely with the ICU and Clinical Engineering and IT teams in UHG, rapidly developed a state-of-the-art video call system tailored specifically for the ICU setting. The system runs on the hospital’s Cisco Enterprise Wireless Network using Cisco Webex Meetings software and Cisco Webex Devices donated from Cisco’s software development office in Oranmore.   The secure system is designed for easy setup where close family members are invited by the nurse looking after the patient, to see and speak to their loved one. ICU FamilyLink also enables staff to advise the family and discuss medical and treatment issues that arise.  The Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) Impact Awards recognise and showcase the success in knowledge transfer carried out in Irish Higher Education Institutions and publicly funded research organisations for the wider benefit of the economy and society at large. As part of the initiative, the collaborating bodies made information regarding all components of the bespoke video conferencing system freely available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/icu-familylink/. Speaking about the news, David Murphy, Director of Technology Transfer and Innovation at NUI Galway, said: “This achievement is a positive reflection of the talent within the university, industry and hospital. It is also a reflection of the commitment to community in a time when it was so important to those affected by the pandemic. As a place well-known for collaboration and creativity, and as a global medtech hub, our research and innovation community has been to the fore in looking at innovations and insights that can support the response to the COVID-19 crisis.   KTI director and chair of the judging panel, Dr Alison Campbell, added: “The finalists and winners of these awards are real examples of the compelling work being undertaken in the third level to support innovation and to help Irish companies thrive in challenging markets, delivering benefit to the economy and for people.” This initiative was delivered by Irial Conroy (IBM) and Dr Aoife Murray (NUI Galway), both BioInnovate alumni, Brian O’Donoghue (Cisco), Breda McColgan (IBM), PJ McKenna (IBM), Frank Kirrane (UHG), Leonie Cullen (UHG) and Dr Bairbre McNicholas (UHG). The team was supported by the UHG IT department and wider Saolta, Cisco, IBM, UHG and NUI Galway staff, and other organisations that kindly provided supports. Special thanks to Niamh Connolly (NUI Galway), Ian Gallivan (NUI Galway) and the TTO office for the facilitation of making all of the project’s contributions available in the public domain. Watch a short video about ICU FamilyLink here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vl7qWpWH5q8&t=4s. To read more about other initiatives with which the NUI Galway research and innovation community have responded to COVID-19, visit: https://www.nuigalway.ie/our-research/covid19/ . -Ends-  

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

A Chilean researcher has been awarded a three-year long term Fellowship from the international Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) to continue his Postdoctoral research at the Centre for Chromosomal Biology in NUI Galway. Dr Miguel Salinas-Saavedra is the first researcher to be awarded the long-term fellowship in a university in Ireland. The HFSP is a prestigious and internationally recognised organisation that funds frontier research. HFSP’s Long-Term Fellowships are for postdoctoral scientists in biology, who will broaden their expertise by proposing a project in the life sciences which is significantly different from their previous PhD or postdoctoral work. A total of 50 Long-Term Fellowships were awarded to the very best of the world’s young scientists who have proposed original approaches at the frontier of life science research. Postdoctoral researcher, Miguel Salinas-Saavedra has joined the lab of Professor Uri Frank in the Centre for Chromosomal Biology at NUI Galway. Miguel’s research will focus on Evolutionary developmental Biology (Evo-Devo) using cnidarians as model organisms. Dr Salinas-Saavedra completed a bachelors and Masters in biology at the University of Chile (Facultad de ciencias; Science campus), Chile and a PhD in zoology at the University of Florida (biology department), US. He then moved to the Centre for Chromosomal Biology at NUI Galway in 2019. Speaking about his fellowship award, Miguel Salinas-Saavedra, said: “I feel very honoured to receive this postdoctoral fellowship award from the Human Frontier Science Program. Diversity does not usually receive recognition in a system where funding for basic science is diminishing every year. The HFSP’s support in funding high-risk research is essential to open new opportunities and inspire a diverse group of people to continue doing science in diverse research such as my own on cnidarians. “My funded research fellowship will focus on the mechanisms of cellular dedifferentiation in regeneration. My project focuses on researching a piece of tissue that does not have stem cells but whose cells dedifferentiate following excision. We expect this to give insights into different modes of regeneration in the animal kingdom, including humans, when we compare them evolutionarily.” Dr Salinas-Saavedra, added: “Some animals can regenerate lost organs and tissues with high efficiency. Others can regenerate a full body from small pieces of tissues. Regardless of the case, all of them use stem cells to regenerate the missing parts of their body. The cnidarian Hydractinia (marine animals such as corals and jellyfish) can regenerate any lost body part in a tissue-specific manner. I am delighted to be researching cnidarians cells using Hydractinia at Professor Uri Frank’s lab. “Stem cells are like the babies of tissues, they need to develop their path to adulthood. This process is called cellular differentiation. Following injury, stem cells differentiate to form and regenerate the injured tissue. Under specific conditions, in some cases, the cells of adult tissue go back to baby stages by generating new stem cells. This process is called cellular dedifferentiation.” The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) announced 65 Fellowship awards to the world’s most outstanding young life scientists, chosen through rigorous international selection out of a total of 597 applications from more than 50 countries. The HFSP fellows begin their research in a new field of biology in a laboratory in a new country, in accord with HFSPO’s aim of promoting international collaboration in life science research. HFSP’s Fellowships enjoy an excellent reputation and offer a built-in return component. Starting in their second year of tenure, HFSP fellows can draw up plans for setting up their own independent laboratory. Fellows can then use the remaining time of their tenure to move to the new location. By increasing the fellowship value to about $250,000 spread over three years, HFSP provides these outstanding young talents with an enhanced financial package to back their career in frontier research. For more information about the Human Frontier Science Program, visit: | Human Frontier Science Program (hfsp.org) -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

