Leading Irish University Bio-Photonics Laboratory and Compact Imaging Extend Agreement for Innovative Research Collabora

Leading Irish University Bio-Photonics Laboratory and Compact Imaging Extend Agreement for Innovative Research Collabora-image

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

NUI Galway’s TOMI Lab Provides Globally-Recognised Scientific Leadership for Advanced Development of Company’s Mobile OCT Technology The National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) (www.nuigalway.ie) and Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI) (www.compactimaging.com) today jointly announced the extension of their innovative research collaboration in the field of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for a variety of applications, including mobile health monitoring and identity verification. The research agreement will continue the advanced development of CI’s novel multiple reference OCT sensor technology, MRO™, very small, low cost, low operating power OCT architecture ideal for high volume mobile applications. The original two-year research collaboration successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of applying CI’s MRO™ technology in areas such as monitoring skin lesions and creating 3D fingerprint images. OCT is an imaging technique similar to ultrasound, but employing light rather than sound. Since its commercialisation in the early 2000s, OCT has revolutionised medical diagnostics in clinical settings. It is the fastest growing medical imaging modality, with annual re-imbursement for ophthalmic assessments exceeding $1 billion and more than $400 million in OCT instrument sales, up from virtually nothing a decade earlier. The research collaboration combines NUI Galway’s globally-recognised body of OCT research in medical and biological imaging with CI’s development and intellectual property in OCT and MRO™ to enable very small, low cost, and low operating power devices for applications such as non-invasive mobile personal health monitoring and identity verification. CI has developed an extensive patent portfolio, comprised of 14 issued US patents and numerous published and unpublished US and foreign applications. Professor Martin Leahy, Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Director of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Laboratory, and Scientific Director of the National Platform for Biophotonics and Imaging (Ireland), will continue to direct the collaboration’s research efforts in Galway. Researchers associated with the collaboration had several accomplishments over the initial two-year term, including: Demonstrated technical feasibility of building MRO™ OCT systems using consumer level components, proving that MRO™ is inherently a low cost, small size (the size of a wristwatch), and low operating power sensor technology, well-suited to mobile applications. Demonstrated technical feasibility of a combination of an MRO™ OCT system with a dermascope to enable depth imaging and biometry of skin lesions in a low cost, small form factor device. Demonstrated technical feasibility of MRO™-based 3D fingerprint imaging for secure personal identification and verification.   “Compact Imaging’s MRO™ architecture has clear and sustainable advantages in size, cost, and power consumption over other OCT technologies,” said Professor Leahy. “We’re delighted that our team in Galway is contributing so significantly to a dramatically different version of OCT technology that can make advanced optical imaging and biometry accessible both outside the clinic to patients and other health-oriented consumers and to developing countries where provision of affordable, ‘fit for purpose’ diagnostics is a real need.” CI is an early stage technology company focused on the rapidly expanding markets for mobile imaging and biometry in applications such as health monitoring and biometric security. Its proprietary MRO™ technology makes possible non-invasive optical imaging, biometry, and analysis across a range of high volume applications.   “Our collaboration with NUI Galway and Professor Leahy’s labs has been critical to demonstrating the principles and potential applications of MRO™’s low cost, small form factor design,” said Don Bogue, CEO of Compact Imaging. “We believe that CI’s MRO™-based sensor development is unlocking the world of high value personal biometrics. “The collaboration has been very successful,” said Bogue. “This is just one of several ways in which Ireland, its people, and its institutions, have supported the development of Compact Imaging. With the strong Irish position in medical device design, development, and manufacturing, we expect continued expansion of our presence in Ireland.” CI holds a portfolio of US patents covering multiple reference optical coherence tomography (MRO™). The underlying imaging technology, optical coherence tomography (OCT), was first commercialised over a decade ago for use in ophthalmic diagnostic imaging. CI’s MRO™ is a much different architecture from that used in conventional OCT systems. MRO™ sensor technology enables design of very small, low cost devices ideally-suited to high volume mobile monitoring applications. Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI), headquartered in Mountain View, CA, USA, is privately-held.  -ends-

