NUI Galway-IITA-Irish Aid research collaboration helps develop vitamin-A rich maize to combat micronutrient malnutrition

NUI Galway-IITA-Irish Aid research collaboration helps develop vitamin-A rich maize to combat micronutrient malnutrition-image

Monday, 20 January 2014

Up to 500,000 children in developing countries go blind each year due to Vitamin A deficiency The NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC) has been closely working with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the development of more nutritious and higher yielding crops for smallholder farmers in Africa since 2009. The NUI Galway – IITA research has now been published in the international scientific journal BMC Plant Biology. Vitamin A deficiency in the diets of the poor is currently a global health problem affecting millions of people in Africa and other regions of the world.  Vitamin A deficiency retards growth, increases risk of disease, and can cause reproductive disorders. IITA, Irish Aid and NUI Galway are engaged with the international Harvest Plus initiative of the CGIAR and national agricultural research systems to develop and disseminate new varieties of staple crops (e.g. maize, sweet potato, beans) that contain higher levels of essential micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron and zinc.  Up to 500,000 children in developing countries go blind each year due to vitamin A deficiency, with over half of these children dying within a year of becoming blind. For instance, in Malawi 73% of children currently do not have enough Vitamin A in their diets.  The high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency amongst mothers and children (particularly during the first 1000 days of life) perpetuates cycles of poverty. A key aim is develop even more improved maize varieties which have sufficiently high levels of vitamin A to impact on human health and which are high yielding under African growing conditions. Working closely with Prof. Charles Spillane (NUI Galway) and Dr. Abebe Menkir (IITA), a PhD student and maize breeder Girum Azmach has been conducting research between NUI Galway and IITA on development of vitamin A rich maize varieties for African smallholder farmers and growing conditions.   Working within IITA’s maize breeding program, Girum has identified combinations of naturally-occurring genes in maize lines that result in major increases of the level of vitamin A in the types of maize varieties that are grown by farmers and consumed by poorer households in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Girum has been able to screen and identify maize lines within the IITA breeding program that recorded as high as 17 microgram per each gram of a dry maize kernel. This concentration of provitamin A is much higher than that of commonly grown maize cultivars, which is mostly less than 2 micrograms per each gram of dry maize kernel. This means that IITA and other maize breeding programs in Africa now have access to lines that have levels of provitamin A that are necessary for biofortified maize varieties to reduce the levels of vitamin A deficiency amongst the poor in Sub Saharan Africa. The identification of these gene combinations and high vitamin A maize lines now allows IITA and national research programs to better develop vitamin A biofortified tropical maize varieties adapted to growing conditions and consumer preferences in Africa. IITA in collaboration with national partners in Nigeria has released the first generation of two pro-vitamin A rich hybrids and two open-pollinated varieties. An open-pollinated variety with intermediate level of pro-vitamin A was also released in Ghana in 2012. Seeds of the released pro-vitamin A rich open-pollinated maize varieties have been sent to Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone for testing, multiplication and deployment with the support from HarvestPlus and AGRA. The high vitamin A lines identified by Girum will be provided to national breeding programs in countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia for use to develop their own vitamin A rich varieties for smallholder farmers and the rural poor. Overall, the development of staple crops with improved micronutrient composition and content for African smallholders is set to contribute to both improving smallholder agriculture and prevention of maternal and child undernutrition in Africa. -ends-

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Free Introduction to Computer Courses Resume in NUI Galway

Free Introduction to Computer Courses Resume in NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

