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Research Projects at NUI Galway Secure SFI Funding
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Three groundbreaking research projects at NUI Galway secured funding awards when Conor Lenihan T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation recently announced research funding awards of €20.7million for 22 research projects under the Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator Programme. Making the announcement, Minister Lenihan said: "Today's Government investment will enable crucial research to be carried out in Ireland over the next three to five years. The successful 22 projects include medical research into cancer, stroke and brain injury, Alzheimer's Disease, asthma, cystic fibrosis, salmonella, meningitis, pre-clampsia, genetics and medical devices, while other areas to be funded include greenhouse gas emissions, web personalization, cloud computing, cyber security, digital media and semi-conductors." In congratulating the award winners, the Minister added: "The Government remains firmly committed to developing the "Smart Economy". It is research projects such as these that will support the next phase of Ireland's economic development. We must never lose sight of the fact that research and development is primarily about people - the individual and collective talents of our skilled personnel. We must continue to support the best researchers to bring about long-term economic benefits and with the assistance of support structures such as SFI, IDA and Enterprise Ireland, we can studiously bring these concepts to that next level, and through exploitation and commercialisation ensure economic and societal benefits for Ireland." Speaking at the announcement, Chairperson of SFI, and former President of NUI Galway Professor Pat Fottrell said: "To date, the academic and commercial outputs stemming from previous PI funding have been promising, which bodes well for today's recipients under this programme. By subjecting all funding applications to a high level of scrutiny and review by 28 distinguished international scientists, SFI has illustrated its meticulous and exhaustive approach in rewarding ground-breaking research with the greatest potential for commercial and societal benefits." From a total of €20m in funding granted by the SFI Principal Investigator Programme, the following NUI Galway projects received €2.7m: Professor Robert Woods, School of Chemistry and NCBES Virtual Glycan Array Development and Carbohydrate Receptor Engineering Carbohydrates are highly abundant, simple organic compounds and are the building blocks of sugars and starches. Professor Woods aims to use a combination of computer modeling and experimental approaches to design new carbohydrate-based drug therapies and diagnostic agents. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop novel anti-viral medications for treatment of influenza and diagnostics for diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Professor Corrado Santocanale, NCBES Understanding and exploiting molecular mechanisms of DNA replication in cancer cells Correct duplication of the genetic material (DNA) in each cell of our body is essential for the maintenance of a cancer free state. Uncontrolled DNA duplication is one of the hallmarks of cancer and many established chemotherapeutic agents target this process. Professor Santocanale aims to discover mechanisms that control DNA duplication in human cancer cells and to identify proteins targets for development of novel chemotherapeutics. Dr Henry Curran, School of Chemistry & ECI Combustion Chemistry for Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Ireland agreed to limit its Greenhouse Gas emissions to 13% above 1990 levels by 2008–2012. Emissions from transport continue to be the main source of growth in GHG levels in Ireland. Dr Curran will examine how biofuels burn which will assist in making choices on potentially new fuels for energy efficient combustion. The research also aims to develop technologies that will enable safe and reliable gas turbine operation (for power and heat generation) with undiluted syngas. These SFI awards follow from last week's announcement by The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms Mary Coughlan T.D., for Government funding of €11.3million for 68 research projects under the Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers Programme (RFP) for 2009 of which NUI Galway was awarded over €1million. Dr Harald Berresheim, School of Physics & ECI Variation of the Oxidation Efficiency and Particle Precursor Gases in the Coastal Atmosphere. The atmosphere's efficiency to clean itself from pollutants is linked to the production of OH radicals which react with nearly all pollutants via oxidation. However, this cleansing efficiency can significantly vary depending on UV radiation and atmospheric levels of natural and/or man-made compounds. This project aims to quantify these limitations based on direct measurements of OH in the coastal atmosphere at Mace Head. In addition, the role of OH and sulphur gases as well as other compounds in the formation of new ultrafine particles will be investigated. The project will be supported by two international collaborators. Dr Dimitrios I. Zeugolis, Department of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, & NCBES Loading a self-assembled nano-textured matrix for functional tissue engineering In the quest of the ideal raw material