Cultural Campus Trail to be launched by NUI Galway

Cultural Campus Trail to be launched by NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

As part of Culture Night 2014, which takes place on Friday, 19 September, NUI Galway will launch a new Cultural Campus Trail (brochure and map), at 4.30pm in the Atrium of the Orbsen Building. This follows the official start of the night's events in the City and County by the Mayor of Galway, Councillor Donal Lyons, also in the Orbsen Building. Dr Chris Coughlan of Hewlett Packard will launch the University’s Cultural Campus Trail, which heralds a new vision for an open campus at NUI Galway, promoting the sights on offer to the public at the University. The Trail brochure is a first template for a comprehensive visitor guide to the wealth of treasures to be explored on campus in the areas of art, sculpture, heritage, science and technology, and environment, including the sections of the river walk and Greenway. The star attractions include the permanent displays in Zoology, Geology, The James Hardiman Research Building and DERI with details of how tours can be arranged by appointment. ConTempo Quartet, Galway Ensemble in Residence, will play a tribute to mark the Trail and refreshments will be served. NUI Galway is hosting several events that evening across campus and all of the exhibitions are open to the public until 10pm including a new exhibition in the Art Gallery by Vincent Godfrey-Glynn and a pop-up sculpture by Donnacha Cahill. For more information visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/culturenight2014/ or www.galwayculturenight.com. -Ends-  

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NUI Galway and Met Éireann are Europe’s eyes for Ozone Recovery

NUI Galway and Met Éireann are Europe’s eyes for Ozone Recovery-image

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Today marks the 25th UN International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol which brought about a global initiative to ban Ozone Depleting Substances. Two Irish scientific atmospheric monitoring stations have played a significant role assessing the planet’s success in saving the ozone layer. Over the last 25 years, atmospheric observations from NUI Galway’s Mace Head Station in Connemara and Met Éireann’s Valentia Observatory in Co. Kerry, have charted the success of international actions relating to man-made Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). The world was shocked 30 years ago to hear of the major threat posed by the hole in ozone layer. World governments responded by developing and eventually agreeing in 1987 the Montreal Protocol .The protocol phased out the use of man-made ODS, of which, the primary culprits where CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons used as refrigerants. CFCs provided a source of reactive chlorine in the upper atmosphere which destroyed ozone. Combined observations from Mace Head and Valentia, supported by satellite data, illustrate that it took 15 years for the destructive chlorine trend to peak-out and turn into decline. As the destructive chlorine declined, stratospheric ozone concentrations slowly started to recover. The data are unique in Europe as they represent observations in Europe’s cleanest air and they demonstrate a gradually recovering ozone layer over the last 10 years. Globally, the impact of CFCs is still evident. According to the IPCC AR5 Report, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, it is certain that global stratospheric ozone has declined from pre-1980 values. Most of the decline occurred prior to the mid-1990s. Since then ozone has remained nearly constant at about 3.5% below the 1964–1980 level. Ireland is strategically located to monitor the change in ODS and stratospheric ozone in the cleanest northern hemispheric air and at mid-latitudes which are heavily populated and susceptible to most impacts from the ozone hole. Professor Colin O’Dowd, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Research, which operates Mace Head highlighted the importance of such observing and research infrastructures stating that: “Without these key long-term observations in strategic locations emerging environmental dangers, solutions, and response to interventions would be very difficult to identify, enable and quantify. It is essential that stakeholder support of such research and observation infrastructures is sustained and even expanded on into the future in order to improve environmental security and better inform response-policy development.”   Eoin Moran, Assistant Director of Met Éireann, added: “The location of Valentia Observatory and Mace Head, are strategically important, nationally and internationally, providing important climate and environmental data at the interface between Europe and the Northeast Atlantic. The measurements at both stations are complimentary forming a very important component of the Global Atmosphere Watch programme – this work represents an excellent example of Ireland’s contribution to international scientific research – brought about through successful and sustained collaboration between world class research and operational scientists.” Monitoring Ozone Recovery The accumulation of CFCs in the atmosphere has been monitored at NUI Galway’s Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station since the early 1980’s. This globally important record was one of the first to demonstrate the reduction in CFCs a few years after the protocol for the most reactive CFCs. Mace Head operates with a World Meteorological Organisation ‘Global Atmosphere Watch’ (GAW) status in tandem with Met Éireann’s GAW station at Valentia Observatory where complementary stratospheric Ozone measurements are conducted. The ozone measurements at Valentia contributed to the identification of the extent of ozone loss and eventually the initial beginnings of the expected recovery using special balloon-borne ozone detecting instruments (called ozonesondes) and a sophisticated ground based ozone sensor (called a Brewer Spectrophotometer). The research by NUI Galway is conducted in cooperation with the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gas Experiment (AGAGE). More information on the observatories can be found on www.macehead.org and www.met.ie. -ends-

