Thursday, 26 July 2012

NUI Galway law lecturer Tom O’Malley has been appointed by the Government to the Law Reform Commission. Donncha O Connell, also lecturer in law at the University, has been reappointed to the Commission. The Law Reform Commission is an independent, statutory body established under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975. Its purpose is to keep the law under review and to make recommendations for law reform in keeping with the changing nature of Irish society. Its scope was expanded in 2006 to include new projects on statute law restatement and the legislation directory. Tom O'Malley is a Senior Lecturer in Law and a practising barrister specialising in judicial review. He holds three first-class honours degrees from NUI Galway as well as the LL.M. degree from Yale University. He was a graduate fellow at Yale Law School in 1986-1987 and since then has taught at NUI Galway.  He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford Centre for Criminology in 1992-1993 and earlier this year was Visiting Professor of Criminology at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. He has taught many different law subjects to degree level over the past 25 years including Constitutional Law, Contract, Land Law, Equity, Criminal Law, Criminology, Administrative Law and Evidence.  He currently offers two courses on the LL.M. (Public Law) programme, one on sentencing and penal policy and the other on criminal process. His main research interests are in the area of criminal law and criminal justice and he is the author of leading Irish treatises on sex offences, sentencing and criminal procedure. He has served on several committees and working groups at national and international level and is at present a member of the Steering Committee for the Irish Sentencing Information System. O’Connell was the Dean of Law at NUI Galway from 2005-2008 and he continues to teach European Human Rights and Constitutional Law in the School of Law as well as teaching postgraduate students in Processes of Law Reform and Advocacy, Activism & Public Interest Law. He has extensive experience on European human rights bodies having served as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the EU Commission in 2002 and as the senior Irish member of FRALEX, the legal expert group that advised the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna. He spent the academic year 2009-2010 as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights LSE and is the editor of the Irish Human Rights Law Review published by Clarus Press. Donncha was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) from 1999-2002 and he has, in the past, been a board member of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd and Amnesty International-Ireland. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the London-based NGO, INTERIGHTS – The International Centre for the Legal Protection of Rights. He is also a member of the Legal Aid Board.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

London today welcomed the world to the Games of the 30th Olympiad. Among the 2,000 athletes competing in 47 events are NUI Galway student and alumnus, Paul Hession and Olive Loughnane. Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, commented: “We are delighted and honored to have students and alumni of NUI Galway representing Ireland on the world stage at the 2012 Olympic Games. Paul and Olive are world-class athletes of outstanding talent and are excellent representatives of the current generation of Irish sporting stars. On behalf of the University, I would like to wish them both the very best of luck and every success in London”. Paul Hession, Ireland’s fastest man is from Athenry and is a medicine student at NUI Galway. Twice a World Student Games medallist, Paul was awarded an NUI Galway Sports Scholarship for Athletics in 2000. Paul received the NUI Galway Sports Awards for Athletics four years in a row from 2002 – 2005.  At the Beijing Olympics, he narrowly missed out on a final place in the 200 metres and in 2010 made Irish athletics history as the first Irishman to make a 200m European sprint final. In early July he won the Irish 100m title and followed this with an excellent 20.54 for 200m in Lucerne - the fastest time by an Irishman this year. Olive Loughnane is from Loughrea, Co. Galway and is a graduate of NUI Galway.  Olive represented NUI Galway Athletic Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. She also represented the Irish universities on numerous occasions and was a member of the National Race Walking Squad.  She became the first female Irish Walker to win a senior title at the British AAA’s Championship in Birmingham. A silver medal at the World Championship in 2009 and winning one of the rounds of the World Race Walking Challenge in 2011, Olive qualified for the Olympics by finishing first in Slovakia on a time of 1 hour 32 minutes and 40 seconds, a full minute ahead of her nearest rival. Her times have continuously improved over the years and this is her fourth Olympic Games. The London 2012 Olympic Games will commence today (Friday, 27 July) with the opening ceremony and will continue until 12 August, 2012. ENDS

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Researchers have uncovered how animals in Antarctica managed to survive glacial periods thousands of years ago when sea-ice encroached on their habitats. DNA evidence indicates that sea creatures used a variety of techniques, from surviving in the deep sea, to retreating into pools of unfrozen seawater. Scientists hope that by looking back in time it will help predict the likely impact of global warming on the Southern Ocean. Natural climate cycles have caused massive glaciations on 40,000 and 100,000 year cycles over the past five million years. At times of maximum glaciation, sea-ice extended out into the Southern Ocean blocking sunlight from the surface waters, preventing phytoplankton from photosynthesising and hence cutting the food chain off at its source. Additionally, massive glaciers and ice-sheets extended far out onto the continental shelf, scoring the sea-floor and destroying the habitat of many animals. Biologists have never understood how animals in the seas surrounding Antarctica survived these Pliocene-Pleistocene glacial cycles. Was all the fauna of the Southern Ocean destroyed? Were animals able to seek refuge in the deep sea and recolonise from there?  Or did marine animals seek refuge outside of the Southern Ocean and recolonise Antarctica from other Oceans? In a paper published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, researchers at National University of Ireland Galway and LaTrobe University in Australia provide the answer. Dr Louise Allcock, a zoologist from National University of Ireland Galway’s Ryan Institute, explains. “We found the answer in the DNA of animals that are found in the Southern Ocean today. I’ve been studying Antarctic octopuses for many years and looking at the patterns of variation in their DNA.  As I looked at other people's research on other animals, to compare their findings to my own, I noticed that there were some consistent patterns.  One of the patterns we saw was that some animals had very limited variation, with large numbers of individuals having exactly the same DNA sequence at a given gene region.  This is consistent with a population bottleneck - i.e., a massive reduction in the number of individuals in a short space of time. We can tie this with the survival of a tiny population on the continental shelf during glacial maxima. And, in fact, there's evidence from glaciology and other physical sciences that 'polynyas' - small areas free of sea ice - did persist during glacial maxima.” This wasn’t the only pattern that researchers found however.  By examining all the available published research they were able to identify at least four different patterns, each one relating to a different survival and recolonisation strategy. This improved understanding of survival mechanisms and the interpretation of molecular data will help scientists predict the likely impact of global warming on the Southern Ocean. According to Dr Jan Strugnell, of the Department of Genetics, at La Trobe University: “There has been a recent marked increase in the number of studies using DNA to try and better understand the processes that have shaped the evolution of different animal groups that live in the Southern Ocean.  By looking at all of these studies together, and taking into account their life history characteristics, we were able to detect patterns which give clues to how animal lineages have survived glacial cycles in the Southern Ocean.  The different patterns give signatures for survival in ice free refugia on the continental shelf for some animal lineages and for survival in deep sea refugia in others.” ENDS

