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Minister Lenihan Announces €14.8 Million for the Establishment of New Research C
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
"Today's investment establishing Systems Biology Ireland is clear evidence of the Government's ongoing commitment to further enhancing Ireland's scientific base to aid our economic recovery." the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan T.D. said today (Tuesday, September 15th 2009). Minister Lenihan was announcing Government funding of €14.8million to be provided over the next 5 years for the establishment of the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Systems Biology Ireland research centre, which is being led by University College Dublin and supported by researchers in NUI Galway. The Systems Biology SFI CSET will involve 69 highly skilled personnel working on the research programme including researchers at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), the School of Medicine, and the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway. Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway commented: "The partnership between NUI Galway and UCD in systems biology with a focus on mesenchymal stem cells will facilitate REMEDI's translational goals in bringing novel regenerative therapies to the clinic". Systems Biology is a powerful new way to use the strength of computers and mathematics to understand biology. It seeks to unravel the complexities of cells through the use of models that predict biological behaviour. The research being undertaken will enable quicker and better treatments of a range of medical conditions, including various cancers, and should allow for better therapies to be delivered more effectively to patients. The new research centre is also being supported through the significant contribution of industry partners who include Ark Therapeutics, Hewlett Packard, Servier, Agilent Technologies, Siemens Ireland and Protagen AG. The Systems Biology SFI CSET will involve 69 highly skilled personnel working on the research programme. Making the announcement, Minister Lenihan added: "I am very excited by the potential economic and societal benefits likely to accrue to Ireland from the research being undertaken by the Systems Biology SFI CSET. It is one of the critical emerging areas in the Life Sciences worldwide. Ireland is now very well placed to become a world leader in this field given the very strong foundation we have here in the pharmaceutical and IT sectors. It should greatly assist the IDA to attract further high-end Foreign Direct investment and also allow Irish SMEs to grow. This centre, with its deep-rooted academic – industry partnership, encapsulates the essence of what our Smart Economy should and can be. " The Director of the new SFI CSET, Professor Kolch, outlined the potential of systems biology to speed up research and help target therapies to particular patient types by saying: "Systems biology takes a holistic view of the organism. It looks at the processes rather than the single components of a cell or a gene. Our research is unique in that we work with stem cells but the outcomes of our research will feed into a global effort to provide better therapies for cancer patients. Our work will help speed up the experimentation process, thereby reducing by years the time it takes to develop a new drug therapy." Welcoming the announcement of the new SFI CSET, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Frank Gannon said: "As the pipeline for new therapeutic drugs becomes constricted it is recognised that a fresh approach to understanding disease is timely. The convergence of computer modelling and the study of the biological system brings new challenges and opportunities. This latest SFI CSET will add to the skill-base that is required for the pharmaceutical companies of the future in Ireland." Systems Biology Ireland is working with a range of industry partners to develop new technologies for biomedical research and will continue to develop the links with industry to harness the State s investment in the programme. "Life sciences customers will ultimately better understand the disease processes and will be able to develop new therapeutic treatments from the Systems Biology Ireland's research program," said David Medina, Executive Lead, Worldwide Life Sciences and Pharma Segment, HP. "As a result of HP and SBI s collaboration, vast amounts of data can now be affordably collected, stored, analyzed and applied from different sources on HP Extreme Data Storage technology." Dr. Laurent Perret, Président du Comité Scientifique du Groupe de Recherches Servier, Institut de Recherches Internationales Servier, said "Servier Laboratories has had a long and productive association with Ireland, with two manufacturing plants and several research programmes in translational medicine. Systems Biology Ireland provides a further opportunity for Servier to engage in leading-edge research in Ireland and for us to work together to address unmet medical needs using an extraordinarily powerful technology". "Ark Therapeutics is strategically involved in this Irish Government-funded research programme as it believes it will bring about the generation of new biological therapeutics by moving science from the reductive process of the 20th century to a systems approach of the 21st", said John Martin, CSO of Ark Therapeutics. -Ends-