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40 NUI Galway Scholars Honoured at NUI Annual Awards Ceremony

40 NUI Galway Scholars Honoured at NUI Annual Awards Ceremony-image

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Graduates and students of NUI Galway featured prominently at the annual NUI Awards ceremony which took place this week in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham taking home an impressive 40 awards. Included in this number are two recipients from St. Angela’s College in Sligo, which is a partner college of NUI Galway. Two NUI Travelling Studentships in the Sciences were awarded to NUI Galway Engineering graduates Edward Fagan and Sinéad O’Halloran. Sinéad also picked up the Pierce Malone Scholarship. Other scholarships and awards include the EJ Phelan Scholarship in International Law which was awarded to NUI Galway’s Amina Adanan. The Denis Phelan Scholarship in Humanities and Social Sciences was awarded to Francis Kelly, with Felim O’Toole picking up the NUI Club London Scholarship. The French Government Medal and NUI Prize for Proficiency in French was awarded to Caolán O’Donnell. PhD student Alena Yuryna Connolly was presented with the Fulbright/NUI Visiting Researcher Award. The Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary scholarships and prizes were awarded to: Nicola de Faoite and Róisín Egan, Gaeilge; Leisha Marlow, German; and Jennifer Bent, Spanish. The Scoláireacht agus Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara/Mansion House Fund Scholarship and prizes went to Arts graduate Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, for a Scoláireacht Gaeilge. A total of 27 Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes were awarded to NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. The award recipients were Clodagh McDermott and Robert Mulligan, Anaesthesia; Seamus Lehane, Anatomy; Sabrina Sheridan, Biochemistry; Dr Bryan Reidy, Clinical Radiology; Cillian McNamara and Anne Marie Sweeney, Gynaecology and Obstetrics; Dr Rebecca Finnegan, Medicine; Claire Beecher and Elaine Finucane, Midwifery; Nicola Hyde, Tracy McHugh and Linda McNulty, Nursing; Máire Mullooly and Lisa McKeon, Psychiatric Nursing; Dr Claire Kelly and Linda Horan, Occupational Therapy; Siobhan McCormack, Ophthalmology; Lauren Hughes, Paediatrics; Katie Sheehan, Pathology; Tony Haddad, Pharmacology; Olga Carey and Marie Hegarty, Podiatry; Matthew Smyth, Psychiatry; Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Public Health; Amy Curran, Speech and Language Therapy; and Jennifer Kielty, Surgery. Lauren Hughes, Psychiatry also received a Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes commendation. Speaking on the success of NUI Galway students and graduates, President Jim Browne, said: “This clearly highlights the high calibre of students studying on NUI Galway programmes and follows previous successes in these annual awards. I congratulate the Awardees on their achievements and encourage them in the future endeavours. In commending the Award recipients, I’d also like to pay tribute to their teachers for their work in supporting these students and in helping them to achieve such high standards.” At the ceremony, the Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning presented Travelling Studentships, scholarships and other awards to 130 students and graduates of the NUI Constituent Universities and Recognised Colleges. The total value of NUI Awards in 2014 was in excess of €1.2 million. NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Maynooth University, RCSI, St Angela’s College and NCAD were represented among the award winners. -Ends- Onóir tugtha do 40 Scoláire ag Gradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann Rinne céimithe agus mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh thar barr ag searmanas bronnta Ghradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann nuair a