Croke Park Skyline Tour and Museum Visit for NUI Galway Graduates

Croke Park Skyline Tour and Museum Visit for NUI Galway Graduates-image

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway’s Alumni Association has organised a Croke Park skyline tour and museum visit for graduate and friends of the University. The event will take place on Saturday, 20 September at 2pm. The rooftop tour will include panoramic views of Dublin City, 17 storeys high over five viewing platforms. Visitors will be given a brief history of the area and of Croke Park. Following the tour, the Association has arranged a special visit to the Croke Park museum. All alumni and friends are welcome to attend but tickets are limited so early booking is advised. The cost per ticket is €15. In keeping with the GAA theme, NUI Galway has also organised a Donegal V Kerry All-Ireland Final breakfast brunch and panel discussion on Sunday, 21 September. The brunch will take place at 11am in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. Guest panellists include TV GAA analyst Martin Carney and former Kerry footballer Eoin Liston, with MC by Gavin Jennings from RTÉ. Booking for the breakfast brunch is essential and tickets cost €15 or a table of ten for €150. To book tickets for the events, contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or tickets can be purchased online at http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/. The closing date for tickets is Friday, 19 September. -Ends-

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Student Organised Tech Carnival Brings Major Employers to NUI Galway

Student Organised Tech Carnival Brings Major Employers to NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 18 September 2014

NUI Galway Computer Science and Information Technology students will hold a new unique networking and workshop event, bringing major technological companies and employers to campus. ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’, a one-day free event, will take place on Friday, 26 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, and is for students and people interested in technology to meet with key Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) stakeholders in a fun and informative exchange of ideas. Major employers will be demonstrating their latest technologies and explaining their ongoing training and employment opportunities. The emphasis is all around having a fun and interesting event for people new to ICT to learn how to engage and become successful in the booming software industry. Speakers and panel discussions will offer key insights into the current trends that are being experienced for tech graduates in Ireland. Keynote speakers include: Mark Gantly, Hewlett Packard; Stephen Howell, Microsoft; and Eugene Garvin, Avaya. David Renton, event organiser and NUI Galway student, said: “Students of Computer Science and Information Technology have seen the success of tech events internationally and want to showcase that the West of Ireland is just as exciting for tech people to come together in a dynamic and fun environment. NUI Galway has such a unique balance of energy, youth and talent which lends itself to hosting an event such as this, while Galway itself is one of the best cities in Ireland for ICT companies to attract new talent, as it is one of the most desirable places to live and work for all ages. This will be an unmissable opportunity for those at any stage of their career, from a potential computing student to an experienced pro wanting to network.” David continues: “We have employers such as Microsoft, LinkedIn and Havok coming to the event as they see the energy that has built up around the idea. Galway companies such as HP, Avaya and Cisco/SAP are offering great support as they see this as an opportunity to showcase their Galway operations. Equally NUI Galway are spearheading the event as they offer a range of programmes that can provide training and education opportunities for all ages for a career in ICT.” The networking arena demos and main stage presentations will provide attendees with all the latest information on all of the companies involved while the Workshop Heaven area will provide a more in depth and interactive view of the technologies involved. Exhibitors and presenters include: Microsoft, Accenture, Riot Games, Cloud Consulting, Silicon Republic, ThoughtBox, EY, Avaya, First Derivatives, KBC Bank, Havok, Tribal City Interactive, 091Labs, Hewlett Packard, RealSim, ITAG, Pocket Anatomy, Element Wave, amongst others. Dr Michael Madden, Head of the Information Technology discipline at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud that our third year Computer Science and Information Technology students are showing the immense energy and enthusiasm they have for the software industry by making this event a reality. They are showcasing the kind of drive and determination that is characteristic of NUI Galway graduates, which has been so hugely valued by major employers for many decades. The response of so many Tech Leaders is testament to the hunger for more graduates and talented professionals in the Galway area.” NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a wonderful student-led event. I commend the students involved in Synapse//a Tech Carnival for their initiative in linking students and industry in such a dynamic and innovative way. I look forward to participating in the event and to seeing at firsthand the synergy developing between NUI Galway technology students and industry leaders.” For more information on ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’ visit www.synapsegalway.com. -Ends-

