Friday, 16 March 2018

Applications open to female engineering students NUI Galway is delighted to announce that applications are now open to undergraduate female engineering students for scholarships to attend a unique and challenging engineering summer academy at the Univer­sity of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. The Academy, offered to only 30 female students from 15 different countries, is a two and a half week intensive programme com­bining theory with hands-on practical experience in engineering, informatics and natural sciences. In addition to knowledge transfer in these fields, social, cross-cultural and gender aspects are covered and discussed during lectures and workshops. Speaking about the scholarships and the International Summer Academy, Mary Dempsey, Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway, said: “This is a super opportunity for young female students involved in the sciences and engineering. Those interested in pursuing a career or further studies in this area get a unique chance to broaden their technical and scientific knowledge, to develop international contacts and to experience learning in a creative and fun way.” The Academy programme is based around thematic areas of Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and Computer Sciences and Informatics. Specific subject areas look at issues such as Synthetic biology: promises and dangers for society; Molecular biology: forensic DNA profiling and its computational analysis; Special high voltage applications in modern day technology; What computer science can learn from nature - Evolutionary optimization algorithms and data mining; Importance of online privacy; and Human and computer interaction Four NUI Galway students secured scholarships from the University to attend the Academy in July 2017, and biomedical student Aoife Fitzgerald said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Coming from a biomedical background I learnt a lot about the field of engineering that I did not know before. It really broadened my knowledge and changed the way I think about a variety of topics. I met girls from all over the world, learning about loads of different types of cultures. It is an experience I will never forget. We visited so many different places here that I would love to return to again one day.” For further information on scholarship applications please contact: Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering & Informatics: Mary.Dempsey@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Friday, 16 March 2018

‘Illusions of Progress?’ symposium puts national action plans on business and human rights under the spotlight The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a symposium on Friday, 23 March exploring the role of national action plans in furthering the business and human rights agenda. Professor Anita Ramasastry, a renowned expert from the University of Washington and a member of the United Nations Working Group on business and human rights, will speak at this event on relevant international and national developments in this emerging field of policy and practice. Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: “The momentum of the business and human rights agenda risks stalling in the absence of meaningful progress on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights. This symposium will consider whether national business and human rights plans constitute an effective means of ensuring corporate respect for human rights or merely serve to give the illusion of progress.” National action plans have become the primary means of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights (2011), an authoritative policy framework aimed at addressing the potentially harmful effects of business activities on human rights. The Irish Government adopted its National Plan on Business and Human Rights 2017-2020 in November 2017 on foot of recommendations by the European Commission and the United Nation Human Rights Council. This symposium will bring together a number of legal and policy experts working in the field of business and human rights who will discuss and explore the prospects and problems associated with such national action plans, and their implications for States, business and civil society. -Ends- 

Friday, 16 March 2018

NUI Galway has signed the Charter for the Galway and West of Ireland Region of Gastronomy which commits the University to a range of initiatives to support food culture in the region as part of its designation as European Region of Gastronomy 2018. These initiatives will include featuring local produce in campus food outlets; hosting high-profile food-related conferences and a series of public lectures on theme related to gastronomy and food culture. The 17 restaurants on the NUI Galway campus serve approximately 30,000 customers each week and under the Charter, campus caterers have committed to sourcing as much produce as possible from local producers and suppliers as well as supporting food waste minimisation actions within the home and workplace. Dr Philip Smyth, Head of Shannon College of Hotel Management, which is now a college of NUI Galway, said: “Our food culture is vitally important for our health and wellbeing, and signing the charter highlights the University’s commitment to supporting this important sector. We look forward to working with our campus community to highlight the richness of our region of gastronomy and to support sustainable development and innovation.” Over the coming months, the University will host a range of high-profile food conferences, including the Good Food Ireland Conference and Food on the Edge. As part of the programme of events on sustainability, the University in partnership with Teagasc will host an Agri-Food Seminar on Sustainability as well as a Beef and Sheep Workshop in June. Ann Duggan, Commercial Manager at NUI Galway, commented: “Local seasonal produce forms the key ingredient across menus on a daily basis and the five catering companies providing services on campus are enthusiastically working with growers/ producers and wholesalers to create nutritional, tasty dishes for our campus community of approximately 20,000. We also welcome over 10,000 conference delegates and visitors to campus annually. In recent years local, artisan and craft producers have exhibited at receptions for international delegates which has added enormously to the enjoyment of their experience in Galway.   Food is central to the delegates’ experience and having such a wealth of wonderful fresh produce on our doorstep differentiates Galway and gives us a strong competitive edge when competing for international events.” Throughout 2018 NUI Galway highlight areas where it is making a contribution to Gastronomy under the key focus areas, such as Sustainability, Health and Nutrition and Cultural Diversity already established as themes for Galway’s year as European Region of Gastronomy. These will feature in a Public Lecture Series on campus in autumn 2018 which will be which will be free and open to the public. Speaking on the announcement, Elaine Donohue, Programme Lead, Galway European Region of Gastronomy, said: “The European Region of Gastronomy is thrilled to have such committed support from NUI Galway for the year of our designation. They have gone above and beyond in their commitments to develop more local supply chains through our Galway & West of Ireland Food Charter and are looking to engage a large number of their schools in our themes for the year. Through their support, both TouRRoir, a Global Forum from Good Food Ireland, and Food on The Edge, an International Chef's Symposium will be hosted at NUI Galway.” ENDS

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Mayor of Chicago to be conferred with Honorary Doctorate WATCH: Honorary graduate, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, give advice to students interested in politics and social activism At a ceremony in NUI Galway on Tuesday 3 April, an Honorary Degree will be conferred on Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago and former White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán ó hÓgartaigh, speaking in advance of the conferring ceremony, said:  “The cities of Galway and Chicago are twinned as Sister Cities for over twenty-one years. Since then a strong and dynamic relationship has developed bringing social, cultural, educational and economic benefits and reflecting the many personal and professional links between our two great cities. In honouring Mayor Emanuel, we as a University signal what we value. We recognise not only these ties which bind Galway and Chicago in our role as Galway’s University. We also signal the importance of public service, of acting locally with global impact, and of democracy, sanctuary and freedom – in the world and for the world.” Rahm Emanuel is the 55th mayor of Chicago. He has led the passage of budgets containing reforms and investments to solidify Chicago’s financial future. He has successfully enacted numerous education reforms including lengthening the school day and year, creating universal full-day kindergarten and making Chicago the first big city in the country to offer free community college to all high school students who graduate with at least a B average. Under Mayor Emanuel’s leadership, Chicago has led economic reforms which have seen the city become more attractive for companies and, foreign direct investment. Chicago is in the midst of an $8 billion infrastructure modernization to strengthen the city’s roads, rails and runways. Before becoming Mayor, he was the White House Chief of Staff in the Obama administration and served three terms in the US House of Representatives representing Chicago’s 5th District. Prior to his election to Congress, he was a key member of the Clinton White House from 1993 to 1998, rising to senior adviser to the President for policy and strategy. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a master’s degree in speech and communication from Northwestern University. Mayor Emanuel will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) and joins the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Cyril Ramaphosa, Enya, Anjelica Huston, and Margaret Atwood. -Ends- 

