Tuesday, 3 October 2023

University of Galway led research project funded by the Health Research Board    A University of Galway researcher has secured funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) to advance blood pressure treatment using artificial intelligence.  The project led by Dr Conor Judge - An Artificial Intelligence approach to improving blood pressure treatment - is set to revolutionise the management and treatment of hypertension, a critical health issue affecting more than 1.4 billion people around the world. The funding of €700,000 has been awarded under the HRB’s Clinician Scientist Fellowships (CSF) 2023 scheme. The research project will run for four years and aims to address the significant care-gap in hypertension management, which currently requires people with the condition to visit their doctor frequently, thus posing a challenge to both the person with hypertension and the healthcare providers, by exploring the potential of artificial intelligence in enhancing treatment decisions. Initially, the project will analyse two extensive clinical trials on blood pressure treatment to train a computer program to make treatment decisions similar to clinical hypertension experts. Following this, safety features will be integrated into the AI program to ensure reliable recommendations, especially in unfamiliar medical scenarios. The project will carry out comprehensive surveys with both clinicians and people being treated for high blood pressure to gauge their perceptions of AI-driven treatment. The final step involves a thorough evaluation of the AI program's efficacy in recommending blood pressure treatments in a real world setting. Dr Conor Judge, a senior lecturer of applied clinical data analytics with University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Consultant Nephrologist at Saolta University Health Care Group said: “Doctor capacity is a crucial factor that limits how well we can control high blood pressure, leading to a significant gap in managing this condition worldwide.”  “The overarching goal is to personalise hypertension management, thereby bridging the existing care-gap and significantly reducing the global burden of hypertension-related complications. The project's findings could potentially set a precedent for employing AI in managing other critical health conditions, marking a significant stride towards integrating AI in routine clinical practice.” The research will be supervised by Professor Martin O'Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at University of Galway, and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group. Professor O’Donnell said: “Artificial Intelligence Clinical Decision Support Systems (AICDSS) for Hypertension holds considerable potential to improving hypertension management but require rigorous evaluation before assimilation into routine clinical practice. “This scheme is designed to fund health and social care practitioners who have completed their PhD and are engaged in clinical care delivery. The primary aim is to nurture these professionals into independent clinician researchers with a profound ambition to influence policy and practice through their research endeavours.” Ends  

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

Beidh comhdháil mhór idirnáisiúnta ar an tsláine acadúil agus taighde ar siúl an tseachtain seo in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe  i gcomhpháirtíocht leis an Líonra Náisiúnta do Shláine Acadúil (NAIN). An aidhm atá ag Comhdháil na hÉireann 2023 ar an tSláine Acadúil agus Taighde deis a thabhairt do mhic léinn, taighdeoirí, acadóirí agus dóibh siúd a oibríonn go gairmiúil san earnáil bualadh lena chéile chun foghlaim óna chéile, smaointe a roinnt, agus dul i mbun machnaimh i dteannta a chéile maidir leis na céimeanna praiticiúla atá riachtanach chun go gcothófar luach na sláine tuilleadh san earnáil ardoideachais. Reáchtálfar an chomhdháil in Óstán Galmont i gCathair na Gaillimhe ón gCéadaoin, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair go dtí Dé hAoine, an 6 Deireadh Fómhair 2023. Is féidir clárú, breathnú ar chlár na comhdhála, agus eolas breise a fháil anseo Seo a leanas roinnt de na téamaí a bheidh idir chaibidil ag an gcomhdháil: dúshláin a bhaineann leis an teicneolaíocht a aithint agus deiseanna tacú leis an tsláine acadúil agus taighde cosúil le ChatGPT, Google Translate, DALL-E, etc; athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar bhealaí chun déileáil le mí-iompar acadúil agus taighde - polasaithe agus cleachtais; agus comhpháirtíochtaí mac léinn a chruthú le go gcuirfí le cultúr sláine acadúil atá faoi stiúir mac léinn. I measc na bpríomhchainteoirí ag an gcomhdháil beidh saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta mór le rá i réimsí na Sláine Acadúla agus Taighde agus san áireamh beidh Elisabeth Bik (California, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá), Sarah Elaine Eaton (Calgary, Ceanada), Lex Bouter (Amstardam, an Ísiltír), Phil Newton (Swansea, an Bhreatain Bheag), Serge Horbach (Aarhus, an Danmhairg), agus Ann Rogerson (Wollongong, an Astráil).  Tá sé mar aidhm ag an gcomhdháil freisin treoir agus tacaíocht phraiticiúil a chur ar fáil, naisc a dhéanamh idir na téamaí agus ár bpobail chleachtais a neartú tuilleadh. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Is am tráthúil tús bliain acadúil nua chun machnamh a dhéanamh ar bhunphrionsabail an ardoideachais, agus ní mór don tsláine de gach cineál a bheith ina príomhluach d’ollscoileanna. An cúram atá orainn le chéile dul i ngleic leis na dúshláin atá á dtabhairt ag an intleacht shaorga don taighde, don teagasc agus don fhoghaim, agus is fóram thar a bheith feiliúnach an chomhdháil seo don phobal ollscoile teacht le chéile agus breithniú a dhéanamh ar ar féidir linn a dhéanamh chun na caighdeáin is airde sláine a chothabháil agus a chosaint sa chóras oideachais agus cáilíochtaí.” Seo mar a labhair an Dr Billy Kelly, Cathaoirleach an Líonra Náisiúnta do Shláine Acadúil:: “Tá áthas ar an Líonra Náisiúnta do Shláine Acadúil (NAIN) an chomhdháil seo a óstáil i gcomhar le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe. Tá dúshlán á thabhairt do chleachtais reatha teagaisc, foghlama agus measúnaithe i láthair na huaire mar thoradh ar dhul chun cinn na teicneolaíochta agus tá iarmhairtí suntasacha ag na dúshláin sin, idir iarbhír agus féideartha, don tsláine acadúil agus don tsláine taighde araon. Soláthrófar deis ag an gcomhdháil seo foghlaim ó cheannairí idirnáisiúnta agus náisiúnta sa spás seo, agus tabharfaidh na rannpháirtithe leo léargais phraiticiúla agus indéanta mar ábhar plé laistigh dá n-eagraíochtaí agus dá bpobail chleachtais féin.” Críoch

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

University of Galway is to host a major international conference on academic and research integrity this week, in partnership with the National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN). Academic & Research Integrity Conference Ireland 2023 sets out to offer students, researchers, academics and professional staff in the sector the opportunity to come together to learn from each other, share ideas and think collectively about what practical steps are needed to sustain the value of integrity at the heart of higher education. The conference will take place at the Galmont Hotel in Galway city from Wednesday October 4th to Friday October 6th 2023. Registration, conference programme and further details are available here Some of the themes to be featured at the conference include: identifying technology-related challenges and opportunities for supporting academic and research integrity such as ChatGPT, Google Translate, DALL-E, etc; reviewing approaches to academic and research misconduct - policies and practices; and creating student partnerships to enhance a culture of student-led academic integrity. Keynote speakers at the conference include prominent international experts in the fields of Academic and Research Integrity including: -      Elisabeth Bik, a science integrity volunteer and consultant who has worked at Stanford University and in industry. -      Sarah Elaine Eaton, Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada and Honorary Associate Professor, Deakin University, Australia -      Lex Bouter, Professor Emeritus of Methodology and Integrity at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers and the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit -      Phil Newton, neuroscientist at the Swansea University Medical School -      Serge Horbach from the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Aarhus University. -      Ann Rogerson, Associate Dean (Education) at the Faculty of Business and Law at University of Wollongong, Australia The conference also aims to offer practical guidance and support, and to make connections across the themes and further strengthen our communities of practice. Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “The start of a new academic year is an opportune time to reflect on the core principles of higher education, and integrity, in all its forms, must be a leading value for universities. Together, we face the task of coming to grips with the challenges to research, teaching, and learning posed by generative artificial intelligence, and this conference provides a perfect venue for members of the university community to gather and to consider what we can do to maintain the highest standards of integrity in our education and qualifications.” Dr Billy Kelly, Chair of the National Academic Integrity Network, said: “The National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN) is pleased to co-host this conference with University of Galway. At the current time, advancements in technology challenge current teaching, learning and assessment practices and these challenges have significant actual and potential consequences for both academic and research integrity. The conference will be an opportunity to learn from international and national leaders in this space, with all participants taking away tangible and actionable insights to discuss within their own organisations and communities of practice.” Ends

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

New study from University of Galway alleviates concerns over metformin drug for mothers and babies   Clinical trial shows no difference in outcomes for women and their newborns   Researchers at University of Galway have taken a significant step forward in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus after a clinical trial involving pregnant women provided new hope for expectant mothers suffering the condition. The findings from the trial are being published in JAMA: the Journal of American Medical Association. (The paper is available on request).  Gestational diabetes is a global health issue affecting almost 3 million pregnant women worldwide every year. It is a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, posing increased health risks for both mothers and their babies.  Professor Fidelma Dunne, Professor of Medicine at University of Galway and Consultant Endocrinologist at Saolta University Health Care Group, managed the EMERGE, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, funded by the Health Research Board, involving more than 500 pregnant women. It found:  Women assigned to metformin were 25% less likely to need insulin, and when insulin was necessary, it was started later in the pregnancy. Metformin is used routinely in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and has been widely available for over 60 years. Fasting and post-meal sugar values in the mother were significantly lower in the metformin exposed group at weeks 32 and 38.  Women receiving metformin gained less weight throughout the trial and maintained this weight difference at the 12-week post-delivery visit. Importantly, delivery occurred at the same mean gestational age (39.1 weeks) in both groups. There was no evidence of any increase in preterm birth (defined as birth before 37 weeks) among those who received metformin.  Infants born to mothers who received metformin weighed, on average, 113g less at birth, with significantly fewer infants classified as large at birth, or weighing over 4kg (8lbs 8ounces). While there was a slight reduction in infant length (0.7cm), there were no other significant differences in baby measurements.  There were slightly more babies who were small at birth but this did not reach statistical significance.  The study also revealed no differences in adverse neonatal outcomes, including the need for intensive care treatment for new-borns, respiratory support, jaundice, congenital anomalies, birth injuries or low sugar levels. Additionally there were no variations in rates of labour induction, caesarean delivery, maternal haemorrhage, infection or blood pressure issues during or after birth.  Professor Fidelma Dunne presented the results (on Tuesday October 3, 2023) at the 59th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Hamburg, Germany. Professor Dunne said: “While there is convincing evidence that improved sugar control is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes, there was uncertainty about the optimal management approach following a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. “In our pursuit of a safe and effective treatment option we explored an alternative approach – administering the drug metformin. A previous trial compared metformin to insulin and found it to be effective, yet concerns remained, especially regarding preterm birth and infant size.” To address concerns comprehensively, the team at University of Galway conducted a ground-breaking placebo-controlled-trial, filling a critical gap in the gestational diabetes treatment landscape.  535 pregnant women took part, with 268 receiving metformin and 267 a placebo. 98% of women remained in the trial until delivery, with 88% completing the 12-week post-delivery follow up assessment. Only 4.9% of women discontinued medication due to side effects, highlighting the safety of the interventions.  Professor Dunne said: “Traditionally, gestational diabetes has been managed initially through dietary advice and exercise, with insulin introduced if sugar levels remain sub-optimal. While effective in reducing poor pregnancy outcomes, insulin use is associated with challenges, including low sugars in both the mother and infant which may require neonatal intensive care, excess weight gain for mothers, and higher caesarean birth rates. “For mothers with gestational diabetes, they are also at greater risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia. “Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes face their own set of risks, such as excessive weight at birth, birth injuries, respiratory difficulties and low sugar levels after delivery potentially requiring admission to neonatal intensive care. Gestational diabetes also increases the lifetime risk of diabetes for these mothers and their children. In addition mothers have an elevated lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, low and middle-income countries bear a significant burden of gestational diabetes cases.” Professor Dunne added: “The results from the EMERGE study are a significant step forward for women with gestational diabetes. Metformin has emerged as an effective alternative for managing gestational diabetes, offering new hope for expectant mothers and healthcare providers worldwide.” Ends