d'éirigh leo 40 gradam a bhaint amach. Bhí an searmanas ar siúl san Ospidéal Ríoga, Cill Mhaighneann. I measc an 40 seo bhí beirt as Coláiste San Aingeal i Sligeach, coláiste comhpháirtíochta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh dhá Scoláireacht Taistil nua de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann sna hEolaíochtaí ar chéimithe Innealtóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, Edward Fagan agus Sinéad O’Halloran. D'éirigh le Sinéad chomh maith Scoláireacht Pierce Malone a fháil. I measc na scoláireachtaí agus na ngradam eile bhí Scoláireacht EJ Phelan sa Dlí Idirnáisiúnta a bronnadh ar Amina Adanan as OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh Scoláireacht Denis Phelan sna Daonnachtaí agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta ar Francis Kelly, agus bronnadh Scoláireacht Chlub Ollscoil na hÉireann-Londain ar Felim O’Toole. Bronnadh Bonn Rialtas na Fraince agus Duais OÉ do Líofacht sa Fhraincis ar Chaolán O’Donnell. Bronnadh Gradam Taighdeora ar Cuairt Fulbright/Ollscoil na hÉireann ar an mac léinn PhD Alena Yuryna Connolly. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí agus duaiseanna liteartha an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart ar: Nicola de Faoite agus Róisín Egan, Gaeilge; Leisha Marlow, Gearmáinis; agus Jennifer Bent, Spáinnis. Bronnadh Scoláireacht agus Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara ar an gcéimí sna Dána, Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, do Scoláireacht Gaeilge. San iomlán, bronnadh 27 Scoláireacht agus Duais Leighis de chuid an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart ar Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh gradaim ar na daoine seo a leanas: Clodagh McDermott agus Robert Mulligan, Ainéistéise; Seamus Lehane, Anatamaíocht; Sabrina Sheridan, Bithcheimic; an Dr Bryan Reidy, Raideolaíocht Chliniciúil; Cillian McNamara agus Anne Marie Sweeney, Gínéiceolaíocht agus Obstatraic; an Dr Rebecca Finnegan, Leigheas; Claire Beecher agus Elaine Finucane, Cnáimhseachas; Nicola Hyde, Tracy McHugh agus Linda McNulty, Altranas; Máire Mullooly agus Lisa McKeon, Altranas Síciatrach; an Dr Claire Kelly agus Linda Horan, Teiripe Shaothair; Siobhan McCormack, Oftailmeolaíocht; Lauren Hughes, Péidiatraic; Katie Sheehan, Paiteolaíocht; Tony Haddad, Cógaseolaíocht; Olga Carey agus Marie Hegarty, Cosliacht; Matthew Smyth, Síciatracht; Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Sláinte Phoiblí; Amy Curran, Teiripe Shaothair agus Theanga; and Jennifer Kielty, Máinliacht. Fuair Lauren Hughes, Síciatracht ardmholadh Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna Leighis an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart. Ag labhairt dó ar chomh maith is a rinne mic léinn agus céimithe OÉ Gaillimh, dúirt an tUachtarán Jim Browne: “Is léiriú soiléir é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard mac léinn atá i mbun staidéir ar chláir de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus tagann sé sna sála ar éachtaí a rinneadh ag na gradaim bhliantúla seo cheana. Déanaim comhghairdeas leis na daoine ar bronnadh gradaim orthu as a gcuid éachtaí agus guím gach rath orthu amach anseo. Agus mé ag moladh iad siúd a fuair Gradaim, ba mhaith liom freisin aitheantas a thabhairt dá dteagascóirí as an tacaíocht a thug siad do na mic léinn seo leis na caighdeáin arda seo a bhaint amach.” Ag an searmanas, bhronn an Seansailéir, an Dr Maurice Manning Scoláireachtaí Taistil, scoláireachtaí agus gradaim eile ar 130 mac léinn agus céimí as Ollscoileanna agus Coláistí Aitheanta Ollscoil na hÉireann.Bhain luach sa bhreis ar €1.2 milliún le Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann sa bhliain 2014. Bhí daoine as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, UCC, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad, RCSI, Coláiste San Aingeal agus NCAD i measc bhuaiteoirí na ngradam. -Críoch-