Monday, 26 March 2018

Arts in Action at NUI Galway will host its finale concert in The Cube at Áras na Mac Léinn on Wednesday, 4 April at 6.30pm. This event will feature an ensemble of 20 musicians from the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra directed by traditional musicians, Máirtín O’Connor and Garry O’Briain, along with special guests, including Arts in Action Creative Director, Mary McPartlan, who was instrumental in establishing the Medical Orchestra in 2010. The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra has become an important outlet for medical student expression and creativity and has had successful public performances in Ireland and overseas. A choral ensemble was created in 2016. Participation in the Medical Orchestra is eligible for academic credit as a special study module in Years One and Four of the undergraduate medical programme. Previous performances of the Orchestra at University Hospital Galway and in the regional Medical Academies in Donegal, Sligo and Mayo have highlighted the healing influence of music in the lives of patients and their care-givers. There is a growing scholarship in medical humanities and NUI Galway recently established a medical humanities committee. Its special study module in Medicine and the Arts, directed by Mary McPartlan and Dr Eva Flynn, Lecturer in General Practice, is very popular among the students. This year saw the introduction of an additional special study module in Creativity, led by a local artist, Finbar McHugh. Reflecting on the commitment of NUI Galway to the integration of the Arts in Medicine, Undergraduate Programme Director, Professor Gerard Flaherty, commented: “All aspects of artistic creativity and expression have a role to play in the recovery and rehabilitation of patients and in the personal development and self-care of medical students and doctors. Our university medical school is leading the way in embedding the Arts in its medical curriculum and we look forward to further exciting opportunities for collaboration with colleagues in the Arts community and in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway.” Professor Maccon Keane, Consultant Medical Oncologist at University Hospital Galway and a member of the Board of the Galway International Arts Festival, said: “Recognising the role of music in oncology care where it creates solace and space to depart from the difficulties of treatment and a mental safety net in which normal life can exist.  However this particular piece is unique in that it fuses the sounds of oncology care with music bringing the science and art of healing together.” This is a free public concert and no prior booking is necessary. For further information visit: https://www.nuigalway.ie/artsinaction/ -Ends-

Monday, 26 March 2018

Ag searmanas speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, 22 Márta), bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dochtúireacht san Fhealsúnacht (PhD) ar bhreis agus 70 mac léinn. Ina theannta sin, bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis ar mhac léinn amháin ag searmanas an lae inniu. Bhí céimithe ó gach Coláiste san Ollscoil i measc na gcéimithe sin ar bronnadh PhD orthu, Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; agus Coláiste na hEolaíochta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach céimí as a gcáilíocht dochtúireachta a bhaint amach ar an lá mór seo, a chuireann bailchríoch ar a dtallann, a n-iarracht agus a ndúthracht thar blianta fada. Tá OÉ Gaillimh bródúil as líon na gcéimithe a chuirtear ar fáil agus a bheidh mar cheannairí a mhúnlóidh an todhchaí agus a mbeidh tionchar dearfach acu ar fud an domhain - go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta.  Is é misean na hOllscoile seo domhan níos fearr a chruthú tríd an teagasc, taighde agus an tionchar atá againn agus déanaimid é seo go follasach leis an méadú mór atá tagtha ar líon na gcéimithe PhD le blianta beaga anuas.” -Críoch-

Friday, 23 March 2018

Friday, 23 March 2018: Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Education and Skills, and John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development, have announced almost €3 million investment by the Irish Research Council in ‘frontier research’ projects at NUI Galway.  Six NUI Galway researchers will receive funding under the Irish Research Council’s new Laureate Awards to conduct ground-breaking research in the Biomedical Science and Engineering, and the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Announcing the awards, Minister Bruton said: “Frontier basic research is very much at the cutting edge of new knowledge.  It is research that is daring, that pushes boundaries, and that moves beyond the frontiers of our current understanding. “Innovation 2020, Ireland’s five-year strategy for science and technology, research and development, identified a significant gap in the Irish research and innovation landscape in the area of frontier basic research. The Laureate Awards scheme was designed specifically to address this gap, and the Irish Research Council has, through the programme, identified a wealth of clearly talented researchers with brilliant ideas. Investing in cutting-edge, world-class research will strengthen our knowledge base and enhance Ireland’s international reputation, taking us further along our journey to becoming the best education and training service in Europe by 2026” Minister Halligan said: “Frontier research is key to understanding the world around us and developing the bedrock of knowledge necessary for social, technological and environmental progress. We would not have devices like mobile phones, or indeed the internet, without frontier basic research.  Innovation 2020 targets Ireland to become an Innovation Leader, and the investment being announced today by the Department is a very positive step on the way to achieving this.” Researchers who will be funded by these Laureate Awards at NUI Galway include: Dr Jacopo Bisagni, who is researching intellectual exchanges between Ireland, Brittany and Francia in domains such as astronomy, cosmology and biblical exegesis during the Carolingian age (c. AD 750-1000), namely the period that laid the foundations of Europe as we know it. Dr Álvaro Llorente-Berzal will research the implication of the endocannabinoid system in sex differences in chronic neuropathic pain. Professor Laoise McNamara is developing experimental models to mimic the complex multicellular and mechanical environment of bone metastases for investigating potential therapies Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil is researching Human Rights and Modern Irish Poetry. Dr Ted Vaughan is researching the multiscale mechanics of bone fragility in Type-2 Diabetes. Dr Katarzyna Whysall is researching potential microRNA-based therapeutics for muscle wasting. “I welcome the government’s support and commitment to frontiers research, and the IRC’s leadership in supporting some of the greatest research minds working in Ireland today”, said Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway. “There is incredible talent in this country, and supporting the unknown potential of basic research is key to underpinning the research and innovation prowess of Ireland. The Laureate Awards recognise and support this, and I would like to congratulate the six exceptional individuals at NUI Galway who are part of this announcement today.” Funding for Laureate Awards Two streams of funding announced: ‘Starting’ Laureate Awards, which are aimed at supporting excellent early-career researchers to establish their own independent research programme. Eighteen awards – totalling €7 million – were announced today, three of which were secured by NUI Galway. ‘Consolidator’ Laureate Awards, which provide funding for excellent mid-career researchers with an established track record to progress to the next level. €10.6 million in funding was announced for the Consolidator Laureate Awards, to fund a further eighteen new Laureates, three of which were secured by NUI Galway. In addition to the investment in the first round of awards, the Department of Education and Skills also announced today a further investment of €12 million for a series of Advanced Grants under the Laureate programme. Senior researchers in Ireland’s higher education and research institutions will have the opportunity to compete for an Advanced Laureate grant with a value of up to €1 million over four years. The Advanced Grant call will be opened by the Irish Research Council in the coming weeks. Welcoming the announcements, Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “Supporting research that pushes out the frontiers of knowledge is a key priority of the Irish Research Council. With the establishment of the Laureate Awards we are taking steps to ensure that exceptional individual researchers are supported to achieve world-class standing in their respective areas of expertise. “The independent international panels that assessed applications for the Laureate Awards were extremely impressed with the quality of individual researchers in the Irish research system. With continued investment in frontier research across all disciplines, Ireland will reap benefits for the long-term and will leverage greater success in European research programmes, in particular the European Research Council.” ENDS