NUI Click and Connect introduction to computer classes will resume again in NUI Galway on the week beginning 27 January. These classes, which are free to learners, have to date trained over 500 people in basic computing skills. Running for two-hours a week, four weeks in a row, the classes are aimed at those with little or no computer experience. The classes will cover topics such as introduction to the internet, online shopping and booking tickets, setting up and managing email, and using the computer in conjunction with a digital camera. Many of the class participants have never used a computer before, and the classes are run in a relaxed and fun way to encourage confidence in the “new surfers”. Student volunteers support the learners to practice their new skills in the college’s computer labs. Classes are small with a maximum of 12 people and there is usually one-to-one support from the student volunteers. Each learner is a given a supporting booklet with simple instructions so that they can practice their skills outside class times if they wish. All those who complete the course receive a certificate of attendance. Pat Byrne, Manager of Click and Connect and a lecturer with the discipline of Information Technology in NUI Galway, is delighted with the feedback received from those who have completed the programme. “Many of our learners have been older people who are finding that using the internet is opening up a whole new world to them. They are able access services easily and use email and Skype to communicate with friends and family both at home and overseas. Our learners are also delighted to be able to compare prices and shop online, and follow their hobbies too. Whether they are looking for a job or searching for a new recipe, access to the internet makes their life so much easier. Everyone can pick up these basic skills and our classes provide a supportive environment in which to do so”. The classes are funded by a small grant from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and are offered free to participants. For further information and to book a place on one of the classes, call 087 0571967 or 091 493332. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Ireland’s Only Harry Potter Convention

NUI Galway Hosts Ireland’s Only Harry Potter Convention-image

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

NUI Galway’s Harry Potter Society will hold a three day convention dedicated to Harry Potter fans. PotterFest Galway will take place from 31 January to 2 February in the Bailey Allen hall at NUI Galway.  PotterFest is Ireland’s only Harry Potter convention and over 200 fans attended last year’s event. The event will offer a taste of Hogwarts in potions, astrology or defence against the dark arts classes. In the opening ceremony on Friday fans will be sorted into their houses and compete in games for the auror or deatheater teams. On Sunday there will be a chance to try out muggle quidditch and to watch a couple of matches. A fun-filled weekend is in store with talks from speakers from ‘Magic is Might’, Jennifer Trieu and Grainne O’Brien. There will be writing and cosplay (with Mez's Masquerade) workshops, an artist’s alley and a trader’s hall where artwork and merchandise can be purchased. There will be also a games room and other events. All proceeds from the event will be donated to charity. More information is available at, facebook, twitter, and tumblr, or email Weekend tickets cost €15, and a day ticket is €10, with Friday only being free entry.  The NUI Galway Harry Potter Society is not associated with JK Rowling or Warner Brothers in any way. It’s a society created to show members’ appreciation and love for the Harry Potter series that played such a large part members’ childhoods. The Society has comedy Potter showings; table quizzes weekly competitions, Quiddich tournaments, book discussions, a Sorting Ceremony and so much more -Ends-

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New Druid Academy to train future theatre-makers at NUI Galway

New Druid Academy to train future theatre-makers at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