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Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway Formalise Collaboration

Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway Formalise Collaboration-image

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Collaboration will focus on stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering The National University Ireland Galway has signed an agreement to formalise collaborative ties with the Mayo Clinic Centre for Regenerative Medicine in the US. The agreement follows many years of close cooperation, and paves the way for joint collaborations in clinical trials using regenerative therapies. Collaborative research projects will focus on a number of key strategic areas of importance for both institutes, including adult stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering. Furthermore, the agreement facilitates ongoing student and staff exchange between Galway and the US.   The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) puts the emphasis on regulatory science to facilitate global translation of regenerative medicine therapies to the clinic. Both the National University Ireland Galway and the Mayo Clinic Centre for Regenerative Medicine have GMP cell manufacturing facilities, licensed for use by the respective national medical authorities. National University of Ireland Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, welcoming the signing of the MOU, said: “Formalising our longstanding links paves the way for advancing our common agenda which is to realize the potential of regenerative medicine. Here in Galway we have Ireland’s only facility licenced to produce stem cells for human use, while the new clinical and translational research facility for conducting clinical trials with patients will be complete in early 2015.” NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), both of which are supported by Science Foundation Ireland, are working together specifically to develop joint clinical trial programmes in the area of regenerative medicine. Professor Tony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic said: “Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway have an established track record and commitment to regenerative medicine over the last decade. The Mayo Clinic has prioritized the development of new regenerative medicine clinical applications as a critical strategy for meeting the needs of patients in the future, which was evidenced in the formation of our Centre for Regenerative Medicine in 2012.” The signing of the MOU comes on top of the recent announcement of a new $16 million agreement between Mayo Clinic and Enterprise Ireland where up to 20 novel medical technologies will be commercialised in Ireland over the next five years with the aim of creating several high value medical technology spin-out companies. Video featuring Professor Tony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B98ci3iAknE  

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August 2014

Researcher wins prize at prestigious Gordon Research Conference

Researcher wins prize at prestigious Gordon Research Conference-image

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Dilip Thomas, a final year PhD student with the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at the National University of Ireland Galway, has been awarded the best poster prize at the prestigious Gordon Research Conference. The conference titled ‘Signal Transduction in Engineered Extracellular Matrices’ was held 6-11 July in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. Thomas received a competitive travel bursary to present his work at the conference. The bursary was awarded by the British Society of Matrix Biology (BSMB) and is given to researchers at an early stage of their career. The award supports members of the society who have been accepted as a presenting author at an international meeting with a matrix biology theme. Dilip’s research work is a collaborative project between the NFB and the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. The project is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit (NFB) and Professor Timothy O’Brien (REMEDI). The project involves novel methods of treating hind limb ischemia which occurs when the blood supply is lost to a limb. Delayed treatment of the condition leads to morbidity, amputation and even death, with around 50,000 cases in the US annually. Dilip’s work entails promoting new blood vessel growth to the limb using cell transplantation and biomaterials. Dilip received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai, India. He went on to receive a Master of Engineering degree in Biochemical Engineering from University College London (UCL) in the UK. Prior to his academic achievements, he worked at Sharon Biomedicine Ltd, India as a Research and Development assistant in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturing and testing division. Professor Pandit commented on the award: “The scientific sessions of this conference are extremely contextual, informative and will help Dilip to interact with leading international experts working in the field of regenerative medicine.” -ends-

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NUI Galway Special Maths Exam Offers Leaving Cert Students a Second Chance

