Thursday, 19 May 2022

Controlling high blood pressure and diabetes and following a healthier lifestyle from an earlier age could reduce risk of dementia in older age  NUI Galway teams up with Boston University and the University of Texas with study urging personalised rather than one size fits all approach to risk prediction International research led by NUI Galway has identified the most important risk factors for dementia in middle-aged and older people.  The study, which also involved researchers in Boston University, and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, examined data from 5,000 people to assess potential predictors for loss of cognitive function. The most important vascular risk factors for dementia were: at age 55 - high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus at age 65 - cardiovascular disease (e.g. heart attacks or angina) at ages 70 and 75 - diabetes mellitus and previous stroke at age 80 - diabetes mellitus, previous stroke and not taking blood-pressure lowering medication The study was published today in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology and was led by Professor Emer McGrath, Associate Professor at the College of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway and Consultant Neurologist at Saolta University Hospitals. The researchers measured risk factors for dementia, including age, sex, blood pressure, use of blood pressure lowering medication, a history of cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation and diabetes mellitus. The patient data was sourced from thousands of people who took part in the US-based Framingham Heart Study. Risk factors were measured at mid-life (i.e. 55) and again at ages 65, 70, 75 and 80 years-old. Professor McGrath said: “Accurately predicting a person’s future risk of dementia could inform personalised approaches to risk factor and lifestyle modification to help reduce that risk. However, predicting this is challenging as the relationship between dementia and vascular risk factors such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease and stroke varies with age.” “We found that people who had diabetes at the age of 55 were four times more likely to go on to develop dementia than people who did not have diabetes at that age” “People with heart disease at age 65 were nearly twice as likely to later develop dementia as those who did not have a heart condition, while people with a stroke at age 70 were over three times as likely to develop dementia compared to those with no stroke”. “Our study shows that predicting a person’s risk of dementia needs to be very much tailored towards the individual, taking into account their age, sex, vascular risk factors and evidence of organ damage, such as previous heart attack or stroke.  “Based on this research, we should probably be looking at more individualised, age-specific dementia risk scores, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to dementia risk prediction.” According to the Alzheimer’s Association of Ireland, 64,000 people are living with dementia in Ireland. It is estimated that the number of people with the condition will more than double in the next 25 years to more than 150,000 by 2045.  Professor McGrath said: “Our research has important implications for dementia prevention at a population-level. Controlling vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus, adopting healthier eating habits and following an active lifestyle, particularly at the early to mid-life stage, could significantly reduce a person’s risk of developing dementia down the line.” Professor Sudha Seshadri, co-author of the study, is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio and Senior Investigator with the Framingham Heart Study.  Professor Seshadri said “At younger ages, vascular risk factors like blood pressure seemed more important. At older ages, the effects of long-standing exposure to risk factors in the form of organ damage, such as stroke, seemed to best predict risk of dementia.” “Diabetes has been identified as one of seven risk factors responsible for up to one-third of cases of Alzheimer’s disease dementia and represents an important modifiable target for dementia prevention at a population-level.” Ends

Monday, 16 May 2022

The scholarship, valued at €10,000 per student, supports undergraduate students from County Roscommon each year   Monday May 16, 2022: NUI Galway and the Jones family have announced the extension of the Pauline and Bunnie Jones Scholarship Scheme for 2022.    Supported by the Jones family of Tulsk, Co Roscommon, in honour of their parents Pauline and Bunnie Jones, the scholarship was established to encourage academic achievement and support students from the county who are enrolling in an undergraduate degree at NUI Galway.   Now in its third year, the scholarships are valued at €10,000 per student. They are awarded to four students - two from Scoil Mhuire in Strokestown, and two others to students of any other secondary school in Co. Roscommon, who present the highest Leaving Certificate scores.   Speaking about the scholarship, Adrian Jones said: “We are investing in Roscommon’s future, in honour of our parents who made great sacrifices to invest in us. They both believed passionately in the transformative power of learning. Our father’s formal education ended at 12 but, in his 40s, he earned a Diploma in Social Studies, made possible by the dedication of Michael D. Higgins, then lecturing at NUI Galway. Our mother went back to NUI Galway, her alma mater, in her 70s to study Archaeology.” In 2021/2022, scholarships were awarded to: Gwen O’Rourke, Ciara Kennedy and Kellie McDermott of Scoil Mhuire in Strokestown; Shane Carr from Abbey Community College in Boyle; Michael Lohan, Vocational School, Roscommon; and Ronan Tumbek of Castelrea Community School. To be eligible for the award, students are required to have attended and sat the Leaving Certificate at any school in County Roscommon. They must apply for any full-time undergraduate course at NUI Galway through the CAO system, and upon receipt and acceptance of a CAO offer, register as a student of NUI Galway by the due registration date. Students are required to complete an expression of interest in the scholarship on or before Sunday, 1 August 2022. Full details of the scholarship scheme and the expression of interest form are available online: www.nuigalway.ie/roscommonscholarship/ Ends

Monday, 16 May 2022

NUI Galway is now accepting applications for its Taught Masters Scholarship Scheme. The merit-based scheme are valued at €1,500 per student and is open to all EU students undertaking a full-time Taught Masters Programme who have a first-class honours (or equivalent) in a Level 8 primary degree. NUI Galway offer 200 taught postgraduate programmes across all disciplines. Over 50 of the postgraduate courses are delivered fully online or via blended learning, so especially suit those who are working full or part-time, want to upskill, and enhance their career prospects. For the 2021–22 academic year, NUI Galway awarded 254 Taught Masters Scholarship towards student’s postgraduate studies. NUI Galway Masters student Emily Atkinson said: “The postgraduate scholarship is a fantastic opportunity that rewards and incentivises the hard work it takes to achieve first class honours. The scholarship allowed me prioritise finding the right postgraduate course for me, and to focus on my studies during my MSc Consumer Psychology.” Scholarship recipient Christina Gleeson said: “Without the postgraduate scholarship, it would have been more financially challenging to take on a Master’s degree after my undergraduate degree. The scholarship was a driving factor to not only achieve my goals in getting a ​first-class honours undergraduate degree in Psychology, but also it stood to me financially, and in feeling confident in my level of education going into my MSc in Clinical Neuroscience.” Applications are now open those starting graduate studies in September 2022, and the closing date for applications is 31 August 2022.   For more information on the scholarship scheme email postgrad@nuigalway.ie or visit https://www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate_scholarships/. Ends

Friday, 13 May 2022

NUI Galway has announced the first student to be awarded the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship.    Alan Donnelly, a native of Killala, Co Mayo, is a first year BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics student. During his fifth year in Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, he developed a suite of Digital Flashcards to help with revision when he was travelling to school on the bus.  The Digital Flashcards become very popular with classmates and teachers, Alan created a charity donation list, and students who donated were sent a copy of the cards. The Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship is funded through the generous philanthropic support of the Liffey Trust. The scholarship will help to support students in the University’s newly launched student innovation and entrepreneurship hub, IdeasLab. It will also help to promote the concepts of job creation, entrepreneurial development and education for life for undergraduate students commencing their studies.  Alan said: “I am incredibly honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Séamus McDermott Entrepreneurial Scholarship. I was very fortunate to have wonderful teachers in Gornor Abbey who supported my entrepreneurial spirit. Being a student in NUI Galway I can develop these skills further through working with the IdeasLab and the Consultants and Entrepreneurship Society.  “Through the award of the Scholarship, I am also connected with students from across Ireland through The Liffey Trust and I look forward to developing my knowledge and my network through all of these opportunities.” Alongside his studies at NUI Galway, Alan is actively engaged in the student entrepreneurship community working with IdeasLab and the NUI Galway Consultants and Entrepreneurs Society. Chairman of The Liffey Trust, Aidan Corless said: “Alan has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and we are delighted to sponsor his journey through NUI Galway, who are leading the way in promoting entrepreneurs. Alan joins other Seamus McDermott Entrepreneurial scholars from other institutions and is now connected to our business hub in Dublin.”  The Liffey Trust was established more than 30 years ago and has been supporting entrepreneurs to establish and grow new businesses since then. The NUI Galway scholarship is named in honour of the founder of the Liffey Trust, Galway native Séamus McDermott, in recognition of his contribution to entrepreneurship in Ireland.  First year undergraduate students at NUI Galway can apply for a scholarship valued at up to €9,000 for the duration of their studies at the University. The next call for applicants will commence in October 2022.  For further information on the scholarship contact ideaslab@nuigalway.ie.  Ends

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

NUI Galway co-leads European dialogue highlighting its place as a world top 50 university for sustainable development  The planned regeneration of Nun’s Island in Galway City is to feature at a special event held as part of NUI Galway’s role in the European ENLIGHT University Alliance. The European Dialogue conference is hosted by Uppsala University, Sweden and co-led by NUI Galway and takes place this week, May 11-12, 2022 on the theme of Sustainable Urban Development. The conference will involve representatives from Galway City Council, the Western Development Commission and Galway Chamber as stakeholders in the development of the west of Ireland and Galway region.  This week’s ENLIGHT European Dialogue is an opportunity for the universities and stakeholders from across the nine regions in the partnership to connect, learn and reflect on novel approaches to the pressing challenge of sustainable urban development. Key sustainable urban development projects will be showcased and discussed, including NUI Galway’s partnership with Galway City Council on the regeneration of Nun’s Island to create collaborative cultural spaces. Professor Becky Whay, NUI Galway’s Vice President International, said: “The ENLIGHT alliance exemplifies NUI Galway’s commitment to openness and diversity in our University, creating international opportunities for students and staff, as well as connecting Galway and the wider western region with the ENLIGHT cities and regions. NUI Galway wants to excite our students and staff, attracting world class partners that better enable us to contribute to broader transformations at local, national and global levels and ENLIGHT is a key contributor to this.” NUI Galway is the number one university in Ireland and a world top-50 for sustainable development, according to the Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings.  Paul Dodd, NUI Galway’s Vice President Engagement, said: “NUI Galway is building on the foundation of strong regional partnerships through ENLIGHT to enable deeper engagement on big challenges facing society.  “ENLIGHT affords us and our stakeholders a great opportunity to create a dialogue on sustainable urban development at a European level and showcase best practice in the university – a world top-50 for sustainable development.  “Our focus is also on learning from challenges being put forward by colleagues across the network and using these to form the basis for challenge-based education projects and research collaborations, and new opportunities for our students and staff.” ENLIGHT is a partnership of nine universities, supported by the Government and the European Commission, to build a platform for the creation a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. The ENLIGHT University Alliance includes - NUI Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); Uppsala University (Sweden). ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education, addressing societal challenges and promoting equitable quality of life, sustainability and external engagement with the communities of the partner universities. Ends

