Thursday, 13 October 2022

The Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics is a core partner in the new Data Spaces Support Centre, which will facilitate common data spaces in different sectors that collectively create an interoperable data sharing environment as part of the implementation of the European data strategy. Prof. Edward Curry Director of the Insight SFI Centre at the University of Galway says that; “Data spaces will be the disruption that will drive the digital transformation of Europe. The Data Space Support Centre will be the heartbeat of the digital transition of all parts of our society, from health and culture to energy and mobility. The Insight SFI Centre, Ireland’s national data research centre and one of the largest in Europe,  is proud to be a part of this game-changing endeavour where we will contribute to design principles for the creation of next generation data spaces.” Funded by the European Commission as part of the Digital Europe Program, the Data Spaces Support Centre will be set up and run  by a consortium[1] of the leading associations and knowledge centres in the domain of data spaces, with a broad membership, an extensive network, national hubs, open-source communities and data space pioneers. The Support Centre explores the needs of the data spaces initiatives, including common requirements, and best practices. It delivers the Data Spaces Blueprint, composed of common building blocks in business, legal, operational, technical and societal aspects. With a user-centric approach and cooperatively with all stakeholders, the Blueprint continuously evolves. It drives adoption through support activities, a platform and web portal for knowledge and asset sharing, a help desk, toolboxes and active engagement with all stakeholders. The Support Centre will support the Data Innovation Board to propose guidelines for common European data spaces, such as cross-sectoral data sharing standards, requirements for security and access procedures. Professor Noel O’Connor, CEO of Insight, said: “On behalf of Insight, Ireland’s largest research centre specialising in AI and data analytics, we are proud to be at the centre of the data spaces movement within Europe. We are excited to have the opportunity to further develop and support the creation of sectoral data spaces which will improve data sharing at national and European levels.” The project will enable data reuse and secondary use within and across sectors, fully respecting EU values and contributing to the European economy and society. It will further enable and create appropriate conditions for setting up an open data ecosystem characterised by interoperability and mutual trust between participants and creating value out of data. Statements from Consortium Coordinator Boris Otto, Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST) highlights: “The Data Spaces Support Centre is key for a successful implementation of the European data strategy as it provides guidance to emerging and growing data space initiatives from various sectors across Europe. Interoperability based on open standards ensures trusted exchange and sharing of data and data sovereignty within and across data spaces.” Ana García Robles, Secretary General BDVA: “Data Spaces will boost data-driven innovation and the data economy in Europe. The Data Spaces Support Centre is a key action to support adoption, scaling and to realise the full potential of Data Spaces across sectors, organisations, and geographical boundaries. BDVA will play an important role in developing ecosystem, integrating services to get value out of data and creating strong synergies with Trustworthy and industrial AI. We are very honoured to join this adventure with other major data communities and expert organisations in Europe” Marc Reinhardt, Executive Vice President, Head of Public Sector, Capgemini: “Data is at the centre of everything Capgemini does. We are proud to have supported the implementation of the European Union’s data strategy since the first open data programme in 2015 (now Building on that relationship, in 2019 we were asked also to run the first data sharing programme: the Support Centre for Data Sharing. Being part of the DSSC confirms and renews our commitment. We are firm believers in the value that data sharing can produce for citizens and governments, the industry, and the economy at large.” Ulrich Ahle, CEO of the FIWARE foundation: “Data Spaces in different sectors will be created using as much as possible common building blocks like interfaces or data models. This will enable interoperability between Data Spaces of different sectors, such as Smart City with Smart Mobility and Smart Energy and the real creation of value out of data.” Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO, Gaia-X: “This project is critical to enable data spaces in Europe. It will identify common requirements between sectoral data spaces, define a blueprint and common building blocks for architecture and governance, and support the deployment in the EU-funded data space initiatives that reuse data within and across sectors. Gaia-X contributes all its experience and assets to it.” Lars Nagel, CEO, International Data Spaces Association: “Data spaces are, by their nature, a joint endeavour, and a team effort. We are not building data spaces for our own self-interest. We are building them to have smart services that make peoples’ lives better, make businesses more profitable, and drive innovation in Europe. This is our chance to learn from each other, agree on common building blocks and to make sure all data spaces in Europe are built in a similar way – fuelling the engine of the new data economy.” Thomas Margoni, CiTiP – KU Leuven: “Fair, compliant, and trustworthy access to, control over and (re)use of data can only be reached by interdisciplinary efforts and involvement of a broad community of experts and stakeholders. The Centre for IT and IP Law (CiTiP) at KU Leuven is thrilled to be part of this exciting project and to create with the community the legal, ethical and governance building blocks that stimulate the realization of data spaces in full respect of the EU values.” Teemu Ropponen, General Manager, MyData Global: “I am proud to join the Data Spaces Support Centre implementation project. Our goal is to ensure that the design and implementation of the European data spaces are done in a human-centric way such as, combining the need of the industry to utilise data, while respecting the rights of individuals, as emphasised in the European Data Strategy.” Mike de Roode, TNO: “The Data Spaces Support Centre will be the enabler for European large scale data sharing. TNO will contribute to the creation of a common Data Spaces Blueprint by integrating existing and new building blocks required for creating data spaces. We are proud to be part of the Data Spaces Support Centre and to support the next generation of data spaces.” Anssi Komulainen, Project Director, SITRA. “A Fair data economy, in which successful digital services are based on trust and shared set of rules will create a new competitive advantage for Europe. Data Space Support Centre will play a significant role in laying the foundation for it and helping companies and other European actors in pioneering the use of data in solving some of the biggest business and societal challenges at hand.” Erja Turunen, EVP, VTT: “Data Spaces will connect European industries, and public services in a new way that transforms our way of making business. VTT, as an organization of applied research, actively facilitates common and coordinated path towards trusted and fair data sharing in Europe. Above all, VTT contributes to Data space Support Centre and builds, pilots, and further develops data spaces for thriving European Data Economy.” Ends

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

University of Galway academics have called for the history of Ireland’s Institutions to be taught in post-primary schools. The call has been made ahead of a one-day conference organised by the Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) at the University - Teaching the dark history of Ireland’s Institutions: Engaging educators and policymakers - on Saturday October 15 from 10.30am to 4pm. Focusing on why this history should be taught in schools and how it may be implemented for students in Transition Year, the conference will draw upon lesson plans designed and implemented in schools over the past two years. The conference was created as part of an ongoing movement lawyering project, which involves the use of the law to contribute to social change, for the Human Rights Clinic at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at University of Galway. The project’s aim is to create different educational strategies to ensure that the history of Ireland’s institutions is not forgotten. It is led by Mary Harney, and supervised by Judit Villena, both PhD candidates at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, in conjunction with LLM graduates and has been active since 2019.  Mary Harney said: “Education is one way we can protect future generations and acknowledge the history of those directly affected by the institutions. We don't want this history to be forgotten.” The conference intends to facilitate discussion among teachers and to draw upon teachers’ first-hand experiences, as well as the testimonies of survivors to demonstrate the importance of memorialisation through education. Speakers and topics include:  - Dr Philomena Mullen, Trinity College Dublin, Association of Mixed Race Irish - The exclusion of the mixed race child from the narrative of the institutions - Noelle Brown, actor, playwright, survivor - Theatre as a Platform for Change - Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley, University of Galway - Teaching the History of Ireland’s Institutions: From the Foundling Institutions to the Mother and Baby Institutions Shauna Joyce, a recent graduate of the LLM in International Human Rights Law at University of Galway and co-organiser of the project, said: "As a new generation of Irish citizens, we believe that it is incumbent on us to take up the mantle from those older survivors to ensure that past abuses are not only remembered, but to ensure that through education they are not repeated." The teaching of the history of institutions was a recommendation made by the report of the Mother and Baby Homes Collaborative Forum. Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, University of Galway and UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, said: “Educating students about Ireland’s histories of institutional abuse is essential to understanding how and why human rights abuses happened, and to ensure that ‘never again’ will we allow such human rights violations to occur. It is essential to democratic values, to building a democratic society and to active, engaged citizenship. We need to reflect on how we empower students to advocate for human rights protection.   “Education about past and ongoing human rights violations is also an obligation under international human rights law. To ensure truth recovery, and reparations to those affected, we must take steps to remember, and to guarantee non recurrence of human rights violations, including through education.” The conference is hosted in partnership with a cross-sectional group of academics, activists and teachers from the Irish Centre for Human Rights and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at University of Galway and Waterford Institute of Technology.  To register for the conference visit:  Ends

