NUI Galway Announce the Dr Tony Ryan Trust Donates Over One Million Euro to Scholarship, Innovation and Access

NUI Galway Announce the Dr Tony Ryan Trust Donates Over One Million Euro to Scholarship, Innovation and Access-image

Monday, 25 March 2013

NUI Galway is delighted to announce that the Dr Tony Ryan Trust has made a significant donation to the University to support scholarship and innovation in environment, marine and energy as well as the University’s access programme. In addition to supporting the access programme, this significant philanthropic gift of over one million euro will specifically provide fully funded research scholarships for five PhD students.  The Dr Tony Ryan Research Scholarships will offer opportunities to pursue a postgraduate degree in the key research areas of environment, marine and energy.  The scholarships will specifically focus on research priorities at The Ryan Institute in the University, including: Innovation in energy-efficient technologies and bio-energy Research and development in aquaculture, fisheries, offshore renewable energy resources and bio-discovery Development of technologies for monitoring, modelling and mitigation of environmental pressures Speaking on behalf of the Trustees of the Dr Tony Ryan Trust, Emma Lane-Spollen said: “We are proud to support so many Irish and migrant students to access NUI Galway’s degree programmes with €125,000 per year for 4 years. We also look forward to supporting the development of the marine industry and the exploration of marine ecosystems in Ireland by supporting Galway’s ability to attract the best PhD students through these 5 full scholarships, putting Galway at the forefront of marine research and innovation.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “This scholarship funding amplifies the generous support received in the past from the Ryan family.  NUI Galway remains indebted to the late Dr Tony Ryan and the Ryan family for the vision and the enlightened philanthropy which led to the capital development of the Ryan Institute in the 1990s.  The Ryan Institute is the leading centre for environment, marine and energy research in Ireland.  Increasingly these areas are becoming crucial to the global economy, generating new and sustainable technologies.  Support for scholarship and innovation in these areas is a strategic and important decision by the Trust and I would like to thank the Trustees for their philanthropy. The Dr Tony Ryan Trust’s funding of the NUI Galway Access Programme will also enable talented students facing financial challenges to realise their full educational potential.” The Ryan Institute Award In addition to the Dr Ryan Scholarship Fund, a substantial Ryan Institute Award will feature annually, as a new means to support and foster entrepreneurship and innovation.  The Award, which will be presented each year for five years, will be coupled with the above scholarship opportunity to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and spin-outs from postgraduate research at NUI Galway.  An annual University competition, targeted at researchers and/or postgraduate students within the Ryan Institute, will assess business ideas arising from research.  This award is to enable the winner to commercialise or develop their idea, including through further research at home or abroad. The Ryan Institute has over 300 researchers making it Ireland’s largest research institute to focus on some of the most pressing environmental and energy issues of the 21st century.  NUI Galway’s formal research in this area goes back to the early-1990s when Dr Tony Ryan, funded the Marine Research Building, named in memory of his father Martin Ryan. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway has a long history of engaging with vital environmental and marine issues through our research, especially in the areas of climate change, water resources, marine ecosystems, biodiversity and sustainability. We strongly welcome this support for research scholarship and look forward to further collaboration with the Dr Tony Ryan Trust as the fund and award scheme realise the bright minds of the future.” -ends-

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Get your revision on track at NUI Galway’s Taster Day

Get your revision on track at NUI Galway’s Taster Day -image

Monday, 25 March 2013

Doing the Leaving Certificate and looking ahead to University? NUI Galway is holding a University Taster Day for Leaving Certificate students during the Easter break. The Taster Day will combine a series of revision sessions on aspects of the Leaving Certificate curriculum, together with some taster workshops in new Arts subjects. Participants will gain unique insights into Leaving Cert subjects in revision sessions taught by University lecturers. A choice of 17 subjects is on offer in areas like English, Irish, French, History, Geography and more. Students will also enjoy taster workshops in University level Arts subjects like Psychology, Drama, Film Studies and Sociology and Politics. Organiser of the University Taster Day, Joe Mac Donnacha explained: “Students are focused on their revision for the Leaving Certificate at this time of year. The aim of the NUI Galway Taster Day is to help them maximize their revision in key subject areas, while also giving them an enjoyable introduction to some of the subjects taught on the University’s Arts degree.” The Arts degree at NUI Galway is the second largest undergraduate course in the country, attracting over 1,000 new students every year.   Commenting on the ongoing popularity of the Arts degree at NUI Galway for students, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring, said: “Arts and Social Science students are very creative. More start-up enterprises are founded by Arts graduates than Business graduates. You find successful Arts and Social Sciences graduates in almost every walk of life. Of course, we need scientists, engineers, doctors, and entrepreneurs but we also need those people who understand and can critique human behaviour, social values and cultural creativity. That is what Arts graduates are trained to do.” The NUI Galway Taster Day runs from 9.30am to 3pm on Friday, 5 April, in the Engineering Building on the NUI Galway campus. Advanced booking is essential for this FREE revision session and taster day. Bookings can be made online at: Enquiries should be directed to (091) 494 145 or email   ENDS

