Could a lectin engineered from bananas fight many deadly viruses? New results show promise

Could a lectin engineered from bananas fight many deadly viruses? New results show promise-image

Friday, 30 October 2015

An international team of scientists including researchers from NUI Galway have found that the substance BanLec, originally found in bananas, through careful modification could fight off a wide range of viruses in the near future. The results from the study were recently published in the international journal Cell. The research focuses on a particular carbohydrate binding protein called banana lectin, or BanLec, that “reads” the sugars on the outside of both viruses and cells by sticking to cell structures, or glycans, containing the simple sugar mannose. When BanLec is modified slightly by scientists, it shows promise as an anti-viral drug. While the natural BanLec fights viruses it also causes inflammation. However the newly engineered BanLec can fight viruses without causing inflammation. A number of Chemistry groups, those of Professor Paul Murphy at the School of Chemistry in NUI Galway, Professor Stefan Oscarson at University College Dublin and Professor René Roy at Université du Québec à Montréal, designed and synthesised mimics of glycans called glycoclusters, which were evaluated by other team members as blockers of both the natural and the newly engineered BanLec. Professor Paul Murphy of NUI Galway said: “The research shows the contribution that chemists make in the design and synthesis of blockers of lectins. The materials prepared helped provide insight into the mechanism of action of the BanLecs, which was part of the wider study.” The natural version of BanLec has one less tiny spot on its surface for sugars to attach. This made it impossible for sugars on the surface of immune system cells called T cells, to attach and trigger inflammation. While the new version of BanLec can still grab on to sugars on the surface of viruses and block them from getting into cells. Professor David Markovitz, co-senior author of the new paper, and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School said: “What we’ve done is exciting because there is potential for BanLec to develop into a broad spectrum antiviral agent, something that is not clinically available to physicians and patients right now.’’ Professor Hans-Joachim Gabius, of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, an acknowledged expert on lectins and their interactions with sugars (the sugar code), and a major contributor to this research said: “One major advantage of designer lectins lies in the fact that the risk of resistance is lower, because glycans that interact with the BanLecs cannot be altered easily.” The 26 international scientists involved in the study were from Ireland, Germany, Canada, Belgium and the United States. The research was funded by the US and European governments, and by foundations, including Science Foundation Ireland. To view the paper in Cell visit:  -Ends-

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NUI Galway to Launch Sexual Health and Support Initiative

NUI Galway to Launch Sexual Health and Support Initiative -image

Friday, 30 October 2015

NUI Galway will mark the Students’ Union Sexual Health Awareness and Guidance (SHAG) Week with a free showing of the award-winning US documentary, The Hunting Ground, at 6pm on Tuesday, 3 November in the Aula Maxima. The Hunting Ground highlights how student-led activism overcame institutional and cultural resistance to accepting that sexual assault is a major problem in US universities. During the event NUI Galway will also be launching a new initiative, Sexual Health and Support, in response to growing concerns for student safety. In a recent NUI Galway survey, 25 per cent of female students reported that another person had tried or succeeded in having sexual contact with them through the use of force, in comparison to 6 per cent of male students. The survey also found that half of female students reported unwanted sexual advances in the past year due to someone’s drinking. This new initiative aims to provide information on the support services available to students affected by sexual violence, and the University has also created a hashtag campaign, #NUIGsafecampus, to ensure that all students know how and where to get help. NUI Galway is also piloting ‘Smart Consent’ workshops, and is the first campus to lead on this training and are working with other Higher Education Institutes to roll it out nationally. Consent can be a grey area, as it is often sought and communicated indirectly and these workshops will provide students with the opportunity to talk about positive forms of sexual communication. This campaign is relevant as survey results showed 50% of NUI Galway students would not verbalise what they are comfortable with sexually with sexual partners. Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “It is so important that, as an institution, we are not burying our heads in the sand and saying that sexual assault does not happen to our students. We are listening to the research findings and working with our Students’ Union colleagues to support student safety and positive sexual health.” The screening of The Hunting Ground will be followed by a panel and audience discussion featuring University staff, students and community partners. Information will also be provided regarding the ‘Smart Consent’ workshops. More information can be found at -Ends-

