CÚRAM Leads Novel Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

CÚRAM Leads Novel Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease-image

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

€4 million European research project secured through Horizon 2020 programme CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, has secured €4 million to lead a consortium of researchers on a new research project that will investigate novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The funding award has been made through the Horizon 2020 grant programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Networks Action. The official project title is ‘Development of Biomaterial-based Delivery Systems for Parkinson’s disease - an Integrated Pan-European Approach’ (BrainMatTrain). Currently, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are treated using drugs which do not address the underlying cause of the disease, or slow down progressive neuro-degeneration. The BrainMatTrain project will develop new technology to target both the inflammatory and neurodegenerative phases of the disease. This research hopes to develop the first disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s which could slow down the progression of the disease rather than offering mere symptomatic benefits. “The goal of the project is to engineer functionalised biomaterials that will induce neuroregeneration in the Parkinsonian brain” explains Dr Eilís Dowd, President of the Network for European CNS Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR), and BrainMatTrain consortium co-lead. “These biomaterials will supply the local microenvironment around damaged tissue with appropriate therapeutic signalling factors.” The NUI Galway team of Professor Abhay Pandit, Dr Eílis Dowd and Dr Una Fitzgerald are leading the consortium that includes academic groups from the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique in France, Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria, Lund University in Sweden, and the Technical University of Denmark. Industry partners of the programme include Collagen Solutions Limited in the United Kingdom and Orbsen Therapeutics Limited in Ireland. The funding also provides for the recruitment of early stage and experienced researchers on the project, through a trans-national networking mechanism and provides a structure for high quality initial research training throughout European member states and associated countries. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM said: “The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks award will fund the training and development of researchers in biomaterials and regenerative neuroscience research over a four-year period beginning in January 2016. The programme will foster increased scientific dialogue between lead academics, industry and clinicians; transfer key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions involved and encourage researchers from around the world to conduct research in the EU. We are extremely privileged to be considered for this highly competitive award.” CÚRAM is the National Centre for Research in Medical Devices and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry partners. Its goal is to radically improve health outcomes for patients with chronic and degenerative disease through the development of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. -Ends-

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CÚRAM Director, Professor Abhay Pandit awarded Fellowship (TERMIS)

CÚRAM Director, Professor Abhay Pandit awarded Fellowship (TERMIS)-image

Monday, 31 August 2015

Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, is the first Ireland-based academic to be elected Fellow of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Group (TERMIS). The group (FTERM) was established in 2011 by the Governing Board of TERMIS and represents those who make significant contributions to the development and promotion of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The award recognizes Professor Pandit’s formative role in shaping and forming the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field and the Society and his contributions in helping lay the foundation for the conceptualization, discovery, development and now clinical translation of novel approaches for functional tissue replacement. He will be recognized during a special session at the 2015 TERMIS World Congress which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, September 10th. Professor Pandit has established a critical mass of biomaterials expertise in Ireland. His research integrates material science and biological paradigms in developing solutions for chronic disease. He has developed next generation of biomaterials that have programmable degradation profiles and inbuilt gradients of physical and protective cues, which facilitates therapeutics to injury mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels. These platforms have been developed for neural, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular clinical targets with numerous other targets currently under development. Professor Pandit has received numerous awards and distinctions. He has also been inducted as an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals, filed numerous patent applications and has licensed four technologies to medical device companies. He has co-ordinated three EU grants to date and currently hosts researchers from 25 countries. Commenting on the award Professor Pandit stated ‘I am extremely honoured to be elected Fellow to the FTERM group. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a key area of expertise at CÚRAM and we are perfectly placed to continue to encourage and train the next generation of researchers who will sustain and further advance the principles of this important discipline. I look forward to fostering new activities within TERMIS and continuing my involvement with the Society.’ Based at the National University of Ireland, Galway and backed by Science Foundation Ireland 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. -Ends-

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New Programme to Get People Moving for Health

New Programme to Get People Moving for Health-image

Monday, 31 August 2015

NUI Galway, in partnership with Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club, has launched a new exercise programme, Exercise4Health designed specifically for those who due to a number of health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise. The aim of the programme is to make available an opportunity for those otherwise reluctant to engage in exercise or try getting fit. 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 those with diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease; those recovering from stroke or cancer or those with breathing difficulties or other long-term health conditions, to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or indeed 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. The benefits 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 commencing on Thursday, 24 September. Individual assessments for participants will take place from 9am-12pm on Thursday, 10 and 17 September. For further information or to book a place on this exciting new programme call Croí now on 091 544310. -Ends-