Monday, 2 October 2023

NBCRI commits investment to further world-class research, including metastatic breast cancer, imaging, genetics and biomarkers   University of Galway has announced a new partnership with the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) with the charity committing a €2 million research investment fund over two years. The collaboration builds on a longstanding relationship between NBCRI and the University, which dates back to the 1990s and has involved support for numerous projects and developments in breast cancer research. One in 7 Irish women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and there are 3,507 breast cancer diagnoses every year - a figure which is set to continue to increase. Thanks to advances in research and healthcare, the survival rate of breast cancer patients has gone from 50% to 88% over the last 40 years. The NBCRI-University of Galway partnership runs until October 2025 and sees the charity committing almost €2 million for a variety of research activity and projects led by Professor Michael Kerin; Professor Aoife Lowery; Dr Róisín Dwyer; and Dr Nicola Miller.  They include: translational research related to metastatic breast cancer; genetics to predict risk and treatment response; and biomarker discovery development of the Cancer Biobank, housing tissue and blood samples crucial to research clinical research focused on cardio-oncology and how cancer therapy affects the heart; breast cancer imaging; and women’s health, including post treatment support and rehab Since its foundation in 1989, the NBCRI has strived to increase awareness, improve access to treatment and conduct internationally significant research into breast cancer. A significant part of that work has been in partnership with University of Galway. The new partnership provides an opportunity to expand this key relationship with increased investment in the breast cancer research programme as the charity and academia work together to achieve better outcomes for patients. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of the University of Galway community I would like to show a deep appreciation for both the longstanding relationship we have with the NBCRI but also the clear focus of supporting research for the public good - a strong ethos of our University. This partnership goes to the heart of our value of excellence and acts as a clear demonstration of the potential to make a difference in people’s lives, here in the west of Ireland, nationally and internationally.”  The fund will also enable research opportunities from undergraduate through to PhD and postdoctorate levels with projects focusing on trying to answer key questions in breast cancer research and treatment, including: How do cells communicate and how does cancer metastasise? How can we manipulate cells to find metastatic breast cancer cells and direct therapy to them? Can we detect new blood biomarkers for better diagnosis and to help predict response to treatment? Can we identify gene mutations to help predict who might develop breast cancer? How does cancer therapy affect the heart?  Microwave Breast Imaging - Is it a safe option and is it more sensitive than current mammography? Speaking about the partnership NBCRI Director of Research and Professor of Surgery at University of Galway, Professor Michael Kerin, said: “The advancement of research and healthcare for people diagnosed with cancer is remarkable. Day-in, day-out, we see patients and their loved ones in our clinics who reap the rewards. We need to increase the pace of those advancements in cancer treatment, care, quality of life and cures, by ensuring our patients can access a fit-for-purpose cancer centre that is underpinned by quality research, education and clinical trials.  “I would like to thank the NBCRI Board and its Chairperson, Caroline Loughnane, for their leadership and commitment to advancing breast cancer research to improve outcomes for patients. A commitment of this scale is testament to the value that the NBCRI charity places on research at the University of Galway and how it can be the catalyst for improvements in care and the lives of our patients and their families, as well as a lasting global impact on research.” Governed by a voluntary board, NBCRI is funded almost entirely by public donations from fundraising events held nationwide, which all help to keep the charity “in the pink” to fund research. The charity is one of the driving forces in the development of a major new cancer centre in the west of Ireland. Among many initiatives over the years of partnership with the University, NBCRI has supported major capital developments providing research and patient facilities for breast cancer research, including the Symptomatic Breast Unit and the Lambe Institute for Translational Research on the grounds of Galway University Hospital. In addition, NBCRI has been at the forefront of developing many of the key leaders in academic surgery and science including taking part in important national research initiatives such as Precision Oncology Ireland. The charity has also supported more than 40 full-time postgraduate places and more than 100 undergraduate medicine and science students as part of the University of Galway School of Medicine summer research programme. Ends

Monday, 2 October 2023

Déanann NBCRI tiomantas infheistíochta chun cur le taighde den scoth, lena n-áirítear ailse chíche mheiteastáiseach, íomháú, géineolaíocht agus bithmharcóirí Tá comhpháirtíocht nua fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe leis an Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche (NBCRI) faoina ndéanfaidh an carthanas gealltanas do chiste infheistíochta taighde arbh fhiú €2 mhilliún é thar thréimhse dhá bhliain. Féachann an chomhpháirtíocht seo le togáil ar an gcaidreamh seanbhunaithe idir NBCRI agus an Ollscoil, ar cuireadh tús leis sna 1990idí, agus faoinár tugadh tacaíocht do go leor tionscadal agus forbairtí i dtaighde ailse chíche. Déanfar diagnóis ailse chíche ar dhuine as gach seachtar ban Éireannach le linn a saoil agus diagnóisítear 3,507 cás d’ailse chíche gach bliain, ar figiúr é sin a bheidh ag méadú i gcaitheamh an ama. Tá an seans go dtiocfaidh bean slán ó ailse chíche ardaithe ó 50% go 88% le 40 bliain anuas a bhuíochas leis an dul chun cinn atá déanta i dtaighde agus i gcúram sláinte. Mairfidh an chomhpháirtíocht idir an NBCRI agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go dtí Deireadh Fómhair 2025 agus déanfaidh an carthanas beagnach €2 mhilliún a chur i dtreo gníomhaíochtaí agus tionscadail taighde éagsúla faoi stiúir an Ollaimh Michael Kerin; an tOllamh Aoife Lowery; an Dr Róisín Dwyer; agus an Dr Nicola Miller.  Ina measc tá: taighde aistritheach i ndáil le hailse chíche mheiteastáiseach; géineolaíocht chun riosca agus freagairt do chóireáil a thuar; agus fionnachtain bithmharcóirí forbairt an Bhithbhainc Ailse, áit a stóráiltear samplaí fíocháin agus fola atá ríthábhachtach don taighde taighde cliniciúil dírithe ar charda-oinceolaíocht agus conas a théann teiripe ailse i bhfeidhm ar an gcroí; íomháú ailse chíche; agus sláinte na mban, lena n-áirítear tacaíocht iarchóireála agus athshlánúchán Tá curtha roimhe ag an NBCRI ón uair a bunaíodh é in 1989 feasacht maidir le hailse chíche a mhúscailt, rochtain ar chóir leighis a fheabhsú agus taighde suntasach idirnáisiúnta a dhéanamh. Rinneadh sciar nach beag den obair sin i gcomhpháirtíocht le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe. Tugann an chomhpháirtíocht nua deis an caidreamh seo idir an carthanas agus an t-aos acadúil a leathnú trí infheistíocht bhreise a dhéanamh sa chlár taighde ailse chíche agus muid ag féachaint le torthaí níos fearr a bhaint amach d’othair. Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Ba mhaith liom, thar ceann phobal Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, mo bhuíochas ó chroí a léiriú as an gcaidreamh fadbhunaithe atá againn leis an NBCRI agus, go háirithe, as fócas soiléir na comhpháirtíochta seo tacú le taighde ar mhaithe le leas an phobail – ar gné láidir amháin d’éiteas na hOllscoile é. Tá luach an bhairr feabhais de dhlúth agus d’inneach na comhpháirtíochta seo agus léiriú follasach atá inti ar an bhféidearthacht difear a dhéanamh do shaol an duine, anseo in iarthar na hÉireann, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta.”  Éascófar deiseanna taighde tríd an gciste seo chomh maith ag an leibhéal fochéime go dtí leibhéal PhD agus iardhochtúireachta. Féachfaidh tionscadail le freagraí a fháil ar na ceisteanna móra i dtaighde agus cóireáil ailse chíche, lena n-áirítear: Conas a dhéanann cealla cumarsáid agus conas a dtéann ailse i mbun meiteastáise? Conas is féidir linn cealla a ionramháil chun cealla ailse chíche meiteastáiseacha a aimsiú, agus teiripe a dhíriú orthu? An féidir linn bithmharcóirí fola nua a bhrath le go ndéanfaimid diagnóis níos cruinne agus chun cabhrú linn an chaoi a bhfreagróidh an t-othar do chóir leighis a thuar? An féidir linn sócháin géine a aithint a d’fhéadfadh cabhrú linn a thuar cé atá i mbaol ailse chíche a fháil? Cén éifeacht atá ag teiripe ailse ar an gcroí?  Íomháú Cíche Micreathonnach – An bhfuil sé sábháilte agus an bhfuil sé níos íogaire ná an mhamagrafaíocht i láthair na huaire? Ag labhairt dó faoin gcomhpháirtíocht dúirt Stiúrthóir Taighde NBCRI agus Ollamh Máinliachta in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Michael Kerin: “Díol suntais is ea an dul chun cinn atá déanta i réimse an taighde agus an chúraim sláinte dóibh siúd a bhfuil diagnóis ailse faighte acu. Baineann na hothair a bhíonn ag freastal ar ár gclinicí, agus a muintir, leas as na forbairtí sin ar bhonn rialta. Ní mór dúinn dlús a chur leis an dul chun cinn sin i gcóireáil ailse, cúram, cáilíocht na beatha agus leigheasanna agus déanfaimid é sin a chinntiú trí rochtain a éascú dár n-othair ar shainionad ailse a bhfuil taighde, oideachas agus trialacha cliniciúla ar ardchaighdeán mar bhonn agus mar thaca aige.  “Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le Bord NBCRI agus lena Chathaoirleach, Caroline Loughnane, as a gceannaireacht agus a dtiomantas taighde ailse chíche a chur chun cinn le go mbeidh torthaí níos fearr ag othair. Léiríonn tiomantas ar an scála seo an luach a chuireann an carthanas NBCRI ar thaighde in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus an chaoi ar féidir leis a bheith ina chatalaíoch d’fheabhsuithe ar chúram agus ar shaol othar agus a dteaghlach, mar aon le tionchar domhanda fadtéarmach ar thaighde.” Rialaíonn bord deonach NBCRI agus tá sé á mhaoiniú beagnach go hiomlán ag síntiúis ón bpobal agus ó imeachtaí tiomsaithe airgid a reáchtáiltear ar fud na tíre le go mbeidh sé in ann taighde a mhaoiniú ar bhonn leanúnach. Tá an carthanas ar thús cadhnaíochta san fheachtas chun mórionad ailse nua a fhorbairt in iarthar na hÉireann. Thacaigh NBCRI le roinnt mhaith tionscnamh Ollscoile i gcaitheamh na mblianta, ina measc mórfhorbairtí caipitil a sholáthair áiseanna taighde agus othar le haghaidh taighde ailse chíche, lena n-áirítear an tAonad do Shiomptóim Chíche agus Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach ar thailte Ospidéal Ollscoile na Gaillimhe. Ina theannta sin, bhí ról lárnach ag NBCRI i bhforbairt go leor de na príomhcheannairí sa mháinliacht acadúil agus san eolaíocht lena n-áirítear páirt a ghlacadh i dtionscnaimh thábhachtacha taighde náisiúnta ar nós Precision Oncology Ireland. Tá tacaíocht tugtha ag an gcarthanas freisin do bhreis agus 40 áit do mhic léinn iarchéime lánaimseartha agus breis is 100 mac léinn fochéime leighis agus eolaíochta mar chuid den chlár taighde samhraidh a reáchtálann Scoil an Leighis in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Críoch

Wednesday, 29 November 2023

University of Galway’s Ryan Institute a key partner in developing responses to climate change, biodiversity loss and water crises University of Galway has joined a partnership of academics, industry and governments across Ireland and the UK to advance research to address climate, food sustainability, biodiversity and water crises. The developments are part of a new Co-Centres research programme announced by the Irish, British and Northern Ireland governments with a €70 million investment over six years.  University of Galway is an academic partner in the Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity and Water, and also in the Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Research and innovation to enable sustainability transitions are central to our University’s mission, where through our teaching and research activities, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, we are enabling the next generation of students, researchers and innovators in tackling society’s sustainable development challenges. We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership through the new Co-Centres programme with academic colleagues, across the island of Ireland and in Britain, for the pubic good and to generate knowledge that enables a more sustainable future for all.“ Climate+ Co-Centre (Climate + Biodiversity & Water) Involving 14 institutions and 64 researchers in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain, it will begin its work in January 2024, and will carry out research to enable the transformative change urgently needed to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and water crises, as well as developing solutions on just transitions in land use. The Co-Centre will work closely with industry partners and other on sustainable agrifood transitions; communities and livelihoods; assessing risks and opportunities; and investing in carbon and nature, in forestry, peatlands, grasslands and coastal habitats. The Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity and Water will be led by Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Reading, with University of Galway’s Ryan Institute as a key partner.  Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute and lead of the Climate+ Sustainable AgriFood Transitions, said: “The CLIMATE+ Co-Centre is urgently needed to focus our combined research and innovation efforts on transition and transformation pathways that can address the converging and interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity and water. The COP28 climate summit begins this week amidst ever rising emissions where humanity is on a trajectory for an alarming 3oC planetary warming by end of the century. In addition, we are in the midst of a massive biodiversity extinction crisis and a global water crisis, where difficult decisions will need to be made urgently by policymakers and society at large, to navigate major trade-offs, while maximising co-benefits, between sustainability options and actions on climate, biodiversity and water.” Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems Involving 14 institutions, again in Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland, it will also begin its work in January 1 2024. Its aim is to develop innovative and transformative solutions to transition the food system for positive and sustainable change in the transition to climate-neutrality by 2050.  The Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems will be led by UCD, Queen’s University and University of Sheffield, with University of Galway as a key partner. The Co-Centres programme was announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan and Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Katrina Godfrey. It is funded over six years with an investment of €70m, which includes up to €40 million from Science Foundation Ireland (supported by the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science and the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund); up to £17 million from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland; and up to £12 million through UK Research and Innovation, and is co-funded by industry. Ends

