Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Mahmoud Abukhadir, a final year Law student at NUI Galway, has been awarded the prestigious Thomas Addis Emmet Fellowship 2015. Each year, the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), in conjunction with the University of Washington, Seattle, sends an Irish law student as the Thomas Addis Fellow to Seattle for two months to get first-hand experience in human rights and public interest cases. The Fellowship offers the successful candidate: the chance to work with a public interest law centre at the forefront of social change in Seattle; hands-on experience of targeted public interest litigation, policy development and campaigns; attendance at a lecture series on American and International Public Interest Law at the University of Washington; interaction and networking with law students and high-profile practitioners working in Public Interest Law in the US. Mahmoud will also spend a period of the summer working as an intern in the Irish Superior Courts as part of the Chief Justice’s Summer Internship Programme open to Irish university law schools. In 2012, while a student on the Corporate Law programme in the School of Law at NUI Galway, Mahmoud was the winner of the A & L Goodbody Bold Ideas Competition for which he received a cash prize of €3,000 and an internship. Welcoming the announcement of the Fellowship award, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “On behalf of my colleagues in the School of Law, I congratulate Mahmoud Abukhadir on his success in being the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Addis Emmet Fellowship. This is a highly prestigious award and a very valuable recognition of his considerable talents and accomplishments as an NUI Galway Law student. This reflects very well indeed on the School of Law at NUI Galway and we are all delighted to see one of our outstanding students do so well. We wish him every success for the future.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The topic of sustainable growth and competitiveness brought together practitioners and academics from 24 countries at the recent European Network for Research in Organisational and Accounting Change (ENROAC) conference hosted at NUI Galway. Guest speakers including Ray Cantwell, Senior Finance Director of Global Operations, Medtronic; Massimo Romano, Head of Group Integrated Reporting and CFO Hub, Generali S.p.a; and Nick Topazio, Head of Reporting Policy at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), discussed the need to highlight the creation of sustainable value for stakeholders within annual reports by focusing on forward looking information for companies, as opposed to simply reporting historical content. Speaking at the two day event, attended by 150 accounting practitioners and academics, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne commended the participants for stimulating the debate with regard to competitiveness and sustainable value as these issues were important for growth and competitiveness globally. Dr Browne said: “This conference highlights the importance of close links between the profession and industry with the academic discipline. The Accounting and Finance Discipline at NUI Galway continue to pioneer the way in disseminating research findings back to industry as this conference follows a number of recent workshops held by our accounting and finance faculty for practitioners.” Head of Accountancy and Finance Discipline at NUI Galway, Professor Breda Sweeney, commented on the close alignment between the themes discussed at the ENROAC conference and research carried out in the Discipline: “Through the Performance Management Research cluster based in the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change we have examined a range of contemporary issues such as the need for both efficiency and innovation in private and public sector organisations and how performance measurement systems can stimulate action and drive accountability.” The event was sponsored by CIMA’s General Charitable Trust, KPMG and Fáilte Ireland. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A major exhibition celebrating the many connections W.B. Yeats had with the west of Ireland opens at NUI Galway tomorrow (25 June). NUI Galway’s Moore Institute and Hardiman Library will present ‘Yeats & the West’, an exhibition exploring Yeats’s life, work, legacy and deep connections to the west of Ireland. Rare artworks, books, original documents and exclusive film clips will feature in the interactive exhibition. Original watercolour sketches and oils by W.B. Yeats’s brother, the celebrated artist Jack B. Yeats, will also feature. The exhibition is part of Ireland’s decade of commemorations and the worldwide Yeats2015 series of cultural events marking his 150th birthday. The exhibition will run from 25 June – December 2015. Items on display will reflect W.B. Yeats’s attention to life, love, and landscape in Galway, Sligo, and beyond. ‘Yeats & the West’ details the many artistic collaborations that centred on Coole Park in Co. Galway between artists inspired by the western world. It follows the foundation of the Abbey Theatre in Galway, and Yeats’s work with J.M. Synge, George Moore and Edward Martyn, using exclusive materials from NUI Galway’s Lady Gregory Collection, the Abbey Digital Archive, and the Lyric Theatre Belfast. It explores his obsession with local poet Antoine Ó Raifteirí, and highlights the gifted artists of Yeats’s own family, whose pioneering work is showcased in exquisite handprinted books and in embroidery from Loughrea’s St. Brendan’s Cathedral. “William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature always looked west. For Yeats the west was the wellspring of songs, stories, folklore, artwork, drama, crafts; the foundation of the Irish imagination. It was also the landscape of his poetry and plays. Significant events of his life took place here; collaborations that formed his work were forged here. ‘Yeats & the West’ tells this remarkable story and considers what the west meant to him, and what that means for us”, explains Dr Adrian Paterson, a Lecturer in English at NUI Galway and expert on W.B. Yeats, who led the curation of the exhibition. The interactive exhibition features original watercolour sketches and oils by W.B. Yeats’s brother, the celebrated artist Jack B. Yeats, priceless Cuala Press volumes and broadsides, a wealth of visual material from artists and photographers from Fergus Bourke to Nicolas Fève, and rarely seen images and manuscripts from archive collections in NUI Galway and around the world. Through rare books, original documents, and artworks, and using modern touchscreens, recorded sound, and exclusive film, visitors will be able to take a tour of Yeats’s commitment to history, tradition, and new art, all under western eyes. Talks and special events feature throughout the exhibition’s spectacular run from June to December 2015. Yeats’s restoration of Thoor Ballylee, Galway, is seen alongside the construction of his own poetry, and the effects of revolution and civil war on his work and the west is put starkly on view with manuscripts from the National Library of Ireland, and rare books and photographs. Collaborations with his artist brother Jack B. Yeats are illustrated with newly exhibited sketches and exquisite colour prints. ‘Yeats & the West’ even tracks his furthest forays west, following him and the Abbey players as they cross the Atlantic and bring back with them a renewed idea of the breadth of the western world. “Through images, words, film, and sound, with interactive touchscreens, panels, and rich display cases, using valuable material from the University’s collections and from around the world, ‘Yeats & the West’ tells anew an old story: a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are”, added Dr Paterson, who serves on the Yeats2015 Steering Committee and Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society. The exhibition runs from June to December 2015 in the Hardiman Building, NUI Galway with special events throughout. ‘Yeats & the West’ is supported by the Moore Institute, Hardiman Library, Galway City Museum, the National Library of Ireland, Loughrea Cathedral, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society, and Yeats2015. -ends-