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Free Seminar on Regulation of Medical Devices

 Free Seminar on Regulation of Medical Devices-image

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

On Monday, 13 October, the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway will host a free seminar on the regulatory elements that need to be considered when developing medical devices involving a combination of advanced materials and biomolecules. The European Regulation of Medical Devices (EROMed) Seminar will take place in the Seminar Room of the Biosciences Building from 9.30am to 5.30pm. This free event is organised as part of the EU-funded NeuroGraft project and will be of interest to local medical device industries and researchers. The seminar is coordinated by Obelis, a regulatory company, and the NFB, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research group. The event is designed to provide information about the higher regulatory aspects involved when using human cells in medical devices. The speakers include experts in compliance with EU legislation of products, as well as experts from industry and research. Topics that will be covered include combined tissue engineering products, clinical investigations, and classification of combination products in the EU. Injuries and degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) constitute a bottleneck in medical and surgical practice for which no therapy currently exists. The aim of the NeuroGraft project is to develop a novel multichannel conduit system to aid regeneration following spinal cord injury. The NeuroGraft consortium consists of one academic and four industrial partners across four countries. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB, stated “Our continued collaboration with Irish and European industries, such as in the case of the NeuroGraft project, is an indication of the relevance of NFB’s research within Europe. We will continue to initiate collaborative research with partners from outside of Ireland and look towards funding opportunities within Horizon 2020.” For further details of the event contact sharon.s.kelly@nuigalway.ie. 091 494233 -ends-

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NUI Galway Launch the Arts in Action Programme for 2014/2015

NUI Galway Launch the Arts in Action Programme for 2014/2015-image

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway has launched the 2014/2015 Arts in Action Programme, which invites students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. Aimed at students across the campus, Arts in Action offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. The Arts in Action programme is packed with rich and diverse performances focusing on emerging artists from the Western sea board of Ireland, focusing on counties Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry and also on performances by international names from the world of theatre, literature and traditional music. Among the legendary performers showcasing in this year’s series are: Olwen Fouéré, Mick Moloney, Peadar O’Ríada, the Mulcahy Family and Dolores Keane. This year also sees a commemoration of Maud Gonne, the 150th anniversary of the birth of WB Yeats and two new collaborations with NUI Galway’s Moore Institute and the James Hardiman Library. The Dean of the College of Arts Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Dr Edward Herring said: “The performers in this year’s series come from Ireland’s entire Atlantic coast, from Donegal to Kerry. Just like the ocean constantly shapes and reinvigorates the coastline, so the indigenous tradition sustains and inspires the creative artists and communities of the West of Ireland.” Launching the new programme, Vincent Woods, poet, RTÉ Arts broadcaster and journalist, said: “The Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway is a rare and very impressive example of a university incorporating creative performance into its academic calendar, a blueprint for all third-level colleges in Ireland. I commend it for its vitality, diversity, relevance and richness.” Arts in Action has been building over three years to support specific undergraduate and post-graduate modules as well as having a significant input into the programmes for International Students. The content of the programme is designed in such a way that it is now aligned to a teaching theory component within a two-hour seminar and is a credit bearing module for both Irish and International students. Mary Mc Partlan, Traditional Artist-in-Residence at the Centre for Theatre and Performance and Artistic Director of Arts in Action at NUI Galway, said: “This year’s programme marks the ultimate goal and objective of embedding the creative arts into academic modules, creating a full programme in such a sustained and significant way that fulfils all the aims and outcomes for credit bearing modules, available to all students across the campus, with structured, bespoke space opportunities for visiting students to immerse in Irish Traditional Culture.” All events are free to attend and will take place mostly at The Cube and Bailey Allen Hall in Áras Na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. The programme will commence on Thursday, 25 September and run until the end of March 2015. For programme details please see http://www.nuigalway.ie/arts/artsinaction.html, or visit the Arts in Action Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ArtsinActionNUIGalway. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Annual Volunteering Fair Highlights Rich Civic Life of City

