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News Archives

2014

NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants For Project On Chronic Pain In Children

NUI Galway Researchers Seek Participants For Project On Chronic Pain In Children-image

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Children in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway who experience chronic pain are invited to help develop an effective pain management programme Researchers with the School of Psychology at NUI Galway are currently inviting children aged from 7-12 years who have experienced chronic or recurrent pain for a period of three months or more, and their parents, to help develop an effective pain management programme for young children which will be computer-based and accessed online.  Group sessions will be run at a number of locations across Ireland including Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast. Children with any type of chronic or persistent pain including abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and combined or widespread pains, are invited to participate. Children and their parents will use art materials to think, draw or write about ideas or topics which they think are important for children and parents dealing with chronic pain. Participants will be shown a computer-based programme designed to support pain management and are invited to give feedback, based on their personal experiences of chronic pain management.  The project will involve just one meeting with a group of children and one meeting with a group of parents to enable the researchers to decide what course of action would work best for this type of treatment programme. Group sessions will be fun and interactive, lasting 30-40 minutes. Participant views and personal experiences are extremely valuable and their input will greatly enhance research in the development of an intervention for children who suffer with chronic pain. They may also benefit from sharing their experiences and thoughts about chronic pain management with others in a similar situation, in a casual environment, while offering complete confidentiality. NUI Galway PhD student and group facilitator, Angeline Traynor said: “Chronic pain is increasingly prevalent in young people and can have a significant impact on the day-to-day quality of life. The most common types of chronic pain in children are abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and combined or widespread pains.” Ms Traynor continued, “Given the impact of chronic pain and the increasing focus on technology as a means of treatment delivery, it is essential to identify and address the needs of young children with respect to pain management. Participation is voluntary and anything you say during the group session is strictly confidential. These sessions will give children and their parents the chance to inform our research by telling us of their own personal experiences with chronic pain management.” This programme is part of a PhD research project being carried out at NUI Galway by PhD student Angeline Traynor with Dr. Brian McGuire of the university’s School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research. The study is supported by Galway University Foundation. Each group session will include 6-8 other volunteer participants and will be led by Ms. Traynor and Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. Refreshments will be provided to participants. If you would be willing to help with this important study or would like further information, please contact Angeline Traynor at a.traynor2@nuigalway.ie or 086 0378562 or go directly to www.helpkidswithpain.com  

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NUI Galway Appoints Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College Of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

NUI Galway Appoints Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College Of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences -image

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

NUI Galway has appointed Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Professor Timothy O’Brien is recognized as an international expert on vascular wall gene delivery. Professor O’Brien returned to Ireland in July 2001 as Professor of Medicine and Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Metabolism at University College Hospital Galway.   Professor O’Brien has since established a gene therapy research group the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). As Director of REMEDI, he has played a key role in establishing both the new Bioscience Building at NUI Galway the Clinical Research Facility in the hospital. Speaking about his appointment Professor O’Brien said, “NUI Galway has a long and proud tradition of serving the local, national and global communities by educating the health care providers of the future. I look forward to building on that success and working with colleagues across the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Healthcare systems to integrate the education of our future health care providers. In particular, I look forward to working closely with our colleagues in the West Northwest Hospital group to this end. This success in our education programmes is recognised by prestigious scholarship schemes such as the Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and we will strive to continue and expand on our traditional success in that programme.” Professor O’Brien continued, “The College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will continue to promote excellence and international competitiveness in selected research areas. We will pursue an innovation agenda with a focus on generation of impact. The research themes will be aligned with University and National priority areas and approaches will emphasize collaboration between our faculty members, hospitals and industry.  We will strive to enhance patient care and contribute to economic recovery in Ireland through our research performance. In addition, we will work to contribute to the Irish Government’s aim to win €1.3 billion in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme.” A native of Cork, Professor O’Brien received an honours MB BCh BAO degree from UCC in 1984. He went on to do an internship and general professional training at Cork University Hospital and one year as Registrar to Professor DJ O’Sullivan. He completed a two year residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 1990 followed by a sub-specialty fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN in 1992. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in Ireland and London in 1986 and 1987, respectively and to Fellowship of the American College of Physicians in 1995 and the American College of Endocrinology in 1996. He was awarded MD (1993) and PhD (1997) degrees from the National University of Ireland. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism in the USA and is a registered specialist in both specialties in Ireland. Since returning to Ireland Professor O’Brien has been a principal or co-applicant on grants worth in excess of €73 million. He has been a reviewer for 16 international journals, was a member of an American Heart Association Study Section, has acted as an invited reviewer on an NIH study section, and has been a reviewer for the Wellcome Trust and the Finnish Academy of Science. He served as associate editor of Endocrine Practice, the journal of the American College of Endocrinology from 1999-2006 and the e-journal of Translational Medicine. To date Professor O'Brien has published 240 original papers in peer-reviewed journals.  He has contributed to 21 books, and has been invited to present his research at over 150 national and international scientific conferences. He is an author on seven patent applications. He is the Director of the MSc in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and has supervised 18 PhD students to graduation. Professor O’Brien is Director of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) and he is also a co-founder of a spin-out company, Orbsen Therapeutics. Professor Timothy O’Brien will succeed Professor Gerry Loftus who recently retired.