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CANCELLED: Archbishop Desmond Tutu to present Welcoming Stone for new Mary Robinson Centre

CANCELLED: Archbishop Desmond Tutu to present Welcoming Stone for new Mary Robinson Centre-image

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Bishop John Fleming of the diocese of Killala, Co Mayo and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, are pleased to announce that Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa will endorse the proposed new Mary Robinson Centre with the presentation of a Welcoming Stone at an ecumenical event in St Muredach’s Cathedral, in Mrs Robinson’s home town of Ballina, Co Mayo on Saturday, May 11 next at 6pm (18:00hrs). The Mary Robinson Centre is being developed by a partnership including National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), Mayo County Council, Ballina Town Council, the local community and the Robinson / Bourke families together with Government support.  Representatives of all will attend the event. Archbishop Tutu and Mrs Robinson, who has just been announced as the UN’s new Special Envoy to Africa’s troubled Great Lakes region, will engage in a shared reflection which will be conducted in St Muredach’s Cathedral and chaired by the renowned Irish journalist and current affairs presenter, Olivia O’Leary. The Archbishop will also visit the site of the new Centre at Mary Robinson’s birthplace, the Bourke family home on Victoria Terrace at Ballina, directly opposite the Cathedral.   Ends

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NUI Galway 4th International Nursing and Midwifery Conference: Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice

NUI Galway 4th International Nursing and Midwifery Conference: Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice-image

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The fourth international Nursing and Midwifery conference, Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice, will take place from 15-16 April in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Organised by NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, in partnership with Galway University Hospital and the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Units (West), the conference will bring together leaders in the field of nursing and midwifery to share their experiences of clinical care and research. Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice will cover topics relevant to the fields of chronic illness, mental health, older people, maternity care and women’s health, and teaching and learning in practice. With over 200 delegates expected to attend, the conference will feature over 100 presentations from national and international speakers and will be of interest to health professionals working in nursing or midwifery, along with medical and allied health professionals. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr Julie Barroso, Distinguished Professor at the Duke University School of Nursing in North Caroline, USA. Dr Barroso’s research is in the areas of qualitative research methodology and chronic illness and has written prolifically on these topics. She has specific expertise on synthesizing qualitative research and this will be the topic of her keynote address. The conference will also feature a keynote discussion from Dr David Tovey, Editor-in-Chief with The Cochrane Library. A previous Editorial Director for the BMJ Evidence Centre, Dr Tovey’s keynote discussion will focus on evidence-based practice. Professor Declan Devane, Conference Chair and Professor of Midwifery at NUI Galway, said: “We are really excited about this year’s conference. Faced with rapidly changing healthcare contexts, new research initiatives and demanding resource constraints, the opportunity for health care professionals to come together to discuss best practice is vital. Thoughtful practice based on the best available evidence is key to making a difference to those accessing our health care services; this conference provides an opportunity for nurses and midwives to come together share their experiences to build and promote excellence in practice.”   For more information on the conference, please visit the conference website at -ENDS-   

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NUI Galway Courses Shortlisted for Postgraduate Awards

NUI Galway Courses Shortlisted for Postgraduate Awards-image

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Eight NUI Galway postgraduate courses have been shortlisted for the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2013. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 18 April at a reception in the Mansion House in Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Authority (HEA), recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. With eight courses in contention, NUI Galway is the higher education institution with the most shortlisted entries this year, a notable achievement, considering there were 126 entries to the competition in total. NUI Galway courses shortlisted for the Business Award are: the Executive MBA, which also celebrating its 40th anniversary this year; MSc in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management; and MSc in International Management. The MSc in Biolnnovation Fellowship programme is shortlisted in the Best New Course category.  Two NUI Galway courses are nominated as Best IT Course: LLM in Law, Technology and Governance and the Masters in Digital Media. In the Engineering category NUI Galway has one of two courses in the shortlist, the Masters of Applied Science (Enterprise Systems). Similarly it has one of only two courses shortlisted in Science, the MSc in Biomedical Science (Distance Learning). Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being recognised. The courses in question are accepting applications now so those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at This year we’re also offering full-time taught masters scholarships for first class students, so that’s another good reason to consider NUI Galway for your postgraduate studies.” NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth-level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. NUI Galway awards Postgraduate Scholarships, valued at €1,500 per student, to all students studying a postgraduate taught Masters programme in the year 2013/14, who have a first class honours undergraduate degree. The new initiative is open to postgraduate students, applying for a fulltime Taught Masters programme. Scholarships will be awarded to students accepted on a fulltime taught masters and who fulfill the criteria as outlined by the University. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091 495148 or visit -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Researcher in Final Three of Irish Cancer Society Awards

