NUI Galway Students Win Biomedical Awards

NUI Galway Students Win Biomedical Awards-image

Monday, 21 February 2011

Two Biomedical Engineering PhD Students at NUI Galway recently won prestigious research awards at both national and international level. Enda Dowling, third year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, is the 2011 winner of the Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal. Enda is the first ever NUI Galway student to win this award. This prestigious medal won by Enda, who is from Kilkenny, is awarded annually to a PhD student deemed to be making a significant contribution to the field of biomedical engineering research and at an advanced stage in their studies. The national competition attracted a record 40 entrants and is sponsored DePuy Orthopaedics. Engineers Ireland is a representative body for all sectors of engineering since 1835. Enda's winning paper was entitled Influence of Actin Cytoskeletal Remodelling on the Shear Resistance of Single Chondrocytes: A Computational and Experimental Investigation. It uncovers the role of active remodelling and contractility of chondrocyte cell substructures in response to shear deformation using experimental and computer modelling techniques. The winning paper was co-authored by Dr. Patrick McGarry and William Ronan of NUI Galway and collaborator Professor Kyriacos Athanasiou from UC Davis in California. Emer Feerick, third year PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, was recently awarded the prize for Best Presentation at the 19th Annual Symposium on Computational Methods in Orthopaedic Biomechanics, held in Long Beach, California. It is the premier international forum on the use of a new breed of computer-based tools in orthopaedic biomechanics. This award is an acknowledgement of the internationally leading research being performed by Emer, who is from Milltown, Co Galway. Emer's winning paper was entitled Computational Investigation of Cortical Bone Failure Mechanisms during Screw Pullout. Advanced computer simulations were performed to uncover the process of bone failure due to stresses caused by orthopaedic fixation devices. The analysis techniques can be used to predict and prevent mechanical failure of orthopaedic devices and offers a powerful tool for future device design. Dr. Patrick McGarry, of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway and PhD supervisor of both successful students says, "Emer's computational predictions of the mechanisms of bone failure can now be used to design improved orthopaedic devices and will be of significant relevance to the medical device industry. Enda's research improves our understanding of the role of mechanical loading in development of degenerative disease in cartilage. Both students demonstrate the high standard of research within the school of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway and the importance of continued support for such research." Both Enda and Emer are funded by Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) scholarships. Enda's work is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland (Research Frontiers Programme and a Short Term Travel Fellowship). Dr McGarry also acknowledges the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) for the provision of internationally leading computing resources, without which, such advanced computational modelling would not be possible. -Ends-

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New Book Confirms Multinationals and Talent are Key to Economic Recovery

New Book Confirms Multinationals and Talent are Key to Economic Recovery-image

Monday, 21 February 2011

A new book, entitled Global Talent Management, by Professor Hugh Scullion and Dr David Collings at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, was recently launched by Jack Golden, Group HR Director of CRH. Published by Routledge, this is one of the first books published globally on this important topic and draws on contributions from leading scholars around the globe. In the context of the challenges emerging from the current global economic downturn, managers around the globe are increasingly looking to their key talent to ensure the survival and growth of their organisations. This text will provide some useful insights on how some of the best performing organisations around the globe engage with this challenge. Commenting on the book Professor John Slocum, Editor of the Journal of World Business, said, "Professor Scullion and Dr Collings have written the definitive book on global talent management. Their experience and compelling selection of articles written by renowned scholars create a delightful journey. Their masterpiece develops a mind-set for all managers who are concerned with designing practices for the war on global talent." 'The war for talent' is a battle cry frequently heard in corporate boardrooms around the globe. Organisations are in constant competition to attract and retain the best and the brightest talent. Indeed, Ireland's high quality workforce is an oft cited reason why key multinationals locate here. However, the relocation of this employment to developing economies particularly in the east, is a major challenge. Commenting on these trends, Dr David Collings, noted, "One of the key attractions of Ireland as a location for FDI is the quality of the workforce here. From excellent technical competence to superior managerial talent, Ireland has punched well about its weight in attracting top multinationals to locate here. Global Talent Management provides guidance to managers on how best to manage their talent systems to ensure the ongoing success and performance of their organisations in the global context." Jack Golden, Group HR Director of CRH, who launched Global Talent Management, is acutely aware of the challenges of managing global talent. CRH employs over 80,000 people across 35 countries with the vast majority employed outside of Ireland. Mr Golden commented on the timeliness of the book and the quality of the contributions in helping to frame the key issues which organisations faced with regard to managing talent on the global basis. He also commented on the resonance of many of the issues discussed in the contributions on talent management in the emerging economies of India, China and Eastern Europe in the context of CRH's growth in these regions. Professor Scullion and Dr Collings are considered to be two of the leading international experts in the area of global talent and global staffing more generally. Both have conducted extensive research in these areas and are working with leading international organisations on these issues. They are regular speakers at industry events including at the Danish Federation of Industry and the Global Mobility Summit London. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Professor Key Organiser at International Science Meeting

