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Thursday, 21 January 2021

NUI Galway Contribute to Significant Breast Cancer Risk Genes Study

NUI Galway breast cancer specialists contribute to international study on the identification of nine breast cancer risk genes Study includes analysis of more than 113,000 women worldwide This study defines the genes that are most clinically useful for the detection of breast cancer risk Breast cancer investigators in the Lambe Institute at NUI Galway have collaborated on a pivotal international study into breast cancer risk which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine today (Wednesday, 20 January). The results of the study have identified that there are nine specific genes associated with breast cancer risk. Contributing authors Professor Michael Kerin, Chair of Surgery at NUI Galway, Director of the Cancer Managed Clinical Academic Network for Saolta University Health Care Group, along with Dr Nicola Miller, Lecturer in NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, have directed the Breast Cancer in Galway Genetics Study (BIGGS) since 2008. DNA samples, which have been collected from 2,000 Irish patients and controls have contributed to the findings of this paper, and to numerous high impact publications in the past decade. Led from the University of Cambridge, the BRIDGES (Breast Cancer Risk after Diagnostic Gene Sequencing) study aimed to identify women at high risk of breast cancer and to develop sensitive and informative gene panel testing for the prediction of breast cancer risk. Gene panel testing is a technique in which a number of specific genes that are linked to a particular genetic condition are examined at the same time. Gene panel testing for breast cancer susceptibility is widely used, but there is only weak evidence for cancer risk association with many genes. The BRIDGES study tested 34 potential “risk” genes from 60,466 breast cancer cases worldwide and 53,461 controls (patients who did not have breast cancer) from 44 international studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium. The study found that variants in nine genes were associated with breast cancer risk (ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, PALB2, BARD1, RAD51C, RAD51D, TP53). Professor Michael Kerin, who is also Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute, a voluntary national charity that funds a comprehensive research programme at the Lambe Institute in NUI Galway, said: “With this study we can identify the members within families who have abnormal genes that puts them at a higher risk of getting breast cancer, and they can avail of strategies such as early screening and risk reduction surgery, in order to improve their life expectancy.” Professor Kerin said that the success of this research is testament to the power of bio-banking and the need to futureproof research:  “Having a set of bio-banked samples and the ability to closely follow up with these patients has enabled us to add value to international research studies and improve the knowledge base around breast cancer risk. “The BRIDGES study has revealed that changes which were thought to be unimportant in the well-known breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are significant, and this allows us to manage the risk of developing breast cancer in people affected by these gene alterations.” Acknowledging the support of breast cancer research charity funding, Dr Nicola Miller said: “This work highlights the importance of collaboration in breast cancer research in the generation of data of global significance. It helps to better define the genes associated with breast cancer risk. While we can’t change the genes we inherit, this knowledge will benefit patients undergoing genetic testing for breast-cancer susceptibility. We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute for funding the Irish contribution of this study.” The team, based in the Lambe Institute at NUI Galway, are the only Irish investigators contributing to this study. Biological samples and data from the BIGGS group are part of the Horizon 2020 funded BRIDGES study. The NUI Galway BIGGS study has included 1,000 cancer patient samples and 1,000 population-based controls recruited specifically from hospitals in the West of Ireland since 2001 and from community/retirement groups in this region from 2001-2008.  A copy of the study, ‘Breast cancer risk genes: association analysis in more than 113,000 women’ in the New England Journal of Medicineis available at https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa1913948.        This BIGGS research was supported by the National Breast Cancer Research Institute. For more information visit http://www.breastcancerresearch.ie/. See video with Professor Michael Kerin talking about the study at https://youtu.be/4s0q4asRTfs. -Ends-


News Archive

Monday, 18 January 2021

NUI Galway team advances understanding of Covid-19 infection process

Monday, 18 January 2021

World Expert in Dementia Care Appointed Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway

Monday, 18 January 2021

NUI Galway students secure Intel Women in Technology scholarships

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh torthaí thoghcháin na foirne agus na gcéimithe d’Údarás nua na hOllscoile, ina bhfuil sé áit as deich bainte amach ag mná. Tiocfaidh Údarás nua na hOllscoile i bhfeidhm an 1 Feabhra 2021 agus beidh sé ann go dtí 2025. Tionóladh toghchán ar líne Dé Luain agus Dé Máirt chun comhaltaí foirne agus céimithe de chuid na hOllscoile a cheapadh ar Údarás nua na hOllscoile. Ghabh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh buíochas le gach duine a sheas sa toghchán agus chuir sé fáilte roimh na comhaltaí nua. “Tá creidiúint mhór tuillte ag gach duine a sheas sa toghchán don Údarás as tacú le daonlathas ár nOllscoile agus próifíl an Údaráis a ardú agus an obair thábhachtach a dhéanann sé,” a dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh. “Agus tréaslaím le gach duine ar éirigh leo. Beidh obair chomhaltaí an Údaráis nua sna míonna agus sna blianta amach romhainn ríthábhachtach de réir mar a chuirfidh ár nOllscoil ár bplean straitéiseach Fís i gCoiteann, Múnlaithe ag Luachanna i bhfeidhm agus muid ag déanamh measúnú ar agus ag tabhairt tacaíocht do na tionscnaimh agus na forbairtí eile atá á saothrú againn. “Is acmhainn ollmhór dár nOllscoil an raon cumais, tiomantais agus taithí a thugann ár gcéimithe, lucht acadúil agus gairmithe chuig Údarás nua na hOllscoile agus muid ag obair chun na leibhéil arda trédhearcachta, cuntasachta agus uaillmhéine a oireann dár n-ollscoil a chinntiú mar institiúid ar mhaithe le leas an phobail.” Toghadh iad seo a leanas ar Údarás nua na hOllscoile. :: An fhoireann acadúil – An Dr Rachel Hilliard; an Dr Anthony Grehan; an Dr Dara Cannon. :: Foireann na seirbhíse gairmiúla – Sinéad Beacom; Eric Mortimer; Monica Crump. :: Céimithe – Edel Browne; Conor Fottrell; an Briogáidire-Ghinearál Ger Aherne; Nuala Ní Chonghaile. Vótáil breis agus 5,000 céimí agus comhalta foirne sa toghchán. Ceapadh triúr Ollúna ar Údarás na hOllscoile roimh an toghchán ós rud é go raibh líon na n-ainmniúchán mar a chéile le líon na n-áiteanna a bhí ar fáil. Is iad sin an tOllamh Aisling McCluskey, Scoil na Matamaitice, na Staitisticí & na Matamaitice Feidhmí; an tOllamh Michal Molcho, Léann Leanaí, Scoil an Oideachais; agus an tOllamh Jim O’Gara, Scoil na nEolaíochtaí Nádúrtha. Cuirfear tús le toghcháin na mac léinn chun ceathrar ionadaithe a thoghadh ar Údarás na hOllscoile ag deireadh mhí Eanáir. Dúirt Caroline Loughnane, Rúnaí Gnóthaí Rialachais & Acadúla OÉ Gaillimh: “Bhí spéis nach bhfacthas riamh cheana sa toghchán seo ag comhaltaí foirne agus ag céimithe. Is mór an spreagadh é réimse agus caighdeán na n-iarrthóirí atá toilteanach a gcuid ama agus fuinnimh a infheistiú i dtodhchaí na hOllscoile. “Ní raibh rialachas éifeachtach agus solúbtha chomh tábhachtach riamh cheana. De réir mar a thugann ollscoileanna aghaidh ar an saol éiginnte a chruthaigh paindéim Covid-19 agus iad ag tnúth le hathruithe atá le teacht ó reachtaíocht an Aire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta & Eolaíochta, an tAire Simon Harris, tá ról Údarás na hOllscoile ríthábhachtach maidir leis an treo straitéiseach a leagan amach don ardoideachas.” Thréaslaigh an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh le comhaltaí an Údaráis atá ag dul as oifig. “Ba phribhléid é dár nOllscoil iarbhreitheamh na Cúirte Uachtaraí, Catherine McGuinness a bheith ina cathaoirleach ar an Údarás le roinnt blianta anuas, ag obair le comhaltaí a raibh an oiread sin saineolais agus eolais acu a chuir siad chun tairbhe na hOllscoile. Mo bhuíochas le gach comhalta a bhí ar an Údarás agus a thacaigh lena chuid oibre le cúig bliana anuas,” a dúirt an tOllamh Ó hÓgartaigh. Críoch