A research team from the Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway is part of a consortium that have won a competitive international research funding award of €1.38 million under the JPI Climate SOLSTICE initiative to explore how young people across Europe experience the climate crisis. Commencing in December 2020, the project, will involve research teams from the UK, Ireland, Finland and Italy. The researchers will work with young people, teachers, educational institutions and youth groups on the project, to understand how youth experience and make sense of climate complexity. The research team from NUI Galway will draw on the vast interdisciplinary experience of the project team comprised of Dr Gary Goggins, Professor Frances Fahy and Dr Kathy Reilly from the Discipline of Geography. Climate change is an existential threat that must be addressed through concerted action involving all of society. Recently, young people have put themselves at the forefront of these efforts through coordinated activities, such as school strikes. These call for greater attention and decisive action from governments and other powerful actors to mitigate climate change and protect people from its harmful effects. At the same time, there is emerging consensus that lack of effective climate leadership, combined with institutional inertia and confused governance mechanisms, is resulting in widespread climate indifference or extremism. Increasing awareness of the impacts and effects of climate change, as well as the measures that can be taken to mitigate against it, is crucial in building an empowered and resilient climate-literate youth that can develop and support solutions now and in the future. Dr Gary Goggins, who leads the research team in the School of Geography at NUI Galway, said: “It is vital that we listen to young people and include their voices in our ongoing efforts to tackle climate change. Young people are the future, but they are also important in the present. Understanding how young people experience this rapidly changing world, and their place in it, is central to developing effective solutions to the common challenges we face.” The research will co-create a framework that enables young people to express how growing up in their particular contexts and spaces (including formal education, relationships, communities and extracurricular spaces) plays a role in their worldview formation and openness to new ways of thinking and doing. This framework will support the development of practical tools for teaching and learning in participating schools and beyond. Policy recommendations will consider social, political, cultural and economic contexts in each region under study, and local, national and international recommendations will be put forward. Dr Jonathan Derham, EPA, said “The Environmental Protection Agency welcomes the success of NUI Galway in a very competitive pan-European research call: this reflects the importance of this research area and the excellence of the University team. The huge success of the 2019 Youth Assembly on Climate and the resulting media engagement demonstrated the need for more productive and enduring dialogue with young people in relation to concerns and solutions. It is expected that this research will assist in supporting delivery of these ambitions.” The project is funded by the JPI Climate SOLSTICE initiative for three years (2020-2023) with a total project budget of €1.38 million. The funding organization for Ireland is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who will provide €148,450 towards the overall budget. For more information contact gary.goggins@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

NUI Galway study, published in the international journal Scientific Reports, confirms that spiders carry harmful bacteria and that they can be transmitted when a spider uses its fangs to bite A team of zoologists and microbiologists from NUI Galway have published a new study showing that common house spiders carry bacteria susceptible to infect people, with the Noble False Widow spiders also carrying harmful strains resistant to common antibiotic treatments. This new research, published in the international journal Scientific Reports, confirms a theory which has been debated among spider and healthcare specialists for many years, and explains a range of symptoms experienced by victims bitten by the invasive noble false widow spider in Ireland and Britain over the past decade. Australian Black Widows or Funnel Web spiders are well known for their potentially deadly venom, but rare “skin-eating” conditions following seemingly harmless European and North American spider bites were thought to be the result of secondary infections caused by the victim scratching and probing the bite site with contaminated fingers. This new study shows that not only do spiders carry harmful bacteria, but those germs can be transmitted when a spider uses its fangs to bite. Furthermore, many spiders have been shown to have venom with antibacterial activity and it is often debated as to whether the venom would neutralise bacteria at the bite site, but this also demonstrates, at least for the Noble False Widow, that the venom does not inhibit bacteria. Dr Aoife Boyd, Director of the Pathogenic Mechanisms Group at NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and senior author of the study, said: “The diversity of microbes never ceases to amaze me. The power to survive and thrive in every environment is shown here by the presence of antimicrobial resistance bacteria even in spider venom. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an urgent and growing problem worldwide. A One Health approach interconnecting human, animal and environmental health is the only way to tackle the problem.” Dr John Dunbar, Zoologist at the Ryan Institute’s Venom System Lab in NUI Galway, said: “About 10 species of spiders common in North-western Europe have fangs strong enough to pierce human skin and deliver venom, but only one of them, the recent invasive noble false widow spider, is considered of medical importance. Most of the time, a spider bite results in some redness and pain. “In some cases, however, victims seem to develop long lasting infections for which strong antibiotic treatment - and sometimes a hospital stay - are necessary. It is this increasing range expansion and massive rise in dense populations of false widow spiders around urbanised areas across Ireland and Britain that has seen a rise in bites with some severe envenomation symptoms but also infections, which in some cases proved even difficult to treat with antibiotics.” Neyaz Kahn, co-lead author of the study and PhD student at the Pathogenic Mechanisms Group in NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “Our study demonstrates that spiders are not just venomous but are also carriers of dangerous bacteria capable of producing severe infections. The biggest threat is that some of these bacteria are multi-drug resistant, making them particularly difficult to treat with regular medicine. This is something that health care professionals should consider from now on.” The full study in Scientific Reports is available at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77839-9 . -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Researchers collaborating to better understand public acceptance and reservations of HSE contact tracing app Researchers at NUI Galway and University of Limerick are looking for members of the public and smartphone users to participate in a study on attitudes to the use of a Covid-19 contact tracing app. As the country exits Level 5 public health restrictions in the run up to Christmas, the research team say it is more important than ever to better understand acceptance and reservations behind the use of the tracker app and data. More than 2.2 million people have registered with the HSE Covid tracker app, while more than 1.3 million are active users of the software, including more than one third of over 16s. Dr Jane Walsh, School of Psychology, NUI Galway, said: “We would like to hear from users of the app. We need their feedback in order to learn from their experiences. We are particularly interested to hear from people who have reservations about a tracker app and the use of data.” Dr Mike O’Callaghan, GP and Research Fellow at UL, said: “The main aim of the study is to establish people’s knowledge of contact tracing and if the public would find a software app, as described, to be acceptable during the pandemic.” Manzar Abbas, PhD Scholar at software research centre LERO at UL, said: “All of our research is being recorded anonymously so, if you are using, or if you have used, the digital contact tracing app since it was launched and you have some reservations around it we would like to record your feedback and try to improve the shortcomings.” The research team is seeking up to 30 people aged 18 or over to take part in the survey. Participants will be asked to take part in a phone interview which would last 30-40 minutes. Interested members of the public please contact manzar.abbas@ul.ie Ends

