Cancer Researcher Awarded for Participation in Lindau Nobel Laureate Awards

Cancer Researcher Awarded for Participation in Lindau Nobel Laureate Awards-image

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English T.D., and Professor Orla Feely, Chairperson of the Irish Research Council, recently presented NUI Galway researcher Dr Aideen Ryan with an award in recognition of her selection and participation in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Since 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have been bringing together the most esteemed scientists of their times with outstanding young scientists from all over the world. This year, 600 young researchers representing almost 80 countries took part in the Meeting. Dr Ryan was one of four young Irish researchers who were chosen in a competitive process to attend the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to Physiology and Medicine. The select group of scientists had the opportunity to present and discuss their research in master classes hosted by 37 Nobel Laureates. Dr Ryan works within the Immunology group of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway with Professor Laurence Egan, Dr Thomas Ritter and Professor Matthew Griffin and her research, which looks specifically at colon cancer, is supported by an Irish Cancer Society Research Fellowship. Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths in Ireland and represents a significant health problem. Dr Ryan’s research is taking a fresh approach by focusing on the cancer cells interaction with the immune system. Dr Ryan, who is originally from Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, explains her work: “What fascinates me is the interaction of cancer cells with our immune cells. Understanding how our immune system allows the cancer to spread may allow us to develop ways to stop the process.” The aim of her research is to find ways to help the body’s immune system detect and destroy cancer cells. “Our work in the lab has shown that we can target some of the signals coming from tumours and that this could help our immune cells to flourish.” Dr Ryan’s recent research work, published in the journal Oncogene, has provided new insights into how the body’s immune system affects the spread of colon cancer cells and it is hoped that this work will inform the development of new drugs that could be used to strengthen our immune system’s response to cancer. This novel approach to cancer treatment could potentially result in better treatments and consequently a better prognosis and quality of life for patients with colon cancer. -ends-

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Boston Mayor Visits NUI Galway

