NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Researchers Claim Top National Awards

NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Researchers Claim Top National Awards-image

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

NUI Galway Biomedical Engineering Researchers recently claimed two major national awards. David Nolan, a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering under the supervision of Dr Patrick McGarry at the College of Engineering and Informatics, is the 2015 winner of the prestigious Engineers Ireland Biomedical Research Medal, awarded annually to the best PhD level biomedical engineering research in Ireland. This prestigious award and a €1,000 honorarium is sponsored by DePuy Synthes and is adjudicated, based on a research paper and presentation, by an expert panel drawn from academia and industry. David Nolan’s winning paper entails the development of new mathematical and computer models for simulating arteries based on experimental testing of excised arterial tissue. The mechanical behaviour of arteries is particularly complex due to the presence of aligned reinforcing collagen fibres. This new formulation provides improved predictions of the stress state in arteries during the insertion of stents. This research has significant implications for the design of next-generation medical devices. This is the second time that a member of Dr McGarry’s research group has achieved this award in the past four years. The research was performed in collaboration with Professor Michel Destrade and Artur Gower, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway, and Professor Ray Ogden, School of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Glasgow. The research is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council, and is also supported by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing. A major research award was also recently claimed by Fiona Freeman, a biomedical engineering PhD student under the supervision of Dr Laoise McNamara, also from the College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway. Fiona was awarded first prize in the Mature Researcher category for her presentation at the 21st Annual Conference of the Bioengineering Section of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland. The work presented at the conference was conducted by Fiona in Professor Robert Guldberg’s Laboratory in Georgia Tech, Atlanta. After being awarded the National University of Ireland Travelling Scholar Award, Fiona travelled to the US for six months to conduct her studies in collaboration with Guldberg’s lab. Her study explored the fate of constructs produced using an endochondral ossification process. Both David, a native of Kilkenny, and Fiona, a native of Galway, completed their undergraduate degrees in biomedical engineering at NUI Galway prior to undertaking PhD research. Speaking of their success, Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway said: “David’s and Fiona’s awards further establish NUI Galway as a leading centre for biomedical engineering research, both nationally and internationally. This research is also very important for the ongoing development of the medical device industry.” -ends-

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NUI Galway takes a stand in the fight against Cancer with the launch of ‘PINK POWER’ & ‘BLUE POWER’

NUI Galway takes a stand in the fight against Cancer with the launch of ‘PINK POWER’ & ‘BLUE POWER’-image

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

First Irish University to Offer Free Cancer Screening for Staff NUI Galway has today launched a FREE Mammogram service under the banner of ‘Pink Power’ for female employees, and a FREE prostate screening programme for male employees under the banner of Blue Power. This initiative is the first of its kind in any university in Ireland, is sponsored by Cornmarket, and delivered with the Bon Secours Hospital Galway. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Head of Surgery at NUI Galway and Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) early diagnosis is vital: “Approximately 2800 women per year get breast cancer in the Republic of Ireland and it is the leading cause of cancer death amongst middle aged women in Ireland. This campaign will increase awareness and provide a screening mammogram for women in the 40-50 year age group in NUI Galway.” Mr Kilian Walsh Consultant Urological Surgeon went on to say “For men, 1 in 9 will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer during their lifetime. The chance of developing Prostate Cancer increases with age and early diagnosis allows an informed discussion about all available treatment options. This is why the NUI Galway have organised FREE PSA tests for male employees aged 45 and over.” In the coming weeks, male employees aged 45 and over will be invited to attend clinics under the care of Bon Secours Hospital Nursing staff conveniently located in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. At the same time, female employees between the ages of 40 and 50 will be offered a FREE mammogram in the Bon Secours hospital. BreastCheck (the national screening programme) invites women aged 50 to 64 years for a free screening mammogram every two years. However, breast cancer can happen before 50. We hope that through Pink Power we can increase awareness of the importance of self-assessment and early detection. Speaking at the launch, Roddy Murphy, Managing Director of Cornmarket said: “We are very proud to sponsor this first of its kind employee initiative. Sadly Cornmarket’s claims team take phone calls regularly from members in their schemes, both young and old, who have been diagnosed with cancer. This initiative is an important step in the battle against cancer. If one life can be saved, it will have been worthwhile.” Speaking on the day, Triona Lydon, Pensions and Investment Officer at NUI Galway said: “This new initiative for NUI Galway employees is about health promotion, early detection and swift treatment, if necessary, and it is hoped that it will make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our staff.” Professor Michael Kerin and Kilian Walsh concluded: “We believe that ‘Pink Power’ and Blue Power is truly an excellent tool for early intervention in the fight against breast and prostate cancer and NUI Galway is very happy to lead out on this.” -End-