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October 2014

Social Equality and Poverty Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture

Social Equality and Poverty Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture-image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

As part of the President of Ireland's Ethics Initiative, NUI Galway’s discipline of Philosophy will host a public lecture by Professor Jonathan Wolff. The lecture, 'Social Equality and Poverty' will take place on Friday, 10 October at 4pm in the lower Aula Maxima on campus. Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at University College London. He is the author of several books on political philosophy, including Disadvantage (with Avner de-Shalit), Ethics and Public Policy, and The Human Right to Health. He has been a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Gambling Review Body, and the Board of Science of the British Medical Association. Professor Wolff also writes a regular column on higher education for The Guardian. A society of equals is a society that avoids a range of destructive asymmetrical social relations, including domination, exploitation, snobbery, servility and social exclusion. But how, in the highly unequal societies in which we live, can we begin to make progress on eliminating social inequality? During his lecture Professor Wolff will explore how thinking about relative poverty can help illuminate one highly important aspect of social inequality: social exclusion. At the same time reflecting on relative poverty, and the steps people take to overcome it, can help to understand some of the considerable structural obstacles that stand in the way of achieving a society of equals. The President of Ireland’s Ethics initiative is organised in collaboration with Ireland’s third-level universities and seeks to explore throughout all aspects of society the topic of ethics and the challenge and invitation of living ethically. Richard Hull, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and a Director of the Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis (COBRA) at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Wolff to the University. He is one of the most influential contemporary political philosophers, and he will add a distinguished voice to the President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative.” For further information contact Ann O’Higgins in the discipline of Philosophy at 091 492382 or email ann.ohiggins@nuigalway.ie. More information on the lecture is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/philosophy/news_and_events/index.html. -Ends-

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It all adds up for Maths Week 2014 at NUI Galway

It all adds up for Maths Week 2014 at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Schools in Galway will welcome NUI Galway experts into their classrooms to deliver interactive workshops during Maths Week 2014, from 11 to 19 October. In a further celebration of all things mathematical, a nationwide schools competition PRISM will be run, while a series of public talks will illustrate the many links between art and maths. Maths Week is an annual national event aimed at primary and secondary schools, to promote appreciation, understanding and awareness of maths and its relevance to society, education and technology. On request from teachers, NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics will dispatch lecturers and postgraduate students to schools for interactive talks and workshops. On Thursday, 16 October, the School of Mathematics will launch and host the nationwide maths competition PRISM (PRoblem solving for Irish Second level Mathematics). PRISM can be run in each interested school at junior and/or senior levels. Registered maths teachers can download a full package (problem sheets, answer keys, etc.) for their classes. The website generates numerical and graphical summary statistics of student performances in real time and identifies the top-performing schools and individuals. “Maths Week Ireland promotes awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths through a huge variety of events and activities. We have been involved in Maths Week from the start, and year-on-year there is a growing interest in the subject,” said Dr Ray Ryan, Head of the School of Mathematics at NUI Galway. “It all adds up. Teachers are finding new ways of teaching maths, academics are broadening the way they communicate maths, and younger people themselves are a lot more maths savvy. Our year-round schools programme, which includes school workshops through our TY Friday initiative, shows us there is a wonderful appetite for learning maths in fun and exciting ways.” Tom Banchoff is a Professor of Mathematics at Brown University in the US who has a deep interest in relating mathematics to art. On Friday, 17 October, he will deliver two public talks to secondary school pupils. ‘Maths Spans All Dimensions – Geometry and Computer Graphics’ is aimed at junior cycle students and will show how geometry and computer graphics play important roles in animated movies, dance, physics, geology, literature, and art. This exciting show will be illustrated by computer generated images and animations. For senior cycle students, ‘The Fourth Dimension and Salvador Dali’ explores the famous artist Salvador Dali, who was fascinated by mathematics and science. The artist managed to feature some advanced topics like the fourth dimension and catastrophe theory in his paintings. Teachers or individuals interested in arranging visits, the public talks or the schools competition should visit http://www.maths.nuigalway.ie/outreach/MathsWeek2014.shtml or email tim.downing@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