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Research Report on New Irish Speakers launched at Oireachtas na Samhna 2015

Research Report on New Irish Speakers launched at Oireachtas na Samhna 2015-image

Friday, 30 October 2015

Report prepared by NUI Galway and Heriot-Watt University presents the results of research on the background, practice and ideologies of 'new speakers' of Irish The Language Commissioner, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, has launched Research Report on New Irish Speakers, prepared by Dr John Walsh at NUI Galway, Professor Bernadette O’Rourke, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, and Dr Hugh Rowland, University of Ulster, for Foras na Gaeilge, today (Friday, 30 October) at Oireachtas na Samhna in Citywest, Dublin. This report is a joint venture between NUI Galway and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, presenting the results of research on the background, practice and ideologies of ‘new speakers’ of Irish. ‘New speakers’ are those who regularly use a language who are not traditional native speakers of that language. New speakers usually acquire the target language through the education system or through immersion education or, depending on the sociolinguistic context, the acquisition may take place as a result of language revitalisation programmes. The report is based on research conducted in recent years by a network of European researchers titled New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities and Challenges under the auspices of COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology). There are 50 researchers from 27 European countries in this network and the authors of this report are engaged in research on new speakers of Irish. Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer of Irish in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway said: “Above all, this research demonstrates that anyone can become a new speaker, regardless of their language background. One of the interesting results is that of the role of the Irish teacher in an ordinary English-medium school. Many new speakers referred to inspirational teachers they had at school who fostered an interest in Irish, which encouraged them to use it as a social language after school. The new speakers believe that the Gaeltacht is important but some of them have social anxiety trying to speak Irish with Gaeltacht natives. People need more support to become new speakers and we have made some policy recommendations which will help people make that transition if implemented. These include proper investment in a wide range of physical spaces in which Irish could be spoken socially and Irish language awareness campaigns in social media.” Professor Bernadette O’Rourke of Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, one of the report’s authors said: “The findings of our research on Irish have many parallels with other languages in Europe including Basque, Catalan, Breton, Galician, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic, and this report will provide invaluable insights into the broader opportunities and challenges that new speakers bring to a multilingual Europe. The recommendations we have made in relation to new speakers of Irish will feed into a broader set of recommendations at EU level and help identify a common framework of understanding and policy implications at European level.” Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge welcomed the report and said: “Foras na Gaeilge caters to a broad range of Irish speakers nationwide, north and south, as well as within and outside the Gaeltacht. We recognise that new speakers are of great importance and we welcome this positive research revealing their aspirations and needs. We look forward to discussing the recommendations in the report to determine how best we can provide additional support to new speakers in the future.” A copy of the report is available on the Foras na Gaeilge website at or -Ends- Tuarascáil Taighde ar Nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge seolta ag Oireachtas na Samhna 2015 Sheol an Coimisinéir Teanga, Rónán Ó Domhnaill, Tuarascáil