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Students bound for Bali as delegates at International Student Energy Summit
Friday, 5 June 2015
Two engineering students from NUI Galway have been selected as delegates to represent Ireland at the International Student Energy Summit (ISES) from 10-13 June. The event is a global forum focusing on sustainable resource management and the role that students will play in defining the future of energy development. ISES targets international, multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate students interested in energy. ISES takes place every two years at academic institutions around the world. Billy Delaney from Newbridge, Co. Kildare and Kate Kerrane from Thurles, Co. Tipperary will travel to Bali to attend the event. Both are undertaking a Bachelor of Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway and are active members of the Energy Society on campus, which organises Ireland’s only student run energy event, the annual Energy Night. NUI Galway’s Dr Rory Monaghan is Director of Energy Systems Engineering Bachelors and Masters Degrees: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our student energy leaders to plug into the global sustainable energy community. It puts NUI Galway, which is already at the forefront of student involvement in Irish energy issues, on the map globally, and will no doubt be of great benefit to Billy and Kate in the future.” ISES 2015, “Connecting the Unconnected”, is being hosted in Bali, Indonesia, by the Bandung Institute of Technology, which is the oldest technology-oriented university in Indonesia. The conference itself will consist of keynotes from leading experts and thought leaders, panel sessions designed to encourage debate, specialised breakout sessions and interactive program elements to give students hands on experience. The students, who will start their final year of the four-year degree in September, are currently on placement as a part of their course. Billy is completing his placement in Arup and Kate is in ESB Networks. “We are very grateful for the sponsorship and support they have received from our placement companies and also from the College of Engineering and Informatics and the Societies Office at NUI Galway, to avail of this opportunity”, explained Kate Kerrane. “We would not have been able to take this opportunity if it wasn’t for such support.” You can follow the journey to Bali on twitter, @delaney_billy and @k8kerrane. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Pays Tribute to Jean Ritchie
Friday, 5 June 2015
It is with sadness that NUI Galway noted the passing of noted folk-singer and collector Jean Ritchie earlier this week. Jean Ritchie, who brought hundreds of traditional songs from her native Appalachia to a global audience, died at the age of 92. In 1996 the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, under the auspices of Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín of the University’s History Department, acquired the Ritchie-Pickow Photographic Archive, along with tapes of sound recordings. These included many of the singers and musicians that Jean recorded as part of a project to trace the roots of many of the songs and tunes she would have grown up with in the Southern Appalachians. The photographs were taken and the recordings made by the US husband and wife team, George Pickow and Jean Ritchie on visits to Ireland in 1952 and 1953. Jean Ritchie, singer, folklorist and dulcimer player was born on 8 December 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of a family of 14 children, known as 'The Singing Ritchies'. Jean graduated from the University of Kentucky and in 1952 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to enable her to research the origins of her family's songs in Great Britain and Ireland. Ritchie's late husband George Pickow, a photographer, accompanied her and they spent approximately eighteen months recording folk songs and traditional musicians and taking photographs. The photographs include images of many well-known uilleann pipe players, such as Seamus Ennis, the McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; vocalists, including Elizabeth (Bess) Cronin from West Cork, Sarah Makem and story tellers, such as Paitsín Faherty from the Aran Islands. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne: “We in NUI Galway are deeply honored by our association with the late Jean Ritchie and George Pickow. Their names will forever be associated with NUI Galway, through the deposit in 1996 of the very significant collection of George's photographs and Jean’s sound recordings made during Jean’s Fulbright year in Ireland and Britain in 1952-53. This is a unique folk collection, linking the Irish song tradition and that of Appalachia. The Ritchie-Pickow collection is of considerable interest to scholars and researchers, and forms an integral part of the James Hardiman Library's Archives and Special Collections.” Building on the Ritchie/Pickow archive housed in NUI Galway's library, The ‘Jean Ritchie Scholarship’ was launched last February during a visit to Berea College, Kentucky, by Mary McPartlan, Traditional Artist in Residence and University teacher and Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs, NUI Galway. The Scholarship offers a full tuition waiver to one outstanding Berea College graduate pursuing a one year MA programme in NUI Galway. Permission was granted by Jean