Tuesday, 23 November 2010

NUI Galway in conjunction with Rape Crisis Network Ireland, (RCNI) will hold a round-table discussion event entitled More than a Hangover: Youth, Alcohol and Rape in Ireland, Wednesday, 1 December from 2pm to 4pm in the Cairnes Building in the University. This event is part of the international '16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women Campaign'. This event will examine the nexus of drinking, sexual violence and young people in Ireland and the issues surrounding them. Speakers include Dr Padraig MacNeela of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway and expert in female student alcohol use; and Dr Stacey Scriver, of the Global Women s Studies Programme at NUI Galway and co-author of Rape and Justice in Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). Caroline Counihan, Legal Policy Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, will also speak at the event. The Rape Crisis Network Ireland is a national representative body for Rape Crisis Centres in Ireland who provide free advice, counselling and support for survivors of sexual abuse in Ireland. The RCNI role also includes the development and coordination of national projects, supporting Rape Crisis Centres to reach quality assurance standards, using our expertise to influence national policy and social change. It is a national information and resource centre on sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment, with a proven capacity in strategic leadership including contributions and advice on the necessary infra-structure for a national response to all aspects of sexual violence. Dr Stacey Scriver of Global Women's Studies at NUI Galway says: " Our research has shown that the Real Rape stereotype of a stranger attacking a woman in a public area late at night is a rarity. The reality in Ireland is that very high levels of alcohol consumption are implicated in the majority of rapes and that young women, most of whom have also been drinking, are the target. These aren t stranger rapes but rapes committed by acquaintances, partners and ex-partners. Exploring the issue of alcohol, youth and sexual violence is therefore an incredibly important step in understanding, and hopefully reducing, rape in Ireland." The 16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women Campaign is an international campaign with participants in over 164 countries and involving more than 3,400 organisations. The campaign links 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically connect violence against women and human rights and to emphasise that such violence is a human rights violation. There are various events happening on campus, to support the campaign. -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A research team at NUI Galway is embarking on a research project with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Johnson & Johnson and The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) are jointly investing in a Bioanalytical Research Project at the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) in NUI Galway. The investment is part of the Government initiative to attract strategically important research and development to Ireland. The NBL is an interdisciplinary research group located in NUI Galway's School of Chemistry and its primary focus involves the development of new photonics and chemometrics based analytical methods for industry and academia. Principle investigator for the research programme, Dr Alan Ryder, in conjunction with a team of two postdoctoral researchers in the NBL, will develop novel mathematical and spectroscopic techniques for the analysis of various very complex biogenic materials. The area of research is called chemometrics and is a major component in the drive to automate and improve the monitoring of bioprocesses such as the production of biopharmaceuticals. It is envisioned the outcome of this research will support greater understanding and control of biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and aid the industry to satisfy Quality by Design and design space expectations of regulatory agencies. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies makes a big difference in the health and well-being of people every day. Johnson & Johnson have more than 250 operating companies in 57 countries employing approximately 114,000 people. Speaking about his vision for the NBL, Director of the NBL, Dr Alan G. Ryder said: "The NBL exists to meld the photonics technologies being developed by the physics community with the extensive needs for more accurate, information rich, and sensitive analytical chemistry required for today's Industrial and Healthcare applications. Our goal is to undertake both basic and applied research at the chemistry-physics-biology interphase and to translate the outputs into new industrial technologies. The NBL will achieve this by working very closely with our industrial partners in the Biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector, with selected academic partners, and with NIBRT." Welcoming the announcement, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, Professor Terry Smith said, "This is an exciting and a very important development for NUI Galway that leverages the expertise of the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory to understand and control manufacturing processes within the Biopharmaceutical industry. It is a validation of translational, industry focused R&D and industry partnership at NUI Galway." For further information contact: Dr Alan Ryder, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway at 091 492943 or alan.ryder@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

NUI Galway will hold an information evening for mature students considering undertaking a full-time undergraduate degree programme. The event will be held in NUI Galway on Tuesday, 02 December, at 8pm, in the Colm Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. Information will be provided on the programmes available to mature students, on entry requirements and on the application and selection procedures. There will also be a focus on financial and other supports. Each year at NUI Galway, a quota of places on most programmes is reserved for mature students, who are deemed to be those aged 23 and over. Applications for degree courses are made in the normal way for University entrants through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February. Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, says: "With so much unemployment around the country many people are looking to develop new employment opportunities by studying for a degree. However, anticipating a harsh upcoming budget, it is imperative that prospective students seriously consider their financial situation before embarking on a full-time course of study." A key element of the information evening will be financial support for students. "Tuition fees are currently free for first-time undergraduates. There are also higher education grants to avail of if an individual is eligible and meets certain criteria. Social Welfare recipients may be entitled to Back to Education Allowance, again if they meet certain criteria. I recommend people speak with the authorities involved in these supports to ascertain their eligibility. It is also vital to note that changes may take place in the grants and social welfare systems after the announcement of the 2011 budget." adds Ms Hoare. During the information evening, information will also be given on the University's pre-University Foundation Courses, open to all, in Science and Engineering and in Commerce. -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

NUI Galway will be presented with a rare collection of director, writer and actor John Huston's papers and recordings at a special ceremony in the University this evening. The Huston Archive will be launched in the presence of John's son, Tony (who was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay of The Dead) and daughter, Allegra. The Archive contains extensive material relating to a number of his films and centres on the making of The Dead, as well as draft scripts, recordings, publicity materials, interviews and legal documentation. The Huston Archive offers a unique view of the prolific intersection of Irish literature and American cinema. The multiple draft scripts included offer insights not just about the film, but also about the director's wide-ranging oeuvre, as nearly all of his 37 features are, similarly, literary adaptations. The material will contribute to the rich vein of debate already developed by scholars including NUI Galway Professor Kevin Barry in his book, The Dead, published in the 'Ireland into Film series' and a new book from the Centenary Conference held at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media in 2006, edited by Tony Tracy from the Huston School and Roddy Flynn, entitled John Huston: Essays on a Restless Director. The Archive includes an early version of a script written by Jean-Paul Sartre for the film Freud: the Secret Passion; Sartre visited Huston in St Clerans, his home near Craughwell, in 1958. It is rich in ancillary documentation which supplements that held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles; and it includes Huston's personal copies of various books that he adapted and their screenplays. There are also recordings of music used in his films, publicity materials, photos and magazines, press cuttings and legal documentation. Other rare material includes a Scottish television interview with Huston conducted by film scholar, Charles Barr, at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1975. The Archive has been enriched by significant items donated by Teresa Grimes, Paul Balbirnie and Joe Dillon. Academy Award winner and daughter of John Huston, Anjelica Huston says she is delighted that the Archive will be based at NUI Galway, "I regret that due to my current filming schedule I will miss the launch of the Huston Archive at NUI Galway. It gives me great satisfaction to see that these extensive archives, including remarkable materials relating to THE DEAD, have found a permanent place in their rightful home in Galway and will be made widely available to scholars, including those who enter the Huston School s doors for future generations to come." The Huston Archive will be held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, home to a range of theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern and Tom Kilroy; and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'. A new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building, adjoining the Library, is currently under construction. This will include excellent facilities for access to, digitisation and storage of, archives and special collections. Scholars will enjoy state-of-the-art reading and seminar rooms, as well as collaborative spaces and exhibition areas, all supported by expert staff. According to Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, "Bringing this material into the public domain through its availability online and in the library at NUI Galway, is an exciting development for those interested in John Huston's work. It is at the intersection of American cinema and Irish culture." The establishment of the Archive has been made possible by the University Foundation and Tony Huston, who will present NUI Galway with the Huston Archive at a special ceremony at the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway, this evening at 5.30pm. -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