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Sligo students at the University’s School of Law named Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholars Two NUI Galway law students from Sligo have been awarded special scholarships created in partnership between the global law firm DLA Piper and the University’s School of Law. Annie Forde, from Enniscrone, Co Sligo, and Joan Ighile, from Sligo Town have been named the Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholars for the academic year 2021/2022. Both students are undertaking the undergrad degree Law (BCL), Criminology and Criminal Justice, at NUI Galway’s School of Law. The Terence O’Malley DLA Piper Scholarship is named after the Chairman Emeritus of the law firm who has family roots in the west of Ireland. It provides funding and support to enable and empower successful students to study a law degree at NUI Galway and is awarded in-part on academic merit. Maura Dineen, Partner at DLA Piper, met with the scholars on campus and shared interesting insights into her fascinating career advising domestic and international clients on tax matters. Ms Dineen said: “We are proud to partner with NUI Galway’s School of Law to support deserving students like Annie and Joan, as they pursue their studies in law. It was a pleasure to visit the campus, talk to the students about their experience and hear the positive impact the Terence O’Malley DLA Piper scholarship has had on their studies so far. We wish all of the students the very best in their studies and look forward to seeing what innovative thinking they contribute to the industry in the future.” Professor Martin Hogg, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to have the continued support by DLA Piper of two more students under this scholarship programme. The educational opportunities which these scholarships afford are highly valued by the School and by the scholars and we’re very grateful to DLA Piper for this investment in two lawyers of the future.” The scholarship supports scholars throughout their four-year law degree to the value of €2,500 annually (total value of €10,000 per scholar). It is open to first year students who are enrolled in one of NUI Galway’s five full law degrees and have a home address in the west of Ireland (to include all counties in Connacht plus counties Donegal and Clare).  Annie Forde said: “Studying Law at NUI Galway has been a highly enjoyable experience and I am grateful that DLA Piper are able to support me in my academic endeavours. This scholarship has had a positive impact on my life and I hope that in my future legal career that I can make a positive change in people’s lives.” Joan Ighile said: “This scholarship has given me the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy my study of Law at NUI Galway with lessened financial stress. It has been a great support to me, and I’d like to thank DLA Piper for their great generosity in continuing to support Irish students pursuing a career in Law." The Scholarship was launched in 2020 at NUI Galway following Terence O’Malley’s retirement from a highly-regarded legal career, serving in various roles including as DLA Piper's US Managing Partner, US Co-Chairman, and Global Co-Chief executive officer. The inaugural scholars were Ava Cullinan, Law (BCL) student from Kilrush, Co Clare and Emily Donnellan, Law (BCL), Criminology and Criminal Justice student from Maree, Co Galway. In addition to the scholarship, a separate annual Terence O’Malley DLA Piper bursary is awarded to a NUI Galway Law student achieving the highest grade in the University’s Law and Innovation module.  DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 40 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. DLA Piper established in Ireland in 2019 with offices in Dublin.  DLA Piper clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. For full details about this scholarship, including terms and conditions, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/dlapiperscholarship   Ends

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

NUI Galway has launched a short documentary - ‘From Tehran to Galway: Professor Afshin Samali’s journey from refugee to cancer research scientist’.    The production tells the story of Professor Samali, Professor for Cancer Biology at NUI Galway, who came to Ireland as a refugee in his late teens in 1985.  The short film highlights Professor Samali’s family’s experience escaping a conflict zone and their integration into Irish society.   In highlighting Professor Samali’s story, NUI Galway - a designated University of Sanctuary - hopes to inspire its community to be more accepting of cultural differences, open to new experiences and to better participate in welcoming our diverse community.   Professor Samali was born in Iran and is a member of the Baháʼí faith which advocates peace and unity and equality between men and women. As one of the Baháʼí leaders, Afshin’s stepfather was wanted by the authorities where he potentially faced imprisonment and execution, like other Baháʼí leaders.  Rather than denounce their religion, Afshin’s family abandoned their privileged life, raising money to pay smugglers to take them from Iran, navigating traitorous mountains, ravines and deserts, and negotiating with boarder control to Pakistan where they registered as refugees with UNHCR. As part of a group of 26 refugees, Afshin’s family as were resettled in Ireland in response to Ireland's humanitarian remit, and in December in 1985 the Samali family began their new life in Sligo.  Professor Samali said “I believe that we have interlinked responsibilities both to work on our own personal development and progress, and to collaborate with each other towards the betterment of our society. Education plays a central role in this dual moral responsibility as we develop our core values and a common vision for the type of society we want to live in. This belief has been a guiding compass in my personal journey.”  As a University of Sanctuary, NUI Galway has many entrance pathways and opportunities in higher education to support and inspire refugees.  In launching the documentary, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “The history of Ireland is a history of refugees. When NUI Galway was founded in 1845, Ireland was facing challenging times and our university made a profound and positive difference since in the progress of our region, the development of our nation and in international citizenship and human rights. Today, we continue that contribution of kindness by welcoming refugees to our university. The sharing of experiences enhances and positively changes both their lives and ours, as a university, as a community and as individuals.  “Consistent with our university’s values of Openness and Respect, Afshin’s journey as a refugee, illustrated so vividly in this documentary, is a truly inspiring example for all our students and staff alike. He has made an excellent contribution here, sustaining our mission in research, teaching and engagement. We are a better place for his presence and thank him for being here with us.”    Associate Professor Mary Dempsey, Vice Dean for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, College of Science and Engineering, said: “Afshin’s academic contribution to our university has enriched both learning and research. His personal contribution has reinforced our core values and the importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.  “The College of Science and Engineering remains committed to supporting our University of Sanctuary scholars and as part of our Diversity initiative, highlighting role models such as our inspirational colleague Afshin, whilst giving our students a safe space, hope and an impetus to succeed.” ‘From Tehran to Galway: Professor Afshin Samali’s journey from refugee to cancer research scientist’ can be view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbFrGUyMDPw.  Ends 

Monday, 9 May 2022

Session to outline options for Access Programmes and Foundation Studies Diploma courses NUI Galway is hosting a special information session for prospective students eligible for alternative pathways into university. The event will be open to anyone seeking advice on courses available through the Access Centre and for people applying for part-time courses as mature students. The information session takes place on Thursday May 12 from 6.30-7.30pm in the O’Flaherty Theatre, Arts/Science Building. It will focus on Access Programme or Foundation Studies Diploma courses in 2022-23. Dr Mary Surlis, Senior Manager of NUI Galway’s Access Centre, said: “There are several options available to prospective students who are looking for an alternative admissions route to NUI Galway and who may require some extra guidance in deciding on their educational pathway and we are here to help, guide and support. “Our courses are designed to provide students with a strong foundation as they progress to third level. We have some fantastic graduates who have come through our courses and have gone on to great things.” Representatives from the Access Centre and Programme Coordinators will be at the information session to advise and answer questions and to support those who wish to take that first step into third level education. The Access Centre is currently accepting applications from school leavers and mature students for its full-time Access Programmes and its part-time Foundation Studies Diploma courses in Science, Technology and Engineering, and Business, Law, and Arts. The Access Programme is designed specifically as an alternative admission route to third level education for people from socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds that are underrepresented at third level. It aims to support students to build confidence in themselves and their academic ability, and to support them to reach their full potential through core modules such as academic writing, IT skills, study skills and education guidance. Students also get the opportunity to do taster courses as an introductory to university before choosing an undergraduate degree. The Foundation Studies Diploma courses are intensive part-time courses taught over 26 weeks. They are open to mature applicants, aged 22 or over, who are interested in applying for entry to full-time undergraduate courses. For more information and to register for the information session visit www.nuigalway.ie/access, or contact access@nuigalway.ie for further details. Ends

Friday, 6 May 2022

Research reveals how cells rewire to survive and spread   Scientists at NUI Galway have discovered how cells related to one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer can rewire themselves to have a better chance of surviving and spreading to other sites in the body. The breakthrough finding by the team at the Apoptosis Research Centre in the University shows that a specific cell behaviour - known as the IRE1 stress response pathway - adapts the metabolism of triple negative breast cancer cells. Afshin Samali, Professor of Cancer Biology and Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Most importantly, our research at NUI Galway shows that in fact this cell behaviour can be reversed through the use of specialised drugs inhibiting IRE1.” The findings have been published today (6 May 2022) in the internationally renowned Nature Communications journal. The research focuses on cell behaviour in triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive and difficult to treat forms of breast cancer. It accounts for about 15% of all breast cancers diagnosed and is more common in younger women.  Unlike other forms of breast cancer, there are no targeted therapies available for triple negative breast cancer. The research highlighted how fast growing tumours often experience nutrient deprivation - meaning they lack what is required to grow and spread. However, cancer cells can rewire their metabolism - often referred to as metabolic reprogramming - to compensate for a low availability of nutrients.  The team at NUI Galway, led by Professor Afshin Samali and Professor Adrienne Gorman, demonstrate for the first time how the IRE1 stress response pathway rewires cancer cell metabolism. It does this by altering the levels of a key enzyme in lipid metabolism, which in turn increases the resistance of triple negative breast cancer cells to low nutrient conditions that often occur in the tumour. The research also shows how this resistance can be reversed through targeted treatment.  Afshin Samali, Professor of Cancer Biology and Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The new era of precision oncology aims to tailor treatments to individual cancer patients. Here at NUI Galway, we have made a breakthrough and it is hugely exciting to identify new therapeutic target for triple negative breast cancer. “Our previous research showed that inhibition of IRE1 improves the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduces relapse of this highly aggressive form of breast cancer. Building on that, we can now demonstrate that this same cell pathway works to create an environment which makes it easier for these breast cancer cells to survive.   “What our research also shows is that targeting IRE1, or switching off the response mechanism of IRE1, could be particularly beneficial for the many patients whose cancer cells rely on the specific metabolic reprogramming it induces.”   Professor in Biochemistry, Adrienne Gorman, said: ‘We are getting ever closer to understanding the intricacies of cancer. Identifying new therapeutic targets such as IRE1 that are part of the tumour’s support system is very significant in offering another way to combat cancer.’ Dr Katarzyna Mnich, one of the research team at NUI Galway, said: “This work has uncovered a previously unknown role for IRE1 in triple negative breast cancer and it shows we need further investigation into the biology of IRE1. Most importantly for patients, the research also supports further development of IRE1 inhibitors as therapeutics for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer.” The study was funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. Ends

