NUI Galway Experts Contribute to Chronic Pain Conference

NUI Galway Experts Contribute to Chronic Pain Conference-image

Friday, 11 February 2011

A panel of experts from NUI Galway's Centre for Pain Research will participate in a conference entitled Recognising and Managing Chronic Pain - An Expert View 2011. Senator and Human Rights Activist David Norris, will also join the panel on Thursday, 17 February in The Salthill Hotel, Galway at 7.30pm. The event, which is being organised by Chronic Pain Ireland, will focus on managing chronic pain and is open to members of Chronic Pain Ireland, students, Chronic Pain sufferers and their families as well as healthcare professionals and members of the general public. A host of presentations will be followed by an open-forum question and answer session. Topics will include, understanding the causes of chronic pain, perceptions and misconceptions of the condition, the role of the General Practitioner, coping with chronic pain, and the experiences of those living with chronic pain Speakers at Recognising and Managing Chronic Pain - An Expert View 2011 will include David Norris, Gina Plunkett, Chairperson, Chronic Pain Ireland, Dr David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, Dr David O'Gorman, Consultant Pain Specialist, University College Hospital. Dr Ray Doyle, General Practitioner in Galway will also make a presentation. The event will be opened by the Mayor of Galway, Cllr. Michael Crowe. Dr David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire, Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, say "Chronic pain is a major healthcare problem in Ireland today, a disease in its own right. The overarching aim of this event, which is being organised in conjunction with Chronic Pain Ireland, is to increase awareness and understanding of chronic pain amongst patients and the general public. Attendees will learn about recent advances in the understanding and management of chronic pain from pain experts working at NUI Galway, Galway University Hospital and in General Practice. It is a great opportunity to share knowledge and expertise in an important area of medicine and research, and we are delighted to be a part of it." Ongoing research in the Centre for Pain Research is supported by a variety of sources including Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, the Higher Education Authority, the Industrial Development Agency and the International Association for the Study of Pain. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researcher Contributes to UK End Loneliness Campaign

NUI Galway Researcher Contributes to UK End Loneliness Campaign-image

Thursday, 10 February 2011

A leading researcher at NUI Galway has helped to shape a new campaign that aspires to end loneliness amongst older people in Britain. The Campaign to End Loneliness, which was launched recently, aims to help people create and maintain personal connections in older age. Professor Thomas Scharf, Director of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway, has been involved since the early stages of the Campaign. Working with some of Europe's leading researchers in the field of loneliness, Professor Scharf has helped to synthesise existing research relating to loneliness in later life. His main focus is on the ways in which loneliness relates to other forms of disadvantage that can affect people as they age, most notably low incomes and a lack of access to services. The Campaign aims to raise awareness of loneliness among older people, and build an evidence base of research into the area. A further component of the Campaign is to engage in actions to reduce and eradicate loneliness into the future and to inspire a vision for later life without loneliness for all older citizens. Professor Scharf says: "While the overwhelming majority of older people in countries like Ireland and Britain are not greatly affected by loneliness, it is important that society supports people whose life quality is severely reduced by feelings of loneliness. The Campaign to End Loneliness aims to provide some practical help and advice for people affected by loneliness in Britain. In time, I hope that this campaign might also extend to Ireland, where loneliness is an equally important issue." Professor Scharf continues: "Loneliness affects around one in ten older people, seriously limiting the quality of later life. Recent research even suggests that loneliness may be a greater threat to people's health than smoking." Information about the Campaign to End Loneliness, including details of key research findings on loneliness in later life, are available at: -Ends-

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NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Professor Receives Prestigious Award

NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Professor Receives Prestigious Award-image