Taighde ar Nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge, a d’ullmhaigh an Dr. John Walsh, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, An tOllamh Bernadette O’Rourke, Ollscoil Heriot-Watt, Dún Éideann, agus an Dr. Hugh Rowland, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, d’Fhoras na Gaeilge ar an Aoine, an 30 Deireadh Fómhair ag Oireachtas na Samhna in Citywest, Baile Átha Cliath. Is comhfhiontar an tuarascáil seo idir Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Heriot-Watt, Dún Éideann ina gcuirtear torthaí taighde ar chúlra, ar chleachtais agus ar idé-eolaíochtaí ‘nuachainteoirí’ na Gaeilge i láthair. Tugtar ‘nuachainteoirí’ ar dhaoine a bhaineann úsáid rialta as teanga áirithe ach nach cainteoirí dúchais traidisiúnta de chuid na teanga sin iad. De ghnáth is tríd an gcóras oideachais nó tríd an tumoideachas a shealbhaíonn nuachainteoirí an sprioctheanga, nó, ag brath ar an gcomhthéacs sochtheangeolaíochta, d’fhéadfadh an sealbhú tarlú mar thoradh ar chláir athneartaithe teanga. Tá an tuarascáil bunaithe ar thaighde atá á dhéanamh le blianta beaga anuas ag gréasán taighdeoirí Eorpacha dar teideal New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe: Opportunities andChallenges faoi scáth na heagraíochta COST (European Co-operation in Science and Technology). Tá 50 taighdeoir ó 27 dtír Eorpacha páirteach sa ghréasán sin agus tá údair na tuarascála seo i mbun taighde ar nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge. ‘Thar aon rud eile, léiríonn an tuarascáil seo gur féidir le héinne nuachainteoir a dhéanamh de nó di féin, beag beann ar an gcúlra teanga atá aige nó aici,’ a dúirt an Dr. John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. ‘Ar cheann de na torthaí suimiúla, tá ról an mhúinteora Gaeilge i ngnáthscoil Bhéarla: thagair go leor nuachainteoirí do mhúinteoirí inspioráideacha a bhí acu ar scoil a chothaigh suim sa Ghaeilge, rud a spreag iad chun í a úsáid mar theanga shóisialta tar éis na scoile. Creideann na nuachainteoirí go bhfuil an Ghaeltacht tábhachtach ach bíonn imní shóisialta ar chuid acu agus iad ag iarraidh an Ghaeilge a labhairt le muintir na Gaeltachta. Teastaíonn breis tacaíochta ó dhaoine chun iompú ina nuachainteoirí agus tá roinnt moltaí polasaí déanta againn a chabhródh le daoine an t-aistriú sin a dhéanamh dá gcuirfí i bhfeidhm iad. Ina measc sin, tá infheistíocht cheart in raon leathan spásanna fisiciúla ina bhféadfaí an Ghaeilge a labhairt go sóisialta agus feachtais feasachta faoin nGaeilge sna meáin shóisialta.’  ‘Tá macasamhail thorthaí ár dtaighde féin maidir leis an nGaeilge le feiceáil i dtaca lena lán teangacha eile san Eoraip, ar a n-áirítear an Bhascais, an Chatalóinis, an Bhriotáinis, an Ghailísis, an Bhreatnais agus Gaeilge na hAlban, agus tabharfaidh an taighde seo léargais luachmhara ar na deiseanna ginearálta agus na dúshláin a thugann nuachainteoirí leo in Eoraip ilteangach. Beidh na moltaí atá déanta againn maidir le nuachainteoirí Gaeilge mar chuid de raon níos leithne moltaí ar leibhéal AE agus cuideoidh siad comhchreat a dhéanamh amach maidir le tuiscint agus impleachtaí polasaí ar leibhéal Eorpach’, arsa an tOll. Bernadette O’Rourke ó Ollscoil Heriot-Watt in Albain, duine d’údair na tuarascála. D’fháiltigh Príomhfheidhmeannach Fhoras na Gaeilge, Ferdie Mac an Fhailigh roimh an tuarascáil inniu nuair a dúirt sé "Bíonn Foras na Gaeilge ag freastal ar raon leathan cainteoirí Gaeilge ó cheann ceann na tíre, thuaidh agus theas, sa Ghaeltacht agus taobh amuigh di. Aithnímid gur dream iontach tábhachtach iad na nuachainteoirí dúinn agus fáiltímid roimh an taighde dearfach seo a chaitheann solas ar na mianta agus ar na riachtanais atá acu. Beimid ag súil le moltaí na tuarascála seo a phlé agus amharc ar an bhealach inar féidir linn tacaíocht bhreise a thabhairt do na nuachainteoirí amach anseo". Tá cóip den tuarascáil ar fáil ar shuíomh gréasáin Fhoras na Gaeilge ar -Críoch-      

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September 2015

Canadian Astronaut Announced as Guest Judge for Novel NUI Galway Science Competition

Canadian Astronaut Announced as Guest Judge for Novel NUI Galway Science Competition-image