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EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn to Open 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers Association Conference at NUI Galway

EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn to Open 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers Association Conference at NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

‘Inspiring Science from Ireland’s Silicon Valley’ is the theme of the Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) Conference NUI Galway will host the 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) Conference from the 11-12 April. European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan Quinn and President Jim Browne of NUI Galway will officially open the Conference entitled “Inspiring Science from Ireland’s Silicon Valley”. The Irish Science Teachers' Association is the professional association of science teachers in the Republic of Ireland. It is over 50 years in existence and is the longest established provider of Continuous Professional Development for science teachers, with internationally renowned speakers invited to present frontier science to teachers. The Conference will host a total of 30 exhibitors in the area of science education. On Saturday 12 April there will be a full day of events in the Arts/Science Building at NUI Galway, starting with parallel talks and workshops in the morning and plenary sessions in the afternoon. Topics vary from ‘The Physics of Cancer’ to ‘Life Saving Chemistry’. Professor Donal O’Shea will give a talk on Childhood Obesity and FameLab science communicator Fergus McAuliffe will also be on stage. Workshops in biology, chemistry and physics will be conducted by teams from the Professional Development Service for Teachers, and there will also be short presentations on EU linked projects such as SCIENTIX, TEMI (Teaching Enquiry with Mystery Incorporated) and Chain Reaction. Primary Science is also included, as Dr Maeve Liston from Mary Immaculate College will present a practical workshop for primary school teachers. In the first plenary session of the afternoon the Nottingham based Professor Martyn Poliakoff, of Periodic Table Videos fame, will give a talk entitled ‘From Test-Tube to YouTube’. This will be followed by the launch of the Hyland Report which looks at International best practice in the design of science syllabi for second level schools. European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will provide the keynote address at the opening of the Conference and added, “I am delighted to be able to join you for the Irish Science Teachers’ Association Annual Conference this year. The work you do as an association and as individual teachers every day in the classroom, provides the foundation upon which Irish children and young adults are successfully equipping themselves for careers as researchers, academics, scientists in industry and informed citizens. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn continued, “Science and innovation are at the core of our daily lives and will, I believe, unlock a bright new future for generations. As teachers you have the privilege and responsibility to inspire and nurture our young people. I have great confidence in your ability and willingness to step up to the challenge, and continue to produce Europe’s brightest and best young scientists.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said, “It is a great pleasure to welcome the Irish Science Teachers’ Association to NUI Galway for your annual conference. This University has a long and proud tradition of scientific excellence in teaching and research. From our popular degree courses to world-leading research, science has been a cornerstone of the University for well over a century. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Irish Science Teachers’ Association continued success for the future. The work that you do to ignite curiosity and inspire young scientists is pivotal to the future of science and technology in Ireland.” The first lecture will be presented by Professor Elaine Fox from the University of Oxford and is entitled: ‘Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain; From Pessimist to Optimist, can we really change?’ It will take place at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday 11 April at 8pm. Professor Fox’s work has been discussed in New Scientist, The Economist and the New York Times. There will also be an update from ISTA members on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment development groups in relation to new syllabi at the Annual Business Meeting; this is the only session that is for members only. The closing talk will be given by the well renowned Professor Jim Al Khalili from the University of Surrey in which he will address the question: ‘Is Life Quantum Mechanical?’ Events take place on Saturday 12 April in the Arts/Science Building. The Association for Science Education representatives from the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland will attend the conference and Professor Teresa Kennedy from the USA will represent ICASE. Both events take place on Saturday 12 April in the Arts/Science Building. The organisation, led by Mary Mullaghy, National Chairperson of ISTA, is one of the pioneers of collaborative learning in association with the Department of Education and Skills, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, State Examinations Commission, Professional Development of Secondary Teachers, Institutes of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Technology Exhibition, BT Young Scientist, SciFest, industry and third level institutions. Many organisations communicate their outreach initiatives through the association as there is an extensive communication network. A Conference dinner and awards ceremony will take place in Hotel Meyrick and will be attended by some of the founding members of the Association including Sr Mercedes Desmond aged 92 years. Advance booking is advised. Full programme details and bookings are available on www.ista.ie and on social media @IrishSciTeach and Facebook. For registration visit http://istaannualconference2014.weebly.com

