Diabetic Foot Management Conference at NUI Galway

Diabetic Foot Management Conference at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 5 March 2012

NUI Galway will host a conference entitled Diabetic Foot Management: Optimising Care Using a Holistic Approach on Saturday, 10 March. This is the premier conference on Diabetic Foot Management in Ireland organised in partnership with the The School of Podiatry at NUI Galway, The Office for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in Podiatry, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland, The Organisation of Chiropodists/Podiatrists of Ireland, The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the Wound Management Association of Ireland. The conference will include presentations from national and international experts in the fields of health and education. The conference will hold plenary presentations and workshops on the latest evidence-based approaches to diagnosis, clinical management and education of patients with Diabetes. Dr Caroline McIntosh, Head of Podiatry at NUI Galway, said: “We are facing a national crisis, the Institute of Public Health estimate that by 2015 there will be 232,000 people with diabetes in Ireland. This is a 62% increase on the 2007 figure of 141,000.” Karen Fahy, National Education Officer for CPD in Podiatry expressed concern: “Recent studies have found that awareness of the complications of diabetes among the public is low, for example only 18% of people surveyed knew that complications of diabetes can lead to having an amputation, despite the fact that half of all lower limb amputations carried out between 2005-2010 in Ireland were linked with diabetes. It is fundamental that all health professionals including podiatrists involved in the treatment of the diabetic foot are informed in the latest evidence-based approaches to holistic management of the potentially high risk diabetic foot and this is the aim of our conference.” The keynote speaker at the conference is Matthew Young, Consultant Diabetologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he leads a multidisciplinary team of the largest diabetic foot clinic in Scotland. Dr Young also serves on the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) group, for diabetic foot guidelines, and the Foot Advisory Group of the Scottish Diabetes Group and has published extensively on diabetes and its complications, particularly the diabetic foot. He will deliver a lecture on the “Improved survival of diabetic foot ulcer patients 1995-2008, possible impact of aggressive cardiovascular risk management.” Other speakers at the conference will include: Dr Caroline McIntosh, Co-chairperson of the Conference, Senior Lecturer and Head of Podiatry, NUI Galway; Dr Brian McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, NUI Galway; Dr Sean Dinneen, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Galway University Hospital; Maeve Gacquin, Senior Dietitian, The Galway Clinic; Dr Marcus Simmgen, Consultant Physician, Roscommon County Hospital and Galway University Hospital; Dr Georgina Gethin, Co-chairperson of the Conference and Head of the Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery in RCSI; and Dr David Gallagher, Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases and General Internal Medicine, Galway University Hospital and St. James's Hospital, Dublin. In addition to the lectures workshops will also take place at the conference. For further information contact Karen Fahy, National Education Officer for CPD in Podiatry at karen.fahy@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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An Taoiseach Congratulates Alumni at NUI Galway Gala

