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Conference at NUI Galway Attracts Top Global Education Expert

Conference at NUI Galway Attracts Top Global Education Expert-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Professor Pasi Sahlberg, the Finnish Educator and now Visiting Professor in Harvard Graduate School of Education will deliver the keynote address 'Lessons from top education systems around the Globe' at the 'Reforming Learning: Driving Success' conference at NUI Galway on Friday, 5 December, 2014. Conference Chair, Senator Dr Fidelma Healy Eames: “There is a lot to be excited about with this conference which asks the fundamental question 'Is the education system at senior cycle in second level and as they transition into third level, preparing our young people adequately for their futures?' Emer Smyth's (ESRI) keynote would suggest that it is not, given that 50% of our young people are disappointed with their College choices by the time they reach the age of 21.” Policy makers, researchers and practitioners with experience of change and policy development within education and enterprise, both national and international, will share their knowledge and expertise in what promises to be an engaging conference. Former Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn will deliver the opening address; and various panel discussions will include John Lonergan, Former Governor, Mountjoy Prison; Helen Mortimer, National Parents Council. Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway: "This conference will provide an opportunity for constructive dialogue and engagement with the important theme of quality student learning and engagement within the Irish Education System." Comprising two exciting keynotes and three robust panel discussions, this one-day conference will provide an opportunity for those interested in education and its future to engage in collaborative discourse and sharing of ideas. A primary focus of the conference will be the learner experience at upper second level, whether it enables smooth transition to third level, the learner experience in third level and their preparedness for the workplace. Senator Healy Eames added: “As educators and policy makers we must always be open to improvement. It is not to say that we are not good but rather to suggest that we can be much better. I'm particularly interested in seeing what key policy shifts we can make that will deliver better educational outcomes. A successful society needs a successful education system and it is in all our interests to know how we can better serve our children, our students, our changing nation.” Registration will take place at 8.45am in the Arts Millenium Building, NUI Galway. For further information and conference programme details please see www.conference.ie ENDS

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NUI Galway Public Talk on The Future of the Smartphone

NUI Galway Public Talk on The Future of the Smartphone-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

It has taken only seven years for smartphones to become the dominant mobile device. A public talk at NUI Galway will investigate what the next seven years might hold in terms of smartphone technology. Hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will take place on Thursday, 4 December. Smartphone technology continues to evolve and develop at a rapid pace and ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will examine how this technology will continue to develop. Recently a group of International experts from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) met in Galway to discuss and create out a roadmap for Smart Advanced Mobile Power (SAMP) solutions for these mobile devices. Four separate aspects will be addressed during the public talk including: Tom Coughlin, Coughlin Associates and Lee Stogner, Vincula Group - Smart Advanced Mobile Power for our handheld devices. William Lumpkins, IEEE Radio Frequency Identification Technical Council – Near-Field Technologies turn your phone into a mobile wallet. Petronel Bigioi, FotoNation – Next Generation Imaging and Camera Technology for Smartphones. Dr Peter Corcoran, NUI Galway – Security, Privacy and Biometric Technology in Smartphones. The content of these talks is at a technical level suitable for members of the public with an interest in current and emerging technology. Dr Peter Corcoran, lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway said: “It was on 29 June, 2007 that the first generation iPhone was released by Apple Inc., a little over seven years ago. In that short time this ‘new’ consumer electronic device has come to symbolise the disruptive capabilities of consumer electronics, devices and gadgets that have come to define and mostly improve our daily lives.” The IEEE was formed in 1963 and is the world's largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members in chapters around the world. Its objectives are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines. Its underlying mission is the advancement of technology for humanity. ‘The Future of the Smartphone’ will take place from 6-8pm in room ENG-G018 in the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The event sponsored by IE Consumer Electronics Society and IEEE Future Directions and hosted by NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics. -Ends-

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Fictional Sport comes to Life in Galway