NUI Galway Professor Key Organiser at International Science Meeting-image

Friday, 18 February 2011

An NUI Galway Professor is one of the key organisers at the Annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting held in Washington D.C recently. Professor of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Christopher Dainty introduced a special symposium on the use of adaptive optics to produce sharper images in Astronomy, Microscopy and the human retina. Professor Dainty's meeting was entitled Sharper Images in Astronomy, Microscopy, and Vision Science Using Adaptive Optics. It examined how adaptive optics was developed originally to compensate for the turbulent effects of the atmosphere by using deformable mirrors that provide much sharper images from spy satellites and astronomical telescopes. The methods now are being applied to the microcosmos as well, giving high-resolution images of the human retina and promising unprecedented real-time imagery of fundamental processes within body tissues. The speakers described how phases of light can be manipulated to remove the distortions of an intervening medium, whether the upper atmosphere, the interior fluids of the eyeball or the cellular material in brain tissue. Speaking after the Annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, Professor Dainty said, "Adaptive Optics, more than 50 years after its invention, is finally entering the mainstream of research. This conference highlighted three of its most successful applications to date but there will be new applications in the future." For further information please contact Professor Christopher Dainty at 091 492826 or email ENDS

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NUI Galway to Host Workshops for Project Maths

NUI Galway to Host Workshops for Project Maths-image

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The School of Education at NUI Galway will host a series of workshops as part of the University's new Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme for teachers. The workshops will focus on statistics, teaching and learning plans in Project Maths and GeoGebra. The events will take place on 1, 8 and 15 March in the Education Building in the University from 6 to 8.30 each evening. The three sessions will cover statistics, teaching and learning plans in Project Maths and GeoGebra, a free software tool developed for enhancing mathematics learning and teaching. GeoGebra is a principal technology of Project Maths. Project Maths involves the introduction of revised syllabuses for both Junior and Leaving Certificate Mathematics, introduced gradually on a strand basis with complete roll out expected by 2015. It involves changes to what students learn in mathematics, how they learn it and how they will be assessed. It aims to provide for an enhanced student learning experience and greater levels of achievement for all. Much greater emphasis will be placed on student understanding of mathematical concepts, with increased use of contexts and applications that will enable students to relate mathematics to everyday experience. The initiative will also focus on developing students' problem-solving skills. Assessment will reflect the different emphasis on understanding and skills in the teaching and learning of mathematics. The first two strands of project Maths were introduced for first and fifth year students in 2010. Dr Tony Hall, Assistant Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway says, "We hope these workshops, delivered as specialist input to NUI Galway's new flexible CPD framework for teachers, will support a community of practice in school mathematics, incorporating the new Project Maths syllabi and technologies, and involving our partner schools, teachers, the mathematics subject associations, the National Centre for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and Learning, University of Limerick, and the Project Maths Development Team. NUI Galway is delighted to play an important part in the process of promoting mathematics and applied mathematics education, in collaboration with our partners in education, regionally and nationally." Welcoming these workshops, NUI Galway President, Dr James Browne said: "Maths education is central to the development of Ireland s Knowledge economy. These vital skills must be at the core of our education system at all levels from primary to fourth-level. This initiative by the School of Education at NUI Galway, in partnership with Project Maths, will further enhance teachers skills and develop new strategies for the teaching of mathematics, which will ultimately benefit the Irish economy." NUI Galway's contribution to Project Maths highlights the University's commitment to changing the perception of Mathematics. In 2008, a new specialist BA in Mathematics and Education was introduced, which sees students pursuing a comprehensive degree programme offering two valuable qualifications including an honours degree in Mathematics and a post-primary teaching qualification. Graduates of the programme, which is offered jointly by the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, and the School of Education will be specialist educators in Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, trained to research-level standard in the mathematical sciences, and recognised by the Teaching Council of Ireland as qualified post-primary teachers of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics to honours Leaving Certificate level. Ends

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Book on Monika Maron Launched at NUI Galway