NUI Galway Research Scholar, Lisa Vincenz, has been awarded a Research Scholarship and Fellowship Programme by the Irish Cancer Society. Lisa is starting her PhD studies in biochemistry in the University's Apoptosis Research Centre and the School of Natural Sciences. Her studies will be focused on how some cancer cells can be protected from chemotherapy drugs. The aim of her PhD research is to find strategies to interfere with these protective mechanisms in order to sensitise the cancer cells to chemotherapy. Lisa was one of eight students to receive an Irish Cancer Society Scholarship, five at Scholarship level and three at Fellowship level at a recent awards ceremony held in Dublin where Ms Mary Harney, Minister of Health and Children presented some of Ireland's most gifted young cancer researchers with inaugural Irish Cancer Society's Research Scholarship Awards and Research Fellowship Awards. The research Lisa Vincenz is carrying out may lead to the development of novel, more effective cancer treatments. She is studying the ways in which cancer cells can escape cell death and become resistant to chemotherapy. Her project looks at the way a protein in the body called Hsp70 can protect cancer cells from cell death and at the development of drugs that can block this action of Hsp70. This research is based on a recent discovery made by researchers at NUI Galway and could lead to the development of more effective treatments for cancer and is particularly relevant for patients with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma but also apply to solid tumours. Professor Afshin Samali, Project Supervisor and Director of Apoptosis Research Centre said that "by understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function and interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumour cell death". Professor Samali states, "Lisa is a highly gifted individual and she has a major contribution to make in our efforts to understand what goes on in cancer cells and help with the development of approaches to eliminate cancer cells." Lisa Vincenz said "being awarded a prestigious Scholarship from the Irish Cancer Society will enable me to carry out cutting-edge cancer research and make a contribution to the betterment of society." The Irish Cancer Society, as part of its commitment to cancer research and to cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers, awarded €1.2 million to researchers through their research scholarship and fellowship programmes. The awards were presented by Minister for Health Mary Harney TD at a special ceremony in Dublin. In total, 56 applications were received this year for both schemes from hospitals and academic institutions all over Ireland. All applications went through a rigorous selection process where they were reviewed by international experts in cancer research. -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

Michael D. Higgins TD will launch two books written by NUI Galway's Professor Emeritas of Classics Brian Arkins. The launch will take place in the Student Union Bar in the University on Friday 26 November at 5pm. The first book entitled Irish Appropriation of Greek Tragedy is a critical assessment of popular Greek tragedies as well as commentary on translations by contemporary Irish writers such as Seamus Heaney, Marina Carr, Aidan Carr, Tom Paulin and Brendan Kennelly. The book is published by Carysfort Press in Dubin. The second book to be launched is entitled The Thought of W.B. Yeats. This book explores the thoughts of the well known and celebrated Irish poets on important life subjects and themes. It deals with themes such as religion, sex and politics among others. This book is not a critical assessment but a collection of ideas and is published by Peter Lang. Brian Arkins, author of the two books became a lecturer in Classics at NUI Galway in 1974. He recently retired from the University and is the author of eight other books including three on the subject of Latin poetry. Brian Arkins says: "I am very pleased to launch these two books on Irish Studies in NUI Galway, and it is a great honour to have such a distinguished person as Michael D. Higgins TD, both as a public figure and as adjunct Professor of the University to launch the books." -Ends-

Monday, 22 November 2010

The NUI Galway School of Arts and Humanities, in co-operation with the Mellon Foundation and the Moore Institute, will host two public lectures on Globalisation, Empire and Culture on Monday, 29 November and Tuesday 30 November. The lectures are to be hosted in conjunction with the Text Contexts and Culture Research Programme in the University. The first Lecture entitled: "Marie Guyart of the Incarnation :A Mystic Educating the Women of the New World" will be delivered by Professor Dominique Deslandres (University of Montreal, Canada), and will take place in the Moore Institute Seminar Room, NUI Galway, at 4.30 pm on Monday 29 November. Dominique Deslandres is Professeur Titulaire of History at the University of Montreal. She has published two monographs on French Catholic mission and settlement in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Canada, and has a particular interest in the socio-religious history of the Jesuits and the Oratorians. She is now working on the cultures of memory in settler societies, and has a particular interest in issues relating to conversion, race and blood in eighteenth-century Canada and France. The second lecture to take place on Tuesday 30 November is entitled 'Renovation and Renewal in the Holy Land: The Franciscan Mission, 1550-1700 . This lecture will be presented by Professor Megan Armstrong (McMaster University, Ontario),and will take place in the Parlour Room, Franciscan Abbey, 8 Francis Street, Galway at 7.30pm Megan Armstrong is Associate Professor of History at McMaster University, and the author of The Politics of Piety: Franciscan Preachers during the Wars of Religion, 1560-1600. Her current research interests lie in transregional history, and she is preparing a study of French Franciscan missions in France, the Holy Land and New Spain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Dr Alison Forrestal of History in NUI Galway says: "We are delighted in the University to welcome these distinguished scholars to share their research with the local community. Their lectures offer remarkable insights into the private and public worlds of early European missionaries and settlers, as they grappled with the spiritual and political challenges of empire building in the Americas and near East." Texts, Contexts, and Cultures is an interdisciplinary PhD Research Programme in the Arts and Humanities at NUI Galway. It is delivered in cooperation between research hubs at three of Ireland s leading Universities: The Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, NUI Galway; The Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin; The Graduate School, the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, University College Cork. The four-year programme is designed to integrate knowledge and use of new technologies and related professional placements into the traditional PhD. It encourages candidates to develop their research interests, ideas and skills in challenging and supportive interdisciplinary contexts. Participants benefit from thorough preparation in research skills, transferable to a wide variety of settings. They also have access to placements and mentoring systems in a broad range of some of the most exciting contemporary organisations in media, the cultural and creative industries, public administration and academe. -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