Monday, 10 October 2022

An Taisce awards University Green Campus status for second time  Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. today launched Ireland’s Climate Action Week at University of Galway. The event coincided with the University being awarded Green Campus status for a second time by An Taisce and the raising of the Green Flag at a special ceremony attended by Energy Performance Officers from each of Ireland’s universities, along with representatives from the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and the Higher Education Authority. Welcoming guests to the launch of Climate Action Week and the Green Flag ceremony in the Quadrangle, University of Galway President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said, “At University of Galway we put our values of respect, excellence, openness and sustainability at the core of our teaching, learning and research and also in the operations of our busy campus. It is an important recognition of our determination on issues of sustainability that we partner with An Taisce to host the launch of Climate Action Week. We will continue to push forward to respond to global challenges as part of our central mission to serve the public good.”   Climate Action Week runs from October 10-16, offers a range of online and in-person events which aim to inform citizens, increase awareness and highlight the need for urgent climate action by all sectors of society.   University of Galway was awarded the prestigious Green Flag by An Taisce and the International Foundation of Environmental Education for three years for the quality of its campus and the environment and sustainability drive. The Green Flag is a visual sign of the commitment made in reducing the environmental footprint associated with campus operations. Through learning and research activities, and as a signatory to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Accord, the university is driving the transition towards a more sustainable future.  University of Galway is ranked number one in Ireland and top 50 in the world in the THE Impact rankings which measure achievements based around the UN SDGs. University of Galway Environmental, Health & Safety Manager in Buildings & Estates, Lorraine Rushe, said: “This Green Flag Award is the result of many years of hard work by staff and students aimed at improving environmental management and creating a more sustainable campus. It recognises the engagement by students and staff and the vast effort and hard work that is ongoing in the areas of energy, waste, water, travel and biodiversity.” Some of the highlights in the sustainability at the University include:  Ranked #1 University in Ireland for Sustainable Development (Times Higher Education’s Impact Rankings 2022) Successfully accredited to ISO50001:2018 Energy Management System Standard Exceeded the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan target of 33% by 2020 and hit an impressive 51% in 2021 Installed Combined Heat & Power units throughout campus Rolled out solar thermal and solar photo voltaic panels  Installed 22 electric vehicle car charging points across the campus Implemented a Campus Pollinator Plan and Biodiversity Action Plan, which involves reducing mowing on grassy areas, planting pollinators, and providing wild pollinator nesting habitat e.g. hedgerows, earth banks and bug hotels Introduced organic waste collection which provide for an optimum composting mixture Installed Rainwater harvesting on campus and participant of Water Stewardship Programme Park & Ride shuttle bus service on campus Coordinated with NTA to install Coke Zero bike sharing stations on campus   First institution in Europe to be awarded Green Lab Certification by My Green Lab Ms Rushe added: “These achievements would not be possible without the commitment, vision and drive of our campus community. University management, buildings & estates team, academics, administrators, students and staff have all played an important role in driving sustainability. Through the ongoing implementation of Climate Action Plans and collaboration with other universities to deliver on our climate action targets and we will continue work to reduce our impact and lead by example in tackling this global issue. Cathy Baxter, Director, An Taisce Education Unit, said: “It is evident that the Green Campus programme is supported from the top down and across all sectors of University of Galway. This level of support is critical if the programme is to continue to grow and develop over the next three years. It is fitting that we are launching Climate Action Week in University of Galway today as it reflects the commitment of the university to taking climate action and having a leadership role in this vital area.” Ends

Monday, 10 October 2022

The PPI Ignite Network, involving seven Universities, brings together patient involvement in Irish healthcare research    A nationwide programme of events has been launched at University of Galway to celebrate and encourage public and patient involvement (PPI) in research, bringing patients and researchers together to share and broaden knowledge.  Taking place over almost two weeks from Monday October 10th, the events form the first National PPI Festival.  The festival was launched by Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, which is the co-ordinator of the festival and leads the PPI Ignite Network in partnership with six other universities.  Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “It is fitting that the new focus of public and patient involvement in research is being promoted so passionately by University of Galway and our counterparts across the sector. We place significant emphasis on work for the public good and an initiative of this nature is a powerful example of the role that it can play. It also speaks to the values of our University – respect; openness; excellence; sustainability and I wish everyone who is taking part every success as this new approach to research takes hold.” The PPI Ignite Network is led by University of Galway, in partnership with Dublin City University, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick. The National PPI Festival will become an annual event, celebrating the progress in public and patient involvement in Irish research in recent years and increasing the awareness and knowledge of PPI among the public and among researchers.  The Festival will provide opportunities to reach people who are not currently involved in PPI and to share knowledge and experience from around the country.  Events are being organised by PPI groups, research teams, charities and patient organisations, as well as by the PPI Ignite Network teams at each of the seven Universities involved. Highlights include: Training on involving children and young people in the research planning process The launch of an online PPI training course for researchers at UCC PPI in medical device development training in University of Galway A PPI showcase at the Irish Cancer Society  Professor Sean Dinneen, Professor of Diabetic Medicine, University of Galway and national lead for the PPI Ignite Network said: “There is a growing realisation that the people about whom research is conducted - the public and patients - should be involved throughout all phases of research, to improve the quality and relevancy of research. Called Public and Patient Involvement, there is a significant change happening across Ireland in how research is being planned and conducted and University of Galway is at the centre of this change. “The face of research is changing rapidly in Ireland, researchers are now seeking out the public and patients to work as partners to design and conduct research that will have greater impact.  “This first National PPI Festival is a celebration of the progress made in recent years, much of which has been funded by the HRB and Irish Research Council through the PPI Ignite Network, which we at University of Galway are honoured to lead. It is an exciting time.” A highlight at University of Galway is the PPI Contributors’ Gathering, taking place on Saturday October 15, for people who are already actively involved with researchers and for members of the public, patients, carers or health and social care service users who would like to find out more about PPI in research.  Those attending the Gathering will be able to listen and to learn, to share their own PPI experiences, and to discuss how to ensure that the involvement of the public and patient in research leads to better research that has greater impact.   Claire Devlin, an active PPI contributor through Family Carers Ireland and part of the team planning the PPI Gathering, said: “I look upon this PPI Contributors’ Gathering as a reward for us - we work hard with researchers as PPI Contributors, we work hard in other parts of our lives, now we get a chance of a day out in Galway to meet other PPI Contributors and share our experiences.” For more information on the National PPI Festival and each of the events, please visit:, or email  This work is funded by the Health Research Board and the Irish Research Council, with co-funding from the seven universities at the centre of the PPI Ignite Network.  Ends

Friday, 7 October 2022

Sports Centre swimming pool to benefit from renewable heat   University of Galway has embarked on a geothermal heat pump project on campus to heat the swimming pool in the Sports Centre. The University campus is already part of Galway’s decarbonisation zone, which is aggressively targeting a 51% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to decarbonise the campus by 2050.  The ground source heat pump system is being developed and operated as a pilot in the European Union Horizon 2020 project GEOFIT, which is devoted to the adoption of innovative technologies to support and enhance ground source heat pump technologies in Europe.  Site works commenced in September 2022 on the lawn in front of the Alice Perry Engineering Building with 18 boreholes for a thermal network of underground pipes as part of a dual source ground-air heat pump system. GEOFIT will extract heat from the ground and feed two heat pumps to generate hot water which will be carried through an existing district heating network of underground pipes to warm the University swimming pool in the Sports Centre. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “With this investment, University of Galway is demonstrating that our values of sustainability and excellence are embedded not only in our research and education but also in how we operate as a campus. Our students were to the fore in pressing the case for sustainability and securing a clean, green and efficient energy source for our Sports Centre. GEOFIT is an important stepping stone on our decarbonisation journey.”  Assistant Professor Marcus Keane and his colleague Luis Blanes, University of Galway GEOFIT Research Manager, School of Engineering and Built Environment and Smart Cities Research Cluster lead in the Ryan Institute, said: “The GEOFIT pilot will provide an invaluable asset for the scientific community in Ireland and Europe. Like never before, we will be able to understand the long term performance and potential of ground source energy and plan how much energy we can harness from natural and renewable sources that include the ground and ambient air.” The GEOFIT project will capture, process and monitor data relating to the performance of the geothermal heat pump system for at least 5 years, utilising an advanced, innovative Fibre Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing System in collaboration with Ireland’s Geological Survey Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland’s iCRAG Geosciences Research Centre. The technology innovation and research data in University of Galway’s GEOFIT project will provide future management capability to extensively monitor, manage and maintain the renewable geothermal resource field over the next 25 years. The findings will help the University, as well as other operators of public buildings, to determine the feasibility and scalability of ground source heat pumps and other complementary solutions such as district heating and novel heat storage technologies. Michael Curran, Head of Building Services, Energy and Utilities, University of Galway, said: “This is not about just changing boilers with heat pumps - we will use this pilot as a teaching tool and a research laboratory. This is only a first step of a wider campus decarbonisation plan and an opportunity to monitor different performance data, leading to better decisions for large scale heat pump applications.” In addition to the GEOFIT project, the University has already invested in heat pump project to retrofit Áras de Brún building which is funded by Energy Efficiency and Decarbonisation Pathfinder Programme, supported by Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, Higher Education Authority and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. It will provide equally extensive monitoring of heat pump performance over time and indoor air quality. For more information visit:   Ends

