Monday, 2 November 2009

- Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun - A new report to be launched today (Monday, 2 November) looks at the future of a part of Galway City which, in recent years, has seen the highest population growth of any district outside of Dublin. The study was commissioned by a local community group, the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun Planning and Strategy Committee. This major report into the communities of Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun was undertaken by NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office. The 'Profile, Needs Analysis and Action Plan' study highlights a number of very distinct traits of the area and points to developments which are urgently required to pave the way for the future. According to the report, a combination of facilities and development supports is crucial, given the area's youth, its multi-cultural mix, its high degree of transience and a perceptible rise in unemployment. In the past decade, the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun (DRA) area in the East of Galway City has witnessed phenomenal population growth. The population has grown from around 200 people in the year 2000, to its present day figure of 7,280. The area is also notable for the exceptional youth of its population, more than a quarter of the area's population (26.6%) are children aged 15 or younger. In total, there are almost 2000 children living in the DRA area who are obliged to travel outside of the area in order to attend school, until new schools approved for the area open in 2012. Among much needed developments identified in the study, the most important are considered to be: the opening of the two approved schools; the development of a multi-purpose Neighbourhood Centre; an expansion of youth services; and the delivery of community development supports. More than two in five households (41.5%) are living in private rented accommodation in the DRA area, which is four times higher than the national average. The area is also markedly multi-cultural, with at least 33 different nationalities living in the area, with one in three (33.4%) of all residents being non-Irish nationals. Commenting about the Report, Seamus O'Grady, Director of Adult and Continuing Education, NUI Galway, said: "The report highlights the importance of local community action and collaboration with development agencies. It documents significant priority developments that need to be addressed in the Doughiska, Roscam and Ardaun areas. As a city, Galway has seen massive change over the last decade and elements of society need to come together to shape a successful future for our young people. The University is delighted to have played a role in progressing local needs through this research report. NUI Galway will continue to work in cooperation with DRA, Galway City Council and other local development interests in furthering the development capacity of the East side of Galway City". The report was funded by NUI Galway, Galway City Council, the Galway Diocese and McInerney's Properties. -ends-

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

In 2010 NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will continue its programme of open evenings at its Imbusch Astronomical Observatory. The Observatory provides state-of-the-art observing facilities for NUI Galway's Astrophysics students and the Open evenings are an opportunity for the general public to come in and visit. At 7pm on 20 January and 17 February, weather permitting, an informative hour-long lecture will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night. Numbers are limited to two per person and admission is strictly by ticket only, allocated on a first come first served basis. Bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to tara.shanahan@nuigalway.ie. NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy and School of Physics has also announced details of the next talk in their series of public lectures. Tickets are not limited for this free lecture, which will focus on Applied Physics. The lecture takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 13 January, in the McMunn Theatre, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. This lecture, presented by Dr Mark Foley, Lecturer with the NUI Galway School of Physics, will focus Medical and Laser Physics. Medical Physics is one of the fastest-growing areas of physics today, involving the application of physics and physical methods to problems in medicine. Medical physicists play an essential role in fields such as diagnostic imaging, radiotherapy, nuclear medicine and radiological safety. This lecture will focus on cutting-edge clinical technology and also on the fundamental principles behind the technologies used to diagnose and treat cancer patients. The second part of the lecture will be given by Dr Gerard O'Connor, also from the School of Physics, and will focus on Laser Physics. The lecture will introduce the concept of laser light, describe the applications of laser technology and look at the future of laser light. Commenting on the importance of Laser Physics, Dr O'Connor said: "Lasers are just 50 years old but their discovery has already transformed the way we live, work and play. From the application of laser technology in enabling the internet, creating new methods for manufacturing, developing new healthcare, new measurements and new entertainments, the photonics revolution based on laser technology is only beginning". After the lecture a tour will be given of the research facilities in the NUI Galway School of Physics. Although the lectures will be aimed at second level students, they will be of interest and open to the general public. More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -ends-

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Acting teachers from around the world will visit NUI Galway in January as the University hosts a five-day workshop by the New York-based Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA). Michael Chekhov was the nephew of the playwright Anton Chekhov and was widely recognised as one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. He went on to teach the likes of Gary Cooper, Marilyn Monroe, Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Quinn, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Palance and Yul Brynner. MICHA is training a new generation of practitioners in Michael Chekhov's acting technique, which is based in a psycho-physical approach to acting. Joanna Merlin and Fern Sloan, two master teachers, will lead classes at the workshop. Joanna, who is President of MICHA, studied with Michael Chekhov during the last five years of his life. She made her Broadway debut opposite Laurence Olivier in Becket and created the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof. Her film credits include Invasion, staring Nicole Kidman and co-starring roles in City of Angles with Dennis Franz, Class Action with Gene Hackman, Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts, Fame, All That Jazz and The Killing Fields. Joanna was most recently on screen in The Wackness and has a recurring role as Judge Lena Petrovsky on Law and Order, Special Victims Unit. This is MICHA's first visit to Ireland and the workshop takes place from 4-8 January. -ends-

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

At the recent annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, ground breaking research from the Breast Cancer Research Group in NUI Galway was well received. The meeting is the biggest Breast Cancer Meeting in the world with more than 12,000 delegates and is a key step in the introduction of novel and new initiatives in breast cancer. The research from NUI Galway came from the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) funded Surgery programme on the role of MicroRNAs in breast cancer. For the first time, the work shows that MicroRNAs are measurable in the blood of breast cancer patients and the levels of mir95 in particular, suggests that it is a breast cancer specific tumour marker. The work was led by NUI Galway's Professor Michael Kerin, presented by Dr Helen Heneghan and co-authored by Dr Nicola Miller and Dr John Newell Dr Heneghan who is a Health Research Board funded Clinical Research Fellow, is currently two years into her PhD programme. Her work shows that microRNAs are measurable in the blood of breast cancer patients, that levels of certain miRNAs drop after breast tumours are surgically removed and that mir195 is likely to be a breast cancer specific tumour marker. The novelty involves a modification of standard techniques allowing these little molecules to be reliably measured in blood from breast cancer patients for the first time. Professor Kerin, Head of Surgery at NUI Galway, said that this work opens up many corridors of scientific questioning: "In particular, we may be able to trace tumour activity in breast cancer using these markers and a combination of microRNAs may function as screening tests for breast cancer allowing early detection to become the norm. This early work suggests that a combination of mir195 and Let7a are sensitive markers for the presence of breast cancer in over 90% of cases. This raises the possibility of their use in screening for breast cancer". Professor Kerin warned of the possibility of reading too much into this discovery as it is still 'early days': "Our initial work centres on 83 breast cancer patients and 44 controls. While it is clear that we can now measure microRNAs in blood, much more work has to be done. We have received amazing feedback however, from the major Breast Cancer Research Centres around the world and they want to collaborate with us to answer these questions. The fact that microRNAs are small, robust and act on multiple genes suggest that they may be very powerful factors in breast cancer propagation and development. In addition, we may be able to interfere with them and manipulate their expression which may allow cancers which are refractory to standard therapy to be made sensitive. This work is part of the ongoing Breast Cancer Research Programme in Surgery at NUI Galway which also looks at the role of stem cells in breast cancer. "We have some very exciting projects ongoing here and have several national and international partners. We receive funding from the Health Research Board, Molecular Medicine Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons, the Irish Cancer Society as well as some European Funding", continued Professor Kerin. However, we could not manage without the help of the NCBRI, which is a voluntary body and over the years has raised more than €7 million to fund and equip the laboratory here. This research shows that we have the opportunity to deliver international-standard cancer research and give our world class medical students and junior doctors the opportunity to train and develop. I would like to thank the NBCRI volunteers and particularly our patients who have so kindly agreed to take part in the Research Programme". -ends-