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NUI Galway Masters Programme Awarded Apple Distinguished Programme

NUI Galway Masters Programme Awarded Apple Distinguished Programme-image

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

First award from Apple to any Higher Education programme in Europe NUI Galway’s Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas programme has been awarded the Apple Distinguished Programme for 2014/2015. The Apple Distinguished Programme (APD) recognises educational programmes for innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. The Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) is a two year, full-time programme offered through the medium of Irish, by the School of Education at NUI Galway. The MGO is unique in that it is the only initial teacher education programme that prepares future teachers to teach in second-level Irish medium schools. The programme equips student teachers with the professional knowledge, theoretical and conceptual tools necessary for developing creative, flexible and reflective approaches to teaching. A particular emphasis is placed on teaching through the medium of Irish and on the development of strategies for teaching and learning both content and language (CLIL). Dr Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education at NUI Galway, said: “This award is a significant and important accolade for the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas programme as it gives recognition to the innovative teamwork, collegiality and deep engagement with pre-service teacher learning for future practice within Irish medium schools and classrooms. We in the School of Education are very proud of our colleagues and wholeheartedly congratulate Dr Brendan Mac Mahon, Seán Ó Grádaigh and Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir on this fantastic achievement.” This is the first Apple Distinguished Programme award to any Higher Education programme in Europe, and only the third Education programme worldwide. This award builds on the success of the recent First International Conference in Mobile Technology in Initial Teacher Education (MiTE) 2015. This two-day Conference, hosted by the School of Education last month, brought together field leaders in the area of mobile technology in education, in both research and practice. Director of the MGO programme, Dr Brendan Mac Mahon said: “It is a great honour that the groundbreaking work of the student teachers and programme team has attracted international recognition. Incorporating mobile technology within our programme created spaces for teaching and learning that we had not envisaged and which are now having an impact on teaching, learning and assessment in secondary schools.” -Ends-

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NUI Galway Partner in €4 Million European Research Project

NUI Galway Partner in €4 Million European Research Project -image

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The research project aims to advance active and healthy ageing with use of service robots A new European research project valued at €4 million, aimed at managing active and healthy ageing through the use of caring service robots has recently begun at NUI Galway. The MARIO project brings together a consortium of partners from academic institutions and industry across Europe, led by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway. Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, within the thematic section ‘Societal Challenge on Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing’, it assembles a team of international experts from academia, industry and dementia groups to work collaboratively in tackling the burdens imposed by dementia and developing innovative solutions using caring robots. The €4 million project will last for three years during which three pilot studies of robots interacting with people with dementia will be undertaken. The first pilot will run in the West of Ireland, organised by NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, the second will run in Stockport, UK, organised by the city’s health care managers, while the third will run in Italy, organised by a leading research hospital, Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, which is pushing research boundaries in comprehensive geriatric assessment. The project’s communication strategist, Professor Kathy Murphy of NUI Galway explains: “MARIO is an exciting and innovative project that will make a huge difference to the lives of people with dementia. We will be working directly with people with dementia to ensure that the issues they see as important are addressed. Multi-faceted interventions will be developed, which will be delivered by humanoid robots.” The technology at the heart of MARIO is the robot Kompai, designed and developed by a consortium partner, French company Robosoft. Other partners in the consortium will provide technological expertise in the areas of robotic applications and semantic computing. All the outcomes of the research will be made public. These are expected to be of great benefit to people with dementia as well as lead to commercial opportunities for cutting-edge technology companies. Project coordinator, Dr Dympna Casey of NUI Galway, said of these pilot studies: “All interactions with caregivers, persons with dementia, older persons and stakeholders will fully comply with standards-based medical assessment methodologies, and aspire to provide a truly user-led design ethos.” Professor Murphy added: “The project will follow an open door communications policy. The project is funded by the European Commission and its results belong to all the citizens of the European Union.” -Ends-

