Monday, 14 September 2015

Computer Science students at NUI Galway will hold the third annual ‘Synapse //a Tech Carnival’ bringing major technological companies and employers to Galway City. The one-day free event will take place on Wednesday, 23 September in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. ‘Synapse //a Tech Carnival’ is organised for students and people interested in technology to meet with key Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) stakeholders in a fun and informative way of exchanging ideas. All types of ICT companies will be on show at the event, including SAP, Avaya, Google and Amazon. Local community groups are also welcome, with groups such as 091 Labs and NUI Galway’s Computer Society to be in attendance. The event allows students and the public to meet with ICT organisations through interactive games, discussions and tutorials. With an estimated 3,000 people expected to attend, the event is about having fun with new and emerging technologies, as well as the opportunity to discover new areas within the sector. “We have some amazing employers such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon participating in the event as they see the energy that has built up around the idea. Galway companies such as HP, Avaya, Cisco and SAP are offering great support as they see this as an opportunity to showcase their Galway operations through stands and speakers,” says David O’Dea, event organiser and second year NUI Galway student. Bank of Ireland is also offering their support to this event and to new start-ups in Galway with a new start-up Workbench in its Mainguard Street branch, Galway. Workbench offers a free co-working space for up to 12 start-up businesses with free Wi-Fi and meeting rooms.  Speakers and panel discussions will offer key insights into the current trends that are being experienced for tech graduates in Ireland. Keynote speakers this year will include: David French and Magnus Deininger, Google and Stephen Howell, Microsoft. David Renton, event founder and NUI Galway Computer Science student, said: “Students of Computer Science and Information Technology have seen the success of tech events internationally and we want to showcase the West of Ireland as just as exciting for tech people to come together in a dynamic and fun environment. NUI Galway has such a unique balance of energy, youth and talent which lends itself to hosting an event such as this, while Galway itself is one of the best cities in Ireland for ICT companies to attract new talent, as it is one of the most desirable places to live and work for all ages. This will be an unmissable opportunity for those at any stage of their career, from a potential computing student to an experienced pro wanting to network.” The networking arena demos and main stage presentations will provide attendees with all the latest information on all of the companies involved while the Workshop Heaven area will provide a more in-depth and interactive view of the technologies involved. Exhibitors and presenters include: Microsoft, Accenture, Riot Games, Cloud Consulting, Silicon Republic, ThoughtBox, EY, Avaya, First Derivatives, KBC Bank, Havok, Tribal City Interactive, 091Labs, Hewlett-Packard, RealSim, ITAG, Pocket Anatomy, Element Wave, amongst others. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a wonderful student-led event. I commend the students involved in Synapse//a Tech Carnival for their initiative in linking students and industry in such a dynamic and innovative way. I look forward to participating in the event and to seeing at first-hand the synergy developing between NUI Galway technology students and industry leaders.” For more information on ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’ visit www.synapsegalway.com. -Ends-

Monday, 14 September 2015

Significant data obtained at NUI Galway reports first crystal structure of a protein modified with a single PEG chain   Research findings obtained by the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway have been published in the prestigious journal Nature Chemistry. The Crowley laboratory has reported the first complete structural study of a PEGylated protein. Protein PEGylation is a technique routinely used to improve the pharmacological properties of injectable therapeutic proteins. PEG stands for polyethylene glycol, a synthetic polymer that is attached to proteins. The PEG chain artificially increases the size of the protein and improves its retention in the bloodstream. By remaining longer in the blood stream the protein therapeutic is more effective than normal. Since PEGylation was developed in the 1970s, PEGylated proteins have significantly improved the treatment of several chronic diseases, including hepatitis C, leukemia, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. PEGylated interferon is one of the most powerful therapeutics used to treat chronic hepatitis. Despite their importance the structure of PEGylated proteins has remained elusive. Now the first crystal structure of a protein modified with a single PEG chain has been determined through research at NUI Galway. This important research was developed at NUI Galway by Italian PhD student Giada Cattani working with Dr. Peter Crowley, the lead author of the paper. The work also involved collaboration with Dr. Lutz Vogeley from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin and the crucial X-ray data was collected at the Diamond synchrotron in Oxford, UK. Commenting on the research findings Dr. Peter Crowley from the School of Chemistry, NUI Galway commented, “The crystal structure reveals an extraordinary double helical arrangement of the protein! It is significant that this data was obtained at NUI Galway, the only Irish University to offer a degree programme in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry. This attractive programme provides training in an area that is essential for the development of new medicines and contributes to the Irish economy.” A common approach to understand proteins is to crystallize them and determine their structure by using X-ray crystallography. This is necessary to understand what the protein looks like and how it functions. Thousands of research papers have been published about PEGylated proteins. Until the recent findings at NUI Galway there had been no success in  crystallizing a PEGylated protein. The knowledge obtained by the Crowley lab has implications for understanding how PEGylated proteins work. The NUI Galway team is also looking at ways to engineer protein assemblies based on this result. Read Nature Chemistry here: http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.2342.html For more information contact Dr. Peter Crowley, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway on 091 492480 or peter.crowley@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 14 September 2015

Irish Centre for Social Gerontology will host event aimed at providing further opportunities for people to become more involved in their local communities The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology is hosting an event to celebrate civic engagement and participation in later life at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 16 September from 2pm-4.30pm. The event will acknowledge and show appreciation for the enormous contribution made to society by people in the second half of life. Attendance is open to all and guests will have the opportunity to attend a series of short talks and visit exhibition stands where they can find out more about getting involved in their communities through local voluntary organisations. This event also marks the national launch of Touchstone, an initiative of the Active Ageing Partnership, a joint project between three of Ireland’s largest organisations in the age sector. Active Retirement Ireland, Age and Opportunity and Third Age have come together as the Active Ageing Partnership to promote and encourage greater participation by older people in the life of their local communities. In Galway, Touchstone recruited fifty people aged 55 and over to a short course aimed at supporting them to become more involved in their local communities. The event is partly aimed at providing further opportunities for people to become more engaged in community life. From 2pm-3pm there will be a series of short talks on the theme of civic engagement in later life. This will include presentations from participants of the Galway Touchstone programme who will talk about projects they have developed as a result of being involved in the short course. Between 3pm and 4.30pm, guests will have the chance to visit 20 exhibition stands, where they can find out more about opportunities to get involved with organisations including: Age and Opportunity, Active Retirement Ireland, Third Age, Age Friendly Programme-Older Persons Council, Age Action West, Galway City Partnership, Galway Roscommon Education Training Board, Touchstone Stall, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, Galway Citizens Information Centre, Community Knowledge Initiative, COPE Galway, Volunteer Galway, Dementia Friendly Galway, Centre for Independent Living, St. Vincent De Paul Croi na Gallimhe, The Carers Association Loughrea, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Samaritans Galway, and Alone. Places for the event are limited. To take part, please RSVP to icsg@nuigalway.ie to receive further information, the location of the event’s venue and parking arrangements. For more information contact Professor Thomas Scharf, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway on 091 495459 or thomas.scharf@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 14 September 2015

Guest speakers include Professor Eamon O’Shea, former Manager of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team and Pat Lam, Connacht Rugby Head Coach NUI Galway’s annual Autumn Open Days will be held on Friday, 2 October and Saturday, 3 October. The Open Day on Friday will run from 9am to 3pm and is aimed at school groups, but all members of the public are welcome to attend. Saturday’s Open Day runs from 10am to 3pm and is for students thinking about university and their parents and families. Each year, NUI Galway welcomes more than 8,000 visitors to its Open Days in October and April and it is an opportunity for students, along with their parents and families to explore the campus. There is a packed programme of events lined up for the day including short subject talks, taster sessions, designed to give students a real insight into studying at NUI Galway. Hands-on science workshops and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics and tours of the campus will run throughout the day. There will be over 80 subject-specific stands in the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, where lecturers and current students will be available to answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, and career progression routes. The ‘Parents Programme’ on Saturday, 3 October will provide parents with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation, career destinations and support services for students. Talk highlights over the two days include: A guest appearance and talk about sports with Pat Lam, Connacht Rugby Head Coach and Eamon O’Shea, Professor of Economics at NUI Galway and former Manager of the Tipperary Senior Hurling Team Scholarship schemes including Creative Arts Performance Points, CAO Sports Performance Points, Sports Scholarships and Excellence Scholarships The new Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) The new BA Children’s Studies Arts – the new BA Joint Honours Shannon College of Hotel Management – International Hotel Management Career talks – “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway said: “Attending Open Days is the perfect opportunity to get a real feel for university life at NUI Galway, talk to lecturers and current students and get all the information you need to make that important decision. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along as Open Days’ are unique opportunities in the year to experience what the university has to offer and decide whether NUI Galway feels right for you.” Tours of the campus will feature the state-of-the-art sports complex and gym, the Engineering Building and tours of student accommodation. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the afternoon. To plan your day in advance and receive an Open Day programme visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays or contact 091 494145 or visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Máire Ní Mhaoilchíaráin, the 2015 Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence at NUI Galway, will give a series of sean-nós singing workshops beginning at 7pm, Wednesday, 30 September, in the Seminar Room at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. From Áird Thoir, Carna, Máire comes from a family which has a long and rich tradition of sean-nós singing. Her clear, sweet vocal style echoes with the singing from her mother Bairbre and the Heaney side of the family, Joe Heaney being her granduncle. The workshops are free and open to all. Further information available from Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -Ends-      Ceardlann amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh Cuirfear tús le sraith de cheardlanna amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós san Ionad an Léinn Éíreannaigh, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag 7pm, Dé Céadaoin, 30 Méan Fomhair. Is í Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin atá ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis i mbliana a bheidh á múineadh. Is as an Aird Thoir, i gCarna, Máire agus tá oidhreacht shaibhir cheolmhar le cloisteáil ina cuid amhránaíochta. Thug sí léi a cuid amhrán óna máthair, Bairbre a fuair an ceol ó mhuintir Éinniú, agus a huncail Joe ina measc. I gclann Bhairbre, tá cáil na hamhránaíochta ar Mháire agus ar a deirfiúr Bríd. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Críoch-

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club, will host its third annual charity 8K Run/Walk on Saturday, 10 October at 10am. The route consists of a traffic-free, mixed terrain run around the University’s campus and along the banks of the river Corrib. The official charity partner for this event is Jigsaw Galway and the 8K coincides with global events around World Mental Health Day. This year’s event is proudly supported by Aerogen. Jigsaw Galway is a free and confidential support servicing the mental health and well-being of young people, aged 15 – 25, living in Galway city and county.  Jigsaw also provides advice and guidance to parents, family members, friends and other professionals worried about a young person.  All proceeds raised from this event will go to Jigsaw Galway. This charity event is forming part of the NUI Galway Alumni reunion programme, which takes place from 9-11 October on campus and will be an opportunity to bring together students, staff, alumni and friends of the University in one place to take part in a fun event for all ages and abilities. There are lots of family-friendly activities planned to coincide with the 8k to encourage participants to bring their children and grandchildren along. From tours of the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum to live music and sean-nós singing workshops, the day is perfect for families to come and walk or run the campus together. NUI Galway Vice-President for the Student Experience Dr Pat Morgan said: “Building on our very successful 8K event on campus last year, which attracted over 600 participants, we look forward to another great event for staff, students, alumni, friends and neighbours on 10 October. Little things make a difference and 'The more you move the better your mood' is a key message in support of better mental health. Take this opportunity to enjoy our wonderful campus and show your support for our partners in Jigsaw.” The event is open to everyone, with runners and walkers of all fitness levels catered for. To register for the NUI Galway 8K please log on to the Run Ireland Website http://www.runireland.com/events/nui-galway-8k-0 . Updates are also available on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NUIGalway.8kRun. Local Kingfisher Fitness Clubs will be running training sessions over the next six weeks to help with your preparation and details are available at www.kingfisherclub.com. All queries on the event can be sent to nuigalway8k@kingfisherclub.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