Monday, 21 December 2009

NUI Galway PhD student in the School of Physics, Ann McDonagh, has just returned from participating in a US Department of Homeland Security study on the spread of airborne contaminants released in subway systems. The study measured the flow of gas and particles through tunnels and cars in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) system. Ann's PhD work is supervised by Dr Miriam Byrne, Lecturer with the School of Physics at NUI Galway, and funded by the Radiological Institute of Ireland. Her work aims to develop a better understanding of how contaminant particles, especially those of a radioactive nature, might become redistributed in the environment, if a person or population group were contaminated during an accidental or terrorist-motivated release. Ann developed a relationship with scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) through a visit funded under the NUI Galway/University of California Travel Scheme earlier this year. She has also been asked to participate as a LBNL guest scientist in two scientific missions, in Washington and Boston. This latest study ran from 5-11 December, and involved the release of common, harmless tracer gases used for indoor and outdoor air testing; an inert particle tracer tagged with a biologically inert, non-toxic organic dye used in medical imaging applications; and a common chemical often used as a brightening agent in laundry detergents and paper manufacturing. Particle and gas concentrations were sampled in more than 20 stations and in subway cars, but normal MBTA operations were not disrupted by the activities of the researchers. Regarding the study, Dr Miriam Byrne says: "It is a great achievement for Ann to be selected as a member of the international team for this high profile scientific mission. The results obtained will complement her PhD research, and advance our general understanding of toxic air pollution transport. As well as having applications in the control of accidental and terrorist releases, our knowledge of the spread mechanisms of airborne infectious diseases will also be enhanced". Joining LBNL scientists in the MBTA study were scientists from Argonne National Laboratory, ICx Technologies of Arlington, Virginia, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory of the United Kingdom, and the Chemistry Centre of Australia. -ends-

Monday, 21 December 2009

Pádraig Ó Céidigh, chairman of Aer Arann, one of the fastest growing regional airlines in the world with a turnover in excess of €100 million and annual passenger numbers of 1.2 million, has been appointed to the position of Adjunct Professor with NUI Galway's JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics. His first task as Adjunct Professor, which is an honorary three-year position, will involve the preparation, introduction and delivery of a new final year undergraduate module to business students, entitled 'Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise'. This module will demonstrate to students, real life innovative practice and foster the same in them in their final year prior to graduating and entering the workplace. A graduate of NUI Galway, Ó Céidigh was the 2002 recipient of the Bank of Ireland Alumni Award for Business and Commerce for his significant achievements in the airline industry and his contribution to Irish society and economy. He has been a stalwart supporter of student mentoring and education through his position as Chief Executive in Residence with the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics. Speaking about his appointment, Ó Céidigh said: "It is a great privilege for me to be afforded an opportunity to contribute to my alma mater in this way. I believe with conviction in life-long education and I would hope that I can, as Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, promote and help develop the excellent education programmes that are offered by the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics". Ó Céidigh is recognised nationally as a leading business figure and was named Ernst and Young Irish Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002. He went on to represent Ireland in the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Monte Carlo in 2003. He was named Galway Person of the Year in 2004 and is only one of three people to be honoured as honorary member of the MBA Association of Ireland. The Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, Professor Willie Golden speaking about Pádraig's appointment, said: "We are delighted to have Pádraig as part of the team, through his involvement students will gain extremely valuable insights into innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship". -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

NUI Galway's new Strategic Plan 2009-2014 was officially launched in Galway today (Wednesday, 16 December) by the University's President Dr James J. Browne. Key elements of the plan include a major €130m construction plan, increased numbers of spin-out companies, and a rise in numbers of mature, international and PhD students. "We are the biggest employer in Galway City, a fast growing and dynamic University, and increasingly recognised internationally for our research and scholarship", President Browne said. "Our strategic plan enshrines not only our commitment to supporting the social, economic, industrial and cultural development of the region, but our national role in supporting economic recovery. The strategic plan also cements our research ambitions which will bring further international recognition in our priority areas of expertise". NUI Galway will be a major contributor to the economy through its ambitious €130m in construction activity, which will ramp up throughout 2010. Five new buildings will be constructed, potentially creating hundreds of jobs in Galway City. Over one third of the funds for construction will come from philanthropic sources, due to intensive and very successful fundraising activity by Galway University Foundation. President Browne said the plans are a significant short-term boost to the economy and also put in place the long-term infrastructure to produce the graduates who will fuel the economic recovery to a Smart Economy. "We will play our part in revitalising the economy and developing the Smart Economy. We will do this by taking advantage of the value now available in the building industry to address our capital deficit and put in place the infrastructure to grow our research effort and our graduate output. Given that in the case of the planned research buildings the University is able to provide close to half of the cost in private philanthropic funding, we are planning significant additions to the nation's vital infrastructure at a minimal cost to the Exchequer, and ensuring the creation or preservation of hundreds of jobs in the construction industry". The new infrastructure requirements on campus stem from the rapid growth of research activity, in biomedical science for example, which directly supports the region's vital medical devices industry. Infrastructure requirements are also being fuelled by dramatic rises in student numbers. In the area of student numbers, NUI Galway's Strategic Plan sets out a target of 200 PhD graduates per year by 2014. By this time, non-traditional students will account for 7.5% of the total student population, international students for 15%, and mature students for 27%. The Strategic Plan firmly commits NUI Galway to leading the Smart Economy in the region and to its becoming a centre of innovation and enterprise for industries. Targets of a four-fold increase in patent filings, a five-fold increase in licence agreements and an average of five spin-out companies per year have been set. Online version of the Strategic Plan is available at www.nuigalway.ie/strategicplan. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

An information booklet, entitled "Clinical Practices - Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy", has been launched at University Hospital Galway. The booklet is intended for use by midwives, registered nurses, obstetricians, physicians and GPs responsible for the care of women with diabetes who are pregnant or who are intending a pregnancy and for women with gestational diabetes. The guidelines, which are authored by Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine, NUI Galway and the ATLANTIC DIP research group, aim to promote high quality care and service to women with diabetes to ensure that the outcome for mother and baby matches that of non-diabetic women. In this respect, it provides a common framework to all professionals involved in the care of pregnant women at risk of, or with, gestational diabetes and those with pre-existing diabetes, type 1 and type 2. Speaking at the launch, Professor Fidelma Dunne, said: "The guidelines are an aid for professionals who deliver care to women with diabetes before, during and after pregnancy. We hope to update them on a regular basis as new information through research appears through our own work and internationally. We are also developing a booklet for patients which will be available soon. All these tools will be available on the ATLANTIC DIP website early in 2010". Diabetes is the most common medical disorder of pregnancy and complicates 1 in 200 pregnancies in Ireland. Even with the recent improvements in diabetic and obstetric care, the risk of stillbirth is 5 times and perinatal mortality is 3.5 times greater than non diabetic pregnant women. In addition, the incidence of congenital malformations remains twice the rate as for non-diabetic pregnancies. The number of women with established type 2 diabetes entering pregnancy is also on the increase and represents 25% of women with pre-gestational diabetes at antenatal clinics. Research through ATLANTIC DIP has identified that a further 1:10 women with no known diabetes, develops gestational diabetes in pregnancy. Some of the areas covered in the "Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy" are: Preconceptual Care Gestational Diabetes Antenatal Care Management during Delivery Postnatal Care Care of the Newborn -Ends-