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

NUI Galway's Professor Peter McHugh from the Discipline of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics, is the 2011 recipient of the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI). The coveted medal is awarded by the RAMI Section of Bioengineering for outstanding career contributions to the field of bioengineering. The Silver Medal was instituted by the Academy in 1995 and previous awardees include Professor Tony Keaveny, University of California, Berkeley, and Professor Frank Gannon, former Director of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The medal was awarded to Professor McHugh at the 17th annual Bioengineering in Ireland conference held in Galway, recently. At the conference, as is customary for the recipient, Professor McHugh delivered the annual Dr. Samuel Haughton lecture entitled Bioengineering: A Truly Grand Challenge for Engineers. Dr Samuel Haughton FRS, MRIA, 1820-1897, is regarded as the father of Irish Biomechanics. Professor McHugh is the Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, Director of the Micromechanics Research Unit at the University and Biomechanics Research Cluster Leader, at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). He is author of almost ninety international research journal papers in the field of Biomedical Engineering. According to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics, "Receiving this award is a tremendous honour for Professor McHugh and for NUI Galway. It is a testament to Professor McHugh's significant achievements in biomedical engineering over almost two decades, and it also reflects the tremendous growth and strength in biomedical engineering research and teaching at NUI Galway which is recognised internationally and which is of critical value to the local and national medical technology industry." The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI) was founded in 1882 through the amalgamation of the four main medical societies including, the Dublin Society of Surgeons, the Medical Society of the College of Physicians, the Pathological Society and the Dublin Obstetrical Society. At present there are 22 sections of the Academy covering many disciplines with over 1200 Fellows, Members and Associate Members. -Ends-

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A Life Course Institute Election Event at NUI Galway

A Life Course Institute Election Event at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

The Life Course Institute (LCI) at NUI Galway will host a pre-election debate entitled Future Policies: Older People, Children and Families, and Persons with Disabilities. The event, to be held in Aras Moyola on the North Campus of NUI Galway, will take place on Thursday 17 February at 8pm. The organisers of this event have invited the election candidates from the main political parties to set out their future policy plans for older people, children and families, and persons with disabilities. Each of these policy areas is central to the work of the LCI. Representing the political parties are Fidelma Healy Eames (Fine Gael); Michael D. Higgins (Labour); Niall Ó Brolcháin (Green); Trevor O'Clochartaigh (Sinn Féin); and Eamon O'Cuiv (Fianna Fáil). Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent at the Irish Times Newspaper will chair the proceedings. Donncha O'Connell, of the School of Law at NUI Galway, will act as Rapporteur. Each of the representatives will have the opportunity to outline their party position, followed by a question and answer session with representatives from a range of community groups and members of the public. Professor Pat Dolan, Academic Director of the Life Course Institute, said "the event will provide an opportunity for the stakeholder groups to engage in a discussion with the political parties on the proposed policies which are directly relevant to them. Scrutinising party policies in relation to children and families, persons with disabilities and older people is critically important, particularly in a time of limited resources." The Life Course Institute comprises a multidisciplinary facility which is intended to integrate and enhance the work of three existing centres at NUI Galway, the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the Child and Family Research Centre, and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology. The aim of the Life Course Institute is to impact positively on future policies for children and families, persons with disabilities and older people through advancing an integrated approach to research, policy and services. Each of the three centres already makes an important contribution to its respective field in Ireland and internationally. The Life Course Institute will add value to this existing work through collaboration - while retaining each centre's distinct identity. The Institute is funded through philanthropic donations and in collaboration with The Atlantic Philanthropies. The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and anyone wishing to attend must register online at - when registering please notify the organisers if you have any special requirements. ENDS

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NUI Galway Student Named TG4 Young Musician Of The Year