for scaffold fabrication, collagen use has been advocated due to its superior mechanical properties and reduced immunogenicity. However, the currently available sources of collagen either harbour concerns for inter-species transmission of disease (e.g. bovine extracted collagen) or are of low yield (human recombinant collagen). Herein, we propose an approach to produce large amounts of collagen that will be host-specific. The resultant scaffolds will be optimally stabilised and functionalised to control structural, physical and biological properties with no inherent toxic effects on resident cells. Dr Anne Marie Power, Zoology & Martin Ryan Institute 'BINDING: Barnacle INspired Design IN Gluing technology' "Developing glues that work in wet environments would be extremely useful in surgical applications. Barnacles have evolved underwater mechanisms to cement themselves to all sorts of surfaces, producing strong bonds which can withstand powerful forces but which are also non-toxic. The molecular methods which produce this attachment will form the basis of this research." Professor Michael Redfern, School of Physics Researchers in the Centre for Astronomy in NUI Galway have developed a unique instrument, for use on the World s largest telescopes, which will now be used to study emissions from collapsed stars in unprecedented detail. It has been known for more than forty years that stars can collapse to a few kilometers across, and can spin at up to 50 times per second - emitting flashes of light like a light-house beam as they do so. What is not understood is why they do so. Our new instrument will provide detailed information to study this emission. Dr Michael Tuite, School of Mathematic, Statistics & Applied Mathematics Vertex Operator Algebras and Deligne s Exceptional Lie Groups A vertex operator algebra is a new mathematical construction very closely related to notions coming from quantum theory in theoretical physics. This project is concerned with an application of some of my recent research in this area to Lie groups in pure mathematics. This work provides a new explanation of very surprising observations made 10 years ago by the Field's Medal winning French mathematician Pierre Deligne. Professor Afsin Samali, Biochemistry & NCBES Accumulation of unfolded or misfolded proteins in the ER triggers the unfolded protein response (UPR). UPR initially attempts to reduce the protein load in the ER and increase its folding capacity. However, unresolved ER stress results in the activation of apoptosis. Loss of UPR protective signalling may underlie the cell death seen in diabetes, congestive heart failure and neurodegeneration. In the recent SFI-RFP proposal we have proposed to study the role of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, in the regulation of IRE-1 signalling during the unfolded protein response. Dr Adrienne Gorman, Biochemistry & NCBES Novel neurotrophin variants with altered receptor binding Dr Adrienne Gorman received €150,536 from the SFI RFP programme to work on 'Novel neurotrophin variants with altered receptor binding'. Neurotrophins are a small family of molecules that promote neuronal cell survival or death depending on the cell surface receptors with which they interact. The aim of this project is to produce novel neurotrophin variants that retain the neurotrophic activities that are mediated by Trk receptors, while at the same time and prevent cell death signaling through the p75 receptor. These variants could have therapeutic potential to prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease where increased activity at the p75 receptor has been implicated. -Ends-
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Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series at NUI Galway
Friday, 24 July 2009
Spinal cord regeneration will be the first topic of the Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series commencing on Thursday, 30 July, at NUI Galway. The lecture series will be hosted by the University's National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary. Over the coming months, a range of international speakers involved in ongoing research collaboration with the NCBES will share their insights and experiences with fellow scientists and the general public. Topics during the seminar series will include: the latest developments in breast cancer research; furthering understanding of the cause of multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders; the social-psychology of exercise and its use in helping stroke and spinal cord injury patients; and the discovery of new therapies for the treatment of cancer. According to Professor Frank Barry, Director of the NCBES: "The lecture series will bring some of the most accomplished research leaders to Galway and will provide a forum for discussion of the latest and most significant advances in life sciences research. It will provide good opportunities for NCBES scientists to develop new collaborations and will lead to enhanced quality and productivity in our research efforts". On Thursday, 30 July, a husband and wife team from Arizona State University will provide an overview of a number of projects at the Center for Adaptive Neural Systems. Professor James J. Abbas and Professor Ranu Jung focus on developing systems to promote recovery after spinal cord injury by controlling movements using electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles. An innovative technology by this prominent