Friday, 7 October 2022

University of Galway recently hosted the 2022 China Scholarship Council (Galway) Annual Symposium. The China Scholarship Council (CSC) is under the Ministry of Education of China and is the premier scholarship funding body in the country. The annual symposium provides a platform for students and scholars from different professional backgrounds to exchange ideas, which is conducive to promoting understanding, enhancing friendship, expanding horizons, stimulating innovation, and seeking new ideas for academic research and international cooperation. The conference, the first on a global scale, was co-facilitated in partnership with the CSC, the Chinese Embassy, the four colleges within the University and the Graduate School. Among those in attendance were university leaders, deans of faculties, supervisors, visiting scholars, international students, senior management of the CSC and the Chinese Embassy. Professor Becky Whay, Vice President International, opened the event and thanked the CSC for providing Chinese students with the opportunity to study at the University of Galway in Ireland. Of the scholarship She said: “This is both an academic exchange between Chinese and foreign universities and a sharing of resources in science and technology between the two countries, which will facilitate maximum scientific collaboration.” During her speech Dr Lulu Tian, Deputy Secretary General of the China Scholarship Council, said: “University of Galway in Ireland is a high-quality research university with a long history, attracting a large number of international students and scholars, especially young research talents. The academic exchange will provide scientific and technological support for the exploration of sustainable development paths applicable to different countries.” More than 40 CSC-funded student scholars presented research reports and had extensive, in-depth communications and exchanges with professors from home and abroad, staging a unique academic feast and fully demonstrating the quality of CSC-funded students. The attendees reported that they had greatly benefited from the conference, which had broadened and deepened their scholarly inquiry, stoked their excitement for scholarly innovation, and improved their capacity for thought exploration. Students were presented with awards on the day for their contribution to and promoting of wide dissemination and sharing of scientific knowledge.  Ends

Monday, 3 October 2022

Tá scoláireachtaí nua agus lóistín ar champas na hOllscoile bronnta ar 16 mhac léinn faoin Scéim Cónaitheachta Gaeilge. Beidh na mic léinn ag cur fúthu i dTeach na Gaeilge, i mBaile na Coiribe don bhliain acadúil 2022-2023 agus cuirfear €1,000 an duine ar fáil dóibh chun tacú leo leis na costas lóistín don bhliain. Cuireadh tús leis an Scéim Cónaitheachta Gaeilge den chéad uair san Ollscoil sa bhliain 1991, agus rinneadh athsheoladh ar an Scéim i mbliana ar mhaithe le lóistín a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn le Gaeilge agus chun pobal Gaeilge na hOllscoile a neartú.  Léiríodh an-spéis inti agus mic léinn ó cheann ceann na tíre ag iarraidh an deis a thapú a bheith in ann lóistín a roinnt le cainteoirí Gaeilge eile agus iad i mbun staidéir san Ollscoil i mbliana.   Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Cliodhna Ní Mhianáin, duine de na mic léinn ar éirigh léi áit a fháil i dTeach na Gaeilge: “Is i bpobal bríomhar na Gaeilge a tógadh mé agus is ann is compordaí mé i mo chraiceann féin; mothaím go bhfuil an cairdeas, craic agus an ‘raison d'être’ céanna ag lucht na Gaeilge nach bhfuil le fáil i measc an lucht aonteangaigh.  “Tá mé den bharúil, óir go bhfuil Ollscoil na Gaillimhe chomh lárnach sin, go mbeadh meascán iontach de Ghaeilgeoirí as gach cearn den tír ag freastal uirthi, araon le muintir Chonamara, agus go mbeadh meascán mearaí iontach de chanúintí ann. Is deis ar leith í an Scéim Cónaitheachta Gaeilge le bualadh leo uilig agus táim ag súil go mór leis an mbliain.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe:  “Léiríonn an tacaíocht seo fíorthiomantas na hOllscoile i leith chur chun cinn na Gaeilge i measc phobal léinn na hOllscoile, agus léiríonn sé go bhfuil luach agus meas againn ar an nGaeilge agus spéis againn í a neartú agus a threisiú ar fud an champais.   “Beidh deis ag na mic léinn seo cur lena gcuid scileanna teanga agus sóisialta ag na himeachtaí Gaeilge a bheidh á reáchtáil san Ollscoil agus i gcathair na Gaillimhe, agus baineann tábhacht thar na bearta leis an sóisialú seo ó thaobh cleachtas agus iompar teanga na mac léinn.  Chomh maith leis sin léireofar do phobal na hOllscoile i gcoitinne go bhfuil an Ghaeilge lárnach i ngach uile réimse den saol in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.” Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin Scéim Cónaitheachta Gaeilge ar fáil ag  Críoch 

Monday, 3 October 2022

Sixteen Irish speaking students at University of Galway have been awarded special scholarships and dedicated on-campus accommodation under the Irish Language Residential Scheme. The students will share Teach na Gaeilge in Corrib Village for the 2022/23 academic year and receive €1,000 to support them with their accommodation costs. The Irish Language Residential Scheme was first established in the University in 1991 and was relaunched for the current academic year, with the aim of creating dedicated accommodation for Irish speaking students and to further develop the Irish speaking community on-campus.  Applications for places in Teach na Gaeilge were received from around the country, with students hoping to secure accommodation with fellow Irish speakers studying in the University. Cliodhna Ní Mhianáin is one of those to have secured a place. She said: “I was raised in a vibrant Irish speaking community and that is where I am most comfortable in my own skin. I feel that the Irish language community share a friendship, craic and the same raison d'être which you just don’t get within monolingual communities.   “I believe, with the University being so central, that a great mix of Irish speakers from each corner of the country will come together to study, along with the Connemara community, and that this will ensure a diverse range of dialects. The Irish Language Residential Scheme provides students like me with the opportunity to meet these Irish speakers and I couldn’t be more excited for the year ahead.” Deputy President and Registrar of University of Galway, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “The creation of Teach na Gaeilge and the scholarship support shows this University’s true dedication to the promotion of the Irish language among our students. It also highlights how much we value and respect the Irish language and how committed we are to strengthening and reinforcing its use on campus.   “These students are ambassadors for the Irish language. They will be a central part of the University’s Irish language community and that of the city. This socialisation is of the utmost importance in terms of language practices and use. Teach na Gaeilge and the Irish Language Residential Scheme also shows the University community that the Irish language is central to all aspects of life here in University of Galway.” For more information about the scheme visit  Ends

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

The archive of the award-winning Pan Pan Theatre Company has been donated to the University of Galway Library Archives. Established in 1993 by Gavin Quinn and Aedín Cosgrove, Pan Pan Theatre Company have established international recognition as one of Ireland’s premiere theatre companies, touring throughout Ireland, Europe, the United States and from China to New Zealand. The archive is fully catalogued and available to researchers at University of Galway Library. A new digital online exhibition will share the Pan Pan archive with a global audience at  The Pan Pan archive consists of annotated scripts, production notebooks, photographs, designs, programmes, posters, and a vast collection of digital show recordings, spanning more than 50 boxes of materials from the last 30 years. The papers document the early years and development of the company led by Quinn and Cosgrove, who have directed and designed the majority of Pan Pan productions.  Dr Barry Houlihan, Archivist, University of Galway, said: “Working on the Pan Pan archive and cataloguing its vast array of materials is a reminder of the immense contribution that Pan Pan have made to contemporary Irish drama in Ireland and internationally. The archive will be in an immersive and fascinating resource for anyone interesting in the company and modern Irish theatre and culture.” Gavin Quinn and Aedín Cosgrove, co-founders of Pan Pan Theatre Company said: “It's an amazing opportunity that University of Galway has given Pan Pan to make our work available in this archive, we are blown away by the dedication and curatorial excellence of the Archive team. We are delighted that our little contribution to the theatre scene in Ireland will be preserved." Pan Pan were established as “Ireland’s first deaf ensemble”, producing work for and with deaf practitioners and audiences, creating a new space of accessibility for Irish theatre in the 1990s. New original works by Pan Pan at this time included Tailors Requiem (1996), Cartoon (1998), and Standoffish (2000).  Dr Charlotte McIvor, Head of Drama, Theatre and Performance at University of Galway said: “The acquisition of the Pan Pan archive gives us another opportunity to bring together history and practice in our Drama and Theatre Studies classrooms and across the School of English and Creative Arts.  Pan Pan have always been at the vanguard of moving Irish theatre forward as a landscape since their founding, and we are now delighted to be partnering with them to bring the transformative story of their history and their future directly to our students.” John Cox, University Librarian, University of Galway said: “We are delighted to have secured the archive of such an innovative company as Pan Pan. This archive is a tremendous collection in its own right and complements our archival coverage of other Irish theatre companies, including the digitised archives of the Abbey and Gate Theatres and others in paper format such as those of the Druid, Lyric and Taibhdhearc.” In later years Pan Pan adapted Irish and European classics in new and innovate productions.  Oedipus Loves You by Simon Doyle and Gavin Quinn (2006), which starred Ruth Negga, toured to international acclaim. The Crumb Trail by Gina Moxley (20009) revisited the form of the fairy tale for a modern technology-driven society.  Pan Pan engaged with the works of Samuel Beckett and William Shakespeare across a number of productions. Pan Pan produced Beckett’s radio plays, All That Fall in 2011, and Embers in 2013, and also Beckett’s Quad (2013) and Endgame (2019). Shakespeare’s works were explored in Mac-beth 7 (2004) and The Rehearsal: Playing the Dane (2010), a reworking of Hamlet. In 2006, Pan Pan staged an all-Chinese cast production of J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World in Shanghai, translated into Mandarin, setting the production in a contemporary hairdresser’s salon. Pan Pan are today producing new works and regularly touring nationally and internationally. The recipients of many international awards as well as Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards, the Pan Pan archive documents a company that has always sought to innovate, reinterpret, and connect Irish theatre and culture to the worldwide audience.  The Pan Pan archive digital exhibition, curated by Aafke Van Pelt with Eimhin Joyce and Dr Barry Houlihan, includes more than 400 digital objects from across the Pan Pan archive, all freely accessible online via the University of Galway Library Digital Repository. The Pan Pan archive and digital exhibition will be launched at an event in University of Galway by Willie White, Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival on 29th November. All are welcome to attend.  Ends