NUI Galway has again increased its position in the QS World University Rankings 2015. Rising 9 places to 271st in this year’s ranking, NUI Galway is one of just two Irish universities to improve their standing in this year’s league table. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said of the achievement: “This is good news for NUI Galway and further acknowledgement of the developments in teaching and research that have taken place at this University in recent years. The QS World University Rankings is one of the best regarded evaluations of higher education in the world and we are delighted to see that again this year we are moving in the right direction in achieving our goals in international rankings as set out in our Strategic Plan Vision 2020.” The QS World University Rankings have been running since 2004 and are amongst the highest profile global evaluations of comparative university quality. The World University Rankings were conceived to present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world’s leading universities. QS Head of Research Ben Sowter said: “The fascinating thing about these latest results is that they reveal more diversity than ever in the distribution of world-class universities at the highest levels. We’re providing prospective students with the richest picture yet. Sowter added:  “Considering  the strong representation of Irish universities per-capita, one ranked university per 130,000 people, Irish universities are akin to the Irish Rugby Team; remarkably competitive given their population, funding and resources; and consistently so.” The QS World University Rankings are designed to provide students with comparable, accurate data to make informed decisions about their educational future. From this year, in response to students’ feedback and in consultation with its advisory board, QS has adopted an approach to normalise publication and research citation data across faculty areas. This reform accounts for the large volume of citations generated by researchers in the Life Sciences and, to a lesser degree, those in the Natural Sciences. Download the Ireland Country Report infographic here. To view the complete rankings, featuring the world’s top 891 universities as well as the Top 400 by Faculty areas: www.TopUniversities.com ENDS  

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Public round table to explore multilingual competence, language policy and becoming a ‘new speaker’ of various languages including Irish Fifty leading experts in multilingualism from twenty-five European states will meet at NUI Galway on September 24 and 25 to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with ‘new speakers’ of various languages including Irish. The event will be hosted by the Department of Irish in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures as part of an ‘Action’ and research network supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The Action, ‘New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Challenges and Opportunities’, is led by Professor Bernadette O’Rourke of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and Dr John Walsh, Head of the Department of Irish at NUI Galway is a leading partner. “New speakers refer to those who are regular and fluent speakers of a language other than their ‘first’ or ‘native’ language”, explained Dr Walsh. “Historically in linguistics and related disciplines, priority has been given to the ‘native speaker’ and other types of speakers have been marginalised. Our network focuses on multilinguals and investigates how people become ‘new speakers’ of various languages.” So far the network has focused on new speakers of minority languages such as Irish and Basque, new speakers as immigrants and new speakers as transnational workers. In the second phase of the research, to be launched at the Galway meeting, general themes such as multilingual competence, language policy and becoming a new speaker will be explored. The meeting will include a public round table event on new speakers of Irish. Three new speakers of Irish from various parts of Ireland and one speaker from the Gaeltacht will discuss their language background, their experience of learning Irish or English, their relationship with other Irish speakers and their thoughts on identity and belonging. This event will be held in the Aula Maxima at 4.30pm on Thursday, 24 September. More information visit: http://www.nspk.org.uk/upcoming-event-details/round-table-on-new-speakers-of-irish.html For further event details contact Dr John Walsh, Department of Irish, NUI Galway on 091 492563 or john.walsh@nuigalway.ie -Ends- Cruinniú ag gréasán taighde Eorpach in OÉ Gaillimh chun plé a dhéanamh ar ‘nuachainteoirí’ Cruinniú poiblí chun féachaint ar inniúlacht ilteangach, polasaí teanga agus a bheith i do nuachainteoir i dteangacha éagsúla lena n-áirítear an Ghaeilge Tiocfaidh caoga saineolaí ceannródaíoch san ilteangachas as cúig stát Eorpach is fiche le chéile in OÉ Gaillimh ar an 24 agus an 25 Meán Fómhair chun plé a dhéanamh ar na dúshláin agus na deiseanna a bhaineann le ‘nuachainteoirí’ i dteangacha éagsúla, an Ghaeilge san áireamh. Roinn na Gaeilge i Scoil na dTeangacha, na Litríochtaí agus na gCultúr a chuirfidh an ócáid i láthair mar chuid de ghréasán gnímh agus taighde le tacaíocht ó COST (an Comhar Eorpach san Eolaíocht agus sa Teicneolaíocht). Tá an Gníomh, ‘New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Challenges and Opportunities’, faoi stiúir an Ollaimh Bernadette O’Rourke as Ollscoil Heriot-Watt i nDún Éideann agus is príomh-chomhpháirtí sa tionscadal é an Dr John Walsh, Ceann Roinn na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh. “Tagraíonn nuachainteoirí dóibh siúd atá ina gcainteoirí rialta agus líofa i dteanga seachas a ‘gcéad’ teanga nó a dteanga ‘dhúchais’”, a mhínigh an Dr Walsh. “Go stairiúil, i réimse na teangeolaíochta agus i ndisciplíní gaolmhara eile, tugadh tús áite don ‘chainteoir dúchais’ agus rinneadh cainteoirí eile a imeallú. Díríonn an gréasán seo ar dhaoine ilteangacha agus scrúdaíonn sé conas mar a dhéantar ‘nuachainteoirí’ de dhaoine i dteangacha éagsúla.” Go dtí seo, dhírigh an gréasán ar nuachainteoirí teangacha mionlaigh cosúil leis an nGaeilge agus an Bhascais, nuachainteoirí mar inimircigh agus nuachainteoirí mar oibrithe trasnáisiúnta. Sa dara céim den taighde, a sheolfar ag cruinniú na Gaillimhe, scrúdófar gnéithe áirithe cosúil le hinniúlacht ilteangach, polasaí teanga agus conas a dhéantar nuachainteoir de dhuine. Beidh ócáid phoiblí faoi nuachainteoirí Gaeilge ar siúl mar chuid den chruinniú. Labhróidh triúr nuachainteoirí Gaeilge as áiteanna éagsúla in Éirinn agus cainteoir amháin ón nGaeltacht faoina gcúlra teanga, a dtaithí ar fhoghlaim na Gaeilge agus an Bhéarla, a gcaidreamh le cainteoirí Gaeilge eile agus a gcuid smaointe ar fhéiniúlacht agus ar mhuintearas. Beidh an ócáid ar siúl san Aula Maxima ag 4.30pm Déardaoin, an 24 Meán Fómhair. Tuilleadh eolais: http://www.nspk.org.uk/upcoming-event-details/round-table-on-new-speakers-of-irish.html Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin ócáid déan teagmháil leis an Dr John Walsh, Roinn na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ar 091 492563 nó john.walsh@nuigalway.ie -Críoch-

Thursday, 17 September 2015

• 51% increase in risk of alcohol-related cancers • 29% increase in risk of injury in current drinkers • No reduction in risk for a combination of outcomes (death, cardiovascular disease, alcohol-related cancer, injury or admission to hospital) • Harmful alcohol use most common in lower income countries, where increases in risk were more pronounced A new study shows that harmful alcohol use is linked with increased alcohol-related cancers and injury, with no reduction in the risk of death. The threat appears worst in lower-income countries, where harmful alcohol use is more common, as published today in The Lancet. Alcohol consumption is proposed to be the third most important modifiable risk factor for death and disability. However, alcohol consumption has been associated with both benefits and harms, and previous studies were mostly carried out in high-income countries. This new study investigated associations between alcohol consumption and clinical outcomes in a prospective cohort of countries at different economic levels. The lead author is Dr Andrew Smyth of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway and the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI), McMaster University Hamilton, Canada. The data came from 12 countries participating in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study of individuals aged 35–70 years, divided into four income groups: high, upper-middle, lower-middle and low. The countries studied were Sweden and Canada (high-income); Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Poland, South Africa and Turkey (upper-middle-income); China and Colombia (lower-middle-income; and India and Zimbabwe (low-income). Dr Andrew Smyth, of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, NUI Galway says: “Our data supports the call to increase global awareness of the importance of harmful use of alcohol and the need to further identify and target the modifiable determinants of harmful alcohol use.” Almost 115,000 adults were followed for an average of four years, and it was found that 36,000 people (31%), reported drinking alcohol. Although current alcohol consumption was associated with a 24% reduction in risk of heart attack, there was no reduction in the risk of death or stroke. There was also a 51% increase in the risk of alcohol-related cancers - meaning those of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, colorectal, liver, breast, ovary, and head and neck - and a 29% increase in the risk of injury in current drinkers. High alcohol intake and heavy episodic drinking were both associated with significant increases in the risk of death. The authors also identified differences between countries of different levels of prosperity. Although in higher-income-countries, current drinking was linked with a 16% reduction in the risk of a combination of all outcomes (death, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, alcohol-related cancer, injury and admission to hospital), the opposite was seen in lower-income-countries where there was a 38% increase in risk. Harmful alcohol use was most common in lower-income-countries, where one in eight current drinkers had high levels of intake and one in three had a heavy episodic drinking pattern. Co-author Dr Salim Yusuf, senior author and Director of the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) and President of World Heart Federation adds: “Because alcohol consumption is increasing in many countries, especially low-income and low-middle-income countries, the importance of alcohol as a risk factor for disease might be underestimated. Therefore, global strategies to reduce harmful use of alcohol are essential.” In a related comment published in the same issue of The Lancet , Dr Jason Connor, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland, and Professor Wayne Hall, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia and National Addiction Centre, Kings College London, London, UK (WH), say: “More than sufficient evidence is available for governments to give increased public health priority to reducing alcohol-related disease burden in low-income and middle-income countries. This should be done by implementing the most effective population policies to discourage harmful drinking - namely, increasing the price of alcohol and reducing its availability, especially to younger drinkers, and preventing the alcohol industry from promotion of frequent drinking to intoxication.” Graham Love, CEO of the Health Research Board added, “'The HRB national alcohol diary survey last year showed that 54% of Irish people who drink, do so in a harmful manner. When you consider our national level of harmful drinking with these global findings it points to the potential for serious health consequences for Irish drinkers into the future. We must use quality research evidence like this to inform individual choices and public health policy in relation to alcohol.” Mr Love continued, “It is very encouraging to see both people that the HRB has funded and the research facilities that we have financed, come together to facilitate Irish participation in such a significant piece of international research. I would like to congratulate Dr Smyth and Professor Martin O’Donnell, at the HRB Clinical Research Facility in Galway, on getting their work published in such a prestigious journal.” -Ends-

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) with NUI Galway’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society, has been shortlisted for the 2015 European Democratic Citizenship Awards. Lorraine is one of four, and the only Irish entry, nominated in the ‘Personality of the Year’ category. Lorraine has worked at NUI Galway for a decade and within that time she has successfully enabled the development of a civic engagement and practice across NUI Galway giving thousands of students annually an opportunity to be involved in community and civic activities. In addition, she has secured funding nationally and at a European level to support the ongoing development of civic engagement in Ireland, at a European level and within other countries. The European Democratic Citizenship Awards are aimed at promoting citizens’ engagement and reward outstanding initiatives and civil society stakeholders, who bring in a real democratic citizenship with an innovative dimension and with a concrete impact on their communities’ life, be it at the local, regional, national or European level. The ‘Personality of the Year’ award is presented to individuals who had an outstanding contribution to democratic life and to the development of a community or a cause. The winners will be selected through a public voting system and votes can be submitted at http://civic-forum.eu/en/european-democratic-citizenship-awards-2015. Voting is open to the general public until Monday, 28 September and the Council of Europe will announce the winners in the first week of October. -Ends-