As part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2010, Transition Year students from Colaiste na Coiribe visited five research centres at NUI Galway for contemporary science talks and laboratory tours as Gaelige in order to entice them into a scientific field at NUI Galway in the future. Presentations and tours were given by Cathal O'Flatharta and Mary Ni Fhlahartaigh of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Niamh Bhreathnach and Peter Connolly of the Ryan Institute, James Cooley and Gearoid Hynes of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and Daniel DeBurca of Applied Optics in the University. The day was organised by Galway Region Outreach Network personnel at the five institutes to attract students to science subjects and to promote the study of science at NUI Galway. Students from Colaiste Iognaid attended a similar event on the previous day. Danielle Nicholson, Outreach Officer at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) said, "Outreach personnel get involved in GRO plan Transition Year talks and tours to engage students in dialogue and discussion on contemporary science issues and also to allow young people to see firsthand the types of innovative, creative projects that ensue at NUI Galway." While on campus the students also attended Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, Dr. Craig Barrett's inspirational talk entitled Education for Innovation. Colaiste na Coiribe science teacher Kathy Ni Fhatharta remarked, "The day gives students an opportunity to see science at work and its application in the real world. The students return to the class with a real interest in science." Davina Clancy Transition Year student at Colaiste na Coiribe says "After hearing the talks, I think it is right that we should allow embryonic stem cell research. It may lead to improvements in the health of people in the future." -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A new book entitled Transition Economics: Two Decades On has been co-authored by NUI Galway lecturer, Dr Gerard Turley. Dr Turley, along with his co-author Dr. Peter Luke designed the book to be the core textbook for undergraduate courses in transition economics and comparative economic systems. Given the passage of time, Transition Economics: Two Decades On reviews and accounts for the outcomes in the so-called transition economies and, from an academic perspective, takes the reader through developments and issues in the twenty years of transition from plan to market. The textbook covers a wide range of both contemporary microeconomic and macroeconomic issues, in over thirty ex-socialist European and Asian countries, including Russia and China. The authors of Transition Economics: Two Decades On believe that the study of the economics of transition gives the reader an insight into theories, policies, reforms, legacies, institutions, processes and lessons that have application and relevance, beyond the specific transition from plan to market, to other parts of the world and to other times in history. Dr Gerard Turley, Lecturer with the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: "It is over 20 years since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the socialist system. The motivation for writing this book was to commemorate the anniversary of transition from socialism to capitalism and from plan to market by providing an account of developments in the sub-branch of economics called transition economics and of outcomes in Easter Europe, Russia, China and other transition countries." Peter J. Luke was a senior lecturer in economics at London South Bank University before joining the UK Civil Service. He is currently teaching economics in Beijing, China. Transition Economics: Two Decades On is available to buy from Routledge at http://www.routledge.com -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The 16 Days Campaign of Activism against Violence against Women is an international campaign with participants in over 164 countries and involving more than 3400 organisations. The campaign links 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, International Human Rights Day in order to symbolically connect violence against women and human rights and to emphasise that such violence is a human rights violation. The Global Women's Studies Programme in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway are hosting a series of events in recognition of the 16 Days Campaign. The schedule of events commences with a cultural evening celebrating women in the arts organised by the Global Women's Studies Postgraduate Students. An Evening Celebrating Women in Action will take place in the Crane Bar on Friday, 26 November from 6pm to 9pm. This event is part of the Women in Action – Active Genders postgraduate feminist and gender studies conference taking place in NUI Galway on Saturday 27 November. This event will showcase the work of professional and up-and-coming female artists and performers. Tickets for this event cost €10 with all proceeds donated to Galway Rape Crisis Centre. On 1 December, a roundtable event will be held in conjunction with the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, from 2pm to 4pm followed by a reception. More than a hangover: youth, alcohol and rape in Ireland, will examine the nexus of drinking, sexual violence and young people in Ireland. Speakers include Dr. Padraig MacNeela of the School of Psychology at NUI Galway and expert in female student alcohol use; Caroline Counihan, Legal Policy Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland and Dr. Stacey Scriver, of the Global Women's Studies Programme and co-author of Rape and Justice in Ireland (Liffey Press, 2009). This free event will be held in CA107 of the Cairns Building at NUI Galway. Throughout the 16 Days, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Global Women's Studies and the BA CONNECT in Global Women's Studies programmes will be running White Ribbon Stands with all proceeds going to COPE to support women survivors of domestic abuse. The final event of the campaign, designed to mark International Human Rights Day, is an evening roundtable featuring the distinguished speakers: Gemma Hussey, Chair of the Ireland Romania Cultural Foundation, founding member of the Women's Political Association, and former member of the Seanad and Dail; Professor David Farrell, Professor of Politics at UCD, EU Advisor and expert in the study of parties, elections and members of Parliament and Dr. Mary Murphy, Lecturer in Politics and Society at NUI Maynooth, Director of Fingal ICTU Centre for the Unemployed, advisor to TASC and Combat Poverty Agency and member of Is Feidir Linn and Claiming our Future. 'Renewing our democracy, reviving our economy: time for more women at the helm? will consider the links between achieving gender equality in decision making and access to resources, at all levels and across all sectors of society, both as a matter of fairness/representation in a democratic society and as a key element of any strategy aimed at managing our way out of the current crises to a fair and sustainable future. Michael D. Higgins, President of the Labour Party, Professor at Large and Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, will chair the event which will begin at 7pm in MY 243, Aras Moyola Building, NUI Galway and will be followed by light refreshments. The 16 Days Campaign events hosted by the Global Women's Studies Programme are open to the public and all are welcome to attend! For further information please contact: Stacey Scriver Furlong at stacy.furlong@nuigalway.ie and administrator Gillian Browne Gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie or 091 493450. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

On Saturday, 20 November, Liam Mac an Iomaire will launch a new website of Joe Heaney's songs at NUI Galway's centre, Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim in Carna at 8pm. Joe Heaney's sudden death in May 1984 came as a shock to his supporters and followers in Seattle and to his pupils at the University of Washington, Seattle where he had worked as resident artist-teacher of sean-nós singing. Although he had only lived there for two years, his impact had been tremendous. As a way of dealing with their loss and as a way of commemorating the great singer's achievement, a call was issued to those who had worked with Joe during his years in America to contribute copies of their recordings of him to archive in his memory. The material came pouring in and over the years was catalogued and organized by Laurel Sercombe, the ethnomusicology archivist at the University of Washington and Sean Williams, among others. Both of them had been students of Joe and remained staunch in their support after his death. A request from Micheál Ó Cuaig, who was organising the annual Joe Heaney Festival at Carna, that a copy of the archive be sent to the Carna community was granted in 1992 and Micheál received a complete copy of it through the assistance of Údarás na Gaeltachta. In 2003 the Joe Heaney Festival Organising Committee, headed by Mícheál Ó Cuaig, bestowed this copy of the archive on Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Carna so that the community would have access to it. In 2009, an application by Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, of the Irish Department at NUI Galway, to the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences was successful. The research plan proposed to finish a book on Joe's life and work already partly written and the creation of a digital online archive that could be accessed free by anyone interested. Dr Virginia Stevens Blankenhorn, herself an authority on traditional singing and culture, was hired as a one year post-doctoral researcher to compile and edit an inventory of items to be uploaded to the digital online archive. Also on the research team were Séamas Ó Concheanainn, Director of Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Dr Seathrún Ó Tuairisg, Administrator of the Information Technology Unit, NUI Galway and Micheál Mac Lochlainn, metadata architect and designer, ably assisted by Marian Ní Chonghaile, all of whom cooperated to prepare and organise the online archive. Up to 400 items, some with visual content, may be accessed in the archive. The majority are from the archives of the University of Washington, Seattle. Due to the generosity of the Delargy Centre for Irish Folklore, and the National Folklore Collection, UCD, however, some of Heaney's earliest recordings, dating from the 1940s are also included. Additionally, a rare performance of Joe's interpretation of the caoineadh, recorded by the late Liam Clancy, and presented by Máire Nic Fhinn is also a part of the material. A search engine will enable any user to conduct detailed searches songs, story and other spoken word items. Full texts of all songs are provided, enhanced by spectacular photographs of the Carna area taken by Dr. Blankenhorn. 2009 was the 25th anniversary of Joe Heaney's untimely death and this website provides a fitting monument for his life's achievement. It will now be available world wide to anyone who wants to access it, whether simply from interest or for scholarly purposes. It will also serve as an important teaching resource for classes in Irish culture both in Ireland and the U.S. The website is available at www.joeheaney.org. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Former Intel Boss Tells NUI Galway Audience 3% Investment of Ireland's GDP into Research No Longer Reasonable Target The former chief executive of Intel has called for increased investment from the government into research and development projects. Speaking at the 'Education for Innovation' seminar in NUI Galway, Dr Craig Barrett said a sustained plan of funding needed to be implemented if Ireland wishes to keep up with the world's larger and more business savvy nations. "We cannot jerk around with the R&D policies of our Government and expect to get good results," said Dr Barrett. "It needs to be a sustained commitment. Why can't we have a Silicon Valley in our own country? What is it about society that makes that work? Universities are the key and they are wonderful spots to create wonderful ideas. Smart people and smart ideas combined in the right environment can create wealth. "There has got to be a synergy between the public and private sectors. We have got to see our private sectors involved with the universities. They have the great ideas. We need to see them acting as mentors and partners in research. It is vital," he said. The former Intel boss is in Ireland this week in his role as Chairman of the Irish Technology Leadership Group, and was keynote speaker at an event at NUI Galway. His address was followed by a discussion panel with John Ryan, Macrovision; Professor Patrick Cunningham, Ireland's Chief Scientific Advisor; Tom McDermott, Georgia Tech Research Institute; Dr Martina Newell-McGloughlin, ITLG and University of California; and Professor Terry Smith, Vice President of Research at NUI Galway. Prior to his keynote address, Dr Barrett met with representatives of NUI Galway's leading research institutes The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) two major research groups: REMEDI and MDRG as well as University of Limerick's Research Centres, LERO and the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI) plus Georgia Tech Ireland. The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) is the world leader in Semantic Web (Web 3.0) research. At today's event DERI showcased a portfolio of over 25 of the latest cutting edge technologies emerging from the institute. REMEDI is a leading biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. REMEDI were joined by industry partner Ovagen who are working with the institute to develop technologies for the production of novel biotherapeutics. The Molecular Diagnostics Research Group (MDRG) at NUI Galway has 20 years experience and an international track record of achievement in the development and application of molecular diagnostics tests for microbial species identification. The MDRG were joined by research partners at Beckman Coulter Ireland with whom they are developing molecular diagnostics for clinically relevant bacterial and fungal pathogens. Each year the ITLG leads a delegation of Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalists to Ireland to support high potential emerging technology companies from the island of Ireland. This year's events are held in partnership with NUI Galway, University of Limerick and Shannon Development. As part of his key note address, Dr Barrett also claimed that a three percent investment of Ireland's GDP into research and development "is no longer a reasonable target and that we "have now to compete with the rest of the world to get paid". "Look at Microsoft," he said. "They have a research budget of approximately $8 billion per year. That is huge, and is more than all of Ireland spends in R&D. Israel now invests five percent of its GDP into research and development. And Israel has 140 new companies listed on the NASDAQ. Europe only has between 30 and 40. That is the future for Ireland and if we fail to pursue it with vigour, passion and resources, there will be no future for us because our lunch will be eaten by somebody else. We must outsmart them and outthink them," said Dr Barrett. -Ends-