Monday, 27 November 2023

Decades of papers from public life released to coincide with former politician being awarded honorary Doctor of Laws The archive of former civil rights activist, founding member of the SDLP, politician and economist Hugh Logue is being made available at University of Galway The historical resource – made up of more than 20 boxes of manuscripts, documents, photographs and political ephemera – was released to coincide with the award of an Honorary Doctor of Laws to Mr Logue at a special conferring ceremony in the University. The archive documents his life and career, from his entry into Northern Irish politics in the early 1970s, through to a distinguished career in the European Commission, and more latterly as a Chief Special Advisor and speech writer at the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister at Stormont, where he worked closely with Séamus Mallon during the establishment of the Executive in the years following the Good Friday Agreement, from 1998-2003.  Speaking at the University conferring, Hugh Logue said: “A request from University of Galway to donate one's Archives to it is a huge honour. Its reputation as an archive of distinction is worldwide and the scale of access by students and scholars remarkable. Its attention to material from over the last 50 troubled years in Northern Ireland is unparalleled. It is a privilege to have my papers placed there.” The archive includes a letter he wrote to Séamus Mallon on the day of the Omagh bomb, August 15, 1998, outlining the immediate risk to peace. He wrote: "Word is just coming in of the utter horror of Omagh... our task remains to give voice to that overwhelming vote [The Good Friday Agreement], the bombers' task is to render it speechless" Also included are multiple manuscript and annotated drafts of Logue's testimony to the Saville Tribunal and his actions and memories of civil rights marches and events in Northern Ireland, leading up to and including Bloody Sunday.  The Logue archive presents an important new collection that will enable new studies and understandings of the political, social and economic development of Northern Ireland, as well as important links with Europe.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “University of Galway has a great tradition of preserving important archive material for both research and the public and Hugh Logue’s papers going back to the 1970s are a huge addition to that legacy. We are even more pleased to be able to honour Hugh Logue and recognise the huge contribution he made to the quest for civil rights, peace on our island and a more prosperous future for all communities. University of Galway places great store on working for the public good – Hugh Logue’s career and life epitomises that.” Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh, School of Political Science and Sociology, said: “Hugh Logue's papers shed light on key episodes in recent Irish history, including the role of the European Commission in the peace process, the rise of the civil rights movement and the SDLP, and efforts to negotiate an end to the 1981 Republican hunger strike. The legacy of violent conflict in Ireland continues to provide a focus for intense political debate and archives of this kind are invaluable in ensuring that those debates are informed by first-hand contemporary sources.” Other documents in the Logue archive contain early political and election material from his successful election to Westminster in 1973; SDLP policy papers in the 1980s and 90s; papers from his work with the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace which offer new insights into its work to resolve the 1981 hunger strikes.  The archive also includes key papers from his early work with the European Commission in the 1990s, including the Delors taskforce and the E.U. Peace and Reconciliation Fund, both PEACE packages and European Science and Technology for regional development.  Dr Barry Houlihan, University of Galway Library Archivist, said: “The archive of Hugh Logue is a remarkable collection of papers that will offer new understanding to the political, social and economic history of Northern Ireland through the last half century, as well as to Hugh’s crucial contributions in that time. The archive adds considerable new knowledge to an already extensive body of archive collections within the University documenting Northern Ireland’s recent past”. Monica Crump, Interim University Librarian, said: "At the University of Galway Library, we're thrilled to welcome Hugh Logue’s archive into our care. This collection is more than a testament to one individual's legacy, it also unlocks a deeper comprehension of our recent past, guiding future generations toward a richer understanding of Northern Ireland's intricate journey, from political milestones to his significant influence on European policy. Our staff, students and visiting researchers are hugely fortunate to have this resource available to them and we are hugely grateful to Hugh for entrusting us with the custodianship of his rich archive.” Ends

Monday, 27 November 2023

University of Galway and Galway Simon Community have come together with filmmakers to produce a new film capturing the experience of homelessness from the experience of those who have lived it. Lost & Found is a co-created, virtual reality film produced out of the University’s Centre for Creative Technologies, in collaboration with clients from Galway Simon. The production saw people who have lived experience of homelessness working with leading virtual reality filmmakers and University of Galway researchers as part of the Immersive Empathy project. The team adopted a 360-degree style of filming, which captures a fully immersive world that can be viewed within a virtual reality headset. The production utilised oral history interviews and collaborative workshops to develop the content of the film so that it conveyed the realities of being homeless.  The film was launched at a special screening at University of Galway as part of the Arts in Action programme with the audience wearing VR headsets allowing them to feel as though they are in the world of someone experiencing homelessness. Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Eddie Hoare, said: “Too often the voices of the people affected by the homelessness crisis are missing from our national debates. Huge credit goes to the people who opened up about their experiences of being homeless in order to allow us to more deeply appreciate its impact on their lives and wellbeing. The researchers at University of Galway and the filmmakers have demonstrated the value of giving people the tools and technology to open up new windows of experience and empathy.”  Karen Golden, chief executive of Galway Simon, said: “We’re very proud to have been part of this ground breaking initiative, and deeply grateful to the University of Galway for involving clients of Galway Simon Community in the project. Participants found the experience very empowering, and the feedback has been incredibly positive.” Dr Conn Holohan, Lost & Found project lead and Director of the Centre for Creative Technologies at University of Galway, said: “The goal of the immersive empathy project is to empower people who have experienced homelessness to tell their own stories through immersive technologies. It is only when communities are empowered to speak for themselves, to tell their own stories and challenge existing perspectives and beliefs, that empathy can provide a genuine platform for lasting social change.” Lost & Found was produced as part of the Immersive Empathy Project, an initiative of researchers within the disciplines of film, drama, psychology, business and digital humanities at University of Galway. The project explores the potential of virtual reality as a tool for social change. Much has been written during the recent explosion of interest in virtual reality and immersive technologies about the power of VR to increase empathy levels towards others. The potential for immersive technologies to act as catalysts for social change was identified by VR filmmaker Chris Milk in a 2015 TED Talk, in which he coined the term “empathy machine” to describe what he saw as the defining possibility of this technology. University of Galway launched the Centre for Creative Technologies in September 2023 with the aim of fostering and support research and teaching activities that explore and develop links between creative practice and technology and creativity as a principle and practice that extends beyond the arts. Ends 

Thursday, 23 November 2023

European Research Council awards University of Galway academic €2m grant for pioneering project developing computational model for healthcare    A University of Galway academic whose research work focuses on developing computational models of human biology has been awarded a €2 million research grant from the European Research Council.  Leading the transformative AVATAR project is Professor Ines Thiele, who leads the Molecular Systems Physiology Group at the University and is a Principal Investigator with APC Microbiome Ireland, the Science Foundation Ireland microbiome research centre headquartered in University College Cork and Teagasc Moorepark.  AVATAR is a ground-breaking project to construct an advanced computer model that delves into the connections between genes, metabolism, microbiome and diet, and to unravel their impact on health. The model aims to predict personalised health interventions based on individual health data, offering tailored advice - similar to a virtual health coach. It will be a stepping-stone for computer-assisted diagnosis and treatment. AVATAR’s powerful computer model of human metabolism will propel advancements in personalised medicine by predicting the optimal health interventions for individuals, based on their own health data. It will initially focus on inherited metabolic diseases and metabolic changes in individuals with cognitive issues. For example, the computer model may predict if a person is at risk of health issues based on their genes, microbiome, life-style parameters, and metabolism, and provide recommendations on how to intervene effectively, such as by giving specific diet recommendations.  Professor Ines Thiele has been awarded €2 million European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant to spearhead the project.   Professor Thiele explained: “AVATAR represents a monumental leap towards personalised medicine. Our society is very diverse, including our bodies, biologies and lifestyles, yet healthcare still largely relies on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, assuming most people will respond the same way to the same treatment. In reality, and beyond genetics, our health is influenced by internal factors like metabolism, which are small molecules circulating in our bodies; external elements such as microbiome and lifestyle choices such as diet. “AVATAR addresses the differences between individuals by unravelling the intricate relationships between genes, metabolism, microbiome, and diet. While advancements in DNA technology hold promise for personalised medicine, the multitude of genetic variations presents a daunting challenging in determining their specific relevance to health. “The intricate interplay of these factors forms a complex web that requires a sophisticated, computer-based approach in order to untangle.” This is the second ERC award for Professor Thiele, who was awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant in 2017, which enabled her pioneering work on computational modelling of the role of the microbiome on human health. The pioneering Avatar project involves collaboration and multidisciplinary efforts in a team spanning Ireland, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and the USA.  Professor Paul Ross, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland commented: “Personalised nutrition and medicine will be a huge gamechanger once we achieve the research goals to make it possible. Pioneering projects such as AVATAR will bring individualized approaches to food and medicine closer to reality when it comes to people’s healthcare.  As such, broad spectrum solutions for healthcare will in the future need to be refined for the complexities of individual needs to realise faster and more effective results for everyone.” Ends

Tuesday, 21 November 2023

Construct Innovate, the Enterprise Ireland technology centre hosted by University of Galway, has secured €2million funding under a Government programme to invest in specialised equipment and testing facilities. Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. made the announcement under the 2023 Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Programmes. Construct Innovate secured grants to fund three projects at University of Galway and one project at University College Dublin. The 2023 Capital Equipment Fund will allow Construct Innovate to develop a building envelope testbed, expand and upgrade their structural testing facilities and enable the development of modern methods of construction (MMC) through automated and process technologies. Construct Innovate directors, Prof Jamie Goggins and Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, welcomed the announcement of the Capital Equipment Fund results. Dr Hajdukiewicz said: “Construct Innovate facilitates industry-led, independent and evidence-based research supporting innovation and sustainability in the construction sector. This recent funding will provide our partner institutions with state-of the-art equipment that supports the development and testing of new materials and systems, including modern methods of construction and utilisation of digital technologies.” The funding supports the development of a Building Envelope Testbed at University of Galway. The 3-cell facility will have the capacity to conduct various types of tests measuring the performance of building envelope assemblies, including thermal characteristics, moisture transfer, solar and luminous characteristics of glazing, air permeability, water tightness, acoustic performance, energy performance (including renewable energy systems), and indoor environmental quality incl. thermal comfort. The testbed’s design and specifications were developed to ensure it meets the specific needs of Irish companies developing complex, innovative envelope systems, for which they expect short and efficient testing in full-scale real conditions. Secondly, a suite of equipment is being funded to extend the capabilities within the Large Structures Testing Laboratory at University of Galway to be suitable for testing construction elements at or near full-scale, such as novel floor makeups, timber elements, concrete structures, and connections for off-site structures. Over the coming years, the facility will be used for construction-based projects involving the mechanical performance testing of building elements and prefabricated building system components used in MMC. The funding will also go towards an Autonomous Mobile Robot in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at University of Galway, for furthering the automation of next-generation technology for on-site construction and inspection technology. This will also be deployed for off-site construction and assembly process development, specifically focusing on production scale-up capability. This technology represents the coming together of the forefronts of the construction sector (rapid build, modular construction, MMC) and of Industry 4.0 (mobile automation). University College Dublin were awarded funding for equipment to create an Automated Structures Innovation Hub. This will expand their automation and prototyping capabilities and also double the current capacity to perform structural/material tests. The new hub will promote engagement with companies in R&D, enable pilot manufacturing capability and prototyping for new product / process development and also enhance concrete printing technology. Ends