Friday, 18 September 2015

Four outstanding researchers at NUI Galway have been ranked among the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015’ Four outstanding researchers at NUI Galway have been ranked among the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015'. Professor Colin O’Dowd, Professor Donal O’Regan, Professor Henry Curran and Emeritus Professor John Simmie have been ranked among the world’s top 3,000 scientific minds by the multinational media body Thomson Reuters. Those named on the list have earned their distinction by publishing the highest number of articles that rank among those most frequently cited by fellow researchers. More individuals were listed from NUI Galway than from any other Irish university. Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list was launched last year and also ranked three NUI Galway researchers among the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014’. According to NUI Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne: “The report describes those listed as being ‘on the cutting edge of their fields’ and ‘among the most influential scientific minds of our time’. This is certainly true of the NUI Galway individuals who excel and out-perform in their fields of chemistry, climate change and mathematics”. • Professor Colin O’Dowd is Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, at the Ryan Institute, NUI Galway and a Professor in the School of Physics, NUI Galway. Through his pioneering work in the field of atmospheric physics, Colin has become internationally renowned as one of the leading scientists in the field of climate change. • Professor Donal O’Regan is a Personal Professor of Mathematics at NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics and an internationally recognised expert in the field of Nonlinear Analysis, Differential Equations, and Fixed Point Theory. He has written over 1,000 peer-reviewed mathematical articles, making him one of the most prolific authors in the history of mathematics in the world. • Professor Henry Curran is Director of the Combustion Chemistry Centre at NUI Galway’s School of Chemistry and of the Energy Research Centre in the Ryan Institute. His research interest lies in the study of the chemistry of how fuels burn in combustors in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions for a cleaner world. • Emeritus Professor John Simmie established the Combustion Chemistry Centre in the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway in the 1970’s and was instrumental in setting up the Environment and Energy research activity in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. John and his former student, Professor Henry Curran, collaborate on Combustion Chemistry research. Thomson Reuters analysts assessed papers indexed between 2003 and 2013 in 22 broad fields of study. They tracked authors who published numerous articles that ranked among the top one percent of the most cited in their respective fields in the given year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact. These documents represent research that the scientific community has judged to be the most significant and useful. Visit the Highly Cited Researchers list here http://highlycited.com/ For further information contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Press & Information Executive, NUI Galway on 091 495695 or gwen.osullivan@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Monday, 21 September 2015

Led by NUI Galway, Symposium will bring together some of the world’s leading academics in clinical trial methodology  The HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) will host its inaugural ‘Clinical Trial Methodology Symposium’ on the 24 and 25 of September in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin. The Symposium will be officially launched by Dr Graham Love, CEO of the Health Research Board (HRB), Professor Mike Clarke, Queen’s University Belfast and Professor Declan Devane, NUI Galway. Led by NUI Galway the HRB-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) is a new collaborative initiative between a number of Irish and international higher education institutes and methodology centres. Its objective is to strengthen the methodology and reporting of clinical trials in health and social care in Ireland so that they become more relevant, accessible and influential for patients and other support users, practitioners, policy makers and the public. Speaking in advance of the Symposium, Professor Declan Devane, Director of HRB-TMRN at NUI Galway commented: “It is recognised that trials need to become more efficient and effective if they are to lead to efficient and effective care. The right trials need to be chosen, implemented and reported in the right ways. I hope this symposium gives the opportunity to think more about how this might be possible by bringing together some of the world’s leading minds in trial methodology and those keen to learn more about trials.” On Thursday, 24 September, the Symposium will feature an opening address from Dr Teresa Maguire, Head of the Population Health and Health Services Research Unit at the HRB and a keynote address from Sir Iain Chalmers of The James Lind Initiative who is described by The Lancet as the “maverick master of medical evidence”. In his talk, Sir Chalmers will illustrate the evolution of fair tests of treatments. Invited speakers include; Professor Mike Clarke, Queen’s University Belfast; Dr John Newell, NUI Galway; Professor Paula Williamson, University of Liverpool; Professor Peter Sandercock, The University of Edinburgh; and Professor Craig Ramsay the University of Aberdeen. Chairpersons include Professor Joe Eustace (UCC), Professor Martin O’ Donnell (NUI Galway), Professor Peter Doran (UCD), Professor Richard Costello (RCSI) and Professor Michael Gill (TCD). PhD students Aislinn Conway (NUI Galway), Caroline Hurley (UCC), Jessica O’Dowd (TCD) and Lydia Emerson (QUB) will present using the Pecha Kucha format of 20 slides with 20 seconds per slide addressing Methods of Disseminating Evidence to Health Care Staff; Risk Assessment Tools for Risk-based Monitoring in Clinical Trials: A Systematic Review; The Role of Context in Delivering Complex Interventions: Taking a Realist Approach; and Process Evaluation of Trials Investigating Complex Critical Care Interventions. Workshops will take place on Friday, the 25 September with Dr Valerie Smith, NUI Galway and TCD who will discuss Studies Within a Clinical Trial and Review; Dr Elisa Heron, TCD will discuss Sample Size Calculations; Dr Christine Domegan, NUI Galway will discuss Design and Delivery of Clinical Trials; Professor Leslie Daly, UCD will discuss Multiplicity in End Points; Dr Molly Byrne, NUI Galway will discuss Behaviour Change Strategies for Clinical Trials; Professor Andrew Murphy, NUI Galway will discuss A New Approach to Accessing Patients in Irish Primary Care; Professor Alan Montgomery, The University of Nottingham will discuss Randomisation in Clinical Trials; and Dr Paddy Gillespie, NUI Galway will discuss Health Economic Evaluations in Trials. For more information contact Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway on 091 494493 or sandra.galvin@nuigalway.ie To register visit www.hrb-tmrn@nuigalway.ie Or visit http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcblog/2015/09/18/changing-face-clinical-trials-ireland/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdmv8OVC3as -Ends-

Monday, 21 September 2015

NUI Galway’s Rover Society recently collected 1,100 sleeping bags at Electric Picnic to donate to Cope Galway in Galway. The society had previously received a donation of over 50 sleeping bags at Sea Sessions music festival earlier this summer. Donna O'Neill, Manager of the Cope Hostel for Homeless Men in Galway, said: “It couldn’t have come at a better time as our supplies are running low. We’ve had to make an emergency call out for help and this has really made all the difference. It’s shocking to see there is such a demand for sleeping bags on the streets of Galway and this supply will last six months at most. We really need a constant supply of practical items, so all donations are always welcome.” Cathal Breathnach, Auditor of the Rover Society at NUI Galway, said: “Homelessness is a much bigger issue in Galway than most imagine, it’s practically hidden. We were so glad we were able to help the situation and we are hoping to develop our relationship with Cope to provide more assistance in the future.” The NUI Galway Rover Society is the Scout society in NUI Galway who aims to promote the outdoors in the University but is also working towards a better community outreach. -Ends-

Monday, 21 September 2015

This year’s Intervarsity BioBlitz will take place from 24-25 September and the public are invited to take part in events taking place on NUI Galway’s campus. The BioBlitz brings together scientists and the public in a race against time to see how many species can be recorded in a 24-hour biological survey. From 5pm on Thursday, 24 September to 5pm on Friday, 25 September teams will race against other third-level institutions to record as many species as possible over the 24-hour period. The team that records the most species wins. Experts from the University’s School of Natural Sciences will be on hand to help identify and create an inventory the plants and animals found on campus. Last year NUI Galway won the nationwide Intervarsity BioBlitz by recording a total of 581 species. Aidan O'Hanlon of NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “Biodiversity means the variety of all living things, so we need people to survey and identify birds, mammals, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, higher plants, bryophytes, lichens, fungi and diatoms. This event is a really unique opportunity to to find and learn about your plant and animal neighbours, and to help out in a nationally important scientific survey of urban biodiversity.” Ireland’s BioBlitz is designed to increase public awareness of the variety of life in Ireland and to highlight some of the ecological services that biodiversity provides to enhance our quality of life at the global and the local level. The Bioblitz also demonstrates the high level of skill and expertise necessary to study many aspects of Ireland’s biological diversity. There are a number of public events running throughout the Bioblitz and everyone is welcome to attend. Events on Thursday include a birdwalk at 6pm and a bat walk at 7.45pm with both walks starting in the NUI Galway Park and Ride Carpark in Dangan. For a full list of events taking place on campus visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/environment/. This initiative is supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, the Buildings Office and the Green Campus team. -Ends-

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), based at NUI Galway, will host a seminar promoting entrepreneurship as a career option for researchers at different stages of their career. The “Design Your Future, From a Young Researcher to a Medical Device Entrepreneur” seminar will take place in the Biosciences Building at NUI Galway from 1.00pm to 3.15pm on Friday, 9 October. All are welcome and encouraged to attend this free event, which is being organised as part of the Startup Gathering 2015 Initiative. The seminar aims to assist young researchers with their career development by providing an interdisciplinary discussion forum with speakers to include John Power, Chief Executive and Managing Director of Aerogen Ltd and Evelyn O'Toole, Chief Executive Officer of Complete Laboratory Solutions. The presenters will be speaking about their own individual career paths to provide inspiration for future entrepreneurs. A ‘brown bag’ lunch will be provided to all attendees. Supported by Bank of Ireland and the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 under the theme “Start, Scale and Succeed from Ireland”, the Startup Gathering 2015 aims to promote entrepreneurship and help identify entrepreneurial talent at an early stage across Ireland. The goal of the initiative is also to help raise the international profile of the startup sector to investors and Research and Development teams. There will be a strong emphasis on developing startup hubs in the Medical Technology (MedTech) and Information Communications Technology (ICT) sectors. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway said: “We are delighted to have such experienced, independent entrepreneurs, such as Mr Power and Ms O’Toole, speaking at our event. It is a great opportunity for any researcher to hear about these experiences and the presentations will be both informative and motivational for researchers thinking of starting a company as part of their career.” Backed by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Industry funding, CÚRAM works with industry and clinical partners to radically improve health outcomes for chronically ill patients through the development of the next generation of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. Tickets to the event can be obtained at www.eventbrite.ie or http://bit.ly/medtechentrepreneur For further details contact carmel.mcgroarty-mitchell@nuigalway.ie or 091 494146. -Ends-

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Former Director General of RTÉ and founding Director of TG4, Cathal Goan has launched NUI Galway’s 2015/2016 Arts in Action Programme. The programme is a collaboration between the University’s Arts in Action Office and the James Hardiman Library, and invites students to engage with the creative arts, offering free access to a variety of professional performances of an international-standard throughout the academic year and a range of rare archival material housed at the Library. The Arts in Action programme is packed with rich and diverse performances focusing on emerging and established artists from Northern Ireland in the first semester. For the second semester the focus will be on a range of bespoke events, including performances that have been put in place as part of the 1916/2016 commemorative programme for NUI Galway. Embracing the Arts from Northern Ireland is significant and offers the students and staff at NUI Galway a rare opportunity to celebrate the rich content that prevails, literature, theatre and the traditional arts. Arts in Action also offers and promotes arts events that are directly linked to the period 1900 to 1920 incorporating specific elements that commemorate and celebrate the writers that were also leaders of the 1916 Uprising, through music, song and the spoken word. Launching the new programme, Cathal Goan said: “This is an initiative of which NUI Galway can be truly proud. Through it, the community that is NUI Galway gets the opportunity to experience a range artistic endeavour that is rich in its diversity and deep in its wealth of talent. Any Arts Festival would be happy to announce a programme of activities such as those on offer to the University’s community free of charge. This is an enlightened blessing for all involved.”  Arts in Action is in continuous development for over five years to support specific undergraduate and postgraduate modules, as well as having a significant input into programmes for international students. Mary Mc Partlan, Traditional Artist-in-Residence at the Centre for Theatre and Performance and Artistic Director of Arts in Action at NUI Galway, said: “This year’s programme marks the ultimate goal and objective of embedding the creative arts into academic modules, creating a full programme in such a sustained and significant way that fulfils all the aims and outcomes for credit bearing modules, available to all students across the campus, with structured, bespoke space opportunities for visiting students to immerse in Irish Traditional Culture.” All events are free to attend and will take place mostly at The Cube and Bailey Allen Hall in Áras Na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. The programme will commence on Thursday, 1 October and run until the end of March 2016. For programme details please see http://www.nuigalway.ie/arts/artsinaction.html, or visit the Arts in Action Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArtsinActionNUIGalway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