Book on Monika Maron Launched at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A book written by Dr Deirdre Byrnes, who teaches German in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, was launched in the Moore Institute on Thursday, 10 February. Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context was launched by Professor Hugh Ridley, Emeritus Professor of German, University College Dublin. Monika Maron's biography charts a complex relationship with the German Democratic Republic, from initial ideological identification with the state to sustained, radical rejection. In her book, Dr Byrnes charts the development of a number of seminal themes in Maron's work: the search for an authentic form of expression; the writing and the rewriting of history; memory transmission and generational forgetting; the rupture and the ultimate refashioning of biographies in a post-GDR age. According to Dr. Byrnes: "Monika Maron's writing articulates salient aspects of her generation's social and historical experience, in particular the caesura caused by the collapse of the GDR in 1989. In my book, I set out to demonstrate the significance of her contribution to contemporary German literature." Launching the book, Professor Hugh Ridley highlighted Monika Maron's "representative function for a whole generation" and described her work as being "focused on pain, the sense of loss, the need to face up to the world". Rereading Monika Maron: Text, Counter-Text and Context is published by Peter Lang in the series British and Irish Studies in German Language and Literature. It can be ordered at Further information is available from Dr. Deirdre Byrnes at 091 492014 or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Editors Publish Book on Crisis in Poetry

NUI Galway Editors Publish Book on Crisis in Poetry-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

A new collection of essays, Crisis and Contemporary Poetry, edited by Anne Karhio, Seán Crosson and Charles I. Armstrong has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. This collection addresses poetic and critical responses to the various crises encountered by contemporary writers and our society. The essays included discuss a range of issues from the Holocaust, the Troubles in Northern Ireland and their aftermath and the war on terror to the ecological crisis, poetry's relationship to place and questions of cultural and national identity. The essays also ask the questions: "What are the means available to poetry to address the various crises it faces, and how can both poets and critics meet the challenges posed by society and the literary community?" "How can poetry justify its own role as a meaningful form of cultural and artistic practice?" The volume focuses on poetry from Britain, Ireland and the US, and many of the poets discussed in this volume are among the most acclaimed contemporary writers, including for example Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, Louise Glück and Alice Oswald. Crisis and Contemporary Poetry will be launched by Professor Sean Ryder in the Moore Institute Seminar Room at NUI, Galway at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 1 March, 2011. More information on the collection is available at -Ends-

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New Research by NUI Galway and TCD shows Chronic Pain Costs Up to 2.5% of GDP

New Research by NUI Galway and TCD shows Chronic Pain Costs Up to 2.5% of GDP-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway's School of Psychology and Centre for Pain Research have joined forces with health economists at Trinity College Dublin to establish the economic costs of chronic pain in Ireland. As part of the HRB and HSE funded PRIME Study (Prevalence, Impact and Cost of Chronic Non-Cancer Pain in Ireland), the researchers carried out in-depth interviews with 140 chronic pain patients to find out about direct costs such as medical treatments and indirect costs such as lost work productivity. Research Psychologist at NUI Galway, Miriam Raftery, said "we found that the average cost per chronic pain patient was €5,665 per year across all grades of pain severity". However, the annual costs increased according to the severity of pain, rising to €10,454 per patient for those with the highest level of pain and disability. A relatively small proportion of patients with the most severe level of pain accounted for a disproportionately large portion of the costs. Inpatient hospital treatment accounted for the highest proportion of overall costs. Professor of Health Policy and Management, Charles Normand and Research Assistant, Padhraig Ryan of the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College explained that "based on a 36% prevalence of chronic pain in Ireland, the total cost of chronic pain for all individuals aged 20 and above was estimated at €4.76 billion per year, or 2.55% of Irish GDP in 2008". The chief investigator of the PRIME study at NUI Galway, Dr. Brian McGuire suggested that "improved services for people in the early stages of chronic pain could reduce the long-term use of health services and increase the likelihood of getting back to paid work". He suggests this could reduce the sizeable economic burden of chronic pain in Ireland. The Irish research is consistent with data from other countries showing that chronic pain ranks as one of the most costly health conditions. -Ends-

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Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal

Director of HRB Clinical Research Facility Awarded RAMI Highest Medal-image

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, Professor Francis Giles has been awarded the Annual Saint Luke's Silver Award by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. This is the highest honour bestowed by the Academy and Professor Giles is the first NUI Galway recipient. Professor Giles also delivered the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer, in Dublin this week. The Saint Luke's Lecture is sponsored by the Academy and Saint Luke's Hospital. This lecture is in the field of oncology. The lecturer is selected by an Academy/Saint Luke's committee and receives the silver medal and an honorarium. The Annual Saint Luke s Lecture has attracted a distinguished list of speakers over the years and its prestige is recognised by the award of the highest medal from the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. Recipients must also submit a paper to the Irish Journal of Medical Science. Congratulating Professor Giles, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "This accolade is a wonderful tribute to Frank s work as a leading international researcher and clinician. It highlights the calibre of work underway at NUI Galway in the area of cancer research, as part of our strong translational focus in the area of biomedical engineering science." At the 36th Saint Luke's Lecture in Dublin, Professor Giles delivered his vision for stimulating Irish anti-cancer research. His lecture entitled Optimising Ireland's Contribution to Curing Cancer defined a path based on the US National Cancer Institute designated Cancer Center template. He highlighted recent relevant US activity including the creation of a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) that will focus on early phase drug development. His key recommendations include increased emphasis on collaboration with other European early phase research sites through organisations like the Developmental Therapeutics Consortium. He summarised the high standard and broad scope of research being conducted by Irish investigators around the world. With the HRB Clinical Research Facilities in Cork, Dublin, and Galway as interdigitated hubs, he emphasised Ireland's strong position as a contributor to the global efforts to relieve the suffering associated with cancer and to cure those afflicted by it. Frank Giles is a Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. He was appointed Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway in September 2010. He also was appointed Consultant Haematologist at St James's Hospital, Dublin and Galway University Hospital. Professor Giles continues to be a Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at San Antonio. An award-winning Professor, he has won the BioLink USA-Ireland Lifescience Award for 2007 and the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Health Care and Medical Science, 2007. Also at this year's Saint Luke's Lecture, NUI Galway graduate Dr Patricia McGowan was awarded the Saint Luke's Young Investigator Award. This is the eighth year of the award, which is sponsored on an annual basis by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland and Saint Luke's Hospital. Applicants are normally in their early years of oncology research and would in normal circumstances be no more than five years post MD/PhD or equivalent level. Dr McGowan of the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science was awarded the Academy Bronze medal. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Postgraduate Students Win Bioengineering Research Awards

NUI Galway Postgraduate Students Win Bioengineering Research Awards-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway Postgraduate Biomedical Engineering Students collectively won four research awards at the recent annual Bioengineering in Ireland Conference which was held in Galway showcasing the state-of-the-art research developments in biomedical engineering in Ireland. At the conference there were 120 presentations from researchers North and South of the border including postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, senior researchers and researchers from industry. Consistent with its research-focus in the area, NUI Galway enjoyed tremendous success in terms of presentation awards at the conference. All awards won by NUI Galway were by PhD students of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering within the College of Engineering and Informatics. James Grogan from Renmore, Galway, won the prestigious Bronze Medal of the Section of Bioengineering, presented by the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (RAMI). The award was given for best overall paper at the conference. James is supervised by Professor Peter McHugh and Professor Sean Leen. His presentation was entitled Computational and Experimental Characterisation of Bioabsorbable Metallic Stent Performance. Caoimhe Sweeney from Barna, Galway, also supervised by the same researchers as James, won best First Year Postgraduate Student, followed closely by Fiona Weafer from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, who took second prize in the same category. Fiona was supervised by Dr Mark Bruzzi. Finally third place in the Senior Postgraduate Student category was awarded to William Ronan from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, supervised by Dr. Pat McGarry. According to Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics; "We are very proud of the performance of our students at this conference. The number and range of awards won is clear evidence of the strength and quality of biomedical engineering teaching and research at NUI Galway, and this has very positive direct impacts for the international standing of NUI Galway and on the continued growth and development of the medical technology industry locally and nationally." ENDS

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NUI Galway Launches Pioneering International Disability Law Masters

NUI Galway Launches Pioneering International Disability Law Masters-image

Monday, 14 February 2011

NUI Galway has recently launched an LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy, one of the first of its kind in the world. The area of Disability Law Reform and Policy is experiencing significant growth, with the introduction of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which in turn has resulted in the development of disability strategies at international, regional and national level. The LL.M. will be provided in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, a research centre of excellence in the School of Law, NUI Galway. The Centre is dedicated to producing research that informs the debate on national and international disability law reform and is committed to producing high quality research to contribute to that process. The Centre already has a lively cohort of PhD students who will mix and interact and enhance the learning experience of future LL.M. students. The LL.M. in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy aims to have small classes to enrich the staff/ student experience. This builds on a long tradition of an open door policy to students developed and encouraged in the School of Law. Other positive aspects of the programme include the opportunity to participate in community-based learning with disability organisations at a local, national and international level, many of which have enjoyed a long relationship with the Centre. Professor Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway School of Law, says: "We are very keen to encourage clinical legal education, so that the students gain practical and hands on experience, and disability organisations gain good legal knowledge. Our ethos is change. This new programme aims to equip students not just with knowledge and insights but also with the skills and motivation to help transform the lives of the 650 million persons with disabilities in the world." Programme Director of the LL.M, Shivaun Quinlivan says: "What we offer potential students is top-class teaching in an exciting learning environment and excellent research resources. Our lecturers are leading experts in their fields, and aim to provide an innovative and exciting programme dealing with the process of law reform in the field of disability. The programme also places an emphasis on developing students personal research, practical and professional skills for an increasingly competitive environment." The LL.M in International and Comparative Disability Law and Policy is a one year programme, which runs from September to August. People can apply through www.pac.iePAC Code: GYL11 -Ends-

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