Monday, 14 December 2009

NUI Galway's Professor William Schabas has been designated the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the Field of Human Rights. Professor Schabas is Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and holds the Chair in Human Rights Law at the University. A world-renowned expert on international human rights law, Professor Schabas has particular expertise is in the areas of genocide and international criminal courts. The Board of Trustees is appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Individuals are appointed to represent the different geographic regions of the world and are chosen for their independence and wide experience in the field of human rights and technical cooperation. Commenting on the work of the five members of the Board of Trustees, the new Chair, Professor Schabas said: "The Board meets twice annually in Geneva to oversee the work of the Fund which is used to support Human Rights Advisors and Field Offices of the High Commissioner in a number of countries around the world. We also function as an advisory council for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Many governments, including that of Ireland, contribute to the Fund, which had an income this year of $17.5 million". Professor Schabas has participated in numerous international human rights missions on behalf of non-governmental organisations such as Amnesty International and the International Federation of Human Rights, to Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Cambodia and Guyana. In 2002, the President of Sierra Leone appointed him to the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission upon the recommendation of Mary Robinson, the then United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Professor Schabas teaches at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway, which has become internationally recognised in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. This has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed MA programmes and doctoral research. Reflecting the growing interest in this field, the University has also now developed a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights. -ends-

Friday, 11 December 2009

Irish scientists have contributed to an important astronomical discovery published yesterday (Thursday, 10 December) in the prestigious academic magazine Nature. Scientists from NUI Galway, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, CIT and UCD are part of the VERITAS project which has found evidence to support the theory that cosmic rays are powered by exploding stars and stellar winds. This discovery has been predicted for almost 20 years, but until now no instrument was sensitive enough to see it. VERITAS is operated by a collaboration of more than 100 scientists from 22 different institutions in the US, Ireland, England and Canada. Using an array of four giant telescopes based at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Arizona, the VERITAS project observed very high energy gamma radiation from the 'starburst' galaxy M82, often called the 'Cigar Galaxy'. Through deep observations of M82 the scientists made significant discoveries about cosmic rays. Scientists first detected signs of cosmic rays, which are subatomic particles that zip through space at nearly the speed of light, some 100 years ago. The challenge for astronomers, which the VERITAS project has finally succeeded in, has been to answer the question as to which natural force could accelerate particles to such high energies. Dr Gary Gillanders from the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway is one of the Irish scientists involved in VERITAS and a member of the VERITAS Science Board: "This discovery provides fundamental insight into the origin of cosmic rays and is an important scientific milestone in astronomy. The VERITAS observations strongly support the long-held belief that supernovae and stellar winds from massive stars are the dominant accelerators of cosmic ray particles". VERITAS could not detect M82 s cosmic rays directly but looked for clues to their presence. When cosmic rays interact with interstellar gas and radiation, they produce gamma rays, which were then detected by the VERITAS team and used to infer that cosmic rays were indeed present and being accelerated to high energies. The scientific revelation in Nature magazine is the culmination of two years of dedicated data collection and analysis by the VERITAS team. Dr Pat Moriarty, a VERITAS scientist from Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology remarked: "This project is an example of scientists at four Irish third-level Institutions collaborating in a world-class experiment". The other Irish co-investigators in VERITAS are Dr Mark Lang at NUI Galway, Dr Paul Reynolds at CIT and Dr John Quinn at UCD. The Irish VERITAS members are part funded by Science Foundation Ireland. -Ends-

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

- A new book about online information - The solution to problems associated with social websites, such as information integration, dissemination and searchability are the subject of a new book by NUI Galway internet experts. The Social Semantic Web investigates how emerging Semantic Web technology has produced a variety of approaches to overcome existing information boundaries. The book is authored by John Breslin, School of Engineering and Informatics, and Alexandre Passant and Stefan Decker of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at NUI Galway. The content is intended for computer science professionals, researchers, and graduates interested in understanding the technologies and research issues involved in applying Semantic Web technologies to social software. Breslin et al. describe some popular social media and social networking applications, list their strengths and limitations, and describe some applications of semantic web technology to address their current shortcomings by enhancing them with semantics. Across these social websites, they demonstrate a twofold approach for interconnecting the islands that are social websites with semantic technologies, and for powering semantic applications with rich community-created content. Practitioners and developers interested in applications such as blogs, social networks or wikis will also learn about methods for increasing the levels of automation in these forms of web communication. Co-author John Breslin, who founded boards.ie, one of the most popular internet forums in Ireland: “The ‘Social Semantic Web’, also called ‘Web 3.0’ is all about forming a network of interlinked and semantically-rich content and knowledge. This leads to a web of data that can be used by computers to help people with their daily tasks, and is an ideal platform for interlinking and performing operations on the diverse data available from Web 2.0”. The success of much of the work described in the book has been demonstrated in its adoption by various groups and companies. The SIOC system, described in the book and developed by researchers in DERI, has been used by Yahoo! in its SearchMonkey application. It has also recently been integrated into the Drupal content management system that is used by thousands of organisations. The Social Semantic Web, is published by Springer; for more information see www.socialsemanticweb.net. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Professor Stefan Decker, Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway, was announced the award winner for ‘Academic Contribution to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector’ at the recent Information Technology Association Galway (ITAG) Industry Awards. DERI is an internationally recognised institute in semantic web research, education and technology transfer. DERI brings together academic and industrial partners to boost innovation in science and technology, which directly contributes to the Irish government s plan of transforming Ireland into a competitive knowledge economy. On receiving the award, Professor Decker said: “I am delighted to be presented with this award for the continued growth and excellence of our research at DERI. This recognition from ITAG is hugely important and I welcome the endorsement from such and established group on our work. ICT in Galway is crucial to its development and we look forward to continued relationships in the future with local industry”. DERI was established in 2003 by Science Foundation Ireland as a Centre for Science and Engineering Technology (CSET) and has become the largest research institute in the world dedicated to the development of advanced web technologies. DERI is also actively engaged in technology spin-outs and licensing of its leading edge technologies. Since its establishment DERI has grown to over 120 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and industrial partnerships. Its core industry partners include CISCO, Nortel, Ericsson, Storm, Celtrak, Openlink, and Cyntelix. The ITAG was established in September 2000 by a group of IT professionals representing both multinational and indigenous IT companies. Through ITAG, the IT sector in Galway has played its role in shaping the future development of the region, both economically and socially. Each year, ITAG rewards the achievements and encourages further success of its outstanding members through the ITAG Industry Awards. -Ends-

Monday, 7 December 2009

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland has published ground breaking research into rape and its treatment within the criminal justice system. The research, which was carried out by NUI Galway s School of Law, had the participation of 100 survivors of recent adult rape, examined almost 600 DPP files and further examined over 170 Central Criminal Court trials and the transcripts of appealed cases. The research was prompted by Ireland s increasing levels of reporting of rape and decreasing convictions. The four-year study, entitled "Rape and Justice in Ireland", looks at different key stages of our criminal justice system, and reveals insights that have not previously been documented in Ireland before. Fiona Neary, Director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland, said: "We know from victims that the Criminal Justice System is failing in rape cases. Ireland s conviction rate from reported incidents to conviction is amongst the lowest in Europe. Survivors in Rape Crisis Centres tell us of their fears about reporting. They talk of the lack of dignity and respect in how they are treated; how they feel it is they who are on trial, and how their voice is ignored by the system. For those who have a positive experience of reporting, they also feel isolated and lost, are not kept informed, and have been unable to move on with their lives because of the years waiting for their case to come to court". This research, which was headed by NUI Galway s Conor Hanley, had the full, unreserved, and by and large, unprecedented cooperation of key agencies, from the Rape Crisis sector to the DPP and the Court Services. Never before has such extensive and reliable data on our legal system been documented. Given the breath of the research, the findings have application beyond rape cases. For example, there is a thorough examination of whether or not complainants use Victim Impact Statements to seek vengeance and thus abuse the system. This report looks at the journey from incident to conviction and how cases fail to engage with, simply fall out or are dropped out of the Criminal Justice System along the way. Hanley and his team have made wide-ranging recommendations for reform in the legal system and in society. For a copy of the report visit visit www.rcni.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 4 December 2009