                     Promote Wellbeing Improve Performance Transform Culture NUI Galway will host a conference on 9-10 October bringing together mindfulness visionaries, higher education leaders and University staff and students to share the evidence-based impact of mindfulness on performance, well-being, entrepreneurship and society. The NUI Galway Mindful Way conference will seek to explore current challenges within society and organisations. It will focus on the benefits of integrating mindfulness with the University setting to continue to serve the 21st century needs in delivering its core principles: teaching, research and contribution to society through innovation and entrepreneurship. NUI Galway intends to become a mindful university, one that is aware of the challenges faced by its student and staff, and is preparing itself to lead the higher education sector by setting a new model on how to build a sustainable and successful institution of education, research, life-long learning and sharing. The conference is one of the first steps towards integrating mindfulness into the University culture. The first day of the conference will focus on ‘Mindful Society’ and ‘Mindful Enterprises’. The second day will focus on ‘Mindfulness in Action’ and ‘Mindfulness in Education’. Speaking in advance of the conference, Professor Lokesh Joshi, NUI Galway Vice-President for Research, said: “We in NUI Galway are keen to connect the well-being our university community with mindfulness, to enhance the performance of individuals, their various units and ultimately the University. We want to ensure that mindfulness is brought into the University with the solid backing of scientific evidence. NUI Galway is also committed to promoting entrepreneurship within the University, and in addition to a very successful ecosystem for entrepreneurship for researchers, we are now investing in undergraduate entrepreneurship, one of the elements of which will be mindful entrepreneurship. The speakers at this conference have committed to help us build a mindful University and a mindful entrepreneurial ecosystem and we are very pleased to be taking this first step towards becoming a Mindful University.” Alfred Tolle, Google ‘Compassion Guy’ and founder of Wisdom Stockholm is among the speakers at the conference. Head of Google’s Nordics LCS Dublin, Tolle is responsible for bringing Wisdom 2.0 to Europe and, in his own words, is committed to: “leadership development for a better world.” Tolle commented: “NUI Galway has a great opportunity to take the lead among European universities by promoting a mindful culture. The Mindful Way conference is an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and students to come together to understand how mindfulness has impacted other areas of society and to explore how evidence-based mindfulness can enhance people’s experience of education.” Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten of Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland will also speak at the conference on the topic of bringing mindfulness to life. Thubten was an undergraduate at Oxford, and has been a monk for the past 23 years, during which time he has developed mindfulness programmes in companies such as Google and several major law firms, as well as lecturing at a number of universities. He points out that: “Mindfulness is a science-based way of training the mind which can be used in a non-religious manner in many different settings including schools and universities, hospitals, businesses and prisons. It has several major benefits which include reducing stress, improving mental clarity and cognitive function. Mindfulness practice helps us to develop a sense of inner freedom, which enables us to be more effective in the world. Medical research proves that brain activity is much healthier among mindfulness practitioners. Everyone can benefit from this practice and it’s most encouraging that NUI Galway is planning to focus on bringing evidence-based mindfulness into the university for the benefit of students and staff.” The conference will host an array of other international speakers including: Col. Ray Lane, Commanding Officer, Irish Defence Force Ordnance School Peter Read, Angel Investor and Business Advisor Chris Ruane, Former Labour MP for Vale of Clwyd Nipun Mehta, Founder of ServiceSpace.org Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, Congregation of Religious Sisters of Charity and Founder of The Sanctuary Dr Jutta Tobias, Cranfield University School of Management Joining the speakers at a panelist round-table discussion will be: Seán O’Driscoll, Managing Partner, Athrú Consulting (Chair) Dr Jim Browne, President, NUI Galway, and Mary Hawkes Greene, President and Founder, Burren College of Art (BCA) The conference will be facilitated by: Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway Professor Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation, NUI Galway Sean O’Driscoll, Managing Partner, Athrú Consulting, and Emily Lane, Founder, Corporate Wellbeing Institute Registration for the NUI Galway Mindful Way conference is now open and will cost €75. Further information is available at www.conference.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Participants sought for national survey on the economic costs for families raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder A PhD scholar from NUI Galway, in association with Irish Autism Action is leading a research study and seeking participants as part of a national survey calculating the economic costs to families raising a child or children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Ireland. The national survey, which is strictly confidential, is being conducted by Áine Roddy, an Irish Research Council and Hardiman PhD Scholar in Health Economics under the supervision of Professor Ciaran O’Neill at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. The study aims to establish what the economic costs of autism spectrum disorders are in Ireland for children aged between 2 to 18 years. This is the first international study that will provide an in-depth analysis and evidence-based research on issues that affect families such as the financial costs, level of debt as a result of the condition, health services accessed, educational supports in place, impact on employment and household income. In addition to the time involved in caring for their child’s special needs and safety. This research will be used to inform public policy about the economic burden on families raising a child or children with an autism spectrum disorder in Ireland. Limited research has been carried out on this issue in Ireland, which makes this survey and the involvement of parents particularly important. It is hoped the findings will help inform the development of evidence-based policies to meet the needs of those whose lives are impacted by autism. The research has been supported and advanced by Kevin Whelan, CEO of Irish Autism Action, and everyone who returns a completed survey has a chance to win 1 of 5 iPads kindly donated by Irish Autism Action. To date, the survey has been distributed in the post by Irish Autism Action, Shine Ireland and Dóchas autism organisations. Áine Roddy says: “We are very grateful to all the parents who have completed and returned a survey so far. However, more participants are still welcomed. 1 in 100 people in Ireland are affected by an autism spectrum disorder, yet there is no register or data available on the numbers who access services or require them. The information gathered from this survey is vital to establish what services are accessed by children aged between 2 to 18 years and calculate the economic impact of autism spectrum disorders on families and society. A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom by Beuscher et al. 2014 showed that autism costs the United Kingdoms’ economy £32 billion per year. The cost of autism to the UK’s economy is more than its combined cost of cancer, heart disease and strokes, yet targeted investment in autism spectrum disorder services and supports remains an underfunded area.” Ms Roddy added, “Behind these figures lies the reality that many families are under a huge financial strain trying to pay for private services and interventions due to a lack of services and long waiting lists. There are also several children with unmet service needs, and parents having to give up paid employment to become full-time carers, not to mention the costs associated with long-term care. The survey gives parents a voice to let policymakers know the extent to which their lives are affected by autism spectrum disorders, whilst providing them with an opportunity to explain what better services means to them. I will write an evidence-based report on the findings which will be available to the public next year through autism organisations social media. I would like to reassure all parents that the information they provide is strictly confidential and will not be passed on to any third parties.” Parents and families from every county in Ireland have the opportunity to contribute to the survey so that their voice can be heard. The closing date to complete and return the survey form is Friday, 23 October 2015. The survey can be downloaded as a pdf file from the Irish Autism Action website http://www.autismireland.ie/news-events/news/1445/ and returned by email or freepost to Áine Roddy. Alternatively, participants can request that the survey is posted to them. -Ends-

Friday, 25 September 2015

IPRN will facilitate closer dialogue and collaboration between all active pain researchers in Ireland based in academic institutions, hospitals, other healthcare practices, or industry The Irish Pain Research Network (IPRN) is a new national initiative that aims to bring together all active pain researchers on the island of Ireland (North and South) for the purposes of sharing research results and ideas and facilitating cross-institutional collaboration in the area of pain research. The IPRN will be launched by Professor Rolf-Detlef Treede, President of the International Association of Pain, at the 15th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Pain Society at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 2 on Saturday, 26 September. The idea to establish the IPRN arose from discussions last year between NUI Galway pain researchers, Professor David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire from the School of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and UCD researchers, Dr Brona Fullen, Dr Catherine Doody and Dr Catherine Blake. It was recognised that while a number of academic institutions and hospitals in Ireland currently have a cluster or centre of pain researchers, there is currently no forum that brings all of these groupings together specifically for the purpose of discussing pain research and advancing collaborative pain research within Ireland. The launch will take the form of an inaugural research symposium where researchers from the various pain research groups across the country will give short presentations, followed by a round table discussion of collaborative opportunities and potential joint grant applications. The IPRN will be run as a special interest group of the Irish Pain Society. Incoming President of the Irish Pain Society and founding member of IPRN, Professor David Finn from the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, said: “Given the increasing requirement for institutions to work together and to share resources to do the best possible research, the establishment of IPRN will facilitate closer dialogue and collaboration between all active pain researchers based in academic institutions, hospitals, other healthcare practices, or industry.” The aim is to have strong representation from every major pain research grouping across Ireland. Those active in pain research within Ireland are invited to join IPRN and attend the inaugural launch. Pain researchers at any level of seniority are welcome to join, and students and early-career researchers are particularly welcome. There is no fee to join IPRN but you must be a member of the Irish Pain Society to join. All registered delegates at the Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday will automatically become members of the Irish Pain Society and are therefore eligible to join IPRN if they wish. Chronic pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more) affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly recognised as a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is sometimes associated with psychological effects, which may include anxiety and changes in mood, as well as forgetfulness, and difficulties in focusing attention, planning tasks and making decisions. To join IPRN contact Orla Doran on ODoran@coa.ie and put ‘IPRN’ in the email subject field. For further information visit http://www.irishpainsociety.com/ -Ends-

Friday, 25 September 2015

Michael O’Flaherty, Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre of Human Rights at NUI Galway, has been chosen as the new Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Commenting on the appointment, Professor O’Flaherty said: “It is a great honour for me to take up this important position. I very much look forward to working together with the staff and the Management Board of the FRA to advance the protection and promotion of fundamental rights throughout the EU, particularly in these critical times. Professor O’Flaherty added, “It has been an enormous pleasure and privilege to direct the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway over the past three years. As I prepare to depart I wish to express appreciation for my wonderful colleagues who have done so much to maintain the centre as a world leader in Human Rights research, teaching and advocacy.” President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne congratulating Professor O’Flaherty on his new appointment said: “Michael has been a great leader at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway and we very much appreciate the significant work he has done for NUI Galway and internationally. He leaves an important legacy at the University and we wish him the very best in his new role as Director of FRA.” Michael O'Flaherty has been Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway since February 2013. He was Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission until November 2013. He has also been a member of the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee and has been active in the field of human rights for over 20 years, nationally and internationally. He has been a senior expert for Ireland as part of FRA’s multidisciplinary research network, FRANET, since 2014. For further information on the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights contact media@fra.europa.eu -Ends-