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July 2015

Blackstone Charitable Foundation Announce Global Expansion Entrepreneurship Programme Blackstone LaunchPad to Ireland

Blackstone Charitable Foundation Announce Global Expansion Entrepreneurship Programme Blackstone LaunchPad to Ireland-image

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced the first international expansion of its campus entrepreneurship programme, Blackstone LaunchPad, to Ireland. Ireland becomes the seventh Blackstone LaunchPad region and its first international one, after Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, and California. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, €2 million grant will establish a partnership between National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Cork to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide over 50,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.  The announcement event at Trinity College Dublin was attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., who delivered remarks, and United States Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, University College Cork President Dr Michael Murphy, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Professor Linda Hogan, Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer and Deputy President of Trinity College Dublin. Blackstone LaunchPad in Ireland will connect the university campuses, the business community, and local entrepreneurs to create an environment that nurtures students and provides them with the skills and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs. With a physical presence on each university campus and access to the Blackstone LaunchPad Global Network Technology Platform, the programme has the potential to generate some 1,500 new ventures and 3,700 new jobs across Ireland over the next five years.  Welcoming the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., said, “In rebuilding our economy we are promoting policies that support enterprise and job creation across a range of different sectors.  It is our goal that this balanced recovery will lead to sustainable full employment by 2018.  To achieve this vision, we need to embrace the entrepreneurial instincts of students in Irish universities - for them to ask not, ‘what company do I want to work for?’ but, ‘what company do I want to create?’ “The Blackstone LaunchPad programme will foster an entrepreneurial mind-set in students across the country and equip the entrepreneurs of today with the expertise to become the employers of tomorrow.  Very importantly, this programme supports, encourages and enables our most driven young people to build their futures and pursue innovation in Ireland.  The future of business development and international investment in Ireland is closely related to our international links with the world and I am proud that Ireland was chosen as the first global expansion of this highly successful programme.” “Ireland’s young people are driven, curious, and innovative thinkers – all qualities necessary to be successful entrepreneurs,” said Blackstone’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman. “Blackstone LaunchPad will enable these students to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, and build strong enterprises rooted in Ireland, and further strengthen economic activity across the country.”  Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said: “We want our students to participate in this type of activity, so that they learn prior to graduation the potential they have and gain the confidence to go out into the world to shape their own futures. At NUI Galway we have a thriving ecosystem of student innovation and entrepreneurship.   Through the Blackstone LaunchPad program our students will now have access to an even more powerful international network, based on this national partnership between our three universities.  I’m delighted to acknowledge the vision and funding of Blackstone Charitable Foundation, with support from Galway University Foundation, to ensure that our students will develop their capacity for innovation and become the entrepreneurs of the future.” Blackstone LaunchPad is modelled after a successful programme developed at the University of Miami in 2008, which has generated 6,000 ventures and drawn over 10,000 participants since its establishment. Each regional programme established through the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is linked, drawing ideas and best practices from across 15 campuses, giving student entrepreneurs in Ireland access to an international community of over 350,000 of their peers and expert advisers.  Funding for this programme is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which seeks to support the development of ecosystems for aspiring entrepreneurs creating the high-growth ventures that are known to spark economic growth. Due to the early success of Blackstone LaunchPad following its implementation in Michigan, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was recognized by President Obama’s “Startup America” Initiative and pledged to expand the programme to five new regions over five years. That pledge was fulfilled by the program’s earlier expansion to California. -Ends-

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European Cinema Research Forum Conference 2015