Fictional Sport comes to Life in Galway-image

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Quidditch, the magical game from Harry Potter, is coming to the city. Galway Quidditch Club will hold an open day at NUI Galway at 12pm on Saturday, 6 December, with events consisting of a training Quidditch session aimed at beginners followed by practise matches later in the afternoon. Quidditch has been growing in popularity as a real sport in many countries across the world. It started out as a fun filled game for Harry Potter fans when it was adapted into real life by students in the US in 2005, but Quidditch soon made the transition into a fast paced, full contact, mixed gender sport. Galway Quidditch Club is home to the local team, the Galway Grindylows, who have competed internationally and are currently ranked as one of the top Irish teams. The events are open to all participants over the age of 16 and people attending the event are advised to wear football boots or old runners. More details on the event can be found on the club’s Facebook page: Galway Grindylows. -Ends-

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Medical Academy under construction at Sligo Regional Hospital

Medical Academy under construction at Sligo Regional Hospital-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

NUI Galway and Saolta Hospital Group are delighted to announce the development of a new purpose built Medical Academy, and undergraduate education facility on the site of Sligo Regional Hospital. The €2 million euro (700 M2) state of the art facility will include a lecture theatre, clinical skills laboratory, tutorial rooms, mock consultation rooms, tutor offices, and study spaces for the students. The new landmark development will be constructed at levels 7 and 8 above the existing Library. This is a major investment by the University into Clinical training in Sligo one of a series of proposed medical academies in the West/North West region. Construction of similar facilities at Mayo and Letterkenny General Hospitals is due to commence early in the New Year. The new academy will allow doctors of the future to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of 11 part time tutors/lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from 3rd, 4th and final medical years rotate through Sligo for one year clinical training. Work is commencing on site today, 24 November 2014, with an anticipated completion date of September 2015. ENDS

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NUI Galway to host major international conference on brain disorders

NUI Galway to host major international conference on brain disorders-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

A major conference on neurodegenerative diseases takes place in Galway this week from 27-28 November. NUI Galway will host the 24th Annual Meeting of the Network of European Central Nervous System Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR). The NECTAR meeting is a major international gathering for researchers working on the development of cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. In one of the sessions, Professor Roger Barker of the University of Cambridge and one of his patients, Mrs. Sheila Roy, will share their experiences of a new experimental drug called ProSavin® with the audience. ProSavin® is a viral gene therapy manufactured by Oxford BioMedica that is currently undergoing clinical trial for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It is injected directly into the brain, inducing production of the neurotransmitter dopamine which is deficient in this condition. Trials in laboratory animals and humans have been a success, with ProSavin® demonstrating significant efficacy without the side effects associated with other current treatments for Parkinson's disease. Neurodegenerative diseases are currently treated using drugs that neither address the underlying causes of disease nor prevent neurodegeneration. Given that the incidence, and consequent personal, societal and economic costs, of neurodegenerative disease is set to escalate with the ageing population, it is essential that novel neuroprotective and neuroreparative therapies are developed to treat these devastating conditions sooner rather than later. This conference has been held annually across Europe since its inauguration in Lund, Sweden in 1984, and this is the first time in its history that this prestigious international meeting has come to Ireland. The major remit of the 2014 NECTAR conference is to bring together scientists, clinicians, patient advocates and industry partners from across Europe and the international community to share the latest research in repairing the damage to the central nervous system as a result of degenerative diseases. The Chair of the local organising committee is Dr Eilís Dowd, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway and a member of the University’s NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre. Speaking about the conference, Dr Dowd said “It is a privilege to host this prestigious conference, and we expect that holding the conference in Galway will significantly enhance Ireland’s reputation in the field of cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative disease.” Eighteen international experts from across Europe, Australia and Canada will speak at the meeting. These include major international scientific speakers such as Professor Colin Masters, University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Anders Björklund, Lund University, Sweden, as well as policy makers such as Dr Mary Baker, Past President of the European Brain Council, patient advocates, experts in clinical trial design and industrial speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, there will also be several “data-blitz” sessions of short oral communications delivered by Irish and international researchers. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers will play a significant role at the conference, adding to the environment of vibrancy and collaboration that lies at the heart of NECTAR. Indeed, NUI Galway-based PhD students and post-doctoral researchers are organising a special satellite symposium in advance of NECTAR, to be held on Wednesday, 26 November. This symposium is entitled Careers in Neuroscience (CNS) 2014, and will focus on the many career opportunities open to young neuroscientists, with senior experts sharing their advice and experience with younger delegates. Neuroscience research and teaching are very vibrant at NUI Galway, and the University’s Galway Neuroscience Centre is proud to support both the NECTAR and CNS2014 meetings. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledge the support they have received from several funding agencies including the Campaign for Alzheimer’s Research in Europe, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Fáilte Ireland. More information on the conference can be found at (http://www.nectar-eu.net/) Ends