Monday, 15 November 2010

Researchers at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway are involved in a new multi million euro European Union funded project which aims to develop new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The project entitled: 'Gene Activated Matrices for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration in Arthritis' (GAMBA) is coordinated by the University Hospital rechts der Isar, Munich Technical University, Germany with a total budget of €3.2 million. REMEDI with 12 per cent of the funding, joins a team of international specialists from nine research groups from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland to investigate new methods for inducing regenerative processes within the body. The project aims to develop novel methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis by stimulating the self healing capacity of damaged cartilage and bone. Stem cells with the capacity to make bone or cartilage will be placed on different materials within the knee. Whether the cells become bone or cartilage can be controlled externally with drugs or heat application for example. This will be achieved through the use of gene therapy and will provide control both in space and time of what happens in the damaged knee joint offering improved treatment options for the future. Another aspect of this research will focus on developing strategies to engineer cells found in the joint to produce an anti-inflammatory agent in direct response to any inflammation that might occur as osteoarthritis develops or progresses. An essential part of the project will be to initiate a public debate on ethical, legal and societal issues connected to the research. Novel ways of outreach methods called patient and citizen panels will be used. Galway will host one of these efforts to enhance awareness of nanomedicine in the general public and appreciation of public expectations and reservations in the research community. Arthritis is a serious national health problem in Ireland affecting nearly three quarters of a million men and women with more than one in six people affected. A significant majority of people suffering from arthritis have osteoarthritis. This is the 'wear and tear' form of arthritis and results in joint and cartilage damage and increased risk of orthopaedic dependencies. The majority of Irish people over 55 years of age have x-ray evidence of osteoarthritis at some joint in their body. The cause of osteoarthritis is still unknown and current treatments mainly address the symptoms by reduction of pain and inflammation. These therapies are not restorative and often end in total joint replacement. "GAMBA brings nanomedicine to Osteoarthritis research and, uniquely, will involve both patients and the general public in an effort to promote understanding and acceptance of its potential. We are delighted at REMEDI to be part of such an innovative and important project," says Dr Mary Murphy, the GAMBA leader at REMEDI. -Ends-

Monday, 15 November 2010

NUI Galway Academic Dr Dagmar Stengel recently received a 2010 National Academy for Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching. This is the third year in a row that an NUI Galway academic took an award, something that no other Higher Education institution has achieved. Five awards were presented nationally this year by Hon. Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness who noted the outstanding contribution of the award recipients to both teaching and research in Higher Education. Dr Dagmar Stengel, Lecturer in Botany and Plant Science in the School of Natural Sciences NUI Galway and a researcher in the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy at the University received specific praise for her approachable and empathetic manner with students, which encourages them to strive for her high standards of excellence. Her inclusion of new research in lectures and her ability to relate marine botany and plant science to the local area was also noted particularly as this enables the students to investigate the topics for themselves and greatly enhances their own learning and their interest in the subject. Dr Stengel says "I am absolutely delighted to receive the award and am overwhelmed by the support from staff and students at NUI Galway that I have received. It is great that teaching is recognised within Higher Education besides research. It is essential to integrate research into undergraduate teaching at an early stage. It takes personal and institutional investment, but is essential if a research community is to be built up, i.e. to train future researchers but also develop students' problem solving skills." The winners of the Awards were nominated by their institutions and selected by a committee which included international representatives as well as representatives of the Irish University Association, the Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland. The award winners come from diverse disciplinary backgrounds but display a shared commitment to and passion for teaching while also being innovative researchers. These Awards testify to the fact that excellence in teaching and in creative and scholarly work go hand in hand. Dr Gerry Morgan, former Dean of Science and former Acting Head of Botany at NUI Galway says: "Dr Dagmar Stengel represents all that is best in a student-centred, research-intensive University. She has a natural ability to integrate her excellence in research with her teaching. She enthuses students to achieve while interacting empathetically with them. It is always a pleasure to discuss science and science teaching with Dagmar." In the three years since the introduction of the National Academy Annual Awards for Excellence in Teaching, awarded to staff from any of Ireland's 37 recognised institutions of Higher Education, NUI Galway has won a disproportionate number of honours. Previous winners of the award are Dr Aisling McCluskey (Mathematics), Dr Ray Murphy (Human Rights) and Dr Peter Cantillon (General Practice). -Ends-

