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Tuesday, 4 August 2015
Final year PhD student Dilip Thomas has been awarded a travel fellowship by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), to advance his research in the area of vascular repair and regeneration. Dilip is carrying out his PhD at NUI Galway, supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit and Professor Timothy O’Brien of CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices. Dilip’s project looks specifically at the development of a functionalised stem cell delivery platform for critical limb ischemia. Critical limb ischemia is a serious form of peripheral arterial disease and is caused by atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries over time due to the build-up of fatty deposits called plaque and is a chronic condition that results in severe pain, even while resting. Complications of poor circulation can include sores and wounds that won't heal and complications of critical limb ischemia can result in amputation. The research goal at CÚRAM is to engineer a unique ‘finger-print’ microenvironment, also called ‘niche’, for the modulation of stem cell behaviour to promote new blood vessel formation. The long-term goal is to translate pre-clinical success to a viable therapeutic alternative for the treatment of ‘no option’ critical limb ischemia patients to allow amputation-free survival. The fellowship opportunity at Professor Marchetti-Deschmann’s analytical laboratory, Technical University of Vienna, Austria will help dissect the key molecular factors and events that drive tissue repair and regeneration with help of state-of-the-art tissue imaging mass-spectrometers. EMBO is an organisation of more than 1,700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organisation are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. “The EMBO fellowship is a great step in Dilip’s career as a researcher and reflects the high standard of research being carried out at CÚRAM in ‘smart’ medical device development at all levels” said Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM. “The key aim of our work is to radically improve health outcomes for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, including CLI.” CÚRAM is a national research centre advancing R&D in the medical device sector. Supported by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners, CÚRAM enhances Ireland's standing as a major hub for the global medical devices industry. ENDS
Thursday, 6 August 2015
The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 19 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. NUI Galway will also hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 13-18 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. From 13-18 August, in addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics,” said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” “Demand for engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programmes to meet requirements. NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of industry and the economy”, continued Professor Lyons. NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Those interested in the revision maths course should visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ for further details. -Ends- Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 19 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 13-18 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar conas tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus an t-eolas atá ar fáil a chur i bhfeidhm. “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach,” a deir an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh. “Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” “Tá an t-éileamh ar chláir innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i méid ó bhliain go bliain agus tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta tar éis na cláir chéime a leathnú chun freastal ar na riachtanais seo. Tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh a ról maidir le céimithe den scoth a chur ar fáil chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lyons. Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig: http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathsexamination/. Ba chóir dóibh siúd ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin matamaitice agus an scrúdú féachaint ar http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering-informatics/prospectivestudents/specialentrancemathspreparatorycourse/ chun eolas breise a fháil. -Críoch-
Monday, 10 August 2015
University Foundation provide unique opportunity for students to meet global business leaders Students from NUI Galway’s Executive MBA programme recently took part in a week-long Global Gateway Programme at the world renowned Fordham University in New York City as part of their international study experience. During the week, the students were exposed to world-leading academics at Fordham University where they attended seminars, workshops and lectures on a broad range of topics including global finance, leadership, change management, and participated in a ‘Teamwork through Jazz’ seminar hosted by musicians in the famous Jazz at the Lincoln Centre. The MBA class also visited Tiffany & Co. where they spoke to the Vice-President of Finance, Mark Aaron, about leading one of the most recognised global luxury brands. Other key speakers included Professor John Tognino, former Managing Director of Merrill Lynch and Professor Bill Catucci, former CEO AT&T Canada. One of the highlights of the international study visit was an interactive roundtable panel discussion organised and sponsored by the Galway University Foundation entitled ‘International Career Reflections: Looking Back, Looking Forward’ held at the private New York Athletic Club on Central Park South. The