December 2014

Threesis Winners Announced

Threesis Winners Announced-image

Monday, 1 December 2014

A first-year biotechnology student, Edel Browne from Athenry, Co. Galway took first prize at NUI Galway’s third annual Threesis Competition which took place last week. The competition consisted of quick-fire presentations, with NUI Galway researchers presenting three slides, in three minutes, to three judges. The competitors had come through a series of heats already held on campus, to take on the final challenge at a public event in An Taibhdhearc. The winners were judged on how well they conveyed and communicated their subject to a general audience. Edel Browne’s presentation was on ‘Free Feet’, a simple and innovative use of laser technology that has revolutionised potential treatment methods for Freezing of Gait in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Second and third prize went to Anne O’Connor from Loughrea, Co. Galway and Killian O’Brien from Bishoptown, Cork City. Anne’s work widens our understanding of cultural exchange in Ireland by studying translation and translators and their impact on Irish history whilst Killian researches exosomes and their potential as a viable method of delivering therapies in breast cancer treatment. Máire-Caitlín Casey from Ballydoolough, Co. Galway won the audience prize for her presentation ‘Now you see me’; her research aims to improve our evaluation of breast cancer, particularly in response to chemotherapy, by investigating a novel imaging technique, photoacoustic imaging (PAI). The event focused on taking researchers out of their comfort zones to present their research to a general audience using only three slides over three minutes to three judges. The focus was on impact; how research at NUI Galway impacts upon our daily lives, those of our family and our broader community. Research areas represented at the event included science, engineering, information technology, humanities, social sciences and medicine, with topics ranging from novel tests for early detection of breast cancer to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. The three judges - Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, NUI Galway, Caroline Crawford, Western Correspondent for the Irish Independent and Dr Marcus McHale, Postdoctoral Research at the Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre, NUI Galway had the responsibility of choosing the overall winners of the night. Jonathan McCrea was Master of Ceremonies for the event. Jonathan is a multi-award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, who presents The Science Squad on RTÉ, The Lie on TV3 and Futureproof on Newstalk 106-108fm. Dr Pat Morgan said: “There are twelve winners here tonight; unfortunately we only have prizes for a small few. I am incredibly proud to call you all members of the NUI Galway family and delighted to preside over such an important event in the University calendar.” Other finalists at the event; James Brown (Discipline of Surgery), Doireann Joyce (Discipline of Surgery), Donna Cosgrove (School of Psychology), Alan Kirwan (AGRC), Martin O’Donoghue (Moore Institute), Bianca Perira (Insight), Ihab Salawdeh (Insight) and Sara Vero (Ryan Institute). Ends

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NUI Galway Students take to the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe

NUI Galway Students take to the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe -image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Students will be performing readings of the winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award 2014 NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance has announced details of a new relationship with Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, with the rehearsed readings of the three winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award.  The readings will take place on the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe at 7pm on Thursday, 4 December.  The chosen scripts, An Love Micheart by Manchán Magan, Díonta by Biddy Jenkinson and Ar Strae by Éidin Nic Éinrí will all be read by students of NUI Galway’s BA and MA drama programmes. NUI Galway offers classes in performing drama in Irish as part of its BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance and its MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. These drama students have been working closely with the writers, script editors and staff of An Taibhdhearc over the last month as part of the script development process. NUI Galway has a long tradition of supporting the development of new writing in Irish.  In the last five years alone the University has commissioned plays and adaptations from prominent writers such as Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock and Diarmuid de Faoite, which have been performed by drama students of NUI Galway.  “This new relationship between An Taibhdhearc and NUI Galway will open the doors on a whole range of exciting new possibilities within the creative arts as Gaeilge”, says Anne McCabe, Artistic Director of An Taibhdhearc. Tickets are available from the box office of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe on 091 563600. Please contact Marianne Ní Chinnéide on 087 9080194 for any further information.  -Ends- Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce Beidh na mic léinn ag léamh na scripteanna a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014 Fógraíonn an Lárionad Drámaíochta agus Léiriúcháin an caidreamh nua leis An Taibhdhearc leis an léamh cleachtaithe ar na thrí dhráma nua-scríofa a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014.  Cuirfear an léamh cleachtaithe ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce ag 7pm, Déardaoinr an 4 Nollaig, áit a bheidh An Love Mícheart le Manchán Magan, Neainí Golue le Biddy Jenkinson, agus Ar Strae le Éidin Nic Éinrí á léamh ag mic léinn drámaíochta Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh. Cuireann OÉGaillimh ranganna ar stáitsiú dhrámíocht na Gaeilge, as Gaeilge, ar fail mar chuid dá BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance agus a MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. Tá traidisiúin fada ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag forbairt dhrámaí nua-scríofa na Gaeilge.  Le cúig bhliain anuas tá coimisiúniú déanta ag an Ollscoil ar scríbhneoirí ar nós Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock agus Diarmuid de Faoite le drámaí a scríobh agus a athchóiriú do mhic léinn na hollscoile atá ag tabhairt faoi staidéar na drámaíochta.  “Osclóidh an caidreamh nua seo na doirse ar réimse leathan féidireachta ó thaobh na healaíona cruthaitheacha Gaeilge de” a deir Anne McCabe, stiúrthóir ealaíona na Taibhdheirce. Tá na mic léinn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tar éis a bheith ag obair go dlúth leis na scríbhneoirí, an eagarthóir scripte agusfoireann na Taibhdheirce mar chuid den phróiséis forbhartha scripte le mí anuas. Ticéid ar fáil ón Taibhdhearc ar 091-563600. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Mharianne Ní Chinnéide ar 087 9080194. -Críoch-

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Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Over 200 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the sixth cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 210 primary school children from across the Western region received their certificates, with more than 1000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing children and their families to University life. Since its foundation, almost 1000 children have graduated from a variety of courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Italian to Water Enginnering, Philosophical Discovery, Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, English Literature, Irish History, Déan Scannán, Eco-Explorers, The World of Cops and Robbers, and Information Technology. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University.  We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a University. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how this University can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” The Youth Academy co-founders received SFI funding for Youth Academy scholarships in STEM courses. This funding enhances community university partnership through STEM knowledge sharing activities offered to DEIS school/communities and elevates the educational potential of children and challenges their academic development. For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Explore Galway’s Buildings in Stone with the new NUI Galway Guidebook

Explore Galway’s Buildings in Stone with the new NUI Galway Guidebook-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Galway City Walks Buildings in Stone was compiled by NUI Galway’s Professor Martin Feely and Dr Alessandra Costanzo and contains an accompanying street map displays the locations of the buildings described along the course of each of three walks. The three walks are as follows: Walk N1 West of the River Corrib starts at NUI Galway and includes Galway Cathedral, City Museum, Spanish Arch and Blake’s Castle; Walk N2 Galway City Centre highlights the buildings along Quay Street, High Street and Shop Street and includes St Augustine’s Church, St Nicholas’s Collegiate Church and Lynch’s Castle; and Walk N3 Eyre Square Area includes the Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland buildings, Meyrick Hotel and the Railway Station. The city’s building stones display a variety of textures and fossils that reflect their geological origins. The walks can be followed by the city's visitors and geologists alike. It will prove very useful for urban geology fieldwork by primary, secondary and third level student parties. It provides an opportunity to study rocks from around the globe including some from China, Finland, Portugal, Italy, South Africa, Norway, Brazil, UK and of course Ireland in a matter of a few hours. The book is an invitation to enjoy learning about the geological heritage that surrounds us in Galway’s inner city. Co-author Professor Martin Feely said: “Dr Costanzo and I would like to thank Dúchas Na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust for assisting with the publication of this book and in particular Delo Collier for her encouragement during the course of this project.” Local Historian, Tom Kenny, launched the new guide book, the latest in a series of Galway City walks called Buildings in Stone at the Hall of the Red Earl, Druid Lane, Galway. Galway City Walks Buildings in Stone is available at the offices of Dúchas na Gaillimhe - Galway Civic Trust, Druid Lane at a special launch price of €3. -Ends-

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Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success