Ritchie and her family to name this scholarship in her honour during the visit. Ar dheis dé go raibh a h-anam uasal ENDS Tugann OÉ Gaillimh ómós do Jean Ritchie Is oth linn a chloisteáil anseo in OÉ Gaillimh gur bhásaigh an t-amhránaí tíre agus an bailitheoir amhrán Jean Ritchie níos túisce an tseachtain seo. Bhásaigh Jean Ritchie in aois a 92; roinn sí na céadta amhrán traidisiúnta óna Appalachia dúchasach le lucht éisteachta domhanda. Sa bhliain 1996, faoi choimirce an Ollaimh Dáibhí Ó Cróinín ó Roinn Staire na hOllscoile, ghlac Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin seilbh ar Chartlann Ghrianghraf Ritchie-Pickow, mar aon le téipeanna de thaifid fuaime. Chuimsigh siad seo go leor de na hamhránaithe agus na ceoltóirí a bhí taifeadta ag Jean mar chuid de thionscadal a bhí sí ina bhun le déanamh amach cé as a dtáinig go leor de na hamhráin agus na tiúineanna ar fhás sí aníos leo sna Sléibhte Apaláiseacha Theas. Ar chuairteanna go hÉirinn i 1952 agus 1953 a thóg an lánúin phósta as Meiriceá, George Pickow agus Jean Ritchie na grianghraif agus na taifid. Rugadh Jean Ritchie, amhránaí, béaloideasóir agus seinnteoir dulcaiméara ar an 8 Nollaig 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. Ba í ab óige de cheithre pháiste dhéag ar a dtugtaí na ‘Singing Ritchies’. Bhain Jean céim amach in Ollscoil Kentucky agus sa bhliain 1952 bronnadh Scoláireacht Fulbright uirthi le cur ar a cumas taighde a dhéanamh ar bhunús amhráin a muintire sa Bhreatain Mhór agus in Éirinn. Bhí fear Ritchie, George Pickow, grianghrafadóir, atá é féin anois ar shlí na fírinne, ina cuideachta. Chaith siad thart ar ocht mí dhéag ag taifead amhráin tíre agus ceoltóirí traidisiúnta agus ag glacadh grianghraf. Cuimsíonn na grianghraif íomhánna de phíobairí iomráiteacha cosúil le Seamus Ennis, an McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; amhránaithe cosúil le Elizabeth (Bess) Cronin as Iarthar Chorcaí, Sarah Makem agus scéalaithe cosúil le Paitsín Faherty as Árainn. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is mór an onóir dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh go raibh ceangal againn le Jean Ritchie agus le George Pickow, atá beirt ar shlí na fírinne anois. Beidh ceangal idir iad féin agus OÉ Gaillimh go deo, mar gheall ar an mbailiúchán an-suntasach a cuireadh ar fáil i 1996 de ghrianghraif George agus de thaifid fuaime Jean a rinneadh an bhliain a raibh scoláireacht Fulbright ag Jean go hÉirinn agus go dtí an Bhreatain Mhór in 1952-53. Bailiúchán tíre uathúil is ea é seo, a dhéanann nasc idir traidisiún amhránaíochta na hÉireann agus traidisiún Appalachia. Bíonn an-spéis ag scoláirí agus ag taighdeoirí i mbailiúchán Ritchie-Pickow, agus tá sé mar lárchuid de Chartlanna agus Bailiúcháin Speisialta Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin.” D’fhonn forbairt a dhéanamh ar chartlann Ritchie/Pickow atá i leabharlann OÉ Gaillimh, seoladh ‘Scoláireacht Jean Ritchie’ i mí Feabhra seo caite le linn do Mary McPartlan, an tEalaíontóir Traidisiúnta Cónaitheach agus teagascóir Ollscoile agus Anna Cunningham, an Stiúrthóir Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta, OÉ Gaillimh a bheith ar cuairt ar Berea College, Kentucky. Clúdaíonn an Scoláireacht costas iomlán an teagaisc do chéimí amháin den scoth in Berea College atá ag tabhairt faoi chlár bliana MA in OÉ Gaillimh. Le linn na cuairte thug Jean Ritchie agus a teaghlach cead dúinn an scoláireacht a ainmniú in ómós di. Ar dheis dé go raibh a h-anam uasal CRÍOCH
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New €6 million EU Horizon 2020 research project launched using stem cell therapy to treat diabetic kidney disease
Monday, 8 June 2015
· Project is 4th clinical trial funded by EU testing next-generation stem cell therapy discovered by NUI Galway spin-out, Orbsen Therapeutics A new €6 million research project (NEPHSTROM) has been funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme to evaluate the clinical safety and efficacy of a next-generation cell therapy discovered by Galway-based Orbsen Therapeutics, to combat diabetic kidney disease. The project will be led by Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at the National University of Ireland Galway. The four-year project will test the next-generation stromal (stem) cell therapy, called Cyndacel-M, in a four-site clinical trial treating patients in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Italy The ‘stromal’ cells will be purified from healthy donor bone marrow using Orbsen Therapeutics’ patented technology, and expanded into multiple ‘off-the-shelf’ doses for clinical use. By 2016, first-in-man trials will see the stromal cells injected into patients with diabetic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease is marked by the gradual destruction of kidney tissue over time and is a major cause of sickness and death in the EU. Inflammation (the body’s immune response where blood flow increases to tissue causing swelling) plays a large part in the majority of kidney disease and this can lead to kidney damage, scar tissue formation (fibrosis) and loss of kidney function. Diabetic kidney disease is a common complication of diabetes mellitus, and it is estimated that by 2040 it may affect in the region of 200 million people. In most cases of diabetic kidney damage there is no effective medical treatment. The mainstay treatments are drugs, dialysis and kidney transplants, all of which have significant costs and