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Professor John Hinde, Statistics Group, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway, has been elected as the next President of the International Biometric Society. The term of office will begin as incoming Vice-President in 2013, serving as President of the Society 2014-2015 and then a further year as outgoing Vice-President in 2016. The International Biometric Society is an international society promoting the development and application of statistical and mathematical theory and methods in the biosciences, including agriculture, biomedical science and public health, ecology, environmental sciences, forestry, and allied disciplines. Originally founded in 1947 with Sir Ronald Fisher as President, the Society now has over 6,000 members in 30 different geographically defined regions across the world. It is responsible for publishing two major statistics journals and organises international and regional meetings. Professor Hinde has had a long association with the Society having served on the council for many years, and is the current President of the British and Irish Region. As International President, Professor Hinde will be responsible for both the governance of the Society and the promotion of its scientific and educational activities. He joins a distinguished list of biometricians who have served as President, but will be the first from an Irish University. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Inmarsat Film Lecture in association with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media To celebrate the end of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race which finishes in Galway on 3 July, Inmarsat , the race technology partner, and the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway will present a major lecture on the successful delivery of ‘extreme sailing brought to life 24/7’ by the cameraman onboard each boat. The lecture will take place on Thursday, 5 Julyin the Galway Race Village, at 12-2.30pm. Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race will open the lecture with a discussion of the technology involved to report on the world’s most connected yacht race. He will reveal that broadcasters had initially wanted to embed their own journalists, but first contact with the harsh sailing conditions had quickly ruled that out.  Frostad admits that Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband technology has been “truly transformational” and he is looking forward to the arrival of Global Xpress, Inmarsat’s 50mbps new Boeing Satellite fleet in time for the 2014 Race. Knut Frostad will talk about the 1996 race when he was onboard Intrum Justicia and how there was a heated debate on whether competitors should have to carry broadcast equipment. Says Frostad: “In the 1996 race the compromise was equipment - or 200kg of lead. The race winner, Toshiba skippered by Chris Dickson chose lead and limited media engagement.   On Intrum Justicia, we took the media kit and renowned yachting photographer, Rick Tomlinson. We won the media battle with Sony sponsored kit delivering the first ever media picture from a Whitbread boat as we rounded Cape Horn. It was global front-page news with just 9.6 kbps connectivity, via Inmarsat C. Today its half a megabit from Inmarsat FleetBroadband and it has changed our sport.” Also presenting will be one of the world’s leading extreme sports photographers Rick Deppe. Rick’s previous work includes the Emmy award-winning series ‘Deadliest Catch’ and he was the winner of the overall Inmarsat Media Crew Member prize for the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race. He will explain the different areas of the media crew member and their extreme media-gathering role. “A successful Media Crew Member” Rick says, “must be editor, producer, journalist, photographer and diplomat to get the stories off the boat. It is business as usual very day, wind or windless, 24/7 news demands feeding”. One vital aspect of the job is building trust with the professional sailors on board for the successful delivery of materials for all sponsors. The lecture will give those present a unique sense of what is required of an extreme sports reporter onboard a multi-million dollar round the world racing yacht to deliver high quality, dramatic and gripping material that brings the race alive for fans, sponsors and the media during the nine months of the event. Broadcast quality reality TV/reporting is a business critical to the future of sport sponsorship and in particular to this race. The opportunities for a career in extreme sport videography/reporting are exciting and growing within sailing as a result of innovative technology like Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband. Inmarsat FleetBroadband allows audiences around to world to get about as close as one can get to the race action (with HDTV clarity) without being on a competing yacht, as those who have been following the race coverage on TG4 will be aware. TG4’s Sports Editor Rónán Ó Coisdealbha will also be contributing to the session and will outline the importance of sport and the Volvo Ocean Race to the broadcaster.  The event is co-hosted by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway, one of Ireland’s leading film schools offering a range of innovative programmes, including in Film Studies, Production & Direction, Screenwriting and Digital Media. Director of the MA in Film Studies Programme at the Huston School, Seán Crosson, says, “This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in film and television, and particularly the filming of sport, to learn more about the processes involved in capturing one of world’s major sporting events from those directly involved. The lecture will expose young film-makers, media students, and interested members of the general public to the dynamic and exciting career of the Media Crew Member aboard the yachts participating in the Volvo Ocean Race as well as the endless opportunities that Inmarsat presents traveling media crews and film-makers in capturing and relaying footage and information in the most extreme conditions.”   NUI Galway, as education partners to Volvo Ocean Race Galway, will also bring considerable experience to the end of race events in the field of volunteering. Working with non-profit event organiser Let’s Do It Global, NUI Galway will help recruit and train over 1,200 volunteers required to run the nine-day festival.  While admission is free to the lecture, places are limited at this event so anyone interested in attending should contact Dee Quinn in advance at dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie or 091 495076 to book a place. ENDS   Deiseanna Gairme sa Ghrianghrafadóireacht Spórt Guaisbheartaíochta  Léacht Scannán Inmarsat i gcomhar le Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston OÉ Gaillimh Chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar dheireadh Rás Aigéin Volvo 2011-2012 a thiocfaidh go ceann céibhe i nGaillimh an 3 Iúil, tá Inmarsat, comhpháirtí teicneolaíochta an rása, agus Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston in OÉ Gaillimh chun oll-léacht a eagrú faoin tseoltóireacht ar a ndéanann na fir cheamara ar bord gach bád craoladh beo 24/7. Beidh an léacht ar siúl Déardaoin, an 5 Iúil i Sráidbhaile an Rása i nGaillimh, idir 12 agus 2.30pm. Is é Knut Frostad, Príomhfheidhmeannach Rás Aigéin Volvo, a chuirfidh tús leis an léacht le plé ar an teicneolaíocht a theastaíonn le tuairisciú ar an rás luamh is mó ceangal leis an teicneolaíocht ar domhan.  Inseoidh sé mar a bhí craoltóirí ag iarraidh a gcuid iriseoirí féin a chur ar na luaimh i dtús ama, ach nuair a tháinig siad i ngar do na cúinsí crua seoltóireachta nach raibh siad i bhfad ag athrú a n-intinn.  Admhaíonn Frostad go bhfuil teicneolaíocht FleetBroadband Inmarsat thar a bheith trasfhoirmeach, agus tá sé ag súil go mór le teacht Global Xpress, Satailít Boeing nua 50mbps de chuid Inmarsat, a bheidh réidh in am do Rás 2014. Labhróidh Knut Frostad faoi rás 1996 nuair a bhí sé féin ar bord Intrum Justicia agus mar a bhí plé teasaí maidir leis an gceist an mbeadh ar iomaitheoirí trealamh craolacháin a iompar nó nach mbeadh. Deir Frostad: “I rás 1996 bhí an rogha idir an trealamh nó 200kg luaidhe a iompar ar bord. Roghnaigh Toshiba, buaiteoir an rása faoi stiúir Chris Dickson, luaidhe agus beagán plé leis na meáin.   Ar Intrum Justicia, bhí an pacáiste meáin againn agus an grianghrafadóir clúiteach luaimh, Rick Tomlinson.  Is againn a bhí an lá i gcath na meán nuair a thóg an trealamh, a bhí urraithe ag Sony, an chéad ghrianghraf ó bhád Whitbread agus muid ag teacht timpeall Rinn an Choirn. Bhí sé ar an gcéad leathanach ar nuachtáin ar fud an domhain agus gan ach ceangal 9.6 kbps againn via Inmarsat C. Inniu is leath-mheigighiotán ó FleetBroadband Inmarsat atá in úsáid agus tá athrú ó bhonn déanta aige ar an spórt”. Déanfaidh Rick Deppe, duine de na grianghrafadóirí is clúití ar domhan ó thaobh an spóirt ghuaisbheartaíochta de, cur i láthair chomh maith. I measc na saothar atá curtha i gcrích ag Rick tá an tsraith ‘Deadliest Catch’, sraith a bhuaigh gradam Emmy, agus bhuaigh sé ollduais Inmarsat Ball de Chriú na Meán do Rás Aigéin Volvo 2008-9. Míneoidh sé na réimsí éagsúla a bhaineann le criú na meán agus an ról atá acu. Deir Rick, “le bheith i do Ball de Chriú na Meán (ball de chriú na meán) maith ní mór duit a bheith i d’eagarthóir, do léiritheoir, d’iriseoir, do ghrianghrafadóir agus i do thaidhleoir chun scéalta an bháid a roinnt leis an domhan mór. Bíonn obair le déanamh gach lá, is cuma má tá gaoth ann nó mura bhfuil, caithfear scéalta a choinneáil le nuacht 24/7.” Ar cheann de na gnéithe is tábhachtaí a bhaineann leis an jab tá muinín na seoltóirí gairmiúla a shaothrú ionas go mbeidh rath ar an tionscnamh do gach urraitheoir. Tabharfaidh an léacht léargas faoi leith ar céard is gá do thuairisceoir spórt guaisbheartaíochta a dhéanamh ar bord luamh rásaíochta ar fiú na milliúin dollar é chun ábhar ar ardchaighdeán, drámatúil agus spreagúil a chur ar fáil a dhéanfaidh an rás beo don lucht féachana, do na hurraitheoirí agus do na meáin ar feadh na naoi mí a bhíonn an t-imeacht ar siúl.  Beidh an-tábhacht ag baint le teilifís/tuairisciú réaltachta ar ardchaighdeán d’urraíocht spóirt amach anseo, go háirithe don rás seo. Tá na gairmeacha beatha a bhaineann le físghrafadóireacht/tuairisciú spóirt thar a bheith spéisiúil agus tá níos mó deiseanna anois ann i gcúrsaí seoltóireachta mar gheall ar theicneolaíocht nuálach cosúil le FleetBroadband Inmarsat. Tugann FleetBroadband Inmarsat deis do dhaoine ar fud an domhain a bheith chomh gar agus is féidir don rás (le soiléireacht HDTV) agus gan iad ar bord luaimh, mar atá feicthe acu siúd a bhíonn ag breathnú ar an rás ar TG4. Beidh Eagarthóir Spóirt TG4, Rónán Ó Coisdealbha ag labhairt ag an seisiún chomh maith agus déanfaidh sé cur síos ar a thábhachtaí is atá an spórt agus Rás Aigéin Volvo don chraoltóir.  Beidh an ócáid á comheagrú ag Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston, OÉ Gaillimh, ceann de na scoileanna scannán is mó cáil in Éirinn a chuireann réimse cláir nuálacha ar fáil lena n-áirítear Staidéar Scannán, Léiriú & Stiúradh, Scríbhneoireacht don Scáileán agus Meáin Dhigiteacha. Deir Seán Crosson, Stiúrthóir an MA sa Staidéar Scannán i Scoil Huston, “Is iontach an deis í seo do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil suim acu i scannán agus i dteilifís, go háirithe scannánú ar spórt, chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi na próisis a úsáidtear chun ceann de na himeachtaí spóirt is mó ar domhan a chur ar scáileán, ón dream atá ina bhun. Tabharfaidh an léacht deis do lucht óg déanta scannán, do mhic léinn na meán agus don phobal eolas a fháil faoin ngairm dhinimiciúil agus shuimiúil a bhíonn ag Ball de Chriú na Meán ar bord na luamh a bhíonn páirteach i Rás Aigéin Volvo chomh maith leis na deiseanna iontacha atá ar fáil ó Inmarsat do chriúnna taistil meáin agus do lucht déanta scannán chun píosaí scannáin agus eolas a thaifead agus a chraoladh faoi na coinníollacha seo atá thar a bheith dian.”   Is comhpháirtí oideachais í OÉ Gaillimh le Rás Aigéin Volvo - Gaillimh, agus tá taithí ar leith aici ó thaobh imeachtaí deonacha de a chuirfidh go mór leis an staid deiridh seo den rás.  Beidh baint ag OÉ Gaillimh le hearcú agus le hoiliúint a chur ar breis agus 1200 oibrí deonach don fhéile naoi lá, i gcomhar le heagraí neamhbhrabúis na hócáide ‘Let’s Do It Galway’.  Tá sé saor in aisce freastal ar an léacht, ach tá líon na spásanna teoranta mar sin ba cheart do dhaoine ar spéis leo é teagmháil a dhéanamh le Dee Quinn roimh ré ag dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie nó 091 495076 chun áit a chur in áirithe. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