Monday, 28 September 2015

Over 70 actively recruiting companies across all industries will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair on Tuesday, 6 October from 12.30-4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Graduate Jobs Fair 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, civil and public sectors, and consultancy. Major local employers such as Medtronic, SAP, Enterprise Ireland and Smyths will attend, in addition to international companies including Abbott, SITA Inc., Pepper Asset Servicing and Gerson Lehrman Group. Emma Goode, Employment Officer with NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates across all academic disciplines remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Emma also has some advice for those attending the Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. 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! Prepare for the fair. Research the companies you are interested in and the type of opportunities they have available. Have something to say when you approach a stand and be confident, positive, enthusiastic and professional. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on participating exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers.     -Ends-

Monday, 28 September 2015

The clinical translational research facility will be a significant development for health care and medical technology sector in Ireland Enable the best researchers and health professionals to carry out studies that will change people’s lives for the better Currently over 100 clinical trials underway involving people with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, amongst others NUI Galway will open the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and HRB Clinical Research Facility at University Hospital Galway today. The co-location of these two facilities in one building on hospital grounds will mean basic laboratory research conducted in the translational research facility can be evaluated in clinical trials in the clinical research facility and ultimately benefit patients faster. Some examples of the types of studies undertaken in the two facilities will include: Predicting risk of breast cancer due to inherited characteristics Stem cell trials to help improve blood flow in legs of diabetic patients and prevent amputation Clinical trials in blood cancer patients to establish whether new treatments can be combined with existing treatment for better outcomes. How implantable medical devices can provide new solutions for patients Officially opening the building today, An Taoiseach said: “I am delighted to celebrate the opening of this new clinical and translational facility made up of the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and the Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility. This project represents a truly innovative partnership between NUI Galway, Health Research Board, Saolta University Health Care Group, and HSE supported by private philanthropy through Galway University Foundation. Ireland is recognised as an emerging global hub for the ‘medtech’ sector. Galway is at the very heart of this development and NUI Galway is the powerhouse for much of this progress. In July 2011, I officially opened a new Engineering building at NUI Galway. Last February I launched the Biomedical Sciences building. Today we open a unique clinical and translational research facility. Taken together these three facilities complete an ecosystem of education, research, innovation and healthcare in the West of Ireland. This latest facility represents the point where research and health care meet – where “bench” meets “bedside”. The advances made by researchers and clinicians in this facility will undoubtedly lead to better frontline health outcomes and will ultimately improve patients’ lives.” NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said, “Today is a milestone in the development of medicine at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has given strategic priority to the development of biomedical engineering science. Over the past two decades we have invested heavily in this area, with major new research facilities on our campus. Our researchers advance scientific knowledge to address health challenges. Here in this building that scientific knowledge is being developed into novel treatments, which are then carefully applied in the clinical setting and tested in clinical trials led by NUI Galway.” Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board highlights, “The HRB Clinical Research Facility is not just a building - it is a game changer. Turning health research discoveries into real benefits for people’s health and patient care doesn’t happen by itself. This HRB facility will enable the best researchers and health professionals to carry out studies that will change people’s lives for the better. The HRB CRF will provide a safe place for patients to take part in clinical trials and access the latest treatments. It will be a centre of learning for young researchers and health professionals– so we are investing in our future. And it will also create opportunities for partnership between the health system, academia and industry that we know will support health system innovation and economic development.” Commenting, Maurice Power, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group said, “This exciting new facility brings together leading-edge medical research directly to the bedside of patients at University Hospital Galway and the wider Hospital Group.  For our patients, the facility will provide inpatient and outpatient beds, a minor operations room, endoscopy, endocrine and cardiorespiratory suites, a phlebotomy room and a biometrics unit.  As well as its primary function in benefiting our patients it will also allow our Hospital Group attract and retain the highest calibre of medical professionals." Philanthropy has played a central role in this development. Galway University Foundation acknowledged the support of philanthropic donors, in particular, Dr Ronan and Ann Lambe, the 50 plus member of the Corrib Medical Network, Bank of Ireland and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Speaking at the launch Dr Ronan Lambe, said:  “It is a great privilege for my wife and I to be associated with such a state of the art facility which will enhance the reputation of NUI Galway as a centre of excellence for Bio Medical Research.”    The proximity of the University to UHG will enable direct patient access and collaborative trial input from the hospital Oncology/Haematology Clinical Trials Unit. The CRF will ensure that patients in the West and North West of Ireland have access to a number of new cancer therapies that would otherwise not have been available to them. Clinical trials are active in the treatment of melanoma, multiple myeloma, mantel cell lymphoma, breast, prostate, lung, gastrointestinal and gynaecological cancers. Some Examples of trials that are underway at the two facilities Case Study 1 – Predicting risk of breast cancer due to inherited characteristics The incidence of breast cancer is increasing and the role genetics play is not yet fully understood for the majority of women. We calculate that less than 10% of women with a strong family history have an abnormality in the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 genes which are known to be associated with a risk of developing breast cancer. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Interim Director of the Lambe Institute for Translational Research, “In the West of Ireland we have a very high incidence of breast cancer and examining the genes that cause this cancer is a key research priority and has contributed to multiple international studies, including one which identified 74 new genetic changes associated with breast cancer. The HRB-Clinical Research Facility will allow new trials to be developed around these genetic targets.”   Case study 2 Preventing amputation in patients with diabetes mellitus Patients with Diabetes Mellitus can often experience limited blood flow to the leg. Many patients present with gangrene, pain at rest or ulceration in the leg. While bypass of the obstruction is possible in some patients amputation may be required for one in every three patients with this complication. In fact an amputation occurs every 30 seconds somewhere in the world due to diabetes mellitus and thus new treatments are urgently required. A new study, which will take place across the HRB Clinical Research Facility, the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and University Hospital Galway will take stem cells isolated from patients’ bone marrow, grow them in a specially designed laboratory at NUI Galway and then inject them into the leg in the dedicated clinical research space. This research is a first-in-person study which aims to assess the safety and feasibility of this approach and is funded by the Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland. According to lead researcher, Professor Tim O Brien, Dean, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway and Consultant Endocrinologist at University Hospital Galway, “The aim is to see if injections of stem cells along the leg will improve blood flow and prevent the need for amputation in these patients. This first-in-person study is designed to assess the safety and feasibility of this approach and if this is demonstrated larger studies will be required to assess efficacy. Having a dedicated laboratory provided by the Lambe Institute in close proximity to the HRB Clinical Research Facility on hospital grounds transforms our ability to do this research and provide our patients with early access to trials in a safe environment. The provision of the new facility along with recent capital developments in Galway including the Biomedical Science Research Building, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland and the Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment provides the complete infrastructure to perform studies of stem cell therapy in Ireland.” Case study 3 Tackling blood cancer Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and it has a particularly high incidence in Ireland. It is important to look for new therapies to treat people who relapse or are unresponsive to existing treatment. Another clinical trial which will take place across these two new facilities will test the efficacy of a new drug in combination with existing treatments to see if it improves outcomes for these patients. Professor Michael O’Dwyer, HRB Clinician Scientist at NUI Galway says, “Based on promising results of an initial trial, we are now moving forward to test the impact of a stronger dose of the new drug in combination with existing treatments. If this is successful, the treatment should be available to Irish patients sometime later this year. The availability of labs and clinical facilities in one place is fantastic. It creates a situation where we have the optimum facilities, skills and patients which means we are very competitive in attracting international trials. This is important because it has been shown that regardless of the outcome of trials, patients who get to participate in trials do better than those who don’t.” Case Study 4 Prevention is better than cure – Diabetes in pregnancy Diabetes in pregnancy, known as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) poses many risks to both mother and baby. The prevalence of GDM is 12% of all pregnancies in Ireland but varies considerably across Europe with prevalence of up to 20% reported for some populations.  It is known that if women adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, they can help create optimal health outcomes for both mother and the baby they are carrying. However, there is currently little evidence that actually shows the benefits of preventing of diabetes in pregnancy.  In order to build evidence in this area Professor Fidelma Dunne Consultant Endocrinologist, NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital is the Irish Principal Investigator on a new European randomised controlled trial called DALI. “This study is comparing the impact of diet, exercise, taking Vitamin D, and various combinations of these lifestyle changes, on reducing the risk of developing gestational diabetes in at-risk pregnant women. The HRB Clinical Research Facility is one of 11 centres around Europe where this EU FP7 funded study is taking place.” She continues, ‘It is essential that we increase the evidence base and highlight the importance of preventing and managing diabetes in pregnancy for mother and baby.’ According to Professor Martin O’Donnell, Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, “In tandem with our focus on improving clinical care of patients, a clear priority for the HRB Clinical Research Facility is to improve health at a population level, through prevention of disease. At the HRB-CRFG we are conducting a range of studies that will inform optimal approaches to preventing stroke, heart attack and dementia in populations, with a focus on nutrition, blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and lifestyle behaviours.” Case Study 5 - Predicting responses to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients The era of personalised medicine means that chemotherapy is now more targeted towards specific cancer subtypes. However the prediction of response to common chemotherapeutic agents still poses a problem for clinicians. It would be beneficial to be able to predict treatment response by a simple blood test and save women, who are not getting the benefit from chemotherapy, the trauma of continued treatment and instead give them the option of an alternative and better regimen. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Interim Director of the Lambe Institute for Translational Research, "We have exciting data from trials which suggest that specific biomarkers (microRNAs) circulating in the bloodstream can predict response to treatment in breast cancer. As a result of this we may be able to select better therapies for patients. The research questions raised will be translated into new clinical trials in conjunction with the HRB-Clinical Research Facility.” If you would like more information on the work of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, please email crfg@nuigalway.ie -ENDS- Osclaíonn an Taoiseach Ionaid nua Taighde a rachaidh chun tairbhe Príomhchúram Othar Forbairt shuntasach do na hearnálacha cúraim sláinte agus teicneolaíochta leighis in Éirinn a bheidh sa tsaoráid taighde aistrithigh agus chliniciúil Cuirfear ar chumas na dtaighdeoirí agus an lucht gairme sláinte is fearr tabhairt faoi staidéir a chuirfidh feabhas ar shaol daoine Sa bhreis ar 100 triail chliniciúil ar siúl faoi láthair le daoine a bhfuil ailse, diaibéiteas, galar cardashoithíoch ag gabháil dóibh Inniu osclóidh OÉ Gaillimh Ionad Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh. De bhrí go mbeidh an dá shaoráid seo in aon fhoirgneamh amháin ar thailte an ospidéil beifear in ann an buntaighde saotharlainne a dhéanfar sa tsaoráid taighde aistrithigh a mheas sna trialacha cliniciúla sa tsaoráid taighde chliniciúil agus dá bhrí sin feicfidh othair an tairbhe i bhfad níos sciobtha. I measc na gcineálacha staidéar a dtabharfar fúthu sa dá shaoráid beidh: -          An baol a bhaineann le hailse chíche a fhorbairt mar gheall ar thréithe dúchais a réamh-mheas -          Trialacha gascheall chun sreabhadh fola i gcosa othar diaibéiteach a fheabhsú d'fhonn teascadh a sheachaint -          Trialacha cliniciúla in othar a bhfuil ailse fola ag gabháil dóibh le déanamh amach an féidir cóireálacha nua a chur le seanchóireálacha chun torthaí níos fearr a fháil -          Conas is féidir le feistí leighis ionchlannaithe réitigh nua a chur ar fáil d'othair Dúirt an Taoiseach inniu agus é ag oscailt an fhoirgnimh go hoifigiúil: “Tá an-áthas orm ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar oscailt na saoráide nua seo áit a bhfuil Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil an Bhoird Taighde Sláinte.  Léiríonn an tionscadal seo comhpháirtíocht thar a bheith nuálach idir OÉ Gaillimh, an Bord Taighde Sláinte, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ospidéil Saolta, agus Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte; comhpháirtíocht atá maoinithe ag daonchairdeas príobháideach trí Fhondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Samhlaítear Éire mar mhol domhanda atá ag teacht chun cinn go láidir san earnáil leighis-teicneolaíochta. Tá Gaillimh i gcroílár na forbartha seo agus tá OÉ Gaillimh mar lárionad do chuid mhór den dul chun cinn seo. I mí Iúil 2011, d'oscail mé an foirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta go hoifigiúil in OÉ Gaillimh.  I mí Feabhra seo caite d'oscail mé an foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis. Inniu osclaímid saoráid uathúil taighde chliniciúil agus aistrithigh.  Nuair a chuirtear le chéile na trí shaoráid seo tá éiceachóras iomlán againn d'oideachas, taighde, nuálaíocht agus cúram sláinte in Iarthar na hÉireann. Seasann an tsaoráid is déanaí seo don phointe ina dtagann taighde agus cúram sláinte le chéile – an pointe ina dtagann an “teoiric” agus an “cleachtadh” le chéile.  De bharr na hoibre a dhéanfaidh taighdeoirí agus cliniceoirí sa tsaoráid seo is cinnte go mbeidh torthaí sláinte príomha níos fearr ann agus ar deireadh cuirfear feabhas ar shaol na n-othar.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, “Is buaicphointe i bhforbairt an leighis in OÉ Gaillimh atá sa lá inniu.  Tá tús áite straitéiseach tugtha ag OÉ Gaillimh d'fhorbairt na heolaíochta innealtóireachta bithleighis.  Le scór bliain anuas tá infheistíocht láidir déanta againn sa réimse seo, agus saoráidí móra taighde ar an gcampas mar thoradh air seo. Cuireann ár dtaighdeoirí eolas eolaíoch chun cinn d'fhonn aghaidh a thabhairt ar dhúshláin sláinte.  San fhoirgneamh seo táthar ag déanamh cóireálacha nua as an eolas eolaíoch seo, agus ansin tá siad sin á gcur i bhfeidhm sa suíomh cliniciúil agus á dtástáil i dtrialacha cliniciúla faoi stiúir OÉ Gaillimh.” Dúirt an Dr Graham Love, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Bhoird Taighde Sláinte, “Tá níos mó ná foirgneamh i gceist le Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB, is athrú iomlán ar chur chuige atá ann. Tá obair mhór i gceist le fionnachtana taighde sláinte a aistriú isteach i bhfíorbhuntáistí do shláinte daoine agus do chúram othar. Cuirfidh an tsaoráid HRB seo ar chumas na dtaighdeoirí agus na ngairmithe sláinte is fearr dá bhfuil ann staidéir a dhéanamh a athróidh saol daoine chun feabhais. Beidh áit shábháilte ag othair sa tsaoráid HRB chun páirt a ghlacadh i dtrialacha cliniciúla agus chun teacht ar na cóireálacha is nuaí. Lárionad foghlama do thaighdeoirí óga agus do ghairmithe sláinte a bheidh ann – táimid ag déanamh infheistíochta inár dtodhchaí. Chomh maith leis sin, cruthóidh sé deiseanna comhpháirtíochta idir an córas sláinte, an lucht acadúil agus an tionscal a thacóidh le nuálaíocht sa chóras sláinte agus le forbairt gheilleagrach. Dúirt Maurice Power, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ospidéil Saolta, “Tugann an tsaoráid nua seo taighde ceannródaíoch leighis chuig an othar sa leaba in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh agus sa Ghrúpa Ospidéil níos leithne.  Cuirfidh an tsaoráid na nithe seo a leanas ar fáil dár n-othair: leapacha in-tí agus eisothair, seomra do mhionobráidí, seomraí ionscópachta, inchríneacha agus cardairiospráideacha, seomra fleibeatóime agus aonad bithmhéadrachta.  Chomh maith le feidhmiú go príomha ag déanamh leasa dár n-othair cuirfidh sé ar chumas an Ghrúpa Ospidéil na gairmithe leighis is fearr a mhealladh agus a choinneáil.” Bhí ról lárnach ag an daonchairdeas san fhorbairt seo.  Thug Fondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe aitheantas don tacaíocht a fuarthas ó dheontóirí daonchairdiúla, go háirithe an Dr Ronan agus Ann Lambe, breis is 50 ball de Líonra Leighis na Coiribe, Banc na hÉireann agus an Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche.  Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh dúirt an Dr Ronan Lambe:  “Is iontach an phribhléid dom féin agus do mo bhean a bheith bainteach le saoráid den scoth a chuirfidh go mór le cáil OÉ Gaillimh mar ionad barr feabhais don Taighde Bithleighis.”    Mar gheall go bhfuil an Ollscoil chomh gar don Ospidéal beidh teacht ag taighdeoirí go díreach ar othair agus beidh ionchur comhoibríoch trialach ag an Aonad Trialacha Cliniciúla Oinceolaíochta/Haemaiteolaíochta san ospidéal. Cinnteoidh an tSaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil go mbeidh teacht ag othair in Iarthar agus in Iarthuaisceart na hÉireann ar theiripí nua ailse nach mbeadh ar fáil dóibh murach an tsaoráid seo. Tá trialacha cliniciúla ar siúl faoi láthair chun cóir leighis a chur ar fáil in aghaidh: meileanóma, mialóma iolrach, liomfóma ceall maintlín, alise chíche, phróstataigh, scamhóige, ghastraistéigeach agus ghínéiceolaíoch. Roinnt samplaí de na trialacha atá ar bun sa dá shaoráid   Cás-staidéar 1 – An baol a bhaineann le hailse chíche a fhorbairt mar gheall ar thréithe dúchais a réamh-mheas Tá níos mó cásanna den ailse chíche ag teacht chun cinn agus níltear cinnte fós faoin ról atá ag géinitic i bhformhór na mban. Áirímid go bhfuil níos lú ná 10% de mhná le stair láidir teaghlaigh a bhfuil mínormáltacht sna géinte BRCA1 nó BRCA 2, géinte atá bainteach leis an mbaol a bhaineann le hailse chíche a fhorbairt. Dar leis an Ollamh Michael Kerin, Stiúrthóir Gníomhach Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach, “In Iarthar na hÉireann feictear líon an-ard d'ailse chíche agus is príomhthosaíocht taighde é na géinte is cúis leis an ailse seo a scrúdú agus tá go leor staidéir idirnáisiúnta déanta sa réimse seo, staidéar amháin a d'aithin 74 athrú nua géiniteach bainteach le hailse chíche. Tabharfaidh Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB deis dúinn trialacha nua a fhorbairt bunaithe ar na spriocanna géiniteacha seo.”   Cás-staidéar 2 – Teascadh in othair le diaibéiteas mellitus a sheachaint Is minic go gcuireann sreabhadh teoranta fola sa chos as d'othair a bhfuil diaibéiteas mellitus ag gabháil dóibh. Go hiondúil bíonn morgadh, pian agus tú ar do shuaimhneas nó othrasú sa chos ag cur as d'othair. Cé gur féidir seach-chonair a dhéanamh ar an mbacainn i gcásanna áirithe, tá an baol ann go mbeidh teascadh i gceist d'othar amháin as triúr a mbaineann an aimhréidh seo dóibh. Go deimhin, tarlaíonn teascadh chuile 30 soicind in áit éigin ar domhan de bharr diaibéiteas mellitus, agus is ar an mbunús sin a theastaíonn cóireálacha nua go géar. Déanfaidh staidéar nua – a bheidh ar bun idir Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB, Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh – a bhaineann le gaschealla a thógáil ó smior na n-othar, iad a fhás i saotharlann speisialta ar leith in OÉ Gaillimh agus iad a instealladh sa chos ar an láthair taighde chliniciúil faoi leith.  Tá an taighde seo ar an gcéad staidéar a bhaineann leis an taighde daonna agus é mar aidhm aige an cur chuige ó thaobh sábháilteachta agus indéantachta a mheas; tá an taighde á mhaoiniú ag an mBord Taighde Sláinte agus ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann.  Dar leis an bpríomhthaighdeoir, an tOllamh Tim O Brien, Déan, Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte, OÉ Gaillimh agus Comhairleoir le hInchríneolaíocht in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh, “Is é an aidhm atá leis an staidéar seo go bhfeicfí an gcuideoidh na hinstealltaí de ghaschealla sa chos leis an sreabhadh fola a fheabhsú agus teascadh a sheachaint sna hothair seo. Tá an chéad staidéar a bhaineann le taighde daonna curtha ar bun chun sábháilteacht agus indéantacht an chuir chuige a mheas agus má léirítear gur amhlaidh atá, beidh gá le taighde breise ar scála níos mó chun a éifeachtúlacht a mheas.  Cuireann an tsaotharlann speisialta in Institiúid Lambe atá cóngarach do Shaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ar thailte an ospidéil go mór lenár gcumas an taighde seo a chur i gcrích agus luath-thrialacha i dtimpeallacht shábháilte a sholáthar dár n-othar. Soláthraíonn an tsaoráid nua, móide na forbairtí caipitil reatha i nGaillimh ar a n-áirítear foirgneamh Taighde Eolaíochta Bithleighis, an tIonad don Chillmhonarú in Éirinn agus Bunaíocht Fola agus Fíocháin na Gaillimhe, an t-infreastruchtúr iomlán d'fhonn staidéar ar theiripe gascheall a bhaint amach in Éirinn.”   Cás-staidéar 3 – Dul i ngleic le hailse fola Tá mialóma iolrach ar an dara hailse fola is coitianta le líon an-ard cásanna den chineál ailse seo in Éirinn. Is den tábhacht go lorgófaí teiripí nua chun cóireáil a chur ar dhaoine a dtagann athiompú orthu nó iad siúd nach n-oibríonn an chóir leighis atá ar fáil faoi láthair dóibh. Déanfaidh triail chliniciúil eile, a bheidh ar bun sa dá shaoráid nua seo, dianscrúdú ar a éifeachtúla is atá an chóir leighis nua le feiceáil an mbíonn torthaí níos fearr le fáil nuair a dhéantar cóireálacha nua a chur le seanchóireálacha. Thug an tOllamh Michael O’Dwyer, Eolaí Cliniceora HRB in OÉ Gaillimh le fios: “Bunaithe ar dhea-thorthaí trialach tosaigh, táimid anois ag déanamh tástáil ar an tionchar atá ag dáileog níos láidre den druga nua in éineacht le seanchóireálacha. Má éiríonn leis seo, ba chóir go mbeadh an chóir leighis ar fáil do mhuintir na hÉireann níos deireanaí sa bhliain. Tá sé thar cionn go bhfuil na saotharlanna agus na saoráidí cliniciúla seo ar fáil faoi aon díon amháin. Buntáiste mór é na hothair, na saoráidí agus na scileanna ardchaighdeáin seo a bheith ar fáil ar an láthair chéanna agus léiríonn sé go bhfuilimid thar a bheith iomaíoch ó thaobh trialacha idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh. Tá tábhacht ar leith leis seo mar go léirítear, beag beann ar thorthaí na dtrialacha, go n-éiríonn níos fearr le hothair a bhíonn rannpháirteach sna trialacha i gcomparáid leo siúd nach mbíonn.”   Cás-staidéar 4 – Is fearr cosc ná leigheas – Diaibéiteas le linn toirchis D'fhéadfadh go leor rioscaí a bheith i ndán do mháthair agus leanbh mar gheall ar dhiaibéiteas le linn toirchis, nó Diaibéiteas Mellitus le linn Toirchis (GDM). Bíonn GDM i gceist in 12% de gach toircheas in Éirinn, le rátaí éagsúla ar fud na hEorpa agus tuairiscítear go bhféadfadh GDM a bheith i gceist i suas le 20% de thoirchis i bpobail ar leith.  Tuigtear má chloíonn mná le stíl shláintiúil mhaireachtála an fhad is atá siad ag iompar, gur féidir leo dea-thorthaí sláintiúla a bhaint amach dóibh féin agus don leanbh atá á iompar acu. Mar sin féin, is beag fianaise atá ar fáil i láthair na huaire a léiríonn na buntáistí a bhaineann le diaibéiteas le linn toirchis a sheachaint.  Chun críche fianaise a bhailiú sa réimse seo tá an tOllamh Fidelma Dunne, Comhairleoir le hInchríneolaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh agus Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh ag feidhmiú mar Phríomhthaighdeoir na hÉireann ar thriail nua Eorpach atá randamaithe agus rialaithe dar teideal DALI. “Díríonn an staidéar seo ar an laghdú is féidir le haiste bia, aclaíocht, Vitimín D a ghlacadh, agus meascáin éagsúla de na hathruithe saoil seo a dhéanamh ar an mbaol do mhná sa chatagóir ardriosca diaibéiteas le linn toirchis a fhorbairt. Tá Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ar cheann d'aon ionad déag ar fud na hEorpa ina bhfuil an staidéar maoinithe FP7 AE ar siúl.” Mhínigh sí “go bhfuil sé riachtanach go gcuirfimis leis an mbonn fianaise agus go dtairngneoimis aird ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le diaibéiteas le linn toirchis a chosc agus a bhainistiú don mháthair agus don leanbh.” Dar leis an Ollamh Martin O’Donnell, Stiúrthóir Shaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB in OÉ Gaillimh, “I gcomhar lenár bhfócas ar chúram cliniciúil othar a fheabhsú, tá sé mar phríomhthosaíocht ag Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB cúram sláinte ag leibhéal pobail a fheabhsú, trí chosc a chur ar ghalair. Tá foireann Shaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ag stiúradh réimse staidéar óna mbeidh eolas úsáideach ar fáil ó thaobh na gcur chuige is fearr i dtaca le stróc, taom croí agus néaltrú a chosc i measc an phobail, trí dhíriú ar iompraíochtaí cothaithe, brú fola, diaibéiteas agus stíl mhaireachtála.” Cás-staidéar 5 –  An tionchar a bhíonn ag ceimiteiripe ar othair a bhfuil ailse chíche ag gabháil dóibh a réamh-mheas Le ré an leighis shainiúil glactar leis go bhfuil ceimiteiripe ar fáil a dhíríonn ar fhochineálacha ailse ar leith. É sin ráite cruthaíonn an tionchar a bhaineann le gníomhaithe ceimiteiripeacha a réamh-mheas fadhb do na cliniceoirí. Bheadh sé ina bhuntáiste dá bhféadfaí an tionchar a bhíonn ag cóireálacha a réamh-mheas trí thástáil fola simplí a dhéanamh agus mná, nach ndéanann an cheimiteiripe aon mhaitheas dóibh, a chosaint ó chóireáil leanúnach a fháil, agus rogha eile de réim mhalartach níos fearr a chur ar fáil dóibh. Dar leis an Ollamh Michael Kerin, Stiúrthóir Gníomhach Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach, “Tá eolas spéisiúil bailithe againn ó thrialacha a léiríonn gur féidir le bithchomharthaí sóirt ar leith (miocrRNAs) atá sa chóras fola an fhreagairt chóireála i gcásanna ailse chíche a réamh-mheas. Mar thoradh air seo, beimid ábalta teiripí níos fearr a roghnú dár n-othair. Déanfar na ceisteanna taighde a thagann chun cinn a aistriú isteach ina dtrialacha taighde nua i gcomhar le Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB.” -CRÍOCH-  