only provide limited protection against adverse outcomes. The ambitious new research project called NEPHSTROM (Novel Stromal Cell Therapy for Diabetic Kidney Disease) is a collaboration of 11 European partners (www.nephstrom.eu) and builds on pre-clinical research carried out in an existing EU-funded project known as REDDSTAR (www.reddstar.eu). REDDSTAR is also coordinated by Professor Timothy O’Brien and funded by the EU Framework 7 programme. NUI Galway’s Professor O’Brien comments: “If predictions prove correct, then our healthcare systems are facing a huge task in managing the complications caused by ever-increasing numbers of patients with diabetes mellitus. Chief among such complications will be kidney disease, which has a huge financial cost in terms of current treatments, and takes a massive personal toll on patients. Diabetes is currently the most common cause of end stage kidney disease resulting in the need for dialysis or transplantation. We are confident that by harnessing the most modern approaches in stromal cell therapeutics there may well be a way to halt the progression of diabetic kidney disease using this therapy.” Spin-out company pioneering next-generation stromal cell therapy NEPHSTROM will assess next-generation stromal cells that are purified using a patented method developed by Orbsen Theraputics, a spin-out from NUI Galway. Orbsen Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Stephen Elliman - who discovered the Cyndacel technology - explains: “NEPHSTROM is Orbsen’s forth clinical trial funded by the European Commission in the last three years. The data that led to the NEPHSTROM approval was developed via independant testing of Orbsen’s Cyndacel-M in the laboratory of Professor Hans-Joachim Anders at the Ludwigs-Maximillian University in Munich within the REDDSTAR EU network – highlighting the success of that first project. Cyndacel-M represents a significant advance in terms of stromal cell purification and safety. Whereas competitor technologies are based on a 50-year-old isolation technique, which produces a mixed group of cells for therapeutic use, Orbsen’s Cyndacel technology permits best-in-class purification, which we predict will lead to better safety and efficacy outcomes for patients.” NEPHSTROM will also develop and validate a new combined manufacturing platform that improves the consistency and reduces the cost of the Cyndacel-M therapeutic to a level that enables its routine clinical use. The project will develop the first “closed-automated” GMP method of stromal cell isolation and expansion that will expand the Cyndacel-M therapy to clinically and commercially relevant numbers. The project will establish an EU network of four GMP cell-production centres, using these technologies, to produce large amounts of therapeutic agent in a consistent manner, following shared protocols. This will be critical to upscaling, delivering the multi-centre trial in NEPHSTROM and meeting the demand for cells in more advanced clinical trials. Cyndacel-M will be manufactured in GMP production centres in Galway, Leiden, Birmingham and Bergamo. First-in-man clinical trial In the second year of the project, a clinical trial will take place in Galway, Belfast, Birmingham and Bergamo, among 48 patients. The placebo-controlled trial will see Cyndacel-M injected into the patients’ bloodstream. Results will be measured in terms of improvements in kidney performance as measured by urine and blood samples. If successful, the researchers will see the disease significantly slowed or halted altogether. One of the world’s most renowned experts in kidney disease, Professor Giuseppe Remuzzi, from the Istituto Di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri (IRFMN, Bergamo, Italy), will lead the clinical trial across the four centres, set to commence in May 2016. According to Professor Remuzzi: “The core of the NEPHSTROM project is the first-in-man clinical trial with innovative stromal cell therapy in patients with diabetic kidney disease. The clinical experience with stromal cells is still in its infancy, mainly focused on developing novel therapeutic solutions for patients with bone marrow or organ transplantation as well as for those with a small number of autoimmune diseases. Nobody so far has attempted to provide evidence that this cell-based therapy is capable to halt progression of diabetic kidney disease in humans. The NEPHSTROM clinical trial has adopted an approach similar to that pursued to explore the pathophysiology of rare conditions. It is a small but intensively studied clinical trial which will allow determination of the effective dose of Cyndacel-M cells, and how they might function to protect the diabetic kidney. The complementary skill, expertise and human resources of the four European participating centres contribute to create a strong and critical network to document the clinical feasibility of this innovative therapy, eventually providing the background insights to design future larger clinical trials in diabetic patients with kidney disease.” NUI Galway’s Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) - which is the only licensed cell manufacturing facility in Ireland - the Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment at UHG which is licensed to procure stem cells, and the HRB Galway Clinical Research Facility which has specialised facilities for stem cell clinical trials will play crucial roles in the Galway arm of this multicenter clinical trial. -ends-