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Teaching excellence at NUI Galway was celebrated at a special ceremony, where awards were presented to staff members for outstanding efforts in teaching. The President’s Awards for Teaching Excellence and the College Awards for Teaching Excellence recognise the commitment of teaching staff who strive to ensure students at the University receive the best learning experience. Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Today’s event is an important event in the University’s calendar. It is about recognising, demonstrating our appreciation, and rewarding the very significant teaching contributions made by our staff. “Excellence is a core strategic value of NUI Galway with an objective to respect and support the ambition of our students and staff and these awards recognise and celebrate that pledge. On behalf of the University community, I want to commend the recipients for their commitment to enriching the student learning experience, particularly during the recent times of using remote learning, alternative and innovative technologies to engage with our students.” Recipients of the 2022 President’s Awards for Teaching Excellence: Dr John Murray, School of Natural Sciences Ms Ursula Connolly, School of Law Dr Rónán Kennedy, School of Law Dr Lindsay Myers, School of Languages, Literature and Culture  2022 College Awards for Teaching Excellence: College of Business, Public Policy and Law:  Dr Rónán Kennedy; Dr Sheila Malone; Ursula Connolly College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies Dr Lindsay Myers; Dr Richard Hull; Dr Su-Ming Khoo College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Dr Leo Quinlan; Dr Sharon Glynn; Dr Yvonne Finn College of Science and Engineering Dr Attracta Brennan; Dr Eoghan Clifford; Dr John Murray Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “Inspirational teaching has always been a key feature of the learning experience at NUI Galway and I wish to congratulate both those receiving College Awards and the winners of the President’s Awards - it is a tremendous recognition of your commitment to enriching the student learning experience. I would also like to congratulate the awardees from 2019/20 and 2021 who were nominated and recognised during the pandemic. It is wonderful to be able to mark your excellence over the last two years. “All winners this year and over the previous two years demonstrated a passion for teaching, evidenced strongly by outstanding student feedback on their teaching methods and approaches.” The Teaching Excellence ceremony also celebrated the 2021 and 2020 awardees, who were announced during online events during the pandemic. 2021 President’s Awards for Teaching Excellence  Dr Giuseppe Zurlo, College of Science and Engineering; Dr Eamon Ó Cofaigh, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; Dr Lorraine Morgan, College of Business, Public Policy and Law; and Dr Maeve O’Rourke, College of Business Public Policy and Law Team Award: Dr Katrina Lacey and Professor Gerard Wall, College of Science and Engineering 2019/20 President’s Awards for Teaching Excellence  Professor Mary Dempsey, College of Science and Engineering; Dr Aisling McCluskey, College of Science and Engineering; Professor Frances McCormack, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; and Dr Ella Murphy, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Team Award: Therese Conway, Mike Hynes, and Professor Frances Fahy, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Ends

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

Rinneadh Feabhas Teagaisc a cheiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanas speisialta, mar ar bronnadh duaiseanna ar chomhaltaí foirne i ngeall ar sháriarrachtaí teagaisc. Le Gradaim an Uachtaráin don Fheabhas Teagaisc agus le Gradaim Choláiste don Teagaisc aithnítear tiomantas na foirne teagaisc a dhéanann a ndícheall le cinntiú go mbeidh an t-eispéaras foghlama is fearr ag mic léinn na hOllscoile. Dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is ócáid thábhachtach í ócáid an lae inniu i bhféilire na hOllscoile. Is é is ábhar di ná an cion suntasach teagaisc atá déanta ag ár bhfoireann a aithint, ár mbuíochas a chur in iúl as, agus gradaim a bhronnadh dá bharr. “Is croíluach straitéiseach de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é an barr feabhais agus tá sé mar aidhm againn meas a léiriú agus tacú le huaillmhian ár gcuid mac léinn agus comhaltaí foirne agus aithnítear agus ceiliúrtar an gealltanas sin leis na gradaim seo. Ar son phobail na hOllscoile, is áil liom na buaiteoirí a mholadh as ucht a dtiomantais d’éispéireas foghlama an mhic léinn a shaibhriú, go háirithe le deireanas le linn úsáid na dteicneolaíochtaí malartacha, nuálacha a bhaineann leis an bhfoghlaim chianda lenár gcuid mac léinn a theagasc.” Buaiteoirí Ghradaim an Uachtaráin 2022 don Fheabhas Teagaisc -      An Dr John Murray, Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Nádúrtha -      Ursula Connolly, Uasal, Scoil an Dlí -      An Dr Rónán Kennedy, Scoil an Dlí -      An Dr Lindsay Myers, Scoil na dTeangacha, na Litríochtaí agus na gCultúr Gradaim Choláiste 2022 don Fheabhas Teagasc: Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí: -      An Dr Rónán Kennedy; an Dr Sheila Malone; Ursula Connolly Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, agus an Léinn Cheiltigh -      An Dr Lindsay Myers; an Dr Richard Hull; an Dr Su-Ming Khoo Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte -      An Dr Leo Quinlan; an Dr Sharon Glynn; an Dr Yvonne Finn Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta -      An Dr Attracta Brennan; an Dr Eoghan Clifford; an Dr John Murray Bhí le rá ag an Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Bhí scoth an teagaisc ina ghné bhunúsach den eispéireas foghlama in OÉ Gaillimh riamh agus is mian liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leo siúd a bhfuil Gradaim Choláiste á mbronnadh orthu mar aon le buaiteoirí Ghradaim an Uachtaráin – is aitheantas iontach é ar bhur dtiomantas d’eispéireas foghlama an mhic léinn a shaibhriú. Ba mhaith liom tréaslú freisin le buaiteoirí 2019/20 agus 2021 a ainmníodh agus ar tugadh aitheantas dóibh le linn na paindéime. Is iontach an rud é a bheith in ann an barr feabhais atá bainte amach agaibh le dhá bhliain anuas a cheiliúradh. “Tá paisean teagaisc léirithe ag gach buaiteoir i mbliana agus an dá bhliain roimhe seo, rud atá le sonrú in aiseolas mac léinn den scoth faoina gcuid modhanna teagaisc. Rinneadh buaiteoirí 2021 agus 2020 a cheiliúradh ag an searmanas don Fheabhas Teagaisc, a fógraíodh i gcaitheamh ócáidí ar líne le linn na paindéime. Gradaim an Uachtaráin 2021 don Fheabhas Teagaisc  -      An Dr Giuseppe Zurlo, Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta; an Dr Eamon Ó Cofaigh, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; an Dr Lorraine Morgan, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí agus an Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí Gradam na Foirne: An Dr Katrina Lacey agus an tOllamh Gerard Wall, Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta Gradaim an Uachtaráin 2019/ 20 don Fheabhas Teagaisc -      An tOllamh Mary Dempsey, Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta; an Dr Aisling McCluskey, Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus na hInnealtóireachta; an tOllamh Frances McCormack, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; agus an Dr Ella Murphy, Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte Gradam na Foirne: Therese Conway, Mike Hynes, agus an tOllamh Frances Fahy, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh Críoch

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Researchers at three universities in Ireland, Scotland and Wales are joining forces to develop new tools for identifying drugs to treat multiple, currently incurable, neurological diseases. More than 40 different human disorders, including Huntington’s disease and myotonic dystrophy, are caused by an increase in number of repeated DNA sequence within the associated gene. The DNA sequence is usually less than 30 repeats in the general population but is more than 40 repeats in affected patients. The more DNA repeats a person inherits, the earlier the age at onset of symptoms and the worse the disease. Most interestingly, the repeat also grows in number throughout the lifetime of the individual, accelerating the disease process. Stopping the repeat from growing during an individual’s lifetime thus presents as a novel therapeutic approach. In this new project, the three teams will work together to develop novel technologies to monitor how the number of repeats changes in cells grown in the laboratory. This system will then be used to identify new drugs that slow the rate at which the repeat grows. The hope is that one such drug could then be used to treat multiple inherited disorders, including Huntington’s disease and myotonic dystrophy. Professor Bob Lahue, of the Centre for Chromosome Biology and the Galway Neuroscience Centre at NUI Galway, said: “There are several related neurological diseases, such as Huntington’s, for which we do not have treatments that can alter the course of the disease. The focus of the research in this project is to develop new technologies which allow us to better understand what causes these diseases.” Professor Lahue is leading the research and working with research groups at the University of Glasgow, led by Professor Darren Monckton, and at the UK Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff University, led by Professor Vincent Dion. “We are very fortunate that Professor Monckton at the University of Glasgow and Professor Dion at Cardiff University are part of the efforts to learn more about these neurological diseases. The three of us have complementary strengths in a common cause to understand and combat disease-causing genetic mutations known as triplet repeat expansions.” The project is titled TRXassay - Development of a novel pre-clinical assay to detect triplet repeat expansions and is co-funded by the European Joint Programme on Rare Diseases (EJP-RD) and by LoQus23 Therapeutics Ltd of Cambridge, UK.   Speaking on behalf of the EJP-RD, Dr Christine Fetro of the Foundation for Rare Diseases said: “The TRXassay was one of three projects selected for funding within the Rare Diseases Research (RDR) Challenges call led by Fondation Maladies Rares and EJP-RD. This collaborative project brings together academic innovators with an industry partner to drive rare disease research towards effective treatments, which is at the very heart of this European funding initiative.” Dr David Reynolds, chief executive of LoQus23, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting project with leading academics in the field. The project has potential to deliver assays suitable for discovering therapeutics to treat Huntington’s and other triplet repeat diseases.” Ends