engineer-scientist pair, which interfaces with the nervous system, has already benefitted patients with spinal cord injury and with neurodegenerative diseases. Lokesh Joshi, Stokes Professor of Glycosciences at the NCBES, heads up the Centre's collaboration with the team in Arizona. He comments: "A cutting-edge approach is being taken in Arizona to current medical challenges in the areas of spinal cord injury and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. The Jung-Abbas team is truly translational and unique because it brings together electrical and mechanical engineering, physiological science and clinical research. This has been tried successfully in patients". In its collaboration with the Center for Adaptive Neural Systems, the team at the NCBES are investigating the role played by the 'sugars' involved in cell to cell communication. These complex carbohydrates or glycans play crucial roles in the development and regeneration of tissues and organs, during growth, disease and injury. As Professor Joshi explains: "The central nervous system (CNS), found in the brain and spine, is a complex organ and does not regenerate after injury at the pace of other organs and tissues. Studies have shown that removal of certain glycans can promote some growth on a cellular level, thereby facilitating CNS regeneration. The burning question is – what exact role do glycans play by inhibiting neuroregeneration? Our project involves the mapping of glycans so we can better understand their presence in healthy, injured or rehabilitating tissue". The field of Neuroglycoscience is rapidly emerging and scientists at NUI Galway are working on discovering novel glycobiomarkers, glycoimaging tools, therapeutic targets and molecules and drug delivery systems to promote neuro-regeneration. The Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series is being supported by the Galway University Foundation. The first lecture takes place at 10.30am on Thursday, 30 July in the NCBES Seminar Room, Orbsen Building, NUI Galway. For further information telephone 091 495701. -ends-
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Ancient Animal Dung Helps Botanists Unearth Burren's History
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Botanists from NUI Galway have used a most unlikely source – fungi that grow on cattle and sheep dung – to shed new light on farming and its impact on the Burren, County Clare, the best developed karstic region of western Europe. Using old and new techniques, including analysis of fossil spores produced by fungi that grow only on herbivorous animals' dung, the study – published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology – shows how farming waxed and waned over the past 3500 years and how this shaped Burren's extraordinary plant life. Dr Ingo Feeser and Professor Michael O'Connell from the NUI Galway collected peat and soil samples from upland areas of the Burren. It is well known that peat, because it preserves pollen, archives long records of past plant life. But scientists have only recently realised that peat also preserves other fossils such as fungal spores. By using both these techniques and radiocarbon dating, Feeser and O'Connell have uncovered the history of upland farming in the Burren and the major role that cattle and sheep grazing has played in shaping the area s flora and landscape. According to Professor O'Connell: "Spores from fungi that grow on dung of cattle and sheep are really useful for two reasons: they preserve well and, since they are produced at ground level they stay put. That means when we find them as fossils, we can be sure that grazers were present at the sampling site all those years ago. Together with fossil pollen, they help us distinguish between the impact of factors such as climate change and upland grazing on species composition and biodiversity." The fossil pollen reveals that pinewoods once grew on the exposed north-western Burren hills that face the Atlantic Ocean on the southern side of Galway Bay until around 500 BC, when increased farming by Iron Age peoples resulted in pine no longer being the dominant tree. "Present-day open pinewoods on limestone soils in Scandinavia, with a ground flora that includes many typical 'Burren' species, are the closest analogy to these former pinewoods on the coastal Burren uplands," says O Connell. This means it is no longer necessary to invoke special conditions, such as persistence of open, treeless conditions since the retreat of the ice sheets, to explain the presence of arctic-alpine species in the Burren; rather these plants found favourable conditions, and thus survived, within open pinewoods. The study also emphasises the highly dynamic nature of the relationship between humans and nature in the Burren since farmers first arrived about 6000 years ago. While open pinewoods dominated coastal uplands, hazel scrub was important in inland areas such as Corkscrew Hill where farming impact was higher. Hazel was also highly dynamic and sensitive to farming pressures. When farming declined at the end of the Iron Age (about AD 300), hazel replaced grasslands in what the researchers refer to as the 'Late Iron Age Lull'. The reverse occurred in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century when population levels rose dramatically and the Burren became so bare that the woody stems of the mountain avens (Dryas) were used as a substitute for wood. This, in turn, contrasts with the present-day