Monday, 29 June 2015

In a significant development for engineering education, following extensive consultation with industry partners, NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that the duration of the Professional Experience Programme (PEP) will be extended to eight months. The PEP involves students acquiring professional experience in their chosen speciality and will be applicable for the Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Energy Systems Engineering, BE Electrical and Electronic Engineering, BE Electronic and Computer Engineering and BSc Computer Science and Information Technology degree programmes. This follows the successful implementation of the longer placement in the BE Mechanical Engineering and BE Biomedical Engineering. Students will now undertake work-placement in leading local, national and international high-technology companies from January to August, starting in 2016. NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics has very strong links with industry, both nationally and internationally, and the decision to extend the duration of PEP was made in response to the growing demand from industry for longer work-placement, providing students with a broader range of industry-relevant skills and dramatically increasing their employability upon graduation. Increasing the duration of the work placement has been well received by companies. It affords students the opportunity to get involved deeper in the work they perform while on placement. Employers benefit by having a skilled student with them for longer which means that they can get students involved in larger projects and give them more responsibility. The PEP work-placement has been an integral part of these degree programmes for over twenty years. Commonly, upon completion of the PEP work-placement, students will continue to collaborate with their PEP employer through the industry-led research performed in their fourth year project. Speaking about the announcement Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said: “This is a very positive development for our students, as well as for employers and ultimately the Irish economy. By enhancing the practical learning experience which our students gain through structured work placements, we help to give them a competitive edge in the jobs market and boost their employability. In addition, having a student on work placement can be a real advantage to companies, particularly small enterprises, who can develop new opportunities within their business through research projects and other initiatives.” Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, said: “Our graduates are distinguished by their ability to adpat quickly to the professional work environment, wherever they work. Integrated workplace learning is a central feature of our undergraduate programmes in Engineering and Computing. Students have the opportunity to get significant work experience on an extended eight month PEP. While on PEP, the students also take online professional skill modules, delivered by the College. This enables us to enhance the professional work readiness of graduates, and allows our industry partners to participate directly in the training and evaluation of PEP students.” Companies that are interested in finding out more information in relation to the PEP can contact Career Development Centre on 091 493646 or placement@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Recent crop research in Africa by NUI Galway PhD researchers has had a specific focus on food security and today sees the announcement of the first PhD graduates from an Africa-Ireland collaborative programme. Through a research and training partnership between NUI Galway and the world leading non-profit research organisation the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), advances have been made that contribute to global efforts to improve crop productivity, nutritional quality and resilience. IITA is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. The first PhD Scholars have now graduated from the IITA-NUI Galway PhD Scholars programme. Over the past four years the three scholars have undergone a collaborative training programme and have been conducting their crop research between NUI Galway and IITA research stations in Kenya and Nigeria. The three PhD Scholars have each researched a particular challenge relating to three important staple crops, and have each made significant advances in their field:  Maize: Dr Girum Azmach  from Ethiopia has been conducting his PhD research, funded by Irish Aid, on developing more nutritious maize varieties that contain higher levels of vitamin A. Such biofortified crops are being developed by IITA and global partners to combat ‘hidden hunger’ malnutrition amongst the rural poor. Dr Azmach has returned to Ethiopia to contribute to the national maize breeding programme.    Bananas: Dr Mercy Kitavi  from Kenya focused her PhD research, also funded by Irish Aid, on East African Highland bananas, a staple crop of smallholder farmers in the Great Lakes region of sub-Saharan Africa. The research has revealed that all varieties of East African Highland bananas lack genetic diversity and are at high risk of being wiped out by new strains of the deadly banana wilt fungus. Dr Kitavi now works on capacity building in East Africa for sweet potato research.  ‌‌ Yams: Dr Gezahegn Tessema  from Ethiopia has been conducting his PhD research, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on understanding genetic diversity of yams, which are an important staple crop in Africa. The research has improved understanding of how yam genetic diversity can be better harnessed in breeding programs to make more resilient and productive yams to meet future challenges such as climate change. Dr. Tessema is currently working with IITA on developing improved cassava varieties for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. The research of the three IITA-NUI Galway PhD Scholars was co-supervised by Professor Charles Spillane of the Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Center (PABC) at NUI Galway and the world-leading IITA scientists Dr Abebe Menkir, Dr Melaku Gedil, Dr Jim Lorenzen and Dr Morag Ferguson. Professor Spillane commented: “The innovative crop research work of these three IITA-NUI Galway PhD scholars contributes significantly to the broader goals of IITA, NUI Galway’s PABC and Irish Aid, of conducting agricultural research for improving food security and nutrition in developing countries, particularly in Africa”. -ends-

Friday, 1 May 2015

More than 100 pupils from primary schools in Galway had the chance to experience the wonderful world of science recently and learned that science is actually fun. The students from Claddagh National School, Scoil Shéamais Naofa, Barna, Mercy Primary School and Gaelscoil Riada, Athenry all participated in Challenge Science 2015, which was supported by Boston Scientific and held in NUI Galway. The budding scientists were assisted by business volunteers from Boston Scientific, who held workshops on Forensic Science, Defence against Disease, Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering, and they were also treated to a tour of the Science Department and Campus at NUI Galway by student volunteers from the ALIVE programme. The workshops provided an appreciation and greater understanding of the ever evolving world of science.  The event was opened by Professor Donal Leech, Dean of Science at NUI Galway, who welcomed the students to the University: “NUI Galway is delighted to host ‘Challenge Science’ which is hugely valuable in developing an interest in science. I hope to see some of the pupils back in NUI Galway in the future as science students or even working in the Science or Engineering departments at the campus.”  “The workshops with the Boston Scientific staff really helped the students to realise that you can take several different paths in order to work in the field of science. The teams also showed that science can be so enjoyable and we heard lots of excitement and enthusiasm in the workshops today, as the students vied against each other to be No. 1 forensic detective! Thanks to Boston Scientific for inspiring all of our young minds”, said Inez Riordan, Vice-Principal, Claddagh National School. Siobhan Murphy, Senior HR Business Partner at Boston Scientific, Galway, said: “It’s great to see so many young people with an interest in Science and Technology as it’s important to develop and keep up STEM subjects in Secondary School. I’d like to thank the teachers for supporting and bringing the students to this event and for helping to develop an interest in STEM at a young age, particularly given our location here at the Medical Device Hub here in Galway” -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The first European Training School on Clinical Trial Design and Management opens at NUI Galway today, in a concerted effort to accelerate the translation of new medical devices from research bench to patient bedside. The event will run until Friday, 8 May. The European Training School on Clinical Trial Design and Management has attracted senior academic and industry-based researchers from all over Europe to Galway, with the common aim of understanding the clinical trial process. These researchers see the trial process as the final hurdle in bringing their novel medical devices to the market, and more importantly, to the patient. The European Training School is organised by Dr Martin O'Halloran, a Medical Device Engineer at NUI Galway. Dr O'Halloran is Vice-Chair of a large European network called MiMed, whose aim is to accelerate the clinical evaluation and commercialisation of novel medical devices. This unique network is composed of over 190 researchers from 24 countries. Dr O'Halloran said: “Millions of Euro are spent every year on European medical research, but how much of that research actually makes it way to the patient? What percentage of that funding makes a tangible impact on patient care? As researchers, we have a responsibility to ensure that new discoveries in the lab make their way into clinical practice, and have a real societal and economic benefit. Training schools, such as the one being held at NUI Galway, are one important mechanism to make that happen.” The training school is supported by the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, which will provide practical solutions to the challenges involved in designing and managing a clinical trial. During the week NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Leahy and Professor Mark Bruzzi will address the training school describing their experience in the medical device industry, and their success in translating medical research to have a real and tangible impact on patient care. Dr O’Halloran continued: “With the strong culture of medical device start-ups in Galway, the recent establishment of the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), and new Clinical and Translational Research Facility about to open, NUI Galway is in a very strong position to lead these important European initiatives.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

NUI Galway graduates seeking employment are invited to a unique graduate support event on Thursday, 14 May. The ‘Kick Start your Job Search’ is a free event and will run from 9.30am to 1pm in IT 250, IT Building and 2-4pm in the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway. Organised by the Career Development Centre, the event will focus on effective CVs, interview skills, and being creative in the job search process, including a tailored workshop on using LinkedIn effectively. Interactive workshops will challenge and motivate participants to review their current approach to their job search and a panel discussion with employers from various sectors will give insights into job search strategy and what candidates can do to enhance their job prospects. Current vacancies and employers attending who have current opportunities will also be on display. There will be a limited number of one-to-one appointments available in the Careers Clinic in the Career Development Centre in the afternoon. Josephine Walsh, Acting Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “We look forward to working again with our recent graduates and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and get their job search on track.” Details of the full programme are available on www.nuigalway.ie/careers, where graduates who are interested in attending the event can also book a place for the event. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

NUI Galway has appointed David Murphy as its new Director of Technology Transfer. The Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway is responsible for supporting innovation and commercialisation on campus. Supports are provided to both NUI Galway researchers interested in exploring the commercial potential of their inventions and to businesses at a range of development stages, from start-ups looking to grow, to multinationals looking for research opportunities. Most recently David was Vice President for Innovation, Communications and External Relations with Fidelity Ireland where he established their European center for applied technology, corporate social responsibility and communication programs as well as leading R&D incentive, innovation, patent, and academic collaboration programs. David joined Fidelity Investments in 2004 as site leader for Fidelity’s Galway facility with responsibility for business development and software delivery programs. Prior to joining Fidelity, David worked in a number of international engineering positions for Lotus Development (now IBM), Microsoft Corp, and Siebel Systems (now Oracle) where he was group director responsible for European and Middle East international product engineering. “As an experienced executive David will bring to the team a wealth of knowledge accumulated through a very interesting career. He comes with senior leadership proficiency and expertise in technology, innovation and external relationships with industry,” said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. Speaking about his appointment David said “I am delighted to join an institution which has such a strong tradition and contributed so much to our society for over 170 years. The Technology Transfer Office in collaboration with SFI, Enterprise Ireland, our researchers, and industry partners will continue in that tradition by advancing new discoveries that will deliver real, positive societal impact. This is an exciting time to be involved in innovation. The combination of world-leading research, financial supports, access to global partners and markets allow us a great opportunity to develop and disseminate new knowledge. I look forward to working with staff, researchers, and students to achieve the ambitious research targets outlined in NUI Galway’s 2020 Vision.” David is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Ulster, and NUI Galway where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree in Technology Management. -ends-