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Portráid nochta in Aula Maxima na hOllscoile mar chomhartha ómóis dá bhfuil déanta ag an iarbhreitheamh don institiúid sin  Tugadh ómós don Bhreitheamh Catherine McGuinness in OÉ Gaillimh nuair a nochtadh portráid choimisiúnaithe di san Ollscoil. Bhí an breitheamh Cúirte Uachtaraí atá ar scor ina Cathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile ó ceapadh í i mí Feabhra 2013 go dtí Eanáir 2021. Rinneadh coimisiúnú ar leith ar an ealaíontóir mór le rá Hetty Lawlor le portráid den Bhreitheamh McGuinness a tharraingt, mar cheiliúradh ar a raibh déanta aici do OÉ Gaillimh. Bhí Catherine McGuinness ina Cathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile ar feadh ocht mbliana agus threoraigh sí an Ollscoil trí thréimhse shuntasach forbartha. Faoina stiúir, rinneadh athrú ó bhonn ar champais OÉ Gaillimh, cuireadh go leor áiseanna nua teagaisc agus taighde ar fáil, tháinig méaduithe suntasacha ar líon na mac léinn agus fás tapa ar fheidhmíocht agus ar phróifíl taighde na hOllscoile go hidirnáisiúnta.  Agus é ag nochtadh an tsaothair ealaíne, thréaslaigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, a gairm bheatha agus a cuid abhcóideachta leis an mBreitheamh McGuinness. “Léirítear sa phortráid seo cineáltas agus eagna Catherine McGuinness, tréithe a roinn sí linne in OÉ Gaillimh agus a léirigh sí ina saol agus ina gairm bheatha. In OÉ Gaillimh is mór againn ár gcuid luachanna - meas, oscailteacht, barr feabhais agus inbhuanaitheacht. Is é an aidhm atá againn ná go mbeadh na luachanna sin dár dtreorú inár gcuid oibre mar phobal agus ar mhaithe le leas an phobail. Is mór an phribhléid é a bheith ag obair le duine ar léiriú cruthanta ar na luachanna sin a saol agus a gairm bheatha,” a dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh. “Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil leis an mBreitheamh McGuinness as an tacaíocht mheáite a thug sí agus as a léargas fíorluachmhar - an cineáltas agus an ghaois - nuair a bhí Údarás na hOllscoile faoina stiúir ar feadh blianta fada." Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an mBreitheamh McGuinness: “Ba mhór an onóir é a bheith ag obair le OÉ Gaillimh agus cúnamh beag a thabhairt don dul chun cinn iontach atá déanta ag an Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas. Is mór an onóir dom freisin aitheantas buan a bheith léirithe dom leis an bportráid seo. Táim buíoch díobh siúd ar fad a raibh sé d’ádh orm oibriú leo agus guím gach rath ar an ollscoil sa teagasc agus san fhoghlaim, sa saol acadúil agus sa taighde agus san obair ar son leas an phobail.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Cathaoirleach reatha Údarás na hOllscoile, OÉ Gaillimh: “Bhí taithí uathúil ag an mBreitheamh McGuinness agus í ag tabhairt faoina ról mar Chathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile. Bhain sí éachtaí amach ina gairm bheatha sular ceapadh í ar Údarás na hOllscoile. B’iarSheanadóir í agus bhí sí i mbun gníomhaíochais ar feadh a saoil. Rinne sí a cuid oibre go críonna mar Bhreitheamh sa Chúirt Chuarda, san Ard-Chúirt agus sa Chúirt Uachtarach. Cheap an tUachtarán Pádraig Ó hIrghile agus an tUachtarán Micheál D. Ó hUigínn araon í ina ball den Chomhairle Stáit. D’fheidhmigh sí ar an nGníomhaireacht um Chomhionannas Fostaíochta, ar an bhFóram um Shíocháin agus Athmhuintearas agus bhí sí ina pátrún ar Chomhairle Teifeach na hÉireann.  Bhí taithí ar leith aici agus léirigh sí cumas breithiúnais ar leith agus í i ról an Chathaoirligh. Tá an Ollscoil faoi chomaoin aici as an obair agus an tiomantas a léirigh sí dá lán den fhorbairt atá déanta inti ó 2013 i leith.” Tá Údarás na hOllscoile, Údarás Rialaithe OÉ Gaillimh, freagrach as maoirsiú a dhéanamh ar ghnóthaí na hollscoile agus tá sé freagrach as rialachas iomlán na hOllscoile, de réir Acht na nOllscoileanna, 1997. Tugann sé ceannaireacht agus treoir straitéiseach leanúnach chun go n-éireoidh leis an Ollscoil a misean oideachais agus taighde a chur i gcrích. Críoch

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Portrait unveiled at University’s Aula Maxima to mark former judge’s contribution to the institution  Judge Catherine McGuinness has been honoured by NUI Galway with the unveiling of a specially commissioned portrait at the University.  The retired Supreme Court judge served as Chair of Údarás na hOllscoile – the University’s Governing Authority – from her appointment in February 2013 until January 2021. Judge McGuinness’s portrait, by award-winning artist Hetty Lawlor, was specially commissioned to mark her exceptional contribution to NUI Galway. Catherine McGuinness served as Cathaoirleach of Údarás na hOllscoile for eight years and guided the University through a significant period in its development. Under her stewardship NUI Galway saw the transformation of its campuses, with the addition of many new facilities for teaching and research, significant increases in student numbers and rapid growth in the University’s research performance and profile internationally. Unveiling the artwork, President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh paid tribute to Judge McGuinness’s career and advocacy. “This portrait captures the kindness and wisdom of Catherine McGuinness, attributes which she brought to us at NUI Galway and to her life and career. At NUI Galway our values - respect, openness, excellence and sustainability - are important to us. Our aim is that they are the lodestar for all our work as a community and for the public good. It is a privilege to have worked with someone whose life and career is the very embodiment of the essence of those values,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said.  “I want to thank Judge McGuinness for the steady support and invaluable insight - the kindness and wisdom - she brought to the role and the stewardship of Údarás na hOllscoile -  our Governing Authority - for many years.” Judge McGuinness said: “It has been a huge honour to have worked with NUI Galway and to have helped in a small measure with the tremendous progress the University has made in recent years. I am also honoured to be permanently recognised with a portrait. I am grateful to all those I was fortunate enough to work with and I wish the university every success in teaching and learning, in academia and research and working for the public good.” Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, current Chairperson of Údarás na hOllscoile, NUI Galway, said: “Judge McGuinness brought a unique experience to her role as chair of Údarás na hOllscoile. She came to the Údarás after a stellar career. She was a former Senator and a lifelong activist. She served with distinction as a Judge of the Circuit, High and Supreme Courts. She was appointed as a member of the Council of State by both President Patrick Hillery and President Michael D. Higgins. She served on the Employment Equality Agency, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and became patron of the Irish Refugee Council.  She brought a unique breadth of experience and judgement to the role of Cathaoirleach and the University is indebted to her for the work and dedication she showed to so much of its development since 2013." Údarás na hOllscoile, the Governing Authority of NUI Galway, is responsible for overseeing the affairs of the university and is charged with the overall governance of the University, in accordance with the Universities Act 1997. It provides active strategic direction and leadership to enable the University to succeed in its mission of education and research. Ends 

Monday, 27 June 2022

NUI Galway has selected six projects by current and retired staff to showcase the breadth of the history of the institution.  NUI Galway was established in 1845 as Queen’s College Galway, and following construction of the iconic Quadrangle building, the University opened its doors four years later to the first cohort of just 68 students.   The six projects selected aim to draw on the history and heritage of the institution and to deepen its connection to the community and its focus on working for public good. Following the announcement of the six projects NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “I am particularly pleased that these research projects are rooted in our university community in all of its diversity. They include research on the history of LGBTQ in our university, as well as that of the Irish Traveller community here. They draw on the collective memory of our retired staff, who hold so much institutional knowledge and social history of this place.  “The projects include the beginning of Irish language scholarship in the university through the figure of Tomás Ó Máille, as well as the development of our Library and archives – both of which set this university apart. And they engage students in using the most up-to-date technologies to record our current shape and size for future scholars.” The initiative to select six projects follows on from the celebration of the university’s 175th anniversary in 2020.  They are:  Culture and Citizenship: Tomás Ó Máille by Professor Lillis Ó Laoire and Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile  This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Professor Tomás Ó Máille (1880-1938), Galway's first Professor of Irish from 1909 to 1938. A folklore collector, linguist, newspaper editor, one-time Irish Volunteer and founding member of An Taibhdhearc, he is best known for his books An Béal Beo and An tIomaire Rua.  Ó Máille recorded hundreds of wax cylinders - recently digitized - of songs and stories from Irish speakers from every county west of the Shannon.  A key figure in the emergence of the modern Irish state, culture and citizenship are the cornerstones of Ó Máille's legacy.  The exhibition will run in the Hardiman Research Building from September 16 until December before touring. Exploring LGBTQ+ Lives at NUI Galway by Dr Declan Coogan and NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network Committee The key question this project will seek to answer is who/what were the people, places and events within or led by our university that influenced progress on human rights for LGBTQ+ people?  The project will also ask about the issues that remain to be resolved and co-develop strategies the university and partners might adopt to promote future progress.  MincéirsArchive – An Online Digital Archive of the Irish Travelling Community by Owen Ward, the Traveller History and Culture Sub-Working Group, Mincéirs Misl'd in Education Committee, Mincéirs Whiden Society, and Kieran Hoare, NUI Galway Library This is a digital archive of a growing collection of all types, complemented by historical documents and scholarly texts.  It will illustrate NUI Galway’s positive relationship with the Irish Traveller community, enhancing our university’s reputation as a champion for equality, inclusion and diversity.  The collection will include items from numerous archives and the team are making a public call for donations of historical materials linked to Traveller culture. History of the Library in 100 Objects by Marie Boran, Caitriona Cannon, Geraldine Curtin, Patricia Ffrench and Emma Goode, with assistance from Eimhin Joyce and NUI Galway Library The Library opened in 1849, with the distinguished scholar and historian, James Hardiman, as the first librarian.  One hundred objects will be chosen from collections - including books, manuscripts, archival collections, letters, photographs, newspaper issues, library furniture, stationery or artefacts - to tell its story. A Virtual and Tactile Record of the NUI Galway Campus Today by Eileen Kennedy and MakerSpace student volunteers Drone photography and photogrammetry will be used to generate a snapshot of the University campus as it stands, 177 years since its founding, and create a 3d virtual campus map. A Visual History Archive for NUI Galway: The Retired Staff Collection by Professor Jane Conroy, Professor Gerard Jennings, and Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna on behalf of the Retired Staff Association/Agallamh na Seanórach Drawing on private collections of photographs and film, this project will create a visual record of the University’s past. It will be the first university in Ireland to document and preserve its history and the history of its people and community in this way.  Ends