Monday, 20 November 2023

University of Galway has welcomed the 2023 Hardiman PhD Scholarship recipients to campus. The 21 successful scholars come from 12 different countries and are embarking on doctoral studies after being selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants from around the world.  The Hardiman PhD Scholarships are fully funded for four years, with a stipend of €19,000 per annum, plus fee waiver. The scheme offers opportunities for suitably qualified students to pursue a structured PhD at the University on topics aligned to five key areas of research: - Enhancing policy and society - Enriching creativity and culture - Improving health and wellbeing - Realising potential through data and enabling technologies - Sustaining our planet and people Since the scheme was introduced in 2011, University of Galway has awarded scholarships to almost 300 individuals. Professor Dónal Leech, Dean of Graduate Studies at University of Galway, said: “Our 2023 Hardiman Research scholar recipients represent the diversity, depth and distinctiveness of Galway research, with each scholar recruited for their excellence and supported over four years to develop their research skills and to generate new knowledge for the betterment of our society.” Applications for the for 2024 Hardiman PhD Scholarships will open on Friday December 1, 2023, and will remain open until Friday February 9, 2024 at 5pm. Further information on the Hardiman PhD Scholarships is available at www.universityofgalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships. The 2023 Hardiman PhD scholars include: Scholar Country of origin College and subject area of study Dayle Leonard Ireland College of Science and Engineering –  Investigating scorpion venoms as a source of novel antimicrobial and antivirulent compounds.   Mariia-Valeriia Morris Israel  College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Troubles Studies, representations of political violence in 20th century Ireland in film and comics.   Durre Zehra Syeda Pakistan College of Science and Engineering –  Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence.   Mohammad Khaboushani Afghanistan College of Science and Engineering –  Fatigue and fracture analysis of Submarine Power Cables.   Christine Ayu Indonesia College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  Researching innovative treatments, particularly stem cell therapy, for degenerative diseases, such as Diabetes Mellitus.   Aoife O’Connell Ireland College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  Pharmacology & Therapeutics, specifically using electrophysiology to improve our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and evaluate a novel therapeutic strategy.   Amanie Issa Palestine College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  Human Rights: Exploring the role of ‘state’ and law at perpetuating Gender-Based violence against women and girls with disabilities.   Simon Ngorok Uganda College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  Climate Change Impacts, and Adaptation - modelling loss and damage from flood events in sub-Saharan Africa.   Duduzile Unathi Ndlovu South Africa College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Sociology of higher education, towards critically (re)considering fallist student movements and their calls to decolonise Higher Education in South Africa.   Luke McDermott Ireland College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Researching the ways that analogy, metaphor and conceptual comparison manifested in Neo-Assyrian writing by applying Cognitive Linguistic and Intertextual methodologies.   Ronan O'Hanlon Ireland-UK College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  An intellectual history of George Berkeley, exploring the origins and influence of his work.   Kristal Jericho Australia College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  The impact of gendered norms and hegemonic masculinity on the mental health and wellbeing of commercial aviation pilots.   Rebecca Lane Ireland College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  An Investigation of the Endocannabinoid System and the Gut Microbiome in Patients with Abdominal Visceral Pain and Co-Morbid Negative Affect.   Fatemeh Fotouhi Chahooki Iran College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  Research into drug-like compounds inhibiting RIPK1-FADD interaction in FADDosome complex, mitigating chemotherapy agent side effects.   Dave Cormican  Ireland  College of Science and Engineering –  Mathematics with a focus on abstract algebra of zeta functions over rings.   Pouya Motienoparvar Iran College of Science and Engineering –  Evolutionary Biology, with focus on Agricultural Biotechnology to study the evolutionary paths by which newly evolved genes facilitate abiotic stress adaptation in plants.   Fatemeh Adelisardou Iran College of Science and Engineering –  Soil microbial community and carbon cycling in the Anthropocene.   Darcy Ireland USA College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Analysis of a late eighth-century Latin exegetical text, the Irish Reference Bible.   Louisa Klatt Germany College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  An interdisciplinary study combining constitutional law, creative futures, and social science methodology.   Abdolvahed Noori Afghanistan College of Science and Engineering –  Revealing quorum sensing-based microbial communication in anaerobic digestion systems for enhancing biogas production.   Fatemeh Karamifard Iran College of Science and Engineering –  Development of computational models for bioresorbable metal matrix composites in medical implants. Ends

Monday, 20 November 2023

Tabharfar aitheantas do Chéimithe Oinigh as a gcuid oibre i gcearta sibhialta, cearta an duine, na meáin, ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann, na healaíona, leigheas, daonchairdeas agus an saol acadúil   D’fhógair Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu na daoine a mbeidh Céimeanna Oinigh á mbronnadh orthu ag Searmanais Bhronnta an Gheimhridh 2023. Beidh an ceiliúradh ar siúl ó Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Samhain, go dtí Dé Céadaoin, an 29 Samhain, agus beidh an dream a mbronnfar Céim Oinigh orthu i gcomhluadar níos mó ná 3,000 mac léinn a mbeidh céimeanna á mbronnadh orthu i gcaitheamh na sé lá sin.  Baineann na daoine a bhfuil Céimeanna Oinigh á mbronnadh ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe orthu ag Bronnadh an Gheimhridh 2023 le saol na gceart sibhialta, cearta an duine, na meáin chumarsáide, an ceol, na healaíona, an leigheas, an daonchairdeas agus an saol acadúil. Frankie Gavin (Dochtúir Ceoil (DMus)): Duine de na fidléirí is fearr ar domhan, is ilionstraimí agus cumadóir é Frankie Gavin as Gaillimh ó dhúchas atá ag seinm go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta le breis is trí scór bliain.   Bronnadh Gradam Ceoil TG4 mar Cheoltóir na Bliana air in 2018. Mary Warde Moriarty (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): Duine den Lucht Taistil, gníomhaí cearta daonna agus údar, ag obair go dian dícheallach le beagnach leathchéad bliain chun cearta daonna an Lucht Taistil a chur chun cinn agus chun caidreamh a chothú idir an pobal socraithe agus Taistealaithe na hÉireann. Comhbhunaitheoir an chéad Ghrúpa Tacaíochta do Thaistealaithe Thuama a bunaíodh in 1984.  Bhí Mary ina hUachtarán ar an Lárionad Eorpach do Thaistealaithe na hÉireann agus bhí sí i gceannas ar fhorbairt leabharlainne atá tiomnaithe do stair agus do bhunús Thaistealaithe na hÉireann. Comhbhunaitheoir ar Chomhairle Náisiúnta na dTaistealaithe, Cónaidhm Náisiúnta Thaistealaithe na hÉireann agus Chumann Náisiúnta Lárionad na dTaistealaithe, bhí sí ina comhbhunaitheoir ar INVOLVE, an soláthraí is mó Seirbhísí Óige do Thaistealaithe óga. Hugh Logue (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): I mbéal an phobail ar dtús mar cheannaire sna cearta sibhialta ag deireadh na 60idí, mar bhall de choiste Chumann Cearta Sibhialta Thuaisceart Éireann agus mar Leas-chathaoirleach ar Chumann Cearta Sibhialta Dhoire Thuaidh. Duine de bhunaitheoirí an SDLP, toghadh é chuig Tionól Stormont don pháirtí in 1973, 1975 agus 1981. Chuaigh sé go dtí an Coimisiún Eorpach ansin agus d’oibrigh sa Bhruiséil ar feadh scór bliain ina dhiaidh sin mar oifigeach sinsearach don Choimisiún. Sa ról sin bhí sé an-tábhachtach ó thaobh obair an Aontais Eorpaigh i bpróiseas síochána Thuaisceart Éireann agus i gComhaontú Aoine an Chéasta. An tOllamh Peter Piot (Dochtúir Leighis (DMed)):  In 1976 bhí an tOllamh Piot ar dhuine den dream a d’aimsigh an víreas Ebola sa tSáír le linn dó a bheith ag obair san Institiúid do Leigheas Trópaiceach in Antuairp, sa Bheilg, agus bhí sé i gceannas ar thaighde ar VEID/SEIF, galair ghnéas-tarchurtha agus sláinte na mban, san Afraic fho-Shahárach den chuid is mó. D’oibrigh sé san Eoraip, san Afraic agus sna Stáit Aontaithe agus bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir Feidhmiúcháin bunaidh ar UNAIDS agus ina Fho-Ard-Rúnaí ar na Náisiúin Aontaithe ó 1995 go dtí 2008, agus bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir Comhlach ar an gClár Domhanda ar SEIF de chuid na hEagraíochta Domhanda Sláinte. Is iomaí gradam eolaíoch agus cathartha agus bonn daonnúil atá bronnta air agus tá os cionn 600 alt eolaíochta agus 17 leabhar foilsithe aige. Alan Esslemont (Dochtúir Litríochta (DLitt)): Rugadh Ard-stiúrthóir TG4 in Albain agus d’oibrigh sé sa Fhrainc, san Eilvéis agus ar an Eilean Sgitheanach. D’oibrigh sé san ollscoil anseo, le Telegael, Teilifís na Gaeilge, agus TG4.  Bhí sé ina chomhalta boird bunaidh agus ina chisteoir ar Acadamh Scannán agus Teilifíse na hÉireann agus tugann sé an-tacaíocht do phleanáil teanga agus d'ábhar Gaeilge a chur ar fáil do TG4. Eva Bourke (Dochtúir Litríochta (DLitt)): File a bhfuil an-mheas uirthi agus údar seacht gcnuasach filíochta i mBéarla, eagarthóir trí chnuasach filíochta agus próis i mBéarla, agus aistritheoir dhá chnuasach filíochta ó Ghaeilge go Gearmáinis; duine mór le rá i litríocht chomhaimseartha na Gaeilge, ball d’Aosdána. Patricia Forde (Dochtúir sna Dána (DArts)): Céimí de chuid na hollscoile, dátheangach ó aois an-óg, chuaigh sí isteach sa Taibhdhearc agus í deich mbliana d’aois mar aisteoir agus stiúraigh sí drámaí ansin níos déanaí. Bunaitheoir Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon Babaró do Leanaí na Gaillimhe in 1996 agus duine de bhaill tosaigh Macnas. Chaith sí tréimhse ina Stiúrthóir ar Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe go luath sna 1990idí.  Iarchathaoirleach ar Leabhair Pháistí Éireann. Miriam Hand agus Lourda McHugh (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): Aitheanta as a dtacaíocht, a gceannaireacht agus a dtiomantas docht maidir le hairgead a chruinniú le haghaidh taighde ailse chíche trí chomhpháirtíochtaí pobail agus eagraíochtaí spóirt. Comhaltaí boird le fada an lá ar Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche ag tacú le forbairt áiseanna taighde in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, le ceapacháin bhunaithe taighde agus acadúla, agus le scoláireachtaí iarchéime as a dtagann tionchar acadúil agus dul chun cinn taighde ailse. Neil Johnson (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): Príomhfheidhmeannach Croí (carthanas na Gaillimhe do shláinte chardashoithíoch). Céimí de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Comhalta Cliniciúil Oinigh i Scoil an Leighis ó 2015 agus bronnadh gradaim ‘Duine na Bliana’ Rehab agus na Gaillimhe araon air. Tá bunús, fás agus forbairt tionscadal suntasach i gcur chun cinn na sláinte cardashoithíoch feicthe ag Neil. Tá roinnt tionscnamh tiomsaithe airgid de na milliúin euro curtha i gcrích aige agus Ionad Croí agus Stróc sa Chaisleán Nua tógtha faoina stiúir. Marie Reddan (Dochtúir Oideachais (DEd)): Leabharlannaí ar scor ó Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin.  Chuir Marie go mór le saol, saibhreas agus só na Leabharlainne mar ionad barr feabhais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Bhí ról lárnach ag Marie in athfhorbairt Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin agus iad ag aistriú ón gcló go dtí an ré dhigiteach, agus i ngníomhaíochtaí cartlainne na leabharlainne. Comhbhunaitheoir IReL cuibhreannas Leabharlanna Taighde na hÉireann. Ag labhairt dó sular thosaigh na searmanais bhronnta, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Thar ceann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, tá lúcháir orm a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt don ghrúpa daoine eisceachtúla seo, agus an gradam seo a bhronnadh orthu agus muid ag ceiliúradh chomh maith ar a bhfuil bainte amach ag breis agus 3,000 dár gcuid mac léinn i gceithre Choláiste na hOllscoile.  Tá cion fir agus cion mná déanta ag gach duine díobh ar mhaithe leis an saol poiblí, chun cur leis an tsochaí agus chun leasa an chine dhaonna, agus rinne siad a gcuid le hathrú chun feabhais a dhéanamh ar an domhan, dualgas atá orainn ar fad. “Is iontach freisin a bheith in ann éachtaí ár gcéimithe den scoth agus iad siúd a bhfuil gradam oinigh á mbronnadh orthu den chéad uair faoi ainm nua agus faoi fhéiniúlacht nua na hOllscoile a cheiliúradh. Déanaimid gach rud a seasann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe dó a cheiliúradh, idir ár luachanna, ár gcuid oibre ar son leas an phobail agus an ceangal láidir atá againn leis an áit ina bhfuilimid lonnaithe.” Tá sceideal iomlán shearmanais bhronnta an gheimhridh 2023 le fáil ag https://www.universityofgalway.ie/conferring/. Críoch