NUI Galway Special Maths Exam Offers Leaving Cert Students a Second Chance-image

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 20 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. This year, NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 14-19 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. From 14-19 August, in addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics,” said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” “Demand for engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programmes to meet requirements. NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of industry and the economy”, continued Professor Lyons. NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Those interested in the revision maths course and the examination should call 091 492 101 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ for further details. -Ends- Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 20 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. I mbliana, beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 14-19 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar conas tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus an t-eolas atá ar fáil a chur i bhfeidhm. “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar  scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach,” a deir an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh. “Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” “Tá an t-éileamh ar chláir innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i méid ó bhliain go bliain agus tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta tar éis na cláir chéime a leathnú chun freastal ar na riachtanais seo. Tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh a ról maidir le céimithe den scoth a chur ar fáil chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lyons. Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Ba chóir dóibh siúd ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin matamaitice agus an scrúdú glao a chur ar 091 091 492 101 nó féachaint ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ chun eolas breise a fháil. -Críoch-

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New insights into spread and survival of blood cancer cells

New insights into spread and survival of blood cancer cells-image

Monday, 11 August 2014

Researchers at the National University of Ireland Galway have identified an enzyme that has a key role in the spread and survival of blood cancer cells. The discovery, which focussed on the cancer multiple myeloma, has just been published by the internationally acclaimed journal, Blood. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood which results from an overproduction of plasma cells, the white blood cells that produce antibodies. It leads to problems such as anaemia, bone damage, kidney failure and elevated calcium levels. There are about 240 new cases of multiple myeloma diagnosed each year in Ireland. The research team was led by Health Research Board (HRB) Clinician Scientist, Professor Michael O’Dwyer and Professor Lokesh Joshi of the University’s Glycoscience Group, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland. The group studies the complex sugars which cover all cells in the human body, and many of the proteins in the bloodstream. Dr Siobhan Glavey, a medical doctor funded by the HRB, also had a key role lead in the study and was lead author on the paper. HRB Clinician Scientist, Michael O Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at the National University of Ireland Galway says; “While treatments for multiple myeloma have improved over the last decade, and most patients are living longer, there is no cure. Our research is crucial because it sheds new light on the biology of multiple myeloma which could lead to new strategies to overcome resistance to treatment.” “Working in close cooperation with Dr Irene Ghobrial from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard in the US and colleagues from the Institute of Cancer Research in the UK, we focused on alterations in a process called glycosylation, a process whereby proteins and lipids are modified by specific sugars, because of its role in cell-cell interactions and the spread of cancer cells in the blood.” “In essence, we have linked the overproduction of a specific enzyme called sialyltransferase to disease progression and worse outcomes in multiple myeloma. The increase in this enzyme activity causes a series of knock on effects; increasing glycosylation, which in turn increases the interaction of the cancer cells with receptors on the walls of blood vessels called selectins which then encourages their circulation, spread and retention in the bone marrow.” “Our aim now is to prevent these interactions that cause the spread using specific enzyme and selectin inhibitors”. Dr Graham Love, CEO of the HRB, commented on the importance of the research: “Understanding what causes multiple myeloma to progress, or generate worse outcomes, is the first step towards improving treatment. This discovery reinforces the transformational role our Clinician Scientists have in bringing real clinical questions to a research environment and delivering results back to the bedside.” -ends-

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New Students to Benefit from new Online Q&A Service at NUI Galway

New Students to Benefit from new Online Q&A Service at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 11 August 2014