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NUI Galway is only Irish university to rise in latest world rankings, taking third place nationally

NUI Galway is only Irish university to rise in latest world rankings, taking third place nationally-image

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Rise in both THE and QS rankings testament to focus on ‘select set of research areas’ NUI Galway now ranks third place in Ireland and is the only Irish university to move up the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2014-15. With an increase of 53 places on last year’s position, two bands in this ranking survey, NUI Galway now ranks at 261st in the THE Rankings 2014/2015. NUI Galway is the only Irish university to increase its position in the two main international rankings, having recently increased to 280th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015. The rise has been attributed to a concerted approach by the university in developing world-class research in specific fields including data analytics, biomedical science, marine and energy research, and digital humanities, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne explained: “This is a major improvement for NUI Galway and reflects a consistent upward trend in these very competitive global rankings. This major jump in NUI Galway’s position in THE World University Rankings this year is an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing our international reputation in a select set of research areas. These areas of activity underpin our growing international research reputation and continue to attract researchers, scholars and international partners. As the only Irish university again to increase our position in both the 2014 THE World University Rankings and the recently published QS World University Rankings, it is beyond doubt that our position globally is on the rise. Despite significant cuts in overall funding at third-level in Ireland and increased student numbers, our University has gone against the tide to secure a consistent improvement in these very competitive rankings.” The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent. The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university; teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2014 ranking. President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. While the rankings evaluate universities against a limited range of measures, there is no doubting their influence on a University’s ability to attract international students. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.” The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2014-15 is available to view online at: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/   Is í OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a d'ardaigh sna ranguithe domhanda is déanaí, agus tá sí sa tríú háit go náisiúnta Teist é an t-ardú sna ranguithe THE agus QS ar an mbéim atá ar réimsí áirithe taighde Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa tríú háit in Éirinn agus is í an t-aon ollscoil Éireannach í a rinne dul chun cinn i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education (THE) 2014-15. Tháinig ardú 53 áit ar an seasamh a bhain OÉ Gaillimh amach anuraidh, dhá bhanda sa suirbhé rangaithe seo, agus tá sí anois sa 261ú háit i Ranguithe THE 2014/2015.  D’éirigh linn le gairid an 280ú háit a bhaint amach ar domhan i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2014/2015, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta. Cur chuige comhaontaithe ón ollscoil i leith taighde den chéad scoth a fhorbairt i réimsí ar leith lena n-áirítear anailísíocht sonraí, eolaíocht bhithleighis, taighde mara agus fuinnimh, agus daonnachtaí digiteacha is cúis leis an ardú seo, mar a mhínigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is dul chun cinn ollmhór é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus léiríonn sé ardú seasta sna ranguithe domhanda seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch.  Is dearbhú í an léim mhór seo i mbliana ar sheasamh OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE ar an gcur chuige thar a bheith dírithe atá againn i leith ár gcáil idirnáisiúnta a fhorbairt i réimsí áirithe taighde.    Tacaíonn na réimsí gníomhaíochtaí seo lenár gcáil idirnáisiúnta taighde atá i mbun forbartha agus meallann siad taighdeoirí, scoláirí agus comhpháirtithe idirnáisiúnta.   Ó tharla gur muid an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE 2014 agus i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain a foilsíodh le gairid, tá sé ríshoiléir go bhfuil ár stádas domhanda ag dul ó neart go neart.  In ainneoin na gciorruithe suntasacha sa mhaoiniú trí chéile ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus méadú ar líon na mac léinn, tá an Ollscoil s’againne ar a mine géire le dul chun cinn leanúnach a dheimhniú sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch.” Cuireadh Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education le chéile i gcomhar le soláthróir sonraí rangaithe, Thomson Reuters, le hionchur sainiúil ó bhreis is 50 duine iomráiteach san earnáil ó 15 thír i ngach mór-roinn.  Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher Education de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith a chlúdaíonn gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth; teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá an suirbhé is mó ar domhan maidir le cáil acadúil áirithe sa suirbhé seo chomh maith. Fiafraíodh de bhreis is 10,000 duine acadúil na hollscoileanna is fearr a rátáil do rangú 2014.  Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éire ag infheistiú ina cuid ollscoileanna le gur féidir leo a bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear ranguithe den chineál seo chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a thógáil ar bord. Cé go measann na ranguithe ollscoileanna de réir slat tomhais atá sách srianta, níl aon dabht ach go bhfuil an-tionchar acu ar chumas atá ag Ollscoil mic léinn idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.”  Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2014-15 le feiceáil ar líne ag:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -críoch-  