Monday, 20 November 2023

Awardees recognised for their work in civil rights, human rights, media, traditional Irish music, the arts, medicine, philanthropy and academia   University of Galway today announced the recipients of Honorary Degrees at the 2023 Winter Conferring ceremonies. The celebrations take place from Wednesday November 22 to Wednesday November 29, and the Honorary Degree awardees will join more than 3,000 students graduating over the six days.  Those being recognised by University of Galway with Honorary Degrees at the 2023 Winter Conferring span the worlds of civil rights, human rights, media, music, the arts, medicine, philanthropy and academia. Frankie Gavin (Doctor of Music (DMus)): Regarded as one of the world's greatest fiddle players, Galway's Frankie Gavin is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has played nationally and internationally for over six decades. He was awarded the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the Year title in 2018. Mary Warde Moriarty (Doctor of Laws (LLD)): Traveller, human rights activist and author, has worked tirelessly for nearly 50 years to advance Traveller human rights and build bridges between the settled and Traveller communities in Ireland. Co-founder of the first Tuam Traveller Support Group established in 1984. Mary was President of the European Centre for Irish Travellers and led the development of a library dedicated to the history and origins of Irish Travellers. Co-founder of the National Council for the Travelling People, the National Federation of Irish Travellers and the National Association of Travellers' Centres, she was a co-founder of INVOLVE, the largest provider of Youth Services to young Travellers. Hugh Logue (Doctor of Laws (LLD)): First came to prominence as a Civil rights leader in the late 60s, serving as a member of the executive of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and as Vice-chair of the North Derry Civil Rights Association. A founder member of the SDLP, he was elected to the Stormont Assembly for that party in 1973, 1975 and 1981. He joined the European Commission and served in Brussels for the following 20 years as a senior Commission official. In this capacity he played a crucial role in the European Union’s contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process and to the Good Friday Agreement. Professor Peter Piot (Doctor of Medicine (DMed)):  In 1976 Professor Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and led research on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and women's health, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked in Europe, Africa and the US and was founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, and was an Associate Director of the Global Programme on AIDS of WHO.  He is a recipient of numerous scientific and civic awards and humanitarian medals and has published over 600 scientific articles and 17 books. Alan Esslemont (Doctor of Literature (DLitt)): Director General TG4, Alan was born in Scotland and has worked in France, Switzerland and the Isle of Skye. He worked here at our university, Telegael, Teilifís na Gaeilge, and TG4. He was a founding board member and treasurer of the Irish Film and Television Academy and is a key supporter of Irish-language planning and content for TG4. Eva Bourke (Doctor of Literature (DLitt)): Highly-regarded poet and author of seven collections of poetry in English, editor of three volumes of poetry and prose in English, and translator of two volumes of Irish poetry into German; a major figure in contemporary Irish literature, member of Aosdána. Patricia Forde (Doctor of Arts (DArts)): A graduate of our university, bilingual from an early age, she joined An Taibhdhearc at the age of ten as an actor and later directed plays there. Founder of Galway’s Babaró International Arts Festival for Children in 1996 and one of the early members of Macnas. She spent a period as Director of Galway International Arts Festival in the early 1990s. Former chair of Children’s Books Ireland. Miriam Hand and Lourda McHugh (Doctor of Laws (LLD)): Recognised for their advocacy, leadership, and steadfast commitment to raising funds for breast cancer research through community partnerships and sporting organisations. Long-time board members of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute supporting the development of research facilities at University of Galway, established research and academic appointments, and graduate scholarships resulting in academic impact and cancer research advances. Neil Johnson (Doctor of Laws (LLD)): CEO of Croí (Galway’s charity for cardiovascular health). Graduate of University of Galway, Honorary Clinical Fellow in the School of Medicine since 2015 and recipient of both Galway and Rehab ‘People of the Year’ awards. Neil has overseen foundation, growth and development of significant projects in cardiovascular health promotion, executed several multi-million euro fundraising initiatives and the construction of the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre Building in Newcastle. Marie Reddan (Doctor of Education (DEd)): Retired Librarian of James Hardiman Library. Marie contributed much to the life, wealth and success of the Hardiman as a national and international centre of excellence. Marie played a leading role in the reimagining of the Library in its transition from print to the digital age, and in the archival activities of the library. Co-founder of IReL consortium of Irish Research Libraries. Speaking ahead of the conferring ceremonies, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of University of Galway, I am delighted to be in a position to recognise this group of extraordinary individuals, and to recognise them at the same time as we celebrate the achievements of over 3,000 of our students across our four Colleges.  Each one has made an excellent and distinctive contribution to public life, the betterment of society and the interests of humanity, leaving the world in a better place than we found it, which is the responsibility of us all. “It is also great to be able to mark the achievements of our outstanding graduates and those being conferred with an honorary award for the first time under our new name and our new identity and celebrate everything that Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway stands for, whether it’s through our values, our work for the public good and being in and of our place.” The full schedule for the winter 2023 conferring ceremonies is available at https://www.universityofgalway.ie/conferring/ Ends

Wednesday, 15 November 2023

Two University of Galway academic researchers have been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2023 list from Clarivate. Professors Afshin Samali and Patrick W. Serruys join the prestigious list of almost 7,000 researchers from more than 1,300 institutions in 67 countries and regions who have demonstrated significant and broad influence in their field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.  Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Galway, said: “A huge congratulations to our academic researchers – Patrick Serruys and Afshin Samali - who have been named this year among the world’s most highly cited. To be part of this prestigious global group is testament to the quality and impact of their work and fitting recognition of their determination to develop breakthroughs and solutions for healthcare of the future.”  Professor Afshin Samali, listed in the Cross-Field category, is Professor and Chair of Cancer Biology at the College of Science and Engineering at University of Galway and Director of the Apoptosis Research Centre, and is a leading cancer biologist with expertise in the field of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and cell death/survival signalling in cancer, with a successful research career spanning over 30 years. One of Professor Samali’s areas of research relates to cell behaviour of one of the most aggressive forms of cancer which affects women - triple negative breast cancer – and using this knowledge to explore how the disease can be combatted. He is a researcher with CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for medical devices, based at University of Galway and with Precision Oncology Ireland. Afshin Samali fled Iran and came to Ireland as a refugee aged 17 due to persecution of members of the Bahai’i Faith. He is on the University of Galway's Universities of Sanctuary Programme committee and has been supporting Afghan refugees in their efforts to access third level education in Ireland. Professor Patrick W. Serruys, listed in the Clinical Medicine category, is Established Professor of Interventional Medicine and Innovation, Director of the CORRIB Research Centre for Advanced Imaging and Core Laboratory at the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Professor Serruys is a world-renowned expert in interventional cardiology and imaging with more than four decades experience in clinical trials and innovation in medicine. He has pioneered several interventional procedures and devices as well as imaging techniques. Bar Veinstein, President of Academia and Government at Clarivate, said: “We celebrate the Highly Cited Researchers whose contributions transform our world by helping to make it healthier, more sustainable and more secure. Recognition of Highly Cited Researchers not only validates research excellence but also enhances reputation, fosters collaboration, and informs resource allocation, acting as a beacon for academic institutions and commercial organisations.” The full 2023 Highly Cited Researchers list can be viewed at https://clarivate.com/highly-cited-researchers/.  Ends

Monday, 13 November 2023

ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition prizes awarded to schools and youth groups in Louth, Meath, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Kerry, Donegal, Dublin and Roscommon.   From planets to penicillin and artificial intelligence to vaping, short science videos made by young Irish filmmakers have been celebrated at the 11th Annual ReelLIFE SCIENCE Awards in University of Galway. The event took place on Sunday November 12 as part of Science Week 2023 and the 26th Galway Science and Technology Festival. More than 400 short science films were entered into the competition created by 2,600 young science enthusiasts in 131 schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland. Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including science communicator and engineer Dr Niamh Shaw; RTÉJr TV presenter and scientist Mark ‘The Science Guy’ Langtry; and the 2023 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Liam Carew and Shane O’Connor. ReelLIFE SCIENCE Winners 1st Prize Primary School – Twenty-two talented fourth class students from Gaelscoil Riabhach in Loughrea, Co. Galway, along with their teacher Brian Ó Meacháin, won the €1,000 first prize for their video ‘Creatha Talún’ explaining earthquakes and visualising volcanoes. Runners-up Primary School – Fourth class students from Lissivigeen National School, Killarney, Co. Kerry brought us on a trip around the solar system in ‘The Science Video’, while students from Abbey Primary School from Boyle, Co. Roscommon finished third with a history of penicillin in ‘The Messy Mistake that Changed the World’. 1st Prize Post-Primary – Gabriel McCrystal, Shaun Irimpan and Frankie Zak, transition year students from Coláiste Na Mí, Navan, Co. Meath, dramatised the effects of vaping in young people in ‘This is Bob’ and claimed the €1,000 first prize. Runners-up Post-Primary - Mahveen Farooq and Olivia Penfold from Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny answered the question ‘Is There a Connection Between Handedness and Dominant Eyes?’, while James Molloy from Belvedere College, Dublin was awarded third place, for his project ‘Using AI to Diagnose X-Rays’.   1st Prize Youth Organisation - Young filmmaker and musician Arden Oakes, from Grow Music, Dundalk, Co. Louth, won the €1,000 youth group prize for his video ‘How the Ear Works’. Runners-up Youth Organisation – Bruff Scout Group, Limerick came second for ‘The Science of Scouting Burns and how to treat them’, while third place went to Arranmore Island Foróige Club, Co. Donegal who coded a ‘Dancing Robot’. Special Category Awards Bandonbridge National School, Bandon, Co. Cork Junior Scientists Award Scoil Phádraig, Westport, Co. Mayo Best Acting Award Sooey National School, Sooey, Co. Sligo Best Costumes Award Bullaun National School, Loughrea, Co. Galway Teamwork Award King's Hospital School, Dublin 20 Science and Me Award Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ, Limerick Animation Award Alexandra College, Dublin 6 Best Science Song Loreto College, Dublin 2 Being Green Award Erris Foróige Youth Service, Belmullet, Co. Mayo Comedy Award Foróige Eastside Youth Service, Galway Science in Real Life Award   All of the winning videos can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/ReelLifeScience. Addressing the finalists at the event via video message, competition judge Dr Niamh Shaw said: “I have every faith that we have a very healthy future ahead of us because we have a country full of really great science explainers. Never lose that passion that you have to share how you understand science and how you see the world.” The ReelLIFE SCIENCE programme challenges young people in schools and youth groups across the island of Ireland to engage with science and technology while developing their communication and digital skills, by producing short educational videos for the public. Since being launched in 2013 by a team of scientists from the University of Galway College of Science and Engineering, this challenge has been met by over 26,000 young people, supported by teachers and staff in 750 schools and youth groups. ReelLIFE SCIENCE Founding Director Dr Enda O’Connell said: “Congratulations to all the winners, but also to every young person who demonstrated their passion for science and science communication by taking part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE this year. A special word of thanks to all the teachers and youth workers who nurture this passion, and through these videos, engage, inform and inspire the public.” ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, the CÚRAM SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway, the Cell EXPLORERS programme, and Foróige. Ends

Monday, 13 November 2023

Survey shows that 44% indicated that they would change job, even if it means a pay cut, if their remote working preferences are not facilitated   Researchers from University of Galway and the Western Development Commission have revealed that 92% of respondents indicated that remote/hybrid working would be a key factor in their decision to change employer.  The findings are from the first of three data collection waves of the 2023 annual National Remote Working Survey, led by Professor Alma McCarthy at University of Galway and Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst at the Western Development Commission.   The survey gathered responses from almost 6,000 respondents in late September and early October on their experience of remote working.  Professor Alma McCarthy, Professor of Public Sector Management and Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, emphasised the sustained desire to work hybrid or remotely for roles where this is possible and the impact on career decision-making.   "Our previous annual surveys showed the growing appetite for remote or hybrid working and the 2023 survey provides evidence of this sustained trend.  For those who can work remotely or hybrid for at least some of the time, being able to do so now plays a critical role in employer and job choice,” Professor McCarthy said. Findings include: 59% of respondents are currently working hybrid (sometimes remotely, sometimes onsite) and 38% are working fully remotely. Only 3% are working fully onsite.  55% of respondents indicated that they would change job if their remote working/hybrid working preferences are not facilitated even if it means less promotion opportunities.  19% of respondents say they would consider relocating and 15% may consider relocating due to their experiences of remote working since COVID-19. 13.7% indicated that they have already relocated within Ireland since COVID-19 because they can work remotely. The vast majority, 88.7% of those working hybrid, work remotely at home. A small portion work remotely from a mix of their home, hub and at client sites, 7.9%. 75% of respondents’ employers are now operating a remote/hybrid working policy.  Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD, reinforced the Government's commitment to remote work as a cornerstone of Our Rural Future saying: "Our investment in remote working infrastructure is paying dividends by helping to revitalise rural communities. The 2023 Annual Remote Work Survey conducted by University of Galway and the Western Development Commission highlights the continuing interest in remote working. Government policy and in particular the Connected Hubs initiative is supporting remote workers and employers, ensuring that we attract and retain talent and build a brighter future for our rural communities." Allan Mulrooney, Chief Executive of the Western Development Commission, said: "The latest national survey findings underscore a significant shift in our perspective on remote work. They reveal that Irish workers now anticipate a continued embrace of the hybrid work model to better align with their lifestyles. Remote work has paved the way for novel opportunities in talent attraction and retention, effectively luring young families and new talented workers to revive regions that have borne the brunt of depopulation and declining job prospects for many years. If we persist in prioritising and fostering an environment conducive to remote work, the lasting impact, particularly in rural areas, is undeniable." The findings from 2023 survey can be viewed here  Ends