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

NUI Galway was awarded the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in IT Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2015 which took place in Dublin recently. This year, the prize was awarded for the University’s Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream). Judges commented on the strong links the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) has with leading ICT companies who are partners on the programme. These partners are actively involved in the recruitment, course design and delivery which makes this programme unique among other equivalent programmes. Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley, said: “Over 90% of graduates from the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream) secure immediate employment as a result of being on the programme. We have experienced huge demand among applicants and employers to participate with the programme, and this has helped attract the highest calibre students from third level institutions all over the country. NUI Galway is now seen as a leading partner for ICT companies who wish to develop links with our training and research activities.”   Some of the industry partners involved with the Higher Diploma in Software Design & Development (Industry Stream) include: Cisco, IBM, Avaya, Insight, SAP, Storm Technologies, Fidelity Investments, Schneider Electric, Aspect Software, Sogeti, Ericsson, Netfort and Arc Energy. Companies or potential applicants interested in applying to participate in the programme can contact Dr Enda Howley at ehowley@nuigalway.ie for more details. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

A survey of 1,000 people is being carried out door-to-door across the country by NUI Galway researchers to find out the views of Irish people with regard to health and wellbeing. Funded by the Health Research Board (HRB), the study is led by Professor Ciaran O’Neill, a HRB Research Leader, at NUI Galway’s School of Business and Economics. “We are really hoping to tap into some valuable information – the preferences of the public with regard to health and wellbeing. The public are the consumers of healthcare and health services in Ireland, and we want to hear first-hand their points of view to help improve decision-making at a national level.” The Health and Wellbeing Survey will take participants through a computer-based questionnaire, which will ask them to imagine different health scenarios that might face individuals such as themselves. This survey explores five dimensions of health: mobility, self-care, pain, anxiety and the ability to undertake usual activities (work, study, housework, pastimes, etc.) and aims to establish which dimensions of health the Irish people value most. When a decision is being made whether to fund a new drug or other treatments in the Irish health system, decision makers look at the costs and benefits of the new drug or treatment. Benefits are typically assessed in terms of gains in both length of life and quality of life, based on data from clinical trials. The results from this Health and Wellbeing survey will be available to help measure gains in quality of life, enabling decision makers to draw on the preferences of the Irish public when making important healthcare decisions. “From this study, we hope that a clearer understanding of the preferences of Irish people for different dimensions of health will emerge. We also want to establish a better picture of what factors underlie differences in peoples’ preferences. This will be useful when considering whether to adopt a new technology, where policy makers weigh up the costs and benefits of new technologies relative to those, for example, in current use”, explained Professor O’Neill. NUI Galway researchers have already visited eight locations, four in Dublin and four outside Dublin. The response from the public has been excellent, householders have engaged with great interest in the survey and the feedback from participants is very positive. The research team will continue to visit randomly-selected homes, representing a cross-section of society, all over Ireland over six months. The research team will carry NUI Galway identification and will call to homes between 10am and 8pm. -ends-

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The ‘Pint of Science’ international Festival will take place in Galway from 18-19 May. During the Festival a fantastic line of up of scientists will engage the public with the latest in science research in an accessible format. ‘Pint of Science’ is the largest festival of science globally, running concurrently in multiple pubs across eight countries in 50 cities. More than 20 leading and developing scientists, mostly from NUI Galway and affiliated institutes and centres, will meet the general public to talk about the research advances in their field. Panel discussions will follow presentations from three to four researchers on each night. A wide variety of topics will cover recent progress in understanding human diseases, technologies to treat them, as well as the impact of technology on the future of our society and the role of water in our lives and in our future. Created in 2012 by a group of UK postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, ‘Pint of Science’ is a non-profit organisation involving scientists on a voluntary basis. Internationally it takes place in the UK, USA, France, Spain, Germany, Italy and Australia. Established in 2013 by Seán Mac Fhearraigh, ‘Pint of Science Ireland’ is running for the second time in Dublin, and for the first time in Galway and Limerick. A detailed programme of ‘Pint of Science Galway’ covering the themes human body, technology and planet Earth is available at www.pintofscience.ie or follow ‘Pint of Science Galway’ on Facebook. Tickets are free and must be booked online to attend. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

NUI Galway’s School of Business and Economics, together with Casla Home Care, has announced details of a free day-long seminar-based event for entrepreneurs at the University on Friday, 22 May. Sponsored by Casla Home Care, Bank of Ireland, Sharkey Consulting and Enterprise Ireland, the event focuses on persons across the broad spectrum of entrepreneurial activity. From those at the idea stage who want to learn more about how to develop further, to young start-ups seeking to grow and become sustainable, to well-established entrepreneurs trying to improve their businesses. The event will provide an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in a number of highly discursive and interactive sessions, as well as opportunities to network with key entrepreneurs and educators. Teams of educators and entrepreneurs will run sessions across areas such as sustainability, financing, growth, negotiation skills, talent acquisition, decision making, networking, and customer centricity. Some of the facilitators will include; Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Casla Home Care and Aer Arann; Barry O’Sullivan, AltoCloud and Dragons’ Den; James Murphy, Lifes2Good; James Cunningham, Connemara Food Ventures; and John O’Dea, Crosspon. The event will also include a sports panel with Gavin Duffy, Joe Connolly and Mike Geraghty who will deal with developing the individual. To register for the event, visit www.entrepreneurshipatwork.org. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

A free public lecture entitled ‘Take my advice, go to Mongan’s Hotel: Sport, Charity, and Tourism in Late-Victorian Connemara’ will be held in Galway city on Monday, 11 May at 7 pm. The lecture will be delivered by Dr Kevin James, Associate Professor of History at the University of Guelph, Ontario, and will take place in the Galway City Library in Augustine St, under the auspices of NUI Galway’s Moore Institute. Mongan's Hotel in Carna, Co. Galway, was an historic site of pilgrimage for the sporting tourist in the nineteenth century, and served as a social, commercial, and cultural hub of the district. In the 1890s, initiatives aimed at alleviating distress and developing the district's economy highlighted the important role of the hotel and its proprietor, Martin Mongan. He forged connections between the locality and organisations and markets farther afield – notably in Manchester. The evidence appears in the hotel's historic visitors' book. This public lecture will look at how Mongan’s provided a venue for tourism, a magnet for sports enthusiasts, and a site for charitable activity. Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Kevin James’s work has opened up new vistas on the history of travel to Co. Galway. Visitors’ books offer an intriguing glimpse into a lost world in the nineteenth century.” Dr Kevin James is author of Tourism, Land and Landscape in Ireland: The Commodification of Culture. In spring 2014, he held a Moore Institute Visiting Research Fellowship to support his research at the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway. For more information contact : Dr John Cunningham, Department of History, NUI Galway at john.cunningham@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 493902. -Ends-  