NUI Galway Annual Volunteering Fair Highlights Rich Civic Life of City -image

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway’s 13th annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 24 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 11am-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair will be officially opened by Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Donal Lyons, and is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway. Over 80 campus, local, national, and international NGOs, school and hospital programmes, charities and community/voluntary groups will be showcasing the depth and breadth of their work with a particular focus on their current volunteering opportunities.   Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “The amazing response from community and voluntary groups to attending the Fair is a real testament to the rich and engaged civic life of the city. There are a wide variety of volunteering opportunities that students are eager to apply for in order to earn much needed experience and skills.” Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: Enable Ireland, Galway Community Circus, Foróige, Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Galway Rape Crisis Centre, SERVE In Solidarity, Music for Galway, Youth Work Ireland – Westside. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established at NUI Galway to build links between community groups and students. This has been achieved through community partnerships, events like the Volunteering Fair, and an online website of volunteer opportunities. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate in acknowledgment of their voluntary commitment which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 10,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment to the Galway city community, the NUI Galway campus community and with international communities. To book a stand or for further information visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive, or contact the ALIVE office on 091 495346 or email alive@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Croke Park Skyline Tour and Museum Visit for NUI Galway Graduates

Croke Park Skyline Tour and Museum Visit for NUI Galway Graduates-image

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NUI Galway’s Alumni Association has organised a Croke Park skyline tour and museum visit for graduate and friends of the University. The event will take place on Saturday, 20 September at 2pm. The rooftop tour will include panoramic views of Dublin City, 17 storeys high over five viewing platforms. Visitors will be given a brief history of the area and of Croke Park. Following the tour, the Association has arranged a special visit to the Croke Park museum. All alumni and friends are welcome to attend but tickets are limited so early booking is advised. The cost per ticket is €15. In keeping with the GAA theme, NUI Galway has also organised a Donegal V Kerry All-Ireland Final breakfast brunch and panel discussion on Sunday, 21 September. The brunch will take place at 11am in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin. Guest panellists include TV GAA analyst Martin Carney and former Kerry footballer Eoin Liston, with MC by Gavin Jennings from RTÉ. Booking for the breakfast brunch is essential and tickets cost €15 or a table of ten for €150. To book tickets for the events, contact the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or tickets can be purchased online at http://www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends/. The closing date for tickets is Friday, 19 September. -Ends-

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Student Organised Tech Carnival Brings Major Employers to NUI Galway