Boston Mayor Visits NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Research & Innovation Links on Agenda for Inaugural Visit to Galway Today on the NUI Galway campus, the recently-elected Mayor of Boston, Martin J. (“Marty”) Walsh will be hosted by the University President, Dr Jim Browne at an event that will include NUI Galway research leaders, colleagues from IDA Ireland as well as high-level representatives from IDA and EI client companies with strong Boston-Galway connections. This occasion will focus on the opportunities for further collaboration between Boston and Galway in the context of the global knowledge-based economy, specifically on the development of research and innovation links between Galway’s University and organisations in the Boston area. In advance of the Mayor’s visit, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Galway and Boston share many strong links in culture, in education and in business life. I am delighted to welcome Mayor Walsh to NUI Galway and I look forward to working with him to build on our regions’ shared heritage to create stronger, more dynamic research and academic links between Boston and Galway.” Elected in November 2013, this is the first official visit of Mr Marty J. Walsh as Mayor of Boston to the home of his emigrant parents. The ten-day trip will see the Mayor attend meetings with representatives of government, business and industry throughout the country. Mayor Walsh's parents, both from Connemara in County Galway, emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s and went to Boston. Having met in a dance hall, John and Mary Walsh married and settled in St. Margaret’s Parish, Dorchester where he and his brother Johnny grew up, and where his mother still lives. Catherina Blewitt, West Regional Manager for the IDA, said: “On behalf of IDA Ireland I am delighted to welcome Mayor Walsh to Galway and to introduce him to client companies of IDA Ireland and to indigenous companies with strong Boston connections. There has been significant two-way activity between Greater Boston and Galway and we look forward to working with Mayor Walsh to strengthen our ties, forge new ones and encourage further investment activity for the mutual benefit of both locations” The meeting at NUI Galway included senior representatives from the University, IDA Ireland as well as representatives from the American Chamber of Commerce West Branch and companies such as Boston Scientific, Fidelity, SmartBear Software, Aspect Software, Marvao Medical Devices, Covidien, Wayfair. Earlier in the day the Mayor will have been the guest of Galway County Council at their meeting also on the NUI Galway campus. ENDS   Cuairt Mhéara Bhostúin ar OÉ Gaillimh Ceangal Taighde & Nuálaíochta ar an gClár Oibre don Chéad Chuairt ar Ghaillimh Ar champas OÉ Gaillimh inniu chuir Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Jim Browne fáilte roimh Mhéara nua Bhostúin, Martin J. (“Marty”) Walsh ag ócáid ina raibh láithreacht ag ceannairí taighde OÉ Gaillimh, comhghleacaithe ó IDA Éireann mar aon le hionadaithe ardleibhéil ó chliantchuideachtaí IDA agus EI a bhfuil ceangal láidir acu le Bostún agus le Gaillimh. Díreoidh an ócáid seo ar dheiseanna chun an comhoibriú idir Bostún agus Gaillimh a láidriú i gcomhthéacs an gheilleagair dhomhanda eolas-bhunaithe, go háirithe ar cheangal taighde agus nuálaíochta a fhorbairt idir an Ollscoil agus eagraíochtaí i réigiún Bhostúin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, faoi thábhacht na cuairte: “Is iomaí ceangal láidir atá idir Gaillimh agus Bostún maidir le cultúr, oideachas agus gnó. Tá an-áthas orm fáilte a chur roimh an Méara Walsh chuig OÉ Gaillimh agus táim ag súil le hoibriú leis chun tógáil ar an oidhreacht roinnte atá idir an dá réigiún chun ceangal taighde agus acadúil níos láidre agus níos dinimiciúla a chruthú idir Bostún agus Gaillimh.” Toghadh an tUasal Marty J. Walsh ina Mhéara ar Bhostún i mí na Samhna 2013, agus is í seo an chéad chuairt oifigiúil aige ar áit dúchais a thuismitheoirí a chuaigh ar imirce go Meiriceá. I gcaitheamh na tréimhse deich lá a bheidh sé anseo freastalóidh an Méara ar chruinnithe le hionadaithe rialtais, gnó agus tionscail ar fud na tíre. Ba de bhunú Chonamara i gContae na Gaillimhe iad tuismitheoirí Marty, agus d'fhág siad Éire sna 1950idí le dul go Bostún. Chas John agus Mary Walsh ar a chéile i halla damhsa agus phós siad i bParóiste St. Margaret, Dorchester, áit ar rugadh agus ar tógadh Marty agus a dheartháir Johnny. Tá a mháthair Mary fós ina cónaí ann. Dúirt Catherina Blewitt, Bainisteoir Réigiúnach an Iarthair leis an IDA: “Thar ceann IDA Éireann tá fíoráthas orm fáilte a chur roimh an Méara Walsh go Gaillimh agus é a chur in aithne do chliantchuideachtaí de chuid IDA Éireann agus do chuideachtaí na tíre seo a bhfuil ceangal láidir acu le Bostún. Bhí gníomhaíocht shuntasach sa dá threo idir Mórcheantar Bhostúin agus Gaillimh agus táimid ag súil le hoibriú leis an Méara Walsh chun an ceangal atá againn cheana a neartú, chun naisc nua a chruthú agus chun breis infheistíochta a spreagadh amach anseo a rachaidh chun tairbhe don dá cheantar.” I láthair ag an gcruinniú a bhí ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh bhí ionadaithe sinsearacha ón Ollscoil, ó IDA Éireann chomh maith le hionadaithe ó Bhrainse an Iarthair de Chumann Lucht Tráchtála Mheiriceá agus cuideachtaí cosúil le Boston Scientific, Fidelity, SmartBear Software, Aspect Software, Marvao Medical Devices, Covidien, Wayfair. Níos túisce sa lá d'fhreastail an Méara ar chruinniú de chuid Chomhairle Contae na Gaillimhe a bhí ar siúl ar champas OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith. CRÍOCH

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NUI Galway MBA Class of 1974 Celebrate 40 Year Reunion