In a unique development for Drama and Theatre teaching in Ireland, Druid Theatre Company and NUI Galway today launched a new Druid Academy, as part of a 10 year partnership between the two organisations. Part of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, the Druid Academy covers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, as well as PhD research opportunities.  The Druid Academy will provide training in drama that meets best international practice while also embedding the values associated with Druid Theatre into the teaching curriculum. Borne out of a vision of Galway as a location for the creation of excellent theatre, teaching in the Druid Academy will follow the Druid approach, focusing on ensemble as a mode of performance, rigorous critical analysis of theatre, by both practitioners and audiences, and an awareness of the importance of audience, in a variety of locations: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Speaking at the launch of the Druid Academy, Professor Patrick Lonergan, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Druid Academy allows us to bring the best of the University together with the best of the Irish theatre world. Druid have for many years showed that Galway can be a wonderful place to create theatre – and that it can be an ideal base to bring new Irish drama to audiences all over the world. By working with Druid, we will be able to foster new generations of theatre-makers and playwrights, who will change the way we produce drama in Galway, Ireland, and the world”. Led by Tony Award-winning Director, Dr Garry Hynes, Druid staff will work alongside NUI Galway's Drama and Theatre scholars to provide world-class training in directing, design, playwriting, and many other areas of theatre studies. In a partnership that will see close integration between Druid staff and NUI Galway Drama scholars, Dr Garry Hynes takes up the role of Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, with Drama students benefitting from regular workshops and master classes with the renowned Theatre Director. The Druid Academy will also feature other Druid staff including the  Druid Director-in-Residence, Thomas Conway. Thomas, a practising professional director and dramaturge, will have particular responsibility for developing the performance elements of the Druid Academy. The Druid Director-in-Residence will play a key role in building relationships between Druid staff and NUI Galway Drama and theatre students and in developing the practice and performance aspects of the Drama curriculum. The Academy will also lead to the development of new courses, including three new MA programmes. These are in Irish Drama, Writing for Theatre, and Theatre Practice and Production. NUI Galway also offers a part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, and has two very popular undergraduate Drama programmes. Students of the Druid Academy will gain a unique insight into the world of professional theatre when they get the opportunity to stage an annual professional-standard production, directed by the Druid Director-in-Residence.  Artistic Director of Druid, Dr Garry Hynes, said: “This is a very significant relationship not just for Druid but for Irish Theatre generally. I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues both in Druid and NUI Galway in seeing this relationship flourish". The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Marie Mullen, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Three years ago that relationship was formalised into a strategic partnership that saw Druid and NUI Galway join forces to train the next generation of theatre-makers. Today that partnership moves on to a new level with the announcement of the Druid Academy. Commenting at the launch, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The development of Drama and Theatre Studies represents a natural fit for NUI Galway given the vibrant theatre world in Galway. Our Drama and Theatre offering has gone from strength to strength thanks to a unique collaboration with world-class theatre-makers like Druid.  The Druid Academy represents the culmination of a long and fruitful partnership between Druid and NUI Galway and provides our students with unique access to some of Ireland’s leading theatre-makers”. Students interested in finding out more about programmes in the Druid Academy should visit: Ends

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New Book Explores the Evolution and Behaviour of Economies

New Book Explores the Evolution and Behaviour of Economies-image

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway will launch a new book, Econophysics and Physical Economics, on Thursday, 23 January at 2pm in the Cairnes Building on campus. The event will include a special talk with the authors, Professors Peter Richmond, Stefan Hutzler and Jurgen Mimkes. An understanding of the behaviour of financial assets and the evolution of economies has never been as important as today and Econophysics and Physical Economics looks at these complex systems from the perspective of the physicist. So called 'econophysics' and its application to finance has made great strides in recent years. For more than a decade, physicists have used the methods and tools based on statistical physics to analyse the complexities of not just natural systems but also financial and economic systems. The research was also stimulated by the ready availability of large data sets in the realm of financial markets. As a result new insights into the nature of financial market fluctuations and other inherent complex dynamics associated with the financial markets were being discovered. This stimulating research program has in turn led to novel approaches to economic theory informed by empirical observations and physical ideas, and continues to articulate an alternative framework for analysing economic systems. Authors Professors Peter Richmond and Stefan Hutzler of Trinity College Dublin and Professor Jurgen Mimkes, retired Professor of Physics at the University of Paderborn, Germany highlight and discuss these novel approaches in the new book, published by Oxford University Press. According to Dr Srinivas Raghavendra of the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Whitaker Institute, “The ongoing economic crisis has severely challenged the current dominant economic model that informs policy. I think a serious attempt to go beyond the established conventional framework has become an urgent necessity of our times. In this respect, Econophysics offers one such alternative framework to think outside the conventional mode and it would be to our benefit that we engage with it and critically examine what it offers.” For more information on the event please visit or call 091 495971. -Ends-

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The Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy, facilitated by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights

The Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy, facilitated by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights -image