NUI Galway Team Awarded Prize at Enactus Ireland National Competition for Social Entrepreneurship
Monday, 8 June 2015
A team of 47 students from NUI Galway were recently awarded the runner-up prize at the prestigious 2015 Enactus Ireland National Competition for Social Entrepreneurship. Enactus is an international, not-for-profit organisation which provides a platform for third-level students to create community development projects, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of the future. The national competition is an annual event where students come together to present their projects to show how they are transforming lives through entrepreneurial action. NUI Galway was one of the founding university teams of Enactus Ireland and this year marks its fourth year of involvement. Teams from Ireland’s seven universities and Dublin Institute of Technology gathered in Dublin to compete to represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, which will be held this year in October in Johannesburg, South Africa. Michael Campion, Faculty Advisor to the NUI Galway team said: “It’s been a privilege to support the Enactus team as they worked on a set of projects which have made a significant impact in empowering some members of the community. From working with young people with mental health issues in developing a vertical garden, to creating a training programme for catering staff to become aware of how to better respond to people with basic day-to-day communication challenges. These students channelled their creativity and passion to develop fabulous, sustainable solutions. To make it all happen, they partnered with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the HSE, Croí, Café Togo and Aramark. Taking the runner-up prize in the competition is a great recognition of all the hard work that the students have put in over the past year, something that is not easy while balancing with their academic studies. They are a credit to themselves, their families and to NUI Galway.” -Ends-
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One of World’s Most Influential Scientists to Speak at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Professor Svante Pääbo, the first person to sequence the DNA of Neanderthal people NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences will hold two special Neanderthal-related events organised on the eve of NUI Galway awarding an Honorary Degree to Professor Svante Pääbo, Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and the first person to sequence the DNA of Neanderthal people. The first event by Professor Pääbo is a lecture on Archaic Genomics, which will take place on Thursday, 11 June at 4pm in the McMunn Theatre, Arts/Science Building at NUI Galway. Swedish biologist Svante Pääbo is a founder in the field of palaeogenomics, the study of ancient DNA preserved in fossils. He first began this work studying ancient Egyptian mummies, before progressing to much older extinct mammals. In 2010 his research team made scientific history when they published the first draft genome sequence for Neanderthals. This was followed up with the discovery of a completely new, and hitherto unknown group of humans (Denisovans) based on DNA extracted from a c.41,000 year old fossil finger bone found in a cave in Siberia. Professor Pääbo has received numerous prizes and awards for his work and his research has captured the wider public imagination. In 2007, Time magazine included him in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world. On Thursday, 11 June at 6pm, NUI Galway will launch a new museum display, William King and the Naming of Neanderthal People. The display will commemorate former NUI Galway Professor of Geology William King’s achievement and also tell the story of our closest evolutionary relatives, the Neanderthals. The study of human evolution began in earnest in 1863 when William King, Professor of Geology at Queens College Galway, proposed the name Homo neanderthalensis for fossil human remains discovered in the Neander Valley of Germany. His suggestion was both extraordinary and revolutionary for its time. To his lasting credit, King remains the first scientist to name a new and extinct species of human. The launch will take place in the James Mitchell Geology Museum in the Quadrangle on campus. To coincide with these events in NUI Galway, the Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, through the Royal Irish Academy, has published a paper by event organiser Dr John Murray and his colleagues highlighting William King's contribution to the early study of human evolution. It has been made freely available online at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3318/IJES.2015.33.1. Dr Murray said: “William King's suggestion that Neanderthal people represented a separate species from ourselves sparked one of the longest standing debates in human evolutionary studies: how precisely are Neanderthals related to modern humans? Professor Pääbo has done more than any other scientist in the modern era to tackle that question head-on.” Professor Svante Pääbo will be conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) on Friday, 12 June. -Ends-
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Conference to debate new approaches to protecting children and supporting families
Wednesday, 10 June 2015