An Taoiseach Congratulates Alumni at NUI Galway Gala-image

Monday, 5 March 2012

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway’s alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night with special guest An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD. Over 450 people gathered for the 12th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTÉ’s Deputy Director of TV Programmes, Mairéad Ní Nuadháin. Among the guests were alumni, staff, students and friends of the University. The feature of the night was the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards to: Máire Whelan, Attorney General of Ireland, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law Gerry Kilcommins, VP Global Vascular Operations & General Manager Medtronic Galway and past President American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics Professor Fergal O'Gara, Chair of Microbiology UCC who received the Aramark Alumni Award for Science Marie Mullen - actress, Druid Theatre Company co-founder who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Professor Tim O'Brien, Director, Gait Laboratory & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Central Remedial Clinic who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway who received the Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge Special guest on the night An Taoiseach and former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny TD, said: “The people we honour here this evening have made remarkable and diverse contributions to Irish life, which rightly deserve to be. In honouring those six distinguished graduates this evening, we highlight not only their achievements, we also take the opportunity to recognise the contribution, and indeed the calibre, of Irish graduates generally. “Since its establishment well over a century and half ago, NUI Galway has always aimed to be one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. Since spending time as a student on this campus in the 1970s, I have seen NUI Galway, and indeed the surrounding city, grow and develop continually. In particular the transformation that has taken place over the last decade has been remarkable. The campus now offers the best of facilities for teaching and research and a wealth of modern amenities for students.” An Taoiseach added: “In diverse ways our Alumni Award winners have helped to shape Irish society and culture, broken new boundaries of knowledge and forged new industries and enterprises. In the arts and culture, in business, governance and industry, and in the sciences - they are the social leaders, who continue to build our future. They serve as an inspiration to the next generation of emerging students - and they too will bring their talents and ingenuity to Irish society and enterprise in new and creative ways. I congratulate tonight's honourees and all involved in this event.” Entertainment for the Gala was provided by internationally renowned Donegal singer Moya Brennan, formerly of Clannad fame. Moya performed with her daughter Aisling before she embarks on a US tour, and delighted the audience with a mixture of old Clannad favourites and new compositions from her latest live album Heartstrings. Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “The people we honour tonight have made a difference. They have distinguished themselves as individuals and in doing so they add lustre to the reputation of NUI Galway.” The Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide.  ENDS   Déanann an Taoiseach comhghairdeas le Alumni ag Mórfhéasta OÉ Gaillimh Dé Luain, 5 Márta 2012: Bhí ceiliúradh ar éachtaí alumni OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen ar an gcampas oíche Dé Sathairn agus bhí an Taoiseach Enda Kenny mar aoi speisialta ag an ócáid. Bhí os cionn 450 duine bailithe don 12ú Mórfhéasta Bliantúil, ócáid ghalánta agus Mairéad Ní Nuadháin, Leas-Stiúrthóir na gClár Teilifíse in RTÉ, mar bhean an tí. I láthair ag an ócáid bhí alumni, comhaltaí foirne, mic léinn agus cairde na hOllscoile. Ba é bronnadh Dhuaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni ar na daoine seo a leanas buaicphointe na hoíche: Maire Whelan, Ard-Aighne na hÉireann, ar bronnadh Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó, an Beartas Poiblí agus an Dlí uirthi Gerry Kilcommins, Leas-Uachtarán Global Vascular Operations & Bainisteoir Ginearálta Medtronic na Gaillimhe agus iar-Uachtarán ar Chumann Tráchtála Mheiriceá in Éirinn ar bronnadh Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Innealtóireacht agus don Ionformaitic air An tOllamh Fergal O’Gara, Ollúnacht le Micribhitheolaíocht, UCC ar bronnadh Duais Alumni Aramark don Eolaíocht air Marie Mullen – aisteoir, comhbhunaitheoir Chomplacht Amharclannaíochta an Druid ar bronnadh Duais AIB do na Dána, na hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léann Ceilteach uirthi An tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir, Saotharlann Choisíochta & Máinlia Comhairleach Ortaipéidice, an Clinic Lárnach Íocshláinteach ar bronnadh Duais Medtronic don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte air Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ar bronnadh Duais Hewlett Packard don Ghaeilge air Dúirt aoi speisialta na hoíche, an Taoiseach agus iarmhac léinn OÉ Gaillimh, Enda Kenny: “Tá éachtaí suntasacha agus éagsúla i saol na hÉireann déanta ag na daoine a bhfuil duaiseanna á mbronnadh orthu anseo anocht, agus tá na duaiseanna seo tuillte go maith acu. Agus muid ag tabhairt aitheantais don seisear céimithe den scoth seo anocht, tarraingímid aird, ní hamháin ar a gcuid éachtaí, ach aithnímid chomh maith an obair, agus leibhéal ard na hoibre go deimhin, a bhíonn ar siúl ag céimithe Éireannacha go ginearálta. “Ó bunaíodh OÉ Gaillimh go maith os cionn 150 bliain ó shin, tá sé mar aidhm ag an Ollscoil a bheith ar cheann de phríomhionaid feabhais acadúil na hÉireann. Ón uair a chaith mé féin seal anseo mar mhac léinn sna 1970í, tá fás agus forbairt feicthe agam ag teacht ar OÉ Gaillimh, agus go deimhin ar an gcathair máguaird. Is cinnte gur díol suntais é go háirithe an t-athrú atá tarlaithe le deich mbliana anuas. Tá na háiseanna is fearr ar fáil ar an gcampas ó thaobh an teagaisc agus an taighde de agus tá réimse iontach áiseanna nua-aimseartha ar fáil do mhic léinn.” Dúirt an Taoiseach chomh maith: “Ar bhealaí éagsúla chabhraigh buaiteoirí na nGradam Alumni linn cruth a chur ar shochaí agus ar chultúr na hÉireann, bhris siad teorainneacha an eolais agus chruthaigh siad tionscail agus fiontair nua. Sna healaíona agus sa chultúr, sa ghnó, sa rialachas agus sa tionscal, agus sna heolaíochtaí – is ceannairí sóisialta iad, atá ag cur de shíor lenár dtodhchaí. Is cúis inspioráide iad don chéad ghlúin eile de mhic léinn – agus úsáidfidh siadsan chomh maith a gcuid buanna agus a stuaim ar mhaithe le sochaí agus le fiontar na hÉireann ar bhealaí nua agus cruthaitheacha. Déanaim comhghairdeas le buaiteoirí na hoíche anocht agus le gach duine a bhí páirteach san ócáid seo.” Is í an t-amhránaí as Dún na nGall a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda uirthi, Moya Brennan, a chuir ceol ar fáil don Mhórfhéasta. Bhíodh Moya mar bhall den ghrúpa Clannad. Chas Moya in éineacht lena hiníon Aisling, sular imigh sí ar a camchuairt go Meiriceá, agus chas sí meascán de na hamhráin a bhíodh aici le Clannad agus amhráin nua óna halbam beo Heartstrings. Agus é ag labhairt leis an slua a bhí i láthair dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá difríocht déanta ag na daoine seo atá ag fáil duaiseanna anocht. Tá éachtaí déanta acu agus cuireann siad go mór le cáil OÉ Gaillimh.” Deis iad na Duaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar luach fadsaoil an oideachais a chuirtear ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh mar aon le haitheantas a thabhairt d’éachtaí cuid den 80,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile seo atá anois lonnaithe fud fad na cruinne. CRÍOCH