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The science video competition, ReelLIFE SCIENCE, is open to all primary and secondary schools in Ireland Commander Chris Hadfield, Canadian Astronaut, has been announced as guest judge for NUI Galway’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2015 competition. The University is challenging all primary and secondary school students across Ireland to produce engaging and informative short videos communicating a scientific topic for the this year’s competition. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award €3,000 directly to the winning schools for science promotion. Joining Commander Hadfield on the judging panel is: Trinity College Dublin Professor of Molecular Evolution, Professor Aoife McLysaght; and BT Young Scientist and Technologists of the Year 2015, Ian O'Sullivan and Eimear Murphy from Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork. Speaking ahead of the competition, Commander Hadfield said: “I am very much looking forward to seeing the science videos that Irish students will be making! Discovery and creativity, turned loose by imagination. A great project that I am proud to be a part of.” Secondary school topics include ‘Incredible Life’ and ‘Heroines of Science’, while primary school students can choose from ‘Science in Space’, ‘The Soil is Alive!’ and ‘Design your Future’, among others. Closing date for submissions is Friday, 16 October. The winning schools will be announced on Monday, 9 November during Science Week 2015, when they will be invited to attend a public screening and awards ceremony during the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 22 November. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts from NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme from the University’s School of Natural Sciences. The competition has been running since 2013 and previous year’s videos, made with cameras, tablets and smartphones, have tens of thousands of views in over 100 countries. In 2014, the ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenge was taken up by thousands of students in 24 counties around Ireland, producing hundreds of three-minute science videos for the competition, in both English and Irish. Last year’s judge Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin said: “I was astounded by the calibre of the videos from both the primary and secondary schools. It is wonderful to see the thought, preparation, fun, and learning that went into all of the videos and it is very encouraging to see students enjoying and communicating science.” The 2014 primary school category winners were Sooey National School, Co. Sligo, with Leaving Certificate student Julien Torrades from Summerhill College, Sligo taking first place at secondary school level. For further information about the 2015 competition visit and previous year’s videos can be found at -Ends-

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Economic and Environmental Sustainability: A Burning platform or Ireland’s Opportunity?

Economic and Environmental Sustainability: A Burning platform or Ireland’s Opportunity?-image

Thursday, 3 September 2015

European bioeconomy employs an estimated 21.5 million people, with a market worth approximately €2 trillion - NUI Galway’s TCBB will identify 8 key opportunities for Ireland The BioÉire consortium involving NUI Galway’s Technlogy Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy (TCBB) will host its first seminar in the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin today (3 September) to present some of the context shaping its current research activities and to provide input for its market development project. Outcomes of this workshop will ultimately feed into the process of developing a coherent, national bioeconomy strategy for Ireland. Bart Bonsall, Technology Leader at the Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy (TCBB) at NUI Galway, notes the further potential that exists to utilise resources from the Irish agricultural sector beyond the food industry to explore new biochemical and biomaterial opportunities. Speaking of the need to emulate advances seen in other EU member states, Mr Bonsall highlights that: “The EU is transitioning its petro-chemical complex away from fossil-fuel based to biobased raw materials. Ireland has an opportunity to use its agricultural might to supply these enormous markets, over time matching or surpassing the value of its food outputs.” “When you see now a global household name like Coca-Cola using patented technology to convert natural sugars from plants into renewable plastic bottles, then you have to ask yourself what should Ireland be looking at to generate new economic opportunities for biobased materials and products? Should Ireland produce renewable plastics and renewable chemicals from sugar beet or other agricultural, forestry or marine outputs?” Mr Bonsall continued. Escalating challenges related to economic sustainability, climate change, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity, food security and growing populations highlight the need to transition to more sustainable, low-carbon ways of living. The bioeconomy concept offers one way to address these challenges, harnessing the optimal use of renewable biological resources and reducing dependence on fossil-fuel based resources, whilst still achieving economic growth. At the European level, the bioeconomy is estimated to employ some 21.5 million people, with a market worth approximately €2 trillion. These lucrative markets and sustainable, bioeconomic opportunities are only just beginning to be exploited, including in the Irish context. “This strategy is needed to help us to review and ultimately change, how we produce, process and recover biological feedstocks” according to Dr Maeve Henchion, BioÉire project coordinator at Teagasc. The development of a bioeconomy in Ireland producing biofuels, biofertilisers, biochemicals and bioplastics is particularly plausible given its abundant natural resources, thriving agriculture and marine sectors, growing forestry development, well-respected food industry and renowned research and development capabilities. Speaking in advance of the workshop, Dr Maria Hayes, Research Officer at Teagasc, reflects on the opportunities that are readily available in the marine sector in Ireland, a topic that she will explore in a keynote presentation. Commenting on the abundant marine resources around the Irish coastline, Dr Hayes states that: “The seas around Ireland contain a number of underutilised species, including seaweeds and Boarfish that at present are not being exploited to their full potential. These species are potentially a huge reservoir for novel protein ingredients and functional foods compounds that may be health beneficial and can provide an alternative to dairy, meat and plant proteins. Furthermore, with the clever use of biotechnological processes, marine discards can be considered ideal candidates for generation of natural bioactive materials such as chitin and chitosan that have huge commercial appeal.” These, and other opportunities, will form the heart of the discussion at the BioÉire workshop that aims to act as a platform for determining which opportunities merit further investigation in an Irish context. Eight key commercial opportunities will be recommended by the project to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The workshop will be attended by representatives across policy, academic, state and semi-state organisations. BioÉire is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Ireland’s national Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB) is one of a number of competence centres established and led by industry, and initially funded by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. TCBB is co-hosted by 4 Irish universities, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. The BioÉire consortium comprises TCBB, Teagasc, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and University College Dublin (UCD). For further information on the seminar please contact Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Communications Programme Manager, TCBB, NUI Galway on 087 905 3806 or e-mail -Ends-