situation when farming is on the decline and the spread of hazel reduces the habitat available to the typical Burren flora and hides the rich archaeology of the region. However, vegetation and farming are not the only dynamic features of the Burren. The placename 'Burren' denotes a rocky place that aptly describes this extensive area of bare limestone rock. "That the Burren landscape always had this lunar-like appearance is not true," says Professor O'Connell. By radiocarbon dating charcoal contained in eroded soils recovered from grykes (deep fissures in the limestone), the NUI Galway researchers have shown that substantial loss of soil through erosion followed not only the clearing of primeval woodlands by the early farmers, i.e. the megalith tomb builders, but continued to be a feature of the Burren until well into medieval times. Ingo Feeser and Michael O Connell (2009). Fresh insights into long-term changes in flora, vegetation, land use and soil erosion in the karstic environment of the Burren, western Ireland, Journal of Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01533.x, is published online on 22 July 2009. -ends-
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Third John McGahern International Seminar Opens in Leitrim
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
(Leagan Gaeilge) The third John McGahern International Seminar will be officially opened tomorrow (Thursday, 23 July), by NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, and Cathaoirleach of Leitrim Co. Council, Mr Thomas Mulligan, in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School is organised annually in Co. Leitrim to commemorate the work and literary achievements of this distinguished author. In advance of the opening address, President Browne spoke of the relationship John McGahern had with the University over a period of almost 50 years: "In the course of John's interaction with NUI Galway, a deep and close friendship grew with its people, and a shared regard developed between John and the University. There was a sustained rapport between the academy and the artist, based largely I believe on a shared understanding of a sense of place. The writings of John McGahern are inextricably linked with and informed by the writer's own sense of place. Leitrim and the north-west form a unique and important backdrop to the McGahern canon. We at NUI Galway share in this sense of place, and by becoming the repository of the papers of John McGahern in some way maintain for this region an enduring link with the writer and the man". Mr Thomas Mulligan, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, commented: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to see this project develop in its third year, establishing its own rhythm within Ireland s literary calendar. While retaining its central focus on the work of John McGahern, this year's engagement with themes of the heroic - from the local to the universal - and taking account also the 125th anniversary of the GAA, is a strong expression of the confidence and breadth of vision that Leitrim County Council and NUI Galway share for this important event". The keynote lecture, "The Local and the Universal: Ordinary Heroes in John McGahern", will be delivered at the opening ceremony by Professor Kevin Whelan of Notre Dame University. The second volume of the John McGahern Yearbook will also be launched on the opening evening. The Yearbook, published in a collectable hardback format, is the associated publication of the Seminar and Summer School. The Yearbook is compiled and edited by Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway and Academic Director of the Seminar and Summer School. This year's volume contains all of last year's Seminar lectures as well as a wide range of other essays. Contributions include the keynote address by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh of NUI Galway and lectures given by Professor David Malcolm of the University of Gdansk, Poland, and Gerardo Gambolini, the Argentinian poet whose Spanish translation of John McGahern's collected stories has recently been published to great acclaim. Writing about John McGahern, Gambolini says: "I see John McGahern as a great writer, not as a great Irish writer. His voice is universal; his undeniably Irish tone and topics are made universal by his talent, not by geography. My dominant experience in translating him was the pleasure of reading day after day over a long time remarkable pictures of the greatness and the abjectness of human soul and flesh, pictures always traversed in the end by compassion, by a joyful or painful form of redemption". The Yearbook specially commissions a short-story writer each year and this year's story is 'White Hitachi' by Irish author Kevin Barry. Speakers during the International Seminar include Professor Liliane Louvel of the University of Poitiers, France, Professor Denis Sampson, Canada, Professor Mike Cronin, Boston College, and Kevin Barry. Panel discussions and readings will also take place throughout the programme. As in previous years, the Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon A detailed schedule for the Seminar can be downloaded from www.nuigalway.ie/iss/ Tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern ar siúl i Liatroim (View in English) Is iad Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, agus Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Contae Liatroma, Thomas Mulligan, a osclóidh tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern anocht (Déardaoin, an 23 Iúil) in Óstán an Bush, Cora Droma Rúisc, Co. Liatroma. Reáchtáiltear Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern gach bliain i gCo. Liatroma chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar shaothar agus ar éachtaí liteartha an údair cháiliúil seo. Sular thug sé aitheasc na hoscailte, labhair Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Browne, faoin ngaol a bhí idir John McGahern agus an Ollscoil ar feadh 50 bliain, nó mar sin: "Cuireadh síol domhain cairdis, de réir a chéile, idir John agus pobal OÉ Gaillimh, agus d'fhás dámh eatarthu. Cothaíodh gaol láidir idir an coláiste agus an t-ealaíontóir, gaol a bhí bunaithe, déarfainn féin, ar chomhthuiscint ar ómós áite. Sníonn ómós áite go dlúth trí chuid scríbhneoireachta John McGahern. Ní féidir Liatroim agus an t-iarthuaisceart a scaradh ó chanóin liteartha McGahern. Tá tuiscint againne, pobal OÉ Gaillimh, ar an ómós áite chomh maith, agus ó tharla gur anseo san Ollscoil atá páipéir John McGahern i dtaisce, táimid ag cothú ceangal buan leis an scríbhneoir agus leis an bhfear féin, ar bhealach". Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Thomas Mulligan, Cathaoirleach Chomhairle Contae Liatroma: "Tá an-áthas orainn i gComhairle Contae Liatroma go bhfuil an seimineár seo á reáchtáil den tríú bliain as a chéile, agus go bhfuil sé go mór chun tosaigh i bhféilire litríochta na hÉireann. Cé gur ar shaothar John McGahern is mó atá an bhéim, léiríonn téamaí laochais áitiúil agus uilíoch na bliana seo agus ceiliúradh 125 bliain a mbunaithe ag CLG, an mhuinín choiteann atá ag Comhairle Contae Liatroma agus ag OÉ Gaillimh as an ócáid thábhachtach seo agus an fhís choiteann atá acu di". Is é an tOllamh Kevin Whelan ó Ollscoil Notre Dame a thabharfaidh an phríomhléacht, "The Local and the Universal:Ordinary Heroes in John McGahern" i ndiaidh na hoscailte. Seolfar an dara himleabhar de The John McGahern Yearbook tráthnóna na hoscailte chomh maith. Is comhfhoilseachán de chuid an tSeimineáir agus na Scoile Samhraidh The John McGahern Yearbook, foilseachán a bhfuil clúdach crua air agus a mbeidh tóir ag bailitheoirí leabhar air. Is é an Dr John Kenny, Léachtóir John McGahern sa Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir Acadúil an tSeimineáir agus na Scoile Samhraidh a thiomsaigh The John McGahern Yearbook agus a bhí ina eagarthóir air. Tá léachtaí Sheimineár na bliana seo caite ar fad in imleabhar na bliana seo mar aon le rogha leathan aistí eile. I measc na n-aistí atá sa leabhar tá an phríomhléacht a thug an tOllamh Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh ó OÉ Gaillimh agus léachtaí a thug an tOllamh David Malcolm ó Ollscoil Gdansk, an Pholainn agus Gerardo Gambolini, an file ón Airgintín a bhfuil ardmholadh faighte ag an aistriúchán go Spáinnis a rinne sé ar scéalta John McGahern le déanaí. Seo cuid den mhéid a bhí le rá ag Gambolini faoi John McGahern sa leabhar: "I see John McGahern as a great writer, not as a great Irish writer. His voice is universal; his undeniably Irish tone and topics are made universal by his talent, not by geography. My dominant experience in translating him was the pleasure of reading day after day over a long time remarkable pictures of the greatness and the abjectness of human soul and flesh, pictures always traversed in the end by compassion, by a joyful or painful form of redemption". Déantar coimisiúnú ar ghearrscéalaí gach bliain le scéal a scríobh do The John McGahern Yearbook agus is é 'White Hitachi' a scríobh an t-údar Éireannach Kevin Barry gearrscéal na bliana seo. I measc na gcainteoirí ag an Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta beidh an tOllamh Liliane Louvel as Ollscoil Poitiers, an Fhrainc, an tOllamh Denis Sampson, Ceanada, an tOllamh Mike Cronin, Boston College agus Kevin Barry. Beidh plé painéil agus léitheoireachtaí ann i rith an tseimineáir chomh maith. Arís i mbliana, eagrófar turais threoraithe chuig na háiteanna a raibh cónaí ar John McGahern iontu in Achadh an Mhuilinn, i mBéal an Átha Móir agus i Maothail i gCo. Liatroma agus go hUachtar Tíre i gCo. Ros Comáin. Is féidir mionsonraí chlár an tSeimineáir a íoslódáil ó www.nuigalway.ie/iss/ -Crioch-
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NUI Galway CAO Figures Soar as it Sets Designs on 'Smart Economy'
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
(Leagan Gaeilge) Following the recent release of final CAO figures for 2009 applications, NUI Galway shows a substantial increase of 13.1% in CAO First Preferences. This growth is more than double that of the University sector (6.2%) and is by a comfortable margin the highest year-on-year increase of all the Universities. Professor Jim Ward, Deputy-President and Registrar at NUI Galway, commented on the increase in CAO applications: "We are delighted that NUI Galway has the highest growth rate in applications; it's encouraging to see we are well above the national average. In particular Engineering applications have jumped by 39% in first preferences as against a drop nationally of 3.4%. Programmes on offer at NUI Galway are designed to develop students academically and personally, and our partnerships with industry and community play a huge part in the overall design of the courses we offer". Almost all subject areas experienced increases in CAO applications, with large demand for Science, Arts and Commerce, and a major rise in Engineering, IT and