event provided students with insights from senior Irish ex-pat leaders across a range of sectors who have achieved significant international career success. The panellists, many of whom are NUI Galway graduates, advised on how to craft successful careers drawing from their own varied and diverse experiences. “Each and every one of the very influential ex-pats was highly impressive, very inspirational, academically enriching and ultimately captivating”, said Denis Duggan, Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway Executive MBA Student, 2014-16. The panel reflected on the challenges ahead for executives and business leaders. Elisha Daniels, NUI Galway Executive MBA Student, 2014-16, said: “It was an immense privilege to be in the presence of such esteemed business leaders at this event, and to have them share their stories of leadership with us. Each speaker was of an extremely high calibre and brought their own vast wisdom and experience to the table. Overall it was an inspirational event and provided great insight as well as practical advice.” This year’s international study programme also included a breakfast event at the Irish Consulate in Ireland House on Park Avenue where the NUI Galway MBA group were hosted by the Deputy Counsel General, Anna McGillicuddy. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Director at NUI Galway, said: “We established the international programme on the MBA programme in 2011 and since then it is considered by students to be one of the most distinctive and greatest learning experiences on the MBA. We are very pleased to be able to draw on the excellent network Galway University Foundation has built in New York City and to continue our partnership with Fordham University.” -Ends-
Tuesday, 11 August 2015
President James A. Michel of the Seychelles, upon the unanimous recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Authority, has appointed NUI Galway Law graduate Justice Mathilda Twomey, née Butler Payette, as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Seychelles. Justice Twomey has had an illustrious career in the legal profession, serving as a barrister first in the Ocean Gate Law Centre as pupil to Justice Francis MacGregor, then in the Attorney General’s Chambers, subsequently as an attorney-at-law in private chambers and a member of the Constitutional Commission before moving to Ireland in 1995, where she presently resides with her family. Justice Twomey graduated with a BA in English and French Law from the University of Kent, Canterbury, holds a degree in French Law from the University of Paris-Sud and was admitted as a Member of the Bar at Middle Temple, London, and as an Attorney-at-Law in Seychelles. She holds an LLM in Public Law from the School of Law, NUI Galway where she also completed her PhD research under the joint supervision of Marie McGonagle, NUI Galway and Seán Donlan, UL, and will defend her doctoral thesis in early-September 2015. She has also lectured on a part-time basis at the University’s School of Law. Welcoming the announcement of her appointment as Chief Justice, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “Mathilda Twomey is a jurist of great renown and it is an honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to be associated with her success. Her doctoral research is of foundational importance for its meticulous and ground-breaking study of the ‘mixed jurisdiction’ that exists in the Seychelles. I have no doubt that she will serve with great distinction and, on behalf of my colleagues, I wish her well in the professional and personal challenges that lie ahead.” Justice Twomey was appointed a non-resident judge of the Court of Appeal in March 2011. She will be sworn in as Chief Justice by President Michel on 18 August, 2015. Commenting on the appointment, President Michel noted that the empowerment of Seychellois, especially women, has always been and will continue to be at the core of his philosophy and policies for the advancement and progress of the country. “Justice Twomey is a highly-qualified legal practitioner, with a wealth of experience and knowledge, which, no doubt, will be of vast benefit to the legal and judicial system in our country and the reforms that are needed. She is the third Seychellois Chief Justice and I’m particularly proud of the fact that I have appointed a woman to the post, a first for Seychelles and a major achievement,” said President Michel. -Ends-
Wednesday, 12 August 2015
A new online treatment programme, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists, aims to help those who suffer from chronic pain. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are mainly available through specialised hospital-based pain management teams. Chronic pain affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly recognised as a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is sometimes associated with psychological effects, which may include anxiety and changes in mood, as well as forgetfulness, and difficulties in focusing attention, planning tasks and making decisions. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing chronic pain through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs and physiotherapists around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people with pain to the study. The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges. Dr Christopher Dwyer, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, says: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic pain are beneficial, particularly for people at risk of long term disability. However, this type of service is often only accessible via specialised hospital-based pain management teams. In this trial, we will offer this type of service to people all over the country and at any stage of injury.” People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. All materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their chronic pain. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial. Study supervisor Dr Brian McGuire, NUI Galway, said: “This is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with chronic pain.” For further information, please contact Dr Christopher Dwyer at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 091 495 391, or see the website http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/. GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. ENDS