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October 2014

Social Equality and Poverty Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture

Social Equality and Poverty Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture-image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

As part of the President of Ireland's Ethics Initiative, NUI Galway’s discipline of Philosophy will host a public lecture by Professor Jonathan Wolff. The lecture, 'Social Equality and Poverty' will take place on Friday, 10 October at 4pm in the lower Aula Maxima on campus. Jonathan Wolff is Professor of Philosophy and Dean of Arts and Humanities at University College London. He is the author of several books on political philosophy, including Disadvantage (with Avner de-Shalit), Ethics and Public Policy, and The Human Right to Health. He has been a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Gambling Review Body, and the Board of Science of the British Medical Association. Professor Wolff also writes a regular column on higher education for The Guardian. A society of equals is a society that avoids a range of destructive asymmetrical social relations, including domination, exploitation, snobbery, servility and social exclusion. But how, in the highly unequal societies in which we live, can we begin to make progress on eliminating social inequality? During his lecture Professor Wolff will explore how thinking about relative poverty can help illuminate one highly important aspect of social inequality: social exclusion. At the same time reflecting on relative poverty, and the steps people take to overcome it, can help to understand some of the considerable structural obstacles that stand in the way of achieving a society of equals. The President of Ireland’s Ethics initiative is organised in collaboration with Ireland’s third-level universities and seeks to explore throughout all aspects of society the topic of ethics and the challenge and invitation of living ethically. Richard Hull, Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and a Director of the Centre of Bioethical Research and Analysis (COBRA) at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Wolff to the University. He is one of the most influential contemporary political philosophers, and he will add a distinguished voice to the President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative.” For further information contact Ann O’Higgins in the discipline of Philosophy at 091 492382 or email ann.ohiggins@nuigalway.ie. More information on the lecture is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/philosophy/news_and_events/index.html. -Ends-

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It all adds up for Maths Week 2014 at NUI Galway