NUI Galway MBA Class of 1974 Celebrate 40 Year Reunion-image

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Over 30 alumni who graduated from the very first Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and the Masters of Industrial Engineering (MIE) at NUI Galway recently celebrated a 40 year reunion in Galway. The occasion enabled the former classmates to reconnect and reflect on their journeys since completing the MBA in what was then UCG. “It is testament to the vision and foresight of the team at NUI Galway in the early 1970s to lead the way in management development by introducing the first MBA outside of Dublin. Over 40 years later, there are over 530 MBA alumni, with many achieving significant career success nationally and internationally. The programme recently attained AMBA accreditation which is the global mark of excellence for MBA education and places NUI Galway’s programme in the top tier of MBA programmes worldwide,” said Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Director. Helen Ryan, former CEO of Creganna Tactx, was the keynote speaker at the event and Helen recounted the success story behind the global medical device company based in Parkmore in Galway. A clear strategy and vision, sound financial management, recruiting and investing in the right people, and being brave and ambitious in business planning are the key success factors identified by Helen learned from her time with Creganna, which saw it grow from having less than 100 staff when she joined to being a global business today with over 1200 employees. The alumni group was also addressed by the inaugural NUI Galway MBA Director, Professor Jim Doolan, a Harvard MBA graduate himself, who reflected on the need for management education in the western region of Ireland in the 1970s and how NUI Galway was one of the first in Europe to offer the MBA programme at that time. The 1974-1976 MBA drew students from across the country and had a significant impact on management education in the region at the time and one which continues today. Commenting on the changing landscape of management education and the MBA in particular, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “MBA programmes have proliferated across the world since NUI Galway introduced the MBA in 1972. Obviously much has changed in terms of the curriculum since then and yet some key management principles are still as relevant today as they were 40 years ago. One of the biggest differences now is the diversity of typical MBA class groups where there is greater gender, age and international diversity and a much greater focus on globalisation in the curriculum compared to 40 years ago.” ENDS

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NUI Galway Zoologist Brings RTÉ’s ‘Bug Hunters’ to Schools throughout Ireland

NUI Galway Zoologist Brings RTÉ’s ‘Bug Hunters’ to Schools throughout Ireland-image

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dr Michel Dugon, from NUI Galway’s discipline of Zoology, and his creepy-crawly friends will tour schools around Ireland to teach kids about bugs, biodiversity and ecology. Dr Dugon is also the presenter of Bug Hunters, an educational TV series in 30 episodes currently airing on RTÉ2 and RTÉJr. In each episode, Michel and three young naturalists explore parts of the Irish wilderness to unearth some of the most fascinating, colourful and strange-looking creepy-crawlies. A specialist of venomous and poisonous animals, Dr Dugon is also a fervent advocate of Irish wildlife: Dr Dugon said: “Ireland is home to over 12,000 species of bugs, including 400 species of spiders, 100 species of bees and over 2,000 species of beetles. Contrary to common belief, Irish ecosystems are very rich and divers and very accessible as well.” Bug Hunters features some of the most prominent and species-rich ecosystems in Ireland, from the mountains of Wicklow to the streams of Connemara and the rock formations of the Burren. To promote knowledge about local ecosystems, Dr Dugon has created Eco EXPLORERS, an NUI Galway-backed science outreach initiative. Last year alone, he visited 44 schools in six counties and over 7,000 pupils followed his workshops and holiday camps on ecology and biodiversity. Dr Dugon also uses live exotic animals in his workshops and said: “Exotic bugs are fantastic models to teach kids about important concepts like biodiversity, ecology, and evolution. People don’t forget their first encounter with a tarantula or a giant millipede. It is also an excellent occasion to re-establish the truth about misunderstood critters.” The second season of Bug Hunters is being aired simultaneously on RTÉ2 and RTÉJr. Episodes are available online on the RTÉ player at http://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/10324438/. For more information on Bug Hunters contact Dr Dugon at Michel.dugon@nuigalway.ie or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thebughunters. -Ends-