Monday, 17 August 2015
The continuing popularity of NUI Galway was reflected by CAO offers issued today, with the vast majority of courses maintaining or increasing points from 2014. Across all five colleges, points have risen. Arts (Psychology), Commerce (International) with French, Biomedical Science, Financial Mathematics and Economics, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry, Energy Systems Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Occupational Therapy all requiring greater than 500 points for entry with Commerce (International) with Spanish, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering in the high 400s. Courses on the rise Prospective students have shown particular interest in Commerce programmes, especially those with an international language, reflecting awareness of the need for language mobility in a global jobs market. NUI Galway’s three International Commerce programmes (French German, and Spanish) all rose in points, with the French course reaching 500 points. Business Information Systems, Commerce with Irish and Commerce (Accounting) all rose by 10 points to 430, 430 and 460 respectively. The popularity of NUI Galway’s two Law programmes continues to rise with increases in points for the third consecutive year (20 points to 390 for Corporate Law and 15 points to 440 for Civil Law). Engineering programmes have shown a strong points performance across the board. The points for the undenominated programme increased by 50 to 450, showing a significant rise in interest in this subject area, reflecting the growing demand for employment in this arena. Civil, Mechanical, Electronic and Computer, and Biomedical Engineering have all risen by at least 35 points to over 450 points, with Energy Systems and Electrical Engineering reaching 500 points and above. Computer Science and IT also increased from 420 points to 440. Demand for Science courses is equally robust, with entry to General Science up 10 points to 410. Recognising NUI Galway’s national and international leadership in biomedical science programmes, Biomedical Science remained the course with the second highest points for the University, at 530. Biopharmaceutical Chemistry remains a 500 points plus programme while Biotechnology increased 10 points to 475. Interest in Financial Mathematics and Economics has grown significantly over the last year, with entry onto this programme now requiring 505 points. Entry onto the medical programme requires 723 points (including HPAT), an increase on the 2014 requirement, and Nursing is up 15 points to 460, while Psychiatric Nursing rose 35 points to 440. Both of NUI Galway’s Therapy programmes, Occupational and Speech and Language, are up 20 points each to 535 and 530 respectively. In Arts, NUI Galway’s popular Film Studies degree continues to attract a great deal of interest with the points increasing by 15 to 400 points this year. Journalism and Creative writing also continue to be popular at 420 and 425 points respectively. The BA with Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies has increased in demand with a 30 point rise to 435. NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘For the third year running, NUI Galway’s courses in Commerce and Law have seen a steady increase in their points indicating a continued growth in interest in these areas. International Commerce programmes continue to be a popular choice for students with a global outlook. Engineering courses have performed especially well this year, with significant increases in the points requirement across all programmes, students recognising the value of an Engineering degree from NUI Galway in today’s increasingly competitive job market. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in Biosciences is also reflected with Biomedical Science continuing to perform well (530 points) and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry at 500 points. There has been a notable increase in the points for the Financial Mathematics and Economics programme to above 500 points (505). This is reflective of a growing confidence in the national and international economies and financial markets, and growth in employment opportunities therein, both at home and abroad. The B.A. Connect suite of courses provides an attractive learning experience for students as recognised by an increase in the points for Film Studies and for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Psychology also finished at a high 515 points. Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language Therapy maintain their popularity with students, both courses requiring more than 500 points.” He concluded, “Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant capital investment programme in embracing innovation, entrepreneurship and research.” With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,000 new students in September, a hotline is in place for students, parents and teachers. The First Year Student Hotline number is 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. A team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and also on Saturday, 22 August, 9am to 1pm. -ENDS-
Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Dr Gerard Wall, a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at NUI Galway and investigator at the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), has received an SFI Industry Fellowship Award. The Fellowship will support the development of an innovative diagnostics platform for the detection of pathogens and other contaminants in biological samples, in collaboration with industry partner Snowy Range Instruments in Wyoming, USA. The research will follow on from Dr Wall’s current work to develop an immunotest to detect marine neurotoxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic poisioning when ingested. “Our work in Wyoming will focus on developing a user-friendly instrument to improve marine monitoring”, said Dr Wall, “but the technology will also be applicable to rapid, on-site diagnosis of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in biological samples such as serum and saliva.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, said: “The Fellowship allows the exchange of Dr Wall’s expertise in antibody engineering for the instrumentation and manufacturing know-how of a leading industry partner. The collaboration will also enable CÚRAM to access new technology pathways for commercialisation of our ongoing research.” This research will be carried out in collaboration with Snowy Range Instruments who are leaders in developing innovative Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) platforms for researchers. These hand held SERS platforms can be used for identification and analysis of a wide range of materials, and the goal of this research is to develop the capacity for their use in point-of-care (POC) clinical screening and diagnosis, such as primary care settings and in developing countries as well as in the potential identification of biothreat agents, monitoring of environmental pathogens and toxins and in sectors such as food safety monitoring. The SFI Award will also generate benefit to industry by developing new expertise, up-skilling of staff in biological techniques and enabling it to access a new technology pathway for commercialisation of an elaborate range of sensor devices as well as supporting innovation and collaboration between scientists and industry. -Ends-
Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Leading transport researchers are expected to attend the Irish Transport Research Network (ITRN) annual conference at NUI Galway, which takes places from 27-28 August. As the N6 project, harbour extension and traffic layouts dominate local headlines, this conference aims to shed light on the major national and international transport challenges and the latest developments in transport technology and policy. The highlight of the conference will be a panel discussion on the conference theme ‘Green shoots v green transport: are economic growth and sustainable transport compatible?’. This talk is open to the public and will take place at 6pm on Thursday, 27 August, in the Engineering Building, NUI Galway. “The annual ITRN conference brings together academics, students and practitioners to discuss the latest developments in transport research. We are delighted to host the conference at NUI Galway this year and to be joined by two international experts, Dr Georgina Santos from Cardiff University and Dr Robin Hickman from University College London, for keynote speeches,” said NUI Galway’s Dr Amaya Vega who is co-organiser of this year’s conference. This year’s conference is co-organised by researchers from civil engineering, economics and sociology, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of transport. Galway City is a good example of an urban area trying to balance demands for economic activity and new infrastructure with needs for sustainability and a liveable community. The conference is sponsored by some of Ireland’s leading commercial, state and research organisations including ITS Ireland, IMDO Ireland, and NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute and the Whitaker Institute. The ITRN conference qualifies as an Engineers Ireland Career Professional Development (CPD) event. For further information visit www.itrn.ie or follow the conference on Twitter @itrn_conference (#itrnconference2015). -Ends-
Friday, 21 August 2015
Conference to take place at NUI Galway and Dublin City University Migration, exile and displacement are crucial international issues in our time. Topics of relevance to these issues, as well as wider questions of longing and belonging, will be addressed at a major conference taking place jointly in two venues, at NUI Galway and Dublin City University, on 24-28 August. This is the Biennial Congress of the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies, which will attract some 250 delegates from over 40 countries, including countries in the Middle East. Presentations will include papers on how the themes of ‘longing and belonging’ are expressed in literature, film and a wide range of cultural and artistic forms. The material studied will range from Irish novels centred on emigration, to Colombian indigenous poetry, from French and German narratives of displacement, to Lithuanian, Scottish, Polish, Portuguese and American interpretations of exile and ‘otherness’. Issues of language, identity and nomadism will feature in several of the talks, in studies centred on literature and art from these and numerous other countries around the world. Besides the work of Irish writers such as John Banville, W.B. Yeats, Emma Donoghue and Hugo Hamilton, the conference will include discussions of many major and not so major writers, such as the German W.G. Sebald, the Spanish poet José Ángel Valente, Charles Dickens, Marcel Proust and George Sand. Keynote speakers at the conference will include: French expert on Geocriticism, Professor Bertrand Westphal of Limoges University, who examines the relationship between place and literature and an expert in Children’s Literature; and Irishwoman Emer O’Sullivan, Professor of English Literature at Leuphana University in Germany and author of eight bilingual children’s books. On the opening day of the conference, in DCU, a poetry reading will take place, sponsored by Poetry Ireland and the Spanish Embassy, at which the Irish poet, Ciaran Carson, and the Spanish poet, Beatriz Villacañas, will read from their work. The Congress is jointly organised by NUI Galway and DCU, under the auspices of the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies and the Comparative Literature Association of Ireland. The event is organised by NUI Galway’s Professor Hans Walter Schmidt-Hannisa, Professor Paolo Bartoloni and Professor Bill Richardson, and DCU’s Dr Brigitte Lejuez, Dr Áine McGillicuddy and Dr Nina Shiel. For more information on the Congress visit https://encls2015.wordpress.com -Ends-