NUI Galway Student Named TG4 Young Musician Of The Year-image

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

An NUI Galway student has been named TG4 Young Musician of the Year at this year's TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2011 (Traditional Music Awards). Uilleann piper Pádraic Keane hails from Maree, Co Galway and was born into a great musical family in 1991. He is currently a second year student in NUI Galway pursuing a BA degree with Irish Studies. His father Tommy is a well known piper, originally from Waterford who was taught by the legendary piper Tommy Kearney. His mother Jacqueline McCarthy is a very respected concertina player and is the daughter of the late Tommy McCarthy from West Clare who was a multi-instrumentalist playing pipes, whistle and concertina. Jacqueline's sister Marion also plays pipes. Pádraic began learning the pipes at the age of eight under the guidance of his father. He also received tuition from many leading pipers at various summer schools including Robbie Hannan, Mick O'Brien, Emmett Gill, Jimmy O'Brien-Moran, Seán McKeon, Brian McNamara and Ronan Browne. His first pipes were a practice set borrowed from Na Píobairí Uilleann under their Pipes on Loan scheme. Since then Pádraic has inherited his grandfather's pipes – a concert pitch set made by Leo Rowsome. When playing solo he likes to perform on a flat set in C made by Geoff Wooff. He has performed at many events organised by Na Píobairí Uilleann, including recitals at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy, NPU Annual Tionól, Session with the Pipers in The Cobblestone and Ceol sa Chlub, the latter in the company of his fiddle playing sisters – Siobhán and his twin Maisie-Kate. His music has been broadcast on Clare FM, Galway Bay FM, RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTÉ Radio 1. He is a member of the traditional group Eamhain Mhacha – a group of musicians who became friends at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and Scoil Acla. They competed in the Gael Linn Siansa competition, have appeared on RTÉ Television, played support to The Chieftains and performed at the Cooley Collins Festival in Gort. His piping comes from the style of Willie Clancy but other influences such as Seán McKiernan and Séamus Ennis are also discernable in the playing of a young man who is acutely aware of the tradition from which he stems and who displays a musical maturity and understanding way beyond his years. He in turn is now passing on his love for piping and has a number of fledgling pipers coming to him for tuition. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Major Conference on Biomedical Engineering

NUI Galway Hosts Major Conference on Biomedical Engineering-image

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The major national conference on biomedical engineering, Bioengineering in Ireland 17, was hosted by NUI Galway on 28 and 29 January, and attended by over 180 researchers from Universities, Institutes of Technology and industry in Ireland and overseas. Biomedical engineering is the application of engineering techniques to improve understanding of the human body in health and disease, and to develop new medical therapies and devices. Engineers and scientists at the conference discussed latest findings on topics as diverse as the design of new stents for treatment of arterial and heart disease, analysis of sport technique, and the forces experienced by cells in tissue-engineered constructs. Keynote speaker Mr. John Power, CEO of Galway-based Aerogen, spoke about the development of the company's innovative nebulisers, which are in use worldwide for the treatment of respiratory and other diseases. Another guest speaker, Dr. Kerem Pekkan of Carnegie Mellon University, USA, spoke about his research into the mechanics of blood flow and the implications for congenital heart disorders in new-born infants. Professor Peter McHugh of NUI Galway was presented with an award by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland, in recognition of his career achievements in biomedical engineering. The conference organiser, Dr. Nathan Quinlan of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, commented "Biomedical engineers study the human body in terms of classical engineering concepts of force and motion, and design devices that work with the body's cells and organs, alongside medication and surgical procedures. We've seen lots of examples at this conference of engineers working closely with clinicians to solve some clinical problem. Often this work is done in close collaboration with the medical device industry, which is one of the most important employers in the country, particularly here in the West." In association with the conference, IMDA, the organisation of the medical device industry in Ireland, held an event in which researchers spoke to an industry audience about technology concepts which have emerged from their work in university laboratories. "More and more, we see biomedical engineers in Universities and ITs working closely with industry," said Dr. Quinlan. "Discoveries made in academic laboratories get translated into new products and better medical treatments." Bioengineering in Ireland 17 was sponsored by the Irish Medical Devices Association, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Zwick-Roell, KHPB Scientific, National Instruments, Stryker, Aerogen and IDAC. -Ends-

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Ryan Tubridy Launches Student Mental Health Website at NUI Galway

Ryan Tubridy Launches Student Mental Health Website at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 7 February 2011