Monday, 28 September 2015

Seolfaidh OÉ Gaillimh Suirbhé Teangeolaíochta ar Oileáin Árann  ‘An staidéar is cuimsithí ar aon chanúint Ghaeilge go dtí seo’ Seolfaidh Iar-Chláraitheoir agus Iar-Leas-Uachatarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, saothar an Dr Séamas Ó Direáin, Suirbhé ar an nGaeilge Labhartha in Oileáin Árann, Co. na Gaillimhe, ar Aoine 9 Deireadh Fómhair ag 1.30in in Téatar Uí Chearbhalláin, Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh. Saothar saoil de chuid theangeolaí de shliocht Árann, an Dr Séamas Ó Direáin as California, is ea Suirbhé ar an nGaeilge Labhartha in Oileáin Árann, Co. na Gaillimhe, saothar a cruthaíodh thar tréimhse 25 bliain. Tráth dá raibh sé i mbun taighde ar theangacha na hAfraice sa Chéinia sna 1970í, thosnaigh an Dr Ó Direáin – a mbeidh 77 bliain slánaithe aige an mhí seo chugainn – ar an nGaeilge a fhoghlaim ó dheoraithe as Éirinn. Agus os cionn 40 bliain caite ó shin, tá ríméad ar an Dr Ó Direáin go mbeidh a Shuirbhé ar theanga dhúchais a mhuintire ar fáil anois ar líne agus saor in aisce ón 9 Deireadh Fómhair 2015 ar aghaidh. Staidéar mionchruinn canúineolaíochta ar an nGaeilge labhartha in Oileáin Árann atá sa Suirbhé seo. Díríonn sé go speisialta ar na difríochtaí tíreolaíocha agus sóisialta a bhaineann leis na glúnta, idir shean agus óg, leis na hinscní (fir/buachaillí agus mná/cailíní), agus le leibhéil oideachais. Den chéad uair riamh i gcás aon teanga in aon áit ar domhan, déantar anailís chuimsitheach shochtheangeolaíochta agus canúineolaíochta ar raon leathan éagsúlachtaí a mhaireann san fhoghraíocht agus sa ghramadach. I gcás an oileáin is mó, Árainn (nó Inis Mór, mar a thugtar air amanta), tá mioneolas sa Suirbhé i dtaobh éagsúlachtaí foghraíochta, gramadaí agus an stóir focal go fiú ar leibhéal na mbailte fearainn. Adeir an tOllamh Kevin Scannell, Ollamh le Matamaitic agus Ríomheolaíocht, Ollscoil St Louis: “Is léir go bhfuil éacht déanta ag Séamas Ó Direáin lena chuid taighde teangeolaíochta ar na canúintí Gaeilge in Oileáin Árann.  Is dócha gurb é seo an staidéar is cuimsithí ar aon chanúint Ghaeilge go dtí seo, agus tá sé go hiontach go mbeidh scoláirí agus taighdeoirí in ann teacht ar an anailís agus ar na bunsonraí go léir ar líne i bhfoirm inchuardaithe leictreonach." Adeir an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh: “Baineann tábhacht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta leis an saothar canúineolaíochta seo le Séamas Ó Direáin. Cuireann sé go mór lenár n-eolas ar chanúineolaíocht chomhaimseartha na Gaeilge trí chéile agus sáraíonn sé aon staidéar eile a deineadh ar chanúintí Árann roimhe seo. Is mór iad na deiseanna eile taighde a eascraíonn as agus tá áthas orm gur in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh a bheidh sé lonnaithe feasta.” Féach an Suirbhé www.aranirish.nuigalway.ie -Críoch-   NUI Galway to Launch Linguistic Survey of the Aran Islands ‘Most comprehensive study of any dialect of Irish completed to date’ Former NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil will launch Dr Séamas Ó Direáin’s A Survey of Spoken Irish in the Aran Islands, Co. Galway on Friday, 9 October at 1.30pm in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway. Created over a period of 25 years, A Survey of Spoken Irish in the Aran Islands, Co. Galway represents the life’s work of Californian linguist Dr Séamas Ó Direáin, whose grandparents emigrated from Inis Mór to Boston over 100 years ago. Dr Ó Direáin, who turns 77 this October, first started learning Irish from expats in Kenya in the 1970s where he was researching African languages. Over 40 years later, he is delighted to make his Survey available for free and online from 9 October. The Survey constitutes a highly detailed, almost microscopic, micro-dialectological study of spoken Irish in the Aran Islands, focusing on geographical and social variation linked to generations (older and younger age-groups), genders (male and female), and level of education. It provides for the first time ever, for any language anywhere in the world, an extensive analysis linguistic variations of the islands. In the case of the largest of the three islands, Inis Mór, the Survey includes detailed information on phonological, grammatical and lexical variation at the level of individual townlands. Professor Kevin Scannell, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, St Louis University, said: “Séamas Ó Direáin’s linguistic research on the dialects of Irish spoken in the Aran Islands is clearly a major achievement. This is probably the most comprehensive study of any dialect of Irish completed to date, and it is wonderful that scholars and researchers will now have searchable online access to all of the data and analysis.” Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway, said: “This dialectological work by Séamas Ó Direáin is of national and international importance. It adds greatly to our knowledge of the dialectology of Irish in general and surpasses all over previous studies of the dialects of Aran. Many other research possibilities can emerge from it and I am delighted that it will be housed at the NUI Galway from now on.” For further information or to view the Survey visit aranirish.nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 28 September 2015

Places still available for fitness programme   Monday, 28 September, 2015: Places are still available for a new community exercise programme, Exercise4Healthdesigned for those who due to health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise. The programme is a collaboration between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club. Croí’s Specialist Physiotherapist, Denise Dunne said: “This new initiative is proving very popular and we have capacity to cater for many more people who are interested in joining us.” Being physically active prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Exercise4Health provides a locally accessible opportunity for anyone looking to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme supervised by professional trainers and exercise specialists. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or improve their overall health and wellbeing. The six-week rolling exercise programme is specially designed to suit all levels of current fitness and prior to enrolling for the classes, participants will be provided with a medical assessment to ascertain their fitness level. This new programme, led by expert cardiac physiotherapists/exercise specialists from Croí and delivered in conjunction with the fitness team at Kingfisher Club, will provide participants with: An assessment of their existing fitness level and a personalised plan for improvement Fitness classes delivered at a level to suit everyone Weekly heart-rate monitoring and personal progress tracking A motivating and enjoyable fitness programme which can be continued at home and which if followed will provide a measurable improvement in fitness levels Professor Terry Smith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway said, “This exciting new partnership between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club aims to provide a community based exercise initiative which will significantly help to improve the health and wellbeing of people suffering from a range of chronic illnesses. Participants will only undertake exercise activities that suit their individual abilities and needs. Thebenefits are not just improved physical health, but meeting other participants and the fitness team at the Kingfisher Club also provides a great social outlet.” The Exercise4Health programme will take place in the Kingfisher Fitness Club at NUI Galway from 12pm-1pm every Thursday. For further information or to book a place on this exciting new programme call Croí on 091 544310. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