Monday, 30 November 2020

Is cúis mhór áthais é d’Ionad Léann na hÉireann, OÉ Gaillimh, a fhógairt go bhfuil Saileog Ní Cheannabháin ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis i mbliana. Is amhránaí sean-nóis, ceoltóir agus cumadóir í Saileog atá ag casadh ceol traidisiúnta agus ceol clasaiceach ó bhí sí an-óg.  Is cainteoir Gaeilge ó dhúchas í a tógadh le Gaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath. Is as Carna a hathair, an t-amhránaí clúiteach Peadar Ó Ceannabháin, agus is é Peadar an chéad fhonnadóir a chuaigh i bhfeidhm go mór uirthi. Chaith Saileog roinnt mhaith ama ó bhí sí an-óg ag éisteacht le fonnadóirí as Iorras Aithneach agus tá Seán 'ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha agus Josie Sheáin Jeaic 'ac Dhonncha i measc na bhfonnadóirí is mó a chuaigh i bhfeidhm uirthi. Is veidhleadóir clasaiceach í a máthair, Úna Lawlor, agus is fonnadóirí agus ceoltóirí iad a deartháir Eoghan agus a deirfiúr Muireann. Sa mbliain 2012, d'eisigh Saileog an chéad albam dá cuid, I bhfíor-dheiriú oidhche, cnuasach amhrán a bhailigh Séamus Ennis in Iorras Aithneach sna 1940idí. Roithleán an t-ainm atá ar an dara albam a d'eisigh Saileog i 2016. Chuir an Dr Méabh Ni Fhuartháin ó Ionad Léann na hÉireann fáilte mhór roimh an gceapachán: “Táimid thar a bheith  sásta go mbeidh Saileog Ní Cheannabháin linn mar amhránaí cónaitheach i mbliana. Tá Saileog ceangailte go láidir sa traidisiún saibhir thart uirthi. Is deis iontach é dosna micléinn agus dóibhsean ar fad a bheidh ag foghlaim uaithi anso san Ollscoil." Beidh sraith ceardlann á múineadh ag Saileog go fíorúil san Ollscoil san Earrach 2021 agus arís sa bhFómhar agus beidh ceolchoirm mar chuid den ceapacháin ar siúl i nGaeltacht Chonamara sa samhradh 2021. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon agus Ionad Léann na hÉireann, OÉ Gaillimh, a mhaoiníonn an tionscnamh seo. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Crioch-

Monday, 30 November 2020

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies has announced the appointment of Saileog Ní Cheannabháin as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence for 2021. A sean-nós singer, musician and composer, Saileog learned and played both traditional and classical music from a very young age. Raised in Dublin, in an Irish speaking household steeped in traditional song, Saileog’s father, Peadar Ó Ceannabháin comes from the rich tradition of sean-nós singing in Carna and was one of the first singers to influence Saileog. From a young age, she grew up listening to singers from Iorras Aithneach and cites Seán 'ac Dhonncha, Sorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dara Bán Mac Donncha agus Josie Sheáin Jeaic 'ac Dhonncha as formative influences on her approach and singing. Her mother Úna Lawlor is a classical violinist and both of her siblings Eoghan and Muireann are also singers and musicians. In 2012, Saileog released her first album I bhfíor-dheiriú oidhche a collection of songs collected by Séamus Ennis in Iorras Aithneach in the 1940s. Following this, Roithleán was released in 2016. Welcoming the appointment, Dr Méabh Ní Fhuartháin from the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway said: “We are delighted to have Saileog Ní Cheannabháin join us as Sean-nós Singer in Residence this year. Saileog is among the generation of singers who look to the rich historical tradition of singing from Connemara and build on that in their own performance and practice, and the appointment represents a fantastic opportunity for our students.” Saileog will deliver a series of workshops at NUI Galway as well as contributing to the expanding Sean-Nós Archive Collection.  The virtual workshops are free and open to the public and will begin in January 2021. Saileog will perform a concert in the Connemara Gaeltacht as part of her residency next summer. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. For more information contact Samantha Williams, NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies, at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 30 November 2020