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New Medical Orchestra to Headline Arts in Action Finale at NUI Galway

New Medical Orchestra to Headline Arts in Action Finale at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 5 March 2012

NUI Galway, in conjunction with Coláiste Iognáid is delighted to announce the final concert of the Arts in Action concert series on Thursday, 22 March in the Bailey Allen Hall, with a special performance by the newly formed University Medical Orchestra. The Medical Orchestra, which was formed in January 2011, has given a series of performances since its inception with an original programme of work arranged by the orchestra’s musical director Carl Hession (music teacher in Coláiste Iognáid). The orchestra is made up of young medical students, some of whom are past pupils of the Jes, as well as some senior lecturers and a choir of Malaysian students. The programme for the finale concert, which is a fundraising event for the local Jesuit Secondary School Building Fund (Coláiste Iognáid), will have a strong emphasis on traditional works with special guests Dr Seamus McGuire on violin, Cois Cladaigh Choir with director Brendan O Connor, singer’s Lillis O Laoire and Mary Mc Partlan and the TG4 Young Musician of the ear and NUI Galway student, piper Pádraig Keane. A choral ensemble from the Jes Secondary school will also perform. Speaking in advance of the fundraising event, Mary McPartlan, Director of Arts in Action programme, NUI Galway, said: “Both Arts in Action and the Medical Orchestra bring very new and important dimensions and opportunities for the students at NUI Galway to engage with the creative arts, including access to academic modules where they can experience the creative arts process at a deeper level and obtain credits in first and second year programmes. We are really looking forward to this performance, the students have really worked hard with musical director Carl Hession to bring a different programme of music. We are delighted to honour the Jesuit Secondary School with the proceeds from this concert.” Arts in Action concerts are free for the students at the University but this once off event will have an admission of €15 for the general public. Students will need ID on the night to gain admission. The Arts in Action concert is at the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday, 22 March at 8pm. Tickets can be obtained from the Jesuit School office or on the door on the night of the concert. All are most welcome. For ticket sales and further Information please contact: Mary Mc Partlan NUI Galway: 087 2206629 or Catherine Hickey, Deputy Principal, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway 091-501550/ 501564. Tickets can also be purchased directly from the Secretary office, Coláiste Iognáid. ENDS

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NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk to Focus on Fitness

NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk to Focus on Fitness-image

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The last talk in the NUI Galway public talk series on Sports Technology will take place on Tuesday, 13 March, at 6pm. Entitled Fitness, There Is An App For That, the talk will be delivered by Ted Vickey, PhD researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) and former Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center in Washington DC. The talk will focus on the use of widely available mobile fitness apps and how people from around the world are using such apps to increase exercise motivation, share workouts on Facebook and Twitter and how using such apps can make a difference in decreasing global obesity. Ted Vickey holds a Bachelor in Exercise and Sport Science degree from Penn State and a Masters of International Business from the University of Limerick. In addition to his academic work, Ted is President of FitWell LLC, a global fitness and wellness consulting company and has served as the Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center, serving the staff of the Executive Office of the President for eleven years under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations. He is the Nominations Chair for the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise and has worked at the past three British Open golf tournaments for ESPN/ABC.  He is the current Chair of the Industry Advisory Board for NUI Galway’s BE in Sports and Exercise Engineering. The free public talk will take place in room 3035 of the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices. For more information on the Sports Technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit www.ExerciseEngineering.com or call 091 492728. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Students Partner with Croí to Raise Blood Pressure Awareness