NUI Galway is offering free German courses for children this summer. This new initiative combines learning and pleasure, giving children the opportunity to encounter German language and culture while having fun. The German summer school will be divided into two main parts, beginning with taster sessions taking place from 16-20 July, followed by a five-day intensive course from 23-27 July. The first week of the Summer School will consist of five one-day taster Sessions dedicated to expanding the children's knowledge of German language and culture. Children aged between 5 and 14 are invited to attend, with numbers restricted to 15 places per session. Each day will have a fun workshop on a different aspect of German language and involve a diverse creative activity, appealing to all age groups. Activities will include working with well-known German songs, producing a short film, and a treasure hunt which will take the attendees through a fictive Germany. During the second week of the Children's Summer School, NUI Galway is offering a five-day crash course for learning basic features of the German language. It is especially designed for children aged 10 to 12 (fourth, fifth and sixth class) who will soon be able to opt for a foreign language at secondary school. Students will be taught small groups where they will get an introduction to grammar, vocabulary and the structure of German by qualified native speakers. Tina-Karen Pusse, Lecturer in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway, said: “This is a fun, interactive course which imparts basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, using child friendly teaching methods with a lot of games and time for having fun in class. We are looking forward to meet many Galway kids here and we will show them how exciting it can be, to discover a new language.” As the teaching units are consecutive in the second week, students attend the course from Monday to Friday. The course is free to attend but there will be a €7 charge per day to cover lunch and course materials. For further information and registration please contact Tina-Karen.Pusse@nuigalway.ie or visit http://germanatnuig.blogspot.de -ENDS-

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Irish Sea will experience a rise in sea levels of almost half a metre and significant changes in temperature according to new research published today by engineers at the National University of Ireland Galway’s Ryan Institute. The research suggests that by the end of the century the Irish Sea will be warmer with sea surface temperature increases of around 1.9 C. Such temperature increases may have significant impact on physical and transport processes within the Irish Sea, as well as implications for ecosystems and fishing. Researchers at the Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland Galway used the latest three-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling technologies to compute future changes. “The research presented in this paper is the first model-based projection of the Irish Sea future climate and in this regard it is the most comprehensive study of this region”, explains Dr Mike Hartnett of the Ryan Institute at the National University of Ireland Galway. “The Irish Sea, being semi-enclosed, has a unique and complex geography, which influences its currents and our specific finding will help us better understand what lies ahead for these vital waters which link Ireland and the UK.” Warming in the deep channel in the western Irish Sea will be generally weaker with seasonal variability subdued due to a large heat storage capacity. The warming will be largely stored in the surface layer of the water column leading to strengthening of stratification and a considerable decrease in the thickness of the mixed layer. The consequences of this will be changes to water circulation, expected to be of particular relevance to fisheries, pollutant transport and the ecosystem. Dr Hartnett said: “Future changes to oceanographic parameters, flushing times and hydrodynamics of the Irish Sea are likely to alter the habitat and distribution of marine species; the finding of this research are therefore of great interest to ecologists and the fishery industry among others.” With potential sea level rises in the order of 0.47m coastal flooding due to storm surges is likely to be more severe in the future. Recent flooding events such as the 2009 flooding of Cork City illustrate the vulnerability of coastal communities. It is likely in the future that more extreme coastal urban flooding will occur. “This research confirms previous tentative estimates of sea level rise and also provides significant new detailed information regarding changes in temperature and water circulation patterns around our coast”, added Dr Hartnett. The research is published in this month’s edition of the science journal Continental Shelf Research. This research was carried out under funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland and the Higher Education Authority/Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions. -ends- 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Scientists at NUI Galway hope to develop a ‘bioartificial organ’ for the repair of spinal cord injuries. The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at the University is leading an ambitious new €4.2 million European project, which someday may help people living with spinal cord injury. The aim is to create a polymer conduit infused with the stem cells and other supportive factors that will help heal patients with spinal cord injury. There are approximately 350,000 people living with spinal cord injury (SCI) in Europe today, and current treatment is highly limited. Most clinical effort is concentrated on rehabilitation and vast resources are directed to improving quality of life for these patients. “Put simply, bioartificial organs are those which are grown in a lab”, explains Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB, a Science Foundation Ireland funded Strategic Research Cluster. “Around the world, researchers are trying to grow bladders, tissue or liver. With this particular project, we are looking to create a type of organ which would join-up a severed spine. This is frontier research, so we may be many years from success. However, our NeuroGraft consortium will bring together their synergistic expertise to develop cell seeded, functionalised bioartificial organs as valuable solutions towards spinal cord repair.” The novelty of the NeuroGraft proposal is that the functionalised multichannel conduit will provide physical, chemotropic, and neuroprotective cues which mimic the natural 3D cellular and molecular regenerative environment of the neural space. The NeuroGraft concept will be realised through the consortium, consisting of one academic and four industrial partners including groups from Vornia (Ireland), Stemmatters (Portugal), Biomatech SAS (France) and Obelis (Belgium). Regulatory advice is incorporated at an early stage in the development cycle, to facilitate the translation of the novel bioartificial devices to the market in as short a timeframe as possible. The NeuroGraft consortium will validate the safety, efficacy and biodistribution of the functionalised bioartificial organs developed in a pre-clinical model of spinal cord under GLP conditions. It is envisaged that these studies will facilitate progression to clinical trials of the technology (post project) and the development of a marketable product within six years of the completion of the NeuroGraft project. The project, called the “Development of Functionalised Cell Seeded Bioartificial Organ for Transplantation in Nerve Repair”, is funded by an EU-FP7 grant. Professor Pandit added: “We are delighted with the success of this proposal. This funding allows technology developed at NFB to be further developed so that it reaches the patients that have currently no such available treament. Over the years, we have established strong links with key industries and academic partners throughout Ireland, Europe and further afield that give us the capability to address tissue degenerative conditions or injuries through increasingly sophisticated biomaterial-based platforms, including those previously thought to be untreatable. This success is primarily due to the range of specialist expertise in biomaterials research that has been established under the Strategic Research Cluster programme funded by Science Foundation Ireland.”   -ends-  

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

NUI Galway alumni and friends will celebrate the connection between James Joyce and Galway City with a pre-Bloomsday recital in Newman House, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin on Thursday, 14 June at 6.30pm. The recital is part of a series of  Bloomsweek recitals featuring Ireland’s leading classical guitarist, John Feeley, accompanied by NUI Galway graduate and James Joyce enthusiast, Professor Fran O’Rourke of UCD who will also be providing background information on Joyce. During the recital, Galway native John Feeley will be using will be James Joyce’s own guitar, which had been on display at the Joyce Tower Museum for the past 45 years. However, in the last year it has been carefully restored and it is now ready to be played again. The fact that Joyce studied in Newman House should also add extra resonance to the occasion. Professor O’Rourke said: “The guitar first features in Weiss’s iconic photograph of Joyce, taken in Zurich in 1915 and has been in the Joyce Tower Museum in Sandycove since 1967. Having heard a similar vintage guitar, it occurred to me that the Joyce guitar might be restored. I put the suggestion to Robert Nicholson, Curator of the Museum and with the expert work of Gary Southwell, it is now ready to be heard again.” Joyce was both an excellent singer and an accomplished musician, and music played a large part in his life and he incorporated it into almost all his works. Joyce’s major connection with Galway was through his wife Nora Barnacle from Bowling Green, just down from St. Nicholas’ Cathedral. Nora provided the inspiration in Joyce’s work for characters such as Molly Bloom, Greta Conroy and Anna Livia Plurabelle, among others. Joyce visited Galway and Nora’s family on several occasions and developed a deep interest and affection for the city and Joyce country which he maintained all his life. The recital is open to graduates and friends of NUI Galway. Tickets are €10 and are available online from NUI Galway Alumni Office, www.nuigalway.ie/alumni. For further information contact the Alumni Office at 091 492721. ENDS