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Students seeking to develop new skills or considering part-time study options are invited to attend one of the many information sessions taking place at NUI Galway during Adult Learning Week. The week-long event will run from11-15 May from 6.30pm -8.30pm each day in the Arts Millennium Building. Nuala McGuinn, Director of the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at NUI Galway, said: “The University offers a wide range of part-time, flexible courses suitable for those who require professional development opportunities to up-skill or enhance their career prospects. Adult Learning Week is an opportunity to discover the range of flexible, part-time courses that NUI Galway has to offer. Our sessions are informal so feel free to call in at any time and join our talks or meet a member of staff.” A different array of courses will be showcased each evening focusing on the themes of General Arts and Languages; Training and Teaching Skills; Community, Youth and Family; and Technology, Science and Business. Information sessions will be varied and will include talks from lecturers, presentations from past students giving an insight into their personal experiences, talks on the value of lifelong learning and an opportunity to meet with course lecturers. Four new blended-learning, part-time programmes will be announced during Adult Learning Week to include a blended learning BA in Humanities and Social Sciences, an intermediate level Diploma in Italian, a Diploma in Automation and Control and a Diploma in English Literature and Drama. A fully online Diploma in Archaeology will also be launched with course lectures and examinations taking place in a fully online environment. “Our students come from a variety of educational backgrounds, life experiences and ages, and are motivated to embark on a programme of study for personal development, career enhancement or other professional development reasons”, explains Nuala McGuinn. With over 40 part-time programmes to choose from, students will not be short of choice to meet the live-learn-work challenge. Courses are offered through classroom-based mode, online learning or through a blend of both, offering flexibility and support to prospective students. All are designed with flexibility enabling them to continue to work or actively seek employment. Interest in programmes in the Science and Technology area including specialisms in Medical Device Science, Lean & Quality Systems has grown over the past number of years as a direct result of industry requiring increased skills in these areas. Study options are available at Diploma, Degree and individual module level. Dr Anne Walsh, Programme Academic Coordinator, said: “Courses which have been offered in recent years are growing in demand, particularly in the area of Adult Learning and Education Studies. Enrolments for the Professional Diploma in Education (Further Education) which provides FE teachers with the professional knowledge and skills to carry out their teaching roles has been growing steadily since commencing in September 2013. The Certificate in Advanced Trainer Skills (Coaching and Mentoring) is also available and builds on trainer competencies by developing their coaching and mentoring skills and abilities – an example of another recent addition to the suite of programmes which is popular among adult learners.” A Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in Practice Based Play Therapy is available in conjunction with the Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy (APAC). APAC are the national leaders in developing and providing training for students interested in becoming a certified play therapist. With it’s tutorial components delivered during July each year, this course is ideal for teachers and educators who wish to add therapeutic play skills to their existing teaching or psychology skills for working with children. Students can also chose to take individual modules from the suite of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credit options and may be useful for learners who do not have the time to commit to a full programme of study or for those who require a module for the purposes of retraining or up-skilling.  Standalone modules are available in Innovation Management, Technology Management, Education and Training, Early Childhood Studies, Community Education and Software Engineering. To view the full list of the events taking place throughout Adult Learning Week and to register visit www.nuigalway.ie/livelearnwork. For more information contact the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development at adultlearning@nuigalway.ie or 091 495241, or visit the Centre’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nuigalway.adulted. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 May 2015

27,860 people in 40 countries were followed for five years People with the healthiest diets were 24 percent less likely to have cognitive decline People who eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, moderate alcohol use - and not much red meat - may be less likely to experience declines in their memory and thinking skills. This is according to a new study published in the May 6, 2015, issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. “The exciting thing about this study is that this benefit was found in people who were at high risk of cardiovascular problems and suggests that a healthy diet could be beneficial even for people who already have some health problems” said study author Dr Andrew Smyth of the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway at the National University of Ireland Galway, and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. For the study, 27,860 people in 40 countries were followed for an average of about five years. All participants were 55 or older and had diabetes or a history of heart disease, stroke or peripheral artery disease. People who had experienced a recent stroke, congestive heart failure and other serious conditions were not included in the study. Participants’ thinking and memory skills were tested at the start of the study, after two years and after about five years. Participants were asked at the beginning of the study how often they ate certain types of foods, including fruits and vegetables, nuts and soy proteins, whole grains, deep fried foods and drank alcohol, as well as the ratio of fish to meat and eggs in their diet. The study participants were followed until they experienced a heart attack, stroke, hospitalisation for congestive heart failure or death from cardiovascular disease or until the end of the study. The thinking and memory tests yielded total scores with a maximum of 30 points. Participants were considered to have declined in their skills if their score dropped by three or more points during the study. A total of 4,699 people had a decline in their thinking and memory skills. People with the healthiest diets were 24 percent less likely to have cognitive decline than people with the least healthy diets. Among the 5,687 people with the healthiest diet, 782, or about 14 percent, had cognitive decline, compared to 987, or about 18 percent, of the 5,459 people with the least healthy diets. The results were the same when researchers accounted for other factors that could affect the results, such as physical activity, high blood pressure and history of cancer. Dr Smyth is supported by the Health Research Board of Ireland and the study was supported by Boehringer Ingelheim.  Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board, commented: “Findings like these show that health research has a central role to play in increasing our capacity to prevent illness in the first place.” -ends-

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Festival offers a week of free films celebrating ageing The fourth ‘Reel Lives Film Festival’, organised by The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, is offering free lunchtime screenings of international films and documentaries celebrating ageing across the life-course from 18-22 May as part of the Bealtaine Festival. The lunchtime screenings are open to the public and will begin each day at 1pm in the auditorium of NUI Galway’s new Institute for Lifecourse and Society Building in Corrib Village, Upper Newcastle Road. This year the screenings will include: Nebraska; When Did You Last See Your Father?; Robot and Frank; My Afternoons With Margueritte; and My Old Lady. The festival opens with Nebraska, telling the story of an ageing father (Bruce Dern) on a road trip with his son from Montano to Nebraska to claim a million dollar sweepstakes prize. When Did You Last See Your Father? stars Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent, and a host of well-known faces. A restrained script and effortless acting show Firth watching his father (Broadbent) die, whilst reflecting on their troubled relationship across the lifecourse. Robot and Frank is set in the near future when household robots are the norm. The cantankerous Frank, an elderly divorcee, lives slothfully alone until his son forces the robot on him to improve his lifestyle. Their initial fractious relationship turns into genuine friendship once Frank, a former jewel thief, recruits robot into a life of crime. My Afternoons with Margueritte is a French movie with English sub-titles and stars Gerard Dépardieu. Dépardieu’s is an illiterate and lonely man who befriends an older and well-read woman, played by Gisele Casadesus. The festival closes with My Old Lady starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Shot in Paris, the film is both funny and touching. Kline inherits a glamorous apartment in Paris, but also its resident ‘viager’ (Smith). Irish shorts being screened include: Bye Bye Now which focuses on the disappearance of rural telephone boxes; Jericho, a story revolving around a widower getting help from his childhood friend; Holding On, telling the story of how a man’s Alzheimer’s impacts on his family; and Sue Mills, about a West of Ireland eco-friendly woman and her Meitheal. On Thursday, 21 May, there will be a special screening of Pockets by Oughterard film student, Luke Morgan. Pockets featured at the Cannes Film Festival and is a five-minute film covering empty nest syndrome. Luke uses his own mother as the acting lead as she discusses how she feels when her son departs for college. In addition to free entry, audience members can enjoy complimentary refreshments and the chance to win a daily audience spot prize. There will also be a special pre-film choral performance by NUI Galway staff choir, Unitunes, on Thursday, 21 May at 1 pm, and a free guided walk of the Dangan area with Galway tour-guide Brendan Hynes on Friday, 22 May at 4 pm. Parking is available on campus to non-NUI Galway personnel within the pay and display areas of Dangan car park, or a free shuttle bus runs regularly between Dangan car park and the main campus. The venue has a 250-seater lecture room with a theatre-size screen, surround-sound, and wheelchair access. For further information contact event organiser Alison Herbert at 091 495461 or 087 2830757. Full details of the film programme are on www.icsg.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The impact of the recession and austerity on older people is as diverse as the ageing population itself according to the authors of a newly published book on the topic. Ageing Through Austerity: Critical Perspectives from Ireland builds on nine years of research and social policy work at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway. Edited by Kieran Walsh, Gemma Carney and Áine Ní Léime of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, the book brings together knowledge and research on key issues affecting older people during the economic recession. These include: citizenship, social participation, work and pensions, ageing and supportive communities, dementia care, and social inclusion and exclusion. According to Professor Norah Keating, the Director of The Global Social Initiative on Ageing, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics: “With impeccable timing, Walsh, Carney and Ní Léime capture the intersections of population ageing and global economic recessions, using Ireland as the exemplar of the impact of austerity on older people.” The book explores conflicting evidence in Ireland and in other jurisdictions about exactly how older people have faired during the economic recession and subsequent austerity programmes. The reality is that the magnitude of the impact of the recession and austerity on older people is as diverse as the ageing population itself. The reality is also, that while the economic recession and austerity programmes have introduced new problems for some older people, in particular areas of life, they have primarily intensified pre-existing and deeply entrenched issues and inequalities. Ageing Through Austerity interrogates whether or not the economic recession and austerity has in fact altered ageing experiences and the social policy landscape for older people in Ireland. It explores the linkages between the global, national and local levels that shape the experiences of ageing in a time of austerity. It also looks at the power of globalisation, and its various mechanisms, over national and community contexts. The economic recession has served to sharpen the focus of policy makers and governments on the implications of demographic ageing for under-resourced and struggling fiscal systems. This was certainly a part of the justification for why it was necessary that the social policy pressures characterising ageing societies are understood within the current economic conditions and perhaps more importantly the evolving circumstances of austerity. The book addresses a substantial gap in the international literature concerning the degree to which economic recessions and austerity impact on social policy issues for older people, and frames the development of related policy. It contains chapters from leading experts in Ireland, and contributions from international scholars Alan Walker (University of Sheffield) and Chris Phillipson (University of Manchester). According to Professor W. Andrew Achenbaum of the University of Houston: “By illuminating individual, regional and societal disparities, this book helps readers rethink the consequences of altered political economies and practices, such as recession, on aging and generations.” Ageing Through Austerity: Critical Perspectives from Ireland is published by Policy Press and more information is available at www.policypress.co.uk. It was launched at the recent International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics European Regional Meeting (IAGG-ER). -ends-