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Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway

Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

Over 1,400 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from Tuesday, 25 November to Thursday, 27 November. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate all our graduands and extend a warm welcome to their parents, families and friends. We are delighted to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and wish them continued success in the future.” In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends- Bronnadh an Gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnfar céim ar bhreis is 1,400 mac léinn as cúig choláiste OÉ Gaillimh idir Dé Máirt, an 25 agus Déardaoin, an 27 Samhain, i searmanais bronnta céime an gheimhridh san Ollscoil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, roimh thús na searmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, déanaim comhghairdeas lenár gcéimithe ar fad agus tá fearadh na fáilte roimh a dtuismitheoirí, a dteaghlaigh agus a gcairde. Tá ríméad orainn aitheantas a thabhairt dá gcuid éachtaí agus guímid gach rath orthu san am atá le teacht.” Sa bhreis air sin, bronnfar céimeanna, ard-dioplómaí, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna le linn na dtrí lá ar mhic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. -Críoch-

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40 NUI Galway Scholars Honoured at NUI Annual Awards Ceremony

40 NUI Galway Scholars Honoured at NUI Annual Awards Ceremony-image

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Graduates and students of NUI Galway featured prominently at the annual NUI Awards ceremony which took place this week in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham taking home an impressive 40 awards. Included in this number are two recipients from St. Angela’s College in Sligo, which is a partner college of NUI Galway. Two NUI Travelling Studentships in the Sciences were awarded to NUI Galway Engineering graduates Edward Fagan and Sinéad O’Halloran. Sinéad also picked up the Pierce Malone Scholarship. Other scholarships and awards include the EJ Phelan Scholarship in International Law which was awarded to NUI Galway’s Amina Adanan. The Denis Phelan Scholarship in Humanities and Social Sciences was awarded to Francis Kelly, with Felim O’Toole picking up the NUI Club London Scholarship. The French Government Medal and NUI Prize for Proficiency in French was awarded to Caolán O’Donnell. PhD student Alena Yuryna Connolly was presented with the Fulbright/NUI Visiting Researcher Award. The Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary scholarships and prizes were awarded to: Nicola de Faoite and Róisín Egan, Gaeilge; Leisha Marlow, German; and Jennifer Bent, Spanish. The Scoláireacht agus Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara/Mansion House Fund Scholarship and prizes went to Arts graduate Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, for a Scoláireacht Gaeilge. A total of 27 Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes were awarded to NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. The award recipients were Clodagh McDermott and Robert Mulligan, Anaesthesia; Seamus Lehane, Anatomy; Sabrina Sheridan, Biochemistry; Dr Bryan Reidy, Clinical Radiology; Cillian McNamara and Anne Marie Sweeney, Gynaecology and Obstetrics; Dr Rebecca Finnegan, Medicine; Claire Beecher and Elaine Finucane, Midwifery; Nicola Hyde, Tracy McHugh and Linda McNulty, Nursing; Máire Mullooly and Lisa McKeon, Psychiatric Nursing; Dr Claire Kelly and Linda Horan, Occupational Therapy; Siobhan McCormack, Ophthalmology; Lauren Hughes, Paediatrics; Katie Sheehan, Pathology; Tony Haddad, Pharmacology; Olga Carey and Marie Hegarty, Podiatry; Matthew Smyth, Psychiatry; Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Public Health; Amy Curran, Speech and Language Therapy; and Jennifer Kielty, Surgery. Lauren Hughes, Psychiatry also received a Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes commendation. Speaking on the success of NUI Galway students and graduates, President Jim Browne, said: “This clearly highlights the high calibre of students studying on NUI Galway programmes and follows previous successes in these annual awards. I congratulate the Awardees on their achievements and encourage them in the future endeavours. In commending the Award recipients, I’d also like to pay tribute to their teachers for their work in supporting these students and in helping them to achieve such high standards.” At the