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The first international conference in NUI Galway’s new Engineering Building, entitled Shaking the Foundations of Geo-engineering Education (SFGE 2012), will take place from 4-6 July. SFGE 2012 is Ireland’s first major geo-engineering conference since the European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering held in Dublin in 1987. Geo-engineering (or geotechnical engineering) is the branch of civil engineering associated with the engineering behaviour of soil and rock and encompasses the design of building foundations, retaining walls, slopes, embankments, excavations and tunnels. The conference title is a pun on the fact that foundation design is a key part of the work of a geotechnical engineer. Dr Bryan McCabe, Lecturer in Civil Engineering and SFGE 2012 Chair, said: “This conference will explore key challenges, both technical and pedagogical, faced in the education and training of students of geotechnical engineering and related engineering disciplines. This will be achieved through a series of presentations and facilitated discussion workshops. Active engagement with the significant body of teaching and learning research, accumulated over many years, is what will set SFGE 2012 apart from previous international conferences of this type.” Renowned international keynote speakers include: Professor Paul Mayne, Georgia Tech; Professor Steve Ressler, US Military Academy at Westpoint; Professor John Atkinson, City University, London and Coffey Geotechnics; Dr Brian Simpson, Arup Geotechnics, London; and Professor Rich Felder, North Carolina State University. During the three day event, Professor John Burland, Imperial College London, will also be honoured with an award for his lifelong contribution to education in geo-engineering and will deliver a special invited lecture. Professor Burland is renowned for his role in stabilising the Leaning Tower of Pisa. SFGE 2012 will also incorporate a workshop of the popular ASCE Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) programme which will have an appeal beyond geo-engineering to academics and practitioners in science and engineering. Those interested in attending can register online at http://www.sfge2012.com. For further details on SFGE 2012 contact Dr Bryan McCabe at 091 492021 or bryan.mccabe@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

‘To measure social progress and national well-being we need something more than GDP’ A conference at NUI Galway on Friday, 8 June, will address the issue of ‘Overcoming Barriers to Well-Being in Ireland’. The conference will feature the latest international thinking on the concept of well-being, and showcase research across themes including: Predicting Healthy Behaviour; Well-being in Youth; Family, Community & Society; Physical Well-being; and Positive Approaches. The conference is hosted by the Health and Well-Being priority theme at the Institute for Business, Social Science and Public Policy at NUI Galway.  Dr Michael Hogan and Dr AnnMarie Groarke from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, are co-leaders of a research cluster within this theme which brings together experienced academics currently engaged in Health and Lifespan research. According to Dr Hogan, “Internationally, there is increasing interest in, and analysis of, human well-being and the economic, social, environmental and psychological factors that contribute to it.” Helen Johnston, author of Well-being Matters: A Social Report for Ireland, will deliver a keynote address on Why Well-being Matters, based on the findings of the report published by the National Economic and Social Council. Alex Zautra, Foundation Professor of Clinical Psychology, Arizona State University, and author of Emotions, Stress, and Health, will deliver a second keynote address on Social Intelligence and Community Well-being: Charting Paths to Resilience, based on recent well-being research conducted in the US. Dr Hogan adds “Current thinking suggests that to measure social progress and national well-being we need something more than GDP. Facilitating the transfer and exchange of knowledge to bring about greater well-being for everyone is a major goal of science. However, the relationship between science and public policy is complex and there is a need to create new spaces where dialogue is fostered and where knowledge is translated into action.”  The event will feature an Interactive Management system design workshop. Interactive Management is a collaborative design process that allows a group of individuals with a vested interest in solving a problem to work together. Professor Benjamin Broome, Arizona State University, will assist with the design and facilitation of the workshop. -ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2012

‘The Fall then Rise of Sleeping Finch’ NUI Galway will host an art exhibition, The Fall then Rise of Sleeping Finch by the University’s Artist-in-Residence Marielle MacLeman. The exhibition will be opened by NUI Galway Secretary, Gearóid Ó Conluain, on Wednesday, 13 June at 5pm. The exhibition will run from 14-27 June, from 11am-4pm Monday to Friday, and 1pm-5pm on Saturday in the University Art Gallery in the Quadrangle Building. The Fall then Rise of Sleeping Finch recalls historical museum keepers and collectors who, suffering insanity or incompetence, made obstacle courses of taxidermy, destroyed entire specimen groups through disapproval or embellished others in gold for aesthetic improvement. Marielle MacLeman presents a selection of work from her residency at NUI Galway’s Zoology and Marine Biology museums as the fanatical, furtive creations of Albert Finch Esq. as he attempts to recreate pieces that fell foul of his museum predecessors. In the exhibition Finch is an avid hobbyist, heraldry enthusiast, revivalist and recycler. His ‘remakes’ are rendered in cocktail sticks, pencil shavings and reclaimed papers from the museum floor. He catalogues the classes of the Animal Kingdom in ‘skeletal fly posting’, which form backdrops for his paper beasts mounted on shields hacked from chopping boards. Where others regard taxidermy as trophy, Finch crafts medals and rosettes for his prize-winning specimens. Marielle MacLeman is a visual artist based in Galway. Working across mixed media wall-based work and site-specific installation, her work often employs rigorous processes to explore sites and subjects with lost or changing roles. Marielle is particularly interested in exploiting materials not traditionally associated with fine art techniques. She studied Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, Scotland and began a residency at NUI Galway’s Museums in 2011. The residency has been supported by an Arts Council Bursary Award and a Galway City Council Individual Creative Artist Award. -ends-

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway, has been elected as President of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland during the 4th Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine (NECTM). The conference is taking place this week in Dublin. An experienced travel medicine physician, educator and researcher, Dr Flaherty has served on the Executive Council of the Society since 2007. During that time he was appointed as a Fellow of the Faculty of Travel Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow where he serves on the Faculty Board. He is also a member of the editorial board of the journal Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases in the UK. Dr Flaherty was instrumental in securing the Society’s bid to host the prestigious NECTM conference which has taken two years of detailed planning and organisation to bring to fruition. As Chair of the scientific committee of the NECTM conference, Dr Flaherty is responsible for every aspect of the scientific sessions. Dr Flaherty said: “It has been an enormous privilege engaging with our 12 European partner societies in developing an innovative and educational programme. We have enjoyed welcoming approximately over 700 delegates from the UK and mainland Europe to Ireland and we hope that many of them will return to Ireland in the near future as holidaymakers.” A diverse range of topics will be discussed at NECTM, reflecting the broad scope of travel medicine, including preparation of humanitarian aid workers for travel, serving the needs of disabled travellers, travelling with young children, travellers’ diarrhoea, accessing medical care overseas, psychological trauma in travellers, pandemic influenza, and malaria. Over a hundred Irish and international speakers will contribute to the programme of the conference, which was opened on Wednesday, 6 June by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, Dr Bill Tormey. The Minister of Health, Dr James Reilly, will host a reception for the delegates at Dublin Castle tonight (Thursday, 7 June). Dr Flaherty looks forward to his new role as President of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland, saying: “I aim to raise the profile of the specialty of travel medicine or emporiatrics which is only 25 years old. There is a need to ensure that all travel medicine practitioners in Ireland apply the highest standards of clinical practice in preparing their patients for travel overseas and in assessing the ill returned traveller. To this end, I intend to put education and research top of my agenda for this Presidency.” For further details please see www.nectm.com. -ends-

Friday, 8 June 2012

A team of students from NUI Galway has today (Friday 8 June 2012) been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2012’. The students won the prestigious top prize of €10,000 at this year’s Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards, with their project DRS.ie. This year celebrates the 30th year of the prestigious awards, which are co-sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Mammoth Advertising, Intel and Grant Thornton.  The winning team are First Year Engineering students at NUI Galway and  beat off stiff competition with their project DRS.ie.  This stands for Drag Reduction Systems. The team has invented a drag reduction device which can reduce the drag between a truck and its container load so significantly that it will reduce fuel consumption of the truck by 8%. The team is represented by students Justin Conboy, Dearbhaile Forde and Garrett Archbold. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: “The innovative drag reduction system is an example of the outstanding design capability of NUI Galway engineering students. Engineering in NUI Galway provides an excellent environment in which our students are given space to be creative and inventive. Ireland's path to recovery will benefit from people like Justin and his team and I admire his confidence to follow through with his creative passion, to patent his design and win this prestigious all Ireland competition. I am very proud of our engineering students." The Think Outside the Box Awards are aimed at encouraging students into business as a career option and this year attracted submissions from over 360 third level students from colleges across Ireland.  With its biggest ever prize fund matching the Award’s 30 years in existence, €30,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees are available for winners to help them make a serious start at making their idea a commercial reality.   In addition to winning the top prize, the winning team will also receive €5,000 in branding consultancy from Mammoth Advertising and mentoring from Enterprise Ireland/Invest NI to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.  The ‘Most Technologically Innovative Idea Award’ of €5,000, co-sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Enterprise Ireland, went to the AWAMA project from Queen’s University Belfast. Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys are also providing intellectual property consultancy and protection for all the finalists. The Emerging and Dynamic Company of the Year Award of €5,000, co-sponsored by Grant Thornton and Enterprise Ireland, went to Zooplar from UCC. Grant Thornton will also provide business plan development advice to the finalists. Zooplar also won an all expenses paid trip to Poland from Intel, to participate in the Intel Challenge Europe Technology Entrepreneurship Competition. Congratulating the award winners on their success, Tom Hayes, Head of Micro Enterprises and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland said: “This competition is focussed on giving students hands on experience in entrepreneurship and establishing a business to help them discover their flair and talent. Once again, we have been hugely impressed by the quality of the submissions from across the colleges. These young people show all the hallmarks of the innovative and resilient entrepreneurs and management teams that are so critical to setting up successful new businesses and creating much needed jobs. They are our successful entrepreneurs of the future. It is tremendously encouraging to see their energy and their enthusiasm, and I congratulate all of them on their achievements.”  Bill Scott, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Regional Business, said: “Young people in Northern Ireland are great at generating new business ideas and entrepreneurial talent. Competitions like this provide a platform for them to demonstrate their highly innovative concepts and the commercial skills required to take them forward. Invest NI is pleased to play a part in promoting and encouraging entrepreneurship and is focused on supporting young people to engage in entrepreneurial activity, as we need them to grow our future economy.” For more information on the Think Outside the Box Awards visit the website on:  www.thinkoutsidetheboxawards.co ENDS