European Cinema Research Forum Conference 2015-image

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The annual conference of the European Cinema Research Forum will be held at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway from 7-8 July. Now in its fifteenth year, the European Cinema Research Forum gathers together academics and practitioners from across the continent and beyond to discuss and debate issues relating to the diverse range of films produced within Europe. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘The representation of space and place in European film’. It will address a wide range of topics, from the depiction of Paris in the films of French filmmaking great Jean Renoir to the representation of home in contemporary Turkish cinema. A number of papers will focus on contemporary Irish cinema, while the conference also includes several film practitioners who will be discussing their own work as it relates to the topics of debate. Dr Conn Holohan, Lecturer in Film at NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, said: “The advantage of a conference such as this is that it brings together researchers from across a range of departments and from wide range of backgrounds in terms of expertise and interest. Participants largely come from film backgrounds, but the conference also attracts speakers from language and literature departments across Europe and the United States, all of whom bring different geographical and conceptual perspectives to the discussion of European film.” Keynote speakers at this year’s conference are Professor Thomas Elsaesser and film scholar and artist Professor Victor Burgin. With his 2005 publication, European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood,Professor Elsaesser explored the significance and viability of a distinct European cinema in an age of cultural globalisation. His talk will directly address the arguments raised in this book and extend them into a contemporary era in which European cinema has increasingly become absorbed into the generic category of ‘world cinema’. Professor Victor Burgin is a renowned theorist of the still and moving image, as well as a highly influential artist whose works have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern in London. Professor Burgin will be discussing the intersection of his theory and practice in conversation with Professor Ryan Bishop. The programme will also include a projection of Burgin’s digital projection works A Place to Read and Parzival. -Ends-  

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New research project brings hope to eight million children unnecessarily placed in the world’s orphanages

New research project brings hope to eight million children unnecessarily placed in the world’s orphanages -image

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A new research partnership between J.K. Rowling’s international children’s organisation Lumos and a world-renowned Irish university will increase global momentum to transform the lives of children living separated from their families in orphanages. An estimated eight million children worldwide live in institutions and so-called orphanages, though at least 80% have living parents, most of who could look after them with some support. Research by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway, with Lumos, will aim to increase global understanding of why so many children are separated from families and placed in orphanages in different regions of the world, evaluate methods of deinstitutionalisation, and investigate the best ways to support families to stay together. Eighty years of scientific research has shown that children are best raised in families and that growing up in institutional care – deprived of the close, sustained adult engagement they receive in a family - has a negative impact on children’s physical, intellectual and emotional development. The European Union, the US Government and a number of international aid donors are committed to ending institutionalisation. While the science is consistent, further research is needed to gain a fuller understanding of the causes of institutionalisation and long-term solutions. Lumos and National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) share common goals including finding practical, cost-effective and sustainable ways to support families and children - particularly those who are very poor, disabled or from minorities - to stay together in the community; and empowering children and families to play a meaningful role in changing attitudes and practices. Lumos – which was recently selected as the winner of the 2015 UK Charity Awards - is dedicated to ending the institutionalisation of children worldwide by 2050. The non-profit organisation has a track record in demonstrating that most children can be reunited with families given the right support. Lumos is helping Moldova, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic to replace models of care based on institutions with education, health and social services to support vulnerable families to stay together in the community. It is also working in Ukraine, Serbia and Haiti. Meanwhile, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is at the forefront of research, education and training in family support and youth development. It is the hub of an international network of universities, centres of excellence and agencies in the children and youth field. The research partnership will: Monitor the impact of moving from institutions to family based care on children and young people as they grow up in terms of health, quality to life and future chances; Evaluate ten years of Lumos’ work in its programme countries; Identify best practice for achieving the deinstitutionalisation of children across different regions of the world; Explore the cost-benefit in different regions of the world of replacing institutions with community based services; Develop models for advancing the work of Lumos in new regions around the world such as South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to a generous grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the partnership will start its activities by establishing links and learning opportunities between Irish examples of best practice, much of it also supported by Atlantic, and governments and practitioners in countries in the process of reforming systems of care and protection of children. Lumos CEO Georgette Mulheir – a pioneer over 20 years of a deinstitutionalisation model adopted by many governments, and named last year as one of the world’s most influential social workers – said: “Our mission is to help eight million children in institutions by promoting large-scale reform through our influence on governments and major international aid donors. We need compelling evidence to achieve the greatest impact. We are delighted to work with NUI Galway, which will bring world-leading independent academic rigour to our programmes – as well as an understanding of what works in practice to gain the best outcomes for children.” The UNESCO Chair Professor Pat Dolan, NUI Galway, will work with UNESCO Chair Professor Mark Brennan at Pennsylvania State University in the US on the Lumos project. Professor Dolan said: “The prospect of completing usable real-world research that helps to end the institutionalisation of children and youth globally, will be particularly fitting not only for UNESCO, and our research centre in NUI Galway, but for Ireland as a country given its sad and horrific past track record in relation to children in large orphanages."  -ends-

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President’s Awards for Research Excellence and Ryan Award for Innovation 2015 Announced by NUI Galway