Wednesday, 8 November 2023

RTÉ will broadcast a special documentary shinning a light on the lived experience of cancer patients, their contribution to research and the ongoing work of research centres that will shape how cancer will be treated in the future. ‘The People There to Catch Us’ tells the story of Tom Hope and Rachel O’Mahony, two cancer patients who work alongside researchers at CÚRAM, SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices at University of Galway and Precision Oncology Ireland, led from University College Dublin, to help improve the lives of others living with the disease. The documentary, facilitated by Ardán, produced by Ronan Cassidy of Carbonated Comet and directed by Luke Brabazon, will be screened at 8pm on Monday November 13 on RTÉ 1.  Professor William Gallagher, Precision Oncology Ireland Deputy Director and Co-Lead of the All-Island Cancer Research Institute, whose own personal experience with cancer in his family continues to shape and motivate his approach to cancer research, said: “Precision Oncology Ireland researchers are working on developing a variety of targeted approaches to diagnose and more accurately treat cancer patients based on the exact type of disease they have and their own personal biology. In the past, cancer patients were only offered generalised approaches, such as chemotherapy, to tackle their disease, often leading to significant side effects. Our team is working hard to find unique characteristics of certain cancers that can be used to improve patient outcomes while lessening the challenge of side effects.” Tom Hope explains his role as a patient partner and steering committee member of the Patient Voice in Cancer Research: “I am involved as a patient on a number of committees with oncologists, radiologists, urologists and scientists. Sharing my personal experiences, I have found that most medics don’t understand the anxiety that diagnosis and treatment can cause a patient and their family. In addition to occasionally discussing research with scientists and giving them the benefit of my lived experience of cancer, I have had the great pleasure of acting as a peer-to-peer volunteer and sharing my personal experience with men diagnosed with prostate cancer. In this way, I hope that I am giving them comfort that their experience is not unique, with supports being there to get through their treatment and live a normal life. A few comforting words telling you that you can get through this, can make all the difference.” Dr Róisín Dwyer, CÚRAM and Precision Oncology Ireland Investigator, University of Galway, who features in the film, said: “I’m delighted that this film will reach a national audience, to show them the research that is happening here in Ireland on their own doorstep. Our research is patient-focused and we are privileged to work so closely with patient partners like Rachel who has contributed to our research at University of Galway over several years. This film is a celebration of the power of collaboration, highlighting that we can achieve so much more when we all work together.”   Ardán CEO, Alan Duggan said: “Ardán has been proud to co-facilitate the Science on Screen programme with CÚRAM for the last eight years. This initiative affords filmmakers the opportunity to develop their creative skills as they produce important content on STEM subjects, while also providing a key educational and promotional resource for the science research community and the professionals involved. This month, alongside CÚRAM and the National Talent Academy Animation, we open the next round of the Science on Screen animation. We look forward to continuing this programme with our partners to promote science through the creative industries.” This is the seventh documentary produced through the CÚRAM-Ardán Science on Screen initiative, which aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV production.  ‘The People There to Catch Us’ was produced in collaboration with Precision Oncology Ireland and the Patient Voice in Cancer Research and funded by CÚRAM, the All-Island Cancer Research Institute, the UCD-Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Along with Dr Dwyer, the documentary also features Professor William Gallagher, Precision Oncology Ireland Deputy Director, UCD Conway Institute and Co-Lead, All-Island Cancer Research Institute; and Professor Walter Kolch, Precision Oncology Ireland Director, and Director of Systems Biology Ireland, UCD, all of whom are focused on personalised cancer research at Precision Oncology Ireland. Science on Screen began in 2016 with CÚRAM funding documentary filmmaking through Ardán as facilitators and providing access to leading scientists and laboratories within CÚRAM to explore methods of scientific ‘storytelling’ and to produce short films that incorporate current research at CÚRAM and its partners. These documentaries are available for community and educational screenings nationwide. Find out more on the CÚRAM website www.curamdevicesengage.ie. Ends

Tuesday, 7 November 2023

University of Galway has today launched its first Race Equality Framework and Action Plan, to guide a co-ordinated approach to improving equality, diversity and inclusion in the University. The Action Plan contains 120 actions across five thematic areas, with emphasis placed on ensuring race equality is prioritised in all strategies and policies to ensure the University develops as a welcoming, inclusive environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. The plan looks to modernise education; improve the university experience and opportunities for students from ethnic minorities; increase representation of people from ethnic minorities among staff; and develop research partnerships with the global south.  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Our University has made significant progress in recent years around equality, diversity and inclusion and as a community we commend all of those who have contributed, and continue to contribute every day, on this journey. We are in a different place, and a better place, because of it. This work is expanding now, with a focus on race equality, and the action plan and framework are a striking symbol of how our values of respect and openness guide the development of University of Galway. I urge our university community to stand and to act against racism in all its guises and against the attitudes and inequalities that allow it to fester. The actions that we commit to now in this plan will ensure that we deepen our focus and commitment to that, and become one example of our work for public good.” Dr Helen Maher, Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, said: “The Race Equality Framework and Action Plan will guide us on our journey towards advancing race equality while cultivating a more equitable and inclusive university. In particular, it articulates our commitment and plans to enable an environment where different cultures, ethnicities and perspectives are visibly and openly valued. In doing so, it further acknowledges that race equality is central to the pursuit of respect, openness, sustainability, and excellence which are explicit values of our university. Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals and shaped by insights from our university community and external community partners, while building on the University Strategy 2020-2025 and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020-2025, the Action Plan aims to embed race equality in all aspects of university life including in our teaching, research and engagement. This will provide a more welcoming inclusive environment where everyone has a sense of belonging and can thrive.” The Higher Education Authority defines race equality as equal representation, equal experiences and equal outcomes of staff and students from minority ethnic groups, while race inequality is defined as unequal representation, unequal experiences and unequal outcomes of staff and students from minority ethnic groups. Owen Ward, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme manager for race equality, said: “In recent decades University of Galway has been transformed, from a third level institution catering primarily for white Irish (non-Irish Traveller) school leavers, to actively widening the participation of students from underrepresented groups and striving to become a global institution with an increasingly diverse student and staff body. This transformation has become a key strength.  “While the university has made major strides to embed equality, diversity and inclusion across the institution, it is widely acknowledged that it needs to sharpen its focus on race equality. Tangible, meaningful actions are now being established to advance race equality at the University.” The Action Plan has five thematic areas - leadership, strategy, and policy; recruitment, progression and supports; data, monitoring and reporting; community, communications and culture; and scholarship and research.  In total, there are 120 actions under these themes, including: - A commitment of ensure that race equality is prioritised in all University strategies and policies. - A target of 10% administrative and support staff from an Irish ethnic minority background by 2027. - An increase in ethnic minority staff in managerial or leadership positions. - Enhanced student supports to further support minority ethnic and international students. - Collection and reporting of ethnicity data embedded across the University. - Strengthen awareness and understanding of race equality, racism, anti-racism, unconscious bias, equality and human rights.  - Decolonise the curriculum to ensure it is inclusive of perspectives from the Global South, nomadism, indigenous and Black Studies. - Increased institutional partnerships and research collaborations with partners in the Global South. The Race Equality Framework and Action Plan builds on actions outlined in the HEA Race Equality Implementation Plan 2022 -2024, Anti-Racism Principles for Irish Higher Education Institutions and National Action Plan Against Racism (2023) that are underpinned by the prohibition of racial discrimination and in accordance with statutory equality and human rights duties. It is strengthened by the Higher Education Authority Act 2022 and Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty which articulates University of Galway’s statutory responsibility to advance equality of opportunity and support diversity and inclusion, including race equality, in the University.  The University commenced a multifaceted consultation process with staff and students and external partners, including local civil society organisations, in 2022/23. This offered a strong evidence base of the overall experiences of minority ethnic staff and students in the University and was used to inform the development of the Race Equality Framework and Action Plan.  Ends

Monday, 6 November 2023

Is cúis cheiliúrtha é do Chartlanna agus Bailiúcháin Speisialta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuil thart ar 60,000 íomhá dhigitithe ó chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge curtha ar fáil. Cuireadh tús leis an tionscadal digitithe 18 mí ó shin, agus tá an bailiúchán ar fáil ar líne do chách ar ardán Chartlann Dhigiteach Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Tá léargas le fáil ann ar mhóreachtraí i stair na hÉireann agus ar obair, ar fheachtasaíocht agus ar ghníomhaíochas an Chonartha.  Tá níos mó ná 600,000 mír i gcartlann mhór Chonradh na Gaeilge. Baineann an t-ábhar le gníomhaíochtaí, feachtasaíocht agus a bhfuil bainte amach ag an eagraíocht ó bunaíodh í in 1893. Bhí an cnuasach digiteach, a cuireadh ar fáil ag an deireadh seachtaine ag Oireachtas na Samhna i gCill Airne, roghnaithe go cúramach ag Cartlannaí an Tionscadail, Niamh Ní Charra as an gcartlann fhairsing fhisiciúil, agus rinne an grianghrafadóir digiteach Maeve O’Neill an digitiú féin ar son Archives Ireland. Chomh maith le sraitheanna iomlána de chláir Oireachtais agus Ard-Fheiseanna Chonradh na Gaeilge ó na 1890í go dtí tús na 2000í, tá ábhair éagsúla ann maidir le feachtais faoi chearta Gaeilge, lena n-áirítear an chraoltóireacht agus stádas na Gaeilge san Eoraip, agus ábhar a bhaineann le próiseas síochána Thuaisceart Éireann. Cuireadh cartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge faoi chúram Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in 2018, de thoradh cainteanna faoi stiúir iarléachtóir de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an Dr John Walsh. Dúirt Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Cuireann an Ollscoil roimpi an Ghaeilge a chothú agus a chur chun cinn, mar a léirítear i Straitéis Ghaeilge na hOllscoile. Tá ceann de na hacmhainní rochtana oscailte Gaeilge is mó dá bhfuil ann ar an gcampas anois againn, in éineacht leis na bailiúcháin dhigiteacha Gaeilge eile a bronnadh ar an Ollscoil, ar nós closábhar béaloidis an Ollaimh Tomás Ó Máille, nuachtáin Ghaeilge – An Gaodhal agus An Stoc, agus grianghraif ó Thaibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, atá ar fáil sa Leabharlann d’oideachasóirí, do mhic léinn, do scoláirí agus do dhaoine ar spéis leo stair na hÉireann. Tá fáilte roimh chách teacht chuig an gcampas s’againne nó dul ar líne le húsáid a bhaint as na hacmhainní atá againn a bhaineann le litríocht agus léann na Gaeilge. Táimid bródúil agus buíoch go bhfuil siad againn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Monica Crump, Leabharlannaí Gníomhach na hOllscoile: “Is mór ag Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go bhfuilimid inár gcoimeádaithe ar chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge.  Bhí lúcháir orainn an chartlann a fheiceáil á húsáid i gcúrsaí taighde agus teagaisc ó rinneadh catalógú ar an gcnuasach agus ó cuireadh an t-ábhar ar fáil inár Seomra Léitheoireachta. Tá ríméad an domhain orainn inniu a bheith in ann 60,000 íomhá ón mbailiúchán sin a chur ar fáil don domhan mór agus muid ag seoladh Bhailiúchán Digiteach Chonradh na Gaeilge.   “De bhrí go bhfuil an bailiúchán digiteach seo á chur ar fáil go hoscailte againn táimid ag cur ar chumas taighdeoirí, lucht taighde sa phobal agus aon duine ar spéis leo stair Chonradh na Gaeilge, an Ghaeilge nó stair na hÉireann go ginearálta, iad féin a thumadh i dtaifid na móreagraíochta náisiúnta seo. Táimid buíoch den Ollscoil, d’Fhoireann Bailiúchán Oidhreachta na hOllscoile agus d’fhoireann Archives Ireland as a ndearna siad chun an sárbhailiúchán digiteach seo a chur ar fáil.”  Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Paula Melvin, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge: “Tá lúcháir orainn go bhfuil digitiú déanta ar réimse leathan ábhar ó Chartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge agus go bhfuil sé foilsithe ar líne ag Leabharlann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Is acmhainn iontach í seo dár gcraobhacha, dár mbaill agus do gach duine ar spéis leo stair Chonradh na Gaeilge agus stair na hÉireann, go deimhin. Is iontach an t-éacht é go bhfuil ábhar de chuid na heagraíochta seo le breis agus 100 bliain anuas curtha ar fáil don phobal anois, agus ba mhaith linn ár mbuíochas a ghabháil le Cartlannaí Tionscadail Chonradh na Gaeilge, Niamh Ní Charra, agus an fhoireann oibre ar fad.” Is féidir an bailiúchán seo, mar aon le cartlanna digitithe eile, a fheiceáil ar ardán Chartlann Dhigiteach Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag https://digital.library.universityofgalway.ie/p/ms?lang=ga. Críoch