Monday, 27 June 2022

Tá sé thionscadal roghnaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh a raibh baint ag comhaltaí foirne reatha agus comhaltaí foirne atá ar scor leo chun stair na hinstitiúide a léiriú.  Bunaíodh OÉ Gaillimh sa bhliain 1845 mar Choláiste na Banríona, Gaillimh agus nuair a tógadh an Chearnóg aitheanta osclaíodh doirse na hOllscoile ceithre bliana ina dhiaidh sin don chéad chohórt de 68 mac léinn. Tá sé mar aidhm ag na sé thionscadal a roghnaíodh tarraingt ar stair agus oidhreacht na hinstitiúide agus a nasc leis an bpobal agus a fócas ar oibriú ar son leas an phobail a neartú. Tar éis na sé thionscadal a fhógairt dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá áthas faoi leith orm go bhfuil na tionscadail taighde seo fréamhaithe i bpobail éagsúla na hollscoile. Áirítear leo taighde ar an stair LGBTQ san ollscoil, chomh maith le pobal Taistealaithe na hÉireann anseo. Tarraingíonn siad ar chuimhní ár gcomhaltaí foirne ar scor a bhfuil an oiread sin eolas institiúideach faoin áit seo agus faoin stair shóisialta acu.  Áiríonn na tionscadail chomh maith spléachadh ar thús léann na Gaeilge san ollscoil trí shaol agus saothar Thomáis Uí Mháille, chomh maith le forbairt na Leabharlainne agus na gCartlann – ar gnéithe uathúla an dá cheann acu den ollscoil seo. Anuas air sin, déanfaidh siad spéis ár gcuid mac léinn a spreagadh trí úsáid a bhaint as na teicneolaíochtaí is nuaí chun go mbeidh taifead ar chuma agus cruth reatha na hollscoile ann do scoláirí na todhchaí.” Tagann an tionscnamh chun sé thionscadal a roghnú sna sála ar an gcomóradh 175 bliain den ollscoil in 2020.  Seo a leanas na tionscadail:  Cultúr agus Saoránacht: Tomás Ó Máille leis an Ollamh Lillis Ó Laoire agus an Dr Deirdre Ní Chonghaile Déanann an taispeántas seo saol agus saothar an Ollaimh Tomás Ó Máille (1880-1938) a cheiliúradh, arbh é an chéad Ollamh le Gaeilge i nGaillimh é idir 1909 agus 1938. Is fearr an aithne atá air as a leabhair An Béal Beo agus An tIomaire Rua agus bhí sé ina bhailitheoir béaloidis, ina theangeolaí, ina eagarthóir nuachtáin, ina bhall d’Óglaigh na hÉireann tráth, agus ar dhuine acu siúd a bhunaigh an Taibhdhearc.  Rinne Ó Máille amhráin agus scéalta ó chainteoirí Gaeilge ó gach contae taobh thiar den tSionainn a thaifeadadh ar shorcóirí céarach, agus tá digitiú déanta ar na sorcóirí sin le gairid.  Bhí Ó Máille ar dhuine de cheannródaithe stát nua-aimseartha na hÉireann, agus cultúr agus saoránacht ina mbunchlocha dá oidhreacht.  Reáchtálfar an taispeántas in Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin ón 16 Meán Fómhair 2022 go dtí mí na Nollag 2022, sula dtéann sé ar camchuairt. Iniúchadh ar an Eispéireas LGBTQ+ in OÉ Gaillimh leis an Dr Declan Coogan agus Coiste Líonra Foirne LGBT+ OÉ Gaillimh Féachfaidh an tionscadal seo leis an bpríomhcheist seo a fhreagairt: cé hiad na daoine, nó céard iad na háiteanna nó na himeachtaí laistigh dár n-ollscoil, nó a raibh an ollscoil i gceannas orthu, a raibh tionchar acu ar an dul chun cinn atá déanta ag daoine LGBTQ+ maidir le cearta an duine?  Déanfaidh an tionscadal cíoradh ar na saincheisteanna atá fós le réiteach agus forbróidh sé straitéisí a bhféadfadh an ollscoil agus comhpháirtithe eile glacadh leo chun dul chun cinn sa todhchaí a éascú.  Cartlann Mincéirs – Cartlann Dhigiteach ar Líne de Phobal Taistealaithe na hÉireann le Owen Ward, Foghrúpa Oibre Stair agus Chultúr na dTaistealaithe, Coiste Mincéirs Misl'd in Education, Cumann Mincéirs Whiden, agus Kieran Hoare, Leabharlann OÉ Gaillimh Cartlann dhigiteach í seo ina bhfuil bailiúchán ilchineálach ábhair. Táthar ag cur leis an mbailiúchán i gcónaí, agus san áireamh ann tá cáipéisí stairiúla agus téacsanna scolártha.  Féachann an chartlann le caidreamh dearfach OÉ Gaillimh le pobal Taistealaithe na hÉireann a léiriú, rud a chuirfidh le cáil na hollscoile mar eiseamláir den chomhionannas, den chuimsitheacht agus den éagsúlacht.  San áireamh sa bhailiúchán beidh míreanna ó chartlanna go leor agus tá glao poiblí á dhéanamh ag an bhfoireann ábhair stairiúla a bhaineann le cultúr an phobail Taistealaithe a fháil. Stair na Leabharlainne in 100 Réad le Marie Boran, Caitriona Cannon, Geraldine Curtin, Patricia Ffrench agus Emma Goode, le cúnamh ó Eimhin Joyce agus Leabharlann OÉ Gaillimh Osclaíodh an Leabharlann in 1849 nuair a bhí an scoláire agus staraí iomráiteach, Séamus Ó hArgadáin, ina chéad leabharlannaí.  Roghnófar 100 réad ó bhailiúcháin na leabharlainne, lena n-áirítear leabhair, lámhscríbhinní, bailiúcháin chartlainne, litreacha, grianghraif, nuachtáin, troscán leabharlainne, stáiseanóireacht nó déantáin, chun a scéal a insint. Taifead Fíorúil agus Tadhaill de Champas OÉ Gaillimh Inniu le Eileen Kennedy agus mic léinn Chúinne na Cruthaitheachta Úsáidfear grianghrafadóireacht dróin agus fótagraiméadracht chun íomhá a ghiniúint de champas na hOllscoile mar atá sé 177 bliain tar éis a bhunaithe, agus chun mapa fíorúil tríthoiseach (3T) a chruthú. Cartlann Amharc-Staire do OÉ Gaillimh: Bailiúchán na Foirne ar Scor leis an Ollamh Jane Conroy, an tOllamh Gerard Jennings, agus an Dr Séamus Mac Mathúna thar ceann Chumann na gComhaltaí Foirne ar Scor / Agallamh na Seanórach Ag tarraingt ar bhailiúcháin phríobháideacha grianghraf agus físeán cruthóidh an tionscadal seo taifead físiúil de stair na hOllscoile. Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ar an gcéad Ollscoil in Éirinn a dhéanfaidh a stair agus stair a comhluadair agus a pobail a chur ar taifead ar an gcaoi sin.  Críoch

Monday, 27 June 2022

New research by NUI Galway has found that cost of purpose-built student accommodation is a barrier to full participation in third level from prospective students.  The research compares rents and availability of university provided student accommodation in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and some European Universities.  The 68 page report shows that purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) offered by Irish universities is relatively costly, compared with universities in Northern Ireland and some European universities.  The report is available here. The research noted that the cost and extent of PBSA is of major concern to Student Unions and prospective students, and that it acts as a barrier to full participation from potential students, including those with disabilities, as well as some international students. The development of high cost, private, tax relief driven, investor-led PBSA is driving higher rents and lowering space and accommodation standards. This research was conducted Áine Dillon, BCL Law Student, and Professor Padraic Kenna at the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy, NUI Galway over the past year. It found that single occupancy rooms make up less than half the accommodation provided by Irish universities, with shared occupancy rooms most common in NUI Galway and University College Cork. Professor Kenna said: “It is a surprising finding that rents for university provided purpose-built student accommodation are so high in Ireland. These could rise even further due to current development costs. Without a capital subsidy to the university providers, it will be increasingly difficult to provide affordable new student accommodation. With that in mind, our report recommends the establishment of Student Housing Associations (Approved Housing Bodies) to provide affordable student accommodation.” The report advocates for low-cost, socially inclusive, disability friendly, digitally advanced, student housing. Access to affordable and good quality PBSA is a significant public interest issue, and one which will be highlighted as the new Technological Universities in Ireland begin to provide student accommodation. Ends

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

School of Health Sciences becomes ninth school in the University to achieve Athena Swan Bronze Award All three schools in NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences now hold Bronze awards  NUI Galway has reached a new level in advancing gender equality, with the School of Health Sciences securing the ninth Athena Swan Bronze Award for the University. The award recognised the commitment to advancing gender equality in health sciences for both staff and students, and in creating cultural change within the University.  NUI Galway Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Helen Maher, said: “All of us at NUI Galway are sharing in the congratulations for the School of Health Sciences. We are greatly encouraged by the progress our university has made on gender equality, particularly in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – where all three schools have secured bronze awards”.  “This latest award demonstrates that our efforts and our commitment on this unfinished journey are embedding equality, diversity and inclusion in our culture and our collective responsibilities.”  The Athena Swan Bronze Award represents the commitment to equality in the School of Health Sciences and highlights the work which has been undertaken to identify gender equality issues, such as the underrepresentation of men and understaffing in some areas and the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “We would like to congratulate the School of Heath Sciences in attaining the Bronze medal award, particularly the work of the self-assessment team. All three Schools in our College have now attained Bronze Awards, which demonstrates an important but initial step in our commitment to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in our College and wider community.”   Professor Caroline McIntosh, Head of the School of Health Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud to have the School of Health Sciences awarded the Bronze Athena Swan award. I look forward to supporting the implementation of our action plan to foster an environment where all staff feel that they have ample prospects to reach their potential.  “Our action plan lays the foundation for embedding equality, inclusion, and support within our School. A particular challenge for our School is the extreme gender imbalance- our professions are predominantly female with low male representation, which is clearly reflected in our own academic and student profile. Through the implementation of our action plan we aim to work towards greater gender representation in our professions while also addressing the more well-known gender equality issues associated with a predominantly female School.” Ends