Conference on neurodegenerative diseases hailed a success-image

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

A major conference on neurodegenerative diseases in Galway last week has been hailed a huge success by organisers. This was the first time the Annual Meeting of the Network of European Central Nervous System Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR) was held in Ireland. NECTAR saw researchers gather to discuss the latest developments in cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. One of the highlights of the conference was a talk by Sheila Roy, who is undergoing an experimental gene therapy treatment for Parkinson’s disease. She first started the treatment in 2011, as part of a trial for ProSavin, a viral gene therapy manufactured by Oxford BioMedica. Sheila Roy has seen some progressive improvements since she volunteered for the radical treatment, and she has been able to reduce her medication by 50 per cent. The Chair of the local organising committee is Dr Eilís Dowd, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway, and a member of the University’s NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre. Speaking about the conference, she said: “Sheila Roy gave a moving depiction of what life is like with Parkinson’s disease, and we are so thankful to her for sharing it with us. Her contribution rounded off a truly successful event.” The major remit of the 2014 NECTAR conference was to bring together scientists, clinicians, patient advocates and industry partners from across Europe and the international community to share the latest research in repairing the damage to the central nervous system as a result of degenerative diseases. At the conference, Dr Dowd was elected as President of NECTAR, an organisation which was founded more than 20 years ago: “Neurodegenerative diseases are currently treated using drugs that neither address the underlying causes of disease nor prevent neurodegeneration. They simply treat the symptoms of the disease. Cell and gene therapies aim to treat the disease itself and try to reprogramme the body’s mechanism to protect or even repair the brain. The science is moving rapidly, and networks such as NECTAR are facilitating the sharing of information among researchers in the field. However, we are still quite a way off any potential cure, but conferences like this renew our determination to succeed.” Eighteen international experts from across Europe, Australia and Canada spoke at the meeting. These included major international scientific speakers such as Professor Colin Masters, University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Anders Björklund, Lund University, Sweden, as well as policy makers such as Dr Mary Baker, Past President of the European Brain Council, patient advocates, experts in clinical trial design and industrial speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, there were also several “data-blitz” sessions of short oral communications delivered by Irish and international researchers. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers played a significant role at the conference, adding to the environment of vibrancy and collaboration that lies at the heart of NECTAR. Neuroscience research and teaching are very vibrant at NUI Galway, and the University’s Galway Neuroscience Centre is proud to support both the NECTAR and CNS2014 meetings. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledged the support they have received from several funding agencies including the Campaign for Alzheimer’s Research in Europe, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Fáilte Ireland. More information on the conference can be found at (http://www.nectar-eu.net/) Ends

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NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award

NUI Galway Graduate Nominated for ANNIE International Award-image

Monday, 8 December 2014

A graduate from NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, Will Collins has been nominated for an ANNIE Award. Now in its 42nd year, the Annie Awards are awarded by the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, and recognise the year’s best in the field of animation and is animation's highest honour. Will, originally from Kanturk, Co. Cork, graduated with a Masters in Screenwriting in 2006. The animation, Song of the Sea, has been nominated in the Best Animated Feature and is one of eight films nominated. Produced by Cartoon Saloon which is based in Kilkenny, Song of the Sea has also been nominated in Best Character Development category. “The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is absolutely delighted with the seven ANNIE nominations (the Oscars for animated films) for Song of the Sea and in particular the nomination of our MA Screenwriting graduate Will Collins who wrote the screenplay. To be in the same category as blockbusters like The Lego Movie, The Tale of The Princess Kaguya, The Boxtrolls and How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an incredible achievement for an independently produced Irish animation feature and we send our congratulations to all involved” said Tony Tracy, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. This week Galway has awarded the first Irish City of Film designation from UNESCO, one of only five cities around the world to hold the title. Over 50 organisations were involved in the Galway bid including NUI Galway. Dr Pat Collins and Dr Jenny Dagg from the University’s Whitaker Institute prepared background data for the bid, while the Huston School of Film and Digital Media were involved through the Audio Visual Forum for the West. The awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles in January 2015. -Ends-

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NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit

NUI Galway to sign agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit-image

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Agreement with Tsinghua University builds on long-standing tradition of educational and research exchange, and highlights alumni connections NUI Galway will sign an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding will be witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, will sign the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities at 9am GMT (5pm Beijing time) on Tuesday. The agreement will feature: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing will take place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003.  Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, will be the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit will aim to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President will be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne is travelling as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He will also be accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community.  