NUI Galway has been named the Overall Winner in the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region's Annual Awards. Speaking at the Awards Ceremony, Chairperson of the Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Emma Dillon-Leetch congratulated NUI Galway on their very talented team efforts in outstanding marketing development. "The Marketing Institute of Ireland West Region Awards is the premier independent awards programme for companies and businesses in the West of Ireland today. NUI Galway has demonstrated an innovative approach to marketing within business and is a worthy winner of the overall top prize", she said. In 2009 the University's Marketing Team led a major brand development project with the aim of repositioning the University and creating a strong visual identity to differentiate NUI Galway from its competitors. Significant measurable successes as a result of the University's outstanding marketing activity saw NUI Galway show a substantial increase of 13.1% in CAO First Preference applications- a growth of more than double that of the University Sector and the highest year-on-year increase of all the Universities. The University was also named University of the Year 2009 by The Sunday Times. On accepting the award, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications, NUI Galway, said: "We are delighted to accept these prestigious awards from the Marketing Institute. Winning the overall award on top of the 'Marketing Team of the Year' category was simply overwhelming. It really has been a fantastic year for NUI Galway. We have enjoyed success on many fronts in 2009 and the Marketing Institute Awards are a fitting recognition of the University's achievements over the last year". Now in their eighth year the MII West Region Marketing Awards are the premier independent awards programme available to marketers in the West of Ireland and attracted an initial entry of over 80 from businesses and companies operating in Galway Mayo and Roscommon. This year several new awards categories were added creating eleven categories that companies, teams or individuals could enter. -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Newly appointed SFI Stokes Professor of Biophotonics at NUI Galway, Malini Olivo, is one of the University's nanoscience experts participating in Nanoweek, which was opened in Cork this week by Mr Batt O'Keefe, Minister for Science and Education. Organised by the Nanoscience Network, Nanoweek, will run until 4 December and will include a wide range of events designed to raise awareness of the contribution that nanoscience makes to the Irish economy and to society. Nanoweek will also highlight the central role nanoscience can play in driving the Smart Economy. Professor Malini Olivo has pioneered the area of clinical application of Photodynamic Diagnosis and Treatment in Cancer in Singapore. She has spearheaded several collaborative projects with Singapore linked government research agencies and universities in biophotonics and nanophotonics for in-vivo optical bio-imaging applications in cancer and metabolic medicine. Dr Margaret Brennan Fournet from NUI Galway's School of Physics will also participate in Nanoweek, events at the University Research to Economic Value workshop to be held in Dublin on 3 December. This workshop focuses on the development of economic value from university research, including discussions on intellectual property and case studies on developing nanotechnology companies. Members of the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) at NUI Galway will also be visiting local secondary schools in Galway during Nanoweek. The visits will introduce nanoscience and photonics to secondary-school students and include lesson plans/worksheets linked to the school curriculum. The NCLA recently launched a new Clean Room Ultrafast Laser Laboratory. The laser facility combines state-of-the-art laser research technology with advanced spectral and imaging diagnostics. The facility includes nano-second, pico-second, and femto-second laser systems integrated with advanced motion systems and precision spectral and imaging diagnostics. The development is part of the National Integrated Nanoscience Platform for Ireland (INSPIRE) supported under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI4). Dr Gerard O'Connor, who leads the INSPIRE project at NUI Galway, said: "Nanoweek, has two aims. Firstly, it seeks to bring the remarkable transformation that is occurring in nanoscience to the attention of the young people in schools so that they may make more informed decisions regarding their future careers. Secondly Nanoweek showcases the excellent research activities and facilities, such as the new laser laboratory at NUI Galway that are available to industry and academic partners for collaboration". -Ends-

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A one-day Branding Masterclass for Business Leaders The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway is to host a one-day Masterclass for business leaders entitled ?Growing Brands through a Recession?. The event will be co-hosted by marketing guru Professor Leslie de Chernatony, Professor of Brand Marketing at Universita della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland and Aston Business School, UK, and Dr Elaine Wallace, Lecturer in Marketing and Associate Head of Development and Promotion at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway. Dr Wallace says: ?During recessionary times, many companies are tempted to cut prices in order to offer value to customers. However, focusing on price can negatively affect brand equity, leading to a weaker brand image and a loss of market share. The recession represents an opportunity to reconsider how brands can offer more relevant value. This Masterclass will show how a budget can be better used to deliver a ?wow factor? by offering more appropriate value to customers?. Designed with business professionals in mind, the event will highlight factors leading to brand success and, using examples, will show how leading brands get through tough times. Billed as a ?hands on? event, delegates will get practical tools for brand building. Frameworks will be presented, and delegates will work in syndicate groups to apply those frameworks to their own businesses. During plenary sessions, ideas for growing brand value will be shared, and discussions will help to shape brand-building activities. Dr Wallace added: ?The event, in particular Professor de Chernatony?s insights, will be invaluable for large and small businesses in product and service sectors?. The Chartered Institute of Marketing cite Professor Leslie de Chernatony as one of the 50 gurus who have shaped the future of marketing due to his pioneering work on brand management. His cutting edge work on strategically building brands has helped many organisations develop more effective brand strategies. A firm advocate of the need for managers to benefit from his work on brand marketing, he has run many highly acclaimed management development workshops throughout Europe, the USA, the Middle East, Asia and Australia and his advice has been sought by numerous organisations throughout the world on developing more effective brand strategies. The Masterclass will take place on Thursday, 21 January, 2010 and the cost of a full day is ?195. To register for this event please visit www.conference.ie. For further information please contact Angela Sice, Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, at 091 492817 or Dr Elaine Wallace, Marketing, J. E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway at 091 492603. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- How social science and business research can better inform policy making - NUI Galway will today (Tuesday, 1 December) open the Irish Social Science Platform Annual Conference. The two-day event will focus on how and why social science and business research can better inform policy makers and the policy process. Conference keynotes and round table discussions will examine topics such as 'How should the Social Sciences relate to Public Policy?' and 'Social Science, Policy, and Partnership in Crisis'. Keynote speakers include Professor Diane Halpern of Claremont McKenna College, California, on A Cabinet-Level Office of Social Science Advisors: Mr Cowen and President Obama, Are you Listening? Dr Rory O'Donnell, Director of the National Economic and Social Council of Ireland (NESC) will speak about Social Science, Policy and Partnership in Crisis and Professor Paul Wyckoff of Hamilton College, New York will address Social Science and Public Policy: Bridging the 'Great Disconnect'. Commenting on the need to better link academic research and public policy, Professor Wyckoff of Hamilton College, notes: "Precious little of our hard-earned social science knowledge is used in actual policy debates. Instead, intuition, ideology and simplistic reasoning often drive decision-making". Dr James Cunningham, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway, said: "Too often there is a gulf between the body of knowledge and information produced by social science researchers and the assumptions that motivate policy makers and public policy. One aim of the conference is to figure out ways to close this gap and improve public policy". In addition to invited international speakers and national policymakers, the event brings together faculty and Ph.D. students from various disciplines in eight third-level institutions. Most of the research presented will reflect the Irish Social Science Platform (ISSP) focus by investigating three broad themes of national importance – creating balanced development, sustaining communities, and building the knowledge economy. The ISSP programme is unique in that it integrates social science, business research and graduate training across multiple academic disciplines with the purpose of stimulating innovative social, cultural and economic transformations that will shape Ireland in the 21st century. The ISSP programme at NUI Galway, for example, brings together academics and Ph.D. students from The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, the Centre for Child and Family Support, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the Centre for Research on Occupation and Life Stress, and the Irish Centre for Rural Transformation and Sustainability. For additional information and the conference programme please visit: www.conference.ieor contact Dr James Cunningham, at 091 493472 or email james.cunningham@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