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Huston School of Film and Digital Media to Launch Community Filmmaking Project

Huston School of Film and Digital Media to Launch Community Filmmaking Project-image

Monday, 7 September 2015

NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media will launch ‘The Home Project’ on Friday, 11 September at 7pm. ‘The Home Project’ will begin with a special screening of three short films produced by participants from COPE Galway, Youth Advocacy Programme Ireland and the Oranmore Liveable Communities Group. ‘The Home Project’ is an ongoing collaboration between the Huston School and local community groups to produce short documentaries on the theme of ‘home’. “The importance of a secure and stable home to people’s physical and mental wellbeing has never been more evident as we witness daily news stories about the problems of homelessness in Ireland as well the sacrifices endured by those around the world who are forced to flee their homes due to war or persecution,” said Dr Conn Holohan of the University’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, who developed and coordinates the project. “The aim of this project is to provide groups within the Galway community with the training and facilities necessary to produce short films about their experiences of home and its significance in their lives. By giving people the tools to communicate what home means to them, the hope is that we might generate meaningful debate about the significance of home collectively in our society,” Dr Holohan continued. Over the months of July and August, participants from COPE Galway, Youth Advocacy Programme Ireland and the Oranmore Liveable Communities Group all worked with experienced industry professionals to produce three ten-minute documentaries on the theme of home. The stories which these films unearth include those of a family which spent years living in an active courthouse in Co. Galway, as well as the building of a swan sanctuary by the community of Oranmore to enable two of the towns most well-known inhabitants finally find a family home. The evening will also see the launch of ‘The Home Project’ website, where visitors can see the finished films as well as contribute their own memories of or reflections on a place called home. The project is funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme. - Ends -

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NUI Galway Public Seminar on Ocean Acidification