Friday, 8 May 2015

Over €97 Million of funding won by researchers and companies in Horizon 2020 EU Programme for Research and Innovation NUI Galway has attracts the highest Horizon 2020 funding Ireland moved up one place to 8th position in the 2015 Innovation Union Scoreboard of 28 Member States published on 7 May 2015. Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD welcomed the improved ranking and said: “This is the second year in a row in which Ireland’s ranking has improved, up from 9th in 2014 and 10th in 2013. In particular, I am pleased to see Ireland is ranked first on two specific dimensions: Innovators; and Economic Effects which shows that our strategy of accelerating the economic and societal returns on our public investment in research and innovation is paying off.” Ireland’s researchers and companies have been successful in winning €97 Million of funding in the first 9 months of Horizon 2020. Collaboration is at the heart of Horizon 2020 – between industry and academia and between countries. Among the Irish Universities, NUI Galway has had a noteworthy success rate, attracting the highest Horizon 2020 funding, with projects that exemplify the collaborative approach. One of their projects involves Irish SME Sports Surgery Clinic Dublin collaborating with the University on a large-scale clinical trial using adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis. The project, which is co-ordinated by Professor Frank Barry of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, has been funded to the value of almost €6 million and trials are expected to be underway across Europe by the end of 2015. In a separate multi-million euro clinical trial in the area of diabetic complications, led by Professor Tim O’Brien of REMEDI and CÚRAM at NUI Galway, Galway-based Orbsen Therapeutics, a spin-out from NUI Galway will play a key role in the project which will include partners in Northern Ireland and across Europe. In both projects Dublin-based SME Pintail Ltd will ensure effective collaboration between the partners and support the management and delivery of the funded projects. NUI Galway’s strong performance has ranged across many sectors, from the biosciences to the social sciences. Commenting on NUI Galway’s success, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research commented:  ‘NUI Galway views EU collaboration and funding as a key priority to strengthen our research and its impact on society. The University is working with government agencies and the EU to actively encourage, enable and support researchers to participate in EU funding programmes. We are also focusing on mentoring and supporting our younger generation of researchers to participate in EU funding calls. Our success so far is the success of our researchers who are investing their time, energy and passion for research and innovation in a highly competitive process.’ Innovation Union Scoreboard “In June 2013 Government set a range of system level targets in the context of implementation of research prioritisation and one of those targets was to move to 8th place in the Innovation Union Scoreboard by 2017 – as a result of a range of policy measures targeting our investment at areas of greatest economic and societal return, encouraging greater collaboration between academia and industry and enhancing the commercialisation of research we have met our target ahead of schedule”, continued the Minister. ” Of the eight dimensions that make up the European Commission’s Innovation Union Scoreboard, Ireland is ranked first in two of them: Innovators; and Economic Effects. The Innovators dimension measures how innovative firms are, while the Economic Effects captures economic success stemming from innovation in terms of employment, revenue and exports. “The strengthening of our Innovation performance is bolstering our capacity to compete under HORIZON 2020 – the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation – and I am very pleased with the results for the first 9 months of the programme which show that we are on track to exceed our target for success in the first year.” Ireland has traditionally performed well in areas such as ICT and research fellowships and researcher mobility across all disciplines (Marie Curie Actions). In these areas, Ireland’s researchers have been awarded over €24 Million and €13 Million respectively. Ireland has also been very successful in the Agri-food (€11 Million) and Health (€10 Million) areas. Ireland’s success in competing for European Research Council (ERC) grants under Horizon 2020 has significantly exceeded our performance in previous programmes. The ERC’s prestigious grants support frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence. The funding to ERC grantees in Horizon 2020 so far is over €19 Million. In welcoming the success to date, Minister of for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English TD said “I am confident that, based on the pipeline of activity, we will surpass our target of €100 Million for the first year of the Programme. I would like to congratulate the Higher Education Institutions which account for over 70% of the success to date. Irish companies account for almost 20% of Ireland’s success, with 62% of this going to SMEs”. Commenting on the industry engagement figures, Minister English added: “I would also like to commend industry and in particular Ireland’s innovative SMEs. The latest Innovation Union rankings demonstrate how innovative Ireland is at the level of the firm. There are many more opportunities which innovative firms, including SMEs, can exploit in Horizon 2020. I want to encourage more industry participation. Success brings not only financial rewards but also a chance to collaborate with the best and brightest in Europe. Enterprise Ireland’s Horizon 2020 industry experts are available to offer advice and support to companies on the Programme, its opportunities and how to apply”. Noting the progress to date, Enterprise Ireland Chief Executive Officer, Julie Sinnamon said: “Enterprise Ireland is proud to lead Ireland’s participation in Horizon 2020. The latest results from the EU Commission show that IrishSMEs continue to shine in Europe– we are particularly interested to see our high potential start-ups and established companies with disruptive technologies reaping the rewards of the new SME focussed programmes. These programmes offer new and different opportunities to those in previous framework programmes and are at a scale suited to real impact on company development” Dr Imelda Lambkin, National Director for Horizon 2020, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Irish approach is to provide hands on assistance to our Horizon 2020 applicants – this level of support, building on national research and innovation investments, is paying off. Ireland’s researchers and companies are responding and showing that they can compete with the best internationally.” ENDS