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10,000 signatures from Ireland needed to support Global Education #UpForSchool petition

10,000 signatures from Ireland needed to support Global Education #UpForSchool petition-image

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The official launch of the Irish #UpForSchool campaign will take place in the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway on Friday, 27 February at 6pm. Professor Michael O’ Flaherty, Head of the Irish Centre for Human Rights will host the launch: "I am delighted to support the #UpForSchool campaign. Education offers us freedom and a better future.  Access to school is a basic human right. However, there remains 58 million children around the world who are denied the possibility to go to school. Schools in more than 70 countries were attacked in the past five years - and girls in particular have faced increasing hostility, physical violence and abuse. By signing the #UpForSchool campaign we are lending our voice to the 1.5million who have already signed the petition demanding access to school for all children regardless of location or gender. By becoming a Youth Ambassador for the #UpForSchool petition Irish students are showing solidarity with students from around the world and helping young Irish men and women to grow more socially conscious and politically aware." #UpForSchool is a global campaign started by Sarah Brown, wife of former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.  The aim of the campaign is to get 58 million primary school children who are currently not in school, into school.  It was one of the United Nations Millennium goals to get every child into primary education by 2015 and this has not been realised. There is a global education crisis and young courageous campaigners around the world are coming together in this campaign to demand action. They are reaching out too Irish students to ask them to sign the petition and to become #UpForSchool Youth Ambassadors. Senator Fidelma Healy Eames has recently been appointed WIP’s Education Champion for Ireland. WIP is an organisation representing 9000 female parliamentarians across the globe. As part of this new role Senator Eames has been asked to lead out the #UpforSchool campaign in Ireland. “I am asking that your school community, teacher, students and parents would become champions for this worthy global campaign.  I am asking each school to commit to gathering 200 signatures to add to our campaign petition. Our national goal is to collect 10,000 signatures from Ireland as part of the global #UpForSchool petition.  Each school will be presented with an #UpforSchool certificate on completion.” The final petition will be presented to global leaders at the UN summit in September. If your school would like to be part of this really important initiative please log onto and see all the resources you will need there, including the Irish You can read more on the worthy human rights campaign at Irish schools are being invited to become champions for the #UpForSchool campaign by getting as many people as possible to sign the petition. For further information on #UpforSchool petition visit our facebook page -Ends-

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Poetry Aloud on the Streets of Galway City

Poetry Aloud on the Streets of Galway City-image

Thursday, 26 February 2015

NUI Galway students perform ‘A Poem for Ireland’ shortlist in Galway city centre Today students of Irish and of Drama and Theatre Studies in NUI Galway will bring poetry out of the lecture halls and onto the main shopping street in Galway city for the pleasure of unsuspecting shoppers. Students will recite a selection of verses from poems shortlisted in RTÉ’s ‘A Poem for Ireland’ campaign. Current lecturer in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh is among those shortlisted for ‘A Poem for Ireland’. This flashmob style event, which will also include a number of musicians, aims to encourage the general public to engage with the ten shortlisted poems and to cast their vote in the national ‘A Poem for Ireland’ campaign. Event organisers Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil (Gaeilge, NUI Galway) and Marianne Ní Chinnéide (Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway) believe that there are many ways to engage with poetry. Beyond the act of reading, poetry can be made accessible through performance. Their students will perform poetry on a busy city street to remind people that poetry is for everybody. The event takes place on Shop Street, Galway, today (Thursday, 26 February) from 4pm. -ends-