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Over 70 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 22 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh. One student was also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine at today’s ceremony. All Colleges of the University were be represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctoral degrees on what is a milestone day in their lives, marking the culmination of their talent, effort and commitment over many years. NUI Galway is proud of our record of developing graduates as leaders who will create the future and make a positive impact in the world - and for the world - nationally and internationally.  It is the mission of this university to make the world a better place through our teaching, research and impact and we do this tangibly through the increased number of PhDs graduating in recent years.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Project aims to promote STEM amongst student teachers The School of Education at NUI Galway, supported by Google Ireland, has announced an innovative project titled “Creative Coding for Maths Makers.” The new project integrates mathematical and computer programming concepts, with a specific focus on promoting STEM amongst student teachers. BA Mathematics and Education student teachers at NUI Galway will be working with primary and post-primary school children to promote mathematics and computer programming integration. Both student teachers and school children will develop an understanding and design of innovative mathematical concepts by a coding interface and will then render their virtual models physically in the MakerSpace. Unique, and the only facility of its kind in an Irish university, the MakerSpace in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway is a space purposefully designed to facilitate engaged teaching and learning. It's a space where students can be creative, collaborate, share, develop ideas, innovate, and generally just ‘make stuff’. The computers available in the MakerSpace have a higher specification than those available in most of the PC suites on campus. MakerSpace offers a 3D printing service*. Such exposure and experience is of value to students as it replicates life in a STEM industry. Claire Conneely, Computer Science Education Programme Manager at Google Ireland said: “We are excited to support the Creative Coding for Maths Makers programme at NUI Galway. Embedding Computer Science as a fundamental and rigorous subject throughout the entire school curriculum - including the introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject later this year - will ensure that students have a deeper understanding of how they can use technology to be creative and solve problems. Equally important is growing the confidence and skillset of the next generation of teachers, so that Computer Science will be accessible and available to all students across Ireland in the coming years.”  Professor Gerry MacRuairc, Professor of Education and Head of School, commented: “this Google funded programme reinforces the philosophy of the School that technology will not replace teachers but it is essential that teachers are introduced to many forms of technology in their teacher education programmes.” In order to be a catalyst for positive change in computer science education, Google has sponsored projects like the NUI Galway ‘Creative Coding for Maths Makers’ program in order to help address a key challenge for computing education in Ireland, in the preparation and up-skilling of teachers to deliver the new Computer Science curricula in primary and post-primary Irish schools. Leading the project is Dr Cornelia Connolly in the School of Education at NUI Galway: “The introduction of coding in schools and the new Computer Science Leaving Certificate present a landmark opportunity for STEM advancement in Ireland; however, there is the challenge now to prepare teachers properly to teach these key STEM areas in an engaging and effective way. Projects like ‘Creative Coding for Maths Makers’ enable us to start doing this in Galway, in partnership with schools in the city and region.” -Ends- 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Connacht Rugby, along with players from NUI Galway women’s and men’s rugby teams will deliver an informal rugby skills session at NUI Galway’s Open Day on Saturday, 24 March. The session will take place at 12.30pm outside the Bailey Allen Hall, the main exhibition hall for Open Day. NUI Galway Sports will also be running a Sports Talk at 11am for those interested in all sports, and there will be an opportunity to meet current athletes who are representing the University at intervarsities, at national, European and International competitions. There will be information on Sports Scholarships, and coaches will be present to give first-hand information on facilities and coaching services. Mike Heskin, Director of Sport at NUI Galway stresses that Sport is for everyone at NUI Galway: “NUI Galway sports teams and athletes are competing and winning on the national and international stage, and through a range of scholarships and supports our athletes are fully supported while at University, enabling them to compete and study to the best of their ability. As well as supporting accomplished athletes in their chosen sports, we also have many athletes taking up a new sport for the first time while at University and, with the support of our coaching teams, are very quickly competing on a provincial, national and international stage. Sport is truly for everyone at NUI Galway. We recognise the relationship between academic performance and health and wellbeing and our mission is to encourage all students to participate in physical activity.” NUI Galway lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific stands. The ‘Parents Programme’ will provide parents and students with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation and support services for students. Open Day tours will include the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, the newly built Human Biology Building and the Alice Perry Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day, with the tour shuttle bus departing regularly from outside the Orbsen Building. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the day. Open Day is the perfect opportunity to explore all NUI Galway has to offer. A programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses will run throughout the day. Talk highlights include: Sports at NUI Galway, including a guest appearance by Connacht Rugby players Career talks - “What are my employment prospectus after university?” Volunteering and the value of NUI Galway’s extra-curricular programmes SUSI- Applying for a student grant Access routes into Education, including HEAR/DARE and FETAC To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone +353 91 494398 or email visit@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2018 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 18th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 19 May, 2018 in the Bailey Allen Hall located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The event will be presented by RTÉ/TG4 presenter and producer, Gráinne McElwain. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 90,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of over 100 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins; Olympian, Olive Loughnane; Rugby great, Ciarán FitzGerald; RTÉ broadcaster, Sean O’Rourke; former Attorney General, Máire Whelan; former Creganna CEO, Helen Ryan, Tony Award-winning actress, Marie Mullen and writer, Mike McCormack. The winners of the seven alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2018: Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by Galway University Foundation- Lisa Coen, Co-founder Tramp Press Alumni Award for Business and Commerce – sponsored by Bank of Ireland- Aedhmar Hynes, CEO, Text100 Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government – sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn- Pat Rabbitte, former Leader of the Irish Labour Party and politician Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology – sponsored by AIB- Bernard McGuinness, Vice President, Flavor Supply, The Coca-Cola Company Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic- Professor Declan Sugrue, Cardiologist, Mater Hospital Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Bank of Ireland- Joe Connolly, Galway Hurler Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh- Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, award-winning poet Speaking on the announcement of the Award recipients, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “For over 170 years our University has educated graduates of the highest calibre who have gone on to have significant impact in their field of endeavour in Ireland and internationally. “NUI Galway’s Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are distinguished leaders, making a difference in the world and for the world.These awards enable the University community to celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 90,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March.” For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 492721 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.guf.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Tá buaiteoirí Ghradaim Alumni 2018 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnfar na gradaim ag an 18ú Mórfhéasta Alumni a bheidh á reáchtáil Dé Sathairn, an 19ú Bealtaine 2018 i Halla Bailey Allen, in aice le hÁras na Mac Léinn. Is í an láithreoir agus an léiritheoir le RTÉ/TG4, Gráinne McElwain, a chuirfidh an ócáid i láthair. Tugann na Gradaim Alumni aitheantas d’fheabhas agus d’éachtaí an 90,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá scaipthe ar fud an domhain. Tá gradaim Alumni bronnta ar bhreis is 100 céimí den scoth a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhródúil astu, ina measc, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn; an lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach Olive Loughnane; an laoch rugbaí Ciarán FitzGerald; an craoltóir de chuid RTÉ Sean O’Rourke; an t-iarArd-Aighne, Máire Whelan; iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach Creganna, Helen Ryan; an t-aisteoir a bhfuil Gradam Tony buaite aici, Marie Mullen; agus an scríbhneoir Mike McCormack. Seo a leanas buaiteoirí na seacht ngradam alumni atá le bronnadh ag Mórfhéasta 2018: Gradam do na Dána, an Litríocht agus an Léann Ceilteach – urraithe ag Fondúireacht na hOllscoile- Lisa Coen, Comhbhunaitheoir Tramp Press Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann- Aedhmar Hynes, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Text100 Gradam Alumni don Dlí, Beartas Poiblí agus an Rialtas – urraithe ag Ronan Daly Jermyn- Pat Rabbitte, iarCheannaire Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre in Éirinn agus polaiteoir  Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht – urraithe ag  AIB- Bernard McGuinness, Leas-Uachtarán, Soláthar Blais, The Coca-Cola Company Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – urraithe ag Medtronic- An tOllamh Declan Sugrue, Cairdeolaí, Ospidéal an Mater Gradam Alumni don Rannpháirtíocht sa Spórt – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann- Joe Connolly, Iománaí de chuid na Gaillimhe Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh- Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, file a bhfuil duaiseanna go leor bainte amach aici Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, nuair a fógraíodh buaiteoirí na nGradam: “Le breis is 170 bliain tá oideachas curtha ag an Ollscoil seo ar chéimithe d’ardchaighdeán a raibh tionchar suntasach acu ina réimsí féin in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta. “Tugann Gradaim Alumni OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas d'alumni de chuid na Gaillimhe ar ceannairí den scoth iad a chuaigh i gcion ar an domhan. Cuireann na gradaim seo ar chumas phobal na hOllscoile ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar luach fadsaoil an oideachais atá le fáil in OÉ Gaillimh agus tugann siad aitheantas don bhreis is 90,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá lonnaithe ar fud na cruinne agus a bhfuil éachtaí déanta acu. Déanaim comhghairdeas le gach duine a bhuaigh gradam agus táim ag súil le fáilte ar ais a chur rompu chuig a n-alma mater don Mhórfhéasta i mí an Mhárta.” Chun breis eolais a fháil agus chun áit a chur in áirithe téigh i dteagmháil leis an Oifig Alumni ar 091 492721 nó seol ríomhphost chuig alumni@nuigalway.ie. Áirithintí ar líne ag www.guf.ie -Críoch-