Monday, 24 August 2015
NUI Galway’s J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics will host the 18th Annual Irish Academy of Management Conference 2015 from 3-4 September. Formed in 1997, the Irish Academy of Management (IAM) is the leading professional association for management studies, research and education on the island of Ireland. The IAM conference has grown significantly in the past 18 years and now attracts leading academics in the business and management field in Ireland as well as academics from Universities across the globe. Over 240 delegates from 17 countries worldwide will come together at NUI Galway for this international event. During the course of the conference, over 140 research presentations will feature from a diverse range of speakers focusing on the conference theme which is ‘Towards Socially Responsible Management?’. Dr Alma McCarthy, IAM Conference Chair, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “We are honoured to host the 18th IAM conference in the Cairnes School of Business and Economics. The conference promises to provide lively debates and insights on a broad range of business and management issues across all disciplines. Galway is a great venue for international conferences and this year the IAM conference has attracted a particularly high number of international delegates from countries including Japan, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the US.” As well as research presentations, there are a number of keynotes and symposia taking place during the conference. A plenary roundtable discussion will examine the future of management education and research impact with panellists from Australia, the UK and Ireland. Three high-level thematic symposia will take place with panels of expert speakers. The conference keynote address will be delivered by Professor Andrew Pettigrew, Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Professor Pettigrew’s address will examine the impact leaders have on organisational performance. A Gala Dinner will be held for delegates in Hotel Meyrick on the evening of Thursday, 3 September. Conference sponsors include Fáilte Ireland, The Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, the J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway and Morans the Weir. Further information on the Irish Academy of Management is available at http://www.iamireland.ie -Ends-
Tuesday, 25 August 2015
€4 million European research project secured through Horizon 2020 programme CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, has secured €4 million to lead a consortium of researchers on a new research project that will investigate novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The funding award has been made through the Horizon 2020 grant programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Networks Action. The official project title is ‘Development of Biomaterial-based Delivery Systems for Parkinson’s disease - an Integrated Pan-European Approach’ (BrainMatTrain). Currently, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are treated using drugs which do not address the underlying cause of the disease, or slow down progressive neuro-degeneration. The BrainMatTrain project will develop new technology to target both the inflammatory and neurodegenerative phases of the disease. This research hopes to develop the first disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s which could slow down the progression of the disease rather than offering mere symptomatic benefits. “The goal of the project is to engineer functionalised biomaterials that will induce neuroregeneration in the Parkinsonian brain” explains Dr Eilís Dowd, President of the Network for European CNS Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR), and BrainMatTrain consortium co-lead. “These biomaterials will supply the local microenvironment around damaged tissue with appropriate therapeutic signalling factors.” The NUI Galway team of Professor Abhay Pandit, Dr Eílis Dowd and Dr Una Fitzgerald are leading the consortium that includes academic groups from the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique in France, Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria, Lund University in Sweden, and the Technical University of Denmark. Industry partners of the programme include Collagen Solutions Limited in the United Kingdom and Orbsen Therapeutics Limited in Ireland. The funding also provides for the recruitment of early stage and experienced researchers on the project, through a trans-national networking mechanism and provides a structure for high quality initial research training throughout European member states and associated countries. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM said: “The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks award will fund the training and development of researchers in biomaterials and regenerative neuroscience research over a four-year period beginning in January 2016. The programme will foster increased scientific dialogue between lead academics, industry and clinicians; transfer key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions involved and encourage researchers from around the world to conduct research in the EU. We are extremely privileged to be considered for this highly competitive award.” CÚRAM is the National Centre for Research in Medical Devices and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry partners. Its goal is to radically improve health outcomes for patients with chronic and degenerative disease through the development of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. -Ends-