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World-renowned Galway neuroscientist returns to NUI Galway with formula for happiness

World-renowned Galway neuroscientist returns to NUI Galway with formula for happiness-image

Thursday, 25 September 2014

There is a formula for happiness after all. The equation has been described by Professor Ray Dolan, Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London. Professor Dolan presented some of his latest research findings on Tuesday, 23 September, at NUI Galway in a lecture jointly hosted by the University’s School of Psychology, the Discipline of Psychiatry, and the Galway Neuroscience Centre. In a talk entitled ‘Value Encoding in the Human Brain’, Professor Dolan explained how he and his team of researchers believe that happiness is governed primarily by expectation and surprise, work which they have published recently in the prestigious international journal The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Dolan and his team used a combination of behavioral neuroscience, computational modeling and neuroimaging approaches to study emotional reactivity in the form of momentary happiness in response to reward. He also presented results from other work that may help to explain why some people have a propensity to gamble and take risks, while others avoid risk. He explained how the chemical transmitter dopamine in the brain is likely to play a key role in determining whether and how someone will gamble. Furthermore, dopamine’s actions in the brain also appear to play a critical role in learning. Professor Dolan demonstrated how a decline in dopamine levels with ageing can result in impaired learning. In turn, drugs that elevate levels of dopamine in the brain can act as cognitive enhancers. Professor Dolan, who is a native of Monivea in Galway and a graduate of NUI Galway (known then as University College Galway), is a clinician scientist with a primary interest in the neurobiology of emotion and how emotion impacts on cognition, including decision making.  He has published over 500 peer reviewed papers in scientific journals and is consistently ranked among the top five most cited neuroscientists in the world in the field of neuroscience and behaviour. He has received numerous awards including the Alexander Von Humboldt Research Award (2004), the Golden Brain Award from the Minerva Foundation (2006), the International Max Planck Research Award (2007). In 2011 he was made a Visiting Einstein Fellow to the Humboldt University, Berlin. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) in 2000 and Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2010. Recently, he received an NUI Galway Alumni Award. NUI Galway’s Professor David Finn, Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, said, “We were honored to welcome Professor Dolan back to NUI Galway to talk to us about his very exciting recent research findings. Neuroscience research and teaching is currently very vibrant at NUI Galway and we aim to train the next generation of leaders in brain research.” -ends-

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Oliver Daniels Appointed as CEO of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics

Oliver Daniels Appointed as CEO of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics-image