Monday, 26 February 2018

In association with NUI Galway School of Medicine, and in anticipation of International Women’s Day, an art exhibition entitled 'Daughter of the Dagda' will run from 6-30 March, with an official launch taking place on Tuesday, 6 March at 3pm in the foyer of the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. The multimedia exhibition of nine women artists explores the manner in which the female and the feminine have been portrayed in Irish mythology and iconography, from pre-Christian Ireland to the present day. The exhibition examines the exclusion of women from positions of power and influence in religious circles and how this has been mirrored by society in general, contributing to the lowly status of the female point of view and of the feminine side of human nature and the persistence of a patriarchal framework in modern society. Professor Andrew Murphy, Established Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway, said: “The School of Medicine has identified gender diversity as a key objective for the next five years. More than half of medical students are now female and this diversity is not reflected in our senior school posts. The School has developed a comprehensive and radical plan to address this which is currently being rolled out. As part of this plan, raising awareness of gender diversity within the school is a key issue. The school is delighted to host for the month of March the ‘Daughter of the Dagda’ art exhibition curated by Hilary Morley and Patricia Timmons.” Professor Murphy added: “The Goddess Brigit (known in pagan times as ‘Daughter of Dagda’) was transformed into a saint after Christianity came to Ireland but Saint Brigit continued to be associated with milk, lambing and sacred cows as well as healing. Each of the participating artists responds to Brigit, with a focus on healing, by looking at how the business of being female has been represented in Ireland past and present.” -Ends-

Monday, 26 February 2018

Scientists and science enthusiasts will battle it out this week for a place in the national final of FAMELAB, the largest science communication competition in the world. This is the third year that a regional heat for the international competition will take place at An Taibhdhearc in Galway on Thursday, 1 March at 7pm. The event is free to attend. The participating contestants come from a variety of backgrounds, covering topics ranging from cancer to genetically modified food. Topics presented will include: “The invisible universe”, “Always need a friend”, “Cancer: A journey from diagnosis to prognosis using Genomics”, “Cheers to Meiosis”, “GFP- lighting the way in biological expression”, “Genetically modified food”, “Herd immunity and the increasing importance of vaccination in an era of science denial”, “the ultimate puzzle”, “Ankylosing Spondylitis: More than just a pain in the neck” and “The Power of Effective Practice”. The competing scientists will be given a total of three minutes each to explain their research, or any scientific concept, as clearly and simply as possible, to a public audience and a panel of judges. This will be followed by three minutes of questions from the judges and the audience. Two finalists will be announced on the night and will participate in a communications master class in Dublin this March. The finalists will then compete in the national final of FAMELAB, which will be held in the Science Gallery in Dublin on Thursday, 12 April. The overall national winner will attend the Cheltenham Science Festival, UK in June 2018 and will compete in the FAMELAB International finals. The regional heat in Galway will be hosted by Professor Brian Hughes, Professor of Psychology and author of Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science and Pseudoscience and popular blog thesciencebit.net. Entertainment during the interval will be provided by the “Queen of the offbeat”, comedian Áine Gallagher, fresh from her 2017 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Vodafone Comedy Carnival. The panel of judges include: Anne Casserly, Manager of Galway Science and Technology Festival;  Dr Gavin Collins, Vice Dean for Science Technology Engineering and Maths promotion, NUI Galway; Paula Healy; Manager of Flirt FM 101.3 radio station; and John Loughlin, Vice Chairperson of the Irish Science Teachers' Association and Science teacher at St. Joseph’s College (The Bish) in Galway. To attend the FAMELAB Galway regional final please book your free ticket at www.famelabgalway2018.eventbrite.ie or following on Twitter @FameLab_Galway. For further information about FAMELAB Galway contact Joanne Duffy, NUI Galway at j.duffy21@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Registrations are now open for 4th, 5th and 6th class students and their teachers to enter and participate in the third annual Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition for 2018. The competition is run by the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) based at NUI Galway. The purpose of the competition is to help students become aware of the clinical trial process. Interested schools can avail of supports from researchers who will visit the school to help get their projects started. Students are asked to choose a simple, easy to answer question using the proper steps of a clinical trial to answer it scientifically, using the online resources provided. Questions can be very practical or a bit of fun such as; Can using coloured paper for written spelling tests increase students’ scores? Does ten minutes of dancing every morning before classes improve student’s attention? The findings from each trial can be reported in any format such as a podcast, video, website, report format, collage or poster.   A randomised clinical trial is a type of scientific experiment which aims to reduce bias when testing a new treatment. The students and their teachers are encouraged to design, carry out and evaluate their very own simulated clinical trial. START encourages children to learn more about healthcare decisions and how we can improve healthcare and wellbeing, by learning about randomised clinical trials. Commenting on the project, Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Programme Manager at NUI Galway, said: “This is an exciting initiative and the first of its kind to bring awareness of clinical trials to the younger community. Schoolchildren and their teachers are so creative and we’re really looking forward to seeing what innovative ways teachers and pupils go about designing and reporting their trial. The last two years have really set such a high standard, and young students are pushing the boundaries of what we think they can understand, in fact, they are teaching us.” To date, over 15 primary schools nationally have entered their very own simulated clinical trials. The top three shortlisted schools will be invited to Galway on Friday, 18 May where the winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2018. Each project will be assessed on: How well does the project adhere to the structure of a clinical trial? How well presented are the findings of the trial, so that any member of the community could understand the findings? Can other schools learn something new from this project? Commenting on the START finalists and their projects, Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-TMRN at NUI Galway, said: “We started this competition for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to raise awareness of the importance of randomised trials with children. Secondly, we wanted to harness the creativity and imagination of children in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of trials. The high standard and variety of applications we received demonstrate that the START competition has indeed raised the awareness of randomised trials and capitalised on children’s innate ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and in a fun way. We are very proud of all our applications and wish each of the finalist schools the very best on the 18 May in Galway.” To register your trial complete the Trial Registration Form, which can be found at startcompetition.com/ and email it to hrb-tmrn@nuigalway.ie or alternatively Post to: Room 235, 1st Floor, Áras Moyola, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway. Follow START on Facebook at facebook.com/hrb.tmrn and Twitter @hrbtmrn. -Ends-

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Papers and registrations are now being accepted for the 14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE), which will be held from 28–31 May at NUI Galway. The conference theme, Culture and Educational Design, highlights the importance of context in principled and participatory, educational design, and the significant influence of culture, the historic, natural and social environs on learning, teaching and assessment.  Dr Tony Hall and Dr Cornelia Connolly, School of Education said: “The School of Education at NUI Galway are delighted to have been invited to host the 14th Annual Conference of the International Society for Design and Development in Education, the first time the conference will be held in Ireland. ISDDE is one of the preeminent research communities for educational technology and design, and those researching, designing and developing educational resources, learning environments, curricular materials and technologies, particularly in the STEM areas.” Dr Hall added: “The International Society for Design and Development in Education was recently affiliated to the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction. Following last year’s conference at University of California, Berkeley, we look forward to hosting and welcoming Irish and international colleagues in educational design and technology to Galway and the West. This year’s conference theme, ‘Culture and Educational Design’ reflects the importance of the broader social, cultural and physical environs in the participatory and principled design of educational innovations and technologies.” The International Society for Design and Development in Education was formed to help educational designers work effectively as a coherent professional design and development community. The goals of the Society are to improve the design and development process, building a design community and increasing our impact on educational practice. More information available at: https://sites.google.com/view/isdde-2018/home.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