- Irish Cancer Society commits €1 million to supporting career development for the next generation of cancer researchers in Ireland - Dr Eva Szegezdi of Biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway was one of three researchers to receive an Irish Cancer Society fellowship at a recent awards ceremony held in Dublin where President of Ireland, Mary McAleese presented six of Ireland's most gifted young cancer researchers with inaugural Irish Cancer Society's Research Scholarship Awards & Research Fellowship Awards. This new Scholarship award scheme is part of the Society's commitment to funding cancer research in Ireland, to cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers and rewarding exceptional people with outstanding research ideas in the area of cancer research. Dr Eva Szegezdi is studying a new anti-cancer therapy, called TRAIL, which is currently in phase II clinical trials. "TRAIL is effective at treating 50% of cancers, but does not work in the other 50%. My research is trying to find ways to make TRAIL more effective in these resistant cancers" explained Dr Szegezdi. Professor Afshin Samali, Head of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, said: "This is a major achievement for Dr Szegezdi and Biochemistry. Dr Szegezdi has achieved the highest level of scientific excellence and earlier this year was also awarded a Starter Investigator Research Grant (SIRG) for cancer research from Science Foundation Ireland". In 2008, the Irish Cancer Society established the Research Fellowship programme to assist cancer researchers to develop their research ideas and offer them the support they need to direct their own research teams. Following on from the success of this initiative, this year the Society established the Research Scholarship programme to fund young post graduate students starting out on a career in cancer research. The Scholarship programme aims to encourage the brightest and the best students in Ireland to complete PhDs in cancer research. Commenting on the Fellowship and Scholarship scheme, Professor Cliona O'Farrelly, Chairperson, Cancer Research Committee, Irish Cancer Society said, "We are delighted with this new scheme which has attracted huge numbers of applicants from dedicated and enthusiastic researchers who are keen to dedicate themselves to cancer research." "It was particularly challenging to select just six candidates to receive the awards, but we are optimistic that with additional funding we may be able to expand this scheme," continued Professor O'Farrelly. The Fellowship and Scholarship scheme is open to all scientific, medical and paramedical disciplines that are committed to cancer research. Each Fellowship award is up to the value of €75,000 per annum for up to three years and each Scholarship award is up to the value of€40,000 per annum for up to three years. The Irish Cancer Society is the single largest voluntary supporter of cancer research in Ireland and is responsible for evaluating grant applications from scientists and doctors conducting this research. This research focuses on identifying risk factors for various cancers so that the disease may be prevented, identifying the cellular mechanisms of cancer in order to unravel the mystery of why some cells behave normally and some become cancerous and identifying the most effective combination of therapies in treating cancer. The Health Research Board (HRB) through the Medical Research Charities Group (MRCG) and the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) are acknowledged for their support in co-funding some of these research projects. The Irish Cancer Society is now inviting applications for the 2010 Fellowship and Scholarship Awards Scheme. Closing date for entries is Wednesday, 10 February, 2010. Applications must be submitted online at www.cri.cancer.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The next in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway s Centre of Astronomy will explore the topic of Giant Telescopes. The free event takes places at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 9 December, in the McMunn Lecture Theatre, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. The lecture, presented by NUI Galway?s Dr Alexander Goncharov, will focus on telescopes such as the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Currently under construction, the E-ELT will provide European astronomers with the largest optical-infrared telescope in the world. With a mirror diameter of 42 meters, the E-ELT will be more than one hundred times more sensitive than the present-day largest optical telescopes. Ireland has a strong tradition in astronomy with one of the largest telescopes in the world being built in Co. Offaly in 1845. Known as ?The Leviathan of Parsonstown?, it was the largest telescope of its time and was built by the third Earl of Rosse, William Parsons. Speaking about the lecture, Dr Goncharov said: ?The high interest of astronomers in further development of new, powerful telescopes is shared by a large part of the general public. The lecture will give special emphasis to astronomical imaging with adaptive optics, a new technique that helps to overcome the limiting effects of the earth s turbulent atmosphere. Future giant telescopes will initiate and support a new era in observational astronomy?. The lecture will also cover observing the night sky with a naked eye, amateur telescopes and professional optical telescopes. Essential scientific challenges including the search for earth-like planets will also be discussed. The series of public talks co-incides with the International Year of Astronomy which takes place throughout 2009. More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php. -Ends-

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Pictured at the launch of the Collingwood Cup 2008, sponsored by www.future.ie, which will be hosted this year by NUI Galway were, Front: NUI Galway Soccer Club players Eoin McCorman, Ballina, Co. Mayo and Seamus Connelly, Rosmuc, Co. Galway. Behind them are NUI Galway Vice President for External Affairs, Ger Hurley; James O'Toole, Sports Med West; and CEO of tournament sponsor (www.future.ie), Mickey McLoughlin. The Collingwood will run from Monday February 25th-28th 2008 with most of the games to be played at Dangan Sports grounds. The NUI Galway Soccer Club hopes to secure Terryland Park for the Cup Final, in what promised to be a major event not only for varsity soccer, but for the city of Galway and indeed for sport in Ireland. Twelve universities from north and south of the border will take part in this unique All Ireland competition which is now run on a knockout basis over four days. The first cup was played in 1914.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway has announced that Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will be opening a new Centre in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh in Corca Dhuibhne. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will commence their work in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh in a temporary location from September 2008. There is an understanding between the University and Údarás na Gaeltachta that the University will proceed with the construction of a new 1,700m² building on a 10 acre site owned by the Údarás, once planning permission has been granted. Mr. Éamon Ó Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs is pleased to support this project and the Acadamh and University management are hopeful that Minister Ó Cuív's Department will supply generous funding for the building and running of this Irish Language Centre in Corca Dhuibhne, similar to the University Centres in An Cheathrú Rua, Carna and Gaoth Dobhair. The President had a special welcome for Tomás Ó Gairbheith and his wife Esther at a recent public meeting in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh. Tomás has made a generous donation which will be used by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in the construction of the new building in Corca Dhuibhne. The President had the following to say at the event: "The generous donation made by Tomás to Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is a source of encouragement for myself and the Gaeltacht community. Tomás Ó Gairbheith is one of the most successful business men in Kerry and I am particularly delighted with the support he has shown for university education through Irish and the creation of language and knowledge-based employment in this region".