Student Organised Tech Carnival Brings Major Employers to NUI Galway-image

Thursday, 18 September 2014

NUI Galway Computer Science and Information Technology students will hold a new unique networking and workshop event, bringing major technological companies and employers to campus. ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’, a one-day free event, will take place on Friday, 26 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, and is for students and people interested in technology to meet with key Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) stakeholders in a fun and informative exchange of ideas. Major employers will be demonstrating their latest technologies and explaining their ongoing training and employment opportunities. The emphasis is all around having a fun and interesting event for people new to ICT to learn how to engage and become successful in the booming software industry. Speakers and panel discussions will offer key insights into the current trends that are being experienced for tech graduates in Ireland. Keynote speakers include: Mark Gantly, Hewlett Packard; Stephen Howell, Microsoft; and Eugene Garvin, Avaya. David Renton, event organiser and NUI Galway student, said: “Students of Computer Science and Information Technology have seen the success of tech events internationally and want to showcase that the West of Ireland is just as exciting for tech people to come together in a dynamic and fun environment. NUI Galway has such a unique balance of energy, youth and talent which lends itself to hosting an event such as this, while Galway itself is one of the best cities in Ireland for ICT companies to attract new talent, as it is one of the most desirable places to live and work for all ages. This will be an unmissable opportunity for those at any stage of their career, from a potential computing student to an experienced pro wanting to network.” David continues: “We have employers such as Microsoft, LinkedIn and Havok coming to the event as they see the energy that has built up around the idea. Galway companies such as HP, Avaya and Cisco/SAP are offering great support as they see this as an opportunity to showcase their Galway operations. Equally NUI Galway are spearheading the event as they offer a range of programmes that can provide training and education opportunities for all ages for a career in ICT.” The networking arena demos and main stage presentations will provide attendees with all the latest information on all of the companies involved while the Workshop Heaven area will provide a more in depth and interactive view of the technologies involved. Exhibitors and presenters include: Microsoft, Accenture, Riot Games, Cloud Consulting, Silicon Republic, ThoughtBox, EY, Avaya, First Derivatives, KBC Bank, Havok, Tribal City Interactive, 091Labs, Hewlett Packard, RealSim, ITAG, Pocket Anatomy, Element Wave, amongst others. Dr Michael Madden, Head of the Information Technology discipline at NUI Galway, said: “I am very proud that our third year Computer Science and Information Technology students are showing the immense energy and enthusiasm they have for the software industry by making this event a reality. They are showcasing the kind of drive and determination that is characteristic of NUI Galway graduates, which has been so hugely valued by major employers for many decades. The response of so many Tech Leaders is testament to the hunger for more graduates and talented professionals in the Galway area.” NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a wonderful student-led event. I commend the students involved in Synapse//a Tech Carnival for their initiative in linking students and industry in such a dynamic and innovative way. I look forward to participating in the event and to seeing at firsthand the synergy developing between NUI Galway technology students and industry leaders.” For more information on ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’ visit www.synapsegalway.com. -Ends-

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Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway Formalise Collaboration

Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway Formalise Collaboration-image

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Collaboration will focus on stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering The National University Ireland Galway has signed an agreement to formalise collaborative ties with the Mayo Clinic Centre for Regenerative Medicine in the US. The agreement follows many years of close cooperation, and paves the way for joint collaborations in clinical trials using regenerative therapies. Collaborative research projects will focus on a number of key strategic areas of importance for both institutes, including adult stem cell therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials and biomedical engineering. Furthermore, the agreement facilitates ongoing student and staff exchange between Galway and the US.   The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) puts the emphasis on regulatory science to facilitate global translation of regenerative medicine therapies to the clinic. Both the National University Ireland Galway and the Mayo Clinic Centre for Regenerative Medicine have GMP cell manufacturing facilities, licensed for use by the respective national medical authorities. National University of Ireland Galway’s President, Dr Jim Browne, welcoming the signing of the MOU, said: “Formalising our longstanding links paves the way for advancing our common agenda which is to realize the potential of regenerative medicine. Here in Galway we have Ireland’s only facility licenced to produce stem cells for human use, while the new clinical and translational research facility for conducting clinical trials with patients will be complete in early 2015.” NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), both of which are supported by Science Foundation Ireland, are working together specifically to develop joint clinical trial programmes in the area of regenerative medicine. Professor Tony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic said: “Mayo Clinic and NUI Galway have an established track record and commitment to regenerative medicine over the last decade. The Mayo Clinic has prioritized the development of new regenerative medicine clinical applications as a critical strategy for meeting the needs of patients in the future, which was evidenced in the formation of our Centre for Regenerative Medicine in 2012.” The signing of the MOU comes on top of the recent announcement of a new $16 million agreement between Mayo Clinic and Enterprise Ireland where up to 20 novel medical technologies will be commercialised in Ireland over the next five years with the aim of creating several high value medical technology spin-out companies. Video featuring Professor Tony Windebank, Deputy Director for Discovery of the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B98ci3iAknE  