ceremony, the Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning presented Travelling Studentships, scholarships and other awards to 130 students and graduates of the NUI Constituent Universities and Recognised Colleges. The total value of NUI Awards in 2014 was in excess of €1.2 million. NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Maynooth University, RCSI, St Angela’s College and NCAD were represented among the award winners. -Ends- Onóir tugtha do 40 Scoláire ag Gradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann Rinne céimithe agus mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh thar barr ag searmanas bronnta Ghradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann nuair a d'éirigh leo 40 gradam a bhaint amach. Bhí an searmanas ar siúl san Ospidéal Ríoga, Cill Mhaighneann. I measc an 40 seo bhí beirt as Coláiste San Aingeal i Sligeach, coláiste comhpháirtíochta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh dhá Scoláireacht Taistil nua de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann sna hEolaíochtaí ar chéimithe Innealtóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, Edward Fagan agus Sinéad O’Halloran. D'éirigh le Sinéad chomh maith Scoláireacht Pierce Malone a fháil. I measc na scoláireachtaí agus na ngradam eile bhí Scoláireacht EJ Phelan sa Dlí Idirnáisiúnta a bronnadh ar Amina Adanan as OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh Scoláireacht Denis Phelan sna Daonnachtaí agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta ar Francis Kelly, agus bronnadh Scoláireacht Chlub Ollscoil na hÉireann-Londain ar Felim O’Toole. Bronnadh Bonn Rialtas na Fraince agus Duais OÉ do Líofacht sa Fhraincis ar Chaolán O’Donnell. Bronnadh Gradam Taighdeora ar Cuairt Fulbright/Ollscoil na hÉireann ar an mac léinn PhD Alena Yuryna Connolly. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí agus duaiseanna liteartha an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart ar: Nicola de Faoite agus Róisín Egan, Gaeilge; Leisha Marlow, Gearmáinis; agus Jennifer Bent, Spáinnis. Bronnadh Scoláireacht agus Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara ar an gcéimí sna Dána, Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, do Scoláireacht Gaeilge. San iomlán, bronnadh 27 Scoláireacht agus Duais Leighis de chuid an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart ar Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh gradaim ar na daoine seo a leanas: Clodagh McDermott agus Robert Mulligan, Ainéistéise; Seamus Lehane, Anatamaíocht; Sabrina Sheridan, Bithcheimic; an Dr Bryan Reidy, Raideolaíocht Chliniciúil; Cillian McNamara agus Anne Marie Sweeney, Gínéiceolaíocht agus Obstatraic; an Dr Rebecca Finnegan, Leigheas; Claire Beecher agus Elaine Finucane, Cnáimhseachas; Nicola Hyde, Tracy McHugh agus Linda McNulty, Altranas; Máire Mullooly agus Lisa McKeon, Altranas Síciatrach; an Dr Claire Kelly agus Linda Horan, Teiripe Shaothair; Siobhan McCormack, Oftailmeolaíocht; Lauren Hughes, Péidiatraic; Katie Sheehan, Paiteolaíocht; Tony Haddad, Cógaseolaíocht; Olga Carey agus Marie Hegarty, Cosliacht; Matthew Smyth, Síciatracht; Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Sláinte Phoiblí; Amy Curran, Teiripe Shaothair agus Theanga; and Jennifer Kielty, Máinliacht. Fuair Lauren Hughes, Síciatracht ardmholadh Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna Leighis an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart. Ag labhairt dó ar chomh maith is a rinne mic léinn agus céimithe OÉ Gaillimh, dúirt an tUachtarán Jim Browne: “Is léiriú soiléir é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard mac léinn atá i mbun staidéir ar chláir de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus tagann sé sna sála ar éachtaí a rinneadh ag na gradaim bhliantúla seo cheana. Déanaim comhghairdeas leis na daoine ar bronnadh gradaim orthu as a gcuid éachtaí agus guím gach rath orthu amach anseo. Agus mé ag moladh iad siúd a fuair Gradaim, ba mhaith liom freisin aitheantas a thabhairt dá dteagascóirí as an tacaíocht a thug siad do na mic léinn seo leis na caighdeáin arda seo a bhaint amach.” Ag an searmanas, bhronn an Seansailéir, an Dr Maurice Manning Scoláireachtaí Taistil, scoláireachtaí agus gradaim eile ar 130 mac léinn agus céimí as Ollscoileanna agus Coláistí Aitheanta Ollscoil na hÉireann.Bhain luach sa bhreis ar €1.2 milliún le Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann sa bhliain 2014. Bhí daoine as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, UCC, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad, RCSI, Coláiste San Aingeal agus NCAD i measc bhuaiteoirí na ngradam. -Críoch-