NUI Galway launches online service to compliment telephone hotline for incoming students NUI Galway will launch a dedicated Online Question and Answer service to compliment the first year student telephone hotline on Wednesday, 14 August. This online initiative will facilitate students and their parents with the option to ask questions on a dedicated forum, while the hotline service team will be available to answer caller queries. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,000 new students in September, a team of specially-trained team of staff and students will be on hand to answer any questions students and parents may have. The hotline will be available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and on Saturday 16 and 23 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of these services coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results.  Both the hotline and the online service will be active throughout first year orientation week commencing on September 1, and both will remain in service for two weeks after lectures begin on September 8, providing students with two options to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway.  The team will provide an efficient, responsive service and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options.  A designated website for first years will also update on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life.  Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, says: “The next few weeks is a very exciting time for all Leaving Certificate students as the culmination of years’ of hard work come to fruition. The next step for many is the transition into third-level education which is a significant milestone, not only for the students themselves, but also for their families, and we at NUI Galway understand the impact of this change, especially for those entering into university for the first time. In order to help those who are deciding to embark upon a university degree programme, we will provide support, information and guidance through our First-Year Student Hotline, to answer any questions that individuals might have about any aspect of university life. We invite all students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091 493999, ask a question Online at http://www.nuigalway.ie/askus or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/ -Ends- Seirbhís nua Ceisteanna & Freagraí ar líne ar fáil do Mhic Léinn Nua OÉ Gaillimh Seolann OÉ Gaillimh Seirbhís Ar Líne mar thaca leis an mBeolíne do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana Seolfaidh OÉ Gaillimh seirbhís Ceisteanna agus Freagraí ar líne chun cuidiú leis an mBeolíne do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana Dé Céadaoin, an 14 Lúnasa. Cuideoidh an togra ar líne seo le mic léinn agus lena dtuismitheoirí trí cheisteanna a fhreagairt ar fhóram ar leith, agus beidh foireann na beolíne ar fáil le glaonna a fhreagairt. Beidh os cionn 3,000 mac léinn nua ag tosú in OÉ Gaillimh i Meán Fómhair agus beidh foireann oilte comhaltaí foirne agus mac léinn ar fáil le ceist ar bith a d'fhéadfadh a bheith ag na mic léinn ná ag a gcuid tuismitheoirí a fhreagairt. Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil ó Luan go hAoine, ó 9am go 6pm, agus Dé Sathairn, an 16 agus an 23 Lúnasa, ó 10am go 1pm. Beidh na seirbhísí seo ar fáil sa tréimhse chorraitheach sin ina mbíonn ar dhaltaí cinneadh a dhéanamh i ndiaidh dóibh torthaí na hArdteistiméireachta a fháil.  Beidh an bheolíne agus an tseirbhís ar líne ar oscailt i rith thréimhse na seisiún eolais do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana, ag tosú an 1 Meán Fómhair, agus beidh siad ag feidhmiú ar feadh coicíse i ndiaidh an dáta a gcuirfear tús leis na léachtaí, an 8 Meán Fómhair. Beifear in ann a rá le mic léinn gur cheart dóibh glao a chur ar an mbeolíne nó úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís ar líne má bhíonn ceist ar bith acu agus iad ag tabhairt faoina saol in OÉ Gaillimh.  Cuirfidh an fhoireann seirbhís éifeachtach ar fáil dóibh sin a éilíonn í agus meastar go mbeifear ag plé le hábhair go leor a bhíonn ag déanamh imní do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana. Meastar go mbeidh ceisteanna á gcur faoi na hábhair seo a leanas, i measc ábhair eile: na pointí atá riachtanach do chúrsaí ar leith; tairiscintí sa chéad bhabhta; clárú mar mhac léinn san Ollscoil; dátaí tosaithe; táillí agus roghanna lóistín.  Tabharfar láithreán gréasáin ar leith atá ann do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana cothrom le dáta gach lá chomh maith. Beidh eolas le fáil ann faoi na ceisteanna a bhí ag na daoine a ghlaoigh ar an mbeolíne nua. Is tairseach eolais ar leith a bheidh sa láithreán gréasáin agus beidh sé de chuspóir aige cuid den cheo a bhaineann leis an gcéad chúpla seachtain ar an ollscoil a scaipeadh.  Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Stephen O’Dea, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is athrú mór saoil atá i ndán do dhaltaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus luach a gcuid saothair amach rompu anois i ndiaidh na blianta a bheith caite acu ag obair go crua. Is é an chéad choiscéim eile don chuid is mó acu anois an t-athrú ón dara leibhéal go dtí an tríú leibhéal. Is athrú suntasach é seo ní hamháin dóibh féin ach dá dteaghlaigh chomh maith agus tuigimid in OÉ Gaillimh an tionchar a bhíonn aige seo orthu go háirithe orthu siúd atá ag tabhairt aghaidhe ar an ollscoil den chéad uair riamh. Chun cuidiú leo siúd a bheas ag tabhairt faoi chéim ollscoile, cuirtear tacaíocht, eolas agus treoir ar fáil trí Bheolíne do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana, chun aon cheist faoi aon ghné de shaol na hollscoile a fhreagairt dóibh. Tá fáilte roimh gach mac léinn, tuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís chun cuidiú leis an aistear chuig OÉ Gaillimh.” Féadfaidh mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus lucht comhairlithe teagmháil a dhéanamh le Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar 091 493999, ceist a chur ar líne ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/askus nó cuairt a thabhairt ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/ -Críoch-