Monday, 15 November 2010

The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway hosted a number of very successful events as part of the 5th Maths Week Ireland. Several workshops were held during Maths Week with the key aim of promoting awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths amongst the general public as well as school audiences. During Maths Week, Dr Fernando Blasco, author of several books, television personality and one of Spain s best known mathematicians gave a workshop on Maths and Magic . This workshop entertained, explored and explained the mathematics behind many well known and not so well known magic tricks. Blasco again performed his "magic" to a primary and a secondary school audience on the following day. It was a huge success with well over 400 students attending from several primary and secondary schools. Dr David O Keeffe, chief organiser of Maths Week in Galway says: "The key idea of maths week is to promote awareness and to illustrate the usefulness of maths. It is especially important to highlight the crucial role maths plays within society at large." Workshops that explored how blind people read and do maths took place. The primary schools that took part in Maths week were Bushy Park National School, Scoil an Croi Ro Naofa, Belclare National School, Tuam, and Scoil Íde, Salthill while the secondary schools were represented by Colaiste Mhuire Tourmakeady, Co Mayo, Oranmore Secondary school, St Joseph s College (The Bish), Colaiste Iognaid (The Jes), and the Mercy Convent Tuam, and Dominican College Taylor's Hill. Dr O Keeffe continues: "Maths week could not have reached the audiences it did reach if it was not for the support, interest and endeavour shown by the participating schools. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and praise each of them for their invaluable support and interest. I would also like to thank the public and students for generating such a fun and memorable atmosphere during the week." ENDS

Friday, 12 November 2010

NUI Galway graduate, Carol Leonard from Cloghan, Co. Offaly, was announced the co-winner of RTÉ's reality show Do the Right Thing. Carol, who graduated from NUI Galway with a Bachelor of Arts in 2006, was awarded a unique fully paid one-year package volunteering in Ghana, India and Thailand. From over a thousand applicants, fifty were shortlisted for an assessment weekend in Barretstown Camp in County Kildare, where, following a series of tests and monitoring, sixteen (eight men, eight women) were chosen as the final contestants. The finalists had to prove they have what it takes to make the grade in the tough, challenging world of international volunteering. Over the course of the show the contestants were trained and tested in all areas of volunteering including: initiative, leadership, emotional strength and supportiveness. Following each episode the contestants had the opportunity to choose a man and woman to leave the group until Carol, along with fellow contestant, Johnny Finegan Jr., were left as 'Ireland's Ultimate Volunteers'. Last year over 3,000 Irish people went overseas as short-term volunteers where they built houses and schools, taught children, planted rain forests and administered healthcare. It can be quite difficult to be selected as a volunteer. Large aid organisations like Goal, Concern and VSO seek highly skilled graduates, the building charities like Haven, Niall Mellon and Habitat for Humanity requires you to raise money to pay your way, and even the independent volunteering agencies like USIT have a very tough application procedure to prevent the wrong people being sent into difficult and delicate environments. As a student at NUI Galway, Carol volunteered through the university's volunteer programme, ALIVE, with Youth Work Ireland's Le Chéile and Rahoon Youth Project. NUI Galway's strategic plan through ALIVE seeks to engender students with a sense of active citizenship. Congratulating Carol on her success, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said "Carol is an inspiration to current student volunteers to strive for the opportunities volunteering has to offer. We are so proud of Carol and her achievement as she demonstrates a true civic graduate who is engaged with their community creating positive social change." -Ends-

Thursday, 11 November 2010

NUI Galway undergraduate student in Financial Mathematics and Economics, Gerard Moran was recently awarded a 2010 Hamilton Award in Mathematics by the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). Awards were presented to students of Mathematics in nine of the Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. This year the focus of the awards was on financial mathematics. Gerard Moran from Castlebar in Co Mayo is currently in his final year of study for the BSc in Financial Mathematics and Economics. This is a four-year programme that covers a broad selection of courses in mathematics, economics, statistics, finance and computer science. Graduates go on to a wide range of careers including banking and finance, mathematical research, and professional careers as actuaries, economists, statisticians, accountants and management consultants. Financial mathematics is quite a specialised area, but the Financial Mathematics and Economics degree programme is quite multidisciplinary as it has contributions from four separate disciplines at NUI Galway. Gerard was assessed along with all students in their penultimate year of study in all the mathematical degrees taught in NUI Galway. He was judged to be the most outstanding candidate, based on his examination results in his mathematics courses. The recipients of the Hamilton Award in Mathematics receive a scroll and €1000 cheque, generously sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland's regional economic development agency. The announcement of the awards formed part of Hamilton Day activities at the RIA which celebrate Hamilton's life and contribution to mathematics. Cian Twomey, Lecturer in Financial Economics and Programme Director, BSc Financial Mathematics and Economics at NUI Galway says: "On behalf of everyone involved in the BSc. in Financial Mathematics and Economics, we would like to congratulate Gerard Moran on his outstanding achievement. This degree programme has now been running for over a decade and continues to attract students of the highest calibre. In awarding the Hamilton Prize to Gerard, the RIA has recognised the commitment to academic excellence fostered on the Financial Mathematics and Economics programme. "Despite the economic downturn in Ireland, the demand for well-qualified students such as Gerard who know how to use quantitative techniques to make informed financial and investment decisions is substantial. We wish Gerard the best of luck in his future endeavours," Mr Twomey added. -Ends-

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Postgraduate student, Cian Nihill, who is due to graduate from the MA in Journalism at NUI Galway this month, was recently awarded a twelve-month inaugural editorial internship with The Irish Times. Two internships were awarded nationally and there were over 600 applications received by the daily newspaper. The editorial internship which Cian is undertaking is intended to give participants an opportunity to secure training and experience in journalism, and to allow the newspaper and the irishtimes.com website to benefit from their ideas, energy and all-round contribution. The scheme is designed to introduce newcomers to journalism and is aimed primarily at recent third level graduates and postgraduates in any discipline. An individual programme will be developed for each intern throughout their year of invaluable experience, to take account of their particular skills and interests, whether these lie in news reporting, feature writing, sub-editing, digital media or some other aspect of journalism. Cian will have the opportunity to rotate around the different departments in the Irish Times throughout the year, allowing him to gain a broad range of skills and insights into the workings of the Newspaper. Cian from Moycullen Co Galway, applied for the internship after completing the MA Journalism Course at NUI Galway. He also completed his undergraduate BA in History and Sociology and Political Science and is a keen sportsman who is currently a member of the Irish Senior Men's Basketball Squad as well as playing for Moycullen in the Irish Superleague. The MA in Journalism at NUI Galway, is a twelve-month taught Masters programme, offering students a varied range of subjects in the realm of journalism including: Broadcasting, Feature Writing, News Writing and Reporting, Politics, Media Law, and Media Ethics. Students also undertake a work placement and are exposed to professionals within the media industry throughout the year through a series of guest lectures. Bernadette O Sullivan, Director of the MA Journalism says: "Many journalism graduates are still passionate about traditional print journalism, in spite of the difficulties the newspaper industry is facing due to competition with other media. It's encouraging to see newspapers like the Irish Times taking positive action to give opportunities to young people like Cian Nihill, who have a lot to offer, and on whom the future of the industry depends." -Ends-