Friday, 8 June 2012

A consortium led by the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway has secured €3.7 million to fund research into a medical condition called ischemia. The condition occurs when blood supply to a tissue is limited, an example being ischemic heart disease, the most common cause of death in the western world, from which 16 million European adults currently suffer. The funding award has been made through the EU-FP7 grant programme under the Marie Curie Initial Training Network, the official project title is ‘Development of Biomaterial-based Delivery Systems for Ischemic Conditions - An Integrated Pan-European Approach’. “Our focus is on therapeutic angiogenesis, which aims to form new vessels to supply the ischemic tissue and restore function”, explains Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB. “One possibility in this field is to supply the local microenvironment around the damaged tissue with the appropriate biological signalling factors, through the use of functionalised biomaterials.” Ischemia is not limited to heart disease and the research will have a wider scope across other medical conditions. Ischemia has a number of causes such as blockages, as in the case of cholesterol blockages in atherosclerosis or the clotting that may cause ischemic stroke, inflammation as in ischemic colitis, or conditions such as sickle cell anaemia. Acute limb ischemia occurs when blood supply is lost to a limb, with delayed treatment leading to morbidity, amputation and even death, with around 50,000 cases in the US annually. The research consortium, led by Professor Pandit of the NFB, includes academic groups from the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche in Italy, Universidad de Valladolid in Spain, University of Brighton in the UK, University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, Vivasure Medical in Ireland and Selyno Biomedical in Israel. The funding provides for the recruitment of early stage and experienced researchers aiming to improve their career prospects in both public and private sectors, thereby making research careers more attractive to young people. This will be achieved through a trans-national networking mechanism, aimed at structuring the existing high quality initial research training capacity throughout European member states and associated countries. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, said: “The Marie Curie Initial Training Network award will fund the training and development of researchers in biomaterials and regenerative medicine research over a four-year period beginning in October 2012. This programme will foster increased scientific dialogue between lead academics, industry and clinicians; transfer key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions involved enabling the consortium to widen the scope of their work; encourage researchers to stay in Europe, and attract researchers from around the world to conduct research in the EU. About 40% of this funding will remain in Ireland. We are extremely privileged to be considered for this highly competitive award.”   ENDS

Monday, 11 June 2012

NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute is helping Galway Simon Community to raise funds in a fun, and innovative way. The two organisations have teamed up to organise a pirate treasure hunt with a difference for the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway, 30 June – 8 July. The Galway Pirate Treasure Trail of QR codes is a family-friendly treasure hunt where would-be pirates will use the latest mobile phone technology to navigate their way to the treasure. Families and groups of friends can follow a series of QR codes through the most interesting corners of Galway’s medieval city. Every pirate treasure clue will be revealed by scanning the QR code at each waypoint. The trail will guide teams on a leisurely and fun treasure trail of Galway City and the tented Volvo Race Villages. There will be prizes for the teams with most points based on the clues uncovered. Most smart phones now have a Quick Read (QR) code scanner. Tickets are available on GalwaySimon.ie at €10 for the Family Treasure Hunt or €20 for the History and Gourmet Treasure Hunts. This Pirate Treasure trail was developed in cooperation between the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway and Galway Simon as an innovative way to show people around the most interesting streets and corners of this buzzing city. Dr Brian Wall, Operations Manager at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) says “DERI is very pleased to contribute technological expertise to such a worthy cause. DERI researchers are already unlocking large chests of ‘knowledge treasure’ that are available on the web so it is fitting that we are involved with Galway Simon on this project.” He added: “We are always looking for new and interesting ways for our team of technical experts to help the broader community and we think this will be a really enjoyable way to demonstrate just a little bit of what our research teams at NUI Galway can do.” Established in 2003 by NUI Galway, with assistance from Science Foundation Ireland, DERI has now grown to become the world’s largest semantic web research institute, and it engages with companies, from start-ups through to multinationals, to develop new web solutions. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI adds: “Galway now has an internationally leading research and industry cluster in the ICT sector, and this treasure hunt highlights some of the cool things that can be done with computer science. Fun events like this are great for getting children interested in IT and hopefully will encourage them to become the innovators of the future.”  NUI Galway is education partner of Volvo Ocean Race Galway, and will bring its considerable experience in the field of volunteering and community engagement to the event. Galway Simon is actively seeking retailers in Galway to partner in the Treasure Hunt. Contact Paul in Galway Simon at 091 381828 for partnering details. -ends

Monday, 11 June 2012

NUI Galway is one of eight venues shortlisted for the 2012 Best Conference Events Venue in Ireland,and the first and only University to feature. Organised by Event Strategies Limited, this award recognises excellence within the event industry, rewarding conference centres that have been outstanding. Applicants are judged across a wide range of criteria including excellence in facilities, innovation, food standards and service, calibre of event management team and customer care.  The Event Industry Awards Ceremony will be held in Dublin’s Burlington Hotel on Thursday, 21 June. NUI Galway will host over 50 conferences this year, welcoming over 10,000 delegates to campus. Since its establishment in 1845, NUI Galway is an iconic presence in the West of Ireland. Multi million capital development programmes has preserved the University’s most distinctive and appealing historic features while propelling the campus into the upper echelons of the international conference market.  Over 150 world-class conference rooms with  capacities ranging from  10 to 1,200 delegates,  15 café /restaurants seating over 1,500, campus accommodation for 760 delegates, state-of-the art IT facilities and a professional event team ensure successful conferences time and time again.   Ann Duggan, Conference Manager at NUI Galway, said, “I am delighted that NUI Galway has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. The recent development of the Bailey Allen Hall, the University’s main conference venue, with the capacity for 1,000 delegates theatre style and 500 banquet style provides a year round venue for conferences and has already hosted some prestigious national and international events which have brought significant economic benefit to the region. This nomination is a fitting recognition of the quality of all of our conference facilities.” -ends-

Monday, 11 June 2012

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is hosting an international conference on Applied Microeconometrics and Public Policy on Tuesday, 3 July. The conference programme will feature papers and presentations focusing on public policy topics in Environmental Economics, Rural Development and Agricultural Economics, Health Economics, and Mental Health, the Economics of Ageing, Inequality and Poverty, Migration and Demography, Welfare, Taxation and Pensions, Labor Economics and the Economics of Education. A selection of the highest quality papers submitted to the 2012 conference will be put forward for a special thematic edition of The Economic and Social Review. A selection of the highest quality papers submitted to the 2012 conference will be put forward for a special thematic edition of The Economic and Social Review to follow after the conference. The one-day conference will be followed by a three-day intensive international summer school in Discrete Choice Modeling, running from 4-6 July. The keynote speaker for the summer school is Professor William Greene of New York University. Professor Greene's work is at the forefront of knowledge in the field of quantitative techniques and applied microeconometrics. The broad range of techniques covered will include virtually all higher-end econometric methodologies in discrete choice modelling ranging from the fundamental model of binary choice to the Poisson regression models for count data. A number of applications from different areas of the professional literature to illustrate these techniques will be discussed. The course will teach econometrics from an applied perspective and demonstrate the techniques in the internationally used econometric software package LIMDEP, which Professor Greene authored.  It is widely acknowledged that NUI Galway provides the premier training programme in advanced econometrics in Ireland. The primary objective of these joint events is to bring together experts from around the world to provide intensive instruction on recent techniques in discrete choice modelling in specialist fields. Discrete choice models have become an essential tool for the analysis of individual choice behaviour and can be applied to choice problems in a wide variety of diverse fields. The conference will also facilitate the exchange of research results and practical experiences in the context of application. Emphasis will be on the relevancy of policy modelling for contemporary public policy questions. Speaking about the upcoming conference, Dr Mary Silles, conference organiser and Lecturer in Economics at NUI Galway, said: “Econometrics is a powerful tool that can be utilised to study serious questions in public policy. This conference provides academic leadership in the application of sophisticated analytical techniques to quantitative research problems in all branches of economics relevant to public policy. It is a great opportunity for research students, academics and professionals to expand their econometrics skills and keep up-to-date with major recent developments in applied econometric modelling.” For details of the Applied Microeconometrics and Public Policy visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=164. Further information on the intensive three day course is available at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=163 -ENDS-