Friday, 25 January 2008

D'fhógair Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, go bhfuil Ionad nua de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge le lonnú i mBaile an Fheirtéaraigh i gCorca Dhuibhne. Cuirfear tús leis an obair i bhfoirgneamh ar cíos sa bhaile i mí Meán Fómhair 2008. Tá comhthuiscint idir an Ollscoil agus Údarás na Gaeltachta go dtógfaidh an Ollscoil foirgneamh nua 1,700m² ar shuíomh 10 n-acra de chuid an Údaráis ach cead pleanála a bheith ar fáil fá na choinne. Tá a thacaíocht léirithe ag an Aire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., don tionscadail seo agus tá muid dóchasach go mbeidh tacaíocht fhlaithiúil le fáil óna Roinn do thógáil agus do reáchtáil Ionad iompair agus buanaithe Gaeilge i gCorca Dhuibhne mar atá déanta ag an Ollscoil ar an gCeathrú Rua, i gCarna agus i nGaoth Dobhair. Chuir an tUachtarán fáilte faoi leith ag an ócáid i gCorca Dhuibhne roimh Thomás Ó Gairbheith agus a bhean chéile Esther. Tá Tomás tar éis bronntanas fhlaithiúil a chur ar fáil don Acadamh le húsáid i dtógáil an fhoirgnimh nua i gCorca Dhuibhne. Dúirt an tUachtarán ina óráid: "Is cúis mhór mhisnigh domsa agus don phobal Gaeltachta seo tacaíocht Thomáis don Acadamh. Tá Tomás Ó Gairbheith ar dhuine den lucht gnó is bisiúla i gCiarraí agus is mór agamsa go pearsanta a thacaíocht don ollscolaíocht Ghaeilge agus do chruthú fostaíochta teanga-lárnaithe agus eolasbhunaithe sa leathinis seo".

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Based on their high points in the Leaving Cert, 76 first-year students at NUI Galway will be awarded Entrance Scholarships at a special ceremony on Saturday, 2 February, 2008. Each student will receive a cheque for €1,600 and a specially designed scroll to mark their achievement in last summer's exams. Entrance Scholarships are given annually to all NUI Galway new entrants who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Cert (590 in Medicine and Health Sciences). Among the Entrance Scholarship Awardees, 24 reached the maximum 600 points. The number of students achieving such high points is growing every year. This year, the scholarships will be awarded to students from 51 individual schools, large and small, throughout the country. The winners represent 16 counties including Armagh, Clare, Cork, Down, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Mayo, Meath, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Westmeath. NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, who will present the cheques and a specially designed scroll at the event, said, "The University strives constantly to support and promote academic excellence across all the disciplines. The Entrance Scholarship ceremony is an opportunity to give special recognition to our first-year students who have already proved academic prowess through their Leaving Cert results. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and secondary school teachers for their contribution to such success". The ceremony will also feature 50 other individual College/Faculty awards and prizes. -ends-

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Bronnfar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála ar 76 mac léinn ón gcéad bhliain in OÉ Gaillimh ag searmanas speisialta a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 2 Feabhra 2008. Ghnóthaigh na mic léinn i gceist scoth na marcanna i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Bronnfar seic ar fiú €1,600 é ar gach mac léinn chomh maith le scrolla a dearadh go speisialta mar cheiliúradh ar na marcanna iontacha a ghnóthaigh na mic léinn seo i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta an samhradh seo caite. Bronntar Scoláireachtaí Iontrála ar gach mac léinn nua in OÉ Gaillimh a ghnóthaigh 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta (590 pointe i gcás cúrsaí Leighis agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte). As measc na mac léinn sin a mbronnfar Scoláireacht Iontrála orthu, d'éirigh le 24 mac léinn an t-uasmhéid de 600 pointe a fháil. Tá níos mó agus níos mó mac léinn ag fáil pointí arda gach uile bhliain. I mbliana, bronnfar scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as 51 scoil éagsúil ar fud na tíre, scoileanna beaga agus móra san áireamh. Tá buaiteoirí againn as 16 chontae ar fad. Ina measc tá Ard Mhacha, An Clár, Corcaigh, An Dún, Dún na nGall, Baile Átha Cliath, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Cill Dara, Laois, Maigh Eo, An Mhí, Ros Comáin, Sligeach, Tiobraid Árann agus An Iarmhí. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, a bhronnfaidh seic agus scrolla atá deartha go speisialta ar gach mac léinn ag an ócáid, go bhfuil sé "mar aidhm leanúnach ag an Ollscoil feabhas acadúil a bhaint amach agus a chur chun cinn i ngach uile disciplín. Deis é searmanas bronnta na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála le haitheantas speisialta a thabhairt dár mic léinn chéad bhliana – mic léinn a bhfuil a gcumas acadúil léirithe acu cheana féin leis na marcanna a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Deis atá ann freisin buíochas a léiriú dá dtuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí meánscoile as an obair iontach atá déanta acu". Bronnfar 50 gradam agus duais eile a bhaineann le Coláistí/Dámha éagsúla ag an searmanas seo freisin. - críoch -

Thursday, 24 January 2008

On Wednesday 30 January, the 36th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, NUI Galway's Centre for Irish Studies will host a public talk entitled 'Understanding Bloody Sunday'. Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, author of From Civil Rights to Armalites and a lecturer in the University's School of Political Science and Sociology, will deliver the lecture at 8pm in the Joseph Larmor Theatre, Arts & Science Building. Bloody Sunday, as it became known, took place on 30 January 1972 when thirteen civilians were shot dead by British soldiers at a civil rights march in Derry. This tragic part of history will be in focus again this year with the expected publication of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry report, also known as the Saville Inquiry. According to Dr Ó Dochartaigh, "In the weeks before Bloody Sunday, efforts were made to use proven channels of communication between the security forces and the Catholic community to avert confrontation. These efforts were clearly and decisively rejected at the highest levels of the British army command structure in Northern Ireland." During the talk, Dr Ó Dochartaigh will trace the development of British security policy in Derry in the months before Bloody Sunday, examining the way in which deep divisions between military and police commanders on the ground were reflected in changing policies at the highest levels of the British state. While some in the security forces desperately attempted to prevent the outbreak of violence at the march, others deliberately prepared to stage a major confrontation. Dr Ó Dochartaigh will follow the development of this struggle through the decisions of the British government in the months before the march, in the shaping of the British army's plan to deal with the march on the day, and in the minute-by-minute details of the army operation on Bloody Sunday. Everyone is welcome to attend the event. For further information contact the Centre for Irish Studies on 091 492051. ENDS