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NUI Galway and RIA honour Pioneering cartographer who mapped Connemara

NUI Galway and RIA honour Pioneering cartographer who mapped Connemara  -image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Pioneering cartographer and writer, Tim Robinson whose archive is based at NUI Galway has been honoured by a series of events at the University and the Royal Irish Academy to mark the publication of Connemara and Elsewhere.  On Tuesday, 30 September (yesterday) NUI Galway honoured the Robinsons’ unique contribution to Irish literature and landscape studies with a new book, Connemara and Elsewhere as well as with an associated exhibition and international symposium entitled, Interpreting Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland.  The publication Connemara and Elsewhere was launched by Vincent Woods following the day-long international symposium held in Robinson’s honour at the University’s Moore Institute. The accompanying exhibition, ‘Interpreting  Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland’, based on the Robinson archive with photographs and extracts from Connemara and Elsewhere, will run from 30 September 2014 to 31 January 2015. A screening of ‘Unfolding the landscape’ a filmed interview with Vincent Woods and Tim Robinson, commissioned by NUI Galway also featured during the symposium. Connemara and Elsewhere, published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from Galway University Foundation marks the completion of Robinson’s forty-year labour of love. The book, edited by Professor Jane Conroy includes contributions from photographer Nicolas Fève and writer, John Elder and also features three new essays by Tim Robinson as he turns his attention elsewhere. Speaking at the launch, Editor of Connemara and Elsewhere, Professor Jane Conroy remarked, "Tim Robinson’s work has offered many readers new ways into Connemara and into meditating on their own experience of it. This book provides a further point of entry to the places and lifeworlds he evokes, explored through the lens of text and camera." Since moving to the Aran Islands in 1972, Yorkshire-born cartographer Tim Robinson has spent forty years mapping and writing about the Galway Bay area.  The internationally-acclaimed writer and map-maker has published unique and detailed maps of Connemara, the Burren and the Aran Islands and subsequently he wrote several books about these landscapes, including the acclaimed trilogy, Connemara. The Tim Robinson archive, consists of notebooks, notecards, drafts of his maps and books, and correspondence, totalling close to 100,000 items. It joins other important archives in the James Hardiman Library related to landscape and, in particular, to documenting the places and people of the west of Ireland.  President of NUI Galway, Dr  Jim Browne said: “The lore of place - dinnseanchas - is a special strand of the Irish literary tradition, drawing on notions of place, history and myth.  The corpus of Tim Robinson’s work in the West of Ireland can be seen as a unique act of modern dinnseanchas.  His work - like that of the scribes of the early Middle Ages – preserves an intimate knowledge of Connemara, Aran, the Burren and is dedicated to experiencing these places in ways that are beyond the scope of maps or words or memory.  It stands as an enduring meditation on place.  NUI Galway is fortunate to share a deeply-valued association with Tim and Máiréad.  As a university we are enriched by Tim’s life’s work.  We are proud to hold his archive in trust for future generations. “ The publication will be available at all major book stores nationwide. Booking for the events in Dublin and Galway is free but essential. See www.ria.ie/events and nuigalway.ie/mooreinstitute/. ENDS

