NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk to Focus on Fitness

NUI Galway Sports Technology Talk to Focus on Fitness-image

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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

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NUI Galway Students Partner with Croí to Raise Blood Pressure Awareness

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

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

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

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NUI Galway Announce the Launch of First Women’s Network

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

Thursday, 8 March 2012

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

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NUI Galway Reunion for Class of 1962

NUI Galway Reunion for Class of 1962-image

Thursday, 8 March 2012

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

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NUI Galway to Hold CAO Information Evening in Ennis

NUI Galway to Hold CAO Information Evening in Ennis-image

Monday, 12 March 2012

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

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NUI Galway Neuroscientists Participate in Brain Awareness Week

NUI Galway Neuroscientists Participate in Brain Awareness Week -image

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

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

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European Parliament hosts International Seminar on Genetic Discrimination

European Parliament hosts International Seminar on Genetic Discrimination-image

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

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

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International Experts Meet To Discuss The Future of Modern Democracy

International Experts Meet To Discuss The Future of Modern Democracy-image

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Is modern democracy still democratic? That is the question being explored this week at a symposium being held at the National University of Ireland in Dublin. The symposium, entitled ‘Beyond the Ballot’: forms of citizen engagement between democratic elections is the initiative of the participatory and deliberative democracy specialist group of the Political Studies Association of Ireland, led by Dr Clodagh Harris from Department of Government, UCC and Dr Gemma Carney from the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway.   The symposium will explore how the collapse of social partnership and the signing of EU-IMF deals has pushed relationships between the government and ordinary voters in Ireland into a state of crisis.   Dr Gemma Carney of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology: “This does not sit with international rhetoric that 'People Matter.' The idea that people matter; that ordinary citizens should have a direct influence over how decisions are made in a democratic system is supposedly a cornestone of UN, EU and national government policies. But does that hold true in practice?”  The rise of e-democracy, forms of public protest, new political movements arising in response to a feeling of powerlessness would seem to suggest that people are becoming ever further removed from and disillusioned by their governments. Papers presented by leading international and national experts on deliberative and participatory democracy will address these issues and discuss new institutional and civil society mechanisms to enhance citizen engagement such as the G1000 Belgian citizens’ summit, The ‘We The Citizens’ Citizens Assembly and the Claiming our Future movement. The symposium takes place on Thursday, 15 March in the NUI offices on Merrion Square in Dublin 2, and the keynote speech, by Professor Jurg Steiner of the University of North Carolina on the praxis of deliberation, will be delivered at 10.15am, with other panels and presentations to follow. Ends

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Ireland, Business and Human Rights ... from Syria to Sweden

Ireland, Business and Human Rights ... from Syria to Sweden-image

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

NUI Galway conference to address issues arising for Ireland under new United Nations Framework on Business and Human Rights Human rights concerns arising from business activities are the subject of a conference in NUI Galway on Saturday, 24 March. The event, which will look specifically at the implications for Ireland of a recent United Nations initiative, will be hosted by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and School of Law. ‘Ireland and the United Nation’s Framework for Business and Human Rights’ will examine the duty of the State to protect human rights from violation by companies. In 2011, the United Nations adopted Professor John Ruggie’s Framework for Business and Human Rights, which also emphasises a corporate responsibility to respect human rights and the need to strengthen remedies to respond to violations of human rights by business. This UN framework provides guidance for States such as Ireland, although many aspects of its practical impacts on issues such as Irish businesses operating abroad have yet to be ascertained. Ireland represents an obvious case study in this context, given the presence of numerous multinational corporations, increasing privatisation of public services and allegations of corporate involvement in human rights violations both in and outside of Ireland.  Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, is one of the conference organisers: “This area is particularly relevant at the moment given the recent implication of Irish technology companies in censorship and repression in Syria. There is a need to move beyond a voluntary corporate social responsibility approach and for a greater focus on the State’s obligation at home and abroad with regard to human rights and business. So far, we are seeing many shortcomings with regard to Ireland when it comes to corporate violations of human rights.” The conference will feature international case studies, with NUI Galway’s Dr Tony Royle using a Swedish company to present on multinational corporations in a talk called the ‘IKEA Way in Retail’. Professor Anita Ramasastry from the University of Washington will discuss ‘Lessons from Civil Litigation in the US’, while Dr Ciara Hackett from NUI Galway’s School of Law will chair a panel on ‘Migrant Workers, Forced Labour and Trafficking’. Other leading international and national researchers will present papers on topics such as corporate accountability for oversees activities, legislative shortcomings in Ireland related to business and human rights, the rights of migrant workers, and company strategies for addressing human rights. The conference will be of particular interest to those who are involved in policy making and implementation with regard to business and human rights, academics, researchers, NGOs, advocates in the field of corporate social responsibility and corporate governance and students. Conference fees are €20, with a discounted rate of €10 for students, covering entrance to all the seminars and presentations, together with lunch and coffee. To register online for the event please visit -ends-

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Irish Cancer Society Announces Dr Róisín Dwyer as Winner of first ‘Researcher of the Year’ Award

Irish Cancer Society Announces Dr Róisín Dwyer as Winner of first ‘Researcher of the Year’ Award-image

Thursday, 15 March 2012

NUI Galway breast cancer researcher, Dr Róisín Dwyer, was announced the first ‘Irish Cancer Society Researcher of the Year’ last night at a special Celebration of Research which took place in Dublin’s Bewley’s Hotel. Dr Dwyer scooped the top prize out of three shortlisted candidates for her research that investigated the potential of adult stem cells as vehicles for targeted delivery of therapeutic agents to breast tumours, which aims to significantly reduce tumour growth. Dr Dwyer, is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Discipline of Surgery at NUI Galway with the support of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute, and has worked on projects funded by the Irish Cancer Society. Congratulating Dr Dwyer, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said: “This is a wonderful endorsement of the work underway at NUI Galway in the area of cancer research and regenerative medicine.  I congratulate Róisín on her award and I look forward to new research developments in these areas in order to support innovative interventions and better outcomes for patients and their families.  Our translational approach is designed to see research moving from ‘bench to bed-side’ and this award-winning work by Dr Dwyer will, I hope lead to further success in the battle against breast cancer.” Dr Dwyer was chosen as the winner for her outstanding research entitled, ‘Adult Stem Cells: Have Tumour? Will Travel’ which used Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) or adult stem cells that play an important role in wound healing and tissue generation, to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to tumours. The study which tracked the migration of the MSCs and used them to activate tumour-killing drugs, resulted in a significant reduction in tumour growth, with no negative side effects observed. The ability to track MSC migration non-invasively before therapy is a major advantage to this novel approach for breast cancer therapy. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Dwyer said: “I am honoured to be announced the first Irish Cancer Society Researcher of the Year. The Society has been extremely supportive of my research project from the outset and I’m very grateful for their funding of this project, without which this study would not have been possible. It’s my hope that this research, in addition to the research projects shared by the other Society scholars, will one day help change the lives of cancer patients for the better in Ireland.” Professor John Fitzpatrick, Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, said: “We celebrate, in particular, the outstanding results arising from Dr Dwyer’s research which shows promising data that supports the viability of using this MSC approach as a novel therapy for breast cancer. Last year, a total of 64 publications were produced from Irish Cancer Society-funded research, with 47 of these describing new research discoveries. These results were published in a range of high impact international journals, which means that the research being done here in Ireland is having a global impact on cancer.” -ENDS-

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