Thursday, 11 November 2010

An NUI Galway Business Innovation Centre client company OnePageCRM.com which was developed in the Centre at the University, recently received a prestigious Irish Web Award for Best New Web Application or Service. The website won the award for their online sales/customer relationship management (CRM) application. OnePageCRM.com has also been accepted into the Enterprise Ireland Internet Growth Acceleration Programme (iGAP), an intensive management development programme aimed exclusively at high potential internet companies. OnePageCRM.com was developed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of a company's sales process, helping businesses to significantly increase sales. Winning the award for Best New Web Application or Service means that OnePageCRM.com is recognised as one of the best new applications in Ireland. The application was developed after NUI Galway graduate Michael FitzGerald, the CEO and founder of OnePageCRM, got frustrated with the products available on the customer relationship management market. The OnePageCRM.com application drives sales by focusing the user on that 'Next Action' required to move a sale closer to success. A soon to-be-released new iPhone application will help businesses stay on top of their sales tasks wherever they are furthering the usability of OnepageCRM.com. Speaking on the recent successful developments for OnePageCRM, Michael FitzGerald says, "The vital difference between our award-winning application and other sales software is that it is action-based. While it has the ability to collect sales prospects information, it is more motivational, encouraging the user in achieving efficiency to increase sales." Fiona Neary of NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office says: "NUI Galway strongly supports the value a Business Innovation Centre on campus brings to the region and working with such a high calibre company like OnePageCRM.COM clearly illustrates this value. Michael's innovativeness and creativity is an inspiration to all entrepreneurs of exactly what can be achieved with dedication, vision and action. NUI Galway would like to congratulate Michael on winning this prestigious award." The Irish Web Awards is an annual event that acknowledges people who achieve great things through using the web. This year's nominations were judged by over 150 independent judges worldwide. -Ends-

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation Craig R. Barrett will give a keynote address on 'Education for Innovation' at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 16 November as part of the Irish Technology Leadership Group's (ITLG) third annual 'Silicon Valley Comes to Ireland Event'. The NUI Galway address will be held on Tuesday at 11am in Áras Moyola, North Campus. Following the address, a panel discussion will take place, moderated by Dr James Cunningham of NUI Galway s Centre for Innovation & Structural Change. Confirmed panellists include Irish American entrepreneur, John Ryan, co-founder of Macrovision; Tom McDermott, Director of Research, Georgia Tech Research Institute; and others. A showcase of projects highlighting 'Education for Innovation' is planned – with stands from NUI Galway s leading research institutes, REMEDI and DERI; key University of Limerick research centres LERO and MSSI; as well as Georgia Tech Ireland. Each year the ITLG leads a delegation of Silicon Valley technologists and venture capitalists to Ireland to support high potential emerging technology companies from the island of Ireland. This year's events from 15 to 17 November are held in partnership with University of Limerick, Shannon Development and NUI Galway. Full details at http://www.itlg.org/. Craig R. Barrett was Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation from May 2005 to May 2009. He became Intel's fourth President in May of 1997 and Chief Executive Officer in 1998. He was elected to Intel's Board of Directors in 1992 and served as Chief Operating Officer from 1993 to 1997. A limited number of places are available, email clare.walsh@nuigalway to reserve a place. -Ends-

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Two NUI Galway students have won prizes at this year's Undergraduate Awards of Ireland and Northern Ireland Awards at the Royal Irish Academy. Rachel Carey from Headford, Co Galway and Anne Molloy from Ballynacally, Co Clare were presented with prizes in the Life Sciences and Language and Linguistics categories. Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson was guest of honour on the night. Rachel, a final-year BA International in Psychology student, was awarded the prize in the Life Sciences category for her essay entitled How should we treat time in our investigation of coordinated movement? Rachel's essay was one of over 1600 essays submitted to the awards this year. Speaking about Rachel's achievement, Dr Mark Elliott, Lecturer with the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: "Rachel is an exceptionally capable student who has researched a difficult assignment thoroughly and with excellence. In this respect she exemplifies the very high quality of psychology graduates from NUI Galway." Anne, a Bachelor of Arts graduate from NUI Galway, was announced the winner of the Languages and Linguistics category for her essay La langue bretonne: passage de la langue vernaculaire à la langue condamnée which deals with the changing sociological status of the Breton language. On congratulating Anne on her award, Dr Máire Áine Ní Mhainnín, supervisor of Anne's essay, said: "Anne is a gifted linguist and produced an excellent and thought-provoking essay on the decline of the Breton language." Founded in 2008, the Undergraduate Awards of Ireland and Northern Ireland aim to recognise and reward the island of Ireland's most innovative young knowledge creators, to catalyse the development of the brightest undergraduates, and to inspire all undergraduates to achieve. The awards are open to all final and penultimate year students enrolled in a degree course in any third level institution on the island of Ireland. -Ends-

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

NUI Galway Gaelic Games will celebrate the 50th anniversary reunion of the 1960 NUI Galway Sigerson Cup Champions at a special event in the University on 19 November. This group of men, who captured the coveted crown, possessed a large number of players who later went on to become household names in the GAA world of the 1960s. This reunion aims to honour those men who in their tenure within the college brought honour and distinction to the college jersey. In the 1960 final UCG, as it was known at that time, defeated the stern challenge of UCD as Galway native George Glynn, who later captured All Ireland honours with his adopted Down in 1968, lifted the famed Sigerson Cup. This UCG side was littered with some famous names none more so than Pat Donnellan, who won three in a row All Ireland s with Galway alongside another three in a row team mate Martin Newell. Martin later became one of the leading Professors of Mathematics in Ireland and lectured for many years in NUI Galway. Hugh McGonigle (Sligo), Mike Laide (Kerry and Galway), John S Kelly (Roscommon), Des Feely (Roscommon), Joe Langan (Mayo), Sean Donnelly (Longford), and Tony Kenny (Roscommon) were others who starred with UCG and later at inter-county level. The Chairman of the Club who did much to develop Gaelic games in the college and was involved in preparing this team was Professor Owen McKenna who was father to the late actress Siobhan McKenna. Gaelic Games Officer at NUI Galway Michael O Connor says "It is an honour for the football club of the college and the GAA organisation with the university to honour these legends of the game who in their tenure within the college brought honour and distinction to the college jersey and continued to do so in sport and their professional lives over the last 50 years. We welcome them back to their Alma Mater and we hope the happy memories garnered around the college quad and the fields of Galway and beyond preparing for Sigerson 1960 will be rekindled. "These men along with many other successful football and hurling sides in this period helped lay the template for future successes that the college enjoyed in the 60s and 70s and NUI Galway GAA would like to welcome them back for this deserved reunion." The reunion will be held in the boardroom in the Quadrangle, NUI Galway on 19 November followed by lunch in the college bar. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

NUI Galway, in conjunction with partner college St. Angela's College, Sligo, will hold an Information Evening from 7-9pm on Thursday, 11 November, in the Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Road, Sligo. This event is for students who are considering applying to NUI Galway and St. Angela's College, Sligo, and for their parents or guardians. The Information Evening will commence with a series of short talks about NUI Galway and St. Angela's College and the courses on offer. Current students and representatives from the five colleges of the University will be on hand at information stands to answer any questions visitors may have. "This is an excellent opportunity to talk to representatives from all of NUI Galway's Colleges and St. Angela's College, Sligo about the subjects of interest. It is also a chance to find out about practical issues like accommodation, fees, scholarships, and new programmes on offer at both institutes", said Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. Ms Loughnane added: "Choosing a University is one of the most important decisions in a young person's life, and we offer a University with a strong reputation for top quality teaching and a proven track record in producing graduates with the right mix of skills and knowledge to succeed in an increasingly uncertain job market." NUI Galway continues to increase its number of undergraduate applications with an increase in the order of 18% in CAO first preference applications over the last two years. NUI Galway's increased popularity is in part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree, eight BA CONNECT programmes and a Math and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. To find out more about the Information Evening in Sligo, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne at: grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie or 087- 2440858. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