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Múscailt 2008, NUI Galway's Spring Arts Festival, takes place from 4-8 February. For five days, the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, story-telling, films and live performances from student societies and special guests. Produced by the University's Arts Office and Societies Office, Múscailt is now in its eighth year. As always, the Societies have put together an action-packed week of events including the Witless Music Festival, Poetry Slam, Fleadh Imboilg, Ceili Mór, Art Soc's Up on the Down side, and a New Talent Comedy Night. Flamboyance and fun are big on the agenda with the festival taking inspiration from this year's musical in the Black Box Theatre Back to the 80's. The musical is modelled on classic movies like Back to the Future, and follows the graduating class of William Ocean High School set to a soundtrack of the biggest hits of the 80's. NUI Galway is a great source of new writers, dramatists and performers and the Jerome Hynes Original One Act Play Series promises to be very special, with nine new works being premièred and judged. Several young original artists will be featured this year including students and graduates including: Heather Murphy and her glorious photographic show Seascape; Aimee Jeane Levey with her drama Cryptosporidium Town; and David Rock with his kaleidoscope of colour images in Pushing the Light 2. Limerick four piece Indie pop band We should be Dead will play at the Gala Opening in the Aula Maxima on Monday, 4 February, at 1pm. The group exploded onto the Irish music scene in 2007 with their debut single Forget Romance Let s Dance', and their debut album is one to watch in 2008. For fans of traditional music and dance the Arts in Action Traditional Concert takes place on Thursday, 7 February, at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima. This evening features internationally renowned musicians such as Frankie Gavin, Mairtín Ó Connor, Ronan Browne, Arty McGlynn and Roisín Elsafty. Also on the line up are sean nós dancer Roisín Ni Mhainín, singer Mary MacPartlan and storyteller Clare Muireann Murphy. To add to the evening each of the artists will give a brief history of their art form and instrument. For those interested in the visual arts, highly regarded Welsh artist Timothy Emlyn Jones' installation on the glass bridge called 'The Idea of the Rain' is a piece of art that people can actually walk through. Jones also brings his fascinating Gallery Exhibition called 'In Praise of Bad Weather' which includes a variety of studies of rain that he has made since he settled in the Burren in 2003. Equally exciting is a new show from acclaimed artist Michael Mayhew, who presents 'Upon Reflection - a look back at The Rituals of Being not Being'. Mayhew was Tulca Artist in Residence at NUI Galway in November 2007, and he returns to tell the amazing story of his performance where 14 stories of people who have vanished from other's lives were heard, words selected and then tattooed onto his body. There will be an opportunity to view the work as a whole on DVD, and to listen to Mayhew engage in a conversation focusing on the issues of new approaches within Live Art Practice. These and many more events are all open to the public. For further information call the Socs Box on 091-492852 or visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 21 January 2008

R&D collaboration the first for Beckman Coulter in Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Monday 21st January 2008) announced that Beckman Coulter Inc, a worldwide provider of biomedical testing systems, with the support of IDA Ireland, is to launch an innovative four year collaborative research programme with NUI Galway in the field of Molecular Diagnostics. Headquartered in Fullerton, California, Beckman Coulter is a leading manufacturer of biomedical testing instrument systems, tests and supplies that simplify and automate laboratory processes. The company's facility in Galway manufactures a wide range of chemistry, haematology and immunoassay reagent products used in conjunction with the company's diagnostic systems. Molecular Diagnostics is a major growth sector in the diagnostics industry and has a market potential of $2bn annually. It can provide rapid and sensitive alternatives to traditional microbiological tests and immunoassays by detecting molecules of DNA from bacteria, viruses and cancer cells in patient samples with 'sample-to-answer' results. This investment represents the first collaborative research project undertaken by Beckman Coulter in Ireland. The collaboration will involve the creation of a research team of 10 Masters and PhD researchers based in NUI Galway and building on Intellectual Property already developed in the university. Welcoming the ground breaking collaboration Minister Martin said "Government policy and IDA Ireland's strategy is working to establish Ireland as a world class strategic location for research and development in the fields of science and technology and to foster novel approaches to R&D through innovative investments and industry academic partnerships". "IDA Ireland in supporting this complex industrial research programme between Beckman Coulter and NUI Galway is building on historic research in NUI Galway which was funded by Enterprise Ireland. NUI Galway's unrivalled reputation as a centre of excellence in the field of molecular biology diagnostics was a major factor in the decision by the company to proceed with this research collaboration. The high quality of the Beckman Coulter management team and its Galway workforce were critical considerations in attracting this next generation R&D investment to Galway. It is anticipated that success in this project potentially could lead to future manufacture of the company's Molecular Diagnostic assays in Galway" concluded the Minister. Mike Whelan, Group Vice President of Beckman Coulter's High Sensitivity Testing group said "With these agreements, we will take a big step toward the launch our 'sample-to-result' molecular diagnostic system, including a differentiated menu of moderately complex tests that address urgent clinical decisions. The agreements give us access to intellectual property for the development of tests for infectious diseases including sepsis; hospital-acquired infections; and sexually transmitted diseases, such as Chlamydia and Neisseria." Mr Whelan added, "The combination of NUI Galway technologies with ours gives us a glimpse of the next generation of molecular diagnostics. Our goal is that our simplified, automated solution will allow these time-consuming, complex, and labour-intensive tests to migrate into the routine hospital lab. So physicians will get diagnostic information within hours, instead of days or weeks, and be able to begin treating patients much sooner." Welcoming this new partnership with Beckman Coulter, NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh praised the work of the University s National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) and the Microbiology Department who are leading this research initiative. "The work of these departments harnesses the skills of leading edge researchers who are addressing some of the most challenging and important issues at the frontier of modern biomedical research – with the ultimate goal of changing the way patients are treated and healed. The research and technology development collaboration with Beckman Coulter will ultimately improve patient care and is a strong endorsement from industry of the quality and importance of the research being undertaken at NUI Galway." Commenting on the announcement, Professor Terry Smith, Director of the NCBES, and Molecular Diagnostics Programme Director said "This is a very significant research collaboration for both NUI Galway and Beckman Coulter, in that it leverages the combined diagnostics test and instrumentation capabilities of both partners resulting in the development of break-through technologies for the diagnosis of infectious diseases in humans. These partnership agreements also validate the infectious disease molecular diagnostics test R&D being carried out at NUI Galway, highlighting our world-leadership in this area." ENDS