It all adds up for Maths Week 2014 at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Schools in Galway will welcome NUI Galway experts into their classrooms to deliver interactive workshops during Maths Week 2014, from 11 to 19 October. In a further celebration of all things mathematical, a nationwide schools competition PRISM will be run, while a series of public talks will illustrate the many links between art and maths. Maths Week is an annual national event aimed at primary and secondary schools, to promote appreciation, understanding and awareness of maths and its relevance to society, education and technology. On request from teachers, NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics will dispatch lecturers and postgraduate students to schools for interactive talks and workshops. On Thursday, 16 October, the School of Mathematics will launch and host the nationwide maths competition PRISM (PRoblem solving for Irish Second level Mathematics). PRISM can be run in each interested school at junior and/or senior levels. Registered maths teachers can download a full package (problem sheets, answer keys, etc.) for their classes. The website generates numerical and graphical summary statistics of student performances in real time and identifies the top-performing schools and individuals. “Maths Week Ireland promotes awareness, appreciation and understanding of maths through a huge variety of events and activities. We have been involved in Maths Week from the start, and year-on-year there is a growing interest in the subject,” said Dr Ray Ryan, Head of the School of Mathematics at NUI Galway. “It all adds up. Teachers are finding new ways of teaching maths, academics are broadening the way they communicate maths, and younger people themselves are a lot more maths savvy. Our year-round schools programme, which includes school workshops through our TY Friday initiative, shows us there is a wonderful appetite for learning maths in fun and exciting ways.” Tom Banchoff is a Professor of Mathematics at Brown University in the US who has a deep interest in relating mathematics to art. On Friday, 17 October, he will deliver two public talks to secondary school pupils. ‘Maths Spans All Dimensions – Geometry and Computer Graphics’ is aimed at junior cycle students and will show how geometry and computer graphics play important roles in animated movies, dance, physics, geology, literature, and art. This exciting show will be illustrated by computer generated images and animations. For senior cycle students, ‘The Fourth Dimension and Salvador Dali’ explores the famous artist Salvador Dali, who was fascinated by mathematics and science. The artist managed to feature some advanced topics like the fourth dimension and catastrophe theory in his paintings. Teachers or individuals interested in arranging visits, the public talks or the schools competition should visit http://www.maths.nuigalway.ie/outreach/MathsWeek2014.shtml or email tim.downing@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

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NUI Galway is only Irish university to rise in latest world rankings, taking third place nationally

NUI Galway is only Irish university to rise in latest world rankings, taking third place nationally-image