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NUI Galway signs agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit

NUI Galway signs agreement with leading Chinese university during President Higgins’ State Visit-image

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

NUI Galway signed an agreement on Tuesday, 9 December, with Tsinghua University in China, to collaborate on both education and research activities. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding was witnessed by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and President of China, Xi Jinping, in The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, immediately prior to the State Banquet to mark the visit. Both national Presidents have links to the universities as President Higgins is an alumnus of NUI Galway, while President Xi graduated from Tsinghua University. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Ms Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council, signed the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective universities. The agreement features: joint research in the fields of mutual interest to both universities; exchange of faculty members and researchers; exchange of students; joint organisation of seminars and academic meetings; exchange of materials in education; and research, publications and academic information. Science and engineering research and teaching is a particular strength for both universities. For the academic year 2015/16, a plan for undergraduate engineering student exchange and increased post-graduate mobility has been agreed. The agreement follows on from existing close ties between the universities. In research, a significant three-year EU project on cancer biomarkers led by NUI Galway, with Tsinghua University as a partner, has just come to completion. Also in research, 27 Tsinghua graduates have come to NUI Galway to pursue postgraduate degrees over the last two decades. In addition, several senior academic positions at Tsinghua University are held by NUI Galway graduates, and Tsinghua University alumni teach at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s President Browne, has supervised many Tsinghua University graduates who have come to NUI Galway as PhD and masters students in the area of industrial engineering. Commenting on the agreement he said: “This is a historic agreement, which builds on a long tradition of educational exchange between NUI Galway and Tsinghua University, particularly in the area of Engineering. With this signing we look forward to deepening our collaboration, resulting in great student mobility between the two universities at under-graduate and post-graduate levels, as well as building new partnerships on a range of research fronts. It is especially fitting that this agreement is signed in the presence of the national Presidents, both of whom are alumni of the respective universities.” The signing took place during the State Visit of President Michael D. Higgins to China. This is the first State Visit since 2003. Accompanying the President on this three city visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, were the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D. and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. The visit aims to deepen the political, cultural, business, scientific and educational relationships between the two countries. The President was be accompanied by Sabina Higgins. Dr Jim Browne travelled as part of the delegation on the State Visit, following the invitation from Enterprise Ireland to the International Office of the Irish universities. He was accompanied by colleague, Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs. NUI Galway has a very strong Alumni Group in Beijing, made up of alumni and member of the Irish expat community. Comhaontú sínithe ag OÉ Gaillimh le ceann de phríomh-ollscoileanna na Síne le linn Chuairt Stáit an Uachtaráin Uí Uiginn. Shínigh OÉ Gaillimh comhaontú inniu, Dé Máirt, an 9 Nollaig, le