RTÉ Television and radio personality, Ryan Tubridy today officially launched a new student mental health web portal at NUI Galway. My Mind Matters (MMM) is a student website which provides information, help, support and advice to college students around a range of topics that can affect mental health and well-being, such as anxiety, depression, exam stress and coping with the transition to college life. In some colleges, students can also apply for confidential online one-to-one counselling and other interactive supports. This new initiative is led by NUI Galway, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Dundalk IT, and has attracted €1 million investment from government and college funds. This collaborative project from the four colleges will provide interactive, anonymous and confidential help and support for students. In the development of the project and to source quality mental health information, the colleges partnered with, an online service that inspires young people to help themselves through tough times. The My Mind Matters website is the result of a Mental Health Portal Project in which students were central to making decisions about the type of service they wanted and needed. Focus groups of students were held in the four participating colleges to decide on the design of the site which included colours, font styles, images, interactive features, navigation and layout. There will be an ongoing feedback facility within the site to ensure that it continually caters for the needs of students. It is hoped that the web portal will become a national widely availed of service. Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Registrar and Deputy-President of NUI Galway says: "Our University is not concerned solely with the academic aspect of our students' lives but with their physical and mental well-being also. We are therefore particularly delighted to welcome this new and collaborative mental health support website which will provide a very valuable and confidential service to students." Ms. Bea Gavin, Head of Student Counselling in NUI Galway says," My Mind Matters is an online resource for an online population. These are tough times for students and their families. Extra stress is reflected in constantly increasing demand for reliable information and counselling. We hope that young men, in particular, who have sometimes been slow to seek help in the past, will turn to this exciting new facility." For further information please contact: Bea Gavin on 091 492427 or email Log onto ENDS

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NUI Galway To Host Ashbourne Cup

NUI Galway To Host Ashbourne Cup-image

Monday, 7 February 2011

NUI Galway is once again to the fore of hosting third level intervarsity GAA activity when the Camogie Club host the Ashbourne Cup from the 19 to 20 February. The hosting of the prestigious Ashbourne Cup follows NUI Galway's successful hosting of Fitzgibbon 2010, which culminated in ending a 30 year wait for success for the university. The quarter finals of the Ashbourne Cup will take place on 9 February with four mouth-watering ties in prospect. Hosts NUI Galway, who last won the Ashbourne Cup in 1994, take on the reigning champions WIT, who are backboned by a plethora of intercounty stars. The management team of NUI Galway includes Richard McNicholas, who has been involved at underage intercounty level management and under 21 hurler of the year Seamus Hennessy, who is a current scholarship student in NUI Galway. NUI Galway chairperson and club captain Michaela Morkan states, "NUI Galway Camogie Club are once more delighted to host the blue riband of third level camogie, an event that is second only to the All Ireland Senior Camogie title race." The Offaly senior centre back wishes all teams in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups the very best of luck and looks forward to a weekend of camogie to remember in NUI Galway. The host college last won the Ashbourne Cup in 1994 and boasts a worthy 15 titles won over the years. Gaelic games officer Michael O'Connor welcomes once again the highlight of third level camogie to Galway expressing a wish that all teams in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups play to their optimum and bring from Galway memories of participation and enjoyment long after the games have ended. NUI Galway President Dr. James J Browne said, "On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted that the Ashbourne Cup competition will be hosted on our campus this year. The Ashbourne-Purcell weekend is one of the premier events in the camogie calendar and I wish all of the 16 teams taking part a wonderful weekend of sport." Chairman of CCAO third level camogie Shane Darcy said, "It is a very exciting and busy time for all involved in third level camogie. NUI Galway once again will host the second ever joint Ashbourne-Purcell weekend. It promises to be a festival of camogie with 16 teams taking part. I would like to take the opportunity to wish Michael O Connor and his organising team at NUI Galway the very best for hosting the 2011 weekend." President of The Camogie Association Joan O'Flynn said, "The Ashbourne and Purcell Cup Competitions provide plenty of top class camogie action played by players who are fantastic ambassadors for the game of camogie. It is the sporting ambition of all college playing camogie players to win either an Ashbourne or a Purcell All Ireland medal, and the weekend of 19 and 20 February will be no different with the country s leading colleges vying for these prestigious titles. We wish host college NUI Galway well with the event and the competition is sure to provide the city with an economic boost as over 500 players from colleges across the country spend the weekend here." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers Participate in Occupational Hygiene Conference