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Leading Irish University Bio-Photonics Laboratory and Compact Imaging Extend Agreement for Innovative Research Collabora

Leading Irish University Bio-Photonics Laboratory and Compact Imaging Extend Agreement for Innovative Research Collabora-image

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

NUI Galway’s TOMI Lab Provides Globally-Recognised Scientific Leadership for Advanced Development of Company’s Mobile OCT Technology The National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) (www.nuigalway.ie) and Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI) (www.compactimaging.com) today jointly announced the extension of their innovative research collaboration in the field of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for a variety of applications, including mobile health monitoring and identity verification. The research agreement will continue the advanced development of CI’s novel multiple reference OCT sensor technology, MRO™, very small, low cost, low operating power OCT architecture ideal for high volume mobile applications. The original two-year research collaboration successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of applying CI’s MRO™ technology in areas such as monitoring skin lesions and creating 3D fingerprint images. OCT is an imaging technique similar to ultrasound, but employing light rather than sound. Since its commercialisation in the early 2000s, OCT has revolutionised medical diagnostics in clinical settings. It is the fastest growing medical imaging modality, with annual re-imbursement for ophthalmic assessments exceeding $1 billion and more than $400 million in OCT instrument sales, up from virtually nothing a decade earlier. The research collaboration combines NUI Galway’s globally-recognised body of OCT research in medical and biological imaging with CI’s development and intellectual property in OCT and MRO™ to enable very small, low cost, and low operating power devices for applications such as non-invasive mobile personal health monitoring and identity verification. CI has developed an extensive patent portfolio, comprised of 14 issued US patents and numerous published and unpublished US and foreign applications. Professor Martin Leahy, Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Director of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Laboratory, and Scientific Director of the National Platform for Biophotonics and Imaging (Ireland), will continue to direct the collaboration’s research efforts in Galway. Researchers associated with the collaboration had several accomplishments over the initial two-year term, including: Demonstrated technical feasibility of building MRO™ OCT systems using consumer level components, proving that MRO™ is inherently a low cost, small size (the size of a wristwatch), and low operating power sensor technology, well-suited to mobile applications. Demonstrated technical feasibility of a combination of an MRO™ OCT system with a dermascope to enable depth imaging and biometry of skin lesions in a low cost, small form factor device. Demonstrated technical feasibility of MRO™-based 3D fingerprint imaging for secure personal identification and verification.   “Compact Imaging’s MRO™ architecture has clear and sustainable advantages in size, cost, and power consumption over other OCT technologies,” said Professor Leahy. “We’re delighted that our team in Galway is contributing so significantly to a dramatically different version of OCT technology that can make advanced optical imaging and biometry accessible both outside the clinic to patients and other health-oriented consumers and to developing countries where provision of affordable, ‘fit for purpose’ diagnostics is a real need.” CI is an early stage technology company focused on the rapidly expanding markets for mobile imaging and biometry in applications such as health monitoring and biometric security. Its proprietary MRO™ technology makes possible non-invasive optical imaging, biometry, and analysis across a range of high volume applications.   “Our collaboration with NUI Galway and Professor Leahy’s labs has been critical to demonstrating the principles and potential applications of MRO™’s low cost, small form factor design,” said Don Bogue, CEO of Compact Imaging. “We believe that CI’s MRO™-based sensor development is unlocking the world of high value personal biometrics. “The collaboration has been very successful,” said Bogue. “This is just one of several ways in which Ireland, its people, and its institutions, have supported the development of Compact Imaging. With the strong Irish position in medical device design, development, and manufacturing, we expect continued expansion of our presence in Ireland.” CI holds a portfolio of US patents covering multiple reference optical coherence tomography (MRO™). The underlying imaging technology, optical coherence tomography (OCT), was first commercialised over a decade ago for use in ophthalmic diagnostic imaging. CI’s MRO™ is a much different architecture from that used in conventional OCT systems. MRO™ sensor technology enables design of very small, low cost devices ideally-suited to high volume mobile monitoring applications. Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI), headquartered in Mountain View, CA, USA, is privately-held.  -ends-