NUI Galway Researcher in Final Three of Irish Cancer Society Awards-image

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

NUI Galwaycancer researcher Dr Eva Szegezdi has been applauded for reaching the finals of the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘Researcher of the Year’ Award. Dr Szegezdi works in the Apoptosis Research Centre at the University’s School of Natural Sciences. Professor Afshin Samali, Director of Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “Reaching the final three of this prestigious award is a major achievement. This is a testament to high quality, relevance and impact of Dr Szegezdi’s research at the Centre. Dr Szegezdi is the leading scientist in her field of research in Ireland and is an opinion leader whose work is at the cutting edge of cancer research.” The Apoptosis Research Centre at NUI Galway is composed of an interactive network of researchers investigating cell death and its relationship to human disease. Dr Eva Szegezdi was shortlisted for her research entitled, ‘Blazing a new TRAIL in cancer therapy’. “TRAIL is a protein produced by immune cells to kill newly developed cancer cells”, explains Dr Szegezdi. “TRAIL has the ability to selectively find and kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells, which give it advantage over standard chemotherapeutic drugs. The aim of our research is to use the cancer-selective characteristics of TRAIL, synthesize and process it outside the body and to convert it into a cancer drug that possesses high anticancer potential, in fact higher than natural TRAIL produced by immune cells.” Research carried out by Dr Szegezdi is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland and funding from NUI Galway. Last year, NUI Galway’s Dr Róisín Dwyer a postdoctoral research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery at NUI Galway was announced as the first Irish Cancer Society ‘Researcher of the Year’. Dr Dwyer scooped the top prize in 2012 for her research that investigated the potential of adult stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to breast tumours, which aims to significantly reduce tumour growth. -ENDS-

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Local Community Spirit Helps Leukaemia and Myeloma Research

Local Community Spirit Helps Leukaemia and Myeloma Research-image

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Leukaemia and myeloma research efforts in Galway have received a huge boost with a generous donation of €12,500 by the Cloonacool Community in Co. Sligo. The money raised was donated to Galway University Foundation to support research at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospitals facilitated by Professor Michael O’Dwyer. The fundraising took place initially following the personal experiences of local families who had loved ones diagnosed with leukaemia. It soon gathered momentum through a table quiz in Brennans of Cloonacool, and culminated in an outdoor event ‘The Westport Sea2summit Challenge’. ‘The Westport Sea2summit Challenge’ saw 23 people undertake a gruelling 4km run, 8 km cycle, 3km ascent and descent of Croagh Patrick, 8 km cycle and finally a 4 km run to Westport. To add to the monies collected, The South Sligo Gun Club contributed €1200. Professor Michael O’Dwyer and his research team are extremely grateful for the donation: “We are trying to improve the outcomes for those diagnosed with leukaemia and myeloma. Every euro raised is really appreciated and will help us in our research efforts. I applaud the community of Cloonacool for their extreme and inventive fundraising efforts. For us and the patients, knowing we have that kind of moral support is something you can’t put a price on.” To support leukaemia and myeloma research at NUI Galway please visit     -Ends-

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NUI Galway Pain Researchers Win Prize for Best Research Paper

NUI Galway Pain Researchers Win Prize for Best Research Paper-image

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Dr David Finn of NUI Galway has been awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Doctor Award for best paper published in an indexed journal in 2012 in the Pain/Anaesthesia category. Dr Finn, lecturer in Pharmacology, Co-Director of the Centre for Pain Research, and Leader of the Galway Neuroscience Centre, received the award at a ceremony held the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin. The first author of the winning paper was Dr Weredeselam Olango who did the work during his PhD under the supervision of Dr Finn and Dr Michelle Roche in Physiology, NUI Galway. The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland’s Doctor Awards are presented each year to Irish or Irish-based researchers who are judged to have published the best research papers in international, peer-reviewed journals.   The winning paper confirmed the key role of a midbrain region called the periaqueductal grey in the suppression of pain behaviour by fear (so-called fear-induced analgesia). Fear-induced analgesia was associated with increases in levels of marijuana-like substances known as endocannabinoids in this part of the brain. Furthermore, fear-induced analgesia was prevented by injecting a drug that blocked the receptor at which these endocannabinoids act into the periaqueductal grey. An increased understanding of the biological mechanisms involved in fear-induced analgesia is important from a fundamental physiological perspective and may also advance the search for new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of pain.  Dr David Finn, senior author on the paper, said: “We are very pleased that our work has been recognised with this prestigious award. This research which was funded by grants from Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council, advances our fundamental understanding of the neurobiology of pain and may facilitate the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of pain and anxiety disorders.” -ends