President’s Awards for Research Excellence and Ryan Award for Innovation 2015 Announced by NUI Galway-image

Monday, 6 July 2015

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2015 Ryan Award for Innovation, and the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence. These awards are made to members of the NUI Galway research community, by the University’s President Dr Jim Browne, in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research. The Ryan Award for Innovation 2015 went to the team behind The Galway energy-efficient Car’ (the Geec), consisting of Engineering lecturers Dr Nathan Quinlan, Dr Rory Monaghan and Dr Maeve Duffy. The lecturers, all from the College of Engineering and Informatics, worked with a team of NUI Galway engineering students to design and build the fuel-efficient car which can achieve the equivalent of 8,000 miles per gallon. In May 2015, the students competed with the car in the European round of Shell Eco-marathon in Rotterdam. It was Ireland’s first ever entry in the event with the team finishing in the top half of the leader board. Now in its second year, the Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of Environment, Marine and Energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. The Ryan Award is a very prestigious award and €25,000 is a significant amount of funding to make a difference in progressing an innovation, technology or idea to the next level, while delivering impact. In addition, the winners of the 2015 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as: In the ‘Early Stage Researcher’ category: Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Acting Director of the Centre for Disability Law, Institute for Lifecourse and Society Dr Elaine Dunleavy, Centre for Chromosome Biology and School of Natural Sciences Professor Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery In the ‘Established Researcher’ category: Professor Steven Ellis, Professor of History, School of Humanities Dr Molly Byrne, HRB Research Leader and School of Psychology Professor Afshin Samali, Apoptosis Research Centre, and School of Natural Sciences In the ‘Research Supervisor’ category: Dr Aaron Potito, Head of School of Geography and Archaeology Dr Patrick McGarry, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics Dr Laoise McNamara, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics. Speaking at the event, Dr Jim Browne said: “Earlier this year, we launched our new strategic plan, entitled Vision 2020. This ambitious plan aims to bring NUI Galway into the top 200 universities in the world while securing €100 million in competitive funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. In our first year we have had tremendous success and so far, NUI Galway leads the field amongst the Irish universities in attracting EU research funds. Thanks to the commitment of our research colleagues across many areas, from biosciences to the social sciences, we are on track to meet our ambitious target by 2020.” -ends-

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Celebration of prodigious career of historian Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh

Celebration of prodigious career of historian Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh-image

Monday, 6 July 2015

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins was the special guest at an event in NUI Galway today celebrating the prodigious career of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Professor Emeritus in History. One of the great historians of his generation, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has garnered enormous respect as a teacher, writer, university leader and public intellectual for over 40 years. The event also saw the launch of Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750 - Essays in honour of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh. The new book brings together twenty-three essays by academic colleagues and by former students. Reflecting Ó Tuathaigh’s own versatility, the subject matter of the essays ranges widely, from the Famine of 1741 to the plays of Martin McDonagh, from Irish soldiers to Irish traditional musicians, from prisons to dispensaries. Topics also include the novels of Gerard Griffin and William Carleton in the nineteenth century, and Woman’s Way magazine in the 1960s. Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750 features new research as well as probing reassessments of some of the major changes of recent centuries in Ireland. A native of Limerick, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh came to study at University College Galway (now NUI Galway) in the 1960s. Following post-graduate studies at University College Galway and Cambridge University, he returned to take a full-time post in History in 1971, and soon established his academic reputation with his book Ireland before the Famine. A popular lecturer, he became known more widely during the 1970s through his media contributions and public lectures in both Irish and English. As a Dean of Arts and Vice-President of the University, and as a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland, he participated to a significant degree in university administration. Prominent in public life, he has acted as a chairperson of Údaras na Gaeltachta and of Bord na Gaeilge. Throughout his career, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has been known throughout Ireland as a generous supporter of the work of voluntary and community organisations concerned with heritage and cultural matters. “Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh has long been recognised as a commentator of originality, generosity and rare insight on the Irish experience. He continues to be a fluent and distinctive voice, in both Irish and English, displaying a depth of knowledge and breadth of passion for this country”, said Dr John Cunningham, Lecturer in History at NUI Galway who co-edited the new book with his colleague Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin. History has a long and distinguished tradition at NUI Galway. One of the first disciplines to be taught at the University, it has emerged from inauspicious beginnings in the midst of the Great Famine to become one of the top history departments in the world, ranking highly in international QS subject ranking in 2015. -ends-