Monday, 31 August 2015
Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, is the first Ireland-based academic to be elected Fellow of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Group (TERMIS). The group (FTERM) was established in 2011 by the Governing Board of TERMIS and represents those who make significant contributions to the development and promotion of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The award recognizes Professor Pandit’s formative role in shaping and forming the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field and the Society and his contributions in helping lay the foundation for the conceptualization, discovery, development and now clinical translation of novel approaches for functional tissue replacement. He will be recognized during a special session at the 2015 TERMIS World Congress which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, September 10th. Professor Pandit has established a critical mass of biomaterials expertise in Ireland. His research integrates material science and biological paradigms in developing solutions for chronic disease. He has developed next generation of biomaterials that have programmable degradation profiles and inbuilt gradients of physical and protective cues, which facilitates therapeutics to injury mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels. These platforms have been developed for neural, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular clinical targets with numerous other targets currently under development. Professor Pandit has received numerous awards and distinctions. He has also been inducted as an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals, filed numerous patent applications and has licensed four technologies to medical device companies. He has co-ordinated three EU grants to date and currently hosts researchers from 25 countries. Commenting on the award Professor Pandit stated ‘I am extremely honoured to be elected Fellow to the FTERM group. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a key area of expertise at CÚRAM and we are perfectly placed to continue to encourage and train the next generation of researchers who will sustain and further advance the principles of this important discipline. I look forward to fostering new activities within TERMIS and continuing my involvement with the Society.’ Based at the National University of Ireland, Galway and backed by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry funding, CÚRAM works with industry and clinical partners to radically improve health outcomes for chronically ill patients through the development of the next generation of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. -Ends-
Monday, 31 August 2015
NUI Galway, in partnership with Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club, has launched a new exercise programme, Exercise4Health designed specifically for those who due to a number of health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise. The aim of the programme is to make available an opportunity for those otherwise reluctant to engage in exercise or try getting fit. Being physically active prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Exercise4Health provides a locally accessible opportunity for those with diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease; those recovering from stroke or cancer or those with breathing difficulties or other long-term health conditions, to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or indeed improve their overall health and wellbeing. The six-week rolling exercise programme is specially designed to suit all levels of current fitness and prior to enrolling for the classes, participants will be provided with a medical assessment to ascertain their fitness level. This new programme, led by expert cardiac physiotherapists/exercise specialists from Croí and delivered in conjunction with the fitness team at Kingfisher Club, will provide participants with: • An assessment of their existing fitness level and a personalised plan for improvement • Fitness classes delivered at a level to suit everyone • Weekly heart-rate monitoring and personal progress tracking • A motivating and enjoyable fitness programme which can be continued at home and which if followed will provide a measurable improvement in fitness levels Professor Terry Smith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway said, “This exciting new partnership between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club aims to provide a community based exercise initiative which will significantly help to improve the health and wellbeing of people suffering from a range of chronic illnesses. Participants will only undertake exercise activities that suit their individual abilities and needs. The benefits are not just improved physical health, but meeting other participants and the fitness team at the Kingfisher Club also provides a great social outlet.” The Exercise4Health programme will take place in the Kingfisher Fitness Club at NUI Galway from 12pm-1pm every Thursday commencing on Thursday, 24 September. Individual assessments for participants will take place from 9am-12pm on Thursday, 10 and 17 September. For further information or to book a place on this exciting new programme call Croí now on 091 544310. -Ends-