NUI Galway Researchers Participate in Occupational Hygiene Conference-image

Monday, 7 February 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway will participate in the Occupational Hygiene Society of Ireland (OHSI) Annual Conference which will take place on 16 to 17 February in the Clayton Hotel, Galway. The event will feature presentations from NUI Galway researchers who are pursuing projects in the area of Occupational Hygiene, which deals with the monitoring and control of hazards to health in all workplaces. Among those to present will be PhD student Patricia McDonnell, who is incoming President of the OHSI. Patricia will present a paper on her research project, which is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, and involves the refinement and validation of an exposure model, known as the Advanced Reach Tool (ART) for use in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Catherine Healy, also a PhD student at NUI Galway will describe her research into the exposure of stone masons to silica dust. Both Patricia and Catherine are graduates of the taught MSc programme in Occupational Health and Safety, at NUI Galway. As well as contributors from NUI Galway, the conference will include presentations from other agencies including the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the Health Safety Authority (HSA), the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and Alvin Wooley and Associates, UK. The day before the annual conference (February 16) the OHSI present a court room drama entitled 'Hygiene in the Stand', in which an occupational hygienist will be put through his paces by barrister Roisin Liddy in a hypothetical court case. The barrister will scrutinise the report written by the hygienist, along with the work carried out and his professional competency. This will be beneficial to all those working as Health and Safety professionals in industry who wish to familiarise themselves with such court procedures. Commenting on the Conference, Dr Tom O Connor of the School of Physics at the University says: "NUI Galway has over 25 years experience in the area of Occupational Health and Safety. It is important that we in the University continue to contribute to industry at events such as this conference and it is a great testament to the quality of our courses to see students presenting at a national level." Dr O'Connor adds, "Drawing on the resources of the disciplines of Science, Medicine, Engineering, Law and Commerce, Occupational Health and Safety Courses at NUI Galway provide a multidisciplinary approach to health and safety and provide a very solid foundation for a career in occupational health and safety or a very useful additional qualification for many other professional careers." The OHSI is an organisation for all those interested in the area of Occupational Hygiene and it offers important networking opportunities for people involved in Health and Safety at work. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week -image

Monday, 7 February 2011

NUI Galway is calling all young wanna-be-engineers to participate in six days of events and activities from 14 to 20 February as part of National Engineer's Week. As part of the line-up, for the second year in a row, NUI Galway will bring a free family-event to the Galway City Museum on Saturday, 19 February from 11 am to 5 pm. Following on from the success of last year's event, this year's Engineering for Communities promises to be a great day out for everyone, with activities on the day to suit all ages. At Engineering for Communities, visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. Each activity will explore engineering solutions to different community needs such as bridge building, sustainable housing, medical devices, water treatment and electricity. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K'Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, Electronic Circuitry Demonstrations, and more. Speaking about the event, Dr Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway, said: "It will be a fun, free, family-friendly day out and will provide insight to just how much engineering affects the way that we live in our homes and communities." He added "From rural Zambia to urban Galway, engineering plays a fundamental role in our day-to-day lives. As we face a low-carbon, high-tech future, engineering solutions are evolving at a very rapid pace. This event is a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about these solutions in a very fun and highly interactive way." Engineering for Communities is being organised by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway with support from GMIT and the Alan Kerins Project. The event is part of National Engineers Week, which aims to showcase the diversity of engineering and to celebrate the role of engineers in Ireland. Other NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week include primary school workshops by the College of Engineering and Informatics and many school events, seminars and public lectures hosted by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). -Ends-

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