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics is delighted to announce the appointment of Oliver Daniels as CEO. Oliver Daniels will lead the €75 million SFI Research Centre as it firmly positions Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. He joins Insight from Avaya, where he has served as R&D Leader of Research & Development for Contact Center Applications at Avaya for the last five years. Oliver Daniels was responsible for leading the software engineering teams as they developed innovative applications for both cloud and on premise solutions. At Avaya, he has leveraged his 27 years of enterprise software experience with Avaya, and Nortel, to create industry-leading contact centre solutions and drive innovation in customer experience technology. Prior to Avaya, Oliver Daniels served as R&D Leader for Nortel, and has also served as CEO of Accendo Technologies, an Irish start-up. Oliver has held a wide variety of senior roles in technology and management, serving Nortel, ADC, and Saville Systems, based in Ireland, the UK, and France. Oliver Daniels is credited as a co-inventor in several contact centre patent applications, he holds a B. Comm from NUI Galway. Insight is a joint initiative between researchers at DCU, NUI Galway, UCC and UCD, and other partner institutions. Established in July 2013, it has brought together a critical mass of more than 200 researchers to develop a new generation of data analytics technologies in a number of key application areas. Data analytics – the study of ‘Big Data’ - is a global challenge that involves turning vast quantities of ubiquitous raw data into knowledge that will inform people and improve society, business, and health. The sector is growing by an estimated 30% annually and Insight is playing a key role in developing the research strengths and specialised skills needed for Ireland to remain globally competitive. Through dynamic partnerships with some 30 industry partners, the multi-location research centre aims to leverage further investment from Europe, help create high value jobs in Ireland, and deliver economic and societal impact. Speaking about the appointment, John Tracey, Chairman of the Insight Governance Board, said: “We are delighted with the appointment of Oliver Daniels as Insight’s new CEO. As the largest publicly funded research project in Ireland, Insight’s success critically depends on further deepening the close co-operation between industry and the universities. Oliver’s extensive industry and R&D experience, at the highest level, will allow Insight to achieve further success.”   John Tracey also thanked Professor Barry Smyth who has held the role of CEO since Insight’s inception: “Barry led the university groups that successfully established Insight and has led the centre since it commenced in mid-2013. I want to thank him sincerely for the major contribution he has made to Insight to date and will continue to make in the future.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Irish Government said: “SFI-funded research centres, like Insight, were established to further Ireland’s competitive advantage in specific research areas. As big data continues to grow exponentially, there is a real opportunity for Ireland to compete and win. Under the stewardship of a leader of Oliver’s calibre, I have no doubt that Insight will be positioned to capitalise on this growth, deliver cutting-edge research and develop opportunities for industry collaboration and commercialisation. I also want to thank Professor Barry Smyth who led the Insight bid, established the Insight Centre and contributed significantly to its scientific and commercial success to date. I am confident that Barry and his colleagues in Insight will continue to research, innovate and keep Ireland to the fore in the rapidly growing field of big data analytics.” Oliver Daniels takes up the role from 21 October, 2014, and will be based at Insight NUI Galway. -ends- Oliver Daniels Ceaptha ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Ionad Anailísíochta Sonraí Insight Tá an-áthas ar Ionad Anailísíochta Sonraí Insight a fhógairt go bhfuil Oliver Daniels ceaptha ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar an ionad. Beidh Oliver Daniels i gceannas ar an Ionad Taighde de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta na hÉireann ar fiú €75 milliún é agus é mar aidhm aige Éire a dhaingniú mar chroílár domhanda an taighde anailísíochta sonraí. Sular ceapadh sa phost seo in Insight é bhí sé ag obair in Avaya le cúig bliana anuas mar Cheannaire Taighde agus Forbartha d'Fheidhmchláir Ionaid Teagmhála. Bhí Oliver Daniels freagrach as na foirne innealtóireachta bogearraí a stiúradh agus iad i mbun feidhmchláir nuálacha a fhorbairt do réitigh néil agus ar an láthair araon. In Avaya, d'úsáid sé an taithí i mbogearraí fiontraíochta a fuair sé thar 27 bliain le Avaya, agus le Nortel, chun réitigh ionaid teagmhála ar