Actor Cillian Murphy supporting youth-led research to explore pandemic issues and to devise solutions More than 100 countries taking part UNESCO chairs in NUI Galway and Penn State University lead study Global study adopts Youth As Researchers model pioneered in LGBTQ study in Tallaght, west Dublin A global UNESCO study on the impact of Covid-19 on young people’s lives is to be spearheaded by an NUI Galway professor. More than 100 countries have signed up and 6,000 young people applied to be researchers on the international project being led by Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. The Youth As Researchers global initiative on Covid-19 is the single biggest study on the impact of the pandemic on young people - focusing on wellbeing, education and learning, use of technology, human rights and youth-led action and civic engagement. Actor Cillian Murphy, patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, is supporting the project and will take part in the online launch on Friday December 4th. Professor Pat Dolan said the study is by young people, about young people and for young people in order to help devise responses and solutions to the wider impact of the pandemic. “Our objective is for young people to work with other young people to find out how the pandemic has affected them personally, in their families and communities and lives,” Professor Dolan said. “We want to explore how they have coped - what they see as the key challenges to their education and social relationships. “We know some of the problems. We know people are affected differently, across classes and cultures. We need young people to help us understand that and help us with the solutions. By using the Youth As Researchers initiative we can do that and produce results that are usable, rather than research that no one reads, most of all young people.” The UNESCO study is being conducted by researchers aged 18 to 35. A broad representative of youth will take part in questionnaires, surveys, workshops and focus groups and other methods. Videos, posters, reports, policy briefs and other content will be produced to showcase the results and share them in the media and on social media as well as within the UN, across governments and UNESCO partners. Two NUI Galway undergraduates John Gaffey and Ella Anderson are trained as Youth As Researchers, including on issues such as ethics in research, non-bias questionnaire design, sampling methods. They will work on the European end of the project. Ms Anderson, European Steering Committee Representative, said: “Young people across the globe conducting research with fellow young people allows their authentic voice to be heard.” Mr Gaffey, European team co-ordinator, said: “It's up to youth to prove to the world that we can take action to better our communities, proving everyone who doubts us wrong.” UNESCO appointed Professor Dolan co-principal investigator along with Professor Mark Brennan, fellow UNESCO Chair at Pennsylvania State University. They will lead a consortium of youth-led researchers through training, mentoring and coordination. Dr Danielle Kennan, also at NUI Galway’s UNESCO Centre, is co-leader on the global training of selected youth from all over the world Professor Dolan added: “Over the course of the pandemic the worst assumptions have been made about young people in our society. On too many occasions, people in authority have been too quick to claim young people are irresponsible and lack consideration for society. The UNESCO Youth As Researchers programme aims to prove these assumptions wrong. “This is an opportunity for young people to research topics that interest them when adult researchers seem to care the least.” The UNESCO Youth As Researchers Initiative will be officially launched on Friday 4th December 2020 at 1 pm GMT. The public Facebook live component will be available on the UNESCO Youth Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/UNESCOyouth/ Ends