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Graduates Invited Back to Campus for NUI Galway's Autumn Open Days

Graduates Invited Back to Campus for NUI Galway's Autumn Open Days-image

Monday, 22 September 2014

In conjunction with NUI Galway Autumn Open Days, the University will hold a special event for its graduates on Saturday, 4 October. The Open Days will feature tours of the campus, facility tours, and taster sessions of what is involved in attending NUI Galway today and graduates are invited to participate. As well as the rest of the activities associated with the Open Day, a special series of lectures for Alumni will take place in the Aula Maxima from 2pm. These will include contributions from Professor Hubert McDermott from the Department of English, Professor Alan Ahearne from the School of Economics, amongst others. The Literary and Debating Society have also organised a ball for society members past and present. As well as some familiar faces, there will be a four-course meal, debating and entertainment. For booking details visit www.literaryanddebating.com. For Dublin Alumni, a special evening of Druid's production of Tom Murphy's double bill Brigit and Bailgangaire will take place in the Olymypia Theatre on Saturday, 4 October. To book tickets visit www.nuigalway.ie/alumniday. Sean O'Rourke, Chair of the NUI Galway Alumni Board, said: “NUI Galway Day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the links that all Galway graduates share with their alma mater. There are over 80,000 NUI Galway graduates worldwide and I would encourage all of them to celebrate their shared Galway heritage.” A special new online graduate worldwide alumni contact map will be live soon at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni. There will be live online links on the day and graduates can also contact each other via our Linkedin and Facebook sites. For more information contact the Alumni Office at alumni@nuigalway.ie or 091 493750. -Ends-

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Cancer Researcher Awarded for Participation in Lindau Nobel Laureate Awards

Cancer Researcher Awarded for Participation in Lindau Nobel Laureate Awards-image

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr Damien English T.D., and Professor Orla Feely, Chairperson of the Irish Research Council, recently presented NUI Galway researcher Dr Aideen Ryan with an award in recognition of her selection and participation in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. Since 1951, the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings have been bringing together the most esteemed scientists of their times with outstanding young scientists from all over the world. This year, 600 young researchers representing almost 80 countries took part in the Meeting. Dr Ryan was one of four young Irish researchers who were chosen in a competitive process to attend the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting dedicated to Physiology and Medicine. The select group of scientists had the opportunity to present and discuss their research in master classes hosted by 37 Nobel Laureates. Dr Ryan works within the Immunology group of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway with Professor Laurence Egan, Dr Thomas Ritter and Professor Matthew Griffin and her research, which looks specifically at colon cancer, is supported by an Irish Cancer Society Research Fellowship. Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths in Ireland and represents a significant health problem. Dr Ryan’s research is taking a fresh approach by focusing on the cancer cells interaction with the immune system. Dr Ryan, who is originally from Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, explains her work: “What fascinates me is the interaction of cancer cells with our immune cells. Understanding how our immune system allows the cancer to spread may allow us to develop ways to stop the process.” The aim of her research is to find ways to help the body’s immune system detect and destroy cancer cells. “Our work in the lab has shown that we can target some of the signals coming from tumours and that this could help our immune cells to flourish.” Dr Ryan’s recent research work, published in the journal Oncogene, has provided new insights into how the body’s immune system affects the spread of colon cancer cells and it is hoped that this work will inform the development of new drugs that could be used to strengthen our immune system’s response to cancer. This novel approach to cancer treatment could potentially result in better treatments and consequently a better prognosis and quality of life for patients with colon cancer. -ends-

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