Friday, 8 May 2015

Professional services firm EY, today, announced their partnership with BioInnovate Ireland; a medical device innovation training programme based in NUI Galway modelled on the prestigious Stanford Biodesign programme.  This partnership comes as EY continues to broaden their support of the indigenous Life Sciences sector and foster the next generation of digital health entrepreneurs. With industry, academic and government support, and access to leading academic researchers, clinicians and industry experts worldwide, the BioInnovate Ireland programme facilitates and trains multidisciplinary teams of experienced professionals in the process of matching unmet clinical needs to attractive market opportunities. EY Partner and Life Sciences Sector Lead, Aidan Meagher commented: “Technological breakthroughs are revolutionising the way healthcare is being delivered and, as the health marketplace rapidly changes and evolves to meet new demands, we are excited to partner with BioInnovate to support the next wave of entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of medical device innovation.” As partners, EY will offer their professional expertise to the early stage enterprises by delivering workshops on fundraising, taxation, valuation and business modelling.  EY will also provide access to their extensive entrepreneurial network through the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme to enable the BioInnovate fellows to share their experiences and discuss solutions to the challenges facing entrepreneurial businesses in the medical technology sector. BioInnovate Ireland Programme Director, Dr Mark Bruzzi said:  “BioInnovate offers a unique opportunity for innovators to work together in teams to identify and develop new innovations to make an impact on healthcare and the medical device industry. By partnering with EY, BioInnovate aims to build on the supports to enable early stage enterprise in the medical technology sector.” BioInnovate Ireland is currently recruiting applicants to the 2016 medical device innovation collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, USA - a global leading healthcare centre. Applicants who are interested in developing new medical technologies to enhance healthcare and that represent a strong market opportunity are encouraged to contact BioInnovate at info@bioinnovate.ie. Applications are sought from candidates with experience in medicine, engineering, technology and business that are interested in the medical technology sector.  Medical and surgical registrars or specialist registrars with an interest in innovation and improving patient care through technological advancements are also encouraged to apply for the Fellowship. Candidates are assessed for their leadership potential, interest in technology innovation, demonstrated potential for creativity and invention, and ability to work in a team. For more information see www.bioinnovate.ie. The BioInnovate programme is led by NUI Galway and collaborates with University College Cork, and other hospitals and Universities across the country.   In addition to EY, programme support comes from Enterprise Ireland, Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Creganna Tactx Medical, Steripack, Aerogen and Zeus. -ENDS-

Monday, 11 May 2015

CONSENSUS, in conjunction with NUI Galway, is hosting its second international conference on sustainable consumption from 21-22 May. This year the theme of the conference is ‘Sustainable Consumption Transformations: Implementation and Impacts’. This two-day conference will provide an international platform for both scholars and policymakers in the field of sustainable consumption to discuss and debate on-going research in this important area. The CONSENSUS conference is the only dedicated conference on the topic in Ireland and the 2015 programme will focus on implementation and impact of research on policy and action. Dr Mary Jo Lavelle, School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway, is coordinating the event. Dr Lavelle said: “This conference will provide an international forum for the exchange of pioneering research in the field of sustainable consumption, as well as a platform to disseminate CONSENSUS research findings that will feed into national policy action and academic literature on behaviour change.” The conference programme comprises of a mix of presentations, panel discussions and lightning talks from policymakers, researchers and practitioners. Speakers and attendees will be drawn from Irish and international audiences, with Professor Martina Schäfer of Technische Universität, Berlin, providing the keynote address on Friday, 22 May. Paper presentations will include: Professor Audley Geus, Kingston University, London; Professor Magnus Bostrom, Örebro University, Sweden; Dr Stewart Barr, University of Exeter and Dr Ben Wooliscroft, University of Otago. The conference also features a joint plenary from Professor Philip Vergragt, Tellus Institute and Clark University, USA; Gemma Adams, Forum for the Future, London; Neil Coles, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP); and Kathleen Stokes, NESTA. CONSENSUS (Consumption, Environment, and Sustainability) uses innovative social science and collaborative research methods to explore trends and solutions for sustainable household consumption in Ireland. Launched in 2009, the project involves researchers from NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. CONSENSUS is funded by the STRIVE (Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment) Programme which is administered by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency. The public lecture by Professor Martina Schäfer’s will take place at 6.15pm on Friday, 22 May in ENG-G018 in the University’s Engineering Building. The conference is supported by NUI Galway’s School of Geography and Archaeology and funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. For more information on the conference visit www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 11 May 2015

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway is now accepting delegates for its 2015 summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will be held from 15-19 June at NUI Galway. The ICC Summer School, offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, is widely acknowledged to be the premier programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. Leading specialists will deliver comprehensive lectures over the course of five days which will provide delegates with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victims. This year’s summer school includes a special session on Palestine and the ICC involving the participation of the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland, Ambassador Ahmad Abdelrazek. Dr Shane Darcy, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “The International Criminal Court is the world’s first permanent court for the prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Despite some setbacks and obstacles, the Court is now fully functional and holding trials, and it provides an avenue for those seeking justice and accountability for serious human rights abuses.” During the ICC summer school, expert presentations will be delivered by: Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Don Ferencz, Visiting Professor, Middlesex University; Professor Ray Murphy, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Dr Shane Darcy, Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Kevin Jon Heller, School of Oriental and African Studies, London; John McManus, Department of Justice, Canada; Dr Mohamed El Zeidy, Pre-Trial Chamber II, ICC; Dr Rod Rastan, Office of the Prosecutor, ICC; Dr Fabricio Guariglia, Director of the Prosecution Division, ICC; Professor Megan Fairlie, Florida International University; Dr Nadia Bernaz, Middlesex University; Dr Mohamed Elewa Badar, Northumbria University; Dr Noelle Higgins, Maynooth University; Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana and University of Lincoln; and Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, Barrister, London. The registration fee is €450, which includes all course materials, all lunches and refreshments, a social activity, a closing dinner and a complimentary copy of William A. Schabas, Introduction to the International Criminal Court. The closing date for registrations is Saturday, 30 May. To register, visit www.conference.ie or email iccsummerschool@gmail.com for more information. -Ends-

Monday, 11 May 2015

CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices, has been awarded funding for the Chimera Art and Science Project. The NUI Galway0based project, will bring artists and scientists together to create a dialogue around the ethical and cultural issues of tissue engineering and medical devices. The Chimera project is funded by the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Discover Programme which aims to support and develop the STEM education and public engagement sector in Ireland. Two Artists-in-Residence, Joanna Hopkins and Siobhan McGibbon, will be given access to the laboratories of CÚRAM in order to create art works and describe their experiences on social media. In addition to the Artist-in-Residency programme, eleven Fine Art students from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) are participating in a student project. The artists’ and students’ work will culminate in an exhibition which will be exhibited during Medical Devices Week at the end of the year. The exhibition will take place alongside cutting-edge medical devices in the Biosciences Building at NUI Galway and in the foyers of key medical device companies. The Chimera project will allow fruitful collaboration and communication between the two disciplines of art and science. Chimera is the brainchild of the project curator Andrea Fitzpatrick and Professor Abhay Pandit, who is the Director of CÚRAM. “Art can act as a vital catalyst for experimental practice and help develop new ways to inspire and communicate across traditional boundaries,” explains Andrea Fitzpatrick. The programme will use a hands-on approach and offer a space for creative inquiry where artists will use the technologies and tools of science. By having the artists work in laboratories alongside scientists, professionals from both disciplines will be forced to think differently and find a common ground for communication. CÚRAM is a major new national research centre based at NUI Galway. The prime objective for CÚRAM will be to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs. CÚRAM is poised to design and create implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. Implants will be designed and manufactured to respond to the body’s environment and to deliver therapeutic agents, such as drugs, exactly where needed. For more information visit http://chimeraartandscience.com/ -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