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Early October Open Days Announced by NUI Galway
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
NUI Galway has announced details of Open Days to be held on Friday, 2 October and Saturday, 3 October. An important occasion for prospective students, Open Days provide an opportunity to talk to NUI Galway students and staff, explore the campus and find out more about courses of interest. Friday's Open Day, on 2 October, is aimed at school groups, although individuals are also very welcome to attend. Saturday's Open Day on 3 October, is for students thinking about university and their parents and families. With over 60 degree programmes on offer at NUI Galway, lecturers and Deans will be on hand at exhibition stands to answer questions on courses, CAO points and career paths. A talk specifically for parents at 11am on Saturday will give an overview of the career paths of NUI Galway graduates, as well as looking ahead to the job market of the future. Many of the newer courses at the University have been designed to be responsive to the changing needs of the employment market and meet the needs of the Smart Economy. NUI Galway recently saw a significant increase in demand for programmes across all colleges, with new courses in Energy Systems Engineering, Electronic Engineering Innovation, Maths and Education and the new BA Connect degrees proving very popular. The Open Days will feature a mix of taster sessions and short lectures to provide a feel for university life. Events will include hands-on science workshops, a virtual stock market demonstration, a mock criminal trial, and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics. According to NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, the Open Day is an opportunity to plan for the future: "Our University has a long-standing reputation and dedicated staff, many of whom are world leaders in their fields, committed to delivering the highest quality education and student experience. Our Open Days are the ideal opportunity to meet our lecturers and find out about courses which might be of interest. Research at this stage of the year takes the pressure off decision-making when filling out the CAO form in the New Year". During the Open Days, tours of the campus will allow prospective students to visit the new Sports Centre, home to 45 student sports clubs, and the newly refurbished Áras na Mac Léinn, the base for over 85 student societies. The tours will also take in, among other elements, accommodation and library facilities. For further details on the Open Day, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/ -ends-
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Parents Benefit from Latest DERI Innovation at NUI Galway
Friday, 11 September 2009
Atom, an innovative new internet tool from NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), is allowing parents easy access to information on activities, classes, camps, events, or services for their children. The technology has been licensed to the family listings website, www.mykidtstime.ie. A circle-based browser, Atom allows the user to quickly and intuitively browse different categories in a way which mirrors the brain's activity. The Atom browser is available in the 'look and book' service offered by www.mykidstime.ie and facilitates the way that parents interact with the listings data. The Atom Interface has two patented techniques for manipulating increased amounts of data and intuitively supports users through its easy-to-use functions. Originally created by DERI, the Atom browser was further developed and refined through research and development with Mykidstime, supported by the Enterprise Ireland innovation voucher scheme. Jill Holtz, co-founder of Mykidstime.ie, is pleased with the project's success: "With the help of DERI and with the support of Enterprise Ireland, we have been able to implement a really useful tool on our website which helps parents to find the information they are searching for even more quickly and easily. It is fun to use and the feedback so far from parents has been very positive: they like the tool and the way it improves their experience on the website. It is important to us to continue to innovate within our website but most importantly to improve the end user experience". John McGuire, Commercialisation Executive in the Technology Transfer Office in NUI Galway, commented: "This is pure technology transfer in action, from University to the market. It is also an example of a smaller entrepreneurial enterprise benefiting from research carried out at third-level institute. Hopefully this technology will be of use to many other organisations". -ends-
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Archive of Irish Writer John McGahern to Tour New York and Boston
Friday, 11 September 2009