Medicine. The University sees this growth as a direct result of its response to integrating national priorities into the institutional agenda. The national need for teachers in mathematics has been identified and the new BA programme in Maths and Education is designed to improve the teaching of mathematics, which is key to Ireland s success as a 'Smart Economy'. Demand for this programme has grown 69%. Being responsive to the changing needs of the employment market is also a key focus at NUI Galway. Soaring Engineering applications reflect carefully thought-out new programmes in Energy Systems Engineering, designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector as well as Engineering Innovation, which aims to create a new type of engineer with skills in innovation and entrepreneurship essential to delivering the 'Smart Economy'. Engineering students at NUI Galway will also benefit from the University s new state-of-the-art Engineering Building which is due for completion in 2011. Professor Ward added: "Internationally recognised research in priority areas and partnerships with industry are key at NUI Galway. Growth in the popularity of IT courses is mirrored in tremendous research successes for the University's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) which is the leading Semantic Web Institute in the world. A Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), DERI recently hit the headlines when a piece of their web technology was adopted by the Obama administration to bring greater transparency to the new US Government. The area of Biomedical Engineering is also directly linked to Biomedical Science where the University has integrated courses and research to meet the needs of local industry partners such as Boston Scientific and Medtronic". Tríú Borradh faoi Líon na nIarratas CAO ar OÉ Gaillimh agus í ag Díriú ar 'an nGeilleagar Glic' (View in English) Léiríonn na figiúirí deiridh a d'fhoilsigh an CAO le gairid maidir le hiarratais 2009 go bhfuil méadú suntasach 13.1% tagtha ar na hiarratais Chéadrogha CAO ar OÉ Gaillimh. Is ionann sin agus dhá oiread an mhéadaithe ar líon na n-iarratas ar Ollscoileanna trí chéile (6.2%) agus is é an méadú is mó go héasca é ó bhliain amháin go bliain eile ar líon na n-iarratas chéadrogha a rinneadh ar Ollscoileanna uile na tíre. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Jim Ward, Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid OÉ Gaillimh, faoin méadú atá tagtha ar líon na n-iarratas céadrogha CAO: "Táimid thar a bheith sásta gur ar líon na n-iarratas ar OÉ Gaillimh is mó a tháinig méadú i mbliana. Is tógáil croí é go bhfuil an méadú i líon na n-iarratas chun na hollscoile seo i bhfad chun cinn ar an meán náisiúnta. Is cúis suntais, go háirithe, an méadú 39% atá ar líon na n-iarratas céadrogha san Innealtóireacht, réimse a raibh titim 3.4% i líon na n-iarratas inti go náisiúnta. Cuireann cúrsaí OÉ Gaillimh rompu mic léinn a chothú go hacadúil agus go pearsanta agus tá ról lárnach ag an gcomhoibriú a bhíonn idir an Ollscoil, an tionscal agus an pobal i leagan amach na gcúrsaí atá á dtairiscint againn". Tháinig méadú ar líon na n-iarratas CAO i bhformhór na n-ábhar. Tháinig méadú mór ar líon na n-iarratas san Eolaíocht, sna Dána agus sa Tráchtáil, agus tháinig méadú an-mhór ar na hiarratais san Innealtóireacht, i dTeicneolaíocht na Faisnéise agus sa Leigheas. Dar leis an Ollscoil gur toradh díreach an fás seo ar an gcaoi ar chuir sí béim ar thosaíochtaí náisiúnta i gclár oibre na hinstitiúide. Aithníodh go mbeadh éileamh ar mhúinteoirí matamaitice ar fud na tíre agus tá sé mar aidhm ag an gclár nua BA sa Mhatamaitic agus san Oideachas an chaoi a múintear an mhatamaitic a fheabhsú. Tá sé ríthábhachtach go ndéanfaí sin chun go mbainfeadh Éire barr feabhais amach mar gheilleagar glic. Tá méadú 69% tagtha ar an éileamh ar an gclár seo. Cuirtear an-bhéim in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith ar fhreastal ar riachtanais luaineacha mhargadh na fostaíochta. Tá méadú mór ar líon na n-iarratas Innealtóireachta. Léiríonn sin go bhfuil éileamh ar na cúrsaí nua ar caitheadh an-dua leo, amhail an chéim in Innealtóireacht Córas Fuinnimh, a cuireadh ar fáil le freastal ar an méadú ar an éileamh atá ar innealtóirí gairmiúla le hoibriú in earnáil an fhuinnimh, agus an chéim i Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta, a bhfuil sé de chuspóir aici cineál nua innealtóirí a chur ar fáil a mbeidh scileanna nuálaíochta agus fiontraíochta acu, scileanna atá riachtanach chun an Geilleagar Glic a chothú. Beidh mic léinn innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ábalta leas a bhaint as Foirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta na hOllscoile, chomh maith, foirgneamh den chéad scoth a bheidh á chríochnú in 2011. Dúirt an tOllamh Ward an méid seo a leanas chomh maith: "Tá an-tábhacht le taighde i réimsí tosaíochta idirnáisiúnta agus le comhpháirtíochtaí leis an tionscal in OÉ Gaillimh. Is léiriú ar an méadú atá ar an tóir atá ag mic léinn ar chúrsaí i dTeicneolaíocht na Faisnéise a fheabhas atá ag éirí leis an taighde atá á dhéanamh ag Institiúid Taighde na Fiontraíochta Digití (DERI) san Ollscoil, Institiúid atá ar thús cadhnaíochta ó thaobh an Ghréasáin Shéimeantaigh de go domhanda. Bhí an tIonad Eolaíochta, Innealtóireachta agus Teicneolaíochta (CSET) a mhaoinigh Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann (SFI) sa nuacht le gairid nuair a roghnaigh lucht riaracháin Barack Obama cuid de theicneolaíocht ghréasáin an Ionaid chun go mbeidís in ann cur leis an trédhearcacht i Rialtas nua na Stát Aontaithe. Tá ceangal díreach idir réimse na hInnealtóireachta Bithleighis agus an Eolaíocht Bhithleighis, áit a bhfuil cúrsaí agus taighde curtha in oiriúint ag an Ollscoil le freastal ar riachtanais na gcomhpháirtithe áitiúla tionscail, amhail Boston Scientific agus Medtronic." -Crioch-