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Maoinithe  ag an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, is do mhic léinn ar an Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas na sparánachtaí seo   Leathnú ar an scéim sparánachta don Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) fógartha ag an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta i gcomhpháirtíocht le Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.  Bronnfar €2,000 sa bhliain ar gach mac léinn MGO, maoinithe ag an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta. Is clár máistreachta, dhá bhliain lánaimseartha in oideachas tosaigh múinteoirí,  trí mheán na Gaeilge atá san MGO, a ullmhaíonn múinteoirí ábhar don earnáil iarbhunscoile lán-Ghaeilge.  Tá na sparánachtaí seo maoinithe ag an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG). Dúirt an tAire Spóirt agus Gaeltachta Jack Chambers: "Fáiltím roimh an dul chun cinn suntasach seo i leith múinteoirí faoi oiliúint a thugann faoin MGO in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Tugann na sparánachtaí seo tuilleadh tacaíochtaí do mhúinteoirí faoi oiliúint, a chinnteoidh múinteoirí ardcháilithe don earnáil Gaeloideachais. Tagann sé seo le hobair mo Roinne féin, tacaíocht a thabhairt don teagasc trí Ghaeilge i scoileanna Gaeltachta. Traoslaím le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe as leathnú a dhéanamh ar an scéim agus táimid ag súil leis na torthaí a fheiceáil amach anseo i scoileanna a dhéanann teagasc trí mheán na Gaeilge."  Ag labhairt ag an seoladh dúirt Jacqueline Ní Fhearghusa (Príomhfheidhmeannach COGG) “Tá an-áthas ar an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) cur le líon na sparánachtaí don chúrsa Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe i mbliana.  Tuigeann COGG an ghéarchéim a bhaineann le hearcaíocht múinteoirí sna hiar-bhunscoileanna lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta, agus an brú a chuireann sin ar phríomhoidí agus ar phobail scoileanna.  “Aithnítear go bhfuil an cúrsa MGO in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe fíorthábhachtach maidir le ceist an tsoláthair agus tá ríméad ar COGG a gcuid tacaíochta a leathnú go suntasach i ndáil leis an oiliúint ríthábhachtach atá ar bun go leanúnach ag foireann an MGO i Scoil an Oideachais, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe.” Dúirt Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Táimid go mór faoi choimín ag COGG agus cinnteoidh na sparánachtaí seo go mbeidh ar ár gcumas líon na mac léinn ar an gclár máistreachta eiseamlárach agus ceannródaíoch seo, a mhéadú, rud a chuirfidh go mór le soláthar agus caighdeán na múinteoirí don earnáil.” Is féidir iarratas a dhéanamh ar an MGO tríd an Postgraduate Applications Centre ( Críoch

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Funded by An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, the scheme is open to Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas students  University of Galway, in partnership with An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, have announced the extension of the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas bursary scheme. All student teachers who undertake the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) programme at the University will receive an award of €2,000 per year, funded by An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta.  The MGO is two-year Irish immersion Professional Master in Education programme, an initial teacher education programme that prepares teachers for the second level Irish-medium school sector.  Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers said: “I welcome this important development for student teachers who undertake the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas (MGO) in University of Galway. This initiative provides greater supports for student teachers and will ensure more highly skilled and exceptionally qualified teachers for Irish language medium schools. This development complements work by my department across a range of areas to support teaching through our language in Gaeltacht schools. I congratulate University of Galway on the extension of this scheme and look forward to the benefits it will bring for the teaching through Irish.” Speaking at the launch of the bursaries, Jacqueline Ní Fhearghusa, Chief Executive of An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, said: “We are delighted to extend the number of bursaries available for student teachers on the MGO programme in University of Galway. We understand only too well that there is a recruitment crisis across gaelcholáistí and scoileanna sa Ghaeltacht, which is a huge strain on principals and wider school communities.  “An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta recognises the importance of the MGO programme and the vital role it plays in providing suitably qualified teachers for the Irish medium schools. We are very pleased to be able to provide continued and extended support to the MGO in recognition of their work in this sector."  Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar at University of Galway, said: "Not only will these bursaries allow us to raise our student numbers on the Masters programme but it will also ensure that we attract high quality graduates to the sector. We are indebted to An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta for their continued support.”  Applications are now being accepted for the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas through Postgraduate Applications Centre at  Ends

Monday, 28 November 2022

Hundreds of fossils discovered on Wexford coastline date back to long before dinosaurs roamed  A team of scientists, led by experts from the School of Natural Sciences at University of Galway, have discovered an exceptionally well-preserved group of fossil sea urchins at Hook Head, County Wexford.  The find is one of the most important in Irish palaeontology in recent times. Sea urchins, or echinoids, are a group of marine animals, related to starfish. They have globular plated bodies covered by numerous defensive spines, which fall away and are quickly lost after the urchin dies. Over 200 complete fossil echinoids are preserved in exquisite detail on a limestone surface, in an area of just 1m2 . All of the Hook Head specimens have their spines still attached and they apparently died together on the seafloor almost 350 million years ago - a dramatic moment now frozen in time on the rock surface on the coast of south-east Ireland. The limestone layer containing the fossil urchins was in danger of being lost to coastal erosion, so the scientific team mounted a rescue operation to save it.  The site at Hook Head is protected under law and approval for the recovery was granted by several state agencies, as well as the local landowner. Following successful removal, the team immediately entrusted the fossil-bearing slab to the National Museum of Ireland for conservation and further study.  The discovery and recovery of the hundreds of fossil sea urchins was recently reported in the Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, which is published by the Royal Irish Academy.  One of the international scientific experts who peer-reviewed the paper remarked: “Speaking as a Paleozoic echinoid worker, this is one of the most exceptional and striking fossil finds in the last century.” Palaeontologist Dr Nidia Álvarez-Armada, the lead author in the study, said: “I initially discovered these fossil sea urchins on a rocky coastal outcrop when I was surveying the geology of Hook Head peninsula for my undergraduate Bachelor of Science thesis at University of Galway. When I first noticed the echinoids on the limestone surface, I was completely astonished by both the sheer number of fossil specimens present and also their exceptional preservation.  “The significance of the find was instantly apparent and I immediately began mapping and recording the shape, size and position of each individual urchin on the rock surface. This work took several weeks to complete, but it was important to carefully document the fossil find in as much detail as possible.” The Hook Head fossil find has considerable potential to reveal important information about the nature of seafloor communities during the Carboniferous, a time period that occurred long before dinosaurs ever walked on land, when the marine realm was very different to today. Dr John Murray, School of Natural Sciences, University of Galway, who co-authored the paper and supervised the original project, said: “It is quite exceptional to find Carboniferous fossil sea urchins so perfectly preserved and in such large numbers like this. In life, these particular echinoids had very flexible plated bodies, covered with many spines, which usually disarticulated and dispersed rapidly after death, leaving little trace of them behind. The Hook Head urchins must have been buried quite quickly after they died, with little or no post mortem disturbance; however, it remains unclear why they congregated in such large numbers at this location on that ancient seafloor.” Dr Murray added: “The significance of this discovery was such that all of the members of the rescue team willingly volunteered their time and expertise to travel to Hook Head to help salvage the fossil-bearing slab. We consciously chose to leave this important fossil find in the care of the National Museum of Ireland immediately - I guess it was our way of giving this piece of priceless geoheritage back to the people of Ireland.” To read the full study in The Irish Journal of Earth Sciences, visit: Ends

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

University of Galway researchers discover biomarkers which may help in determining tailored cancer treatment Researchers at University of Galway have determined that biomarkers known as microRNAs can help predict which patients with breast cancer are likely to face a recurrence of the disease and death. The researchers, led by Dr Matthew Davey, Professor Michael Kerin and Dr Nicola Miller, from the University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, conducted a multicentre trial In Ireland, involving 124 patients who were treated with chemotherapy.  The findings of the research have been published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS).  They include:  MiRNAs can be used as a biomarker to predict which patients are likely to face breast cancer recurrence and mortality. Researchers conducting a multicentre trial in Ireland drew blood samples from 124 patients with breast cancer at 5 different timepoints during their cancer journey, and assessed their outcomes almost nine years later. Researchers say their discovery of the predictive value of miR-145 could help physicians better tailor treatment to the need of each patient being treated for breast cancer. According to figures from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, over 3,500 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. While long-term outcomes have improved for patients with breast cancer, the most common cancer diagnosed in women, 20% to 30% of these patients will see their breast cancer relapse.  Dr Davey said: “The process of identifying which patients are more likely to have a recurrence has been a challenge. Therefore we set out to determine whether miRNAs -small, non-coding molecules that modulate genetic expression and affect cancer development - are capable predicting which patients are more likely to have a recurrence of, and die from, breast cancer. “We discovered that patients with an increased expression of a certain type of miRNA, called miR-145, are unlikely to have a recurrence of breast cancer.  “We showed that increased expression of this biomarker, which was measured in patients' blood samples during chemotherapy, actually predicted their long-term oncological outcome. We can predict those who are likely to suffer recurrence and also those who will be free of recurrence. Further studies into the clinical application of this biomarker are ongoing. “This study may also help identify breast cancer patients who could benefit from closer monitoring and additional therapies post-surgery or treatment.” This research is made possible by the National Breast Cancer Research Institute and Cancer Trials Ireland.  Ends