Thursday, 26 November 2020

NUI Galway scientist among international team proposing the ‘Challenger 150’ programme to understand how changes in the deep sea impact the wider ocean and life on the planet Professor Louise Allcock, Head of Zoology and Director of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Ocean Research and Exploration at NUI Galway, is part of an international team of scientists who have called for a dedicated decade-long programme of research to greatly advance discovery in the remote regions of the deep seas and learn how they impact the wider ocean and life on the planet. The deep seas – vast expanses of water and seabed hidden more than 200 metres below the ocean surface to depths up to 11,000 metres – are recognised globally as an important frontier of science and discovery. But despite the fact they account for around 60% of Earth’s surface area, large areas remain completely unexplored, yet the habitats they support impact on the health of the entire planet. The international team spanning 45 institutions in 17 countries, presented the rationale behind the call for action in a comment article in Nature Ecology and Evolution, simultaneously publishing a detailed blueprint of how the actions can be best achieved in Frontiers in Marine Science. The programme, which scientists have named ‘Challenger 150’ will coincide with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which runs from 2021-2030. Challenger 150 will generate new geological, physical, biogeochemical, and biological data through a global cooperative of science and innovation, including the application of new technology. These data will be used to understand how changes in the deep sea impact the wider ocean and life on the planet. Among its key areas of focus are to build greater capacity and diversity in the scientific community, acknowledging the fact that existing deep-sea research is conducted primarily by developed nations with access to resources and infrastructure. The programme will use this new knowledge of the deep to support regional, national, and international decision-making on deep-sea issues such as mining, hydrocarbon extraction, fishing, climate mitigation, laying of fibre optic cables and conservation. Professor Louise Allcock, one of the authors of the detailed blueprint paper, said: “The next ten years are going to be critical for our oceans - we MUST ensure that our oceans are used sustainably. This field-programme blueprint maps out how nations can share knowledge, equipment, and expertise, and develop capacity in deep-sea science across the world. By working to joint protocols, we can produce global datasets that answer broad questions about ocean diversity and resilience that cannot be answered by any one nation alone. Such knowledge can inform policy development and ensure our oceans are protected such that they also sustain future generations.”  Recent expeditions led by NUI Galway, aboard the national research vessel RV Celtic Explorer, and deploying the deep-water remotely operated vehicle ROV Holland I, have shown the Irish deep sea to be richly diverse. The proposed international programme will help scientists understand connectivity within and among oceans, and how best to conserve this rich biodiversity. These deep-sea ecosystems play a very important role in carbon storage, so maintaining their quality is paramount in the face of rising carbon dioxide levels and global climate change. Led by members of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the authorship reflects both the gender and geographical diversity such a programme demands, with authors from the six inhabited continents of the World. They note that the UN Decade provides an unrivalled opportunity to unite the international science community to deliver a giant leap in our knowledge of the deep seas. Kerry Howell, Professor of Deep-Sea Ecology at the University of Plymouth (UK) and lead author of the research publications, said: “The deep seas and seabed are increasingly being used by society, and they are seen as a potential future asset for the resources they possess. But managing these resources sustainably requires that we first understand deep-sea ecosystems and their role in our planet, its people and its atmosphere. Our vision is for a 10 year programme of science and discovery that is global in scale and targeted towards proving the science to inform decisions around deep-ocean use. We believe the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science provides the perfect opportunity to achieve that.” Dr Ana Hilario, Researcher at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and co-lead of the DOSI and SCOR Decade working groups, added: “The Decade also provides the opportunity to build a long-term programme for training and capacity building in ocean sciences. With Challenger 150, we aim to train the next generation of deep-sea biologists and focus on training scientists from developing countries, but also early stage scientists from all nations. Such training will create a network of enhanced capacity that will allow countries to exercise their full role in international discussions on the use of ocean resources within and outside of their national boundaries.” For more information about Challenger 150, see: https://challenger150.world and Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative, visit: https://challenger150.world/. To read the paper in Frontiers in Marine Science, visit: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2020.584861/full. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, the Hon. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan, will deliver NUI Galway’s School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture. The online lecture will take place on Thursday, 3 December, at 6pm. During his lecture, “Re-examining McGee, Norris and the X case”, Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan will discuss and reflect upon these seminal Irish constitutional law cases and recent constitutional reform. The School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture will be chaired by Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “The School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture plays an important role in further enriching our students’ learning experience. There are many important lessons to be learned in this year’s lecture “Re-examining McGee, Norris and the X case” including an opportunity to re-consider these important judgments from a comparative, legal and social perspective.” The Hon. Mr. Justice Gerard Hogan a renowned legal scholar is Advocate General of the European Court of Justice since 2018. Previously Mr. Justice Hogan was a former Judge of the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Ireland. Now in its tenth year, previous speakers of the Lecture have included: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University; Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University; Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court with Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court; Mr Justice Nial Fennelly of the Irish Supreme Court; Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland; Judge Síofra O'Leary of the European Court of Human Rights; and Justice Leona Theron of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. The virtual School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture is free and open to the public. For more information and to register for the Lecture visit adl2020.eventbrite.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Research and analysis team at CORRIB Core Lab puts University at the cutting edge of cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease A new approach to the guidance, planning and conducting of heart bypass surgery is being tested on patients for the first time in a clinical trial coordinated by a high-level research team at NUI Galway. The FAST TRACK CABG study, overseen by the University’s CORRIB Research Centre for Advanced Imaging and Core Lab, will see surgeons plan and carry out coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), based solely on non-invasive CT images of the patient’s coronary arteries.  Trial chairman Professor Patrick W Serruys, Established Professor of Interventional Medicine and Innovation at NUI Galway, said: “The results of this trial have the potential to simplify the treatment for patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting. “The trial and the central role played by the CORRIB Core Lab puts NUI Galway on the frontline of cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease.” The trial is “first in man” as it demonstrates a way to perform medicine which has never been done before. It is being conducted across Europe on 114 patients who have severe blockages in multiple vessels which are limiting blood flow to the heart muscle. The first patient underwent surgery at the end of September under Professor Giulio Pompilio in Centro Cardiologico Monzino, Italy. A 30-day follow-up CT, performed by Professor Daniele Andreini, confirmed the success and appropriateness of the surgical treatment.  Current convention in cardiovascular diagnosis and treatment sees heart patients undergo catheterisation procedure where an artery in the wrist or groin is punctured and a catheter is fed to the heart. Dye is then directly injected into the coronary artery to visualise blockages or narrowing of vessels using X-rays. During the FAST TRACK trial, analysis of high-resolution cardiovascular imagery and data, obtained with modern high-resolution CT (Revolution CT, GE Healthcare), is carried out by the CORRIB Core Lab team. The location and severity of coronary artery blockages are assessed using CT scans after dye is put in a vein of the arm, without the need for invasive catheterisation. These images allow a functional assessment of blood flow impairment known as Fractional Flow Reserve derived from CT (FFRct, HeartFlow).  Deputy chairman of the trial Yoshi Onuma, Professor of Interventional Cardiology and medical director of CORRIB Research Centre, described it as a potential gamechanger for cardiac surgery. “Researching the possibility of reducing diagnostic catheterization procedures is important for several reasons. Catheterization is invasive and it is unpleasant for the patient. It is also costly for the health service and while there is a minimal risk with the procedure it is not completely risk free,” Professor Onuma said.  “CT scan analysis, FFRct and guidance from the team in Galway is a world first in bypass surgery. It may become a gamechanger, altering the traditional relationship between GP, radiologist, cardiologist and cardio-thoracic surgeon for the benefit of the patient.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and consultant endocrinologist at University Hospital Galway, said: “The potential impact of this trial will be significant from the perspective of a patient, but also service delivery.  The combined benefits arising from a risk reduction to the patient and a less demanding and more cost-effective diagnosis of coronary artery disease present major enhancements in cardiovascular medicine and service delivery.” The trial is co-chaired by Professor Serruys and Professor William Wijns, Science Foundation Ireland Professor of Interventional Cardiology at NUI Galway, both of whom are internationally renowned experts in interventional cardiology and cardiovascular disease. The surgery is being carried out in three of Europe’s leading cardiac care hospitals - Centro Cardiologico Monzino near Milan, University hospital Brussels (UZB) and University hospital Jena, Germany. Professor Serruys added: “If a surgeon can operate on the most complex cases of coronary artery disease with the sole guidance of a non-invasive CT scan and FFRct, it will mean a dramatic change in health care. Following the example of the surgeon, the interventional cardiologist should also not hesitate to skip the conventional invasive cineangiography, and plan their procedure based solely on a CT scan. That will unload the purely diagnostic workload of the cath lab as we know it today and enable them to upgrade the catheterization laboratory to a dedicated ‘interventional suite’, thereby improving the workflow of patients.” The trial is sponsored by NUI Galway and funded by GE Healthcare (Chicago, USA) and HeartFlow, Inc. (Redwood City, California, USA). Ends