NUI Galway Students Partner with Croí to Raise Blood Pressure  Awareness -image

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

NUI Galway second-year Biomedical Science students recently organised a public blood pressure screening clinic. Organised in partnership with Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation, the students, as part of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) module, were raising awareness of the importance of elevated blood pressure (hypertension) as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, which is the single greatest cause of premature death in Irish adults. The clinic saw over 150 NUI Galway staff and students attend a free clinic on campus to have their blood pressure measured by trained students under the supervision of Dr Gerard Flaherty and members of the Croí MyAction clinical team. Where elevated blood pressure readings were observed, individuals were given specific advice by a Croí clinical team member according to their standard screening protocols as well as written information about blood pressure control. Those attending the clinic were inspired by the guest attendance of Paul Hession, double Olympic Athlete and NUI Galway medical student.  At the clinic Paul highlighted the importance of an active lifestyle and heart healthy diet, and keeping fit to maintaining a long and healthy life.  Throughout the CKI ten-week module, students learned about the causes and effects of high blood pressure and were instructed in the accurate measurement of blood pressure with Croí sharing their expertise in blood pressure screening protocols. This module was completed under the supervision of Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway. Speaking at the day-long event, Dr Flaherty highlighted the importance of student learning with the community: “This kind of engagement is key to the skills and attitude development of our students. The collaboration with Croí has been a very fruitful partnership and we look forward to continuing our work with this flagship organisation in the west of Ireland.”  This module is run under NUI Galway’s CKI which fosters community university partnerships which aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy.  For further information on community engagement at NUI Galway see www.nuigalway.ie/cki  -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Announce the Launch of First Women’s Network

NUI Galway Announce the Launch of First Women’s Network-image

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A new University Women’s Network will be launched within NUI Galway on Friday, 9 March 2012 in the The View, Áras na Mac Léinn.  The network seeks to support professional development and networking among its members towards achieving individual career goals and contributing to the development of vibrant research, teaching and supporting service communities. Renowned author and researcher Professor Susan Vinnicombe (OBE) will deliver the keynote address at the launch.  Recognised for her work on women’s leadership styles, and the issues involved in women developing their managerial careers, her keynote address will focus on the ‘Benefits of Networking in the University’.  Commenting on the launch of the Women’s Network, Professor Vinnicombe said that “Womens networks are increasingly seen as a legitimate work activity as well as a career development tool.”  Susan is Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Diversity Management, Director of the Leadership and Organisation Development Community, and Director of the International Centre for Women Leaders, Cranfield University, UK.  Her research centre is unique in Europe with its focus on women leaders and the annual Female FTSE Report is regarded as the premier research resource on women directors in the UK. Professor Vinnicombe has written ten books and over one hundred articles, reports and conference papers. Her book, Women on Corporate Boards of Directors – International Research and Practice (with R. Burke, D. Bilimoria, M. Husen and V. Singh published by Edward Elgar) was published in 2009. The book reviews the position of women on corporate boards in the USA, Canada, UK, France, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Iceland and Spain. Her new book, Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers, (co-authored with R. Burke and L. Moore) will be published in March 2012. Susan has consulted for organisations in over twenty countries on how best to attract, retain and develop women executives. She has advised the government in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Finland and Spain on how to increase the number of women on their corporate boards. Susan was awarded an OBE for her Services to Diversity in the Queen’s New Year’s Honour List in 2005. The chair of the Women’s Network, Professor Kathy Murphy, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway commented: “We are very excited about the Launch of the Women’s Network. The Network will provide a forum to discuss debate and propose solutions to some of the issues that impact on the professional development and career progression of women. The network will seek to promote a better gender balance in leadership positions in both academic  and administration communities in the University, through various mechanisms including networking opportunities, relevant seminars, and mentoring.” The Women’s Network and launch event provides an excellent opportunity for the women and individuals interested in women’s issues, to meet with other women and leaders in the University. All categories of staff are welcome to join the Network. The launch will take place on Friday, 9 March in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn from 12.30 – 14.00.  Ends

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NUI Galway Reunion for Class of 1962

NUI Galway Reunion for Class of 1962-image

Thursday, 8 March 2012

NUI Galway will celebrate the 50th anniversary reunion for those conferred with degrees in 1962 from the NUI Galway or UCG as it was then known. The reunion will take place on Saturday, 21 April. As well as the Class of 1962, those who graduated prior to 1962 will be welcomed back to their alma mater to celebrate this special milestone. The reunion programme includes a bus tour of a vastly changed campus, a presentation of Cumann Caoga Bliain (50 Year Club) commemorative certificates by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, and a reunion dinner in the Meyrick Hotel (formerly the Great Southern Hotel). Colm O’Dwyer of the Alumni Office encourages graduates to come along: “This reunion is a perfect opportunity to take a walk down memory lane, renew old acquaintances and see how the University has developed over the years. I’d encourage everyone from the Class of 1962 to get out their address books and call around.” For a detailed schedule of events or to book tickets please contact Máire Aherne in the Alumni Office on 091 492721 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway to Hold CAO Information Evening in Ennis