Protecting children and early interventions that can keep children out of state care will be the focus of a two-day conference which opens tomorrow. The UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway will host its 7th Biennial Family Support Conference on Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June. The conference is called ‘Building Family Support Systems’ and will touch on topics from concealed pregnancies to child-to-parent violence, with a special talk by Garry Hynes, the multi-award winning theatre Director. The focus of the event is a new programme of prevention and family support from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. Known as ‘Meitheal’, the programme aims to put in place a system for protecting children, preventing problems in their lives and supporting their parents and families the system will involve local networks of services working together to help families before problems require their entry to the Child Protection system and acting as a ‘step-down’ support for families exiting that system. The new programme also emphasises supporting parents, and encouraging active participation by children, young people and parents in decisions affecting them. The conference will stimulate debate on a number of opportunities and challenges concerning the nature of family support including the interface between child protection and strengthening children’s rights and participation, both learning from and informing the experience of other jurisdictions. Keynote speakers from the US, UK and Ireland and from UNICEF’s prestigious Office of Research-Innocenti will lead the discussions, while Irish and international practitioners and researchers will provide 30 workshops on key conference themes. Following the tradition of introducing a perspective from a leading figure in wider society, Garry Hynes, the multi-award winning Artistic Director of Druid Theatre and NUI Galway Alumnus, is the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre’s special guest this year. Gary will offer some unique insights on life, family and civic society in drama and in Ireland. Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair at the Child and Family Research Centre NUI Galway, commented: “We have for the first time, since the foundation of the State, a commitment to embed support structures for families in local communities, so that when children and parents need help they know where to get it and more importantly they get what they need, when they need it and where and how they need it. If Tusla get this right, it will transform the Child Welfare system, so that the right of children to be protected and to a family life can be fully realised. At the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre we are delighted to be Tusla’s research partner in this exciting new venture.” The conference is hosted as part of the ‘Five Nations Family Support Initiative’ in conjunction with representatives from across the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. The aim of this new initiative is to collectively discuss and advance Family Support policy and practice issues which will be progressed and developed on an international stage. The full list of conference plenary speakers includes: Ms Jasmina Byrne, UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti. Dr John Canavan, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway. Dr Deborah Daro, Chapin Hall, University of Chicago. Professor Nick Frost, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Leeds Beckett University; Professor Nóirín Hayes, School of Education, Trinity College, Dublin. Professor Ursula Kilkelly, School of Law, University College Cork. -ends-
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Health Literacy Conference at NUI Galway
Monday, 15 June 2015
NUI Galway will hold the 19th annual Health Promotion Research Centre Summer Conference on Thursday, 18 June in Áras Moyola. Plenary lectures, workshops, oral and poster presentations will explore the importance of health literacy and how it can be enhanced as a priority area for health promotion. The ‘Healthy Ireland’ Framework identifies health literacy as a priority action to empower people and communities for improved health and wellbeing. Health literacy is linked to literacy and is about people’s knowledge and ability to access, understand, assess and apply health information in order to take decisions in everyday life to improve their health. The conference will bring together policy, research and practice perspectives on how health literacy can be strengthened, including the implementation of interventions across sectors that will promote the health of the citizens of Ireland. Dr Rima Rudd, Harvard School of Public Health, will deliver a lecture on new developments in health literacy and policy implications. Dr Rudd said: “Health literacy research challenges us to consider how we can make health information more accessible and health services easier to navigate.” Dr Geraldine Doyle, UCD School of Business in UCD will focus on health literacy research in Ireland and internationally. Dr Doyle has been involved in large European surveys and studies on health literacy and said: “Having generated first time data on the measurement of health literacy, it is now important that national and EU monitoring of such health literacy measurement continues over time. Strengthening health literacy, at both individual and health system levels, offers a simple solution to the cost of health care provision and