Monday, 6 November 2023

University of Galway has unveiled a milestone for its Archives and Special Collections with the unveiling of about 60,000 digitised images from the Conradh na Gaeilge archive. Following an 18-month digitisation project, the collection has been made openly available online, on the Digital Archives platform of University of Galway Library, offering a window to momentous episodes in Irish history and the work, campaigning and activism of Conradh.  The extensive Conradh na Gaeilge archive includes more than 600,000 items. It represents the organisation’s activities, campaigning and achievements since its foundation in 1893. The digital collection, which was unveiled at the weekend at Oireachtas na Samhna in Killarney, in  was carefully curated by Project Archivist Niamh Ní Charra from the extensive physical archive, with the digitisation itself carried out by digital photographer Maeve O’Neill, on behalf of Archives Ireland. Along with near complete runs of Oireachtas and Conradh na Gaeilge Ard Fheis programmes from 1890s to early 2000s, the material covers a range of topics from Irish language rights campaigns, including broadcasting and the status of the Irish language in Europe, through to material relating to the Northern Ireland peace process. University of Galway became the custodian of the Conradh na Gaeilge archive in 2018, following discussions led by former University of Galway academic Dr John Walsh. University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “Nurturing and promoting the Irish language is a priority for our University and central to our values, something which we have committed to through our Straitéis don Ghaeilge. We now hold one of the largest open access resources in the Irish language on our campus, joining many other Irish language digital collections donated to the University, such as Professor Tomás Ó Máille’s audio folklore material, Irish language newspapers – An Gaodhal and An Stoc, and photographs from Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, all of which are available to access by educators, students, scholars, and those interested in Irish history through our Library. Tá fáilte roimh chách teacht ar an gcampas s’againne nó ar line le ghabháil do’s na hachmhainní atá againn i léamh agus léann an Ghaeilge agus muid bródúil astu agus buíoch go bhfuil siad linn in Ollscoile na Gaillimhe” Monica Crump, Acting University Librarian, said: “The University of Galway Library is very proud to be the custodians of the Conradh na Gaeilge archive.  We have been delighted to see the archive being used in research and in teaching since the collection was catalogued and made accessible in our Reading Room. Today we are particularly pleased to bring 60,000 images from that collection to a global audience by launching the Conradh na Gaeilge Digital Collection.   “By making this digital collection openly available we enable researchers, citizen scientists and anyone interested in the history of Conradh na Gaeilge, the Irish language or indeed Irish history more broadly, to delve into the records of this important national organisation. We are grateful for the University’s support for this work to become a reality, and to our Heritage Collections Team and the Archives Ireland team for their work in delivering this wonderful digital collection.”  Paula Melvin, President of Conradh na Gaeilge, said: "We are delighted that a wide range of materials from the Conradh na Gaeilge Archive has been digitised and published online by the University of Galway Library. This archive is a fantastic resource for our branches, our members and everyone who is interested in both the history of Conradh na Gaeilge and Irish history alike. It is a great achievement that more than 100 years of our organisation's material has now been made available to the public, and we would like to express our thanks to the Conradh na Gaeilge Project Archivist, Niamh Ní Charra, and the whole team who made the project happen." The collection can be viewed on the University of Galway’s Digital Archives platform alongside other digitised archives at https://digital.library.universityofgalway.ie/.   Ends

Monday, 6 November 2023

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has officially launched the University of Galway Tax Clinic.  As the first programme of its kind in Ireland, the Tax Clinic stands as a ground-breaking endeavour - helping people from marginalised or under-represented sections of society to understand their entitlements, their tax rights and responsibilities and how to manage their own tax affairs.  The Tax Clinic began in University of Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in 2020 as a pilot project for students. It has since expanded its services to the Greater Galway area through partnerships with two local organisations that cater to people requiring these services - COPE Galway and SCCUL Enterprises. To further expand the reach and enhance its impact, it has recently begun a collaboration with Focus Ireland.   The Tax Clinic offers clients one-to-one, confidential consultations with tax student advisors, supervised by tax professionals, where they can get tailored support.  The collaborative model has allowed the Tax Clinic to identify and respond to significant unmet needs for tax education across various community groups. It empowers taxation students and the people it supports, by providing personalised tax assistance and compliance guidance for people who traditionally may not have been able to access or afford it.  Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. said: “I was very happy to join the team for the launch of the University of Galway Tax Clinic. What makes the Tax Clinic truly remarkable is its commitment to expanding beyond the University's borders and reaching out to the wider community. By partnering with local organisations, they've bridged the gap and answered the call for assistance from citizens who require these valuable services. This is a significant step towards a more informed and empowered society. Congratulations to all involved.”  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “The launch of the Tax Clinic underscores our University's unwavering commitment to being an institution for the public good. This initiative which springs from our university community offers a vital resource for students and members of marginalised communities, ensuring that no one is left behind in navigating the complexities of taxation. By harnessing the collective expertise of our faculty and students, we aim to make a tangible, positive impact on the lives of our community, both on campus and across the region. Information is power and by sharing information, we reduce ‘the mystique of the technique’ and give more power to those without power. This is our role as educators and as a university for the public good.”  Emer Mulligan, Director of the Tax Clinic and Personal Professor in Taxation and Finance at University of Galway, said: “The foundation of this clinic is rooted in justice, dedicated to assisting those who are under-represented. The clinic's primary focus is on tax education, aiming to aid individuals to manage their own tax affairs and understand their tax rights and responsibilities. Our overarching goal is to educate and assist marginalized citizens with their tax compliance in a setting that is both free and confidential. The Tax Clinic’s services have proven increasingly important amid financial instability for many, exacerbated by COVID-19 and rising costs of living. I am very grateful to have such an impressive group of tax students and professional advisors giving their time and expertise on a pro bono basis to make this initiative possible.”  The Tax Clinic offers assistance across a range of areas, including:  Information on tax credits, e.g., tuition fees, flat rate allowances, medical expenses, Single Parent Child Carer Credit, Home Carer Credit, rent tax credit, and others  Information on tax owed/due to those have become unemployed recently  Information on how the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is taxed   How people who have recently moved to Ireland can get their Irish tax affairs in order  How people emigrating for work can get their Irish tax affairs in order before leaving  Information on the tax implications of having multiple jobs  The event was hosted in partnership with the Galway Chamber of Commerce and University of Galway MBA Programme under the theme of Taxpayer Rights in a Digital World: How Tax Clinics Contribute to Justice and Fairness and included the launch of an accompanying report Enabling Tax Literacy and Empowerment.  The event featured a keynote address by Nina E. Olson, a globally recognised expert in taxpayer rights from the US.  Ends  

Thursday, 2 November 2023

Fourth year Mathematical Science student at University of Galway, Dmytro Lyubka, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Hamilton Prize. Dmytro Lyubka, who came to Ireland from Ukraine 17 years ago, is one of nine students to have been honoured by the Royal Irish Academy with the award given to the top mathematical students in their final year of study as nominated by their university. The honour commemorates famed Irish scientist William Rowan Hamilton and his discovery of quaternion algebra in Dublin on October 16, 1843 - a four dimensional number system which has been used in satellite navigation and video game programming.  Dmytro Lyubka, who is originally from Kiev in Ukraine and now living in Galway City, said:  “I am deeply honoured to receive this award, which not only recognises my dedication to mathematics but, more importantly, stands as a testament to the incredible support and encouragement I've received from my family and the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Galway – both of whom have my sincerest gratitude.  “Mathematics has always been my passion, and this award only fuels my enthusiasm to continue exploring this vast and intricate world. I would like to extend my thanks to the RIA for organising the Hamilton Day Event, as well as to Professor Wendelin Werner for his invaluable advice and insights during the exclusive masterclass.” In recognition of their mathematical excellence, the awardees each received a cash prize of €500, a certificate of achievement and attended an exclusive masterclass with the 2023 Hamilton Lecture speaker, Professor Wendelin Werner, Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge. Professor Aisling McCluskey, Head of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Galway, said: “On behalf of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at University of Galway, I am delighted to acknowledge and celebrate the award to Dmytro Lyubka of the prestigious Hamilton Prize. The prize is a tremendous honour, recognising the exceptional talent of Dymtro and others like him from universities across the country. Indeed Dymtro’s Mathematical Science class of 2024 has a formidable talent base underscoring stiff competition for this special prize.   “We are fortunate to attract students of such calibre and to provide opportunities to harness and showcase their talent as they progress in final year and into future STEM careers. We are proud that Dymtro joins the list of Hamilton Prize winners, representing our School and our University nationally for the 2023 prize. Ar son na Scoile, comhghairdeachas, Dymtro!” Ends

Tuesday, 19 December 2023

In a significant stride towards advancing health research data analytics, University of Galway is establishing a Professor of Applied Clinical Data Analytics.  The endowed Lectureship is named after University graduates Professor John F. and Dr Marie Greally, and will be a shared position between the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Insight SFI Centre for Data Analytics.  Clinical research is undergoing a paradigm shift and is changing how we study diseases, putting a greater emphasis on the crucial role of large clinical data analytics. The surge in open-access datasets, coupled with extensive genetic and healthcare databases, presents an unprecedented opportunity for clinical research. This new Lectureship in Applied Clinical Data Analytics aims to bridge the gap between traditional statistical approaches and emerging cutting-edge methods in data analysis. The aim is to encourage innovative thinking in areas like understanding the cause of illnesses, predicting clinical outcomes and factors that can affect the population’s health.  President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said; “The University of Galway expresses our gratification at the distinguished honour bestowed upon Professor John F. and Dr Marie Greally through the naming of this new Lectureship. This will further enhance the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science’s leadership in the field of Clinical Data Analytics.  “Driven by years of unwavering commitment and service to the field of medicine, both in Ireland and globally, both John and Marie have left an indelible mark. Their unwavering commitment is evident in the substantial contributions they have made to the advancement of medical knowledge, healthcare practices and the betterment of patient outcomes.  “The establishment of this Lectureship stands as a pivotal initiative within the University’s comprehensive Meitheal campaign. Aligned with our commitment to values of openness, respect, sustainability and excellence, this campaign aims to propel initiatives that fortify the University’s core principles.” Dr Marie Greally said: "Our career paths exposed us to the excitement and value of being able to incorporate research into medical practice. We are grateful to the University of Galway for the opportunity to help the career of someone who can inspire a generation of students to learn about the value of research in medicine.”    Professor John F. Greally said: “It’s a privilege to be able to contribute to our University and the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, to which we are grateful for giving us the chance to have our careers in medicine.”  Professor Martin O’Donnell, Executive Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group said: “This endowed lectureship is central to our ambition in establishing a multi-platform MSc in Applied Clinical Data Analytics, and to the development of an Academic Health Analytics Hub to support research in population health, health services research and clinical trials, as part of our Institute for Clinical Trials. The Health Analytics Hub will develop and expand our existing and emerging strengths in medical AI, such as machine learning and multimodal AI, in collaboration with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.” Ends

Friday, 15 December 2023

University of Galway has announced plans to establish the National Peatland Centre of Excellence to help tackle national and global challenges related to peatlands and associated decarbonisation, biodiversity loss, just transitions and culture. This initiative follows the successful Peatland Futures event held at the university, which brought together experts, policymakers and stakeholders to deliberate on the future of peatland and wetland research and innovation in Ireland.  Representatives from government departments, universities and community and farming organisations took part in the event.  A crucial component of Peatland Futures was the collective call to action for wetland and peatland restoration and conservation.  Recognising the significance of improving peatland conditions for long-term environmental benefit, participants were united in support of establishing a national centre of excellence to provide essential support, knowledge, training, policy insights and resources necessary for conservation efforts. Speaking at the Peatland Futures event, Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at University of Galway said: “Like so many challenges, we recognise that solutions cannot be found from one perspective, so we wish to engage with landowners, farmers, policymakers, community groups, government agencies and other research institutions. Together, we can make a lasting difference for the preservation of Ireland's peatlands.”  Dr Terry Morley, Assistant Professor and organiser of the Peatland Futures event, said: “Ireland has world-class peatland research and expertise and it’s time we act to increase our collective capacity for research, public outreach and dissemination, and to train the next generation of peatland practitioners. The University of Galway is uniquely situated with blanket and raised bogs at our doorstep and broad interdisciplinary peatland research expertise.” The event featured two workshops aimed at shaping the future of peatland research. The first discussed the proposal for a National Peatland Centre of Excellence, while a second focused on creating a policy summary and providing actionable strategies for informed decision-making in peatland conservation. The event also included the launch of “Social Marketing, Principles and Practice for Delivering Global Change” by Professor Christine Domegan, University of Galway and Professor Gerard Hastings, University of Stirling, which featured a photo and story of Abbeyleix Bog from award winning peatlands photographer Tina Cafferty. Ends

Thursday, 14 December 2023

Researchers at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway, have shed light on why brain implants are tricky to engineer and often lose their functionality once surgically placed into brain tissue.  The results of a new study, published in the prestigious journal Advanced Science, have revealed how cells of the brain sense continuous motion caused by everyday bodily functions – like breathing or the pulse from a heartbeat. Importantly, if a hard metallic or plastic device is implanted into the soft tissue of the brain, these small, normal movements can lead to friction and inflammation of the tissues around the implant, killing off vital brain cells and causing scarring.  Lead researcher on the study, CÚRAM Investigator and Associate Professor at University of Galway’s College of Science and Engineering, Dr Manus Biggs, said: “One of the most exciting parts of our study is the discovery that the cells of the brain use specialised sensors to respond to small frictional forces and that even the most basic, everyday functions can lead to tiny movements which damage the cells adjacent to a brain implant.” The research also explored possible approaches to help prevent damage to tissue and ultimately increase the lifespan and long term function of implanted electrical devices. Anti-inflammation approaches could be achieved by coating brain implants with soft gels which reduce implant friction and ensure a slow release of these drugs. The study also evaluated how brain cells attempt to protect themselves from continuous friction by keeping a distance from hard brain implants, essentially creating a fluid-filled blister which prevents direct contact of an implant with the brain tissue. Although this blister which emerges around an implant protects the brain cells from damage, a frequent downside to this defence process is that this structure prevents the neural recording device from operating. Dr Alex Trotier, who carried out the principal research of the study at CÚRAM and was awarded a PhD by University of Galway, said: “Mitigating scarring of the tissues which surround a recording device implanted into the brain is critical for the development of brain-computer interfaces - devices which allow thoughts to be directly translated into digital signals, signals which can control external devices. The scar tissue that develops around an implanted neural device prevents brain signals from being recorded, rendering the device useless. The potential gamechanger here is for the development of digital implants which can read the brain electrical activity for years at a time.” Dr Biggs added: “It is hoped that by understanding the cellular repair mechanisms, which occur following the introduction of a brain-implant, that novel devices or drugs can be developed which prevent the scarring and blistering process, paving the way for the emergence of exciting devices which can link the mind directly with advanced technologies. We may see the development of implants which can allow the instantaneous transmission of thoughts from one person to another in the next decade.” Ends