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NUI Galway Statement

NUI Galway Statement-image

Friday, 27 February 2015

FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2015 NUI Galway uses a detailed medical questionnaire to conduct pre-employment health screening. An indepth questionnaire replaces the need for a face-to-face medical consultation for staff. This process takes place after a candidate has been offered a position and forms no part of the job interview. This process of health screening was implemented by the University in 2008 following a decision by its Governing Authority. Prior to this all prospective staff were required to attend a pre-employment medical examination. The detail of the medical questionnaire used for pre-employment health screening is a strictly confidential process between doctor and patient.The questionnaire was provided to the University by its Occupational Health service providers and is in line with best practice nationally. Many organisations in Ireland and the UK use a similar process to determine the health of future employees.The questionnaire is completed independently and privately by prospective staff members, regardless of gender, and subsequently examined by the occupational health physician. Where a staff member responds positively to questions the doctor will contact them directly to elicit further information and arrange a consultation if necessary. No person is deemed unfit for employment on the basis of the information disclosed on the occupational pre-placement health assessment form alone.Detailed questions are asked in an effort to identify underlying physiological problems which may require further support.The University takes on board the concerns which have been raised and will review its process in order to ensure that it continues to follow best practice in the area. The University has confirmed that they have suspended the pre-screening questionnaire while under review.

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NUI Galway Announces Members of Gender Equality Task Force

NUI Galway Announces Members of Gender Equality Task Force-image

Friday, 27 February 2015

Following a meeting of Údarás na hOllscoile/the Governing Authority today (February 27), NUI Galway announced the full membership of a Task Force on Gender Equality to advise the University on its policies, procedures and a range of initiatives to achieve gender equality in promotion. At an earlier meeting of the Governing Authority in December, the University agreed to establish a Task Force and last month announced that Professor Jane Grimson has been appointed as Chairperson. It has now confirmed the 15 members of the Task Force which comprises of individuals with a broad spectrum of expertise and perspectives. The members are as follows: Professor Jane Grimson Former Vice-Provost, Trinity College Dublin Liam Bluett General Manager, Ballybane Enterprise Centre Norah Gibbons Chairperson, Child and Family Agency Professor Áine Hyland Former Vice-President, University College Cork Dr John Kremer Former Reader in Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast Professor Gerry Loftus Former Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, NUI Galway Gráinne McMorrow, SC Senior Counsel and Sole Member at Douch Commission of Investigation Tadhg Ó hÉalaithe Former Secretary General of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Dr Louise Allcock Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway Dr Nata Duvvury Senior Lecturer, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway Caroline Loughnane Academic Secretary, NUI Galway Aoife McNena HR Operations Manager, NUI Galway Professor Donncha O’Connell Head of the School of Law, NUI Galway Professor Maura Sheehan Personal Professor, J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway Natalie WalshResearch Support Officer, Research Office, NUI Galway A student member will also be added to the task force in the near future. Speaking on today’s announcement, Professor Grimson said: “Firstly I am hugely honoured to act as Chair of this Task Force and delighted to be working with such a group as that announced today. As previously stated by the University President, NUI Galway has fully acknowledged the issues and are fully committed to addressing them and these appointments clearly mark a milestone for the University in tackling gender equality and I very much look forward to working with the University on this Task Force. The University has also committed through its Strategic Planning process, to develop a programme of gender equality initiatives through the international Athena Swan programme, something I am hugely supportive of, which will provide a framework to enable the University to set itself realistic but stretching targets to move towards greater gender equality. The establishment of a Task Force for gender equality is a significant step towards tackling challenges around gender equality. I am confident we will meet this challenge but it will take time. Having announced the full membership of the Task Force, we plan to hold our first meeting in March following which we will set out our full and detailed terms of reference.” The Task Force, which will report directly to the University’s Governing Authority, has a wide ranging remit aimed at helping NUI Galway to achieve gender equality. The Task Force was established in response to the recent decision of the Equality Tribunal in respect of gender discrimination towards a staff member in the 2008 Senior Lecturer promotion round.