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Expert to give public talk on coastal environments

Expert to give public talk on coastal environments-image

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

An expert on coastal environments will visit NUI Galway on Thursday, 27 November, to deliver a free public talk on coastal climate change. Andrew Cooper is Professor of Coastal Studies at the University of Ulster and co‐founder of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Research and Centre for Maritime Archaeology. His latest book The Last Beach, which was published this month, is a call to action to prevent global beach destruction. The talk ‘Human response to coastal climate change: adaptation or resistance’ takes place on Thursday, 27 November, at 4pm in Seminar Room 203 of the Arts and Science Building. The realisation of climate change and its potential impacts on coastal environments and coastal communities has prompted much activity in the area of ‘adaptation’. Adaptation is typically viewed as actions in response to climate change that seek to limit its impacts and/or bring some benefit to human society. This talk will consider adaptation actions in response to the twin risks of coastal flooding and shoreline retreat both of which are likely to increase in frequency, rate and magnitude as a result of global climate change. Those measures that involve adaptation of human activities in response to the changing coastal environment are likely to be more sustainable in the longer term, but are politically more difficult to implement.  Dr Kevin Lynch, Director of the NUI Galway's MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments, and a member of the University's Ryan Institute, said: “Last winter, the Irish coast, countryside and cities were ravaged by a series of intense storms from early December. Coastal communities, their defences and facilities bore the brunt of this onslaught which continued for months. Professor Cooper’s talk will perhaps give us some insights as to how we can prepare for such storms in the future, and plan for the long-term sustainability of our coastal communities in a changing planet.” Professor Andrew Cooper chaired the Northern Ireland Coastal and Marine Forum for six years. He has been researching coastal geomorphology and coastal zone management worldwide for 25 years and has published more than 200 articles.  -ends-

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Careers in Neuroscience Symposium at NUI Galway

Careers in Neuroscience Symposium at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

NUI Galway will host the Careers in Neuroscience Symposium on Wednesday, 26 November, where several high-calibre and distinguished researchers will discuss their careers, share their experience and present their latest research findings. Sessions are scheduled on career options in academia, industry, scientific communication and other alternative careers as well as a workshop on funding and grants. The symposiums overarching theme is careers in neuroscience but students and early career researchers from all interested disciplines are invited to attend. Through open discussions and social events, there will be ample opportunity for delegates to meet experts in an informal and friendly environment and also to network with other early career neuroscientists from different institutes. Symposium speakers will include: Professor John Cryan, University College Cork Professor Markus von Kienlin, Head of Preclinical Imaging at Hoffmann-La Roche, Switzerland Professor William O’Connor, University of Limerick Dr Max Bianchi, Transpharmation Ireland, Ltd. Dr Grainne Gannon, Clinical Project Manager at Novartis Dr Dara Dunican, Scientific Program Officer, Science Foundation Ireland Cormac Sheridan, Science Journalist at Nature Biotechnology, BioWorld Dr Maeve Caldwell, Reader in Stem Cells and Regeneration, University of Bristol Dr Nikita Burke, post-doctoral researcher with NUI Galway’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Chairperson of the symposium said: “This symposium is an exciting new forum for bright young neuroscientists to present cutting-edge research and network with national and internationally renowned experts in the field, learning about various career pathways in academia, industry and alternative sectors. Given that 80% of PhDs do not stay in academia, it is critical to inform students of their options.” This symposium is organised by students in the Galway Neuroscience Centre, with support from the Neuro Society at NUI Galway, for other young neuroscientists from different national and international institutes. It aims to allow undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as post-docs, to hear the latest research from leading scientists within neuroscience and to extend their academic, presentation and communication skills. The Careers in Neuroscience Symposium is funded by Neuroscience Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and replaces the Galway Neuroscience Research Day and Neuroscience Ireland Conference this year. This event is a satellite meeting to NECTAR 2014 (Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration). Abstracts were invited from students and early career scientists for scientific sessions. Registration is currently open and costs €15. Prizes will be awarded for best poster and best talk. For more information visit www.cnsgalway2014.com. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host First Matrix Biology Ireland Meeting