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

NUI Galway and Enterprise Ireland Host Business Symposium on Winning Business in the US Medical Device Market   Industry leaders from household name American medical devices giants such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic and Stryker are in NUI Galway later this week to address a major symposium for Irish companies. The event on Friday, 15 June, organised by Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway, will provide first-hand advice on ‘Winning Business in the US Medical Device Market’ from US industry experts, while over 80 individual buyer meetings have also organised between the US representatives and the Irish companies in attendance.  Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Terumo, Stryker, Arsenal Medical, Sapheon and MedCelerate are among the US companies presenting at the event. Irish companies, Aerogen and Vistamed, will also give their insights into how they successfully sell into the US market. In Ireland, the medical technology sector employs over 25,000 people in over 250 companies, with exports of over €7.2 billion per annum which continues to grow year-on-year. With fifty percent of the Irish medical technology company base now composed by indigenous firms, the importance of the US - the largest medical technology market in the world – is critical to their success. Speaking in advance of the event, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “In terms of innovation, research and development, Ireland has a proven pedigree in the med tech sector. However, there are many business aspects to cracking the US market - from procurement, to personnel, to legal issues, regulation and business culture - that must be appreciated. At this unique event, we hope to provide these invaluable business insights that will ultimately open doors in the US and enhance the success of Irish companies.” Gerry Murphy, Enterprise Ireland’s Americas Director, added: “The US Med Device sector is undoubtedly the most important med device sector worldwide, valued at $127 Billion per annum and expected to reach over $151 Billion by 2015. This is a really practical way for Irish medical device companies to learn from US experts and proven Irish companies about how best to be successful in the world’s main market. Apart from the strategy and technical mentoring on offer, this event provides an opportunity for these Irish firms to meet executives and buyers in individual meetings.  We expect business partnerships to begin at this event that will ultimately lead to increased exports.” ENDS  

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A new scholarship scheme for Leaving Certificate students has been launched by NUI Galway. All students who achieve at least 560 points in their Leaving Certificate, and go onto study at the University this autumn, will benefit from an automatic €2,000 scholarship. The only exception being Medical students, for whom the qualification criteria differ slightly. The ‘Excellence Scholarships’ are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. There is no need to apply for the scholarships, as the new undergraduate students who have met the Leaving Cert points criteria for the Excellence Scholarships will be automatically contacted once they enrol at NUI Galway. The Excellence Scholarships recognise the academic achievements of our brightest new entrants, who have performed exceptionally well in the Leaving Certificate,” explains Martina Ní Chúlain, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway. “These prestigious awards will provide some financial assistance to high calibre students, thus facilitating their transition into higher education and their continued academic success.” For Medical students there will be 10 special scholarships for those scoring the top 10 points, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). Meanwhile, a certain number of scholarships will be ring-fenced by individual College, to ensure allocation across the different disciplines at NUI Galway. The initiative is one of a series of scholarship schemes put in place by NUI Galway to help encourage academic success. Students at NUI Galway can also benefit from Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. For full details of all available scholarships visit www.nuigalway.ie -ENDS-   OÉ Gaillimh le luach saothair a thabhairt do na Daltaí Ardteiste is Éirimiúla   Sheol OÉ Gaillimh scéim nua scoláireachta inniu do dhaltaí Ardteistiméireachta. Beidh gach dalta a bhaineann 560 pointe amach san Ardteistiméireacht agus a thagann chuig an Ollscoil le staidéar a dhéanamh an fómhar seo, i dteideal scoláireacht €2,000 a fháil. Is iad mic léinn Leighis an t-aon eisceacht, beidh critéir cháilíochta rud beag éagsúil dóibh sin. Tá na ‘Scoláireachtaí Feabhais’ ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i bhfeabhas acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. Ní gá aon iarratas a dhéanamh ar na scoláireachtaí, déanfar teagmháil go huathoibríoch leis na mic léinn nua fochéime a bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha bainte amach acu san Ardteistiméireacht le cáiliú do na Scoláireachtaí Feabhais chomh luath agus a chláraíonn siad in OÉ Gaillimh. “Aithníonn na Scoláireachtaí Feabhais éachtaí acadúla na mac léinn is éirimiúla atá ag tosú linn, agus a bhfuil éacht déanta acu san Ardteistiméireacht,” a deir Martina Ní Chualáin, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh. “Tabharfaidh na dámhachtainí gradamacha seo cúnamh airgeadais éigin do mhic léinn ar ardchaighdeán, rud a chabhróidh leo agus iad ag aistriú isteach san earnáil ardoideachais agus iad ag leanúint ar aghaidh lena rath acadúil.” Beidh 10 scoláireacht speisialta ar fáil do na mic léinn Leighis a n-éiríonn leo na pointí is airde a bhaint amach, bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála (H-PAT Ireland). Ag an am céanna, déanfaidh an Coláiste líon áirithe scoláireachtaí a chur ar leataobh le cinntiú go mbeidh deis ag mic léinn atá i mbun disciplíní éagsúla orthu. Is ceann de shraith scéimeanna scoláireachta é an tionscnamh seo atá á chur ar fáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun rath acadúil a spreagadh. Tá deiseanna ar fáil do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime, ar Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta agus ar scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí ar leith dóibh siúd a n-éiríonn go maith leo ina gcuid scrúduithe Ollscoile. Chun teacht ar shonraí iomlána na scoláireachtaí ar fad atá ar fáil féach www.nuigalway.ie -CRÍOCH-

Thursday, 14 June 2012

-Open for Online Public Vote - NUI Galway has been shortlisted for a major architectural award from the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, in both the ‘Best Educational Building’ and ‘Public Choice’ categories, for their recently completed Engineering Building. Providing facilities for research and development, educating future generations and reinforcing the relationship between Galway City and the University, this ‘Public Vote’ award, provides an opportunity for all to support their City and University. To vote for NUI Galway’s Engineering Building in the ‘Public Choice’ category visit www.riai.ie. Under the ‘Public Choice Award’ section tick the Engineering Building, NUI Galway section and click ‘vote’. This shortlisting adds to the accolades of the innovative building where recently it was awarded the Sustainability Award at the 30th Irish Concrete Society Awards, recognising excellence in both design and construction in concrete. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship and accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. -ENDS-

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Over 60 primary school children from across Galway City and County successfully completed NUI Galway’s Youth Academy at a special ceremony recently. The Youth Academy programme ran over a six-week period on Saturday mornings with a number of courses on offer including: Italian Language and Culture; Philosophical Discovery; Psychology- Who We Are, How We Think and What We Do; and Engineering- Structural, Environmental and Climate Studies. The Youth Academy aims to work with high-ability primary school children in the local community to support their learning and academic development. The programme aims to inspire entry into third-level education by introducing children and their families to university life and by creating positive perceptions of the University and its’ academic programmes. This pilot project was successful in receiving funding from the Bright Ideas Initiative which was launched by Professor Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway, who said: “We live in the knowledge economy and while education is important activity in its own right, it is vital that the economy is fuelled by able and knowledgeable citizens. The Youth Academy provides a fantastic start to children who at such an early stage are committed and eager to learn.” The Youth Academy is the result of a collaboration between NUI Galway’s Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative and Dr Colm O’Reilly, Irish Centre for Talented Youth, Dublin City University. Galway City Mayor Hildegard Naughton, who attended the ceremony, stressed the importance of all institutions in the education sector partnering on activities and responding to the education needs of the wider community. She congratulated NUI Galway on their vision for establishing the Youth Academy and bringing a sense of academic challenge to the young primary school children. Captain Brian Sheridan, a parent of one of the Youth Academy students, said: “It was a great few weeks, enjoyed thoroughly by my son Tom and, as a family, we all benefitted from just listening to him extol the virtues of each lecture. The future is indeed bright with children pioneering the uncut path.” For further information on the Youth Academy email the coordinator, Geraldine Marley at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

Thursday, 14 June 2012

July is festival time in Galway and to celebrate the NUI Galway Societies Office is inviting all primary school children to take part in a young artist art competition and exhibition. Children are allowed to use any media on an A4 page to explore the theme of the exhibition, ‘Festival Time in Galway’. The competition and exhibition is open to all primary school children in Galway and participants are asked to include their name, school, home address and contact number on the back of their entry. The name, age and school will be displayed on the winning posters. Deadline for competition is Friday, 22 June. As part of the exhibition, judges will select a number of pictures as winners of the Young Artists Competition. The first prize winner will receive €100 plus four tickets to one of the following children’s theatre shows: Truth Fairy, Wish Factor, What’s the Story Nellie or Do you Speak Mermish?. There will be two runners-up of €50 plus 2 tickets to one of the aforementioned theatre shows. The top 40 will be made into posters and displayed throughout Galway City during the July festivals. NUI Galway Children’s Theatre programme, scheduled for the month of July, includes four new children’s shows and five days of drama workshops. During the Volvo Ocean Race, as part of the Colours Fringe Festival running from 12-30 July, two of these shows and a drama workshop will take place from 2-6 July, from 11.30am-4pm. One of the shows, What’s the Story Nelly, incorporates interactive story telling with the entertaining Mrs Nelly Murphy and friends. In keeping with the oceanic theme Do you Speak Mermish? incorporates a multi-sensory room bringing children to the deepest ocean to meet a retired mermaid. The other two children’s shows, The Wish Factor and The Truth Fairy, brings the audience into two very different versions of story land where the children will be asked to make some important decisions. For full details on the competition and all the shows visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie or email socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 15 June 2012