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January 2015

NUI Galway Introduce New Pilot Scheme for A-Level Students

NUI Galway Introduce New Pilot Scheme for A-Level Students-image

Monday, 5 January 2015

NUI Galway today announced a new one-year pilot scheme for GCE A-Level students for entry in September 2015. This initiative is intended to increase the number of Northern Ireland students attending NUI Galway with approximately 200 places across more than 50 undergraduate programmes, with the exception of Medicine due to the HPAT (Health Professions Admission Test) requirement, will be made available to students sitting 3 or more A-Levels under the scheme. Currently the A-Level to Leaving Certificate points conversion model is based on 4 A-Levels being the equivalent to 6 Leaving Certificate exams. Approximately 80% of A-Level students only sit 3 A-Levels, which means the maximum number of points for these students is 450 points. In addition to this, a student might earn up to 65 points if they sat a fourth AS-Level, but this cohort is in the minority. For each course, A-Level students will be ranked in order of their achievement in their best 3 GCE A-Level exams and places would be offered to the applicants who rank highest, to fill agreed scheme quota places per programme. As with CAO applicants, all other minimum entry requirements will also need to be met, including: Applicants must meet all matriculation requirements for that programme Meet all other course specific requirements, e.g. minimum grade language requirements. Speaking on the new initiative, Registrar and Deputy President Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh explained: “Historically, the percentage of students from Northern Ireland and the UK studying at Universities in the Republic has been surprisingly low. There are many reasons for this and one of those is the grade equivalences between A-Levels and Leaving Certificate points. At NUI Galway we have seen a big increase in the level of interest in our courses from A-Level students. We are committed to urging the Irish Higher Education sector to review our entry routes for these students. This pilot is an important first step in opening up entry routes to broader cohorts of students at NUI Galway.” Applications for the students chosen course can be done through the CAO by 1st February 2015 and entry onto the scheme will be automatic, once eligibility has been established. For further information see on Central Admissions Office (CAO) see For more information on courses available at NUI Galway visit or visit the University YouTube channel -Ends- Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh tús le Scéim Phíolótach nua do dhaltaí A-Leibhéal Inniu, d'fhógair OÉ Gaillimh scéim phíolótach nua bliana do dhaltaí A-Leibhéal GCE d'iontráil i mí Mheán Fómhair 2015. Táthar ag súil go gcuirfidh an tionscnamh le líon na ndaltaí as Tuaisceart Éireann a fhreastalaíonn ar OÉ Gaillimh trí thart ar 200 áit a chur ar fáil ar bhreis is 50 clár fochéime do dhaltaí atá i mbun trí cinn nó níos mó A-Leibhéal. Ní bheidh feidhm ag an scéim do chúrsaí Leighis mar gheall ar an riachtanas HPAT (Tástáil Iontrála na nGairmeacha Sláinte). Faoi láthair is ionann ceithre ábhar A-Leibhéal agus sé ábhar Ardteistiméireachta nuair atá na pointí á gcur le chéile. Déanann thart ar 80% de dhaltaí A-Leibhéal trí ábhar A-Leibhéal, rud a chiallaíonn gurb é 450 pointe an t-uasmhéid pointí is féidir leo a bhaint amach. Lena chois sin, d'fhéadfadh dalta 65 pointe breise a bhaint amach dá dtabharfadh sé/sí faoin gceathrú AS-Leibhéal, ach is beag duine a dhéanann é seo. Do gach cúrsa, rangófar daltaí A-Leibhéal de réir chomh maith is a éiríonn leo sna trí scrúdú A-Leibhéal GCE is fearr atá acu agus tairgfear áiteanna do na hiarratasóirí is fearr a chruthaíonn, chun an cuóta áiteanna comhaontaithe a líonadh. Mar atá i gcás iarratasóirí CAO, beidh ar na daltaí seo na híosriachtanais iontrála ar fad a chomhlíonadh chomh maith, lena n-áirítear: Caithfidh iarratasóirí na riachtanais mháithreánacha ar fad a bhaineann leis an gclár faoi leith a chomhlíonadh Caithfidh iarratasóirí gach riachtanas sonrach a bhaineann leis an gcúrsa a chomhlíonadh, e.g. riachtanais íosghráid teanga. Ag labhairt dó faoin tionscnamh nua, dúirt an Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Go stairiúil, tá an céatadán de dhaltaí ó Thuaisceart Éireann agus ón Ríocht Aontaithe a dhéanann staidéir in Ollscoileanna sa Phoblacht thar a bheith íseal. Is iomaí cúis leis seo agus ar cheann acu sin tá na comhionannais ghráid idir A-Leibhéil agus pointí na hArdteistiméireachta. In OÉ Gaillimh tá méadú mór feicthe againn ar an spéis atá daltaí A-Leibhéal a chur inár gcúrsaí. Táimid meáite ar iarraidh ar an earnáil ardoideachais in Éirinn athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar na bealaí iontrála do na daltaí seo. Is céim thábhachtach í an scéim phíolótach seo maidir leis na bealaí iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh a oscailt amach do réimse níos leithne daltaí. Is féidir le daltaí iarratas a dhéanamh ar a rogha cúrsa tríd an CAO faoin 1 Feabhra 2015 agus cuirfear isteach ar an scéim iad go huathoibríoch, chomh luath is a bheidh incháilitheacht dearbhaithe. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil féach ar láithreán gréasáin na Lár-Oifige Iontrála (CAO) ar Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi chláir atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh téigh chuig nó chuig cainéal YouTube na hOllscoile - Críoch -