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Rise in both THE and QS rankings testament to focus on ‘select set of research areas’ NUI Galway now ranks third place in Ireland and is the only Irish university to move up the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2014-15. With an increase of 53 places on last year’s position, two bands in this ranking survey, NUI Galway now ranks at 261st in the THE Rankings 2014/2015. NUI Galway is the only Irish university to increase its position in the two main international rankings, having recently increased to 280th in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015. The rise has been attributed to a concerted approach by the university in developing world-class research in specific fields including data analytics, biomedical science, marine and energy research, and digital humanities, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne explained: “This is a major improvement for NUI Galway and reflects a consistent upward trend in these very competitive global rankings. This major jump in NUI Galway’s position in THE World University Rankings this year is an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing our international reputation in a select set of research areas. These areas of activity underpin our growing international research reputation and continue to attract researchers, scholars and international partners. As the only Irish university again to increase our position in both the 2014 THE World University Rankings and the recently published QS World University Rankings, it is beyond doubt that our position globally is on the rise. Despite significant cuts in overall funding at third-level in Ireland and increased student numbers, our University has gone against the tide to secure a consistent improvement in these very competitive rankings.” The Times Higher Education World University Rankings were developed in concert with rankings data provider, Thomson Reuters, with expert input from more than 50 leading figures in the sector from 15 countries across every continent. The Times Higher league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university; teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2014 ranking. President Browne added: “It will be critical for Ireland to maintain its investment in its universities if we are to remain internationally competitive. Every year, rankings such as this are broadened to include a burgeoning number of world-class universities. While the rankings evaluate universities against a limited range of measures, there is no doubting their influence on a University’s ability to attract international students. We operate in a global market, competing for students and research support on an international playing field. Support on a national level must be maintained for universities such as NUI Galway to continue with their success.” The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2014-15 is available to view online at: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/   Is í OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a d'ardaigh sna ranguithe domhanda is déanaí, agus tá sí sa tríú háit go náisiúnta Teist é an t-ardú sna ranguithe THE agus QS ar an mbéim atá ar réimsí áirithe taighde Tá OÉ Gaillimh anois sa tríú háit in Éirinn agus is í an t-aon ollscoil Éireannach í a rinne dul chun cinn i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education (THE) 2014-15. Tháinig ardú 53 áit ar an seasamh a bhain OÉ Gaillimh amach anuraidh, dhá bhanda sa suirbhé rangaithe seo, agus tá sí anois sa 261ú háit i Ranguithe THE 2014/2015.  D’éirigh linn le gairid an 280ú háit a bhaint amach ar domhan i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2014/2015, agus is í OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta. Cur chuige comhaontaithe ón ollscoil i leith taighde den chéad scoth a fhorbairt i réimsí ar leith lena n-áirítear anailísíocht sonraí, eolaíocht bhithleighis, taighde mara agus fuinnimh, agus daonnachtaí digiteacha is cúis leis an ardú seo, mar a mhínigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is dul chun cinn ollmhór é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus léiríonn sé ardú seasta sna ranguithe domhanda seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch.  Is dearbhú í an léim mhór seo i mbliana ar sheasamh OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE ar an gcur chuige thar a bheith dírithe atá againn i leith ár gcáil idirnáisiúnta a fhorbairt i réimsí áirithe taighde.    Tacaíonn na réimsí gníomhaíochtaí seo lenár gcáil idirnáisiúnta taighde atá i mbun forbartha agus meallann siad taighdeoirí, scoláirí agus comhpháirtithe idirnáisiúnta.   Ó tharla gur muid an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE 2014 agus i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain a foilsíodh le gairid, tá sé ríshoiléir go bhfuil ár stádas domhanda ag dul ó neart go neart.  In ainneoin na gciorruithe suntasacha sa mhaoiniú trí chéile ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus méadú ar líon na mac léinn, tá an Ollscoil s’againne ar a mine géire le dul chun cinn leanúnach a dheimhniú sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch.” Cuireadh Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education le chéile i gcomhar le soláthróir sonraí rangaithe, Thomson Reuters, le hionchur sainiúil ó bhreis is 50 duine iomráiteach san earnáil ó 15 thír i ngach mór-roinn.  Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher Education de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith a chlúdaíonn gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth; teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá an suirbhé is mó ar domhan maidir le cáil acadúil áirithe sa suirbhé seo chomh maith. Fiafraíodh de bhreis is 10,000 duine acadúil na hollscoileanna is fearr a rátáil do rangú 2014.  Dúirt an tUachtarán Browne chomh maith: “Is den riachtanas é go gcoinneoidh Éire ag infheistiú ina cuid ollscoileanna le gur féidir leo a bheith iomaíoch go hidirnáisiúnta. Gach bliain, leathnaítear ranguithe den chineál seo chun ollscoileanna eile den scoth a thógáil ar bord. Cé go measann na ranguithe ollscoileanna de réir slat tomhais atá sách srianta, níl aon dabht ach go bhfuil an-tionchar acu ar chumas atá ag Ollscoil mic léinn idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh. Táimid ag feidhmiú i margadh domhanda, san iomaíocht do mhic léinn agus do thacaíocht taighde ar pháirc idirnáisiúnta. Caithfear an tacaíocht ag leibhéal náisiúnta a choinneáil d’ollscoileanna cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh chun go mbeidh an rath céanna uirthi amach anseo.”  Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2014-15 le feiceáil ar líne ag:  http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/  -críoch-  

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NUI Galway and RIA honour Pioneering cartographer who mapped Connemara