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Final Call for Entries to Sports Scholarship Scheme at NUI Galway
Monday, 20 July 2009
NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2009/2010. With a strong reputation in sport, the University is committed to supporting and encouraging promising athletes to pursue their sporting careers. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Thursday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received over €100,000 in scholarships to help them to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 80 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Rock Climbing, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Scholarships are aimed at those with the potential to achieve a high level of performance in sport and, at the same time, be academically successful. Each scholarship is available for the duration of a student's studies. Our approach focuses on developing the athlete so that they are in a position to achieve sporting success and development during and after their time in NUI Galway". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships; "The Irish Olympic team in Beijing had four NUI Galway graduates and shows that students who come to Galway can succeed in their chosen sport and course of study. We are developing an integrated approach to student athlete support that will create a high performance environment around the athlete and enable them to train and study effectively". For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme or an application form are available from the Sport and Recreation Unit at NUI Galway by phoning 091 493482. -ends-
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Chief Justice Roberts Teaching at NUI Galway
Monday, 20 July 2009
Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., enters his final week of teaching at NUI Galway today as part of the New England Law Boston Summer School. The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has hosted the summer school every year since 2001 and Chief Justice Roberts is one of a series of distinguished lecturers through the years. This year, 56 students from US law schools attended the programme, the overall focus being International and Comparative Human Rights Law. As well as providing a venue for the programme, several members of the Irish Centre for Human Rights faculty also deliver courses for the programme that are credited towards American Bar Association approved law degrees. Dr Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, comments: "The Irish Centre for Human Rights is tasked with the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. Our brief is international and the opportunity to engage with the New England Law summer school provides an added dimension to our work. We meet not only the next generation of legal professionals from the US but also some of its leading law academics. This year we are further informed by the presence of Chief Justice Roberts". Justice Roberts' class, 'The United States Supreme Court in Historical Perspective', examines changes in the Supreme Court since the nation's founding, with particular emphasis on the role of the Chief Justice and how several of them, from John Marshall to William Rehnquist, have influenced the Court's role. The course also reviews the changes that advocacy before the Court has taken over time. "We are honored that Chief Justice Roberts is participating in our Galway programme," said Dean John F. O'Brien of the New England Law Boston Summer School, "and proud to be able to offer our students this extraordinary opportunity". -ends-
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NUI Galway Student Awarded US Scholarship
Friday, 17 July 2009
A Bachelor of Commerce student at NUI Galway has received a scholarship from the Ireland-U.S. Council to work with Allied Irish Bank in New York for the summer. The scholarship was awarded to Máirtín Ó Rabhartaigh, from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, as part of the Ireland-U.S. Council's annual programme of Student Work Experience Scholarships 2009. Máirtín's scholarship period runs until early September 2009 when he returns to NUI Galway to begin his third year of study. Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: "This is a great opportunity for any undergraduate business student and we are delighted that a student of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics has been afforded this opportunity. Máirtín has performed extremely well in his business studies to date, and I have no doubt he will benefit hugely from this work experience with Allied Irish Bank in New York. We are very grateful to the Ireland-U.S. Council for providing this opportunity to one of our students, through its very successful Student Work Experience Scholarships programme". Council President Dennis D. Swanson, in releasing details of this year s scholarship awards, said: "This is the 25th year in which the Council will have operated its successful Scholarship Awards. The programme provides opportunities to student undergraduates from third-level educational institutions on the island of Ireland travel to the United States and work temporarily in American corporations. The scholarships provide work assignments in business corporations of all sizes. The assignments are linked to the fields of study and academic disciplines which the undergraduate scholars are pursuing in Ireland". The Ireland-U.S. Council was founded in 1963 by American and Irish business leaders. Its principal objective is to encourage closer business links between Ireland and America. The Council operates a variety of scholarship and internship programs, stages seminars and hosts frequent events aimed at building business bonds and commercial connections between Ireland and the United States. -ends-