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Dr Andrew Daly, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering and CÚRAM Funded Investigator, will develop new bioinks for organ bioprinting University of Galway Investigator Dr Andrew Daly has today been named a recipient of a European Research Council Starting Grant Award of €1.49m. morphoPRINT will focus on creating dynamic bioinks that can program morphogenetic behaviours in bioprinted organs to enhance their physiological relevance.  Three-dimensional bioprinting, where bioprinters are used to position cells into organ-shaped constructs, holds great promise for tissue and organ engineering. Although remarkable progress has been made in recent years, it remains challenging to bioprint organs with suitable functionality for implantation. For example, in the case of the heart, bioprinted heart cells (termed cardiomyocytes) do not beat with sufficient intensity or force to pump blood around the body. This is largely because bioprinted cardiomyocytes, now typically derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, are immature, with properties more similar to juvenile rather than adult cardiomyocytes.  In the body, as our heart develops, cardiomyocytes are exposed to mechanical and electrical stimuli that 'train' and 'shape' the cells into a more mature form. Integrating these behaviours into bioprinted organs that initially exist outside of the body has been challenging. Dr Daly explains: “The morphoPRINT project will develop a new range of programmable bioinks that will allow us to 'sculpt' heart cell maturation using mechanical stimuli. I am delighted to accept this funding award which will enable our lab to develop cutting edge technology that brings us closer to the reality of bioprinted organ replacements.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, said: “This European Research Council Starting Grant Award is an exciting opportunity for Dr Daly and speaks to the calibre of his research career to date. I welcome the opportunity for Dr Daly to continue to develop this ground breaking and promising research and the impact it will have to enhance and grow his professional reputation and profile.” Dr Andrew Daly was awarded a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2018, where he developed bioprinted implants for cartilage and bone regeneration. For this work, he was awarded the Engineer’s Ireland Biomedical Engineering Research Medal. Following this, he moved to the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania for his postdoctoral training. In 2020, he was awarded an American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship to develop bioprinted cardiac disease models for screening of miRNA therapeutics. In January 2021, he started his research group at the University of Galway.   To date, his work has been published in the top journals in the field, including Nature Communications, Nature Reviews Materials, Cell, Biomaterials, Advanced Science, Acta Biomaterialia, Advanced Healthcare Materials, and Biofabrication.  Dr Daly is one of 408 researchers to have won this year’s European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants. The funding is worth in total €636 million and is part of the Horizon Europe programme. It will help excellent younger scientists, who have 2 to 7 years’ experience after their PhDs, to launch their own projects, form their teams and pursue their most promising ideas. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “We are proud to empower younger researchers to follow their curiosity. These new ERC laureates bring a remarkable wealth of scientific ideas, they will further our knowledge and some already have practical applications in sight. I wish them all the best of luck with their explorations.”  President of the European Research Council Professor Maria Leptin said: “It is a pleasure to see this new group of bright minds at the start of their careers, set to take their research to new heights. I cannot emphasize enough that Europe as a whole - both at national and at EU level - has to continue to back and empower its promising talent. We must encourage young researchers who are led by sheer curiosity to go after their most ambitious scientific ideas. Investing in them and their frontier research is investing in our future.” The grants will be invested in scientific projects spanning all disciplines of research from engineering to life sciences to humanities. Ends

Monday, 21 November 2022

AMEE, an international association for health professions education, has awarded a team at University of Galway’s School of Medicine a prestigious ASPIRE to Excellence Award for their achievements in medical simulation education and research.  The School of Medicine’s Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation (ICAPSS) is the first of its kind in Ireland to earn the accolade.  The ICAPSS team is a collaborative group of researchers and academics from University of Galway and clinicians from the Saolta University Healthcare Group who provide hands-on medical education training in a simulated environment. The special facility where they work, train, educate and research was officially opened by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly T.D. in March 2022. The ASPIRE award identifies the School of Medicine as an international centre for excellence in medical education.  Professor Ronald Harden, a leading international authority on Medical Education, and AMEE General Secretary, said: “The ASPIRE to Excellence programme has an important role to play at a time of rapid change in education, when the value of a university’s teaching as well as their contributions to research are recognised." Dr Dara Byrne, Professor of Simulation Education at University of Galway and Director of Simulation for the Saolta University Healthcare Group and at the ICAPSS said: “This award is the first of its kind for a simulation facility in Ireland. It reflects our commitment to improving patient safety and the quality of care through our simulation activities that are translational and interprofessional, across the continuum of health professions education.  “Applying for an ASPIRE award challenges medical education and training providers to benchmark themselves against what is considered exemplary. This requires learners, staff and other stakeholders to develop and demonstrate excellence in education. The collaborative process stimulates the School of Medicine’s focus on improving medical education.” Dr Paul O’Connor, Senior Lecturer in General Practice at University of Galway and Research Director for the ICAPSS, said: “Patient safety and patient safety research are our priority. As we now are members of the ASPIRE academy, we can collaborate with other centres for excellence and continue to improve our simulation activities which support learners in the University and Saolta.” The ASPIRE Award highlights medical schools which have demonstrated teaching excellence in one or more areas including assessment, curriculum development, faculty development, inspirational approaches to medical education, international collaborations, simulation, social accountability, student engagement and technology enhanced learning. The collaboration between University of Galway and Saolta was particularly commended by the international expert assessment team.  In their feedback on the award, the assessment team stated "The work of the ICAPSS team is impressive and we also applaud their achievements in a relatively short period. We also note the success of the collaboration between a university and a healthcare service partner. These relationships are not always productive, so the achievements are even more impressive. We recommend sharing this model so others may benefit too, acknowledging that contextual factors may also be unique. In summary, the number of personnel at ICAPSS, many with considerable experience and qualifications in relevant domains have created, implemented and evaluated a range education programs. The application reflects a well-developed organisational structure which functions effectively, serving both the sponsoring organisations.” Ends

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Déanfaidh an Ollscoil ceiliúradh chomh maith ar na daoine ar bronnadh Céim Oinigh orthu in 2021. D’fhógair Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu cé orthu a mbeidh Céimeanna Oinigh á mbronnadh ag Searmanais Bhronnta an Gheimhridh 2022. Beidh an ceiliúradh ar siúl ó Dé Céadaoin, an 23 Samhain, go dtí Dé Máirt, an 29 Samhain, agus beidh an dream a mbronnfar Céim Oinigh orthu i gcomhluadar níos mó ná 3,600 mac léinn a bheidh ag baint a gcéime amach ar na cúig lá sin.  Is iad an ceathrar a mbronnfar Céim Oinigh orthu ag Searmanais Bhronnta an Gheimhridh 2022: Margaretta D’Arcy: Gníomhaí, aisteoir, drámadóir agus scríbhneoir, agus ball d'Aosdána. Lelia Doolan: Stiúrthóir agus léiritheoir scannáin, agus scríbhneoir. An Dr Jerry Cowley: Dochtúir leighis, abhcóide Éireannach, agus ionadaí poiblí Ronan Scully: Daonnúlach, saorálaí agus tiomsaitheoir airgid do charthanais. Déanfaidh an Ollscoil ceiliúradh freisin ar bheirt de na daoine ar bronnadh Céim Oinigh orthu in 2021 ach nach raibh in ann a gcéim a fháil roimhe seo mar gheall ar na dúshláin a bhain leis an bpaindéim. Máirtín O’Connor: Ceoltóir traidisiúnta agus cumadóir clúiteach. Mary O’Malley: File a bhfuil go leor gradam bainte amach aici, agus comhalta d’Aosdána.  Grianghraif ár fáil anseo Céimeanna Oinigh  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 3,600 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 2022 le fáil ag  Críoch

Wednesday, 16 November 2022

The University will also celebrate Honorary Degree recipients from 2021. University of Galway today announced the recipients of Honorary Degrees at the 2022 Winter Conferring ceremonies. The celebrations take place from Wednesday November 23 to Tuesday November 29, and the Honorary Degree awardees will join more than 3,600 students graduating over the five days.  The four people to be conferred with Honorary Degrees at the 2022 Winter Conferring are: Margaretta D’Arcy: Activist, actress, playwright and writer, and member of Aosdána. Lelia Doolan: Film director, producer and writer. Dr Jerry Cowley: Medical doctor, Irish barrister, and public representative. Ronan Scully: Humanitarian, volunteer and charity fund-raiser. The University will also celebrate two of the Honorary Degree recipients from 2021 who were unable to be previously conferred due to the challenges arising from the pandemic: Máirtín O’Connor: Renowned traditional musician and composer. Mary O’Malley: Award-winning poet and member of Aosdána.  Photos of the awardees are available at the following link Honoraries  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 3,600 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 2022 conferring ceremonies is available at  Ends