The 16th annual Health Promotion conference will take place at NUI Galway on Thursday, 21 June. The conference entitled, Embracing New Agendas for Health Promotion Action: Developing workforce competencies for effective practice, will be comprised of plenary lectures, workshops, panel discussions and both poster and oral presentations. Current public health challenges demand new and changing competencies and skills for effective Health Promotion practice. This year’s conference considers the competencies required for effective Health Promotion action on non-communicable diseases, including adopting a settings approach and addressing the social determinants of health and health inequalities. Keynote speakers will include: Professor Michael Sparks, President of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education; Professor Sylvie Stachenko, Dean of School of Public Health, University of Alberta; and Professor Stephan Van den Broucke, Professor of Health Psychology and Prevention, University of Louvain. Key partners involved in the CompHP Project - Developing Competencies and Professional Standards for Health Promotion Capacity Building in Europe, a European project funded by the Executive Agency for Health and Consumers will also present at the conference. In addition to building consensus on core competencies and quality standards for Health Promotion practice, the CompHP project also developed a framework for an accreditation system for health promotion practitioners and education and training courses. Such work will ultimately ensure best practice and will strengthen the capacity of health systems to address health challenges and improve population health, both nationally and at a European level. Professor Margaret Barry, CompHP Project Leader and Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The work of the CompHP Project creates a new dimension in European Health Promotion by establishing the means and methods by which agreed core competencies and quality standards for Health Promotion can be implemented across Europe to stimulate innovation and best practice, thereby strengthening the capacity of health systems to deliver on improved population health.” The conference will address the need to redirect resources to health promotion and prevention and prioritise health promotion as an essential function of the Department of Health and the health service. The need for renewed investment in the implementation of health promotion policies and practices will be addressed, including workforce development, in order to ensure that the health promotion workforce is prominently placed and equipped with the core competencies to implement current knowledge, policies and practice. -ENDS-

Friday, 15 June 2012

NUI Galway recently hosted the first Annual Synergy Project event which provided a platform for the University’s postgraduate research students to present their research in the form of a poster presentation to a wider audience. The event highlighted over 30 postgraduate research projects from across the five Colleges and was attended by approximately 80 students and staff members from NUI Galway. The overall Synergy Project 2012 Poster Award was presented to PhD student Inga Reich, from Germany, for her poster on ‘The impact of forestry management practices on the distribution of the Kerry Slug Geomalacus maculous Allman and the investigation of other possible factors limiting its distribution’.  The runner-up was PhD student Christine Fitzgerald, from Limerick, for her poster on ‘Towards a new future? A mixed methods study of Community Meals’. The Synergy Project provides a forum for promoting academic collaboration within, and across NUI Galway disciplines to add value and build upon the current practices with a view to enhancing the scope and quality of the research production process. According to Professor Chris Curtin, NUI Galway’s Vice-President for Innovation and Performance: “NUI Galway is committed to improving the University performance by bringing about change through innovation. Synergy is exactly the type of projects the University is fostering which will showcase the research ideas and potential of today whilst providing a platform for both our student and staff human capital to transform and shape our tomorrow.”  Richéal Burns, Synergy Project Leader, said: “The Synergy Project is about challenging the way we think about research in Universities while acting as a catalyst for igniting a higher level of interest in student and academia peer research alike thus increasing the research output across the University.” For more information:  http://www.nuigalway.ie/bright-ideas/thesynergyproject.html -ENDS-

Monday, 18 June 2012

Television broadcaster and RTÉ newsreader, Siún Nic Gearailt, has launched a new MA in Communications (MA sa Chumarsáid) at NUI Galway.  The one-year MA course, the first of its kind to be offered entirely through the medium of Irish, emphasises practical tuition from radio and television production to presenting, journalism, and acting. The course is offered by the University’s Irish language centre, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta in An Cheathrú Rua in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. Students specialise in one of four streams: visual studies, applied journalism, digital media or acting for the screen. Describing how the course, previously the Higher Diploma in Applied Communications through Irish, helped lay the groundwork for a successful career in broadcasting, Siún said: “The course was very hands-on and covered a lot of the skills you need to build a career in broadcasting. The fact that it was in Irish was a huge plus, at a time when TnaG/TG4 was just taking off and there were a lot of new production companies setting up in the Gaeltacht and indeed around the country.” “The new MA will give students a real eye-opener on the media industry. If you think all that’s involved is sitting in front of a camera or a microphone and letting fly, you’ll soon change your mind. There is a vast amount of work going on in front of and behind the camera, in the control room, in the edit suite and, of course, in compiling the daily news. The structure of the MA sa Chumarsáid is designed to give the student a good understanding of some of the practical issues as well as a solid grounding in theory and ethics.” The MA sa Chumarsáid is a one-year fulltime Level 9 course (90 ECTS credits). Applications may be made through the PAC online postgraduate application system at www.pac.ie/nuigalway. Full details may be found at: www.oegaillimh.ie/acadamh. For more information contact Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg at 091 595101 or email cursai@oegaillimh.ie. -ENDS-   Seolann Siún Nic Gearailt ó RTÉ Cúrsa Nua sna Meáin in OÉ Gaillimh Is í an phearsa teilifíse agus léitheoir nuachta RTÉ, Siún Nic Gearailt, a sheol an cúrsa nua MA sa Chumarsáid ag ócáid in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, le déanaí. Cúrsa lánaimseartha bliana is ea an MA sa Chumarsáid ina leagtar béim ar obair phraiticiúil i réimse leathan ábhar a bhaineann leis an gcraoltóireacht raidió agus teilifíse, leis an iriseoireacht, agus leis an aisteoireacht don scáileán. Is é an chéad chúrsa MA dá chineál atá á thairiscint go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge. Tá an cúrsa seo á thairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge agus beidh sé lonnaithe in Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua i gConamara.  Déanann na mic léinn speisialtóireacht le linn an chúrsa i gceann de na réimsí seo leanas: staidéar na físe, iriseoireacht fheidhmeach, na meáin dhigiteacha agus drámaíocht sna meáin. Agus an MA nua á sheoladh aici, labhair Siún Nic Gearailt ar a taithí mar mhac léinn ar chúrsa eile de chuid an Acadaimh, an tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach, atá ag teacht chun deiridh anois agus an MA sa Chumarsáid ag teacht ina áit. “Bhí an cúrsa an-phraiticiúil agus bhain sé le go leor de na bunscileanna a theastaíonn chun bunús agus blaiseadh a fháil le gairm a fhorbairt sna meáin,” a dúirt sí. “Buntáiste ar leith a bhí ann gur trí mheán na Gaeilge a bhí sé, ag tráth a raibh TnaG/TG4 ag teacht ar an bhfód agus a raibh go leor comhlachtaí léiriúcháin nua á mbunú sa Ghaeltacht agus ar fud na tíre.” Dúirt Siún gur ‘oscailt súl’ a bheadh sa chúrsa do mhic léinn ar thionscal na meán. “Má cheapann tú nach gá duit ach suí os comhair ceamara nó micreafóin agus labhairt, beidh thiar ort,” a dúirt sí. “Bíonn an t-uafás oibre ar bun ag daoine os comhair agus taobh thiar den cheamara, sa seomra stiúrtha, ar an deasc eagarthóireachta agus gan dabht ag cur scéalta an lae le chéile.  Ag féachaint ar an leagan amach atá ar an gcúrsa seo, tá na haon chuma air go dtabharfaidh an MA sa Chumarsáid léargas agus tuiscint mhaith duit ar na ceisteanna praiticiúla, chomh maith leis an teoiric agus cúrsaí eitice.” Cúrsa lánaimseartha bliana is ea an MA sa Chumarsáid ag Léibhéal 9 (creidmheas 90 ECTS).  Is féidir iarratais a dhéanamh ar líne tríd an gcóras iarchéime PAC ag www.pac.ie/nuigalway. Tá na sonraí go léir ar fáil ag www.oegaillimh.ie/acadamh. Tá a thuilleadh eolais ar fáil freisin ón Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg ag 091 595802 nó trí ríomhphost a chur chuig cursai@oegaillimh.ie. -CRÍOCH-