hOllscoil Tsinghua sa tSín ar mhaithe le comhoibriú oideachais agus taighde idir an dá institiúid. Bhí Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, agus Uachtarán na Síne, Xi Jinping, ina bhfinnéithe ar an síniú, a rinneadh i Halla Mór an Phobail i mBéising, díreach roimh an bhFéasta Stáit in onóir na cuairte. Tá baint ag chaon Uachtarán náisiúnta leis na hollscoileanna – alumnus de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é an tUachtarán Ó hUiginn agus is céimí de chuid Ollscoil Tsinghua é an tUachtarán Xi. Shínigh an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, agus Chen Xu, Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Ollscoil Tsinghua, an Meamram Comhthuisceana thar ceann a n-ollscoile féin. Sonraítear sa chomhaontú: taighde i bpáirt i réimsí inspéise ag an dá ollscoil; malartú comhaltaí foirne acadúla agus taighdeoirí; malartú mac léinn; comhreáchtáil seimineár agus cruinnithe acadúla; malartú ábhar oideachais; agus taighde, foilseacháin agus eolas acadúil. Tá taighde agus teagasc san eolaíocht agus san innealtóireacht thar a bheith láidir sa dá ollscoil. Don bhliain acadúil 2015/16, táthar tar éis aontú ar mhalartú mac léinn bunchéime innealtóireachta agus ar shoghluaisteacht mhéadaithe i gcás mic léinn iarchéime. Eascraíonn an comhaontú as comhoibriú dlúth atá ar bun cheana féin idir an dá ollscoil. I gcúrsaí taighde, cuireadh bailchríoch le deireanas ar thionscadal trí bliana AE i dtaobh bithchomharthaí ailse; OÉ Gaillimh a bhí ina ceanneagraíocht ar an tionscadal agus Ollscoil Tsinghua ina comhpháirtí aici. Tá 27 céimí ó Tsinghua tagtha go OÉ Gaillimh le fiche bliain anuas agus iad ag tabhairt faoi chláir iarchéime anseo. Lena chois sin, tá roinnt poist shinsearacha acadúla in Ollscoil Tsinghua ag céimithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, agus tá alumni de chuid Ollscoil Tsinghua ag teagasc in OÉ Gaillimh. I gcaitheamh na mblianta, stiúir an tUachtarán Browne roinnt mhaith céimithe ó Ollscoil Tsinghua a tháinig go OÉ Gaillimh mar mhic léinn PhD agus mháistreachta san innealtóireacht thionsclaíoch. Ag labhairt dó faoin gcomhaontú, dúirt sé: “Comhaontú stairiúil é seo, agus cuireann sé leis an traidisiún fada malartuithe oideachais idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Ollscoil Tsinghua, i réimse na hInnealtóireachta go mór mór. Agus an comhaontú seo á shíniú againn, táimid ag súil go mór leis an gcomhoibriú eadrainn a neartú tuilleadh ionas go mbeidh an-deis ag mic léinn bhunchéime agus iarchéime an dá ollscoil cuairt a thabhairt ar institiúidí a chéile; táimid ag súil freisin go dtiocfaidh comhpháirtíochtaí nua chun cinn i réimsí éagsúla taighde. Tá sé thar a bheith feiliúnach go bhfuil an comhaontú seo á shíniú agus an dá Uachtarán náisiúnta i láthair – iad beirt ina gcéimithe de chuid na hollscoile atá ina dtír féin.” Síníodh an comhaontú le linn Chuairt Stáit an Uachtaráin Micheál D. Ó hUiginn ar an tSín. Is í seo an chéad Chuairt Stáit ón mbliain 2003. Thug an tUachtarán cuairt ar thrí chathair sa tSín – Béising, Shang-hai agus Hangzhou; ina chomhluadar bhí an tAire Airgeadais, Michael Noonan, T.D., agus an tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála, Charlie Flanagan, T.D. Is é cuspóir na cuairte an ceangal idir an dá thír i gcúrsaí polaitíochta, cultúir, gnó, eolaíochta agus oideachais a neartú tuilleadh. Tá bean chéile an Uachtaráin, Sabina Higgins, ina chomhluadar ar an gCuairt Stáit. Chuaigh an Dr Jim Browne anonn mar chuid de thoscaireacht na Cuairte Stáit tar éis d'Oifig Idirnáisiúnta Ollscoileanna na hÉireann cuireadh a fháil ó Fhiontraíocht Éireann. Chuaigh a chomhghleacaí, an tOllamh Brian Hughes (an Déan Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta) ar an turas ina theannta. Tá Grúpa láidir Alumni ag OÉ Gaillimh i mBéising agus céimithe de chuid na hOllscoile agus cuid de phobal na hÉireann sa tSín gníomhach ann. -críoch-

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NUI Galway staff and alumni row in behind search for bone marrow match