‘Evidence in General Practice’ The Discipline of General Practice at NUI Galway will host Ireland’s leading academic General Practice Conference from the 8–9 March. The event marks the 21st anniversary of the foundation of the discipline of General Practice at the University. The Conference will boast an exciting line-up of national and international keynote speakers and cutting edge research. Key questions to be addressed include: How can we ensure that Ireland has enough general practitioners? How best can rural general practice be supported? How can the evidence required to underpin general practice, where 90% of all patient encounters occur, be produced? Keynote speaker Professor Val Wass earned an OBE in recognition of her substantial lifelong contribution to UK general practice.  Her 2016 national report “By choice,  not by chance: supporting medical students in future careers towards general practice” critically analysed reasons why the UK has had a severe shortage of medical graduates entering general practice as a career, and offers real solutions to reverse this trend.  Medical schools in the UK now set a target of 50% of medical graduates to enter general practice.  She will reflect on how these solutions may also be relevant to Ireland. Professor Andrew Murphy, Established Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to host this important general practice meeting in NUI Galway. Everyone agrees General Practice is key to Irish healthcare. What is unclear is how best to support and develop it, especially in vulnerable populations such as rural areas. These questions, and many more, will be addressed by leading international speakers and over a hundred active primary care clinicians and researchers”. Conference speaker Professor Liam Glynn was recently appointed to the Chair of General Practice at the University of Limerick. He has shown national leadership in the promotion of rural general practice and advocacy for rural patients. He will outline a vision for rural general practice and how universities can contribute to making this a reality. Professor Sandra Eldridge, a Professor of Biostatistics at Barts and the London School, is a world renowned expert in the conduct of clinical trials in primary care. She will outline how these trials have developed to date and how they can continue to contribute to the essential evidence required for care in the community. The conference will include almost a hundred additional presentations showcasing the best clinical and educational research performed by Ireland’s leading general practitioners and researchers. The conference is the joint annual scientific meeting of the Association of University Departments of General Practice and the Irish College of General Practitioners, two leading national academic General Practice bodies.  More information available at: http://conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=540-Ends- 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Dheimhnigh OÉ Gaillimh go gcanfaidh an t-amhránaí agus an cumadóir Eleanor McEvoy ag Gradaim Alumni 2018. D'fhógair an Ollscoil freisin gurb í Gráinne McElwain, láithreoir agus léiritheoir le RTÉ/TG4, a chuirfidh Mórfhéasta na bliana seo i láthair áit a mbronnfar Gradaim Alumni 2018. Tá sé 25 bliain i mbliana ón gcéad turas de “A Woman’s Heart”, nuair a chuaigh amhrán Eleanor i gcion ar an bpobal mar chuid den chéad albam Éireannach le meascán d'ealaíontóirí comhaimseartha ban. Nuair nach bhfuil Eleanor ar camchuairt, bíonn ról gníomhach aici i saol cultúrtha na hÉireann. Tá sí ina ball de bhord Cheoláras Náisiúnta na hÉireann, tar éis di saol uathúil a chaitheamh leis an gceol, idir ceol clasaiceach, comórtais ceoil traidisiúnta na hÉireann, ceolfhoirne óige, cóir, mar veidhleadóir le Ceolfhoireann Shiansach Náisiúnta na hÉireann agus ansin a huaillmhian a bheith ina hamhránaí agus ina cumadóir comhaimseartha. Bronnfar Gradaim Alumni 2018 ag an 18ú Mórfhéasta Alumni a bheidh ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 3 Márta 2018 i Halla Bailey Allen, in aice le hÁras na Mac Léinn ar an gcampas. Tugann na Gradaim Alumni aitheantas d’fheabhas agus d’éachtaí an 90,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá scaipthe ar fud an domhain. Tá gradaim Alumni bronnta ar bhreis is 100 céimí den scoth a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhródúil astu, ina measc, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn; an lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach Olive Loughnane; an laoch rugbaí Ciarán FitzGerald; an craoltóir de chuid RTÉ Sean O’Rourke; an t-iarArd-Aighne, Máire Whelan; iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach Creganna, Helen Ryan; an t-aisteoir a bhfuil Gradam Tony buaite aici, Marie Mullen; agus an scríbhneoir Mike McCormack. Seo a leanas buaiteoirí na seacht ngradam alumni atá le bronnadh ag Mórfhéasta 2018: Gradam do na Dána, an Litríocht agus an Léann Ceilteach – urraithe ag Fondúireacht na hOllscoile- Lisa Coen, Comhbhunaitheoir Tramp Press Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann- Aedhmar Hynes, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Text100 Gradam Alumni don Dlí, Beartas Poiblí agus an Rialtas – urraithe ag Ronan Daly Jermyn- Pat Rabbitte, iarCheannaire Pháirtí an Lucht Oibre in Éirinn agus polaiteoir Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht – urraithe ag  AIB- Bernard McGuinness, Leas-Uachtarán, Soláthar Blais, The Coca-Cola Company Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – urraithe ag Medtronic- An tOllamh Declan Sugrue, Cairdeolaí, Ospidéal an Mater Gradam Alumni don Rannpháirtíocht sa Spórt – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann- Joe Connolly, Iománaí de chuid na Gaillimhe Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh- Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, file a bhfuil duaiseanna go leor bainte amach aici              Chun breis eolais a fháil agus chun áit a chur in áirithe téigh i dteagmháil leis an Oifig Alumni ar 091 492721 nó seol ríomhphost chuig alumni@nuigalway.ie. Áirithintí ar líne ag www.guf.ie -Críoch-

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

NUI Galway has confirmed that singer songwriter Eleanor McEvoy will perform at the 2018 Alumni Awards. The University also revealed that RTÉ/TG4 presenter and producer Gráinne McElwain will host this year’s Gala Banquet featuring the 2018 Alumni Awards ceremony. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the first “A Woman’s Heart” Tour after Eleanor’s composition brought a title, a focus and a hit song to the first Irish album compilation of female contemporary artists. When not touring, Eleanor plays an active role in cultural life in Ireland. She is a member of the board of Ireland's National Concert Hall which completes the unique circle in Eleanor’s musical life through classical music, traditional Irish music competitions, youth orchestras, choirs, violinist in Ireland’s National Symphony Orchestra before submitting to her prime desire to be a contemporary singer songwriter. The 2018 Alumni Awards will be presented at the 18th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 3 March, 2018 in the Bailey Allen Hall located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 90,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of over 100 outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins; Olympian, Olive Loughnane; Rugby great, Ciarán FitzGerald; RTÉ broadcaster, Sean O’Rourke; former Attorney General, Máire Whelan; former Creganna CEO, Helen Ryan, Tony Award-winning actress, Marie Mullen and writer, Mike McCormack. The winners of the seven alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2018: Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by Galway University Foundation- Lisa Coen, Co-founder Tramp Press Alumni Award for Business and Commerce – sponsored by Bank of Ireland- Aedhmar Hynes, CEO, Text100 Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government – sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn- Pat Rabbitte, former Leader of the Irish Labour Party and politician Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology – sponsored by AIB- Bernard McGuinness, Vice President, Flavor Supply, The Coca-Cola Company Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic- Professor Declan Sugrue, Cardiologist, Mater Hospital Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Bank of Ireland- Joe Connolly, Galway Hurler Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge – urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh- Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, award-winning poet For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 492721 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.guf.ie -Ends-