Wednesday, 13 December 2023

University of Galway has celebrated a Times Higher Education award for technological innovation for its virtual assistant for students named Cara. The Times Higher Education Award underscores the University's commitment to leveraging innovation in its pursuit of academic excellence and comprehensive student support.  Cara is an innovative artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant which has been developed by the University of Galway in partnership with Galvia, a pioneering AI company based in Galway. The University was rewarded for its work on the project by receiving the Times Higher Education Award for Technological or Digital Innovation of the Year at a gala event in Liverpool. The recognition celebrates the exceptional achievement in technological advancement that Cara offers as well as the significant leap forward in enhancing student supports and data collection methodologies within the academic landscape.  Cara efficiently addresses online queries from students while at the same time gathers essential data to identify and support at-risk individuals in the student community. Josephine Walsh, Head of Student Engagement projects at University of Galway, accepted the award on behalf of the team, saying: “This is a great acknowledgement of all the work the University of Galway Student Services team and the Galvia team have done in collaboration and it marks our joint commitment to supporting students.”  John Clancy, chief executive of Galvia, said: "We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the University of Galway on this prestigious recognition. Collaborating with the university to develop Cara has been an inspiring journey, showcasing the transformative potential of AI-driven solutions in advancing education and student well-being." Director of Student Services at the University of Galway, John Hannon, said: “We are honoured to be recognised by Times Higher Education for our commitment to technological innovation and student support. Cara represents a transformative leap forward in higher education, enabling us to provide exceptional support to our students while optimising our resources." Ends

Tuesday, 12 December 2023

University of Galway has joined a new, cross-border higher education alliance to strengthen partnerships between scientists and clinicians and foster impactful research that translates from the lab to patient care. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland (TMAI) has been established with 10 universities and technological universities on the island of Ireland. The alliance of academics and researchers will have a focus on the development of new diagnostics, therapies, and medical interventions. Collaboration in translational medicine serves as a catalyst for transforming scientific discoveries into practical applications that directly benefit patients and society. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland (TMAI) will enable the pooling of higher education resources, knowledge and skills. It will also offer a platform for researchers and institutions engaged in translational medicine to generate novel ideas and develop innovative therapies or diagnostics more efficiently, enhancing the impact and success of their translational research and elevating the visibility and reputation of the biomedical research community on the global stage. Professor Aideen Long, Director, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute (TTMI), said: “The establishment of TMAI is a testament to the belief that collectively forging connections, building bridges, and creating a network of translational research institutes will achieve far more than any one of us could envision alone - in terms of pushing new boundaries, breaking barriers, and realising impactful clinical research outcomes that will ultimately benefit patients." Dr Pilib Ó Broin, Assistant Professor in Translational Bioinformatics, University of Galway, said:"We are delighted to join TMAI and firmly believe that leveraging complementary expertise across our partner institutions is key to accelerating innovation in translational research at a national level. Galway's translational research excellence and infrastructure, including our newly-established research institutes in health discovery and innovation and clinical trials, will greatly enhance the capacity of this new alliance and we look forward to work with our partners in creating meaningful benefit for patients and strengthening Ireland's international reputation in this area."  TMAI will also provide a national mechanism to forge enduring partnerships with EATRIS, the European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine, creating new collaborative opportunities for research and funding at a European level. This interconnected network will amplify the influence of the sector in the Republic and in Northern Ireland internationally and foster knowledge exchange. Translational Medicine Alliance Ireland members are: Atlantic Technological University; Munster Technological University; University of Galway; Queen’s University, Belfast; Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Technological University Dublin; Trinity College Dublin University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick. Ends

Monday, 11 December 2023

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris T.D. has today officially opened Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village – the new student residences at University of Galway. Dunlin was built at a cost of €95million and the construction is financed through University borrowing. It was completed in time to welcome students for the current academic year. The project represents the second of two new purpose-built, on-campus student residences at University of Galway, following the opening of Baile an Chíorbhuí – Goldcrest Village in 2018. Minister Harris said: “I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and the University of Galway on delivering this significant development and supply of student accommodation at Dunlin Village. It is worth recognising that the University has delivered this flagship project at a time when the constraints on development are impacting supply across the country. This bring over 1,100 additional beds provided by the University in Galway since 2018. “The Government is committed to addressing the growing demand for, and supply of, student accommodation for our students. That is why for the first time I am developing a long term policy on state supported student accommodation responses. It is critical that we can pave the way for students and ease the pressures they are facing in attending higher education.” President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Baile na Breacóige - Dunlin Village represents the second major student accommodation project that our University has completed in recent years. Deeply conscious of the stresses and pressures facing young people and their families when it comes to accommodation, this has been a purposefully significant undertaking and investment in the face of unprecedented demand for housing in our community. Enormous credit is due to all those involved, from the design, to the build, to the operations. It is this collective effort and support, by, and for, our university community that ensured it is open for our students this academic year. The cost of building new accommodation is increasingly prohibitive for us, and for our students, and it needs new ways of thinking, and Government support. We hope our provision of almost 2,000 beds makes a difference and we continue to support all policies, investments and endeavours to respond to those who need it the most. We also look forward to working with our students and Government to provide further, more affordable accommodation choices for our students.” University of Galway has 1,867 beds for on-campus student accommodation. Ahead of the opening of Dunlin Village, rent rates were reduced for more than a quarter of the total and frozen on another 669 beds for the fourth year in a row.  Dunlin Village  Designed by award winning Coady Architects and the construction is being carried out by Galway-based contracting firm J.J. Rhatigan & Co. The University is engaging with the Housing Finance Agency in relation to the finance for the project.  The project on the north campus of the University is made up of four distinct buildings with 674 bedrooms in various apartment designs and communal facilities, including meeting rooms and student social and collaboration zones; high quality and capacity wifi; a large communal reception; a 24-hour reception and security, on-location bicycle storage. It also includes 35 accessible bedrooms, located across all four blocks, designed in line with best practice for people with disabilities. Block A is eight stories, consisting of 124 bedrooms in 23 apartments, running parallel to the River Corrib with views from upper floors over the river, the city and Galway Bay.  Blocks B/C/D, comprising 550 en-suite bedrooms, are positioned in separate u shaped layouts to maximise natural daylight throughout, some apartments enjoy triple aspect.   Characterised by a modern, bright interior design featuring quality fixed bedroom furniture, bathrooms and fitted kitchens, the accommodation offers students a state-of-the-art living environment. Ends

Monday, 11 December 2023

D’oscail an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris T.D., Baile na Breacóige, na hárais chónaithe nua do mhic léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, go hoifigiúil inniu. Costas €95 milliún a bhí i gceist le Baile na Breacóige, agus rinneadh an tógáil a mhaoiniú trí iasachtaí Ollscoile. Críochnaíodh in am é chun freastal ar mhic léinn na bliana acadúla reatha. Is é an tionscadal seo an dara ceann de dhá áras cónaithe a tógadh go sainiúil do mhic léinn ar champas Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Osclaíodh an chéad cheann, Baile an Chíorbhuí, in 2018. Seo mar a labhair an tAire Harris: “Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a thapú le comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh agus le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe as an bhforbairt shuntasach a thabhairt chun críche agus an lóistín seo a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn i mBaile na Breacóige. Is fiú a aithint go bhfuil an mórthionscadal seo curtha i gcrích ag an Ollscoil ag tréimhse a bhfuil na srianta forbartha ag cur isteach ar sholáthar ar fud na tíre. Tá breis agus 1,100 leaba breise curtha ar fáil ag an Ollscoil i nGaillimh ó 2018 i leith. “Tá an Rialtas meáite ar aghaidh a thabhairt ar an méadú atá ar éileamh do lóistín dár gcuid mac léinn. Is dá bharr seo a bhfuilim ag forbairt polasaí fadtréimhseach, den chéad uair, maidir le tacaíocht stáit a chur ar fáil le dul i ngleic le fadhb lóistín na mac léinn. Tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbeimid in ann an bealach a réiteach do mhic léinn agus an brú atá orthu freastal ar an ardoideachas a mhaolú.” Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: Is é Baile na Breacóige an dara mórthionscadal lóistín do mhic léinn atá tugtha chun críche ag an Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas. Táimid an-fheasach ar an strus agus an brú atá ar dhaoine óga agus ar a dtuismitheoirí agus iad ag iarraidh lóistín a aimsiú. Is forbairt agus infheistíocht shuntasach sainchuspóra í seo ar tugadh fúithi chun aghaidh a thabhairt ar an éileamh ollmhór do thithíocht sa phobal. Tá moladh mór tuillte acu siúd ar fad a bhfuil baint acu leis seo, idir dhearadh na forbartha, an obair thógála agus na hoibríochtaí féin. Is i ngeall ar phobal na hollscoile a bheith ag obair as lámha a chéile agus ag tacú lena chéile gur osclaíodh dár mic léinn é an bhliain acadúil seo. Tá an costas a bhaineann le hárais chónaithe do mhic léinn nua a thógáil ag cur isteach go mór orainn, agus ar ár mic léinn, agus tá smaointeoireacht úr ag teastáil, agus tacaíocht ón Rialtas. Tá súil againn go ndéanfaidh an fhorbairt nua seo difear, forbairt a bhfuil an cumas aici lóistín a chur ar fáil do bheagnach 2,000 mac léinn, agus leanaimid orainn ag tacú le gach polasaí, infheistíocht agus iarracht chun dul i gcabhair orthu siúd is mó a dteastaíonn sé uathu. Táimid ag súil chomh maith le bheith ag obair lenár mic léinn agus leis an Rialtas chun tuilleadh roghanna inacmhainne maidir le lóistín a chur ar fáil dár mic léinn.” Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in ann lóistín a chur ar fáil ar an gcampas do 1,867 mac léinn. Díreach sular osclaíodh Baile na Breacóige, laghdaíodh na rátaí cíosa i gcás níos mó ná an ceathrú cuid den líon iomlán leapacha, agus rinneadh na cíosanna a reo ar 669 leaba eile don cheathrú bliain as a chéile.  Baile na Breacóige  Is iad Coady Architects a rinne an dearadh don fhorbairt seo, agus is iad J.J. Rhatigan & Co., gnólacht atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh, na conraitheoirí tógála. Tá an Ollscoil ag obair leis an nGníomhaireacht Airgeadais do Thithe maidir le maoiniú an tionscadail.  Tá ceithre fhoirgneamh sa tionscadal seo ar champas thuaidh na hOllscoile agus tá 674 seomra codlata ann i gcineálacha éagsúla árasáin. I measc na n-áiseanna coiteanna atá ann tá seomraí cruinnithe agus spásanna sóisialta agus comhoibrithe do mhic léinn; wifi ar ardchaighdeán agus ardacmhainne; spás fáiltithe mór; fáiltiú agus slándáil a bhfuil fáil orthu 24 uair an chloig mar aon le háit shábháilte chun rothair a choinneáil. Áirítear leis chomh maith 35 seomra codlata inrochtana atá suite i ngach ceann de na ceithre bhloc agus ar dearadh go sainiúil iad le go mbeidís ag teacht leis na cleachtais is fearr atá i bhfeidhm dóibh siúd atá faoi mhíchumas. Tá ocht stór i gceist le Bloc A, agus 124 seomra codlata i 23 árasán. Tá sé comhthreomhar le hAbhainn na Gaillimhe agus nuair atáthar ag féachaint amach ó na hurláir in uachtar, tá an abhainn, an chathair agus cuan na Gaillimhe le feiceáil.  Leagadh amach bloic B/C/D, ina bhfuil 550 seomra codlata en suite, i gcruth U le go mbainfear an leas is fearr as solas nádúrtha an lae. I roinnt de na hárasáin is féidir féachaint ó thuaidh, soir agus ó dheas.   Timpeallacht mhaireachtála úrscothach do mhic léinn atá san fhorbairt seo. Maisíodh na hárasáin ar bhealach glé nua-aimseartha agus tá troscán feistithe ardchaighdeáin sna seomraí codlata agus sna seomraí folctha mar aon le cistineacha feistithe. Críoch