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Minister for State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D. has today opened the international Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway. National and International experts are presenting on topics under the theme of this year’s event - “Health Inequality: Action for Change”. The annual Health Promotion Conference at NUI Galway is in its 26th year and is co-hosted by the Health Service Executive, the Department of Health, the Association for Health Promotion Ireland and the Institute of Public Health.  Minister Feighan addressed the conference, saying: “The annual conference provides a great opportunity for more cutting-edge health promotion research, as well as expanding links between knowledge and implementation and broadening connections between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. Ultimately in society, everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.” The aim of the conference is to address health inequalities associated with socio-economic factors in Ireland and internationally, and the impact these factors have on life expectancy rates, mortality, chronic conditions depending on education, employment, income level, living environment and ethnicity.  The conference will hear how these factors have been exposed and amplified by the pandemic. This will be specifically addressed by Sir Michael Marmot, keynote speaker from the Institute of Health Equity in University College London.  Professor Margaret Hodgins, Conference Co-Chair, Health Promotion Research Centre and Discipline of Health Promotion, NUI Galway, said: “This conference is bringing together the best of NUI Galway and national and international experts on health inequalities to look to highlight cutting-edge research and innovation initiatives as well as to expand links between research and action, and to broaden connections among a diverse community of researchers, policymakers and practitioners. It will provide the opportunity to discuss meaningful action for change and to learn from the experiences of international colleagues.”  The conference will focus on reframing lifestyle approaches to health improvement to ensure they are underpinned by an approach that recognises and addresses the wider determinants of health. This is consistent with the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, launched by the HSE in 2021 to address health inequity, a place-based approach that aims to focus on local areas in which health and wellbeing risk factors are particularly concentrated.  International and national keynote addresses include  Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London since 1985, Director of the UCL Institute of Health Equity and advisor to the WHO Director-General on social determinants of health.  Professor Jane South, Professor of Healthy Communities at Leeds Beckett University, UK and the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities, will explore the importance of community-centred approaches as a way of reducing health inequity. Professor Jennie Popay, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Health at Lancaster University. Dr Helen McAvoy. Director of Policy, Institute of Public Health, Ireland. Greg Straton. Assistant Principal Officer, Health and Wellbeing Unit, Department of Health, Ireland. For further information on the conference and full programme details, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/hpconference  Ends

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

ICHEC (Irish Centre for High-End Computing) welcomes EU support for supercomputing  The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) at NUI Galway has been selected by the EU as the home for a new supercomputer. Ireland is one of five successful countries, along with Germany, Hungary, Greece and Poland, chosen to operate the next generation of European High Performance Computing. The announcement of EU funding is the first step in a process which will be completed subject to national co-funding arrangements.  President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “The key benefit of a super-computing technology of this excellence is its capacity to model complexity and to radically expand our research opportunities. “Our core values at NUI Galway include openness and respect and computing infrastructure of this capacity will be a significant asset in that regard as it futureproofs our approach to research, respecting the evidence and making a major contribution to openly supporting the scientific research community in Ireland. It also fits with so many aspects of our research strategy, using data to support research and policy-making in the environment, marine, healthcare, and in supporting a good society.” Commenting on the successful bid Professor. J-C Desplat, ICHEC, said: “A new supercomputer, expected to be around 25 times more powerful than the current national supercomputer Kay, would provide a national competence development platform for both numerical modelling and for the next generation of data-centric techniques and platforms and, as such, accelerate the adoption of powerful new hybrid techniques embedding machine learning within mainstream computational science models and Grand Challenges.”  Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President Research and Innovation, NUI Galway, said: “The key feature of machine of this nature is its capacity to model complexity. As weather patterns change, as the future of distributed energy networks change, as we attempt to predict food supply needs of the future, we need a totally new kind of computing capacity to support our endeavours in these areas for the public good.” EuroHPC supercomputers will be available to serve a wide range of European users, including  the scientific community, industry and the public sector, powering new applications in a wide range of areas, from designing medicines and new materials to fighting climate change, they will advance science, boost the innovation potential of enterprises while ultimately improving the citizens’ quality of life. Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Honorary doctorate awarded to world renowned creator of music scores for hit films and video games as university celebrates summer conferring  World renowned composer and conductor Eímear Noone was today awarded an honorary doctorate by NUI Galway.  The award-winning artist and creator of scores for 26 film and video game titles was conferred a Doctor of Music honoris causa at the university’s summer conferring. Almost 300 NUI Galway students were conferred at the ceremony. The largest cohort included more than 180 doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Eímear Noone said: “I am delighted to be getting this honorary Doctorate of Music and it’s particularly poignant that it’s the same year that the first students of the university’s Bachelor of Music are graduating from NUI Galway.  “To be honoured in my own home county, in Galway, is so meaningful and overwhelming. If I was to offer any advice to the graduates of today it’s this -  take the ‘don’t be bold’ that we are told as kids, and turn it on its head, and go out there and be bold.”  A world-renowned conductor and award-winning composer, Eímear Noone is based out of Los Angeles and Dublin. Originally from Kilconnell, Co Galway, she made history in 2020 when she became the first woman to conduct the orchestra at the Academy Awards.  Eímear Noone has composed extensively for film and video games. Her portfolio of scores for 26 film and video-game titles has reached more than 100 million people worldwide and has won multiple industry accolades including the Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Video Game Score. The honorary conferring took place at a special graduation celebration for more than 150 former students who completed studies in 2021 and whose winter conferring was postponed, along with graduates who completed studies in 2020 and were conferred in absentia due to public health restrictions during the pandemic.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of the graduates on their hard work and achievement in challenging times. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will continue play its full part in developing graduates who make a profound difference in the world and for the world, and shape the future needs of our society. “I would also like to extend my congratulations to Eímear Noone. We are delighted to be able to recognise her outstanding contribution to the world of music and gaming.” Twelve Final Medical Medals were presented to seven graduates for their outstanding academic performance in the studies, with Dr Róisín Thornton from Corcullen, Co Galway receiving five medals. Every year the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences presents the medals to students who receive the highest grade in each subject area.  Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Dochtúireacht oinigh bronnta ar dhuine a chuir ceol le mórscannáin agus le cluichí físeáin a bhfuil an-tóir orthu ag searmanas bronnta an tsamhraidh san Ollscoil  Bhronn OÉ Gaillimh dochtúireacht oinigh inniu ar Eímear Noone, cumadóir agus stiúrthóir a bhfuil clú agus cáil uirthi ar fud an domhain. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht le Ceol honoris causa ar an ealaíontóir seo a bhfuil go leor duaiseanna bainte aici agus a chuir ceol le 26 scannán agus cluiche físeáin ag searmanas bronnta an tsamhraidh san Ollscoil. Bronnadh a gcéim ar nach mór 300 mac léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Ina measc bhí breis agus 180 dochtúir ar bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) orthu. Is in Los Angeles agus i mBaile Átha Cliath atá cónaí ar Eímear Noone, stiúrthóir agus cumadóir a bhfuil go leor duaiseanna bainte aici. Is as Cill Chonaill, Co. na Gaillimhe, di ó dhúchas agus rinne sí gaisce in 2020 nuair a bhí sí ar an gcéad bhean a stiúir an cheolfhoireann ag ócáid bhronnta Ghradaim Acadamh Ealaíon agus Eolaíochtaí na Scannán (Academy Awards). Tá ceol cumtha ag Eímear Noone do réimse leathan scannán agus cluichí físeáin. Tá níos mó ná 100 milliún duine ar fud an domhain tar éis a portfóilió de scóir scannán agus cluichí físeáin a chloisteáil agus is iomaí gradam de chuid an tionscail sin atá buaite aici, Gradam Hollywood Music in Media don Scór is Fearr do Chluiche Físeáin ina measc. Rinneadh an bronnadh oinigh ag searmanas bronnta céime ceiliúrtha ar leith do níos mó ná 150 iar-mhac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcuid staidéir in 2021 agus ar cuireadh a mbronnadh geimhridh ar athló, agus do chéimithe a chríochnaigh a gcuid staidéir in 2020 agus ar bronnadh a gcéim orthu in absentia mar gheall ar shrianta poiblí le linn na paindéime.  Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, déanaim comhghairdeas le gach céimí as an obair chrua a rinne siad agus as a bhfuil bainte amach acu ainneoin na ndúshlán a bhí le sárú le tamall anuas. Táimidne in OÉ Gaillimh diongbháilte de go ndéanfaidh an Ollscoil seo a cion féin le céimithe a oiliúint a fhágfaidh a lorg ar an domhan trí chéile, agus a bheidh in ann freastal ar riachtanais ár sochaí amach anseo. “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le hEímear Noone chomh maith. Is mór againn a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt don obair mhór atá déanta aici i saol an cheoil agus na gcluichí físeáin.” Bronnadh dhá cheann déag de Bhoinn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis ar sheachtar céimithe as a fheabhas a d’éirigh leo i mbun staidéir. Bronnadh cúig cinn de na boinn sin ar Róisín Thornton as Corr Chuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe.  Gach bliain bronnann Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte na boinn ar na mic léinn a fhaigheann an grád is airde i ngach réimse ábhair. Críoch