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Professor Rebecca Braun as new Executive Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, and Professor Geraint Howells as Executive Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law. Professors Braun and Howells will begin their new roles in January 2021. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted to welcome Professors Braun and Howells to NUI Galway. Both bring a great breadth of experience and I look forward to working with Rebecca and Geraint to strengthen and build on the strong, collegial foundations in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, to living our values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability for the public good, and to further developing new programmes of research and teaching.”  Professor Rebecca Braun will join NUI Galway from Lancaster University where she is currently Professor of Modern Languages and Creative Futures, and where she co-directs the multi-disciplinary Institute for Social Futures. Rebecca grew up in Cork and Tipperary before studying French and German at St. Edmund Hall, the University of Oxford. Having been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellowship (Early Career), a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Liverpool, a Scatcherd European Scholarship from the University of Oxford and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship to work in Berlin, she has published widely in the area of German literature/world literature in leading international venues, is one of the lead editors of German Life & Letters, and routinely works with partners in government and the creative sector. Professor Braun said: “I am honoured to be joining NUI Galway as the Executive Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. The College has a fantastic wealth of ideas and expertise across an enviable range of disciplines. I am really looking forward to working with all College members to amplify this work, bring in new voices, and grow our audiences across the university, region and wider world.” Professor Geraint Howells is currently Professor of Commercial Law and Associate Dean in Humanities for Internationalisation at Manchester University. He has extensive leadership experience having served very successfully as Dean of Law at the City University of Hong Kong and Head of the Law School in Manchester, and, previously, in Lancaster. He was called to the bar in 2002 through a special route for distinguished academics and was awarded an LLD in 2014. He has published extensively on consumer law, product liability and European private law and was a member of the Acquis group developing common principles of European contract law and tort law. A former President of the International Association of Consumer Law, he edited the Consumer Law Journal for many years, is on the editorial board of the Journal of Consumer Policy and is Series Editor for Routledge’s Markets and Law series. He has undertaken extensive consultancy for government, the EU and NGOs. Commenting on the new appointment, Professor Howells said: “I have been heartened by the warmth of the welcome extended to me by the NUI Galway community. I was attracted by our strengths in Business, Public Policy and Law that make us well placed to promote inter-disciplinary research into the great challenges facing our society alongside other leading international research institutions. This research base feeds into innovative and topical teaching programmes that attract a diverse student population. I hope we can continue to serve our local community, whilst ensuring our excellence is available to the global community.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Tá sé fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil an tOllamh Rebecca Braun ceaptha mar Dhéan Feidhmiúcháin nua Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh, agus go bhfuil an tOllamh Geraint Howells ceaptha mar Dhéan Feidhmiúcháin nua Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí.  Tosóidh na hOllúna Braun agus Howells ina róil nua i mí Eanáir 2021. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá áthas orm fáilte a chur roimh na hOllúna Braun agus Howells chuig OÉ Gaillimh. Tá fairsinge mhór taithí ag an mbeirt acu agus táim ag súil le bheith ag obair le Rebecca agus le Geraint chun an dúshraith láidir choláisteach i gColáiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh agus i gColáiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí a threisiú agus a fhorbairt, mar aon lenár luachanna measa, barr feabhais, oscailteachta agus inbhuanaitheacht a réadú ar mhaithe le leas an phobail agus tuilleadh forbartha a dhéanamh ar chláir nua thaighde agus theagaisc.”  Tagann an tOllamh Rebecca Braun go OÉ Gaillimh ó Ollscoil Lancaster, áit a bhfuil sí ina hOllamh le Nuatheangacha agus le hIonchais Chruthaitheacha faoi láthair, agus ina comhstiúrthóir ar an Institiúid ildisciplíneach d’Ionchais Shóisialta. Tógadh Rebecca i gCorcaigh agus i dTiobraid Árann agus chuaigh sí go hOllscoil Oxford ina dhiaidh sin, áit a ndearna sí Fraincis agus Gearmáinis in St. Edmund Hall. Bhronn Comhairle Taighde na nDán agus na nDaonnachtaí (AHRC) Comhaltacht Cheannaireachta (Luathghairm) uirthi, bronnadh Comhaltacht Luathghairme Leverhulme ó Ollscoil Learpholl uirthi,  mar aon le Scoláireacht Eorpach Scatcherd ó Ollscoil Oxford agus Comhaltacht Taighde Alexander von Humboldt chun tréimhse oibre a chaitheamh i mBeirlín.  Is iomaí foilseachán atá aici i réimse litríocht na Gearmáine/litríocht an domhain in ionaid chlúiteacha idirnáisiúnta, tá sí ar dhuine de phríomh-eagarthóirí German Life & Letters agus oibríonn sí go rialta le comhpháirtithe rialtais agus leis an earnáil chruthaitheach. Dúirt an tOllamh Braun: “Is mór an onóir dom a bheith ag teacht chuig OÉ Gaillimh mar Dhéan Feidhmiúcháin Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tá flúirse smaointeoireachta agus saineolais i réimse leathan disciplíní sa Choláiste. Táim ag súil go mór le hoibriú le gach duine sa Choláiste chun an obair sin a threisiú, deis a thabhairt do ghlórtha nua agus chun ár bpobail a mhéadú san ollscoil, sa réigiún agus sa domhan mór.” Is Ollamh le Dlí Tráchtála in Ollscoil Mhanchain an tOllamh Geraint Howells faoi láthair agus Déan Comhlach sna Daonnachtaí don Idirnáisiúnú.  Tá taithí fhairsing ceannaireachta aige agus d’éirigh go han-mhaith leis mar Dhéan Dlí in Ollscoil Chathair Hong Cong agus mar Cheann Scoil an Dlí i Manchain agus, roimhe sin, in Lancaster. Glaodh chun an bharra in 2002 é trí leas a bhaint as modh sainiúil d’acadóirí clúiteacha, agus bronnadh LLD air in 2014. Tá go leor foilsithe aige faoi dhlíthe tomhaltais, dliteanas táirgí agus dlí príobháideach na hEorpa agus bhí sé ina bhall den ghrúpa Acquis a d’fhéach le prionsabail choiteanna dlí conarthaí agus dlí torta a fhorbairt. Is iarUachtarán Chumann Idirnáisiúnta Dlíthe Tomhaltais é, chaith sé tréimhse de bhlianta ina eagarthóir ar an Consumer Law Journal, tá sé ar bhord eagarthóireachta an Journal of Consumer Policy agus is Eagarthóir Sraithe é don tsraith Markets and Law de chuid Routledge. Tá go leor oibre comhairleoireachta déanta aige do rialtais, don AE agus d’eagraíochtaí neamhrialtasacha. Agus é ag trácht ar a cheapachán nua, dúirt an tOllamh Howells: “Ardú meanman dom a chroíúil is a bhí an fháilte a chuir pobal OÉ Gaillimh romham. Bhí mé meallta ag ár láidreachtaí i nGnó, Beartas Poiblí agus Dlí a fhágann go bhfuil sé ar ár gcumas taighde idirdhisciplíneach ar na mórdhúshláin atá romhainn mar shochaí a chur chun cinn i gcomhpháirt le hinstitiúidí taighde idirnáisiúnta mór le rá eile. Cuireann an bonn taighde sin le cláir theagaisc nuálaíocha agus ábhartha a chabhraíonn le pobal éagsúil mac léinn a mhealladh. Tá súil agam go mbeimid in ann leanúint leis an tseirbhís a chuirimid ar fáil dár bpobal áitiúil agus ag an am céanna cinntiú gur feasach don phobal domhanda a fheabhas is atáimid.” -Críoch-