Friday, 24 January 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has brought together 23 of Ireland’s leading human rights groups to adopt a common vision for human rights in Irish Foreign Policy. The Galway Platform on Human Rights in Irish Foreign Policy sets out the basic human rights standards and practices by which Ireland should be held to account in its dealings with other countries, as well as in its activities at EU and UN levels. The Galway Platform contains 47 specific observations and proposals to government in the context of the current consultation on a review of Irish Foreign Policy being undertaken by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. These are realistic and measured recommendations intended to ensure that Ireland holds true to the human rights commitments that it has freely entered into. The protection of human rights is integral to Ireland’s foreign policy and Ireland now has the opportunity to significantly enhance its capacity to promote and protect human rights worldwide as well as at home. The recommendations also emphasise the need for human rights to be mainstreamed across every aspect of foreign policy. For instance, the Galway Platform states that, “it would be unacceptable for the State to undertake any action that is inconsistent with the human rights standards by which it is held to account.” Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway said, “We are delighted that so many important human rights groups were able to come to Galway and agree on this wide-ranging road map for human rights in Irish Foreign Policy. Although the government is already getting a lot right when it comes to the promotion of human rights internationally, no one would dispute that it can do so much more. The Irish Centre for Human Rights and the other signatories are putting the Galway Platform recommendations to government so that Ireland can be an international champion of human rights to make us proud.” The Galway Platform has been signed by: Amnesty International Ireland, Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at University College Cork, Centre for Disability Law & Policy at National University of Ireland, Galway, Children's Rights Alliance, Community Workers’ Co-operative, Department of Applied Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC), Front Line Defenders, Gay & Lesbian Equality Network, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Irish Penal Reform Trust, Irish Refugee Council, Liberia Solidarity Group, National Assembly of the Baha’is of Ireland, National Women's Council of Ireland, Northern Ireland Human Rights Consortium, Pavee Point, Social Justice Ireland, Trocaire, University College Dublin, Human Rights Network and Women’s Human Rights Alliance. -ends-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Clonmel

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Clonmel-image

Friday, 24 January 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Clonmel on Thursday, 30 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Clonmel Park Hotel, Cahir Road, Co. Tipperary. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge) which is brand new for 2013-14.  “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Clonmel is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Clonmel, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 2391219 or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Centre for Autism Invites Public to Meet and Contribute to National Autism Registry and Biobank Consultation

NUI Galway Centre for Autism Invites Public to Meet and Contribute to National Autism Registry and Biobank Consultation -image

Friday, 24 January 2014

International Evidence indicates one in 88 children, including one in 54 boys, has an Autism Spectrum Disorder The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research (ICAN) at NUI Galway is inviting the public to meet and engage in planning the future direction of the provision of services for those with autism in Ireland. ICAN, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin and Autism Speaks, aim to develop an Irish Autism Registry and Biobank. Autism is a lifelong disorder and has profound effects on an individual’s social, emotional and cognitive development, and has implications for the family, state services and society at large. A Stakeholder Consultation Process is underway to take account of the needs and perspectives of individuals with autism and other related neurodevelopmental disorders and the perspectives of their families. As part of the consultation process there will be regional public consultation meetings held around the country, which all are welcome to attend. NUI Galway will host a meeting on the 28th January at the Fottrell Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at 7pm. For additional information on public meetings visit  International evidence indicates a significant rise in the prevalence of this condition, as reflected in the recent data from the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates that one in 88 children, including one in 54 boys, has an autism spectrum disorder. By way of comparison, these estimates represent more children are currently diagnosed with autism than diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome combined. Dr. Geraldine Leader, Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research at NUI Galway commented, “The need for a registry of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related neurodevelopmental disorders will address critical questions concerning ASD and related conditions in Ireland, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive registry. This registry will serve as a national resource for research in the areas of health, education and social services and to inform policy development.” Clinical registries will gather clinical information and other data on patients to inform the development of clinical practice, services and future research. Some of the best-known examples of registries are those that exist in Scandinavian countries where there are well-established patient registries for a variety of physical and mental illnesses and disabilities for many years. These well-organised registries provide critical data that are useful for the development of services and to identify critical research questions to be further investigated. The Development of a registry can address a range of research topics that may include: The scale of autism in Ireland across the lifespan. The behavioral health and medical needs of the Irish autism community. The impact of early intervention on later outcomes. Factors that influence successful school placement. Factors that influence improved quality of life among adolescents and adults with    autism. Planning for transitions in service delivery, e.g. from preschool to school and from school to adult services. -ends-