NUI Galway and RIA honour Pioneering cartographer who mapped Connemara  -image

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Pioneering cartographer and writer, Tim Robinson whose archive is based at NUI Galway has been honoured by a series of events at the University and the Royal Irish Academy to mark the publication of Connemara and Elsewhere.  On Tuesday, 30 September (yesterday) NUI Galway honoured the Robinsons’ unique contribution to Irish literature and landscape studies with a new book, Connemara and Elsewhere as well as with an associated exhibition and international symposium entitled, Interpreting Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland.  The publication Connemara and Elsewhere was launched by Vincent Woods following the day-long international symposium held in Robinson’s honour at the University’s Moore Institute. The accompanying exhibition, ‘Interpreting  Landscape: Tim Robinson and the West of Ireland’, based on the Robinson archive with photographs and extracts from Connemara and Elsewhere, will run from 30 September 2014 to 31 January 2015. A screening of ‘Unfolding the landscape’ a filmed interview with Vincent Woods and Tim Robinson, commissioned by NUI Galway also featured during the symposium. Connemara and Elsewhere, published by the Royal Irish Academy with support from Galway University Foundation marks the completion of Robinson’s forty-year labour of love. The book, edited by Professor Jane Conroy includes contributions from photographer Nicolas Fève and writer, John Elder and also features three new essays by Tim Robinson as he turns his attention elsewhere. Speaking at the launch, Editor of Connemara and Elsewhere, Professor Jane Conroy remarked, "Tim Robinson’s work has offered many readers new ways into Connemara and into meditating on their own experience of it. This book provides a further point of entry to the places and lifeworlds he evokes, explored through the lens of text and camera." Since moving to the Aran Islands in 1972, Yorkshire-born cartographer Tim Robinson has spent forty years mapping and writing about the Galway Bay area.  The internationally-acclaimed writer and map-maker has published unique and detailed maps of Connemara, the Burren and the Aran Islands and subsequently he wrote several books about these landscapes, including the acclaimed trilogy, Connemara. The Tim Robinson archive, consists of notebooks, notecards, drafts of his maps and books, and correspondence, totalling close to 100,000 items. It joins other important archives in the James Hardiman Library related to landscape and, in particular, to documenting the places and people of the west of Ireland.  President of NUI Galway, Dr  Jim Browne said: “The lore of place - dinnseanchas - is a special strand of the Irish literary tradition, drawing on notions of place, history and myth.  The corpus of Tim Robinson’s work in the West of Ireland can be seen as a unique act of modern dinnseanchas.  His work - like that of the scribes of the early Middle Ages – preserves an intimate knowledge of Connemara, Aran, the Burren and is dedicated to experiencing these places in ways that are beyond the scope of maps or words or memory.  It stands as an enduring meditation on place.  NUI Galway is fortunate to share a deeply-valued association with Tim and Máiréad.  As a university we are enriched by Tim’s life’s work.  We are proud to hold his archive in trust for future generations. “ The publication will be available at all major book stores nationwide. Booking for the events in Dublin and Galway is free but essential. See www.ria.ie/events and nuigalway.ie/mooreinstitute/. ENDS

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Simvastatin safe but ineffective in the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Simvastatin safe but ineffective in the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)-image

Thursday, 2 October 2014

NUI Galway researchers have been part of a large-scale clinical trial of statin treatment in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). This international, multi-centre study, led by the Irish Critical Care Trials group, was carried out in over 40 Intensive Care Units across Ireland and the United Kingdom. It was funded by the UK’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme (a Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research partnership) and by Ireland’s Health Research Board. This four-year project tested the efficacy of the drug simvastatin in 540 patients with ARDS. ARDS is a devastating condition that occurs in patients with critical illnesses such as severe infections or following severe injuries. The primary condition triggers an uncontrolled inflammatory response which in turn damages the lining of the lungs causing them to fill with fluid. Patients with ARDS are unable to breathe on their own and require artificial ventilation. There is currently no effective treatment for the condition, and about 25% of patients with ARDS die of the combined effects of the lung inflammation and the primary condition. Observational and early stage research strongly suggested that statins, drugs widely prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in the blood in order to prevent strokes and heart attacks, might also reduce the inflammatory response to critical illnesses and so might reduce the severity of ARDS. Statins are cheap, generally safe drugs with few side effects which, if the early research translated into a benefit in clinical practice, would be rapidly adopted to treat ARDS. The study (Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibition with simvastatin in Acute lung injury to Reduce Pulmonary dysfunction (HARP-2)) was led by Professor Danny McAuley from Queen’s University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Professor John Laffey was chief investigator for Ireland. The Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit coordinated the overall trial. NUI Galway was the study sponsor in Ireland, while the Galway HRB Clinical research facility study played a key role in the conduct of the study in the Irish centres. Results showed that while simvastatin was safe and well tolerated, it did not decrease the duration of artificial ventilation or the number of patients who died whilst in hospital with ARDS. According to Professor John Laffey, “While statin therapy demonstrate considerable promise for ARDS in early phase clinical  studies, unfortunately our study  shows that simvastatin does not result in better outcomes for patients with this devastating disease.” According to Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board: "Health research is not just about always finding new treatments. Sometimes it is just as important to rule something out as it is to rule it in. It is very encouraging to see one of the HRB's investments in clinical research infrastructure play such an important role in this study. The HRB Clinical Research Facility in Galway has enabled Irish researchers to collaborate internationally and contribute to significant clinical findings, as evidenced by this research being published in such a renowned medical journal.” -ends-