€6 million grant from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme A large-scale clinical trial using adult stem cells to treat knee osteoarthritis is expected to be underway across Europe by the end of 2015. Almost €6 million has been granted to the project ‘ADIPOA-2’ by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research funding programme. The project will include 18 partners from Ireland, France, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway is coordinating the project. Osteoarthritis is an incurable and debilitating disease. It has been identified as the world’s eleventh highest contributor to disability and affects over 70 million Europeans. It causes severe and chronic pain, joint stiffness and loss of function. Currently there is no drug, medical intervention or therapy that alters the progression of osteoarthritis and many patients ultimately undergo total joint replacement surgery. In its first phase, completed in 2014, the EU consortium ADIPOA carried out a first-in-man Phase I safety study in 18 patients. Treatment involved a single injection of stem cells cultured from the patients’ own fatty tissue. The results of this were sufficiently encouraging to warrant a larger, multi-centre Phase 2b study to further test the effectiveness of the treatment. ADIPOA-2 will now build on the work of ADIPOA to deliver a randomised clinical trial across 10 hospitals in Europe involving 150 patients. The research will further assess the safety and efficacy of patient-derived stems cells in the treatment of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee. Another major element of ADIPOA-2 will involve the production of consistent batches of high-quality autologous (patient’s own) stem cells under GMP-compliant conditions. These cells will be produced in centres in France, Germany and Ireland. This multi-site approach will consolidate expertise in the preparation of clinically approved batches of stem cells across Europe in a ground-breaking cooperation between manufacturing centres. Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway, is Coordinator of the ADIPOA-2 project. Professor Barry explains: “The results from ADIPOA’s first-in-man-trials were very encouraging and paved the way for another study to further test the safety and effectiveness on a wider scale. ADIPOA-2 is bringing together Europe’s leading scientific, clinical and technical expertise on this project. Professor Christian Jorgensen, Head of The Clinical Unit for Osteoarticular Diseases University Hospital Montpellier in France, who led the Phase 1 trial and is Clinical Sponsor of the new trial, said “Ambitious as it sounds, we are aiming to deliver an effective treatment for the debilitating and incurable condition of osteoarthritis within as little as five years. We have arrived at this point because of a great deal of work by many scientists, clinicians and stem cell experts who have made enormous contributions in understanding the therapeutic potential of stem cells.” -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is running a free public talk on Elder Abuse.  The aim of this public talk is to bring greater recognition of abuse of older adults wherever they live, and to highlight the need for appropriate action. The talk takes place on Monday, 15 June from 3-5pm in Áras Moyola. This talk on elder abuse is the third event of the school’s Public Lecture Series, an innovative community outreach initiative which has previously focussed on Suicide Prevention and Ebola Awareness. The series aims to share knowledge and expertise on health matters with local communities. World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is celebrated on 15 June each year to allow communities around the world to engage in activities to mark the day and raise public awareness of this issue. The talk is open to the public and free of charge. If there are any future topics you would like covered in NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery Public lecture Series, please contact john.quinlivan@nuigalway.ie or mary.e.gannon@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Bon Secours Hospital Galway announce affiliation with National University of Ireland, Galway Bon Secours Hospital Galway have today announced that they will now be recognised as an affiliated teaching hospital of NUI Galway following an agreement between the two institutions. The Memorandum of Understanding will mean that NUI Galway will now offer clinical placement opportunities to final year Medical Students in Bon Secours Hospital as part of their final year Training Programme. Student nurses from NUI Galway already fulfil part of their degree course training in Bon Secours Hospital. Mr. Gerry Burke, Chief Executive Officer, Bon Secours Galway stated “We are delighted to announce that Bon Secours Galway is now an affiliated teaching hospital of NUI Galway. It is an honour to be recognised as a teaching hospital of the College and our dedicated Consultants and staff will now have an opportunity to pass on their skills and help develop the medical professionals of the future. The Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor Timothy O’Brien, highlights the significance of this partnership to the University. “The College is enthusiastic about integrating more from an educational and research perspective with public and private healthcare providers within our region, consistent with the strategic plan of NUI Galway.  The partnership with Bon Secours Galway will provide our medical and nursing students with excellent exposure to clinical practice in the private hospital setting and also greatly facilitates enhanced educational and research opportunities across both organisations.”  Mr. John McCabe, Bon Secours Medical Director commented: “As an NUI Galway graduate myself and as the Medical Director of Bon Secours, Galway I am thrilled to see this valuable partnership come together. NUI Galway students will now work closely with the exceptional team of Consultants and staff at the hospital as part of their training. We are committed to offering students from NUI Galway the highest standard of education and training support in our state-of-the-art facilities.” This partnership also offers development opportunities to hospital staff with NUI Galway making teaching and learning opportunities available to hospital staff from time to time to support them in providing clinical education of the highest standard to students of NUI Galway College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.” The medical curriculum at NUI Galway is a five-year programme with an annual intake of approximately 180 students.  The curriculum is innovative and integrates the life sciences with clinical practice, provides for early patient exposure, immersion in a variety of clinical environments and, from the 2015/16 academic year onwards, will also be emphasising intern preparedness to a greater extent. For more information on NUI Galway please visit www.nuigalway.ie/medicine/ or for more information on Bon Secours Hospital, Galway please see www.bonsecours.ie/galway. ENDS

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

‘Rails Girls’, a worldwide movement that aims to bridge the gender divide in technology and teach women how to code, is back to Galway for a third year edition. The free weekend workshop will let females of all ages into the world of building web applications and software services.   Funded by NUI Galway’s Insight Centre for Data Analytics' Outreach Programme, ‘Rails Girls’ will take place from 27-28 June at Insight in the Dangan IDA Business Park.   The organisers comprise of young female IT engineers and researchers involved in local third-level colleges, businesses, schools and volunteer digital makers’ clubs such as CoderDojo and 091Labs. The workshop will use 'Ruby on Rails', a powerful web application framework for the Ruby programming language. No prior knowledge of programming is required and is suitable for absolute beginners to computer coding.   Myriam Leggieri, PhD student with Insight at NUI Galway and founder of the Rails Girls Galway chapter, said: “There are stereotypes in our society that lead us to imagine programming as a boring, too complicated, isolated activity. We want to demonstrate that it can be a social, creative and fun job. The country desperately needs a generation of young coders of both sexes to help lay the foundations of a ‘Knowledge Economy’ and create the jobs for a sustainable future. But there is, in particular, a dire shortage of female IT developers in Ireland and across the world as well as in the professions of science, technology, engineering and maths professions generally. There is no reason why this should be the case except for lack of exposure to such environments. Events such as 'Rails Girls' directly address this issue and empower girls to take the first step in learning these in-demand skills and acquiring the tools to conquer one of the last great frontiers of science, namely the World Wide Web.”   The first event, launched by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen, was held in Helsinki in 2010 and is a worldwide phenomena.   Further information and application forms are available at www.railsgirls.com/galway. The closing date for applications is Sunday, 31 May. There are a limited amount of places available so early registration is recommended.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Galway County Fleadh will be held in NUI Galway this weekend, from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 May after a 35 year absence from the city. The event sees the cream of the county’s traditional musicians visiting campus and competing to represent Galway at provincial level. With over 1,000 entries to the various competitions, the Fleadh Cheoil promises to bring energy and fun to the campus, and all are welcome to join in the festivities. Most competitions take place on the concourse in the heart of the campus. The most popular competitions will be held in lecture theatres, so there will be lots of room to hold the 3,000 spectators expected. The dancing competitions, the céilí bands and the grúpaí ceoil attract the largest followings and these will be held in the University’s Bailey Allen Hall. There is a particular interest in the Irish language competitions this year, and they will take place in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway’s main location for Irish language education. The Fleadh Cheoil is organised this year in partnership between the Moycullen and Knocknacarra branches of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, and the opening night concert on Friday will see local talent from the branches and from schools in the area performing in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Fleadh Cheoil is a great opportunity for young and old to explore the University campus. According to Rúnaí na hOllscoile, Gearóid Ó Conluain, “We are delighted to partner with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in bringing the Galway County Fleadh to NUI Galway. The University is committed to opening up our campus to the wider community, and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to campus to enjoy the best of traditional music from the county.” Competitions will be held on Saturday and Sunday, beginning in the morning at 10am and running until 6pm, and there will be lots of traditional music sessions dotted around campus over the weekend. All are welcome to come and enjoy the music, with admission to most events free-of-charge. Parking on campus will also be free over the weekend, and volunteers will be on hand to direct visitors to the competitions. For more information and for a programme of events and competitions, visit: www.galwayfleadh.ie ENDS Fáiltíonn OÉ Gaillimh roimh Fhleá na Gaillimhe ar ais sa chathair den chéad uair le 35 bliain Beidh Fleá Chontae na Gaillimhe ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh an deireadh seachtaine seo, idir Dé hAoine, an 15 Bealtaine go dtí Dé Domhnaigh, an 17 Bealtaine agus é 35 bliain cheana ó bhí sé ar siúl sa chathair. Tabharfaidh na ceoltóirí traidisiúnta is fearr sa chontae aghaidh ar a chéile ar an gcampas agus iad san iomaíocht chun ionadaíocht a dhéanamh ar Ghaillimh i gcraobh an chúige. Beidh breis is 1,000 duine istigh ar na comórtais éagsúla. Beidh fuinneamh agus spraoi ar an gcampas dá bharr agus tá fáilte roimh chách. Beidh formhór na gcomórtas ar siúl ar an tslí dála, i gcroílár an champais. Beidh na comórtais is mó tóir ar siúl sna léachtlanna agus beidh siad in acmhainn an 3,000 duine a bhfuil súil leo a thógáil. Is iad na comórtais damhsa, na bannaí céilí agus na grúpaí ceoil is mó a mheallann daoine agus beidh siad seo ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen san Ollscoil. Tá béim ar leith ar na comórtais Ghaeilge i mbliana, agus beidh siad sin ar siúl in Áras na Gaeilge, príomhionad oideachais trí Ghaeilge san Ollscoil.  Tá an Fhleá Cheoil á reáchtáil i mbliana ag craobhacha Mhaigh Cuilinn agus Chnoc na Cathrach de Chomhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, agus beidh ceolchoirm ar siúl oíche Dé hAoine ag ceoltóirí áitiúla as na craobhacha agus as scoileanna an cheantair i Halla Bailey Allen. Is deis iontach an Fhleá Cheoil do dhaoine óg agus aosta leis an gcampas a fheiceáil ar a gcompord. Deir Rúnaí na hOllscoile, Gearóid Ó Conluain, “Tá ríméad orainn dul i gcomhar le Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann chun Fleá an Chontae a reáchtáil in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an Ollscoil diongbháilte ar an gcampas a oscailt do phobal níos leithne agus táimid ag súil le fáilte a chur roimh na mílte cuairteoir ar an gcampas chun scoth an cheoil thraidisiúnta a chloisteáil.” Beidh comórtais ar siúl Dé Sathairn agus Dé Domhnaigh, ag tosú ag 10am ar maidin go dtí 6pm tráthnóna, agus beidh neart seisiún ceoil ar fud an champais ar feadh na deireadh seachtaine. Tá fáilte roimh chách agus tá saorchead isteach chuig formhór na n-imeachtaí. Beidh an pháirceáil saor in aisce ar an gcampas chomh maith ag an deireadh seachtaine agus beidh oibrithe deonacha ar fáil chun cuairteoirí a threorú chuig na comórtais. Chun tuilleadh eolais agus clár imeachtaí a fháil téigh chuig: www.galwayfleadh.ie. CRÍOCH