NUI Galway researcher is author of paper contributing to the design of an innovative device to close heart defects without placing patients on bypass Researchers, including four Irish researchers, while based at the Wyss Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital have jointly designed a fundamentally different way to implant an innovative patch to close a heart tissue defect that eradicates the need to place a patient on bypass. Their work was published recently in Science Translational Medicine, and features as the cover article. Ellen Roche, PhD and a graduate from the Biomedical Engineering Program at NUI Galway was the first author of the paper. Roche completed the work published in Science Translational Medicine during her PhD at Harvard University and is a current research fellow at NUI Galway under Professor Peter McHugh, working on a project in Biomedical Engineering in the area of novel cardiac drug delivery device development. The PhD scholar is a future faculty member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The researchers invented a flexible, UV light-containing catheter that can be inserted through a vessel, and directed to the defect within the heart. Two balloons, one on either side of the hole, are inflated when the catheter is in place. One of the balloon’s surfaces has a mirror-reflecting quality that reflects UV light from a small internal fibre optic to cure the adhesive. All components of the device are soft and can deflate for easy loading and removal through the outer catheter shaft. Dr Roche said: “This system has proven successful in closing tissue defects in a number of experiments described in the paper. As well as correcting heart defects, the patch and the catheter can be used in a variety of situations - for example, abdominal hernia repair or peptic ulcer closure.” The other Irish authors who contributed to the research with Dr Roche were Professor Conor Walsh, joint senior author and a Trinity College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who runs the Harvard Biodesign Lab, Dr Eoin O’Cearbhaill, Lecturer at UCD and a Biomedical Engineering and PhD graduate from NUI Galway, and William Whyte, a current PhD student at Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). View the paper on Science Translational Medicine website: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/7/306/306ra149.abstract -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Beidh an ceathrú comhdháil is fiche ar Litríocht agus ar Chultúr na Gaeilge á reáchtáil ag Roinn na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh, ar an Aoine agus ar an Satharn 9-10 Deireadh Fómhair. Is í an chomhdháil seo an t-aon chomhdháil bhliantúil ollscoile dá leithéid a reachtáiltear go hiomlán trí Ghaeilge. Is iad An tOllamh Barry McCrea, Ollscoil Notre Dame, An Dr Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh, agus Darach Mac Con Iomaire, Stiúrthóir agus Scríbhneoir aoichainteoirí Chomhdháil 2015. Mar chuid den chomhdháil, seolfaidh an tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil an saothar teangeolaíochta Suirbhé ar Ghaeilge Labhartha Árann, Co. na Gaillimhe, leis an Dr Séamas Ó Direáin. Beidh an suirbhé cuimsitheach seo ar chanúintí Árann ar fáil saor in aisce ar líne ar aranirish.nuigalway.ie. Ina theannta sin, seolfar an leabhar Cruinneas le hAntain Mac Lochlainn agus Amhráin na Midhe: Athchóiriú agus Aistriúcháin le Lesa Ní Mhunghaile. Beidh na seoltaí ar siúl in Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ, Gaillimh. Deir an Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Cathaoirleach an choiste eagraithe: “Comhdháil ar leith í seo a chothaíonn an scoláireacht agus an taighde trí mheán na Gaeilge. Cé go mbeidh go leor réimsí éagsúla taighde á bplé i rith na comhdhála, beidh béim ar leith ar an gceangal idir litríocht na Gaeilge agus an Eoraip i mbliana.” Tá clár iomlán na comhdhála ar fáil ar www.comhdhail.com.   -Críoch-

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NUI Galway will present a series of mathematics appreciation events for the upcoming Maths Week 2015, running from the 10-18 October. Lecturers from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will provide interactive talks and workshops at local schools, launch the nationwide secondary schools competition PRISM (PRoblem Solving for Irish Second Level Mathematics), and organise a series of public talks on the University campus. Robin Wilson, Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London, will deliver two talks on Friday, 16 October. The first talk, ‘Stamping through Mathematics’ is aimed at primary school students from 5th and 6th class. It will cover the whole history of mathematics in one hour, and is illustrated with 250 attractive (and sometimes bizarre!) postage stamps from around the world, featuring mathematics and mathematicians. The second talk, ‘Lewis Carroll in Numberland’ is aimed at secondary school students and will offer a look at the mathematical life of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Professor Graham Ellis from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway said: “Maths Week is the biggest festival of mathematics in the world, and we are always eager to participate. It provides a great opportunity to engage with pupils and show the beauty of mathematics and its importance in education and in the wider world.” On Thursday, 15 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 secondary school at junior and/or senior levels. Registered Maths teachers can download a full package (problem sheets, answer keys, and more) 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. Talks with Professor Robin Wilson will take place on Friday, 16 October in the IT Building, Theatre IT250 at NUI Galway. ‘Stamping through Mathematics’ will take place at 11am and ‘Lewis Carroll in Numberland’ will take place at 1pm. To arrange school visits by lecturers contact michel.destrade@nuigalway.ie and to book seats for public lectures on campus email graham.ellis@nuigalway.ie To take part in PRISM visit http://poincare.nuigalway.ie/PRISM and for all other events taking place across the country during Maths Week visit www.mathsweek.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NUI Galway student wins award for research presentation on modifying brain dysfunctions in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease CÚRAM PhD student Juhi Samal has been awarded first prize out of 300 entries, for her presentation on ‘Delivery of Neurotrophic Factors to the Brain using Fibrin-based Hollow Microsphere Reservoirs'. The prize was awarded at the 27th European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) Conference held in Krackow, Poland this month. ESB conferences attract over 1,000 delegates every year. The annual conference allows scientists and engineers from different disciplines to discuss current issues concerning the latest research in the field of biomaterials. The conference sessions included topics ranging from biomaterials for regenerative medicine, nanotechnology to stem cells application and smart systems for various therapies. Juhi Samal was awarded the Hardiman Fellowship in 2013 and is undertaking her PhD at the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), based at NUI Galway under Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr Eilis O’Dowd. One of CÚRAM’s key research areas focuses on developing solutions for neurodegenerative disease. Juhi’s research is investigating delivery of neurotrophic factors to modify neuronal dysfunctions in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. “Neurotrophic factors are proteins that can promote the initial growth and development of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems and have also been shown to be capable of slowing, halting or reversing neuronal degeneration in laboratory and pre-clinical settings” explains Juhi Samal. “However their therapeutic potential is limited by their short half-life. My research has been investigating a biomaterials-based intervention, which protects these proteins, allowing them to survive for longer and be released where and when needed in a more controlled fashion.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, congratulated Juhi on her award and commented, “CÚRAM has attracted a wide pool of talented researchers. With the talent and technical tools we have at our disposal, our aim is to take the fruits of our research and develop it to the stage where these medical device products can be brought to clinical trial in Ireland. We want to see results, not only for healthcare, but also for job creation and the economy.” Supported by Science Foundation Ireland and industry funding, CÚRAM aims to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. It will develop these devices through strong clinical collaborations with industry partners and hospital groups to enable their rapid translation to clinics. -Ends-

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Continuous improvement for University in both THE and QS rankings NUI Galway has maintained its position in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2015-16, remaining within the 251-300 range and improving on previous scores across most categories. Once again NUI Galway performed strongly in the international outlook score and research citations score as well as improving scores across most other metrics. NUI Galway was the only Irish university to maintain or increase its position in the two main international rankings in 2014, having recently increased to 271st in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2015/2016, one of just two Irish universities to improve their standing in this year’s league table. Last month Thomson Reuters ranked four outstanding researchers from NUI Galway among the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015’ an increase on the three researchers cited last year. The 3000 international academics named on the list earned their distinction by publishing the highest number of articles that rank among those most frequently cited by fellow researchers. More individuals were listed from NUI Galway than from any other Irish university. The continuous improvement has been attributed to a concerted approach by the University in developing world-class research in specific fields, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne explained: “This is a major improvement for NUI Galway and reflects a sustained upward trend in these very competitive global rankings. This consistent improvement in NUI Galway’s 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. To maintain or increase our position in both the 2015 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 continued improvement in these very competitive rankings.” The Times Higher Education 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 one of the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2015/16 ranking. Phil Baty, editor of the THE World University Rankings: “The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, now in their 12th year, apply rigorous standards, using tough global benchmarks across all of a global research university’s key missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The results are trusted by students and their families, academics, university leaders and governments. For NUI Galway to make 251-300 in the world is an outstanding achievement to be celebrated.” The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2015-16 is available to view online at: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/ -ends- OÉ Gaillimh san áit chéanna le scór níos airde i Ranguithe an Times Higher Feabhas leanúnach don Ollscoil sna ranguithe THE agus QS Tá a seasamh coinnithe ag OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education (THE) do 2015-16, í ag fanacht sa réimse 251-300 agus d'ardaigh sí a scóir i bhformhór na gcatagóirí. D'éirigh thar cionn arís le OÉ Gaillimh sa dearcadh idirnáisiúnta agus sna tagairtí taighde agus i bhformhór na méadrachtaí eile. Ba í OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta in 2014, bhain sí amach an 271ú háit i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2015/2016 le gairid, agus gan ach ollscoil amháin eile in Éirinn ag ardú i dtábla sraithe na bliana seo. An mhí seo caite, d'fhógair Thomson Reuters ceathrar taighdeoirí den scoth as OÉ Gaillimh i measc ‘the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015’, ardú ar an triúr taighdeoirí a fógraíodh anuraidh. Ainmníodh 3,000 duine acadúil idirnáisiúnta ar an liosta as ucht an líon is mó alt a fhoilsiú a dtagraíonn taighdeoirí eile dóibh. Ainmníodh níos mó daoine as OÉ Gaillimh ná as aon ollscoil eile in Éirinn. Mhínigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, go ndearnadh an dul chun cinn seo mar gheall ar chur chuige comhaontaithe na hOllscoile taighde den scoth a fhorbairt i réimsí sonraithe: “Is dul chun cinn ollmhór é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus léiríonn sé ardú leanúnach sna ranguithe domhanda seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is dearbhú é an t-ardú leanúnach 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 go ndearnamar dul chun cinn arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE 2015 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.” 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 ceann de na suirbhéanna 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 2015/16. Dúirt Phil Baty, eagarthóir Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education: “Cuireann Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education, le 12 bhliain as a chéile, caighdeáin ghéara i bhfeidhm, ag úsáid tagarmharcanna dochta domhanda i leith na gcroímhisean a bhaineann le hollscoil taighde dhomhanda – teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá muinín ag mic léinn, a dteaghlaigh, lucht acadúil, ceannairí ollscoile agus rialtais as na torthaí. Ó tharla go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh sa chatagóir 251-300 ar domhan is mór an t-éacht é sin agus is fiú go mór é a cheiliúradh.” Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2015-16 le feiceáil ar líne ag: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/ -críoch-

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Final year PhD student Dilip Thomas has been awarded a travel fellowship by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), to advance his research in the area of vascular repair and regeneration. Dilip is carrying out his PhD at NUI Galway, supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit and Professor Timothy O’Brien of CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices.  Dilip’s project looks specifically at the development of a functionalised stem cell delivery platform for critical limb ischemia. Critical limb ischemia is a serious form of peripheral arterial disease and is caused by atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries over time due to the build-up of fatty deposits called plaque and is a chronic condition that results in severe pain, even while resting. Complications of poor circulation can include sores and wounds that won't heal and complications of critical limb ischemia can result in amputation. The research goal at CÚRAM is to engineer a unique ‘finger-print’ microenvironment, also called ‘niche’, for the modulation of stem cell behaviour to promote new blood vessel formation. The long-term goal is to translate pre-clinical success to a viable therapeutic alternative for the treatment of ‘no option’ critical limb ischemia patients to allow amputation-free survival. The fellowship opportunity at Professor Marchetti-Deschmann’s analytical laboratory, Technical University of Vienna, Austria will help dissect the key molecular factors and events that drive tissue repair and regeneration with help of state-of-the-art tissue imaging mass-spectrometers. EMBO is an organisation of more than 1,700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organisation are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. “The EMBO fellowship is a great step in Dilip’s career as a researcher and reflects the high standard of research being carried out at CÚRAM in ‘smart’ medical device development at all levels” said Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM. “The key aim of our work is to radically improve health outcomes for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, including CLI.” CÚRAM is a national research centre advancing R&D in the medical device sector. Supported by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners, CÚRAM enhances Ireland's standing as a major hub for the global medical devices industry. ENDS