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NUI Galway Rowers Claim Victory in National Championships
Monday, 13 July 2009
NUI Galway's Rowing Club claimed five titles at the Irish National Rowing Championships over the weekend. The University's rowers snatched victory in the blue ribbon event, the Men's Senior Eights. The NUI Galway men claimed the 'Big Pot', after beating Queen's University Belfast by just 0.4 seconds. The winning crew were Dave Mannion, Jason Wall, Evin Donnelly, Pádraig Bracken, Paul Giblin, Alan Martin, Cormac Folan, James Wall and Ruadhán Cooke. The crew was coached by Tom Tuohy, a recent recipient of an honorary M.A. in recognition of his years of service to the sport in the University. The other national titles secured by NUI Galway were the Men's Senior Coxless Fours & Double Sculls and the Women's Novice Eights & Fours. The University also won the award for the best overall club at the event which was held over three days at the National Rowing Centre in Cork. Ruadhán Cooke teaches French in the School of Languages at NUI Galway and was cox of the winning Men's Eight: "Rowing is very much a part of the fabric and an expression of the identity of the city of Galway, surrounded as we are by the river Corrib, the canals and the sea. It's a sport that strikes a chord with Galwegians. We in the University are very proud of our rowing tradition and we are committed to working hard in order to stay on top in the years ahead". NUI Galway Rowing Club is one of the most successful clubs in the University and indeed in Irish rowing. In the last decade, its rowers have captured numerous National Championship titles and rowed to success at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. Rowing Club members have also represented Ireland at all levels internationally, most notably Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall who were members of Ireland's Heavyweight Coxless Four which has been competing on the World Cup Regatta circuit since 2005. Alan Martin and Cormac Folan, along with two other Irish rowers, qualified the boat for the Beijing Olympics at the World Rowing Championships in Munich in 2007. Cormac Folan managed to retain his seat and competed in the Games last summer. -ends-
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Molecular Medicine Ireland Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme
Monday, 13 July 2009
The first Molecular Medicine Ireland (MMI) Clinician Scientist Fellowship Programme (CSFP) Annual Meeting took place on Saturday 11 July 2009 at NUI Galway. The objective of the CSFP is to train the next generation of clinician scientists with the unique and specialised knowledge essential to fulfil Ireland's research needs in translational medicine. The CSFP is funded by the Irish Government under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions cycle 4. Fellows from five institutions with a shared agenda in clinical and translational research are participating in the Programme, which is being coordinated by Molecular Medicine Ireland. This training programme transcends institutional boundaries and provides systematic training for this l group of clinician researchers through a structured Ph.D. programme. 22 MMI Fellows have been appointed to date The CSFP Annual Meeting gathered key individuals involved in this MMI programme, including the Fellows' supervisors. Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, welcomed the delegates to the annual meeting. The MMI Fellows presented their research as short talks and posters. A highlight of the day was the Keynote Lecture delivered by Professor Sherine Gabriel (William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic, MN, US). A judging panel, comprising Prof Matthew Griffin (Professor of Transplant Biology at NUI Galway), Dr Christine Dingivan (Executive vice president and chief medical officer, PPD) and Prof Gabriel awarded a MMI medal for best Fellows presentation. 'Today is milestone in the Clinician Scientist Fellowship programme' commented Dr Ruth Barrington, CEO of MMI. 'The research presented by the Fellows is at the cutting edge of science and is of great significance for more effective diagnosis of disease and treatment of patients. The Fellows are contributing to Ireland's reputation for excellence in clinical and translational research. They are also making Ireland a more attractive place for investment by healthcare industries in research and development', she said. The Annual Meeting was preceded by a week of Structured Training at NUI Galway, which brought the MMI Fellows together for education modules covering research and translational skills. -ends-
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