Thursday, 14 May 2015

NUI Galway will host the 51st Annual Irish Neurological Association (INA) Meeting from 28-29 Mayin the Bailey Allen Hall.The INA meeting is the largest annual clinical neuroscience meeting in Ireland. Clinical Neuroscience Departments in the Republic and Northern Ireland are invited to participate in this meeting. Dr Peter Calabresi, Professor of Neurology, Johns Hopkins Medical School Baltimore, will deliver the Callaghan Guest Lecture at the meeting, entitled ‘Mechanisms underlying disease progression in multiple sclerosis and strategies for tissue protection and repair’. Abstracts presented at the meeting will include:   Dr Layan Akijian and Professor Peter Kelly, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, who will present research on why patients with mini-strokes (TIAs) have a higher risk of recurrent stroke than those who have had a prior completed stroke.This study may have important public health educational implications.     Catherine Moran and Daniel Rawluk, Beaumont Hospital, will present results of a new Neurosurgical Treatment for a painful neurological condition called trigeminal neuralgia.   Dr Diana Olszewska and Professor Tim Lynch, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, will present results on the incidence of familial Parkinson’s disease in Ireland   Dr Stephanie Rutledge and Professor Niall Tubridy, St. Vincent’s University Hospital will present research measuring early mobility difficulties in patients with MS using electronic sensors, which may be useful in guiding treatment. Two presentations concern the impact of Smartphones on epilepsy; one presentation is a case report of epilepsy induced by texting, while the other presentation concerns the clinical usefulness of smartphone videotaping of seizures to assist with diagnosis. Dr Timothy Counihan, Consultant Neurologist with Galway University Hospitals, and Irish Neurological Association President 2015, said: "It is particularly fitting that the 51st meeting of the Irish Neurological Association will be taking place at NUI Galway. The University is home to the only stem cell manufacturing facility in Ireland and also the location of a state-of-the-art Clinical Research Facility. It is therefore a pleasure to welcome neuroscience colleagues from all over Ireland and elsewhere to share research ideas and improve the care of patients with neurological disorders." The Irish Institute of Clinical Neuroscience is an All-Ireland charity and limited company which aims to promote research and education in clinical neuroscience in Ireland. It organises academic meetings where teaching is carried out and where findings from neuroscience research are presented. It endorses and offers support for conducting research in neuroscience in Ireland. -Ends-

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The School of Psychology at NUI Galway, in association with the Psychological Society of Ireland’s Division of Health Psychology, will hold two major linked conference events on 8 and 9 June, 2015. The events will focus on the area of health psychology, which applies psychological theory, research, and practice to the promotion and maintenance of health and prevention of physical illness. In healthcare, there is a growing emphasis on changing behaviours such as smoking, diet and alcohol consumption to prevent and manage chronic illnesses. Health Psychology, with its focus on promotion of healthy behaviours and self-management of chronic illness, has much to contribute to improving health outcomes for all. Innovations in Health Psychology On 8 June, the School of Psychology will celebrate 21 years of health psychology at NUI Galway hosting an event entitled ‘Innovations in Health Psychology’. The event will have a mix of invited speakers, panel discussions and poster presentations. International invited speakers will share the experience of health psychology in other European countries, and leading health psychologists in Ireland will present their current work. The event aims to promote discussion and debate about key achievements and new directions for Health Psychology and takes place in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. According to Dr AnnMarie Groarke, Head of the School of Psychology: “Twenty-one years on, we have substantial expertise nationally. NUI Galway is a leading centre of training and research in health psychology. Indeed, there has been great interest in our ‘Innovations in Health Psychology’ event, and we hope that it will further raise the profile of health psychology in Ireland.” Chair of Innovations in Health Psychology, Dr Molly Byrne, NUI Galway said: ‘The event will provide a unique opportunity to bring together the health psychology community in Ireland and abroad, in combination with leading health service providers and policy makers in the areas of health service delivery and health promotion. We have pulled together a broad range of presentations to showcase existing initiatives. We hope that interactive panel discussions during the day will give attendees the opportunity to explore and debate the future role of health psychology in health-related practice, policy and research. We are particularly delighted that Dr Stephanie O’Keefe, HSE National Director of the Health and Wellbeing Division, will join us to discuss the role of health psychology in improving health outcomes in Ireland through the roll out of the Healthy Ireland programme.” Mhealth Conference On 9 June, the recently established Mhealth research group at the School of Psychology will demonstrate some of the practical applications of health psychology in this growing field. ‘Mhealth’ is a term used for the practice of medicine and health supported by mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers and PDAs. M-health research encompasses a variety of topics, including increased access to healthcare and health-related information (particularly for hard-to-reach populations); improved ability to diagnose and track diseases; more timely and actionable public health information; and expanded access to ongoing medical education and training for health workers. NUI Galway’s Dr Jane Walsh is Chair of the Mhealth research group said, “This interdisciplinary event is the first of its kind in Ireland and will serve to showcase some of the cutting edge international research in the area of Mhealth. This conference is being organised with the Health and Wellbeing cluster of the Whitaker Research Institute.  The event will aim to promote the development of high quality multidisciplinary research networks through which NUI Galway can achieve the highest quality of scientific excellence working with international research leaders and all the various stakeholders from in healthcare and industry.” This event is supported by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland ‘New Foundations’ Scheme award held by Dr Jane Walsh and PhD student Eimear Morrissey with additional support from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, the Whitaker Institute and a Health Research Board Research Leaders award held by Dr Brian McGuire. The Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway will be the venue for the event. Health Psychology Health psychology has grown steadily in Ireland over the past two decades, especially with the introduction of an MSc in Health Psychology at NUI Galway in 1994, by Professor Ruth Curtis. Many of the field’s current experts and leaders are graduates of this Masters programme; now working in diverse areas such as research, education, public policy and clinical health practice. Impact on Irish health and wellbeing‘Healthy Ireland’ is the recently published national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland. Health psychology, which helps us understand how to promote behaviours such as exercise and healthy eating, is ideally placed to inform the delivery of the Healthy Ireland vision in the coming decade. ends