NUI Galway Host First Matrix Biology Ireland Meeting-image

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

NUI Galway will host the First Annual Meeting of Matrix Biology Ireland (MBI) in the University’s new Bioscience Building from the 19- 21 November. This inaugural meeting represents the formal launch of Matrix Biology Ireland, which has recently been established as a learned society, with the scope of promoting and consolidating knowledge and expertise in the Extracellular Matrix field in Ireland. The Extracellular Matrix plays a vital role in health and disease. Understanding its biology is an essential component in such diverse fields of applied biomedical research, as Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Developmental Biology, Drug delivery and Medical Device research, Imaging and Microscopy, and Glycobiology. In Ireland, and particularly in NUI Galway, there is a considerable level of expertise in all these domains, and, this makes the study of the Extracellular Matrix a useful complement to several highly rated national and local research groups. This meeting provides a platform to encourage both national and international interdisciplinary exchange in the field of Matrix Biology with world class speakers coming to Galway, including industry speakers and world authorities in the Matrix and related fields. This meeting will also offer the opportunity to many junior investigators to present their work with a podium presentation in front of a highly qualified audience. Matrix Biology Ireland has been founded by two NUI Galway-based researchers, Dr Fabio Quondamatteo and Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis, and has additionally been endorsed by a number of further investigators including: NUI Galway’s Professor Peter Dockery, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Professor Tim O’Brien, and Professor Abhay Pandit; and Dr Garry Duffy and Professor Fergal O’Brien, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; and Dr Tom Flanagan, Professor William Gallagher and Professor Colm O’Brien of UCD. Dr Fabio Quondamatteo, Senior Lecturer of Anatomy at NUI Galway and organiser of the meeting, said: “We hope that this meeting will contribute to stimulate continuous growth of Matrix interest in Ireland and will further consolidate the Irish presence in the Matrix field, and, that this initiative will ultimately prove to be a useful platform to further support and complement the existing excellent research community in the country.” The international Matrix community has seen with favourable eyes the birth of a Matrix Society in Ireland. There has been a fundamental contribution by the International Society of Matrix Biology, two of the most important national societies for Matrix biology, namely the British and the German, and the leading journal in the field, namely Matrix Biology. Further support was given by the Anatomical Society, various companies both in the areas of laboratory supplies and medical devices, the University branch of the Bank of Ireland, and from NUI Galway. For further information visit http://matrixbiologyireland.wordpress.com/, or email fabio.quondamatteo@nuigalway.ie or dimitrios.zeugolis@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Europe to Seize Big Data Opportunities

Europe to Seize Big Data Opportunities-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

 Insight at NUI Galway, founding member of the Big Data Value Association, Announces over €1 Million Investment in Joint Research and Innovation Projects with European Commission Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda, and the Big Data Value Association of which the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway is a founding member, has signed in Brussels a contractual Public Private Partnership with a joint public and private investment of over €1 million in collaborative research and innovation within the Horizon 2020 research programme. The objective of the initiative is to explore and seize the new technological and technology-driven opportunities that come with Big Data, enabling social and economic progress. Digitalisation is expected to be one of the main business drivers during the next decade and a huge opportunity especially for Europe’s strong industrial sector, where large amounts of data are being created every day. Based on Europe’s advanced infrastructure, using the existing domain knowledge and new technologies like Cloud or In-Memory Computing, Big Data is expected to contribute to Europe’s competitiveness. “The Big Data Value Public Private Partnership or PPP has the potential to be the game changer to scale a data driven economy in Europe,” said Edward Curry from the SFI-funded Insight Centre for Data Analytics and representative of NUI Galway on the Big Data Value Association. “Ireland is positioned at the centre of this European partnership. The challenge now is for Irish business and research organisations to engage in the Big Data PPP in Horizon 2020 to maximise the benefits for the Irish economy.” “Data is not scary, or intrusive. With the right legal protection and anonymisation tools, data is the fuel which lays the foundation of a new economy, giving every kind of organisation the building blocks to boost productivity and performance, from farm to factory, from the lab to the shop floor. This is what Europe needs,” said Neelie Kroes Vice President of the European Commission, highlighting the importance of mastering Big Data for the European Economy and Society. PPP will be implemented starting 2015 and will run until 2020. Technology topics being addressed include data integration, real-time data processing; advanced analytics, data protection and privacy technologies. Main elements of the programme will include lighthouse projects in potential areas like personalised medicine, manufacturing, and logistics. The Big Data Value Association partnering with the European Commission is a not-for-profit industry-lead organisation comprising large and small European industry and research organisations. Insight at NUI Galway is a founding member of the association and has been a key contributor to the development of the Big Data Value Public Private Partnership. Industry members together with research organisations cover the Big Data Value (BDV) chain from data generation and acquisition, through data processing, analysis, and curation, to usage and service provisioning. Big Data Value Association’s founding members are: Answare, ATC, Atos, CINI, Engineering, Fraunhofer, DFKI, IBM, INDRA, ITI, Intel, IT Innovation Center, Nokia, NUI Galway, Orange, SAP, Siemens, Software, SINTEF, THALES, TIE Kinetix, UPM, Paluno, VTT, supported by Platte Consult. -ends-