In a major boost for Regenerative Medicine research in Ireland, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Mr Batt O'Keeffe T.D. today announced funding of almost €10 million for the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), REMEDI is Ireland's leading biomedical research institute focusing on translating stem cell biology to regenerative therapeutics. Today's announcement will allow REMEDI to take research findings from the first phase of its operation and move towards clinical trials for new therapies and treatments for degenerative diseases. Minister O Keeffe said the €9.69 million Government investment would help scientists to develop practical medical applications for their research. "For six years, leading scientists, engineers, clinicians and industry partners in REMEDI have worked towards new therapies to help organ and tissue repair and regeneration. The emphasis in recent years has been on commercialising ground-breaking work undertaken in the REMEDI laboratories. The support of the Government through an award of over €9 million from Science Foundation Ireland will help REMEDI to move their research to the next stage of clinical trials which could produce new therapies for human health, said Minister O Keeffe, who reiterated the Government s commitment to investment in research and innovation. Regenerative Medicine is an evolving and exciting area of medical science, which aims to regenerate tissue thus avoiding the need for organ replacement and the associated problems with sourcing of donor organs. Developments in the field hold enormous potential for the treatment of currently untreatable degenerative diseases. In a partnership involving scientists, engineers, clinicians, and industry partners, researchers at REMEDI aim to develop novel therapies to achieve organ and tissue repair and regeneration. The Regenerative Medicine Institute is particularly focused on developing new therapies and treatments for diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis. Today's funding announcement comes on the back of additional support for regenerative medicine research at NUI Galway with a recent Higher Education Authority award of PRTLI funding to the value of €37 million for a Biosciences Research building and a Translational Research Facility. These two new buildings for medical science research will enable NUI Galway to build on its existing strength in the biomedical sciences area, established through its National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). The Biosciences Research Building, which is currently under construction and due for completion in 2011, is located on the main campus, while the Translational Research Facility will house basic, translational and clinical research teams on the site of University Hospital Galway and will open in 2012. The development of the Translational Research Facility at the hospital will promote the international standing of both the University and University Hospital Galway as a leading centre for translational research and cancer care. In a third development in the biomedical sciences area, a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway will open in 2012. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway, with funding from the Health Research Board and Health Service Executive. This third facility will serve as the translational arm of REMEDI and will allow findings from basic research in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials and immunology to be brought to the clinical trial stage. NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne added: "We in NUI Galway are very proud of the work of REMEDI. In the six years since its establishment, the Institute has developed a critical mass of scientific research and industry partnerships with multi-national and indigenous companies. As it moves into the next exciting phase of development, REMEDI will bring new therapies and treatments for degenerative diseases to clinical trial here in Galway. This is ground breaking work and will support Ireland's position at the forefront of the medical technology sector globally." As REMEDI's focus shifts towards translating research into human therapies, its partnerships with industry will take on a new significance. Advances in regenerative medicine will have important advantages for the progression of research and development in the medical device industry, which is critical to the economy of the West of Ireland. The Institute's already successful collaborative relationship with Medtronic, a global leader in medical device technologies, will continue to grow; while new partnerships have been established with indigenous SME companies including Creganna-Tactyx Medical, Procure, Ovagen, Proxy Biomedical, Ziel Biopharma and EnBIO. Speaking about his vision for the Regenerative Medicine Institute, Director of REMEDI, Professor Tim O'Brien said: "REMEDI's vision is to develop a new and realisable paradigm for medicine in the future utilising minimally invasive therapeutic approaches to promote organ and tissue repair and regeneration. Our goal is to undertake basic research in stem cell biology and to translate the outputs into new regenerative therapies. To achieve this, REMEDI will work with partners in hospitals which are members of the Irish Clinical Research Infrastructure Network, in Irish and overseas universities, and in industry, to translate and commercialise research outputs by developing regenerative medicine therapies for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and osteoarthritis." In addition to today's funding from Science Foundation Ireland, REMEDI has also had recent success in securing EU research funding for two projects to develop new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis using stem cell biology. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

CANCELLED Professor Hilary Brown of Canterbury Christ Church University will deliver the second lecture in the NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy s Annual Public Lecture Series. The topic of the evening s discussion will be 'Violence and Abuse Against People with Disabilities' and Professor Brown s lecture will be followed by an open question and answer session. The event will take place on Thursday, 11 November, at 6pm in Room MY129, Áras Moyola. Professor Hilary Brown has a background in learning disability services with a particular focus on issues of abuse and disability rights. During the late 80 s and early 90 s, she was employed by South East Thames Regional Health Authority as part of the team responsible for supporting the transition from institutions to community based models of care. During this time she also developed training on sexuality for people working in learning disability services and became alert to issues of sexual abuse and abusing which later became the focus of her research. She has produced several important pieces of research in this area in recent years, including a literature review on abuse of disabled people for the National Disability Authority of Ireland in 2006. The Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, Professor Gerard Quinn, said, "In the wake of a number reports in recent years, such as the Ryan Report, which highlighted the extent of abuse of people with disabilities, it is important to think constructively about ways forward which can prevent similar abuse from reoccurring. This public lecture will highlight how law and policy can address these issues in an effective manner." This lecture will be an opportunity to reflect on current issues facing people with disabilities, families and carers, service providers and policy-makers in Ireland and abroad and should be of interest to all those who wish to promote the rights of people with disabilities and other marginalised communities in Ireland. The 2010-2011 Centre for Disability Law and Policy s Annual Public Lecture Series is a sequence of four lectures taking place throughout the academic year which focus on topics of interest to people with disabilities, families and carers. The lecture is open to all members of the public. Refreshments will be served following the lecture. To attend please contact Eileen Glynn in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at eileen.glynn@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 8 November 2010

NUI Galway will host the 2010 Applied Maths Teachers' Association (IAMTA) Conference and Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 13 November. The conference is particularly timely considering the significant changes underway in school mathematics due to the introduction of the new project Maths curriculum. The conference will consist of a series of panel discussions and keynote addresses, giving teachers of applied maths the opportunity to explore current issues and future directions of the subject in schools. Bill Lynch, the Director of the National Council of Curriculum and Assessment, who has overseen the introduction of Project Maths will be on a panel, together with P J Rudden, a highly distinguished engineer with a very real stake and insight into how maths is used by people who want to improve Irish society. Other panellists include Dean of Science, Professor Tom Sherry, an applied mathematician in NUI Galway, Piaras ó hEachteirn, the head of Civil Engineering in NUI Galway and Peter Doyle from Actuaries Ireland. "Applied mathematics, the school subject, is not so well understood by the general public. Although only 1500 students take the exam in applied maths, there is no subject on the current Irish curriculum which better equips students to think like mathematical problem solvers. Students who have taken applied maths have a head start adapting to third level", says Dr Kevin Jennings, mathematician and Co-Director of BA in Mathematics and Education at NUI Galway. The new maths curriculum will bring challenges to applied maths teachers, who will have to adapt their teaching to the students' new skillsets. However, the maths reform will hopefully encourage more and more students to take this fascinating subject. Many students study the subject outside of regular class time; in Galway City only St Patrick's Patrician School (the Bish) offers the subject within regular class hours. Mr Brendan Doheny from the Bish was awarded the Victor Graham trophy in 2009 for excellence in teaching applied maths. The conference will give teachers the space and time to reflect on applied maths and the concerns and challenges surrounding teaching it as well as the opportunities for the development of the subject into the future. Dr Jennings adds: "This conference is very important to promote applied mathematics and to plan for its future. Teachers from all over Ireland will be on campus that weekend to work on this. For us in the University it's a wonderful opportunity to work with our colleagues in the schools and to advise them of the diverse and interesting third and fourth level options available to their applied maths students." -Ends-