NUI Galway to Hold CAO Information Evening in Ennis-image

Monday, 12 March 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to a CAO Information Evening in Ennis on Thursday, 22 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the The Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare. The evening will begin with a short presentation on college and student life at NUI Galway and will focus on some of the 60 courses the University offers. There will be a number of career talks focusing on different employment options available to students on completion of their studies. These will include talks on Arts, Science, Business and Law, Engineering, Medicine and Health Sciences. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Co. Clare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Ennis is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the CAO Information Evening in Ennis, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Celine O’Donovan, Schools Liaison Office on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Neuroscientists Participate in Brain Awareness Week

NUI Galway Neuroscientists Participate in Brain Awareness Week -image

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

As part of ‘Brain Awareness Week’ which took place globally last week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster organised a public information exhibit in the Galway City Museum.  The exhibition saw many members of the public and local schools visiting to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work.  The exhibit consisted of interactive stations where visitors could learn more about the nervous system in a hands-on way, including tests of hand-eye coordination, visual perception, left/right handedness, creativity and many others. Visitors also had the opportunity to learn more about the brain and about brain disorders, with the aid of information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster, which is part of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). Dr John Lynch, Neurology Department, Galway University Hospital, delivered a short talk on the brain to secondary school students, while Dr David Finn, Pharmacology and Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, gave a presentation on pain and its treatment.  Neuroscientists have the daunting task of deciphering the mystery of the very complex machine that is the brain: how as many as 100 billion nerve cells are produced, grow, and organise themselves into effective, functionally active systems that ordinarily remain in working order throughout a person’s lifetime.  The more than 1,000 disorders of the brain and nervous system result in more hospitalisations than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer. Approximately 180 million Europeans are thought to suffer from a brain disorder, at a total cost of almost €800 billion per annum. Ongoing research within NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster aims to advance understanding of the brain and nervous system, and identify new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of brain disorders. Dr Una Fitzgerald, lead organiser of the exhibit, said: “We hope that this event has succeeded in educating the public about the brain and nervous system, and increasing awareness of brain disorders and the need for further research in this area.”   NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Cluster acknowledges funding from the Dana Foundation and the NCBES which made the event possible. -ENDS-

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European Parliament hosts International Seminar on Genetic Discrimination

European Parliament hosts International Seminar on Genetic Discrimination-image

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Marian Harkin, MEP, and Phil Prendergast, MEP recently hosted a seminar on Genetic Discrimination in the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was led by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, in conjunction with the European Disability Forum. This international seminar, which was chaired by Andre Gubbels, Belgian Ministry, was the first of its kind in the European Parliament and brought together a diverse range of leading experts in the area, with the objective of exploring the case for a European level response to protect the privacy of genetic information and to prevent genetic discrimination. The seminar highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of this area and focused on the interaction between genetic science, technology, ethics and the law, and in particular, how best to address this complex area. The event also looked at the challenges and practical problems that arise when attempting to regulate this area, as well as the transatlantic perspectives on the matter. International speakers at the seminar included: Professor Ciaran Morrison, Centre for Chromosome Biology, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway; Professor Yann Joly, Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Montreal, Canada; Professor Peter Blanck, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University; and Dr Delia Ferri, Faculty of Law, University of Verona. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “This is the Centre at its best. We exist to inform debate and have impact. Scientific advances are for the benefit of all and we must maintain public confidence.  The best way to do this is to have a European level debate about how to protect people against the abuse of genetic information. Because of this event, a unique partnership between the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and the European Parliament, there is now a genuine European-level debate that should hopefully generate a European-level response in time.” The Rapporteur’s Report was delivered by Dr Elise Muir, Maastricht University, who reflected upon the emerging consensus that genetic science is advancing at a rapid pace, and is becoming more accessible and more readily available to individuals and third parties. Dr Muir acknowledged that although advancing genetic research offers the potential to revolutionise health care and medical treatment, it can also result in problems and pitfalls with the misuse of sensitive genetic information.  Although a comprehensive European level response is needed in this area, to adequately protect genetic privacy and prevent the discriminatory use of genetic information, care needs to be taken when considering the nature of the problem and the appropriate way forward. -ENDS-

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