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Minister Sherlock Opens Ireland’s First Human Use Stem Cell Manufacturing Facility at NUI Galway

Minister Sherlock Opens Ireland’s First Human Use Stem Cell Manufacturing Facility at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 27 January 2014

Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland at NUI Galway is the first facility of its’ kind on the island of Ireland The Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) at NUI Galway is the first ever facility on the island of Ireland to receive a licence from the Irish Medicines Board to manufacture culture-expanded stem cells for human use. This facility in Galway, opened today by Minister Seán Sherlock, positions Ireland as a global player in the regenerative medicine field and is a significant development for the med tech sector as a whole.  There are many human diseases which have either inadequate or no effective treatments, and since 2004 researchers based at the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in NUI Galway have been working to develop new therapies to impact many different areas of unmet medical need. To develop any new human therapy, the treatment must first be tested for safety and effectiveness in a series of rigorous clinical trials.  Over the past number of years REMEDI has developed the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland which is a custom-built facility designed to expand stem cells for use in human clinical trials.  Now it has been successfully accredited, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland plans to supply stem cells for use in clinical trials following regulatory approval arising from pre-clinical data generated at REMEDI.  Today’s announcement coincides with plans for the first clinical trial using CCMI- manufactured stem cells which is being funded by the Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland. It will investigate the safety of using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from bone marrow for the treatment of critical limb ischemia, a common complication associated with diabetes and which can often result in limb amputation.  MSCs must be grown in the laboratory to generate sufficient quantities following their isolation from the bone marrow of adult donors. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said: “developing Galway’s role as med tech hub of global standing, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland captures NUI Galway’s commitment to bring bold ideas to life. Innovation can bridge the gap between patient and provider and meet the needs of industry and the wider society in a balanced way.”     Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock said that “The Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland is clear evidence of the potential benefits offered by this Government’s substantial investment in applied research. Stem cell technology, developed in the first instance to help patients with diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and critical limb ischemia, can also create sustainable growth and jobs in Ireland’s smart economy by making researchers’ visions a reality.” The Minister also said “the facility will play a key role in ensuring REMEDI’s continued success in EU funding initiatives, in particular Horizon 2020”. The Minister added that the Government, through SFI, will work to ensure that Ireland maximises its participation in the Horizon 2020 programme. Speaking at the launch, Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland said “the presence of this facility in Ireland positions us well to develop new therapies for a broad array of clinical problems which do not have effective treatments today.  It will also allow us to translate discoveries from the basic stem cell research programme led by Professor Frank Barry at the Science Foundation Ireland-funded REMEDI to the clinic and to be competitive for grant funding under the Horizon 2020 programme of the EU.”   John O’Dea, Board member of the Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA) said “revenue from Regenerative Medicine products was approximately $1.3bn in 2013, with sales growth of 40% in 2013 alone. Nearly $1.4bn was invested in companies in this space in 2013. The Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland is a key step in the demonstration of national competence in this space and I look forward to seeing its continued growth to assist in developing the skillsets and techniques that will be needed to embrace the new manufacturing opportunities that this exciting area will bring.” In addition to stem cell manufacture, Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) are offering a custom ATMP (advanced therapeutic medicinal product) manufacturing service to industry and also a cleanroom leasing service to Irish SMEs who often have difficulty in procuring cleanroom space. -ends- Osclaíonn an tAire Sherlock an Chéad Saoráid Déantúsaíochta Gascheall d’Úsáid an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh Is é an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann in OÉ Gaillimh an chéad saoráid dá leithéid ar oileán na hÉireann Is é an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann in OÉ Gaillimh an chéad saoráid dá leithéid ar oileán na hÉireann a bhfuil ceadúnas faighte aige ó Bhord Leigheasra na hÉireann chun gaschealla saothráin-forbartha a dhéanamh d’úsáid an duine. De bharr na saoráide seo i nGaillimh, a d’oscail an tAire Seán Sherlock inniu, tá Éire mar imreoir domhanda i réimse an leighis athghiniúnaigh agus is forbairt shuntasach í seo don earnáil leighis-teicneolaíochta ar an iomlán.  