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NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair Announced

NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair Announced-image

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Major organisations from business, industry and voluntary sector will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday 7 October from 12.30pm - 4.00pm. The popular annual event will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Visitors to the event can attend spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Creganna, Medtronic, Cisco, Sourcedogg, and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies including Accenture, Abbott, KPMG and Lidl. According to Emma Goode, Employment Officer with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Her advice for those attending the fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Plan in advance - know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Bring along an up-to-date CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all your experiences to date. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers     -ends-

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Medtech startup Embo Medical secures €3 million investment

Medtech startup Embo Medical secures €3 million investment-image

Monday, 6 October 2014

Early-stage medical device company is developing minimally invasive embolization technology for the treatment of wide variety of diseases Embo Medical, an early stage medical device company focused on developing technology to shut down blood flow in blood vessels, has secured €3 million in seed-funding. The investment syndicate included the AIB Seed Capital Fund (managed by Enterprise Equity), Irrus Investments, HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate, Western Development Commission, Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund (managed by ACT Venture Capital). The investment will enable Embo Medical to secure regulatory approval and enter the market, and in doing so employ approximately 10 people directly and up to another 10 people indirectly. Embo Medical is based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre. In 2011, the management team of Wayne Allen, Colin Forde and Liam Mullins undertook the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship, a specialist medical device innovation programme. Upon completion, they founded Embo Medical to develop solutions to unmet clinical needs that were identified while observing embolization procedures in hospitals during the Fellowship. Embolization is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to deliberately stop blood flow in blood vessels when treating cancers, internal haemorrhage, aneurysms, and venous disease. Current embolization procedures require multiple coils and plugs, which can be cumbersome and time consuming to insert and often do not provide an optimal clinical result. Embo is developing the first true one-shot (one device per vessel) vascular embolization device. The product is aimed at the peripheral vascular embolization market, a market where physicians perform about 180,000 procedures per year worldwide. The Embo platform technology is intended to provide a superior solution in shorter procedural times; resulting in safe, cost-effective embolization. In preclinical studies, Embo’s technology reduced blood vessel treatment time by over 80%, while ensuring rapid and durable occlusion across all blood vessel sizes. Embo CEO Wayne Allen said: “This investment will accelerate Embo’s development of a state-of-the-art solution for the treatment of several diseases, will further prove the product’s value through clinical studies and enable us to access the large US market. Our technology has the potential to become the standard of care while simultaneously reducing the cost of healthcare.” Dr Mahmood K. Razavi, Interventional Radiologist and Director of Clinical Trials, St. Joseph Heart & Vascular Centre, Orange, CA, USA, said: “The innovative Embo solution combines the desirable characteristics of coils and plugs into one device and represents a potential new gold standard in embolization. It is designed for safe and easy delivery, and rapid cessation of blood flow. The technology will be a clinically effective approach for patients requiring embolization.” The company outsources manufacture, packaging and sterilisation to med-tech companies based primarily in the West of Ireland, accounting for the indirect employment of approximately 10 people. Embo expects to directly create 10 new jobs over the next two years as a result of this investment. This includes a series of both senior management and technical/functional hires over the coming months to fulfil the research and development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance functions of the company. -ends-

>> Read full story about Medtech startup Embo Medical secures €3 million investment

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