for the sustainability of health care systems.” During the conference lectures will be also be delivered by: Dr Graham Kramer, GP and National Clinical Lead in Scotland for self-management and health literacy, who will describe the health literacy policy in Scotland; Inez Bailey, Director of the National Adult Literacy Agency, who will deliver a lecture on the evolution of health literacy policy in Ireland and the challenge of implementation; and Dr Jo Protheroe, General Practice, University of Keele, England, who will describe the process of moving from research to practice, using examples from Stoke Public Health. Oral and poster presentations and skills based workshops will also feature during the day, giving every delegate a chance to network and meet with the speakers and colleagues. Dr Jane Sixsmith, Director of NUI Galway’s Health Promotion Research Centre and Chair of the Annual Conference 2015, said: “The conference is a key event in the Health Promotion calendar in Ireland and it provides a unique opportunity to strengthen the promotion of health towards a Healthy Ireland for everyone. The conference is relevant to practitioners, researchers and policy makers.” -Ends-
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Participants Required for Study on the Effects of Music on the Ageing Brain
Monday, 15 June 2015
A research project into ageing at NUI Galway is looking for additional participants to take part in the study. The study is part of a larger ongoing project in NUI Galway, which commenced in 2013, exploring the functions and effects of music listening with younger and older adults. The project is seeking participants aged 60-85 years to join an experimental study on the effects of listening to music. Volunteers will spend 2-3 hours in the lab carrying out a variety of verbal and numerical tasks while listening to music and having their brain waves measured by electroencephalography (EEG). Prior to the lab session volunteers will also complete a questionnaire measuring their typical uses of music, personality and wellbeing. Jenny Groarke, a musician and PhD student at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway, said: “We will examine whether listening to music improves psychological functioning across a range of domains, which we hope can be used to benefit older adults in the future.” “Findings emerging from these ongoing studies are suggesting that one of the primary reasons people listen to music is to regulate emotions. There is evidence that older adults are more skilled at emotion regulation, and that positive and negative emotions can have a range of effects on physical health, emotional well-being, and cognitive functioning. Our research is highlighting that individuals also use music to optimise their abilities - such as boosting performance at work, and during sport or exercise. An important aim of the experiment is to determine if listeners beliefs about music’s positive effects can be confirmed in the lab,” Jenny continued. Through her research, Jenny has already discovered some differences in music listening between younger and older adults. These are outlined in an upcoming paper to be published in the Psychology of Music journal. Interestingly, older adults typically used music to experience a sense of connection with significant others and to lessen feelings of social isolation, whereas younger adults focused on the use of music for bonding in social settings, and adapting to crowded public places. The Galway native was inspired to study the link between music and well-being in older adults by her late grandfather Jimmy Dooley, who sang in the Augustinian choir for more than 65 years and played the drums in the Galway Bay Jazz band in Busker Brownes every Sunday. She has also set up a business, Sing-Bang Music Workshops, which brings music workshops to nursing homes to improve memory ability, happiness, and quality of life in elderly adults through group music making. Those interested in participating will need to complete the questionnaire of adaptive music listening functions, and sign up for the experiment here at http://sgiz.mobi/s3/AFML. Alternatively a paper version of the questionnaire can be requested from email@example.com or phone 086 0333 033. For more information on volunteering for the research visit www.adaptivefunctionsofmusic.com. -Ends-
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Four from NUI Galway Scoop Prestigious Fulbright Award
Tuesday, 16 June 2015
Dr Gerard Wall, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway’s Microbiology and CÚRAM, the SFI-funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices, has been awarded a Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar Award to carry out research at the University of Wyoming, US. Other Fulbright recipients included three NUI Galway graduates, Emma Lowry, Méabh Ní Choileáin and Séamus O’Sullivan. A total of 31 Scholarships were announced recently at an event hosted by the Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan T.D. and the US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley. Since 1957, the Fulbright Awards are given annually by the Irish and US governments and provide Irish students, scholars, and professionals with the opportunity to study, lecture, and research at top universities and institutions throughout the United States. Dr Gerard Wall, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway’s discipline of