A series of illustrated talks in Boston and New York next week will celebrate the work of one of Ireland's most important writers, John McGahern. The events will be hosted by the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), which is home to John McGahern's archive of papers and manuscripts. Selected documents from the archive will be showcased during the US events which are entitled 'John McGahern in America'. This is the first time extracts of the John McGahern archive have gone on tour outside of Ireland. Prior to his passing in 2006, NUI Galway acquired John McGahern's archive, which is a complete collection of his papers and writings, providing an unparalleled view into a unique literary life. This extensive resource, comprising thousands of pages, is enormously rich in content and consists of forty years of writings, personal papers, correspondence, novels, drama, and short stories. Also included are short stories that appeared in The New Yorker magazine between 1963 and 1984. Dr John Kenny, Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway, commented in advance of the tour: "As these lectures will elucidate, many of McGahern's most significant short stories and literary subjects found their early iterations in the pages of some of America's most notable literary magazines and journals – The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and The Yale Review. Thus this lecture series is especially fitting as it travels to Boston and New York - cities which are home to the literary forums which fostered and supported the work of this unique artist". The reputation of John McGahern (1934–2006) as a consummate stylist and master of fiction extends throughout the English-speaking world. The setting of his work, comprising six novels, three collections of short stories, a play and a memoir - ranges from the rural west of Ireland to Dublin and abroad, but returns always to the inland fields, lakes and bogs of Connaught and the lives of the people rooted there. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, explains the association the University values with John McGahern: "Our University is fortunate to have enjoyed a progressively deepening association with John McGahern over almost 50 years. This association started during the brief period of his initial undergraduate studies and continued again when he became a teacher on Creative Writing and Irish Studies programmes. In 1994 he became an honorary doctor of the University and Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies in 2001". Dr Browne adds: "By choosing NUI Galway in the West of Ireland as the home for his literary archive, McGahern has entrusted us with a special responsibility. We must endeavour to make this resource available, as appropriate, to literary scholarship and interested readers. The University intends to promote and build upon the unique treasury we have in the McGahern Archive to enhance teaching and research in creative writing and Irish Studies". NUI Galway attracts doctoral students and visiting academics from all over the world to conduct research in the area of Irish Studies. The extensive McGahern archive is a hugely significant attraction to many such international scholars, enhancing the University's reputation as a world-class centre of literary research and study. To support literary scholarship, NUI Galway plans to invest significantly in its Library resources to ensure that scholars have the best environment in which to conduct their teaching and research. A proposed $25 million Humanities Research Building will provide world class facilities for researchers and a state of the art repository for the University's significant archival holdings. The 'John McGahern in America' events are supported by the Galway University Foundation. In Boston, special guests will include the President of Boston Public Library, Amy Ryan, while in New York the American Irish Historical Society will co-host. -ends-
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NUI Galway and GMIT Celebrate 10 years of Joint Foundation Courses
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
This year NUI Galway and GMIT celebrate ten years of joint Foundation Courses, the pre-entry preparation programmes for third-level education. Aimed at mature students, the Foundation Courses consist of a series of evening lectures over a 25 week period. An open Information Evening for the NUI Galway Foundation Course in Engineering and Science will be held on Tuesday, 15 September. The Information Evening for the Foundation Course in Commerce and Business will be held on Thursday, 17 September. Both events will take place in room AC202 on the Concourse in NUI Galway at 7pm. Deirdre O'Connor, Access Officer with GMIT, commented: "The current economic climate has resulted in a substantial increase in the numbers of mature students wishing to gain entry to third level education and these courses ensure that students are adequately prepared". NUI Galway recently hosted a graduation ceremony for students who completed the 2008/2009 joint NUI Galway/GMIT Foundation Course in Engineering and Science and in Business and Commerce. At the ceremony 88 students were presented with certificates and many have now progressed to full and part-time degree programmes at both NUI Galway and GMIT. On congratulating the students, Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, said: "I would like to acknowledge the level of commitment among the participants, many of whom were returning to education after a significant period of time". Foundation Courses are due to commence this October. Those interested can contact Mary Liddy, NUI Galway at 091-495445, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Deirdre O'Connor, Access Officer, GMIT at 091-742129 or Deirdre.OConnor@gmit.ie. -ends-
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