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West Ocean String Quartet to Play Aula Maxima at NUI Galway

West Ocean String Quartet to Play Aula Maxima at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The West Ocean String Quartet: Seamus McGuire and Niamh Crowley - violin, Ken Rice – viola and Neil Martin – cello in partnership with NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will perform in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on 18 April at 8pm. The concert marks the new album An Indigo Sky. Proceeds on the night will go toward Voluntary Services Abroad (VSA). A potent collage of timbres and hues, An Indigo Sky is bold, passionate and unapologetic. Central to it is Neil Martin’s four-movement suite from which the album takes its name, commissioned in memory of Joseph Browne, a former medical student of NUI Galway from Knockmeal on the Clare/Galway border who died tragically in 2006.  Additionally, alongside traditional and newly-composed pieces sits music by Turlough O’Carolan and Thomas Moore. In a rare and much-coveted 5 star review of the album, The Irish Times talked of this “magnificently elegiac recording” being “a shimmering delight”.  The concert will also draw from the quartet’s three other albums. Formed in 1999, the West Ocean String Quartet’s vision, eclectic repertoire and style have won them global praise. Their music lies somewhere in between the worlds of classical and traditional. Disregarding rules and boundaries, they have found for themselves a unique voice, and have collaborated with many leading artists, both on stage and in the studio, including Christy Moore, Matt Molloy, Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, Mary Black, Liam O’Flynn and Brian Kennedy. The quartet's debut CD, Unwrapping Dreams (2004), was released to very considerable acclaim both in Ireland and around the globe. It won the award for Best Newcomers Album in Chicago’s American Live Ireland Awards that year and a BBC television documentary on the quartet followed. Universal praise continued with their second cd, The Guiding Moon (2006) featuring The Chieftains' flute player Matt Molloy.  Their third cd, Ae Fond Kiss (2009), with special guest Maighréad Ní Dhomhnaill, similarly garnered applause worldwide. The quartet has performed widely, including sell-out performances in Dublin's National Concert Hall, Belfast's Waterfront Hall and Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.  Their music has taken them to USA and France and their appeal is truly universal - all three of the quartet’s cds were played aboard the International Space Station in 2011.  Tickets are priced at €20 euro, students €15 euro and can be obtained from the Galway Arts Centre on Dominic Street; School of Medicine at NUI Galway; Socs Box in NUI Galway or at the door on the night. ENDS

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NUI Galway Students Host Art in Science Exhibition

NUI Galway Students Host Art in Science Exhibition-image

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

A group of second year Biomedical Science students from NUI Galway recently hosted a two-day art exhibition at the Galway museum.  The ‘Art in Science’ exhibition featured striking images acquired from research labs in Anatomy, Biochemistry and Pharmacology disciplines in the University. The project was undertaken as part of a Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) module.   The images were mostly derived from subcellular structures of components too small to see with the naked eye and required sophisticated imaging systems. Students designed and produced brochures to accompany each image which gave details of how the image was generated and its significance in the progress of scientific research. The images were regarded as particularly interesting as standalone art pieces in addition to their scientific significance and therefore were able to bridge the gap between science and art.    Dr Lynn O’Connor, Lecturer in Biomedical Science at NUI Galway, said: “We are very proud of the efforts of the students to share the ongoing research efforts taking place in Biomedical Science in NUI Galway with the general public.  They successfully managed to convey not only the enormous research strides that are taking place in NUI Galway but also to convey an appreciation of the artistic merits of the images produced as part of that research effort. They have bridged the gap between science and the arts. Over the course of the two day exhibition children from local schools, tourists and local people viewed the images and spoke with the students about their work which was received with great interest.”    NUI Galway scientists who contributed to the exhibition included: Drs Maura Grealy and  Eilis Dowd from Pharmacology; Dr Lynn O’Connor, Biomedical Science; Professor Peter Dockery, Alex Black and Drs Dara Cannon and Fabio Quondamatteo from Anatomy; and Professors Noel Lowndes, Brian McStay and Ciaran Morrison, and Dr Andrew Flaus from Biochemistry. -ENDS-

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