Thursday, 4 November 2010

A new degree programme in Community and Family Studies at NUI Galway is the first of its kind in Ireland where adult learners are given the opportunity to study community and family work policy and practice through the medium of distance learning. The first cycle of the four-year, part-time degree programme were recently awarded their Bachelor of Arts degrees during the Adult Education Graduation ceremony held at the University. The attainment of the Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies marks a significant milestone for the NUI Galway Community Education Centre, who is a core component of Adult and Continuing Education in the University. Furthermore, the award of this degree is testament to the effort and commitment of the 45 students who recently graduated. Helen Casey and Deirdre Hardiman, Community Education Officers and programme managers of the BA in Community and Family studies highlighted the ever increasing significance of education in light of the fundamental challenges now facing both our economy and society, and more particularly the role of educational institutions in assisting communities to respond to these challenges. Helen Casey said: "Over the past 10 years or so, the NUI Galway Community Education Centre has actively supported community development and family support best practice. This BA programme was therefore designed to meet identified needs in the community, and build on Adult Education's track record of community engagement and the promotion of life-long learning. Undoubtedly, the first graduates of this noteworthy programme will be the true agents of change in Irish society and beyond." Deirdre Hardiman added that: "The Community Education Centre are currently undertaking a four year impact assessment study of the first cycle of the degree programme which will be reviewing the impact of the programme to date from the student, community and programme management perspective. The findings of this study will indicate the impact that the BA in Community and Family Studies has produced in areas such as improving educational opportunities for these adult learners and fine tuning their employment skills which has caused a positive ripple effect in many communities over the last four years." Focussing on key areas such as community development, family support, youth work, childcare, health and general political and socio-economic studies, the BA in Community and Family Studies seeks to respond to the requirements of our ever changing society, and also to the requirements of a broad spectrum of adult learners seeking recognised qualifications in formal education. Further information on this innovative, adult friendly programme is available from the Community Education Centre at 091 495241 or http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/adult-and-continuing-education-courses/community-family-studies.html. -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Coffee lovers will be delighted with the addition of global coffee house Starbucks which has recently opened its first Galway café on campus in NUI Galway. The introduction of Starbucks on campus is part of an investment of circa €3.5 million by ARAMARK Ireland's food services division, Campbell Catering and NUI Galway in the University's redesign of its 800 seat restaurant, An Bhialann. An Bhialann now boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen with the latest technologies in cooking servicing an elaborate food court with an excellent range of fresh nutritious food and a large, modern and bright seating area. For over 18 years, Campbell Catering has been a valued partner in delivering catering services at NUI Galway and on an average term day will serve approximately 2,000 cups of tea and coffee. Over the course of a year An Bhialann serves approximately 750,000 customers. Popular sandwich chain Subway is also located in An Bhialann and the addition of these high street brands have been welcomed by staff and students alike. Conference/ Catering Manager at NUI Galway, Ann Duggan said, "NUI Galway prides itself on providing a quality service to all its staff and students, the campus now boasts 14 restaurants which provide healthy eating options for a community of over 17,500 staff and students with prices starting from €3.50 for a hot main course ensuring that both body and mind are nurtured." -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Have you ever wondered what the inside of a laboratory really looks like? Maybe you pictured it as a bustling place full of explosions and multi-coloured concoctions getting mixed by people in white lab coats? Of course researchers in NUI Galway are more than happy to discuss their work with anyone willing to listen, but it is simply not feasible to have an open door policy to laboratories. So, how can researchers show the inner workings of a scientific environment to those that are curious? Modern video conferencing technology is making this a real possibility. NUI Galway's partners at Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) in Atlanta have pioneered a research-led teaching programme where high definition cameras are placed in labs to enable researchers to interact with primary and secondary students in real-time. In this way the magic of science can be beamed directly to classrooms and incorporated into science curriculums providing an insiders view of the world of research. Georgia Tech have dubbed this teaching technique 'Direct to Discovery' or D2D. The benefits to education via D2D are many. Students see how the textbook concepts they are studying get applied to real research questions by actual research scientists. In one example already developed by GTRI, students learning physics and chemistry are able to control the gas levels used to produce carbon nano-tubes in a nano-materials lab. In another example students were instructed to gather fossils which they then sent into the microscopy lab for analysis. In this way budding young researchers can be involved in the real world of science and technology they would otherwise never see. A link was recently made between Georgia Tech Ireland and Killina Presentation Secondary School, Co Offaly as part of the 100mbps Post Primary Schools Project. This will allow the Killina students to join the D2D network that already links schools in America, Canada and Australia and will soon involve schools in Chile and Kenya. Over the past few months the Biochemistry Department at NUI Galway have been working with GTRI on the feasibility of launching Direct to Discovery in Galway. Oisín Keely, a Biochemistry masters student working on multi-media teaching technology, recently went to Georgia Tech Research Institute on a ten day study visit to investigate D2D first hand. Oisín also attended the FutureMedia Fest 2010 in Atlanta, a conference focused on the latest trends in media creation, distribution and use of media content. Large corporations, including Cisco, HP, and CNN sponsor the event which enables the leading people in the field of media to come together and discuss strategies for progress. At the conference Oisín and GTRI co-presented a poster on the D2D system and how the project is progressing in Ireland. In the words of Karin Markey, a teacher in Kingsley Charter School in Georgia that is using Direct to Discovery, this scheme gives all students the "opportunity to picture themselves in a college community". The teachers involved in D2D at Kingsley School found that students who were not normally passionate about these subjects were often inspired to progress into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in the future. Oisín Keely added, "It's a great idea. It really has the potential to inspire students and honestly I wish it was available when I was in school." So now, with the magical world of science being beamed out of laboratories, don't you wish you were back in school? For further information please contact Oisín Keely at oisinkeely@gmail.com -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

NUI Galway's student radio station, Flirt FM 101.3, is launching a new programme in which well-known alumni will tell stories of their student days in Galway. The programme, Alumni Hour, promises to be a big hit with fellow alumni and Galwegians who will recognise the times, places, people and sounds of their own college days. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, will be the first guest in conversation with the show's host, Alumni Association Board Vice-Chairperson, Sandra Butler. As well as sharing stories of his school and college days in the 60s and 70s, listeners will enjoy a musical selection of Dr Browne's favourite tracks from those times. The line-up for the coming series of Alumni Hour includes some familiar names like Michael D. Higgins TD; Will Leahy, 2FM; Lt Commanders Roberta O'Brien and Orlaith Gallagher, Ireland's first female naval vessel captains; Guggi from the Róisín Dubh; Padraic Breathnach, Arts Festival and Macnas co-founder; Padraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann; Eamon Gilmore TD; Olie Jennings, Arts Festival co-founder and Saw Doctors manager; and Sean O'Rourke, RTÉ. Alumni Hour is co-produced by the NUI Galway Alumni Association and Flirt FM and will be aired on Flirt FM 101.3 on Thursdays at 2pm starting on 4 November. A streaming online audio will be available online (from 4 November, 2pm) at www.mixcloud.com/flirtfm//. The first show with Dr James J. Browne will be aired on Thursday, 4 November at 2pm. Flirt FM schedule is available at www.flirtfm.ie/schedule/show/240/. -Ends-