Friday, 10 June 2022

NUI Galway is celebrating the success of seven academics, researchers and graduates named among the 40 Fulbright Irish Awardees for 2022-2023. The Fulbright Programme in Ireland was established in 1957 and annually awards grants for Irish citizens to study, research, or teach in the US and for American citizens to do the same in Ireland. The seven NUI Galway Fulbright awardees are: Dr Sharon Glynn - Associate Professor in Pathology at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway, and a Funded Investigator in CÚRAM. Dr Glynn’s Fulbright Scholar Award with be hosted at Houston Methodist Hospital Weill Cornell and is linked to breast cancer research. Dr Glynn will explore the use of multiplex spatial digital pathology to understand tumour microenvironment in patients with breast cancer responds to cancer therapy, and to identify factors that contribute to successful treatment response. She will also visit the Harper Cancer Center at Notre Dame University to build new collaborations.  Dara Kerins - Social scientist with a BSc (Applied Social Sciences) and Higher Diploma (Economic Science) from NUI Galway. Dara Kerrins has worked as a community development officer, a director/trustee of a marine conservation organisation, and an award-winning fundraiser for the humanitarian-aid organisation Concern, and has founded, and currently coordinates a sustainability initiative at NUI Galway entitled Glassary. Building upon his passion to help people through the development of a more safe, sustainable, and equitable world, he will use his Fulbright-EPA Award to undertake a Master’s programme in financial economics, before embarking upon a PhD in public policy in the years to come.  Dr Jenny Mc Sharry - Chartered Health Psychologist, lecturer in the School of Psychology and Assistant Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at NUI Galway. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar at City University New York, she will complete “Student Experiences of Health Psychology in the US (STEP-US): A mixed methods study with US Health Psychology doctoral students and programme leads”. The project will facilitate the development of international recommendations to support students from a diversity of backgrounds in training as Health Psychologists and to become the future leaders needed to address global healthcare challenges.  Dr Ruth Melia - Senior Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead at HSE Mid-West, and a researcher on the use of mobile health technology in suicide prevention at NUI Galway. She is Principal Investigator on the SafePlan trial, a National Office for Suicide Prevention-funded study of mobile-based safety planning within Irish mental health services. Ruth is an Adjunct Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at NUI Galway, and provides teaching and research supervision to psychologists across institutions. As a Fulbright-HRB HealthImpact Scholar, Ruth will further her work on the use of Artificial Intelligence in Suicide Prevention with researchers at the Joiner Lab, Florida State University.  Aoibhín Sheedy - PhD student in Biomedical Engineering and CÚRAM at NUI Galway. Her PhD is funded by the SFI LiFTETIME CDT Programme and investigates advanced immunotherapy and delivery strategies to treat ovarian cancer. As a Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Awardee at the University of Minnesota, she will investigate the currently developed therapeutics at the Miller Lab through the device developed at the Dolan Lab in NUI Galway.  Ciara Shortiss - PhD student in the Anatomy Department and Regenerative Medicine Institute, NUI Galway. Funded by the Irish Research Council her research investigates viral gene therapy vectors to reduce the production of molecules in spinal cord injury scarring. The scar that forms after injury is one obstacle stopping nerve re-growth, preventing signals from being transmitted to and from the brain. Therapies that target multiple obstacles preventing regeneration show the most promise in treating spinal cord injury. As a Fulbright-Enterprise Ireland Awardee at the Neurobiology Lab, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, Ciara will investigate combining her gene therapy with a biomaterial scaffold developed in the Mayo Clinic to further promote nerve growth after spinal cord injury.  Dr Eoin Whelan - Professor of Business Analytics and Society at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in the NUI Galway. He is also a visiting professor at the Institute d’Economie Scientifique et de Gestion, France, and a visiting researcher at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. His research explores the psychology underlying engagement with interactive digital media. As a Fulbright-TechImpact Scholar in the summer of 2023, he will work alongside colleagues at the University of Colorado Boulder to determine if an abstinence from social media, commonly known as a digital detox, is an effective intervention strategy for promoting a healthy way of life for teenagers.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, NUI Galway President, said: “I would like to commend the seven awardees on their achievement. NUI Galway has a proud history of excellence in education and research, and the internationally-recognised Fulbright Awards are associated with excellence and prestige. We are proud to have them represent our university. Fulbright made a big difference to my academic, research career and, as a Fulbright alumnus, I wish our awardees the very best of success in the United States.” The Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Joe Hackett and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Alexandra McKnight, announced the Fulbright awardees on behalf of US Ambassador to Ireland Clare Cronin.  The next round of applications for Fulbright Irish Awards will open on August 31, 2022. Interested candidates should visit www.fulbright.ie for more information. Ends

Thursday, 28 July 2022

NUI Galway has announced the recipients of the inaugural Dr Karzan Sabah D Ahmed Memorial Research Bursary, which was established to remember the researcher who died with his wife Shahen Qasm and their baby daughter Lina in a road accident in 2021.  The successful students are Aoife Murphy, from Loughrea, Co Galway, who has completed her BSc in Environmental Science, and Niamh Nolan, from Listowel, Co Kerry, who is a final year student of BSc in Environmental Science.  The students were awarded the summer scholarship created in partnership with NUI Galway and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Both students will undertake a three month research scholarship in High Nature Value farmland during the summer of 2022.  Andy Bleasdale, Director of Scientific Advice and Research, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said: "Honouring the memory and legacy of Karzan is particularly important to NPWS. We are delighted to partner with NUI Galway in developing the skills and expertise of new generation of ecologists, through research bursaries in High Nature Value farmland.” Speaking on behalf of NUI Galway, Julie Stafford, Director of Development, Community & Alumni Relations at the University, said: “We are delighted to partner with NPWS to remember Karzan, Shahen and Lina in such an appropriate way by continuing Karzan important work. Karzan was a great colleague and friend to many at NUI Galway and this bursary will continue his legacy. It is our hope that students who are awarded the bursary will contribute in a small way to continuing the legacy of Karzan at our university.” Ends

Friday, 15 July 2022

Eleven NUI Galway students from a multiplicity of disciplines are taking part in an intensive two-week professional development programme at Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) this week. SELECTED is NUI Galway and Galway International Arts Festival’s professional development programme for emerging artists, theatre makers, curators and producers studying at NUI Galway. Previously open to NUI Galway students with an interest in the arts, including drama, film, music and writing, earlier this year it was expanded to students interested in business, including management, social media marketing and communications. The programme offers students an opportunity to see how the festival is put together, with intimate meetings with GIAF staff, international and Irish producers and creative entrepreneurs and artists. SELECTED students are also offered Festival Ambassador roles within the GIAF Volunteers' Programme, where they are immersed in all aspects of the festival and shown how to advise audiences in choosing the right shows for them. There are also given theoretical, practical, and GIAF-specific social media training to generate content delivery packages prior to the start of the festival. Commenting on this year’s programme, Rena Bryson, SELECTED Coordinator, said: “This year marks the return of live SELECTED events, making the experience for this group even more special. In the summers that we've missed the Big Top, spectacular theatre and innovative visual arts, we've grown to appreciate GIAF and what it brings to Galway even more. The programme offers a chance to really experience the creativity and teamwork behind the scenes, as well as take in high quality national and international art. It's a once in a lifetime experience this group will always remember.” Galway International Arts Festival CEO John Crumlish stated: “SELECTED is a key component of the partnership with NUI Galway and is now an important part of the festival. We are now seeing SELECTED alumni coming back to the festival in companies that are in the programme, which is a very positive outcome and something we intend to build on further.” Professor Patrick Lonergan, NUI Galway Vice-Dean for Engagement in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, described SELECTED as a key example of the university’s approach to working with external partners. “Galway International Arts Festival is one of the world’s greatest arts festivals. Giving our students the chance to learn from international experts allows them to form ambitions that are equally focussed on the local and the global. GIAF’s rigour, professionalism and creativity is a true inspiration to the next generation of artists, audiences, and creative entrepreneurs,” Professor Lonergan said. Galway International Arts Festival acknowledges the support of its principal funding agencies, The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Galway City Council, its Education Partner NUI Galway, its Energy Partner Flogas, and Drinks Partner Heineken®.  Ends

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Six Master of Laws (LLM) students from the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway have launched a five-episode podcast series titled ‘My Country is My Prison’.  The podcast series aims to promote awareness of human rights violations perpetrated against women and children in Ireland’s institutions in the 20th century, using international human rights law as an illustrative framework. The podcast is a continuation of the memoralisation project students completed with Mary Harney for the Human Rights Clinic since 2019 to ensure that the history of these institutions is not forgotten. The podcast joins the Open Heart City website which compiles relevant information and analysis, and a lesson plan for teachers.  The Master in Laws students who developed the podcast series are Emily Williams, Fernanda Souza, Holly Hayes, James Spillane, Maria Tapias Serrano and Shauna Joyce. The goal of the podcast is to provide a comprehensive overview of the institutions, the human rights violations (including how they continue today) and how transitional justice can be used for Ireland to respond to these egregious and systematic human rights violations.  Episode 1 discusses the history of Ireland’s institutions and how the repercussions of their human rights violations influence politics and public policy today.  Episode 2 examines illegal adoptions in Ireland, the right to identity and how the effects of Ireland’s illegal adoptions remain present today with a discussion of the Birth Information and Tracing Bill.  Episode 3 focuses on how children were confined in the system of industrial schools.  Episode 4 explores the institutions that targeted women: Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby Institutions.  Episode 5 reviews Ireland’s obligations to provide remedies and the steps that must be taken now to prevent the institutional abuses from re-occurring. All five episodes, along with two bonus episodes that feature the full length interviews conducted with survivor Elizabeth Coppin and Dr Conor O’Mahony, Special Rapporteur on Child Protection to Government of Ireland, 2019-22, are now available to listen to on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Olil8kdrzQk8M9ykjnW6R?si=1ee2337edeb04252 In conjunction with the podcast release, the students will host a conference for Irish secondary school teachers in October 2022. Hosted in partnership with a cross-sectional group of academics, activists and teachers from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and Waterford Institute of Technology, the conference will focus on why this history should be taught in schools and how it may be implemented in Transition Year classrooms. Drawing upon lesson plans already designed and implemented in schools, the conference is intended to facilitate discussion among teachers and to draw, in particular, on first-hand experiences of other teachers, as well as the testimonies of survivors of the institutions, to demonstrate the importance of memorialisation through education.  The conference will be an all-day event hosted on the NUI Galway campus, with a range of speakers and workshops throughout the day.  For further information about the conference please contact Shauna Joyce, s.joyce35@nuigalway.ie. To listen to the podcast online go to Instagram: @mycountryismyprisonpodcast, https://www.instagram.com/mycountryismyprisonpodcast/ and on Twitter: @mcimp_podcast, https://twitter.com/mcimp_podcast.  For more information about the podcast contact Emily Williams, NUI Galway at e.williams9@nuigalway.ie and 087 1737402, or Maria Tapias Serrano at m.tapiasserrano1@nuigalway.ie and +34 690 23 22 49. Ends