thús cadhnaíochta a chruthú agus chun nuálaíocht a chur chun cinn i dteicneolaíocht eispéiris an chustaiméara. Sula ndeachaigh sé ag obair in Avaya, d'oibrigh Oliver Daniels mar Cheannaire Taighde agus Forbartha le Nortel, agus bhí sé freisin ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Accendo Technologies, gnólacht nuathionscanta Éireannach. Is iomaí ról sinsearach sa teicneolaíocht agus sa bhainistíocht a bhí ag Oliver, agus é ag obair in Nortel, ADC, agus Saville Systems, bunaithe in Éirinn, sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus sa Fhrainc. Is comhchumadóir é Oliver Daniels i roinnt feidhmchlár paitinne ionaid teagmhála, agus tá B. Comm aige ó OÉ Gaillimh. Is comhthionscnamh é Insight idir taighdeoirí in DCU, OÉ Gaillimh, UCC agus UCD, agus institiúidí comhpháirtíochta eile. Bunaíodh é i mí Iúil 2013, agus tá tairseach chriticiúil de bhreis is 200 taighdeoir tugtha le chéile aige chun glúin nua teicneolaíochtaí anailísíochta sonraí a fhorbairt i roinnt príomhréimsí feidhmchláir. Is dúshlán domhanda é anailísíocht sonraí - staidéar ar ‘Olltiomsú Sonraí’- a bhaineann le méideanna ollmhóra sonraí loma uileláithreach a athrú go heolas a rachaidh i bhfeidhm ar dhaoine agus a fheabhsóidh cúrsaí sochaí, gnó agus sláinte.  Tá fás 30% ag teacht go bliantúil ar an earnáil agus tá ról lárnach ag Insight i bhforbairt na láidreachtaí taighde agus na sainscileanna a theastaíonn chun go bhfanfaidh Éire iomaíoch ar bhonn domhanda. Trí chomhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla le 30 comhpháirtí tionscail, tá sé d'aidhm leis an ionad taighde ilsuímh tuilleadh infheistíochta a fháil ón Eoraip, poist ardluacha a chruthú in ‏Éirinn, agus tionchar geilleagrach agus sochaí a chur i bhfeidhm. Ag labhairt dó faoin gceapachán, dúirt John Tracey, Cathaoirleach Bhord Rialachais Insight: “Táimid thar a bheith sásta le ceapachán Oliver Daniels mar Phríomhfheidhmeannach nua Insight. Tá Insight ar an tionscadal taighde is mó a fhaigheann maoiniú poiblí in Éirinn, agus tá a rath ag brath go géar ar níos mó forbairt a dhéanamh ar an dlúth-chomhoibriú idir an tionscal agus na hollscoileanna.  Tabharfaidh taithí fhairsing Oliver ar an tionscal agus ar thaighde agus ar fhorbairt deis do Insight níos mó rath a bhaint amach.”   Ghlac John Tracey buíochas chomh maith leis an Ollamh Barry Smyth a bhí ina Phríomhfheidhmeannach ar Insight ó bunaíodh é: “Threoraigh Barry na grúpaí ollscoile a bhunaigh Insight agus bhí sé i mbun an t-ionad a stiúradh ó lár 2013.  Ba mhaith liom buíochas ó chroí a ghlacadh leis as an obair mhór atá déanta aige le Insight go dtí seo agus as an obair a dhéanfaidh sé leis amach anseo.” Dúirt an tOllamh Mark Ferguson, Ard-Stiúrthóir Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta don Rialtas: “Bunaíodh ionaid taighde maoinithe ag SFI, cosúil le Insight, chun cur le buntáiste iomaíoch na hÉireann i réimsí taighde ar leith. De réir mar atá fás as cuimse ag teacht ar olltiomsú sonraí, tá an-deis ag Éirinn a bheith san iomaíocht agus an ceann is fearr a fháil. Faoi cheannas duine de mhianach Oliver, níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh deis ag Insight teacht i dtír ar an bhfás seo, taighde ceannródaíoch a chur ar fáil agus deiseanna a fhorbairt do chomhoibriú agus do thráchtálú tionscail. Ba mhaith liom chomh maith buíochas a ghlacadh leis an Ollamh Barry Smyth a bhí ina cheann feadhna ar thairiscint Insight, a bhunaigh Ionad Insight agus a chuir go mór lena rath eolaíoch agus tráchtála go dtí seo. Tá mé muiníneach go leanfaidh Barry agus a chomhghleacaithe in Insight ar aghaidh i mbun taighde, nuála agus go gcoinneoidh siad Éire chun tosaigh i réimse na hanailísíochta olltiomsaithe sonraí, réimse atá ag fás go tréan.” Cuirfidh Oliver Daniels tús lena phost an 21 Deireadh Fómhair 2014, agus beidh sé lonnaithe in Insight OÉ Gaillimh. -críoch-

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August 2014

Researcher wins prize at prestigious Gordon Research Conference

Researcher wins prize at prestigious Gordon Research Conference-image

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

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

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

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

Thursday, 7 August 2014

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

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New insights into spread and survival of blood cancer cells

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

Monday, 11 August 2014

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

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

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

Monday, 11 August 2014

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

>> Read full story about New Students to Benefit from new Online Q&A Service at NUI Galway

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