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Simvastatin safe but ineffective in the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Simvastatin safe but ineffective in the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)-image

Thursday, 2 October 2014

NUI Galway researchers have been part of a large-scale clinical trial of statin treatment in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). This international, multi-centre study, led by the Irish Critical Care Trials group, was carried out in over 40 Intensive Care Units across Ireland and the United Kingdom. It was funded by the UK’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme (a Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research partnership) and by Ireland’s Health Research Board. This four-year project tested the efficacy of the drug simvastatin in 540 patients with ARDS. ARDS is a devastating condition that occurs in patients with critical illnesses such as severe infections or following severe injuries. The primary condition triggers an uncontrolled inflammatory response which in turn damages the lining of the lungs causing them to fill with fluid. Patients with ARDS are unable to breathe on their own and require artificial ventilation. There is currently no effective treatment for the condition, and about 25% of patients with ARDS die of the combined effects of the lung inflammation and the primary condition. Observational and early stage research strongly suggested that statins, drugs widely prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in the blood in order to prevent strokes and heart attacks, might also reduce the inflammatory response to critical illnesses and so might reduce the severity of ARDS. Statins are cheap, generally safe drugs with few side effects which, if the early research translated into a benefit in clinical practice, would be rapidly adopted to treat ARDS. The study (Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibition with simvastatin in Acute lung injury to Reduce Pulmonary dysfunction (HARP-2)) was led by Professor Danny McAuley from Queen’s University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Professor John Laffey was chief investigator for Ireland. The Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit coordinated the overall trial. NUI Galway was the study sponsor in Ireland, while the Galway HRB Clinical research facility study played a key role in the conduct of the study in the Irish centres. Results showed that while simvastatin was safe and well tolerated, it did not decrease the duration of artificial ventilation or the number of patients who died whilst in hospital with ARDS. According to Professor John Laffey, “While statin therapy demonstrate considerable promise for ARDS in early phase clinical  studies, unfortunately our study  shows that simvastatin does not result in better outcomes for patients with this devastating disease.” According to Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board: "Health research is not just about always finding new treatments. Sometimes it is just as important to rule something out as it is to rule it in. It is very encouraging to see one of the HRB's investments in clinical research infrastructure play such an important role in this study. The HRB Clinical Research Facility in Galway has enabled Irish researchers to collaborate internationally and contribute to significant clinical findings, as evidenced by this research being published in such a renowned medical journal.” -ends-

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NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair Announced

NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair Announced-image

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Major organisations from business, industry and voluntary sector will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday 7 October from 12.30pm - 4.00pm. The popular annual event will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Visitors to the event can attend spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Creganna, Medtronic, Cisco, Sourcedogg, and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies including Accenture, Abbott, KPMG and Lidl. According to Emma Goode, Employment Officer with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Her advice for those attending the fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Plan in advance - know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Bring along an up-to-date CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all your experiences to date. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers     -ends-

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Medtech startup Embo Medical secures €3 million investment