Is iomaí galar daonna a mbaineann cóir leighis neamhleor nó neamhéifeachtach leis, agus ó 2004 i leith tá taighdeoirí in Institiúid an Leighis Athghiniúnaigh (REMEDI) in OÉ Gaillimh ag obair le teiripí nua a fhorbairt chun dul i ngleic le réimsí éagsúla leighis nach bhfuil aon fhreastal déanta orthu. D’fhonn aon teiripe nua don duine a fhorbairt, caithfear an chóireáil a thástáil ar dtús ar mhaithe le sábháilteacht agus le héifeachtúlacht i sraith trialacha cliniciúla.  Le roinnt blianta anuas tá an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann forbartha ag REMEDI, saoráid a tógadh go sonrach chun gaschealla a fhorbairt le húsáid i dtrialacha cliniciúla daonna.  Tá creidiúnú bainte amach anois ag an Ionad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann agus é mar aidhm aige gaschealla a sholáthar le húsáid i dtrialacha cliniciúla tar éis cead rialúcháin a fháil de bharr sonraí réamhchliniciúla a chuir REMEDI ar fáil.  Tagann fógra an lae inniu ag an am céanna is atá pleananna idir lámha don chéad triail chliniciúil a úsáidfidh gaschealla de chuid an Ionaid do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann atá á maoiniú ag an mBord Taighde Sláinte agus ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann. Déanfaidh sé iniúchadh ar an tsábháilteacht a bhaineann le gaschealla méiseincíoma (MSCanna) a fhaightear ón smior a úsáid chun cóireáil a dhéanamh ar iscéime géag criticiúil, aimhréidh chomónta a bhaineann le diaibéiteas agus a mbíonn teascadh géag dá bharr go minic.  Caithfear MSCanna a fhás sa tsaotharlann chun méid dóthanach a ghiniúint tar éis dóibh a bheith ar leithlis ó smior deontóirí fásta. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh an Dr Jim Browne: “agus é ag forbairt ról na Gaillimhe mar lárionad leighis agus teicneolaíochta ar sheasamh domhanda, léiríonn an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann tiomantas OÉ Gaillimh smaointe teanntásacha a chur i bhfeidhm. Is féidir leis an nuálaíocht an bearna idir an t-othar agus an soláthróir a laghdú agus freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail agus an phobail níos leithne ar bhealach cothrom.”     Dúirt an tAire Taighde agus Nuálaíochta Seán Sherlock, “Is fianaise soiléir é an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann ar na buntáistí féideartha atá ar fáil de bharr infheistíocht shuntasach an Rialtais seo i dtaighde fheidhmeach. Forbraíodh teicneolaíocht gascheall den chéad uair le cabhrú le hothair a raibh galair cosúil le diaibéiteas, airtríteas, galar croí agus iscéime géag criticiúil ag gabháil dóibh, agus is féidir leis an teicneolaíocht seo cur le fás agus le fostaíocht i ngeilleagar glic na hÉireann trí fhíseanna taighdeoirí a chur i bhfeidhm.” Dúirt na tAire chomh maith “beidh ról lárnach ag an tsaoráid i gcinntiú go leanfaidh REMEDI ar aghaidh leis an dea-obair i dtionscnaimh mhaoinithe de chuid an AE, ‘Fís 2020’ go háirithe”. Luaigh an tAire chomh maith go mbeidh an Rialtas ag obair, trí Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, le cinntiú go dtapóidh Éire gach deis as a rannpháirtíocht sa chlár ‘Fís 2020’. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt an tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir an Ionaid do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann, “mar gheall go bhfuil an tsaoráid seo lonnaithe in Éirinn táimid i suíomh maith le teiripí nua a fhorbairt do réimse leathan fadhbanna cliniciúla nach bhfuil cóireáil éifeachtach ar fáil dóibh faoi láthair.  Tabharfaidh sé deis dúinn chomh maith fionnachtana ón mbunchlár taighde ar ghaschealla atá á stiúradh ag an Ollamh Frank Berry in REMEDI, atá á mhaoiniú ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann, a thabhairt ar aghaidh chuig an gclinic agus a bheith san iomaíocht do mhaoiniú deontais faoi chlár an AE ‘Fís 2020’.”   Dúirt John O’Dea, comhalta Boird ar an Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA) “rinneadh ioncam thart ar $1.3bn in 2013 as táirgí a bhain le Leigheas Athghiniúnach, agus tháinig fás 40% ar dhíolachán in 2013 as féin. Rinneadh infheistíocht de bheagnach $1.4bn i gcuideachtaí san earnáil seo in 2013. Is céim thábhachtach é an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann maidir le cumas náisiúnta san earnáil seo a léiriú agus táim ag súil le fás leanúnach a fheiceáil anseo chun cabhrú le tacair scileanna agus teicnící a fhorbairt a bheidh ag teastáil le tabhairt faoi na deiseanna déantúsaíochta nua a thabharfaidh an earnáil nua seo chun cinn.” Chomh maith le déantúsaíocht gascheall, tá an tIonad do Dhéantúsaíocht Ceall Éireann ag cur seirbhís déantúsaíochta do ATMP (ardtáirge míochaine teiripeach) ar fáil don tionscal mar aon le seirbhís chun seomra íonghlan a thabhairt ar léas d’Fhiontair Bheaga agus Mheánmhéide Éireannacha a mbíonn deacracht acu go minic seomra íonghlan a fháil. -críoch-