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

On the evening of 24 November 1920, Michael Moran was shot near the ball alley at University College Galway, allegedly while ‘trying to escape’ from the custody of Auxiliaries. A prominent republican in the Tuam area, Moran was being escorted from the police barracks in Eglinton Street to the temporary barracks of the 17th Lancers (now the O’Donoghue Centre and College Bar area), when the shooting took place.   To mark the centenary of the tragedy on its campus, NUI Galway is holding a webinar under the auspices of the Moore Institute, which will discuss the life and death of Michael Moran, and also consider the broader political context in which it occurred, in particular the escalation of the conflict in Ireland during the closing months of 1920.    The panellists are Síobhra Aiken (Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway), Prof. Linda Connolly (NUI Maynooth), Dr Jarlath Deignan, author of Troubled Times: War and Rebellion in North Galway, 1913-23, and military historian Damian Quinn. The discussion will be moderated by Dr John Cunningham (Dept of History, NUI Galway).   Free registration for the event here: https://mooreinstitute.ie/event/webinar-remembering-michael-moran-nui-galway-marks-the-centenary-of-a-campus-tragedy/ -Ends-

Monday, 23 November 2020

ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition prizes awarded to Cork, Galway, Dublin, Tyrone and Roscommon schools and youth groups From Canny Canines to Coronavirus and Melting Ice to Mitosis, short science videos made by young filmmakers from all over Ireland were honoured at the ReelLIFE SCIENCE Video Competition Awards during Sunday’s Galway Science and Technology Virtual Festival Show. More than 450 short science films were entered into the competition by over 2,500 science enthusiasts from 130 schools and youth groups around Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including ‘Múinteoir Ray’ Cuddihy from RTÉ’s After School Hub; BBC Wildlife and Children’s presenter, Ferne Corrigan; and the 2020 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Cormac Harris and Alan O’Sullivan, from Coláiste Choilm in Cork. A group of 17 fourth class students from Gaelscoil Riabhach in Loughrea, Co. Galway, along with their teacher Brian Ó Meacháin, won the €1000 first prize at Primary School level for their Irish language video ’An Croí (The Heart)’. Primary school runners-up were Scoil na nAingeal Naofa from Boyle, Co. Roscommon, while Kilcoe National School from Skibbereen in Cork, finished third. Transition year students Isabelle Xiao and Cindy Xu, along with teacher Patrick Cushen from Alexandra College in Milltown, Co. Dublin, claimed the Secondary School €1000 award, for their distinctive animated short ‘What is Mitosis?’ A group of 21 first year students from St Patrick’s College, Co. Tyrone were runners-up, while Le Chéile Secondary School students John Madeja and Gerard Nipales were awarded third place. The Ripple Effect Youth Hub, which runs activities for young people with Aspergers, ADHD and Dyspraxia in south County Dublin, won the €1000 Youth Group first prize for their video ‘Canny Canines: Are dogs smarter than we give them credit for?’ The Easy Treesie group, which encourages young people to plant trees to combat climate change came second, while third place went to members of the Foróige Gort Youth Service in Galway. Speaking about ReelLIFE SCIENCE, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “We are delighted to support this initiative, which cleverly utilises digital technology to develop science literacy and creativity, at a time when these skills are most needed. ReelLIFE SCIENCE encourages young people to connect with science and technology in their everyday lives, and to bring that knowledge to a wider audience, while promoting current Irish scientific research and development.” The ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups around Ireland to engage with science and technology by producing short educational videos, while developing their communication and digital skills. Since being launched in 2013 by Dr Enda O’Connell, College of Science and Engineering in NUI Galway, and a team of volunteer scientists, this challenge has been met by more than 16,000 participants in over 500 schools and groups around Ireland. Congratulating all of the participants, Dr O’Connell said: “We were hugely impressed with the standard of this year’s videos, particularly the ingenuity and creativity shown by the young filmmakers, often in challenging circumstances. Their hours of effort and passion for science was clear to see and made it a very difficult task for the judges. Well done to everyone who took part!” The winning videos can be viewed at www.youtube.com/ReelLifeScience and more information about the programme can be found at www.reellifescience.com. -Ends-