NUI Galway Public Seminar on Ocean Acidification -image

Monday, 7 September 2015

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on the increase leading to an increase in global warming As carbon dioxide levels continue to rise in the World’s oceans, NUI Galway will host a public seminar examining ocean acidification on Wednesday, 16 September. Ocean acidification arises as a result of the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have been on the increase for the past two hundred years due to human industrial (fossil fuel use for transportation and electricity production) and agricultural (greenhouse gas emissions and land use change leading to deforestation) activities. This has led to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth, or global warming. The oceans play a role in regulating the global climate by absorbing much of the heat and carbon dioxide. These increasing carbon dioxide levels have caused the oceans to become more acidic, resulting in significant changes in marine organisms. Delivering the lecture is Dr Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle. As one of the World-leading authorities on ocean acidification, Dr Feely will discuss the present and future implications of increased carbon dioxide levels on the health of our ocean ecosystems and related ocean-based economies. Conference organiser, Dr Brian Ward of NUI Galway’s School of Physics, said: “Ocean acidification is now recognised as one of the biggest potential impacts arising from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and this public lecture is an excellent opportunity to hear about ocean acidification from a world-leading expert.” The conference will take place at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima and is free to the public. Advance registration is advised as the number of places is limited. To register visit For further information please email Dr Brian Ward at -Ends-

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Future of Management Education and Research Debated at 18th IAM Conference

Future of Management Education and Research Debated at 18th IAM Conference -image

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Over 240 delegates from 18 countries worldwide came to Galway recently for the 18th Annual Irish Academy of Management (IAM) Conference 2015. Hosted by NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the conference saw over 150 research presentations across a diverse range of business topics exploring the conference theme of ‘Towards Socially Responsible Management?’ The conference was preceded by a Doctoral Colloquium which provided doctoral students from Ireland and internationally the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and knowledge. Four national and international keynote speakers provided participants with key insights to assist PhD students with overcoming theoretical and methodological issues in completing their PhD theses. Two of the doctoral colloquium keynotes focused on how PhD students can build successful international academic careers. The conference keynote address was delivered by Professor Andrew Pettigrew, Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Professor Pettigrew’s address examined the impact leaders have on organisational performance and highlighted some key issues including the increase in leadership churn and reduced CEO tenure as a challenge for organisations. One of the IAM conference highlights was the plenary roundtable discussion examining the future of management education and research impact with panellists from Australia, the UK and Ireland. During the roundtable discussion, Professor Pettigrew highlighted the need for more engaged and impactful Professors as a key challenge for the future of the academic business community. Professor Sarah Moore, Chair of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vice-President for Teaching and Learning in the University of Limerick, said: “As educators, we need to design environments that are less centred on delivery and more concerned with learning cultures and processes that are active, engaged, empowered to foster motivation, creativity and compel attention and focus in a world that is increasingly digital.” Professor Tony Dundon, Professor of Human Resource Management at NUI Galway called for management and business educators to expand the paradigm of business education to include broader social issues including questioning the distribution of wealth and the moral economy. Professor Roy Green, Dean, University of Technology Sydney Business School, discussed the changing nature of work and how ICT requires differing business, management and leadership skills into the future. Dr Alma McCarthy, IAM Conference Chair, NUI Galway, said: “The conference was a huge success. Delegates were very pleased with the quality of research papers, plenary sessions at the conference, and the warm Galway and West of Ireland hospitality they experienced. The fact that we had 18 countries attending the conference shows the excellent achievement of the IAM in extending its significance and impact beyond the Irish academic community.” Further information on the Irish Academy of Management is available at -Ends-

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NUI Galway MSc in Medical Physics Awarded CAMPEP Accreditation