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

NUI Galway has announced the results of elections for staff and graduates to its new Governing Authority, which sees women take up six of the 10 positions. The new Údarás na hOllscoile will come into existence on 1 February 2021 and will serve until 2025. An online election was held on Monday and Tuesday of this week to appoint the University staff and graduates to the new Governing Authority. President of NUI Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh thanked all those who stood for election and welcomed the new members. “All those who stood for election to the Údarás deserve huge credit for supporting our University’s democracy and raising the profile of the Governing Authority and the important work it does,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. “And congratulations to all those who have been successful. The work of the members of the new Údarás in the coming months and years will be crucial as our University implements our strategic plan Shared Vision, Shaped by Values and assesses and supports all the other initiatives and developments that we are pursuing. “The range of talent, commitment and experience that our graduates, academics and professionals bring to the new Governing Authority will be an enormous asset for our University as we work to ensure the high levels of transparency, accountability and ambition fitting for our university as an institution for the public good.” The following have been elected to the new Governing Authority: :: Academic staff - Dr Rachel Hilliard; Dr Anthony Grehan; Dr Dara Cannon :: Professional service staff - Sinéad Beacom; Eric Mortimer; Monica Crump :: Graduates - Edel Browne; Conor Fottrell; Retired Brigadier General Ger Aherne; Nuala Ní Chonghaile More than 5,000 graduates and staff voted in the election. Three Professors were appointed to the Governing Authority ahead of the election after the number of nominations matched the number of available positions. They are Professor Aisling McCluskey, School of Mathematics, Statistics & Applied Mathematics; Professor Michal Molcho, Children’s Studies, School of Education; and Professor Jim O’Gara, School of Natural Sciences. Student elections to elect four representatives to the Governing Authority will begin in late January. Caroline Loughnane, NUI Galway Secretary for Governance & Academic Affairs, said: “We have experienced unprecedented levels of interest in this election from staff and graduates. It is really inspiring to see the range and quality of candidates who are willing to invest their time and energy in shaping the future of the University. “There has never been a more important time for effective and agile governance. As universities navigate the uncertain landscape created by the Covid-19 pandemic and look ahead to impending changes in governance legislation from Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation & Science, Minister Simon Harris, the role of the Governing Authority is crucial in setting the strategic direction for higher education.” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh also paid tribute to the members of the outgoing Údarás. “It was a privilege for our University to have someone like former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness chair the Údarás for the last number of years, working with members who had such a breadth of expertise and knowledge for the betterment of our University. Thank you to everyone who served on the Údarás and supported its work over the last five years,” Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said. Ends

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

NUI Galway will hold a virtual information evening on Wednesday, 13 January, from 7-9pm, focusing on the needs of Mature Students and Adult Learners who may be considering full-time or part-time studies for the 2021 academic year. This online information evening is designed particularly for those aged 23 or over wishing to find out more about study options at NUI Galway, and will assist attendees in making the right decision which suits their personal circumstances and professional development needs. Trish Bourke, Mature Student Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Mature Students are a valued asset to our university and they bring enthusiasm and motivation to learn and manage family life and studies to reach their goal of attaining a rich education.” The University’s Career and Development Centre will deliver a lecture focusing on what course of study will best suit individual circumstances and career pathways, and there will be an opportunity to hear from a diverse panel of current Mature Students. Staff from NUI Galway’s undergraduate and postgraduate courses, along with representative from the University’s Support Service will also be present to guide attendees on the range of course options and supports offered at NUI Galway.  Academic staff will also be available to answer specific queries on degrees and progression. Members of the Access Centre will be available  to answer questions on pre-university courses in terms of Access courses, and the Disability Support Services, who have expertise in supporting students at third level who may have a long-term health condition (physical or mental), or a specific learning difficulty, will also be in attendance to give guidance to prospective students. Registration for this event is essential. Please register at http://www.nuigalway.ie/caoevents/ or contact maturestudents@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-


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