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Award Winning iPoints App for Leaving Certificate Students

Award Winning iPoints App for Leaving Certificate Students -image

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

NUI Galway’s award winning app,the first official third-level app designed for students to calculate Leaving Certificate points, is available for students and parents to download.  The app, iPoints, is a must for all Leaving Certificate students expecting their results on Wednesday, 13 August and is available to download for free through iTunes. Since launching the app last year it has been downloaded over 8,000 times, with an average of 200 downloads every month. NUI Galway, in partnership with former Information Technology student Paul Herron, developed the iPhone app. The app will allow Leaving Certificate students to quickly and easily calculate their points when they receive their exam results. Paul, originally from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, explained: “This app aims to simplify the point calculation process for students to relieve some of the stress of Leaving Cert’ results day.” CAO points are calculated based on a student’s six highest results in one sitting of the Leaving Certificate. Students using the app will simply enter their results for each subject, indicating whether it is higher or ordinary level. The app calculates the number of points attained in each subject, and indicates the total. The app calculates 25 additional points to be added for Higher Maths if relevant, and allows for Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) scores to be included. The app also gives students the option to share their results by text message, or through social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, if they wish. Commenting on the app, Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway said: “Technology is continually shaping the way we live and manage our lives and the iPoints points calculator is another useful tool in our increasingly busy lives, and as every Leaving Cert’ student knows, results day is very hectic indeed. As NUI Galway has a well established reputation in software development, the app’s benefits to all Leaving Cert’ students, is a compelling indicator of what can be achieved in third level education.” The iPoints app won two major online marketing awards since launching last year, one at the prestigious Digital Media Awards, in the hotly contested ‘Best Use of Mobile’ category and one at the Appy Awards. NUI Galway is the only third-level institution to offer a points calculator app to students. The NUI Galway iPoints app is available for all iPhone users on the iTunes store now www.tinyurl.com/NUIGalwayApp  -Ends-

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Irish Centre for Human Rights Welcomes Professor’s Appointment by UN

Irish Centre for Human Rights Welcomes Professor’s Appointment by UN-image

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has welcomed the appointment of its Honorary Chairman, Professor William Schabas, to a new UN Commission of Inquiry.  The independent Commission of Inquiry will investigate purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip since the conflict began on 13 June. Professor Schabas will head up the three-person commission, details of which were announced last night (11 August). The Canadian is renowned for his work on international criminal and human rights law, and was Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway from 2000 to 2009 prior to the appointment of Professor Michael O’Flaherty to the post. He served on the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission until 2004, and was also a member of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in Human Rights. The Commission aims to establish the facts and circumstances of violations and crimes perpetrated and to identify those responsible. It will also make recommendations, in particular on accountability measures, all with a view to avoiding and ending impunity and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable, and on ways to protect civilians against any further assaults. Commenting on the appointment, Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, who recently returned from the region, said: “I cannot think of a more qualified person to lead this Inquiry. The Inquiry will play a vital role in establishing the facts and identifying those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and human rights. This is a most important step in ensuring all those responsible for violations are held accountable.” -ends-

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Salt consumption has a sweet spot