NUI Galway MSc in Medical Physics Awarded CAMPEP Accreditation-image

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

NUI Galway’s MSc in Medical Physics is the first European MSc programme to be awarded accreditation by CAMPEP and the second worldwide NUI Galway’s MSc in Medical Physics is the first European MSc programme to be awarded accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programmes (CAMPEP) and the second programme worldwide. To progress in a career in medical physics, having graduated from a CAMPEP accredited MSc programme is now becoming essential, and the MSc in Medical Physics has been accredited by CAMPEP for an initial period of three years. The MSc in Medical Physics enrolled its first students in 2002 and has since then graduated over 130 students. Of the graduates, in excess of 70% are currently employed in health care as medical physicists. The requirement for medical physicists to have appropriate training is increasingly recognised worldwide. Both the European Commission and professional bodies worldwide have issued guidelines on this training. One such body is CAMPEP, which is supported by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American College of Radiology, American Society for Radiation Oncology, Canadian Organisation of Medical Physics and the Radiological Society of North America. Being awarded a degree from a CAMPEP accredited MSc is a condition of entry into CAMPEP Residency training programmes in the USA and Canada and is also an indication of the quality of the programme. The MSc in Medical Physics at NUI Galway is the first European MSc programme to be accredited by CAMPEP and the second programme worldwide outside of North America. Professor Wil van der Putten, Adjunct Professor of Medical Physics, NUI Galway and Head of Medical Physics at Galway University Hospital commented, “The MSc in NUI Galway is the second such degree programme awarded worldwide and the first in Europe. Graduates from the Galway programme can be found in all public hospitals in Ireland, are employed in the National Health Service (NHS) and can be found as far as the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.” Professor Andrew Shearer, Head of School of Physics, NUI Galway said, “US accreditation of our flagship MSc in Medical Physics programme shows the quality of our courses and enhances our international reputation. Medical Physics is a good example of the impact Physics can have on our everyday lives and is a wonderful career path for Physics undergraduates." Dr. Mark Foley, Academic Director of the MSc in Medical Physics, NUI Galway added, “This MSc programme is an excellent example of a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional effort. The success of the programme has been driven predominately by the tremendous efforts of the hospital physicists supplemented by University staff.” The MSc in Medical Physics programme is designed to meet the demand for qualified medical physicists. It is primarily geared toward training for physicists in the application of radiation physics in medicine but maintains a reasonable exposure to key aspects of clinical engineering so that students receive a comprehensive knowledge of the application of physical sciences and engineering to medicine. Information on CAMPEP can be found at and course information at For more information contact Dr. Mark Foley, MSc in Medical Physics, School of Physics, College of Science, NUI Galway at 091 495383 or - Ends –

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NUI Galway Galway Lights up in Orange on World Suicide Prevention Day

NUI Galway Galway Lights up in Orange on World Suicide Prevention Day-image

Friday, 11 September 2015

Report Suggests Galway had the highest number of suicides in Connacht in 2014, where some 64 suicides were recorded of which 54 were male NUI Galway’s iconic Quadrangle lit up in orange as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, 10 September, and as part of the national campaign ‘Cycle Against Suicide’ in collaboration with the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015 and Solus. Iconic landmarks and buildings throughout the island of Ireland lit up orange to spread the message, "It's OK not to feel OK; and it's absolutely OK to ask for help”. In Galway the University’s Quadrangle, Fisheries Tower and Galway City Council were lit up in orange last Thursday night, fitted with colour-changing LED lights and special heat resistant colour filters. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) Vital Statistics yearly summary for 2014 suggests that there were 26 suicides recorded in Galway last year. That includes 18 in the county and eight in the city. All 18 of the suicides in the county in 2014 were men and five of the eight suicides in the city were men. Almost 90% of the suicides recorded in Galway last year were male and three of the Galway suicides were women. Galway had the highest number of suicides in Connacht, where some 64 suicides were recorded of which 54 were male. Professor Martin J. Leahy, UNESCO Year of Light and School of Physics, NUI Galway commented, “It is estimated that there is one suicide every fortnight in Galway alone. This winter we had a young man who had jumped from the centre of Quincentennial Bridge in my lab recovering. He was fit enough to swim to shore in the worst of conditions, yet he felt he had nothing to live for. It is very sad. Suicide is a particularly difficult problem amongst students and we need to show our willingness to support and understand their difficulties. We felt compelled to support this initiative with our message of light and hope.” Thousands of people across the 32 counties turned on a Solus orange lightbulb in their homes at 9pm on Thursday in unity, to share this positive and universal message. In support of lighting up buildings in orange, people were encouraged to ‘Go Orange’ in any way they could and shared selfies and pictures on social media using the hashtags #LetsGoOrange and #BreakTheCycle @CASuicide to spread the message. For further information contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Press & Information Executive, NUI Galway on 091 495695 or -Ends-

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