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Changing face of human rights is reflected through photography, drama and music

 Changing face of human rights is reflected through photography, drama and music-image

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Ahead of its move to the UN Headquarters in New York, a photography exhibition commission by UNESCO in 1949, is to be presented by NUI Galway from 9-24 July. The images toured the world not long after World War II in an effort to build awareness and understanding of human rights, and following on from the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now the exhibition, The Changing Face of Human Rights, which takes place in St. Nicholas Collegiate Church in the heart of Galway City, will be displayed alongside modern images demonstrating perceptions of human rights today. The exhibition is an integral part the Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights that runs from 9-11 July at NUI Galway. The Summer School, organised by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, brings together arts and human rights practitioners to explore their shared space. Events take the form of panel discussions, exhibitions and performances as well as three parallel-track workshops on the topics of: literature and human rights; the visual arts and human rights; and music and human rights. Performances during the Summer School will include a free public performance on Thursday 9 July at 8pm in the CUBE in Áras Na Mac Léinn in NUI Galway. The event will feature Ariel Dorfman’s drama, ‘Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark’, directed by Professor Patrick Lonergan, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. This will be directly followed by a concert based around the piper Mickey Dunne who came from an Irish Travelling family who were steeped in the playing and protecting of Irish Music on the Uilleann Pipes. The concert will also feature his daughter Bríd on fiddle and the Galway established composer, musical director and pianist Carl Hession. Songs will be presented by the contemporary folk singer Mary Mc Partlan and the evening will be narrated by Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the Law School at NUI Galway. “Practitioners in the areas of the arts and human rights, both of which are strongly aligned with issues such as social justice, cultural expression and cultural freedom, can learn from each other and understand each other much better”, explains Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and co-director of the Summer School with Dr Dominique Bouchard, Curator at the Hunt Museum. Professor O’Flaherty continued: “The Changing Face of Human Rights is a fascinating and moving photographic exhibition. Over time the display was ‘lost’ until re-curated last year by the Danish Institute of Human Rights. Now those historic photos will feature in Galway side-by-side with the winning images from our recent international photographic competition. In this context we get a sense of how some notions of human rights develop over time while others seem not to change at all.” The photographic competition judges include Irish Times Photographic Editor Frank Millar, internationally renowned artist Paul Seawright, and Professor Rod Stoneman, irector of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm during normal public visiting times of the Church. Entry is free of charge and visitors are invited to make a small donation for Church upkeep. -ends-

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‘Performing the Archive’ Conference at NUI Galway

‘Performing the Archive’ Conference at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

An international conference will take place at NUI Galway to discuss theatre and performance archives. 'Performing the Archive' is a collaboration between the University’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance and its James Hardiman Library, and will run from 22-24 July. The event capitalises on the renowned theatre collections of the James Hardiman Library and the academic expertise of NUI Galway's Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. The three-day conference is bringing together both national and international scholars, practitioners and artists including: Professor Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University, Chicago; Professor Catherine Cole, University of California, Berkeley; Dr Doug Reside, New York Public Library; Professor Patrick Lonergan and Professor Lionel Pilkington, NUI Galway; Dr Emilie Pine, University College Dublin; and Dr Hugh Denard of Trinity College Dublin. Artist speakers will also feature including Louise Lowe, Anu Productions, and playwright and journalist Colin Murphy. Conference delegates will address issues such as developing new performance work and research projects based on archival materials including scripts, costume designs, prompt books, as well as digitised audio and video of performances. John Cox, NUI Galway Librarian, said: “Archives are vital to the academic mission. The James Hardiman Library has a particular strength in theatre archives, while a major project at the University, the largest of its kind internationally, to digitise the archive of the Abbey Theatre is nearing conclusion. Digital archives and in collaboration with academic colleagues on campus are opening up new opportunities for teaching and research, while also presenting a range of challenges, so this conference is very timely in promoting engagement with and among experts in the field.” Within the conference will be a staged reading of a historic text from the archives of the Hardiman Library. Pilgrims is a play staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1938, written by Mary Rynne and has never received a revival in over 70 years and is an example of a forgotten female Irish and Abbey playwright. Curated by Ciara O’Dowd, this reading is directed by the Druid Director in Residence at NUI Galway, Thomas Conway. The conference is supported by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme, the American Society for Theatre Research and NUI Galway. -Ends-

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