Microbiology and the SFI-funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), has been awarded a Fulbright-Marine Institute Scholar Award to carry out research at the University of Wyoming. Dr Wall’s research involves cloning and exploiting antibodies, derived from the human immune system, in medical devices and drug delivery applications. While based at the University of Wyoming, he will work to develop a novel, handheld sensor device, based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy, for point-of-care toxin detection. The technology platform will initially be developed for marine monitoring but will also be applicable to rapid identification of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in human serum and saliva. Dr Wall’s current research in Microbiology and CÚRAM encompasses targeted drug delivery and materials functionalisation programmes. He currently coordinates an EU-funded research programme on cardiovascular stent development, with partner groups in materials science, stent production and cardiology in Poland and Slovakia. Here the goal of the cross-sectoral consortium is to design and produce cardiovascular stents with increased biocompatibility in the body, leading to a reduced frequency of complications such as stent re-blocking. Emma Lowry from Glasnevin, Dublin has been a secondary school teacher in Dublin’s Gaelcholáiste Reachrann for seven years. Emma graduated from NUI Galway with a Dióploma sa Iarchéime Oideachas and Master’s in Language Education and has a Degree in Irish from University College Dublin. Emma will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the University of Montana. Méabh Ní Choileáin studied Applied Communications at NUI Galway and is a recent graduate of St. Patrick’s College, where she qualified as a primary teacher. She currently works as Children’s and Education Editorial Assistant for Penguin Books, London. Méabh, from Ranelagh, Co. Dublin, will be a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC. Séamus O’Sullivan from Listowel, Co. Kerry, graduated with a BA in English and Modern Irish from NUI Galway in 2013 and went on to complete an MA in Modern Irish at UCC in 2014. During his BA he completed a year-long apprenticeship in creative writing funded by Forás na Gaeilge. He will be the first Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant at Idaho State University. US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley said: “Year on year US and Irish Fulbrighters provide a fascinating insight into the direction of global research in a wide variety of fields. This year we have seen a particular increase in research in the areas of health and technology. The Fulbright program provides a unique platform for international scholars to break new ground, to collaborate with other world class researchers and to make a difference.” The next round of applications for Irish Fulbright Awardees will open on Monday, 31 August. Interested applicants in all disciplines are encouraged to visit the Fulbright Commission’s website, www.fulbright.ie, for more information. All applications for the 2016-2017 academic year will be due on Friday, 30 October. -Ends-
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NUI Galway President Offers Condolences following Berkeley Tragedy
Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Dr Jim Browne, President National University of Ireland Galway We are deeply saddened and heartbroken to hear of the Irish students lost in the devastating tragedy in Berkeley, California. This untimely loss of life has shocked the University communities across Ireland and we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to all of their families, classmates and friends at this time. The University also wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to our colleagues at other Institutions who are in mourning at this time. We also offer our support, through whatever means possible, to our students who may have been injured or affected by this tragic incident and a book of condolences is now on the University website http://www.nuigalway.ie/berkeleytragedy/ A book of condolence has also been opened by the Mayor of Galway in the City Hall. Flags at NUI Galway will be flown at half-mast today in honour of the students and all those involved in the tragedy. May these young students rest in peace. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- An Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh Is mór an brón agus an briseadh croí atá orainn i ndiaidh dúinn an scéal a chloisteáil maidir leis na mic léinn Éireannacha a cailleadh sa tubaiste tragóideach in Berkeley, California inné. Goilleann an tragóid seo go trom ar phobail na n-ollscoileanna ar fud na tíre agus ba mhaith linn ár gcomhbhrón a ghabháil le teaghlaigh, comhghleacaithe agus cairde na mac léinn a cailleadh. Gabhaimid comhbhrón freisin lenár gcomhghleacaithe in institiúidí eile atá faoi bhrón ag an am seo. Tabharfaimid tacaíocht, ar aon bhealach is féidir, do mhic léinn na hOllscoile a gortaíodh sa timpiste nó a bhfuil ag fulaingt dá bharr, agus tá leabhar comhbhróin ar shuíomh gréasáin na hOllscoile anois: http://www.nuigalway.ie/berkeleytragedy/ Tá leabhar comhbhróin curtha ar fáil ag Méara na Gaillimhe freisin i Halla na Cathrach. Beidh brataigh OÉ Gaillimh i lár crainn inniu in onóir do na mic léinn a bhí páirteach sa tubaiste. Suaimhneas síoraí dá n-anamacha.
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