Monday, 18 June 2012

  The fourth International Summer School at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway, was launched today (Monday, 18 June) by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. The Summer School, co-hosted by the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, will run from 18-23 June. Speaking at the Summer School, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins commended the University for their active scholarship and the Centre of Disability Law and Policy for the vital contribution it makes to informed thinking on disability related policy and issues in this country: “I am delighted to be here with you today to launch the 4th International Summer School in partnership with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, which this year deals with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. "This, as you know, is a convention that I strongly support and which, as a public representative, I called upon successive Governments to ratify.  This summer school and the other educational opportunities that you afford to students will educate them in the policies and reforms required to ensure that people with disabilities can be treated as Equal Citizens in Irish Society and that once ratified the requirements of the Convention will become the benchmark for all disability related policies.”  The Summer School is designed to equip participants with the insights and skills necessary to translate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into tangible reform for persons with disabilities. President Higgins has a great interest in disability issues and has been a tireless campaigner throughout his long political life for the rights and interests of persons with disabilities in Ireland and internationally. The teaching faculty for the School includes high profile senior academics, practitioners and policy makers from around the world who have been directly and actively engaged in drafting and implementing the Convention. The estimated 100 attendees will similarly be from around the world and will include people with disabilities, their families, representatives from civil society groups as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers and policy analysts. The School is directed by Professor Gerard Quinn of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the School of Law, NUI Galway along with and Professor Michael Stein of Harvard Law School. Professor Quinn is a co-drafter of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and internationally recognised as a leader in the field of advancing the right of disabled people. Professor Gerard Quinn said: “This Summer School is all about power – restoring power to persons with disabilities over their own lives and giving them knowledge and skills based on the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Above all the School belongs to the people affected and is structured in such a way as to enable people explore for themselves the relevance of the Convention in their own lives and in the process of change.” Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, welcomed visitors and delegates from 29 different countries: “I know of the deep links between Harvard and our Centre for Disability Law and Policy and am delighted to acknowledge this wonderful, continuing collaboration at this the fourth International Summer School held by the Centre. “The impact of this Summer School is truly global.  The faculty and speakers include experts who were active in drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as leading thought-leaders from around the world.  This Summer School serves to give delegates the tools to implement this very important treaty and is a wonderful example of scholarship in action.”  Further information, including the programme and speaker profiles is available from the Summer School website at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/summer_school/2012/welcome.html On the last day of Summer School, Saturday, 23 June, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy will also host a one day international conference Mental Health Law Reform: New Perspectives and Challenges. This event will be held in conjunction with Amnesty International and will examine issues relevant to the review Mental Health Act 2001 including Ireland’s obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as it moves towards ratification.  The conference is aimed at experts by experience, legal practitioners, mental health professionals, advocates, academics, policy makers, politicians, NGOs and any person or organisation interested in mental health law and policy. There is a €20 conference fee. Places are limited so early registration is advisable. Fee waiver available for students and unwaged persons. For registration details: http://conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=173 ENDS

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mayo County Council to host Civic Reception in honour of Maureen Dowd NUI Galway in association with Mayo County Council is delighted to announce an ‘Evening of Conversation’ with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and journalist and author Niall O'Dowd.  The special event will take place on Monday, 25 June at 6:30pm at the Museum of Country Life, Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo and coincides with Maureen Dowd’s conferral with an honorary degree by NUI Galway later in the week. The event will be followed by a Civic Reception, to be attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, honouring Ms Maureen Dowd in Turlough Park House, Castlebar, Co. Mayo Maureen Dowd is a 1999 Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and Op-Ed columnist of The New York Times since 1995. Previously, she served as its Washington bureau correspondent where she covered two Presidential campaigns and as White House correspondent, gaining a wide following for her witty, incisive and acerbic portraits of the powerful. Ms Dowd joined The Times as a metropolitan reporter in 1983 having begun her career in 1974 with the Washington Star where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter, and feature writer.  Dowd is the author of two bestselling books, Bushworld: Enter at Your Own Risk (2004) and Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide (2005). Ms Dowd lives in Washington. Her father, Mike, worked as a DC Police Inspector while her mother, Peggy, was a homemaker. She traces her Irish heritage to Co. Clare and Co. Mayo, from where her mother’s family, the Meenahans of Ballinrobe, emigrated. Niall O’Dowd is the founder of IrishCentral as well as of Irish America Magazine and Irish Voice newspaper. He founded the Wall Street 50, Top 100 Irish Americans, Business 100 and more recently the Top 50 Women in Business as well as the Irish Legal 100. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by University College Dublin for his work on the Irish peace process which was a subject of a book Daring Diplomacy and a PBS Special 'An Irish Voice' He is also adjunct professor at Columbia University journalism school. The event is open to the public however as places are limited those interested should contact the Alumni Office at NUI Galway on 091-492721 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference, NUI Galway, 2-3 July Focussing on adult stem cells, the Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conference takes place in NUI Galway on 2-3 July. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of adult stem cell, and this event brings together the world’s leading scientists in the field to discuss their latest ideas and findings. This international meeting is the first major stem cell conference to take place in Ireland, and will look at all aspects of adult stem cells, from basic biology to manufacturing to clinical trials and therapeutics. Scientists at NUI Galway are investigating how adult stems cells might be used to develop new treatments for vascular disease, osteoarthritis and lung injury. The University has become a leading centre of translational research in adult stem cells involving its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). NUI Galway also collaborates with other Irish research institutes, including UCC and NUI Maynooth, who will participate in the event. There will also be significant participation from multinational and Irish companies working in the stem cell field.  Adult Stem Cells Stem cells can divide to produce more stem cells (self-renewal) or can change into many different specialized cell types.  There are two main types, embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in many of our tissues, where they act as the body’s own repair mechanism. They can be easily isolated from tissues such as bone marrow and fat. The focus on adult stem cells at the conference relates to the fact that these cells are at the forefront of the global translational effort in stem cell therapy and also reflects the area of particular expertise of researchers at NUI Galway.  “Work in the field of adult stem cell therapy has advanced rapidly because they are relatively easy to isolate and grow in the laboratory and because there is increasing evidence to suggest that they will represent an effective and safe treatment for a number of diseases”, explains Frank Barry who is Professor of Cellular Therapy at NUI Galway, Director of the NCBES and a principle investigator at REMEDI. Professor Barry adds: “However, stem cell therapy is complex and controversial and sometimes exaggerated claims are made. This gathering of research experts and industry leaders in Galway will focus on the realities of adult stem cell research, what is possible now and what is likely in the future.” Conference Programme The conference will cover five strands including Therapy, Immunology, Manufacturing, Gene Therapy, and Biology. Speakers include: Professor Anthony Hollander, University of Bristol, was one of a team of scientists and surgeons who successfully created and then transplanted the first tissue-engineered trachea (windpipe), using a patient’s own stem cells. The bioengineered trachea immediately provided the patient with a normally functioning airway, thereby saving her life. Professor Arnold Caplan, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio is one of the leaders in the field and the founder of Osiris Therapeutics, a global leader in of adult stem cell therapy. Professor Catherine Verfaillie, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, looks at stem cell based and stem cell derived therapies in models of hematopoietic, cardiovascular, liver and metabolic (diabetes) disorders. Professor Robert Deans works with Athersys Inc., a company developing cell therapeutics based on stem cells isolated from adult bone marrow. Professor Cosimo De Bari, fromUniversity of Aberdeen in Scotland, has expertise is in translational stem cell research for musculoskeletal repair, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Dr Luc Sensebé of University of Brest in France coordinates EU projects dedicated to the development of quality production processes for MSCs and their uses for clinical trials. Dr Elena Jones of Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine in the UK, has developed novel ideas on large-scale extraction of MSCs from soft tissues including synovium and joint fat.  Professor Barry concluded: “Given the presence of significant research programmes in MSC biology, immunology, manufacturing and transplantation in Ireland the staging of this conference in 2012 is timely and important. The event will enhance the profile of regenerative medicine research and give Irish scientists an opportunity to interact with leading scientists and industry leaders.” The conference is supported by Orbsen Therapeutics, Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway and Fáilte Ireland. -ends-

Thursday, 21 June 2012

NUI Galway today conferred over 200 students from across the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Engineering and Informatics, Business, Public Policy and Law, Science, and Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The largest cohort of students to graduate was 81 Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) students. Also graduating were 46 PhD students from across all disciplines. International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University welcoming graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia and Kuwait, who along with students from across Ireland will receive Diplomas, Degrees, Masters, and PhDs. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow and we have doubled the number of Ph.D degrees awarded each year since the start of the decade.” President Browne added words of encouragement to graduates conferred at the ceremony: “Do not lose hope or courage in this current economic climate. You have what it takes to make a difference in our society. The opportunities you have to create your own environment and to shape your own futures are enormous.” The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 29 June. -Ends-   Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnadh cáilíocht ar bhreis agus 200 mac léinn as Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais & na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte, Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice, Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí, agus an Dlí, Coláiste na hEolaíochta, agus Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, agus an Léinn Cheiltigh inniu (Déardaoin, 21 Meitheamh). Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir i Liacht Bhan (MB, BCh, BAO) ar 81 mac léinn. Bronnadh céim PhD ar 46 mac léinn as na disciplíní éagsúla freisin.   Bhí mic léinn idirnáisiúnta i láthair ag an searmanas chomh maith, mic léinn ón Mhalaeisia agus ón gCuáit ina measc. Bronnadh idir Dhioplómaí, Céimeanna, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna ar na mic léinn sin agus ar na mic léinn Éireannacha. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad is ea go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá níos mó agus níos mó céimeanna á mbronnadh againn bliain i ndiaidh bliana agus go deimhin tá a dhá oiread céimeanna PhD á mbronnadh againn anois le hais mar a bhí ag tús an chéid." Dúirt an tUachtarán leis na céimithe gur cheart dóibh aghaidh a thabhairt ar na blianta amach rompu le teann dóchais: “Ná cuireadh cúrsaí geilleagair an lae lagmhisneach oraibh. Tá an cumas ag gach duine agaibh dul i bhfeidhm ar an tsochaí ar shlí éigin. Níl teorainn ar bith leis na deiseanna atá agaibhse an cineál saoil is mian libh a chruthú daoibh féin agus lántairbhe a bhaint as na deiseanna a thiocfaidh in bhur dtreo sna blianta amach romhainn.” Beidh an chéad searmanas bronnta eile ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh Dé hAoine, an 24 Meitheamh, tráth a ndéanfar na Céimeanna Oinigh a bhronnadh.     -Críoch-