Friday, 20 November 2020

Parents are living in fear of their child or teenager, and this webinar will share experiences, skills and research about what helps to end this form of abusive and violent behaviour   According to Parentline, calls to the helpline from parents have quadrupled in 2020 since the COVID-19 lockdown Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) Ireland and NUI Galway are hosting a free webinar for practitioners working in children and family services. The webinar, ‘Ending Shame and Silence - NVR Ireland responding to family fear and violence’ will take place on Wednesday, 25 November, from 10am-12pm. Some parents and carers in Ireland are living in fear of their child under the age of 18 years and experience abusive and/or violent behaviour from their son or daughter. This problem is known as child to parent violence and abuse. According to Parentline, a national telephone support service for parents and carers in Ireland, calls to the helpline from parents has quadrupled in 2020 since the COVID-19 lockdown (March-October), with a huge rise in the number of parents and carers asking for help with the problem of child to parent violence and abuse. NVR Ireland is a national network of practitioners and researchers committed to helping families resolve problems by using the Non Violent Resistance intervention, adapted by Dr Declan Coogan, School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, for use in Ireland, based on the work of Haim Omer and his colleagues in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr Coogan said: “The Non Violent Resistance intervention model steps into the gap left by a lack of easily available and adaptable intervention programmes designed to help parents and carers living with child to parent violence and abuse, and the practitioners who work with them in children and family services.” Along with a parent speaking about her experiences of using NVR, speakers during the webinar will include: Dr Declan Coogan, NUI Galway Aileen Hickie, CEO of Parentline Grace Bermingham, Family Support Co-ordinator with Tusla – Child and Family Agency Niamh Murphy, Youth Justice Team Leader, Kildare Youth Services Lorraine Shortt, Youth Counsellor, Kildare Youth Services John Peelo, Project Leader, Tulsa – Child and Family Agency Niall Nolan, Senior Social Work Practitioner, Tulsa – Child and Family Agency Dr Coogan added: “Each speaker at the webinar will share their experiences with NVR in practice and in their lives. We are all aiming to help end the shame and stigma surrounding parents’and carers’ experiences of child to parent violence and abuse. We will also provide practitioners and researchers with up-to-date tips and messages from research about the Non Violent Resistance model. We know that problems of child to parent violence abuse is emerging in a range of child and family services. These problems have been reported among families from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds and we also know that NVR seems to help many families.” The webinar is suitable for child and family practitioners (in public and private services), researchers and students. Attendance at the webinar is free, however advance registration is essential at https://bit.ly/36N20nG. Further information is available at www.nvrireland.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 19 November 2020

New educational platform secretlifeofmicrobes.com launched alongside webinar as part of initiatives to mark World Antimicrobial Awareness Week  NUI Galway’s Centre for One Health has launched a new website to help educate children about the threat from superbugs. The secretlifeofmicrobes.com went live this week as part of initiatives to coincide with the World Health Organisation’s World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. The website is designed for primary schools (2nd to 6th class) bringing together information, resources, games and experiments with informational videos by members of the team at the University's Ryan Institute Centre for One Health. The reseacrh team is also hosting the second in their Spotlight Series of webinars to outline NUI Galway’s ongoing research on antibiotic resistant bacteria and to discuss with experts what society can do to tackle the problem. Prof Dearbháile Morris, Director of the Ryan Institute Centre for One Health and Head of Discipline of Bacteriology, School of Medicine, NUI Galway, said: “World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is a reminder of how much the discovery of antibiotics has helped us all to live longer and healthier lives, but also of how much is at stake if we do not act to safeguard antibiotics.  “If we do not have antibiotics that work, certain types of surgery and cancer treatments will become almost impossible to perform safely.” “We can safeguard antibiotics by making sure we only use them when we need them, by making sure we complete the dose as directed by the doctor, by not sharing antibiotics with others and by making sure we bring back any unused antibiotics to the pharmacy for correct disposal.” The webinar takes place live on Zoom Friday 20 November from 2.30pm-4pm and registration is free via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/antimicrobial-resistance-a-one-health-challenge-tickets-129294036945. Dr Liam Burke, Lecturer in Bacteriology at NUI Galway, who will be among the speakers says: “When a human or animal is given antibiotics, the bacteria inside them can sometimes change their genes in order to survive. These resistance genes can be shared to other bacteria, and can be spread to the environment in waste streams such as sewage and slurry. “The global spread of antimicrobial resistance is maybe the best example of a One Health challenge, as it connects the health of humans, the health of animals and that of our shared environment.” Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria – the facts: :: A particular type of antibiotic-resistant bacteria called Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae, CPE for short, were declared a public health emergency in Ireland in October 2017. :: Some superbugs can harmlessly colonise a healthy person’s gut but they can have serious consequences if they get into the blood or urine and pose particular risk to vulnerable people. :: The first report of a death due to an untreatable infection emerged from the US in 2017. :: Scientists estimated that by 2050, 10 million deaths per year will be due to antibiotic-resistant infections. :: EU Health states that up to half of all antimicrobial use in European hospitals may be unnecessary or inappropriate which might lead to antimicrobial resistance. End