Monday, 21 January 2008

An chéad chomhoibriú Taighde & Forbartha do Beckman Coulter in Éirinn Inniu (Dé Luain, 21 Eanáir 2008) d'fhógair an tAire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta, Micheál Martin TD, go bhfuil Beckman Coulter Inc, soláthraí domhanda de chórais tástála bhithmhíochaine, le tacaíocht IDA Ireland, chun comhchlár taighde ceithre bliana a bhunú le OÉ Gaillimh – taighde a bheidh bunaithe ar Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach. Is in Fullerton, California atá ceanncheathrú Beckman Coulter – ceann de phríomhdhéantúsóirí córas tástála ionstraimí, tástálacha agus soláthairtí bithmhíochaine a shimplíonn agus a uathoibríonn próisis saotharlainne. Déanann an chuideachta atá bunaithe ag Beckman Coulter i nGaillimh raon leathan táirgí imoibrithe ceimice, haemaiteolaíochta agus imdhíon-mheasa agus úsáid á baint as córais diagnóisice na cuideachta. Tá fás as cuimse ag teacht ar Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach laistigh den tionscal diagnóisice agus d'fhéadfadh sé $2 billiún a shaothrú go bliantúil. Is féidir leis an earnáil seo roghanna tapa agus íogaireacha a sholáthar seachas na tástálacha traidisiúnta micribhitheolaíocha agus imdhíon-mheasa trí mhóilíní DNA a bhrath ó bhaictéir, víris agus cealla ailse i samplaí othair agus i dtorthaí 'sampla go freagra'. Is ionann an infheistíocht seo agus an chéad chomhthionscadal taighde atá déanta ag Beckman Coulter in Éirinn. San áireamh sa chomhthionscadal seo beidh foireann taighde a chruthú – deichniúr taighdeoirí Máistreachta agus PhD – foireann a bheidh bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh, mar aon le cur leis an Maoin Intleachtúil atá forbartha san Ollscoil cheana féin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire Martin le linn dó an comhthionscadal taighde seo a fhógairt, "Tá beartas an Rialtais agus straitéis IDA Ireland ag feidhmiú ar mhaithe le hÉirinn a bhunú mar ionad straitéiseach den chéad scoth do thaighde agus d'fhorbairt i réimse na heolaíochta agus na teicneolaíochta agus chun cur chuige nua i ndáil le Taighde & Forbairt a bhunú trí infheistíochtaí nuálaíocha agus comhpháirtíochtaí acadúla sa tionscal". "Trí thacú leis an gclár casta tionsclaíoch taighde seo idir Beckman Coulter agus OÉ Gaillimh tá IDA Ireland ag cur le taighde atá déanta cheana féin in OÉ Gaillimh; taighde a fuair maoiniú ó Fiontraíocht Éireann. Is léir go raibh tionchar ag dea-cháil OÉ Gaillimh mar ionad taighde den scoth sa diagnóisic bhitheolaíoch mhóilíneach sa chinneadh a rinne Beckman Coulter leanúint ar aghaidh leis an gcomhthionscadal taighde seo. Bhí an-tionchar ag foireann bainistíochta ardcháilithe Beckman Coulter agus lucht oibre na cuideachta i nGaillimh ar an infheistíocht Taighde & Forbartha seo a mhealladh i dtreo na Gaillimhe." Ina theannta sin, dúirt an tAire, "má éiríonn go maith leis an tionscadal seo go mb'fhéidir go mbeadh ar chumas na cuideachta imdhíon-mheasa Diagnóisic Mhóilíneach a fhorbairt i nGaillimh amach anseo." Dúirt Mike Whelan, Leas-Uachtarán Grúpa ar Ghrúpa Tástála Ard-Íogaireachta Beckman Coulter, gur "céim mhór chun tosaigh na socruithe seo maidir le córas diagnóiseach móilíneacha 'sampla go toradh' a fhorbairt, lena n-áirítear sraith dhifreáilte de thástálacha measartha casta a d'fhéadfadh tionchar a imirt ar chinntí práinneacha cliniciúla. Ciallaíonn na socruithe seo go bhfuil teacht againn ar mhaoin intleachtúil chun tástálacha a fhorbairt do ghalair thógálacha lena n-áirítear seipseas; ionfhabhtuithe a fhaigtear san ospidéal; agus galair ghnéas-tarchurtha cosúil le Clamaidia agus Neisseria." Ina theannta sin, dúirt an tUasal Whelan, "Trí leas a bhaint as na teicneolaíochtaí atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh agus ár dteicneolaíochtaí féin féadfaimid tuairim éigin a fháil ar a bhfuil i ndán dúinn sa réimse diagnóisic mhóilíneach amach anseo. Is é atá mar aidhm againne go gciallóidh ár réiteach simplí, uathoibrithe gur féidir na tástálacha casta, fada agus dlúthfhostaíochta seo a áireamh mar chuid de ghnáthchleachtas saotharlainne in ospidéil. Ciallóidh sé seo go mbeidh teacht ag dochtúití ar eolas dhiagnóiseach taobh istigh d'uaireanta an chloig, seachas a bheith ag fanacht laethanta nó seachtainí, agus go mbeidh ar a gcumas tús a chur le cóireáil othar níos luaithe." Le linn d'Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh a bheith ag labhairt faoin gcomhpháirtíocht nua seo le Beckman Coulter mhol sé obair an Ionaid Náisiúnta um Eolaíocht Innealtóireachta Bithmhíochaine (NCBES) agus Roinn na Micribhitheolaíochta, a bhfuil ról lárnach acu sa tionscnamh taighde seo. "Cinntíonn obair na rann seo go mbaintear leas as scileanna taighdeoirí den scoth atá ag obair ar chuid de na ceisteanna is dúshlánaí agus is tábhachtaí sa taighde bithmhíochaine. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an obair seo an modh a bhfuil cóir leighis á fáil ag othair a athrú. Is é a bheidh mar thoradh ar an gcomhthionscadal forbartha taighde agus teicneolaíochta le Beckman Coulter go gcuirfear feabhas ar an gcúram atá á fháil ag othair agus léargas maith an méid seo ar an tacaíocht atá á tabhairt ag an tionscal don taighde atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh." Le linn don Ollamh Terry Smith, Stiúrthóir NCBES, agus Stiúrthóir an Chláir um Dhiagnóisic Mhóilíneach, a bheith ag labhairt ag an ócáid dúirt sé gur "comhthionscadal suntasach taighde é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus Beckman Coulter, agus go mbaineann sé leas as acmhainní tástála agus ionstraimíochta diagnóisice an dá pháirtí, rud a chiallíonn gur féidir teicneolaíochtaí nua a fhorbairt a chabhróidh chun galair thógálacha a aithint i ndaoine. Ina theannta sin, tacaíonn na socruithe comhpháirtíochta seo le Taighde & Forbairt atá ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh ar dhiagnóisic mhóilíneach galar tógálach, léiriú eile fós ar ár seasamh domhanda sa réimse seo." CRÍOCH

Friday, 18 January 2008

Almost 400 children, aged 3 to 7, were at NUI Galway today for the University's third annual 'Teddy Bear Hospital'. The main aim of the day was to help dispel some of the fears children may have of a hospital environment. The event was organised by the Sláinte Society (the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations - I.F.M.S.A.). At the 'Teddy Bear Hospital' children and their teddies visited the team of 'Teddy Doctors' and 'Teddy Nurses' who examined the patients and took a full medical history. Appropriate medical action was taken, whether it was applying bandages, or taking a trip to the Teddy X-ray machine or the Teddy MRI machine. There was also a Teddy Pharmacy fully stocked with nourishing vitamin juices and other healthy treats to promote healthy eating and dietary well being. Over 150 students volunteered their time to explain how treatments worked and dispel any fears the children might have. Many of the students who took part are studying health related disciplines at the University. NUI Galway's Juggling Society was also on hand to provide entertainment. The event was supported by Kelkin, Medtronic and Eli Lilly & Co. According to Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer, "The Teddy Bear Hospital is just one example of the enthusiasm and creativity of our students. This event has gone from strength to strength each year and is of huge benefit to the local schools and children. This is just one small example of the community engagement that happens here on campus". The University has 89 active societies through which students make friends, pursue their interests, learn new skills and organise events such as the Teddy Bear Hospital. NUI Galway also runs the ALIVE programme to assist students who wish to volunteer with community organisations. -ends-

Friday, 18 January 2008

The Annual NUI Galway Graduate Studies Fair takes place from 1.30-5pm on Monday, 4 February, 2008 at Áras na Mac Léinn. The event will showcase 429 full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes at NUI Galway, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attend NUI Galway. At the Graduate Studies Fair, 70 stands will provide information about opportunities at NUI Galway, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. A free seminar at 2.15pm will address 'Research & Funding Opportunities' while a presentation at 3.15pm will cover 'Careers and Making a Postgraduate Application'. Supported by Bank of Ireland, the Fair will also feature stands from other institutions across the country. According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway's Career Development Centre, "A postgraduate qualification can provide a real career boost. Whether you are a recent graduate or whether you secured your primary degree some years ago, there is a growing demand for people with postgraduate or 'fourth' level qualifications. More and more students now go straight onto postgraduate study in order to maximize their career prospects and earnings". Working with the 'fourth-level' theme, NUI Galway's graduate education opportunities are now under the banner go4th™. The University offers world-class fourth level education, 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. An online prospectus of all that is on offer at NUI Galway is available at www.go4th.ie. The postgraduate application process is also online, through PAC (Postgraduate Applications Centre www.pac.ie). "Most of our postgraduate applications for both taught and research programmes are now made online," says Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, "the system is very easy to use and allows for quick turnaround and decision times". For further information on the Graduate Studies Fair visit www.go4th.ie/gsf -ends-