 NUI Galway staff and alumni row in behind search for bone marrow match-image

Thursday, 11 December 2014

“This is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving” Staff and alumni of NUI Galway are getting behind a campaign to encourage people to consider donating bone marrow. The campaign is inspired by the story of Paul Giblin, an engineering graduate and champion rower for the University, who is battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Now 31 years-old, Paul was diagnosed in April 2012 and is currently undergoing his fourth regime of chemotherapy, having also had an autologous (own) stem-cell transplant and radiotherapy. His best, and possibly only chance to return to health, will be to find a match on the Global Registry, the pool from which all bone marrow donations are drawn. Friends are pulling together to spread awareness with a view to increasing the number of potential donors in Ireland on the Global Registry. “We are reaching out to family, friends and friends of friends. We are hoping to significantly increase the numbers signing up to become bone marrow donors, to give people in Paul’s situation a fighting chance”, explains Ruadhán Cooke, who is a lecturer in French at NUI Galway and actively involved in the rowing club. “This is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving and which some day you or a loved one may need and benefit from. The first step is to give a small sample of blood, it’s that simple, and it could be a gift that will someday save a life,” added Ruadhán Cooke. The Irish Blood Transfusion Service will run a dedicated Bone Marrow Recruitment Clinic on Monday,15 December in the Cumasu Centre, Racing Lodge, Doughiska Road, Galway. The clinic will take a small sample of blood to add to the database, and cross check for matches. Anyone interested in attending the clinic on Monday, or other clinics in future, should e-mail BoneMarrow@ibts.ie Paul is one of Ireland’s most decorated rowers, with 17 Irish Senior champion titles, as well as twice taking gold at Henley Royal Regatta. He was also a medalist at the World Under 23 Rowing Championships and World Student Games. In an impressive couple of seasons on the cycling circuit, he rode the 2010 Rás, and also competed at the World Para Cycling Championships as the sighted pilot in the tandem event. A qualified civil engineer, Paul retrained and now works as an Army officer, stationed at Dún Uí Mhaolaíosa in Galway. Last weekend he married his fiancé Cate. For more information on how you can help Paul and others like him visit http://marrowmatch.eu/  -ends-

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Participants wanted for this winter’s flu survey

Participants wanted for this winter’s flu survey-image

Monday, 15 December 2014

flusurvey.ie will track the spread of flu across Ireland and provide useful real-time data   Irish people are being asked to volunteer information about their health this winter at flusurvey.ie. Now in its second year, the website is a collaboration between NUI Galway and the HSE - Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Volunteers are asked to register with the site, and log any flu symptoms if and when they develop.   The website asks participants about their overall health and possible influenza symptoms – headaches, fever, sore throats – and maps this information in real-time. This provides valuable real-time information for healthcare professionals on the demographic and geographic profile of people suffering from flu.   The system can map the spread of the disease in its early stages, and provide health professionals with an early warning signal of nationwide outbreaks.   Project Leader Dr Jim Duggan, of NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, says: “Last winter we tracked data from hundreds of volunteers, with the majority coming from Dublin, Cork and Galway. Amongst our participants, we saw particular spikes in illness in mid-to-late February, and also observed the highest percentage of self-reported flu levels from our survey in the under-18 year age group.”   Flusurvey.ie has demonstrated the potential for self-reporting systems, and the team behind it is building on last year’s success to recruit more participants throughout the country. “Our web system is designed to handle a sizeable nationwide survey, and increasing the numbers who volunteer their health symptoms will enhance the overall information we can share with the HSE-HPSC”, adds Dr Duggan.   Dr Darina O’Flanagan of the HSE-HPSC welcomed the re-launch and said that flusurvey.ie is a useful addition to flu surveillance in Ireland and that the information gathered will be aggregated to complement existing methods of influenza surveillance.   Seasonal influenza is a highly contagious viral disease that is characterised by sudden onset of fever, accompanied by muscle pain or headache, and a cough or sore throat. In Ireland, the influenza season typically starts in October, and continues through to late May.   Volunteers register online and self-report by answering short questions relating to demographic, medical, socio-economic and lifestyle issues. The system is secure, and all patient information is analysed at an aggregate and anonymous level. Participants can also view their individual symptom history, and interactive health maps at local and national levels.    Flusurvey is accessible for registration at https://flusurvey.ie  

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