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

University of Galway professors Henry Curran and Patrick W Serruys have been named on the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2022 list from Clarivate. The researchers have once again joined the prestigious list of more than 6,900 researchers from across the globe who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.  The highly anticipated annual list identifies researchers whose names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index.  Professor Henry Curran, listed in the Engineering category, is Director of the Combustion Chemistry Centre at University of Galway’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Priority Area Lead of the Energy Research Centre at the Ryan Institute. His research looks at the study of the chemistry of how fuels burn in combustors in order to increase efficiency and reduce emissions for a cleaner world. This is Professor Curran’s ninth successive year being named a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher. 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. He 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. Professor Serruys has almost 3,000 publications and 225,000 citations. This is Professor Serruys third successive year being named a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher since joining University of Galway in 2020. Professor Jim Livesey, Vice President for Research and Innovation, University of Galway, said: “I wish to congratulate Henry and Patrick on being included once again in the Clarivate top 1% of Highly Cited Researchers list in the world once again. To be named on this prestigious global list in successive years is a huge achievement, and they have both deservedly earned global respect and recognition for his research.” David Pendlebury, Head of Research Analysis at the Institute for Scientific Information at Clarivate said: “Research fuels the race for knowledge and it is important that nations and institutions celebrate the individuals who drive the wheel of innovation. The Highly Cited Researchers list identifies and celebrates exceptional individual researchers at University of Galway who are having a significant impact on the research community as evidenced by the rate at which their work is being cited by their peers. These individuals are helping to transform human ingenuity into our world’s greatest breakthroughs – and it is an honour to celebrate their achievements.” The full 2022 Highly Cited Researchers list and executive summary can be found online at  Ends

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition prizes awarded to schools and youth groups in eight counties - Leitrim, Cork, Kilkenny, Dublin, Mayo, Roscommon, Limerick and Galway. From the Science of Glass to the theories of Albert Einstein and from a Tour of the Heart to Why We Should Brush Our Teeth, short science videos made by young Irish filmmakers have been celebrated at the 10th Annual ReelLIFE SCIENCE Awards in University of Galway. The even took place on Sunday November 13th, as part of Science Week 2022 and the 25th Galway Science and Technology Festival.  More than 400 short science films were entered into the competition by more than 3,000 young science enthusiasts.  It is a record level of engagement with the ReelLIFE Science competition with 140 schools and youth groups taking part across the island of Ireland.  Winning videos were selected by a panel of guest judges including aeronautical engineer and author Dr Norah Patten; ‘Superhero Scientist’ and author Dr Barry Fitzgerald; and the 2022 BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winners, Aditya Kumar and Aditya Joshi from Synge Street CBS in Dublin. All of the winning videos can be viewed at A shared folder with high res images is available at ReelLIFEScience photos 2022  ReelLIFE SCIENCE Winners 1st Prize Primary School - Twelve talented fifth and sixth class students from Saint Hugh’s NS in Kilmore, Co Leitrim, along with their teacher Pádraig Kenny, won the €1,000 first prize for their video ‘Dr Magnifico’ explaining Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity.  Runners-up Primary School - Ingenious junior infants of Bandonbridge NS, Co Cork demonstrated ‘Why We Should Brush Our Teeth’, while fifth and sixth class students from Scoil na nAingeal Naofa from Boyle, Co. Roscommon finished third with an exploration of ‘The Endocrine System’. 1st Prize Post-Primary - Accomplished animator Isadora Lowe, a transition year student from Ursuline Secondary School in Cork, guided by teacher Niamh O’Mahony, claimed the €1000 award for the stop-motion short ‘Tooth-in-Eye Surgery’.  Runners-up Post-Primary - Lauren Kinsella from Alexandra College, Dublin 6, with the illuminating ‘The Science of Glass’, while Elizabeth Boland and Heather Shanahan from Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ in Limerick were awarded third place, while examining ‘How is Fight or Flight connected to Test Anxiety’.  1st Prize Youth Organisation - Young filmmaker Maya Coffey, from Johnswell Youth Club Co Kilkenny, with the support of Youth Leader Breda Gill, won the €1000 prize for a video following a red blood cell called ‘Haemo’ on an educational ‘Tour of the Heart’.  Runners-up Youth Organisation - Foróige Connect group from Castlebar, Co Mayo came second under the guidance of youth officer Clement Quinn for exploring the ‘Wood Wide Web’,, while third place went to Galway Foróige AV Club, directed by youth officer Erika King, while looking at ‘How a Camera is like an Eye’.  Special Category Awards Teamwork Award - Sooey NS, Co Sligo Being Green Award - Scoil Chiaráin, Dublin 11 Science and Me Award - Ladyswell NS, Co Dublin Science Song Award - Presentation Secondary School Clonmel, Co Tipperary  Físeán Gaeilge is Fearr - Gaelscoil Riabhach, Co Galway Addressing the young filmmakers at the awards ceremony, Dr. Barry Fitzgerald said: “I was delighted to be one of the judges for the ReelLIFE SCIENCE video competition for schools and youth organisations for 2022. The level of the videos was just incredible – I loved watching them. I’d like to congratulate everyone who entered the competition and I encourage you to keep on making videos about science in the future.” 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 23,000 young people, supported by teachers and staff in more than 680 schools and youth groups.  ReelLIFE SCIENCE Founding Director Dr Enda O’Connell, was awarded Galway Science Person of the Year 2022 at the Galway Science and Technology Festival for his efforts over 10 years working on the programme.  After the awards were presented he said: “We were delighted again this year with the response to the competition, particularly with so many new schools and youth groups getting involved for the first time. We are always inspired by the inventiveness and creativity shown by the participants in their videos, and their passion for science and technology is clear to see. Congratulations to everyone who took part.” ReelLIFE SCIENCE is supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme, the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Biomedical Devices, the Community Knowledge Initiative, the Cell EXPLORERS programme and Foróige.  Ends

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

A special information for Leaving Certificate students, Fifth Year students and parents is to take place at the University of Galway Connacht GAA Air Dome. The information evening will take place on Tuesday November 15 from 7-9pm, and will have a dual focus - sports opportunities at University of Galway and preparing for CAO.   Organised in partnership with Connacht GAA, the evening will open with a short talk from a lecturer on the teaching and learning environment at the University and how students can prepare for their first year of college. Representatives from Sports at University of Galway will present on the opportunities for participation across all sports, with an emphasis on GAA and high performance. Sports staff, coaches and scholarship students will be on hand to talk about their experiences of balancing studying and competing at a high level.  The event will feature a mini-exhibition of courses and careers with representatives across the University’s undergraduate programmes, with a good opportunity for parents and students to get information on programmes on offer, entry requirements, placements and employment opportunities.  Mike Heskin, Director of Sport at University of Galway, said: “Tuesday evening is a great opportunity for students and schools to get information about the sport opportunities on offer at University of Galway, in particular scholarships. The University offers 42 sports and the scholarship system is open to all.  “Importantly, University of Galway has made great strides in terms of our participation rates in recent years and with women’s sport enjoying success and a new profile we are seeing gender balance across the board.”    Sarah Geraghty, Director of Student Recruitment and Outreach at University of Galway, said: “Students choose University of Galway as they want to study with the best academic and research minds in their field. They want to study in our new state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Human Biology Building for medicine students and in Ireland’s largest engineering school, the Alice Perry Engineering Building. The location of our campus in the heart of Galway city appeals to students who want to live in a vibrant and creative city and who want to find a new home away from home. This information evening in collaboration with Connacht GAA is a great opportunity for students and their parents to come and meet lecturers and students and start planning the progression to university studies.” For more information about the information evening email or call Sarah Geraghty on 087 9471484. Ends

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

€10m funding to determine impact of climate change on environmental pathogens causing health risks  University of Galway is partnering on a new €10m Horizon Europe project to examine the impact of climate change on health risks due to pathogens in the environment, specifically in coastal waters. BlueAdapt – Reducing Climate Based Risks in Blue Environments: Adapting to the climate change impacts on coastal pathogens involves 12 institutes from across 10 countries in Europe. The project brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including microbiologists, epidemiologists, economists, climate scientists and policy specialists in order to investigate the complex interactions between climate change, pathogen dynamics and human health.  Professor Marc Neumann, Research Professor at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) and BlueAdapt’s Principal Investigator said: “BlueAdapt presents a unique opportunity to investigate emerging disease risks in our coastal waters. We will investigate policy responses, including early warning systems, and estimate expected benefits of adaptation actions.” Professor Dearbhaile Morris, Professor of Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health at University of Galway, said: “Our coastal waters are important for tourism, fishing and recreational activities.  Through BlueAdapt we hope to assess how bacteria and viruses in our coastal waters respond to different climate change scenarios and understand better the potential impacts for human health.”  Dr Sinead Duane, Lecturer in Marketing J.E School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, who is part of the University of Galway One Health team said: “Testing and monitoring are key ways to improve and maintain the quality of our coastal waters, however how we interact with our coastal waters also plays a role.  “Through the development of behaviourally enhanced smartphone app technology, Blue Adapt will deepen our understanding of coastal water users behaviours and attitudes to exposure pollution events. This information will help develop targeted interventions in the future. This app will capture how users respond to warnings of pollution events in real time.”  BlueAdapt is a partnership between University of Galway, the Basque Centre for Climate Change, University of Exeter, Charles University, University of Warsaw, Deltares, CMCC, EuroHealthNet, Bangor University, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, University of the Basque Country and ThenTryThis.  BlueAdapt is funded under European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101057764 and by UKRI/HM Government. Ends