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Healthy diets are good for the kidneys - not just the heart

Healthy diets are good for the kidneys - not just the heart-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

A healthy diet may help protect our kidneys, according to a new study presented by NUI Galway researchers at a major conference in Philadelphia which comes to a close today. However, individuals must also pay particular attention to their sodium (salt) and potassium intake, according to the research, which analysed data from over 500,000 people. Chronic kidney disease is estimated to affect over 300,000 people in Ireland, although many people with chronic kidney disease may be unaware that they have it. Recent data suggests that approximately 4,000 people in Ireland have end-stage kidney disease, the most severe form of chronic kidney disease, and need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Chronic kidney disease is associated with an increased risk of other medical conditions including cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). “Current guidelines for healthy eating focus primarily on preventing cardiovascular disease”, explains the lead author on the research, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Smyth, whose work is supported by the Health Research Board. “We completed this research work to explore if healthy eating may also protect from kidney disease. This is particularly important, as people with more advanced kidney disease may be advised to restrict their diet.” The study indicates that dietary modifications may reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease. Dr Smyth said: “Our results suggest that a healthy diet may reduce the future risk of kidney outcomes. Importantly, it highlights the importance of looking at the whole diet, rather than just looking at healthy foods alone. The most benefit was seen from a healthy diet, containing plenty of healthy foods, low amounts of unhealthy foods, higher potassium and not too much sodium. As dietary modification is a low-cost, simple intervention, it offers the potential to significantly reduce the burden from chronic kidney disease, while also protecting from cardiovascular disease.” Dr Smyth presented the initial findings of the study at Kidney Week 2014, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, which was attended by over 13,000 people. The study, which was called ‘Diet and Major Renal Outcomes: The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study’, used data from a large US study (National Institutes of Health Diet and Health Study). Dr Martin O'Donnell of NUI Galway was the senior author on the report.   Over 500,000 people aged 50-71, living in the United States, provided medical information and completed a diet questionnaire, which was used to measure how healthy each person's diet was at baseline (using four different scoring systems), as well as calculating each person's intake of sodium and potassium. Using available follow-up data, the researchers explored the association between diet and kidney outcomes, including the need for dialysis or dying with chronic kidney disease. During the study period, almost 5,000 people required dialysis or died with chronic kidney disease. Using three of the four diet scoring systems, people with the highest scores for diet quality had the lowest risk of kidney outcomes. In these three scoring systems, people scored highly for eating plenty of healthy foods (such as fruits and vegetables) and for eating low amounts of unhealthy foods (e.g. deep fried, fatty or sugary foods). The biggest effects were seen with the scoring systems that focus on the whole diet. The fourth scoring system, which focuses only on healthy foods (Recommended Food Score), was not associated with kidney outcomes. In addition, the researchers found that high sodium intake was associated with an increased risk of kidney outcomes, as was low potassium intake. -ends-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 27 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. 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. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “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 County Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 2440858 or grainne.dunne@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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