Salt consumption has a sweet spot-image

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Too little and too much are both harmful, researchers find Results from the largest study of its kind ever conducted -- involving 18 countries and more than 100,000 people -- indicate that the current recommended maximum sodium intake for the population is actually too low and may even be unsafe. However, high sodium is also harmful, so an ‘optimal’ range is the best target. Two reports from a global collaborative study involving hundreds of investigators from 18 countries, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, are shaking up conventional wisdom around salt consumption. NUI Galway’s Professor Martin O’Donnell played a lead role in the study, and is first author on one of the reports. The Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study, led by investigators from the Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences, followed more than 100,000 people for nearly four years. The study assessed sodium and potassium intake and related them to blood pressure as well as to deaths, heart disease and strokes. The salt debate Professor Martin O’Donnell, formerly of McMaster University, is now Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway and Associate Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway. An expert in cardiovascular health, he explained the debate around salt intake: “A much debated question is how low should we go with our salt intake? Most of the current guidelines recommend very low salt intake, which the vast majority of people don’t achieve.” While too much salt has long been recognised as a serious health risk, the researchers have also found that there may be a risk from eating too little. In fact, Professor O’Donnell suggests that what is now generally recommended as a healthy daily ceiling for salt consumption appears to be set too low. “Low sodium intake does reduce blood pressure modestly, compared to moderate (or average) intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including elevations of certain hormones that are associated with an increase in risk of death and cardiovascular diseases. The key question is whether these competing physiologic effects result in net clinical benefit or not,” O’Donnell said. Current intake of sodium is typically between 3.5 and 4 grams per day and some guidelines have recommended that the entire population lower its sodium intake to below 2.3 grams per day, a level that fewer than 5 per cent of people now consume. Professor O’Donnell continued: “In the PURE study, we found the lowest risk of death and cardiovascular events in those who consumed moderate amounts of sodium intake (3 to 6 grams per day), with an increased risk above and below that range. While this finding has been reported in previous smaller studies, PURE is the largest international study to study sodium intake and health outcomes, and adds considerable strength to the contention that moderate sodium intake is optimal.” However, he also emphasised: “Our findings do not mean that people should become complacent about salt intake, high salt intake is a health risk especially in those with high blood pressure. People should avoid adding salt to their foods, as many foods already contain salt, and should reduce or avoid processed foods that contain high salt. Moderate salt intake is only one part of a healthy diet, other aspects of a balanced diet are important, such as increasing fruit and vegetable intake.” The blood pressure effect The researchers showed that the effects of increasing sodium intake on raising blood pressure – a risk factor for heart attack, heart failure, stroke and other problems – become most apparent as intake rises above 5 grams per day, especially among people who already have high blood pressure, or who are older than 55, or both. “But the blood-pressure effects are more modest at average levels of sodium consumption (3 to 5 grams per day) and not evident at low levels of intake below 3 grams of sodium per day (a level that is higher than the maximum currently recommended by many guidelines), says Andrew Mente, Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McMaster University, and lead author of one of the new reports. The study also found an association between increasing potassium intake and lower blood pressure.  “While there has been much focus on reducing salt in the diet, an important and ignored approach to lowering blood pressure is increasing the amount of potassium consumed. A balanced approach is what is likely to have the greatest benefit in lowering blood pressure,” says Mente. “This can be achieved by moderation in salt intake, combined with eating lots of fruits and vegetables.” The studies were funded from more than 50 sources, including the PHRI, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. “The findings of both studies are robust, globally applicable and collectively question established dogma and recommended policies. This also means that salt reduction should be primarily targeted at those who have high blood pressure and those who consume a lot of salt,” says Salim Yusuf, the Principal Investigator of the global PURE study, senior author of both reports, and Director of the Population Health Research Institute, which designed and coordinated the study. Sweet Spot Taken together, the papers show there is a ‘sweet spot’ for sodium consumption, where too much or too little can be damaging, while a moderate amount between 3 and 6 grams is optimal for the general population The good news is that most people in the world consume an amount in the optimal range, the researchers found. In an accompanying editorial in the NEJM, Professor Suzanne Oparil from the University of Birmingham, Alabama, urged reconsideration of current guidelines and recommended randomized trials comparing clinical outcomes in people who consume usual salt intake to low intake. -ends-

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