Monday, 7 November 2022

Nearly 60% of participants felt burnt out at least once per month, with 18% experiencing burnout once a week Researchers urge hospitality managers to ensure wellbeing supports for precarious workers and recognise vulnerability of younger employees  A new study has found that hospitality employees who perceive they are on a ‘zero-hour’ contract, where their hours are unspecified, are particularly vulnerable to burnout.  The study was carried out by Dr Elaine Wallace, University of Galway, and Professor Joseph Coughlan, Maynooth University, and was recently published in the International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. As part of the study, researchers examined the hospitality environment and how challenges such as workload, antisocial hours, emotional demands, and customer civility can lead to burnout.  They also looked at how this risk is compounded by the uncertainties many hospitality employees face about their working hours.   The study gathered responses from 260 employees, 56% female and 44% male with an average age of 23, working in Ireland’s hospitality sector. Researchers found that almost half had less than a year’s experience in their role, and several perceived they were on a zero-hour contract.    Results showed that 58.8% of participants felt burnt out at least once per month, 35% multiple times a month, and 18.1% of participants felt burnt out at least once a week. As managerial support, and employees’ own commitment to their employer can sometimes mitigate against burnout, these variables were also measured. In addition, some employees “act out” when they are under burnout, and therefore the study also investigated whether the employees ever engaged in counterproductive workplace behaviours, such as coming to work late or leaving work early without permission, neglecting to follow bosses’ instructions, or acting rudely to someone at work. The results found among the group of employees those who were aware of their hours, had managerial support and were committed to the job helped to mitigate against burnout.  However, when this group of employees experienced burnout, they engaged in counterproductive behaviours against both the organisation and their colleagues. This result was especially evident when employees were younger, perhaps to fit in with a culture where work stresses are high.   When employees who believed they were on a ‘zero-hour’ contract experienced burnout, managerial support or commitment to the job did not help to mitigate against it – suggesting that these employees may be more disconnected from the organisation, feeling like an ‘outsider’, yet experiencing burnout from the work.  At the same time, this group of employees did not ‘act out’ through counterproductive workplace behaviours when they experienced burnout, unlike those who knew their hours in advance.  Dr Elaine Wallace, co-author of the study and lecturer with J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, cautions: “Our study raises questions about the effect of burnout for staff on zero-hour contracts, and its effects on their wellbeing. They seem to be less able to draw from supports in their organisation, such as having a good manager.   “At the same time, although these employees don’t engage in ‘acting out’ behaviours when they experience burnout, their stress must go somewhere. This may manifest in unhealthy behaviours which could affect their own health and wellbeing.  “Hospitality managers should put supports in place to protect the wellbeing of precarious workers, and also recognise the vulnerability of younger employees who may also be more susceptible to burnout than their older colleagues.”  The full study is available to read at: Ends

Friday, 4 November 2022

Díreofar ag Lá Oscailte Iarchéime an Fhómhair in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar inacmhainneacht an staidéir iarchéime agus ar na deiseanna maoinithe agus scoláireachta ar fad ar cheart do mhic léinn a fhiosrú agus iad ag smaoineamh ar infheistiú a dhéanamh ina n-oideachas agus ina ngairm bheatha. Beidh an Lá Oscailte Iarchéime ar siúl Dé Máirt, an 8 Samhain ó 12-3pm i Halla Bailey Allen, Áras na Mac Léinn. Beidh eolas le fáil faoi chláir iarchéime lánaimseartha agus pháirtaimseartha atá á dtairiscint san Ollscoil, lena n-áirítear máistreachtaí múinte agus taighde, agus roghanna taighde dochtúireachta. Beidh roinnt cainteanna ar siúl lena n-áirítear plé painéil ar chonairí gairme, deiseanna deontais, maoiniú iarchéime agus an próiseas iarratais. Beidh cur i láthair ar siúl chomh maith ar Scéim Scoláireachtaí PhD Hardiman, chomh maith le Leideanna Iarratais Iarchéime agus Conas Ráiteas Pearsanta Éifeachtach a Scríobh, cur i láthair ó fhoireann an Ionaid Forbartha Gairmeacha agus na hOifige Iontrála. Mar chuid den fhócas straitéiseach atá ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe maidir le haitheantas a thabhairt d’fheabhas agus do rathúlacht, tá gach mac léinn iarchéime de chuid an AE a bhfuil céadonóracha bainte amach acu ina bhfochéim i dteideal iarratas a dhéanamh ar scoláireacht €1,500 i dtreo a gcúrsa Máistreachta múinte san Ollscoil.   Bronnadh Scoláireacht Sármhaitheasa ar Emily Atkinson, céimí an MSc in Consumer Psychology. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aici: “Is deis iontach í an scoláireacht iarchéime a spreagann agus a thugann luach saothair don obair chrua a bhaineann le céadonóracha a bhaint amach. Thug an scoláireacht deis dom díriú ar an gcúrsa iarchéime ceart a aimsiú dom féin, agus díriú ar mo chuid staidéir le linn mo Mháistreachta.” Dúirt Valerie Leahy, Oifigeach Earcaíochta Iarchéime, Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Molaimid go háirithe do chuairteoirí atá ag smaoineamh ar fhilleadh ar staidéar ollscoile freastal ar ár Lá Oscailte Iarchéime. I gcás beagnach leath díobh siúd a chuireann isteach ar ár gcúrsaí iarchéime níl siad díreach tar éis céim a bhaint amach, tá siad ag filleadh ar an staidéar nó ag tabhairt faoi bhreisoiliúint dá bpost reatha. Cuirtear tacaíocht ar fáil dóibh siúd atá imithe as an gcóras oideachais le tamall anuas agus léiríonn ár dtaighde go n-éiríonn go maith go hacadúil le mic léinn atá ag obair nó ag baile agus atá ag filleadh ar an oideachas.” Bíonn cláir iarchéime nua nuálacha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe gach bliain, ar tairiscintí uathúla go leor acu. Tá siad seo deartha chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail agus ar éileamh an mhargaidh. I measc cuid de na cúrsaí nua d’iontráil 2023 tá MA (Languages & Business), MSc (Cybersecurity Risk Management), agus MSc (Health Data Science). Tá raon Clár Máistreachta Struchtúrtha nua ar fáil freisin sa Fhraincis, sa Ghearmáinis agus sa Spáinnis. Is féidir le gairmithe fáilteachais tabhairt faoin Teastas Iarchéime in Hospitality Managmenet i gColáiste Ósta na Sionna, clár atá deartha chun eolas ar chórais, ar threochtaí agus ar fheidhmchláir ghnó a fhorbairt. Beidh eolas ar gach clár nua, mar aon leis an 200 clár iarchéime eile atá ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, ar fáil ag an taispeántas i Halla Bailey Allen.  Is gá áit a chur in áirithe roimh ré agus is féidir é sin a dhéanamh ag Críoch

Tuesday, 1 November 2022

University of Galway’s Autumn Postgraduate Open Day will focus on the affordability of postgraduate studies and the multiple funding and scholarship opportunities that future students should explore when considering investing in their education and career. The Autumn Postgraduate Open Day takes place on Tuesday November 8 from 12-3pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The event will showcase the suite of full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes available at the University, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. There will be a number of talks including a panel discussion on career pathways, grant opportunities, postgraduate funding and the application process. The talks will also include a presentation on the Hardiman PhD Scholarship Scheme, as well as Postgraduate Application Tips and How to Write an Effective Personal Statement, a presentation by staff from the Career Development Centre and the Admissions Office. As part of University of Galway’s strategic focus on recognising excellence and success, all EU postgraduate students with a first class honours in their undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for a €1,500 scholarship towards their taught Masters at the University.  Emily Atkinson, graduate of the MSc in Consumer Psychology, was awarded an Excellence Scholarship. She said: “The postgraduate scholarship is a fantastic opportunity that rewards and incentivises the hard work it takes to achieve first class honours. The scholarship allowed me prioritise finding the right postgraduate course for me, and to focus on my studies during my Masters.”  Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer, University of Galway, said: “We especially encourage visitors considering a return to university studies to attend our Postgraduate Open Day. Almost half of those applying to our postgraduate courses are not recent graduates, they are returning to study or upskill for their current job. Support is offered to those who have been out of the education system for some time and our research shows that students from industry or the home returning to education flourish academically.” University of Galway introduces new innovative postgraduate programmes annually, many of which are unique offerings. These are designed to meet industry needs and market-demand. New courses for entry 2023 include MA (Languages & Business), MSc (Cybersecurity Risk Management), and MSc (Health Data Science).  A range of new Structured Masters’ Programmes are also on offer in French, German, and Spanish. Hospitality professionals can avail of our Shannon College of Hotel Management’s new PgCert programme in Hospitality Management, designed to develop knowledge of systems, trends, and business applications. Information on all new programmes, along with University of Galway’s 200 other postgraduate programmes, will be available at the exhibition in the Bailey Allen Hall.  Booking in advance is required and is available at  Ends