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Looking West - Súil Siar – Vues de l’Ouest is the title of an exhibition of nine artworks from NUI Galway’s art collection to be housed in the Irish Embassy in Paris for a two year period. A preview prior to its departure will take place in the newly refurbished art gallery in the Quadrangle at the University from the 21–24 February, from 12–4pm. This is the first exhibition of a body of work from the collection to travel overseas. The artworks will go on display in the Embassy building, which is located close to the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris. Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer at NUI Galway, said: “It is a special treat to have these artworks on display in such a beautiful, light-filled building, in the heart of Paris. We hope that the paintings settle in well and that they inspire further exchanges between Ireland and France and between artist and viewer.” The Embassy chose the nine artworks from a curated list of 20 pieces (10 by living artists, 10 by deceased artists) with a connection to the West of Ireland. They represent the variety and originality of NUI Galway’s substantial art collection. Looking West offers a unique glimpse into modern and traditional Irish art, from Grace Henry and her contemporary Lily Williams via Gerard Dillon, John O’Leary and Brian Bourke to young artist Moira Comiskey. It captures the changing Irish landscape, weather and soul, with places and portraits in styles ranging from realism to abstraction and media across painting, drawing and printmaking. All are welcome to attend the opening reception with Gearóid Ó Conluain, An Rúnaí of NUI Galway with special guest Honorary Consul Catherine Gagneux on Wednesday, 21 February, at 12 noon. View the entire art collection at www.nuigalway.ie/artcollection -Ends-

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Researchers at NUI Galway identify a new function for the gene centrobin that could help understand developmental disorders that affect multiple organs in the body  A new study carried out by researchers from the Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway, has uncovered a new function for a gene called centrobin that implicates it in human health, with potential roles in the developing heart, kidney and eye, as well as in cancer. The study was published today (13 February 2018) in the prestigious Journal of Cell Biology. Most cell types in the body carry an antenna-like structure called the primary cilium that detects signals from outside the cell, such as specific molecules or fluid flows. Problems with primary cilia lead to developmental disorders that affect multiple organs in the body, including the kidney, eye, brain and heart. Changes to cells that occur in cancer can also involve primary cilia. In this study the NUI Galway researchers describe a new role in making primary cilia for a gene called centrobin.  The NUI Galway researchers used a cutting-edge technique of genome manipulation, CRISPR, to remove the gene centrobin from human cells, and found that cilium formation was blocked. In collaboration with a group from the University of Ulm, Germany, they found that centrobin loss in zebrafish embryos caused developmental disorders that reflected ciliary problems, such as mis-positioning of the heart or the pancreas.  The study was directed by Professor Ciaran Morrison from the Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway, who said: “This work is exciting because it suggests that centrobin might play a new role in human health. Much remains to be discovered about how cilia work in the body and our identification of centrobin as a player in this process opens new possibilities for understanding primary cilia.”  The first author of the study was Dr Yetunde Adesanya Ogungbenro, a graduate of Dundalk IT who recently completed her PhD at NUI Galway with postgraduate funding from the Irish Research Council.  Other collaborators involved in the study included Imperial College London, and Mr Pierce Lalor and Professor Peter Dockery from NUI Galway’s Discipline of Anatomy. To read the full study in Journal of Cell Biology, visit: http://jcb.rupress.org/content/early/2018/02/12/jcb.201706095 -Ends-

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A new online treatment programme, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists, aims to help those who are managing multiple chronic health conditions The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain and at least one other long-term condition to take part in a research study. The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs and other health professionals around the country are also being encouraged to refer suitable people to the study. The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are scarce and generally aimed at the self-management of single specific chronic conditions, such as chronic pain alone. Research has shown that having multiple chronic conditions, also known as multimorbidity, is associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as a decline in physical and mental functioning, a decreased quality of life and a greater risk of mortality. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing health conditions through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges. Dr Brian Slattery, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, says: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic conditions are beneficial, but can be hard to access. In this trial, we will offer this online programme to people all over the country, with any combination of conditions, to try alongside any existing treatments they are already using.” People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. All materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their health conditions. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial. Study supervisor, Dr Brian McGuire from the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, said: “This is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with multimorbidity.” For further information and suitable patient referrals, please email painresearch@nuigalway.ie and visit: www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/ -Ends- 

Monday, 12 February 2018

Dr Dearbháile Morris from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway has received the largest single award of funding from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for her research examining the role the environment plays in the transmission of antimicrobial resistance. The EPA awarded a total of €11.2 million to fund new environmental research projects with Dr Morris receiving the largest single award of €650,000 for her four year ‘AREST’ (Antimicrobial Resistance and the Environment – Sources, Persistence, Transmission and Risk Management) project. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a microorganism (such as bacteria, viruses,   fungi and parasites) to change and stop the drugs used to treat infection (such as antibiotics) from working against it. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and may spread to others. Antimicrobial resistance is recognised as one the greatest threats to human health. It is estimated that by 2050, unless action is taken, 10 million deaths per year will be attributable to antimicrobial resistance. There are several different types of antimicrobial resistant organisms such as methicillin resistant, Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), some of which are resistant to the last resort antibiotics. Such is the concern about the increase in the incidence of CPE that Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD declared it a public health emergency in 2017. The emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance is related to the use of antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial agents have been used for decades in humans and animals. The ‘One-Health’ concept, a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care, recognises that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment. It is only recently that attention has been given to the impact that discharge of antimicrobial resistant organisms and of antimicrobials has on the environment. The environment is a key link between antimicrobial resistance in animals and humans, therefore it is imperative to adopt a holistic ‘One Health’ approach in trying to address the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance. The proposed research will generate national level data on the key sources, hot spots and drivers of antimicrobial resistance in the environment from various sectors (health, agriculture, industrial) and brings together key players in the area of antimicrobial resistance. This will embed the ‘One Health’ concept and build the capacity of Ireland’s research community to support Irelands National Action Plan on antimicrobial resistance. Speaking about her award, Dr Dearbháile Morris, Head of Discipline of Bacteriology at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway, said: “I am very excited to receive this funding award and commend the EPA for recognising the importance of funding research in this area. Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats to human health. We are facing the very real possibility of entering an era where there are no useful antibiotics left to treat infection. “We need to understand better what role the environment plays in the transmission and persistence of antimicrobial resistance. This four year research project will generate national level data on the key sources, hot spots and drivers of antimicrobial resistance in the environment from various sectors, and brings together a team of world renowned experts in the areas of human health, animal health, agriculture, the environment, geographical information systems, risk assessment, high throughput sequencing technologies and metagenomics.” Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA, said: “The EPA is pleased to announce these awards under our Research Programme and to continue to support research and innovation in areas of environmental importance. The outputs from these projects will provide the foundation and evidence base for credible environmental decision-making into the future.” The AREST project is being led by NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Danish Technical University, UCD, Teagasc and Maynooth University. -Ends-

Monday, 12 February 2018

Over 2,000 people have been recruited into the world’s largest clinical trial to test the clinical and cost effectiveness of the flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) in primary care The HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, based at NUI Galway, are working with researchers in Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, on the ALIC4E trial, which investigates whether the flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is cost effective and beneficial to patients consulting their GP’s with flu symptoms. In particular, the study aims to understand if older people, infants, people with other health conditions, those treated early, or those with particularly severe flu can benefit from the treatment. Over 2,000 people have been recruited into the world’s largest clinical trial to test the clinical and cost effectiveness of the flu drug oseltamivir in primary care. The trial aims to address the widespread uncertainty over whether people with flu symptoms should be treated with antiviral drugs in the community. To date, 45 patients from Ireland have participated in this trial, recruited from five practices within the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland. ALIC4E is the first publicly-funded randomised controlled trial of its kind to assess antiviral treatment for influenza in primary care and it aims to recruit a total of 4,500 participants across 16 countries, including Ireland. The antiviral oseltamivir is a member of a class of drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors. These drugs are stockpiled and recommended by public health agencies worldwide for treating and preventing severe outbreaks of seasonal and pandemic influenza, yet some experts suggest the evidence supporting their use is lacking. The drug was widely used during the ‘swine flu’ pandemic, for example, but no trial was carried out on its clinical and cost effectiveness. HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland Director, Professor Andrew Murphy at NUI Galway, said: “It is important that primary care patients and GPs in Ireland have the opportunity to contribute data to important international trials. We are delighted to see our Network practices recruiting patients into this clinical trial.” GP’s and practice nurses in five practices in Ireland are currently recruiting patients at Turloughmore Medical Centre and Main Street Clinic Loughrea in County Galway, and Belgrave Clinic, Tallaght Cross and Crumlin Medical Clinic, in Dublin. Network collaborator, Professor Tom Fahey of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said: “We don’t know for sure which people with symptoms of the flu should be prescribed antiviral drugs, and nor do we know the cost-effectiveness of antivirals in terms of helping people return to normal activity levels. The ALIC4E trial aims to answer these important questions.” ALIC4E is an initiative of the Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics (PREPARE) consortium. Funded by the European Commission’s FP7 Programme, PREPARE was setup to support research organisations to respond rapidly to pandemics with clinical studies that can provide real-time evidence to inform the public health response. For more information about the trial, contact Edel Murphy, Developmental Officer, HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network, NUI Galway at edel.murphy@nuigalway.ie or 091 495308. -Ends- 