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Major ERC funding success for NUI Galway

Major ERC funding success for NUI Galway-image

Monday, 5 January 2015

Dr Eilionóir Flynn of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Martin O Donnell, Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway have both been approved by the European Research Council (ERC) for starter grants. Professor O’Donnell’s award will support his so-called "blue sky research" project entitled 'Clarifying Optimal Sodium Intake Project' (COSIP) which seeks to clarify how much sodium (salt) intake is optimal for health. Professor O'Donnell explains that the leading cause of death globally is cardiovascular disease, and elevated blood pressure is a major modifiable cause. High sodium (salt) intake causes an increase in blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Based on studies looking at reducing sodium intake and blood pressure, it is recommended that sodium intake is reduced to low levels (<2.0g/day) in the entire population, which is about half of current intake. However, says O'Donnell "sodium is an essential nutrient, and some recent research by our group, and others, has raised questions about whether low sodium intake is optimal for health in all people. My research will focus on understanding the relationship between different levels of sodium intake and physiological markers of cardiovascular health. We will explore whether our genetics play an important role in modifying the effects of different levels of sodium intake on blood pressure and risk of stroke and heart disease. Does one size fit all, or do people have different sodium intake requirements? In addition to sodium intake, we also look at potassium intake and effect of overall dietary patterns on cardiovascular health."        O'Donnell said that this ERC funding will have a considerable impact on his research, as it will support an ambitious research programme over the next five years. Dr Flynn is the youngest of the ERC Starter grantees this year and amongst nine in Ireland to win a total of €11m in funding under these prestigious awards. Her award of almost €1m in funding for the ground-breaking VOICES project will run for three and a half years. The VOICES project aims to make visible the experiences of people with disabilities who have been denied legal capacity. It will involve a series of workshops where people with this lived experience will be paired with social and legal scholars to develop their narratives, and construct critical responses to these narratives, for inclusion in an edited collection at the end of the project. Particular themes to be addressed include criminal responsibility, consent, and contract law.  Dr Flynn said "The VOICES project will take a radical approach to develop new law reform ideas based on the concept of “universal legal capacity”, a basic human freedom to make one’s own decisions and have them respected by law. People with disabilities will be supported in this project by legal and social science scholars to develop personal narratives about their experiences in exercising, or being denied, legal capacity. This is important because many people with disabilities, especially people with intellectual, psycho-social and other cognitive disabilities, have been denied this fundamental right – informally, in the private sphere, and formally, in the public sphere through states’ laws and policies." Dr Flynn is Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, NUI Galway and Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy. The Centre focuses on advancing social justice and human rights for persons with disabilities through legislative and policy reform. With major research accolades and some of the most respected members in the field on the staff board, the CDLP has earned its place as a policy leader, both in Europe and beyond. See for more information. ENDS 

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