>> Read full story about Minister Sherlock Opens Ireland’s First Human Use Stem Cell Manufacturing Facility at NUI Galway

Sean-nós Dance workshops at NUI Galway

Sean-nós Dance workshops at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 27 January 2014

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of Sean-nós Dance workshops in February and March. The workshops will be taught by Gearóid Ó Dubháín, who was recently appointed as NUI Galway Sean-nós Dancer in Residence.   A native of Ardmore, Connemara, Gearóid is renowned for his dancing and has won the prestigious Oireachtas na Samhnna (2010), Craobh na hÉireann (2011), Féile na Mí (2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012), Féile Chóilín Clesham and many other prizes.   The workshops will take place at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 7-8.15pm each Wednesday, beginning on 5 February. The workshops are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. For further details, contact Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or -Ends- Ceardlann rince ar an Sean-nós in OÉ Gaillimh Cuirfear tús le sraith de cheardlanna rince ar an sean-nós san Aula Maxima, OÉ Gaillimh ag 7pm, Dé Céadaoin, 5 Feabhra 2014. Is é Gearóid Ó Dubháin, ón Árdmhóir, i gConamara, a bheidh ina stiúrthóir. Tá Gearóid ceaptha mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach ar an Sean-nós san Ollscoil as seo go ceann bliana. Tá cáíl bainte amach ag Gearóid mar damhseoir agus tá go leor duaiseanna bainte amach ag Gearóid ar fud na tíre, ina measc tá Oireachtas na Samhna (2010), Craobh na hÉireann (2011), Féile na Mí (2006, 2008, 2010 agus 2012), Féile Chóilín Clesham (buaite cúpla uair), mar aon le neart comórtais eile. Tá cead isteach saor in aisce agus fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó -Críoch-

>> Read full story about Sean-nós Dance workshops at NUI Galway

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