Monday, 12 February 2018

NUI Galway’s Moore Institute will host a symposium presented by the Women’s History Association of Ireland on Friday 16 February. One of Ireland’s leading historians, Professor Mary O’Dowd from Queen’s University Belfast, will address the association on the progress and pathways for future research on Irish women’s history from 1500-1800. Professor O’Dowd’s address will provide the culmination of a day of discussion by researchers from NUI Galway, TCD, UL and QUB. Speakers will explore the experience of aristocratic Irish women in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Lady Ranelagh and Lady Tyrconnell), letter writing and correspondence networks in and outside Ireland, and the legal standing of women in that period. Conference organiser, Dr Bronagh McShane, post-doctoral fellow in the Humanities from the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Just over 25 years on from the publication of Professor O’Dowd’s ‘Agenda for Women’s History in Ireland’, written with Margaret MacCurtain and Maria Luddy, this one-day seminar will bring together leading and emerging scholars currently engaged in research on the history of early modern Irish women in order to assess progress made and to identify new paths yet to be forged.” Director of the Moore Institute Professor Daniel Carey at NUI Galway, said: “Women’s history is one of the most vibrant and significant areas of research into Irish history in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. New breakthroughs in understanding how women communicated, how they represented themselves socially and publically, and how they managed their legal affairs are emerging all the time. This event will provide a valuable update and way forward for research.” The symposium will take place in Seminar Room G010, Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway from 9am to 5pm on Friday, 16 February. The event is free and open to the public and advance registration is required at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/new-directions-in-early-modern-irish-womens-history-tickets-41707319716 For further event information contact Dr Bronagh McShane at bronagh.mcshane@nuigalway.ie or 091 493903. For more details about the Moore Institute, visit: www.mooreinstitute.ie/ -Ends- 

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Six companies will gain €95,000 in seed funding along with intensive training for the next six months on this mentor centric, expert lead, practical, Medtech Accelerator, the first of its kind in Ireland. Investment opportunities range from cutting edge spinal injury technologies to disruptive wound care products, new wave manufacturing techniques to cell therapies to revolutionise oncology treatments, and environmental and clinical diagnostics to preventative patient devices for chronic disease.  Innovative new solutions to medical challenges will be developed by six new companies announced today (8 February 2018) as participants in the BioExel Accelerator Medtech programme. The NUI Galway initiative, supported by Enterprise Ireland, will support the companies who were shortlisted from over 50 applicants. BioExel Medtech Accelerator is the first of its kind in Ireland to focus solely on the medical technology sector. The six companies, which are all in the scale-up phase, will be based at NUI Galway for a period of six months, to build and commercially validate their technologies by working with existing entrepreneurial networks, mentors and management team. BioExel is delighted to announce the first cohort of companies: Bioprobe Diagnostics Ltd – Ciaran Geoghegan Bluedrop Medical Ltd – Chris Murphy GiantLeap Biotechnology Ltd – Martin Codyre Hidramed Solutions Ltd – Suzanne Moloney Grey Matter Technologies Ltd – Rory Dunne Q-Pathway Ltd – Niamh Frehill The successful participants met their first challenge of many, in a three-day clinic on campus with global experts, mentors, and entrepreneur in residence as their market strategy is validated and substantiated. The first month’s clinic has seen many experts on site including: BioVisability, Kate Gunning; HMC Marketing Consultancy, Helen McCormack; Bob Rosenberg, Entrepreneur in Residence; Viadymanics; Ormond Coaching; BioTechspert; Cresco Innovation and many more to work with the BioExel companies and share true market knowledge and experience. BioExel is managed by Dr Sandra Ganly the accelerator Director, also co-founder of BioInnovate and Senior Research Fellow with vast experience in the Medtech environment. Another member of the management team is Fiona Neary, Commercial Director and co-founder of BioExel, as well as Manager of the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway, with many years’ experience working with the start-up community. Fiona Neary, Commercial Director and co-founder of BioExel at NUI Galway, said: “For these companies being immersed in a Medtech hub, the environment that BioExel is aligned to is critical, as the innovation and transformation in this ecosystem is recognised globally. From over 50 applications the vast array of discovery and technology in the medtech sector is growing at a rapid rate with some amazing opportunities. BioExel is key to this transformation as we deliver the next generation of investor ready, first class medical technologies to the marketplace.” The Western region already has a strong Medtech ecosystem and this is actively supported by the expertise and infrastructure at NUI Galway. The University is home to Ireland’s only centre for stem cell manufacturing, extensive translational and clinical facilities, biomedical sciences research laboratories, and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices. This is further strengthened by NUI Galway’s expertise in funding grants, knowledge transfer, and programmes such as BioInnovate and BioExel. BioExel is a partnership programme funded by Enterprise Ireland, Galway Foundation Office, Bank of Ireland seed and early stage equity fund, Western Development Commission and hosted by NUI Galway. The Medtech Accelerator programme is part of Enterprise Ireland’s overall strategy to increase the number and quality of start-ups that have the potential to employ more than ten people and achieve €1 million in export sales within three years. BioExel has the potential to support up to 14 Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) based in the western region from 2017 to 2019. Bank of Ireland Seed and early stage equity fund have committed €300,000 to this programme. A call for further participants will be made this summer 2018. For more information about the programme, visit: www.bioexcel.ie -Ends- 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A research study led by scientists from the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway, has identified a novel approach that could potentially be used to treat breast cancer when it has spread to other organs, using tiny vesicles released by adult stem cells. The study was published in the internationally renowned cancer journal, Oncogene, and involved a multidisciplinary partnership between colleagues at NUI Galway, and collaborators in UCD. There have been great advances in detection and treatment of breast cancer, but patients in whom the disease has spread to other organs (metastasised) still have a poor outcome. New treatments for advanced disease are urgently required. A type of stem cell, called an adult Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC) has a remarkable ‘tumour-homing’ ability, being able to home specifically to the site of tumours and metastases, and raising their potential as delivery vehicles to bring drugs directly to cancer sites, particularly metastatic sites. In this study, Dr Róisín Dwyer’s research group, based in the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway, isolated vesicles secreted by MSCs. All cells release tiny vesicles containing genetic information, that can then be taken up by other cells, communicating messages between cells. The researchers then engineered these vesicles to contain a tumour suppressing message, and these were shown to reduce breast cancer growth in models of the disease. This exciting data suggests that MSC-secreted vesicles may home to sites of disease and could represent a novel, safe and effective way to treat breast cancer when it has spread to other organs. Lead author of the study, Dr Róisín Dwyer from NUI Galway, said: “When cancer has spread it is difficult to deliver therapy to many sites of disease while protecting healthy tissue. However, adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have the natural ability to home to the sites of tumours. We engineered MSCs to express high levels of a tumour supressing microRNA (a short RNA sequence), and we used the MSCs as vehicles to deliver it to the tumour site. The MSCs were found to release the microRNA in tiny vesicles. We then isolated the vesicles to determine if they could be used to treat the cancer, without the cells. This could also reduce potential side effects.” The research study was primarily funded by the Irish Cancer Society BREAST-PREDICT collaborative cancer research centre. To read the full study in Oncogene, visit: http://rdcu.be/Fu56. -Ends-