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

Researchers at NUI Galway have discovered a coral in the Atlantic Ocean which contains a potential wonder drug chemical compound that acts against the virus responsible for Covid-19.  The cauliflower coral, so named due to its colour, shape and structure, was found on the seabed about half a mile below the surface on the edge of Ireland’s continental shelf. It contains a previously unknown chemical compound. Professor Louise Allcock, Professor of Zoology at NUI Galway, said: “While we did not set out to find this specific species, we were hunting for corals, especially soft corals, because of their potential in bio-discovery. "Nature never ceases to amaze - to think that a coral, which spends its life on the sea bed and is never exposed to viruses and diseases which affect humanity so profoundly, has the potential to influence treatments and therapies. Drug development is a lengthy process, but the first step is finding the magic compounds with bio-reactivity in the laboratory.” Professor Allcock is Director of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Ocean Research & Exploration (COREx) at NUI Galway. As part of a research project funded by Science Foundation Ireland, she deploys the ROV Holland I submarine from RV Celtic Explorer to hunt for deep-sea corals and sponges which may have novel chemical compounds with pharmaceutical potential. The research into the chemical make-up of the cauliflower coral is being conducted in partnership with South Florida University in the US.  The compound isolated has been named "tuaimenal". The word is a portmanteau - blending "tuaim", alluding to “tuaimneacha” as used in old Irish to describe the sounds of the sea, and “enal”, which is a chemistry term for a compound with an alkene aldehyde functional group. Tuaimenal A was discovered to block the major enzyme of the Covid-19 virus, known as Main Protease, which is responsible for the manufacture of virus particles inside the infected cell. Dr Carolina De Marco Verissimo of the Molecular Parasitology Laboratory at NUI Galway carried out detailed study of the coral-derived Tuaimenal and how it interacts with the Covid-19 enzyme.  She said: “Tuaimenal A represents what we term in science as a ‘lead compound’ – that is, a basic structure from which scientists can produce more potent and specific drugs that could be used for the treatment of Covid-19 and perhaps other viruses.” The complete work was recently published and can be accessed fully at: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.2c00054 Ends

Monday, 11 July 2022

NUI Galway and HSE collaborate to analyse patient and service user complaints to identify ‘hot spots’ and ‘blind spots’ in healthcare delivery to better target service improvements A new collaborative project by researchers at NUI Galway and the HSE has evaluated acute healthcare services and complaints to identify growing problems as well as opportunities for improvements in clinical safety and quality. This study is the first national and systematic study of healthcare complaints, and was conducted during the last quarter of 2019. Using the London School of Economics Healthcare Complaints Audit Tool (HCAT), an innovative and internationally recognised method of classifying complaints, the study identified key issues that those who use healthcare services complain about. Analysis of patient complaints about hospital care found that more than one-in-four issues relate to situations while the patient is receiving care on the ward. Other common complaints related to accessing appointments, treatment, safety, and cleanliness of hospital environments. Dr Paul O’Connor, Senior Lecturer in Primary Care at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway and Research Director of the Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation, said: “By examining trends in complaints our research team has identified where healthcare quality improvement efforts should be focused. “Using HCAT to analyse complaints helped us to identify hot spots - where problems occur most frequently or cause major impact- and blind spots - where problems occur but cannot be easily observed by healthcare staff. The findings can positively impact healthcare by guiding us and the health service to prioritise the issues in relation to patient safety and focus quality of care improvement efforts. “The research has shown that there is potential for patient complaints to be used as a source of information for identifying where safety and quality improvement efforts are needed.”  Welcoming the study Chris Rudland, Assistant National Director, National Complaints Governance and Learning Team, HSE said “Using data such as complaints from patients and family members ensures their voices are represented in service improvements. This joint research initiative with NUI Galway can help develop how the HSE analyses and learns from patient complaints and can guide ongoing quality improvement initiatives in our hospitals to improve patient experience. “The HSE is committed to ensuring that improving patient experience continues to be a key focus for us all throughout the healthcare system. HSE services encourage patient feedback through our complaints and feedback policy, and through other initiatives such as the National Inpatient Experience Survey. Listening to patients and asking them for feedback is a central tenet of improving patient care and the hospital experience for patients and their loved ones. “It is encouraging to note that in the most recent National Inpatient Experience Survey findings, 83% of our patients rated their overall hospital experience in hospitals as “good” or “very good”. Many of our hospitals now have patient liaison and patient advocacy services in place to support patients throughout their time in our care.” The research included a number of recommendations: Institutional process issues were the most prevalent in the complaints, and the system/hospitals should focus on improving the issues raised in these complaints. High-severity complaints, and those perceived by patients as being of high harm, need to be prioritised and used alongside other data in order to improve patient safety.  Stakeholder workshops with healthcare staff and patients should be used to identify useful and feasible solutions to improve safety and quality from issues identified in patient and service user complaints. Dr Paul O’Connor added: “The next steps will be to work with healthcare providers, managers, and policymakers to support tangible improvements in patient care based on the findings of our complaints analysis.”  The report is available at: https://www.nuigalway.ie/hse-complaints-report/ Ends

Friday, 8 July 2022

Celebrating student entrepreneurs Start100 showcase allows students to pitch investible ideas and innovations IdeasLab, the entrepreneurial and innovation hub at NUI Galway, has announced ICTUS Medical and IRIS as the inaugural Start100 winners for 2022.  ICTUS Medical received the overall award for Start100, with IRIS receiving the One to Watch award. Nine teams of students presented at a special showcase event bringing their innovative ideas to a panel of judges from the worlds of academia, research, industry and enterprise after an intensive six week programme hosted by IdeasLab. IdeasLab launched their new student incubator programme, Start100 earlier this year. Start100 helps students with an early-stage concept to transform their ideas into potentially investible innovations.  The Start100 programme provides physical space, key networking opportunities, expert mentorship from alumni and enterprise, as well as a support fund of over €40,000. Students have access to funds to research and develop their idea throughout the programme and have the chance to win a final event prize fund to kick-start their innovation journey.  Start100 offers students the opportunity to connect with expert mentors and speakers spanning sectors including medical devices, creative production, agritech, consumer technology and wellbeing.  The programme has connected students into the thriving community of innovators and entrepreneurs in the West of Ireland, including BioInnovate Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Westbic, Galway City Innovation District and the Local Enterprise Offices and has been supported by companies in the region including Mbroynics, Boston Scientific, Aerogen, Medtronic, SAP, Galway International Arts Festival, Channel Mechanics, Veryan and Orreco. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh launched the showcase event. “At NUI Galway, our values - respect, openness, excellence and sustainability - are what define us and more importantly we strive to see them become not just words but actions and deeds. Supporting students on a journey of societal impact through enterprising ideas is part of that mission for the public good. It’s a great encouragement to see young people finding solutions to problems through innovation, ideas and solutions and also to see them being supported in that journey by our educators, our university community, and our civic and business networks,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. ICTUS Medical is spearheaded by Peter Best-Lydon and Ciarán McDermott. Peter, a Galway native and recently graduated NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering student, and Ciarán, an NUI Galway Electronic Engineering final year student, are developing a painless monitoring device that empowers stroke survivors to take control of their health by detecting sleeping strokes.  Speaking on behalf of ICTUS Medical Peter Best-Lydon said: “We are absolutely delighted to win. Start100 has been a massive help to us with all of the connections that we have made. There is a buzz every week in IdeasLab and it was great to get a sense of working in a start-up. We are really looking forward to making a significant impact to the patient.’’ The One to Watch prize was awarded to IRIS, which was co-founded by Keelan Rowley and Michael Dillon, both recent graduates of NUI Galway’s BSc in Project and Construction Management. IRIS is a safety device that helps detect the presence of people and animals from machinery like Tractors, Diggers, Dumpers. A cost effective device that saves lives and families. Winning this award will allow Michael and Keelan to focus on prototyping and validating their idea.  The difficult decision of selecting the most investable idea was made by a diverse judging panel representing some of Irelands best and brightest entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academics. The panel for the final showcase included: Dr Helen McBreen, Partner Atlantic Bridge; Professor Michelle Millar, Dean of Students at NUI Galway; Dr Paul Dodd, Vice President Engagement, NUI Galway; Dr Vanessa Creaven Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Spotlight Oral Care; and Finn Hegarty, Co-Founder and Chief Procurement Officer at GloFox, and NUI Galway graduate.   Dr Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at NUI Galway, said: “In recent years, we have seen some fantastic student entrepreneurs create global businesses in the west of Ireland.  Through Start100 we now have a platform to support more students to achieve this type of success through the creation of commercial and social enterprises. Start100 is the first student incubator to launch in the University, designed with former and current students, our alumni and enterprise partners, we are incredibly proud to see Start100 come to life on our campus.” A summary of nine projects showcased at the event included: I Said Speak - An information awareness video that delves into Ireland’s drink culture among students  Receipt Relay - A customer insights software for retail and hospitality chains using point of sale and consumer app integrations IRIS - A safety device that helps detect the presence of people and animals from farm machinery – saving lives and families Matán Marketing - Digital marketing for gyms Scrunch-UP - An anti-spike scrunchie for university students ThoughtGarden – Self-administered CBT mobile game to reduce anxiety and depression DataPals.io - A data-driven e-commerce agency that builds and optimises high-performance Shopify stores Struts.app - An application that facilitates the remote capture of patient's foot scan data using just a smart phone ICTUS Medical - A painless monitoring device that empowers stroke survivors to take control of their health by detecting sleeping strokes For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/Ideaslab.  Ends

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Eight NUI Galway students were among a special group of inspirational young people presented with the Gaisce Gold Award by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins recently for their civic engagement and personal development. The students, Catherine Mohan, Ciara McDaid, Erin Shimizu, Jason Sherlock, Kirsty Moran, Odhran Wheelan, Sinéad Reidy, and Orla Masterson, volunteered hundreds of hours with a variety of nonprofit organisations including Ability West, SVP, Barretstown Childrens Camps, Tidy Towns and Childline, as well as undertaking student leadership roles working towards inclusion and diversity.   The CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna said: “Gaisce – The President’s Award is unique in the sense that it encourages young people to set their own personal development goals within a framework that allows them to achieve them and contribute to their communities in their own way. “Every single day I am inspired by the courage, the energy and the commitment of young people doing their Gaisce Award, and I am so thrilled we are getting to celebrate the breadth of their achievements, from tackling global challenges like biodiversity to local supports for neighbours in need, young people are consistently push themselves for others.” Gaisce – the President’s Award is a programme that aims to foster and develop young people's potential. It is a guided and supported framework that is provided for young people aged 14 -25 to explore their natural skills and gain confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges. Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway’s President’s Award Leader, said: “Throughout the pandemic students committed to undertaking the Gaisce award challenge in their communities volunteering and building their mental and physical health skills. We are inspired by the commitment students made and look forward to building on their leadership offering students continued civic learning opportunities with our university community partners.”  Ends