Medtech startup Embo Medical secures €3 million investment-image

Monday, 6 October 2014

Early-stage medical device company is developing minimally invasive embolization technology for the treatment of wide variety of diseases Embo Medical, an early stage medical device company focused on developing technology to shut down blood flow in blood vessels, has secured €3 million in seed-funding. The investment syndicate included the AIB Seed Capital Fund (managed by Enterprise Equity), Irrus Investments, HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate, Western Development Commission, Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund (managed by ACT Venture Capital). The investment will enable Embo Medical to secure regulatory approval and enter the market, and in doing so employ approximately 10 people directly and up to another 10 people indirectly. Embo Medical is based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre. In 2011, the management team of Wayne Allen, Colin Forde and Liam Mullins undertook the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship, a specialist medical device innovation programme. Upon completion, they founded Embo Medical to develop solutions to unmet clinical needs that were identified while observing embolization procedures in hospitals during the Fellowship. Embolization is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to deliberately stop blood flow in blood vessels when treating cancers, internal haemorrhage, aneurysms, and venous disease. Current embolization procedures require multiple coils and plugs, which can be cumbersome and time consuming to insert and often do not provide an optimal clinical result. Embo is developing the first true one-shot (one device per vessel) vascular embolization device. The product is aimed at the peripheral vascular embolization market, a market where physicians perform about 180,000 procedures per year worldwide. The Embo platform technology is intended to provide a superior solution in shorter procedural times; resulting in safe, cost-effective embolization. In preclinical studies, Embo’s technology reduced blood vessel treatment time by over 80%, while ensuring rapid and durable occlusion across all blood vessel sizes. Embo CEO Wayne Allen said: “This investment will accelerate Embo’s development of a state-of-the-art solution for the treatment of several diseases, will further prove the product’s value through clinical studies and enable us to access the large US market. Our technology has the potential to become the standard of care while simultaneously reducing the cost of healthcare.” Dr Mahmood K. Razavi, Interventional Radiologist and Director of Clinical Trials, St. Joseph Heart & Vascular Centre, Orange, CA, USA, said: “The innovative Embo solution combines the desirable characteristics of coils and plugs into one device and represents a potential new gold standard in embolization. It is designed for safe and easy delivery, and rapid cessation of blood flow. The technology will be a clinically effective approach for patients requiring embolization.” The company outsources manufacture, packaging and sterilisation to med-tech companies based primarily in the West of Ireland, accounting for the indirect employment of approximately 10 people. Embo expects to directly create 10 new jobs over the next two years as a result of this investment. This includes a series of both senior management and technical/functional hires over the coming months to fulfil the research and development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance functions of the company. -ends-

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Free Introduction to Computers courses for beginners resume at NUI Galway

Free Introduction to Computers courses for beginners resume at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 6 October 2014

NUI Galway’s free ‘Click and Connect’ computer classes for beginners will resume again on Monday, 13 October. The classes run for two-hours, once a week, over a four week period, providing eight hours of training in total. The introduction to computing classes are aimed at those with little or no computer experience. Core topics covered include an introduction to the internet, online shopping and booking tickets, setting up and managing email, and using computers in conjunction with a digital camera. In addition to the Click and Connect programme, there will be a slightly more advanced Second Steps programme available to new and past learners. This programme is aimed at those whom have some computer experience or previously completed the Click and Connect programme and are seeking more computer knowledge. Second Steps is a follow up to Click and Connect providing more training to broaden learners understanding on topics such as internet, file management, and using tablets as an alternative to computers. As participants generally have little or no computer experience classes are run in a relaxed fun environment. NUI Galway student volunteers will be on hand to provide one-to-one support. Each class is small, with a maximum of twelve people and each learner is given a supporting booklet with instructions so that they can continue to develop their skills at home. All who complete receive a certificate of attendance. The free computer classes have provided training to over 500 people within the local community since they started. The manager of Click and Connect is Pat Byrne, a lecturer in the discipline of Information Technology in NUI Galway. She is delighted with the feedback received from those who have completed the programme. “Many of our learners have been older people who are finding that using the internet is opening up a whole new world to them. They are able to access services easily and use email and Skype to communicate with friends and family both at home and overseas. Our learners are also delighted to be able to compare prices and shop online, and follow their hobbies too. Whether they are looking for a job or searching for a new recipe, access to the internet makes their life so much easier. Everyone can pick up these basic skills and our classes provide a supportive environment in which to do so.” The classes are funded by a small grant from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and are offered free to participants. For further information and to book a place on one of the classes, call 0870571967 or 0873823370. -ends-

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