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a public lecture by Tomi Reichental, a survivor of the Bergen- Belsen concentration camp. Tomi will talk about his experience of the Holocaust at NUI Galway on Thursday, 8 February at 8pm.   Tomi Reichental was born in 1935 in Piestany Slovakia. In 1944 at age nine, he was captured by the Gestapo in Bratislava and deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp with his mother, grandmother, brother, aunt and cousin. When he was liberated in April 1945, he discovered that 35 members of his extended family had been murdered. His grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all died in the Holocaust. Recounting the sights and smells at the concentration camp Tomi said: “Typhoid and diphtheria were the biggest killers, but people were dying of starvation and cold in their hundreds. First the bodies were removed and burned, but later they were just piling up in front of our barracks, and were piles of decomposing bodies. The soldiers who liberated Belsen in April 1945 said they could smell the stench for two miles before they reached the camp. In the camp I could not play like a normal child, we didn’t laugh and we didn’t cry. If you stepped out of line, you could be beaten up even beaten to death. I saw it all with my own eyes.” Professor Ray Murphy from the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway said: “Tomi is one of the last surviving witnesses to the Holocaust. As such, he feels compelled to speak out so that the victims are not forgotten and we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. For most of his life Tomi did not speak of the atrocities he bore witness to, but in recent years he has become an advocate for tolerance and compassion. His story is a story of the past. It is also a story for our times. The Holocaust reminds us of the dangers of racism and intolerance, providing lessons from the past that are relevant today. One of the lessons we must learn is to respect difference and reject all forms of racism and discrimination.” Tomi Reichental has lived in Dublin since 1959. In 2004, for the first time in 60 years, he broke his silence and began to speak about his experiences during the Holocaust. Thousands of students in schools all over Ireland have heard his story, and an RTÉ documentary film called I Was a Boy in Belsen was based on Tomi’s life. The film was directed by the Emmy award winning producer Gerry Gregg and retraces the events that swept away the Jewish presence in Central Europe from the point of view of a boy who couldn’t understand why. To mark his 80th birthday on the 26 June 2015, the Board of Trustees of HETI (Holocaust Education Trust of Ireland) established a scholarship in Reichental’s name. It will be awarded annually in perpetuity to a deserving candidate to enable his or her participation in one of the Holocaust education programs. The scholarship is in recognition of Reichental’s immense contribution that he has made to Holocaust awareness and education over the years. The talk at NUI Galway will be followed by a Q&A session. Admission is free but early arrival is advised.  The lecture will take place in the Ryan Institute Lecture Theatre (MRA 201), Ryan Institute Annexe, NUI Galway (off University Road) on Thursday 8th February 2018 at 8pm. -Ends-

Monday, 5 February 2018

This February, NUI Galway and GMIT are working together to encourage their students to take part in the national student survey at www.studentsurvey.ie. This year, for the first time, the survey includes postgraduate research students, which means that students in the West of Ireland will have an even bigger say when it comes to shaping their experience of higher education. Last year over 30% of eligible students in GMIT and NUI Galway completed the survey. The results showed that Galway students enjoy more effective teaching, better opportunities for collaborative learning, and better quality interactions with staff compared to the national average. On the back of student feedback in last year’s survey, both institutions are focusing on the need to enhance their students’ experience of reflective and integrative learning, which means giving students more opportunities to combine ideas from different subjects and diverse viewpoints as part of their studies. Dr Pat Morgan, VP for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, has championed the inclusion of research students in the national survey and said: “I welcome the development of the survey to include our postgraduate research students as we will now have really worthwhile information on the totality of the student experience from first year undergraduates, through to taught postgraduates and our research students.” This is the fifth year of the Irish Survey for Student Engagement, and the results have already had positive impacts in NUI Galway and GMIT. In direct response to feedback in previous surveys, NUI Galway has invested in a new Academic Skills Hub, and they have enhanced the Orientation programme to help students adjust to university life. Feedback from GMIT students has led to the creation of a Maths Centre and an Academic Writing Centre on campus to support students on their academic journey. Dr Michael Hannon, VP for Academic Affairs & GMIT Registrar, said: “The Irish Survey for Student Engagement, introduced as part of the National Strategy for higher education to 2030, is a welcome development as it provides a uniform methodology to measure student satisfaction with teaching and learning. As a student-centred organisation where the emphasis is on research-informed teaching and learning, GMIT welcomes the opportunity to listen to and respond to the student voice.” The survey is open to all First Year and Final Year Undergraduate students, and students on Taught and Research Postgraduate programmes. It runs from 5-25 February, 2018. -Ends-

Thursday, 1 February 2018

The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway today (1 February 2018) hosted a Youth Empathy Day. The youth-led day brought together 200 Transition Year students from six secondary schools in Galway, Dublin and Tipperary, all of whom are taking part in a new pilot education programme called Activating Social Empathy, which supports adolescents to learn empathy in schools. Actor and Patron of the Centre, Cillian Murphy spoke to the students about the importance of empathy in his work as an actor. Students attending the Youth Empathy Day travelled from CBC Monkstown in Dublin; Comeragh College, County Tipperary; Grange Community College, Donaghmede, County Dublin; Dominican College Galway; Stratford College, Rathfarnham, Dublin and Galway Community College. Research shows that empathy is linked to a range of positive effects in young people from reduced prejudice and aggression to better academic performance. Empathy education in schools aims to help reduce bullying, discrimination, racial profiling and violence, and increase young peoples’ sense of belonging in school. At the highest international level empathy education has been identified by the UN Youth Office, UNESCO and UNICEF as key to preventing youth radicalization leading to extremist violence, an issue which has not been considered enough in Ireland. Activating Social Empathy was developed by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre in collaboration with Foróige, and it is being piloted in Ireland as the lead version of the programme which forms part of an international project strongly backed by UNESCO that will see the programme rolled out the US, Canada, Nigeria, Myanmar, France, Cameroon and Tunisia. Today’s youth-led event is about youth participation and listening to the youth voice on empathy in their own lives. Cillian Murphy, the Patron of the Centre, took part in a Q&A on empathy in his work as an actor and how having a capacity to empathise with the characters you play is vital. A series of workshops on literature, drama, music, yoga, mindfulness and social media will explore how these areas can be used to teach and promote empathy. Two of the Centre’s Youth Researchers will host a peer-led session on their own experience of developing empathy. The day will close with a group brainstorm on developing an Empathy Charter that can be carried into schools, setting out how empathy can be fostered within school communities. Speaking about the event, Cillian Murphy, Actor and Patron of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “You can’t really be an actor without employing empathy as a very important tool in your arsenal. If I can help young people to see that everyone has a different story and everyone’s story is valuable, hopefully that will help them in the future. It’s helping kids help themselves. It seems to me that if we’re going to help or encourage young people to behave in a certain way, then they should be at the forefront of it, and they should be telling us how they feel and telling us what they need, which is what this day is about.” Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “We are on the cusp of the development of empathy as a core part of education systems which will benefit not just youth but civic society as a whole. Empathy education is now being recognised as vital to education, something that is part of youth wellbeing development, but goes far beyond this by changing behaviours and promoting action, with radical implications for social connection and social solidarity.” For more information about the UNESCO Family Child and Research Centre, visit: http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/cfrc/home/ or on Twitter at @UNESCO_CFRC and #youthempathyday. -Ends-