Tuesday, 1 November 2022

Three international female scientists are to lead a series of webinars focusing on cutting-edge regenerative therapeutic medicine for humans and animals at University of Galway. Taking a One Health approach, University of Galway researchers Dr Ana Ivanovska from North Macedonia, Dr Laura Barrachina from Spain, and Dr Tarlan Eslami Arshaghi from Iran, will join Professor Frank Barry, Professor of Cellular Therapy with REMEDI, will discuss their current research and how they try to advance new therapies for use in both human and veterinary medicine. Joining the University of Galway scientists for the webinars are Professor Valerie Johnson, Michigan State University, USA, and Professor Steven Dow, Colorado State University, USA. The six webinar masterclasses will run each Tuesday from November 1 to December 13 (except Tuesday November 15) at 4pm. The webinar series is organised by Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN), in collaboration with the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at University of Galway. The six webinars include: November 1: One Health and Regenerative Medicine by Professor Frank Barry November 8: Cell Therapies for Wildlife and Exotic Animals by Professor Valerie Johnson November 22: Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapies for Osteoarthritis by Dr Ana Ivanovska November 29: Cell Therapies for Bacterial Infections by Professor Steven Dow December 6: Animal Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells by Dr Laura Barrachina December 13: Animal Cell-Free Therapies  by Dr Tarlan Eslami Arshaghi Professor Barry said: “We hope to provide information about the kind of cutting-edge research that is going on around the world in advanced therapeutics in veterinary medicine. We are interested in using our research skills to develop advanced therapeutics for veterinary patients and have gathered together an exceptionally talented international team of qualified vets, all with profound scientific expertise.” For more information visit Ends

Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Clinical trial shows positive results for patients across three European countries  University of Galway, in collaboration with the EU Horizon 2020-funded NEPHSTROM Consortium, has announced promising results from a new cell therapy trial for people living with diabetes. The NEPHSTROM clinical trial is taking the first steps to investigate the value of a novel cell therapy for adults who have type 2 diabetes and worsening kidney disease, despite best medical treatment.  Results from the NEPHSTROM clinical trial were presented in November at the American Society of Nephrology’s Kidney Week meeting in Orlando, Florida. It showed that a single dose of ORBCEL-M, given intravenously to carefully selected adults with worsening kidney disease due to diabetes was safe and associated with better preservation of kidney function compared to a placebo. Patients taking part in the trial were followed closely for 18 months after receiving ORBCEL-M.  The ORBCEL-M cell therapy is a mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) preparation manufactured from healthy bone marrow which was discovered and developed in Galway by Orbsen Therapeutics Ltd, a spinout company from University of Galway.  The clinical trial is being led from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research IRCCS in Bergamo, Italy and carried out jointly at leading medical centres in Galway, Bergamo, Birmingham and Belfast.  Trial investigator, Professor Matt Griffin, a senior researcher at University of Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and a Consultant Nephrologist at Galway University Hospitals said: “Nearly a quarter of a million people in Ireland are living with diabetes and we know that more than 40% of them have evidence of kidney disease - often referred to as diabetic kidney disease or DKD for short.  “In type 2 diabetes, as many as one third of those with DKD have worsening kidney function despite the best medical therapy we can offer. These people are at high risk for requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation in the years ahead - both of which are complex treatments with potentially serious complications. “In NEPHSTROM, our goal is to secure evidence that a cell therapy, such as ORBCEL-M, is safe and can slow the course of DKD to help more people with diabetes avoid the need for dialysis or transplantation. It was exciting to report that our first analysis of results from the trial supports that goal.” Dr Steve Elliman, who discovered the ORBCEL-M therapy, is Chief Scientific Officer for Orbsen Therapeutics. Dr Elliman said: “At Orbsen Therapeutics we are motivated by improving patient care. Diabetic patients with progressive kidney disease eventually require dialysis and often a kidney transplant. While dialysis improves the quality of life of patients with kidney failure, it is expensive and does not prevent further decline of kidney function. Additionally, dialysis takes four hours per session and three times a week - creating logistic and economic challenges for the patient. Our goal with ORBCEL-M is to resolve systemic inflammation and improve kidney function, so that patients will not require dialysis or a kidney transplant. We’re encouraged by the safety profile and the preliminary efficacy signals in patients with DKD reported by the NEPHSTROM trial. We look forward to continued collaboration with our University of Galway and NEPHSTROM partners to advance this new medicine through Phase 3 efficacy trials and a market approval.” Dr Veronica McInerney, Administrative Director at the HRB Clinical Research Facility at University of Galway said: “Without patient involvement in clinical trials, advances in new treatments are simply not possible. We are fortunate to have the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway, a clinically equipped space to see and treat patients on trials. We are hopeful that future generations will benefit from the willingness of patients to participate in trials, such as the NEPHSTROM trial.” Professor Timothy O’Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), at the University of Galway and Consultant Physician in Endocrinology at Galway University Hospitals and the overall lead of the NEPHSTROM project, said: “University of Galway’s ecosystem is set up to facilitate and lead international trials of this nature. The Cell Therapy GMP manufacturing facilities at the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland, located in the University, along with the HRB Clinical Research Facility, the close partnership with Saolta University Heath Care Group and REMEDI have been instrumental in making the progression of this potential new therapy possible. Funding from SFI, the Higher Education Authority and the Health Research Board has supported and helped build this ecosystem and along with European Commission funding has made the advancement of this research possible.” ENDS

Monday, 19 December 2022

Psychosocial stress is associated with an increased risk of stroke, according to new University of Galway led research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network Open (JAMA Network Open). The research found that the occurrence of any stressful life event increased the risk of stroke by 17%, with the occurrence of two or more stressful life events increasing the risk of stroke by 31%.  The research was led by Dr Catriona Reddin, at University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. It looked at levels of stress in more than 26,000 people in Europe, Asia, North and South America, the Middle East and Africa.  The research found that increased stress at home, stress at work, and recent stressful life events (e.g. marital separation/divorce, major intra-family conflict) were associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke (a stroke due to a clot) and haemorrhagic stroke (a stroke due to bleeding within the brain tissue).  Those who reported severe work stress were over twice as likely to have an ischaemic stroke, and over five times as likely to have a haemorrhagic stroke compared to those who reported no work stress.  The increased risk was lower in individuals who reported feeling more in control.  Dr Reddin said: “Approximately 7,500 Irish people have a stroke, an estimated 30,000 people are living in Ireland with disabilities as a result of a stroke and annually about 2,000 Irish people die as a result of stroke. In this latest INTERSTROKE study we looked at self-reported stress.  “In people who reported severe home stress, the increase in stroke risk was lower in those who felt that what happens in life is determined by factors within their control.  “Similarly, in individuals who reported severe work stress, the increase in stroke risk was lower in people who felt that they had control over what happens in work, in most situations, compared to people who felt that they had little control over their work life.” Professor Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at University of Galway and Consultant Stroke Physician at Galway University Hospitals, co-led the international INTERSTROKE study in partnership with Professor Salim Yusuf from the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University, Canada. Professor O’Donnell said: “Stroke is the most common cause of adult disability globally. Stroke prevention is crucial and the more we understand about the disease the better equipped physicians and the public can be to mitigate the risks.  “The INTERSTROKE study is giving us a better understanding of the importance of conventional and emerging risk factors of stroke in different regions and ethnic groups globally, which are required to help prevention. We know that the best ways to prevent stroke are to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol.  “In this latest study we got deeper insights into how work and life related stresses can contribute to stroke. The findings suggest that higher locus of control is associated with lower risk of stroke and may be an important effect modifier of the risk associated with psychosocial stress." INTERSTROKE study is one of the largest international studies of risk factors for stroke. It has recruited over 26,000 people in 27 countries since 2007.  The full study is available here. A series of findings have been released from INTERSTROKE including:  Alcohol risk factors for acute stroke Anger, emotional upset and heavy physical exertion may trigger stroke Ends

Monday, 19 December 2022

University of Galway graduate Amber Dowling has been rated in the top 16 student engineers in the world, with a Highly Commended award in the Global Undergraduate Awards for her work on a project to help people with Parkinson’s disease.  In addition to being highly commended globally, the graduate of the University’s Mechanical Engineering programme was also awarded the Undergraduate Award in Engineering for the Island of Ireland. Having completed her professional experience work placement with Boston Scientific in Galway, the company continued to support Amber Dowling’s use of their collaborative robot, or cobot, a type of robot that can work alongside humans in a shared, collaborative space, when she returned to University to complete her final year project.  Amber Dowling’s project provides a non-intrusive means of steadying hand tremors for those affected with Parkinson’s disease. The Mechanical Engineering graduate designed and 3D-printed a modified glove which attaches to the flange of the cobot.  Together with the software program written by Amber, the glove transfers the tremor energy to the cobot which filters out these tremors. Amber was guided by universal design principles in her design whilst also incorporating safety features.  Amber, from Slieverue, Co Kilkenny, said: “I am incredibly grateful to have received this award, and honoured to be counted amongst the top 10% of engineering students in the world. I wanted to explore the use of collaborative robots outside of industry, and engage the possibilities of the symbiosis between humans and cobots.” Amber carried out the work as a part of her final project for her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, supervised by Dr Martina Kelly, and mentored by Julio Zanon, Engineering Fellow at Boston Scientific.  Dr Martina Kelly, Amber’s supervisor in the School of Engineering at University of Galway, said: “Amber’s project was an excellent demonstration of the confluence of mechanical engineering, advanced automation and human-centred design.”  Dr Nathan Quinlan, Head of Mechanical Engineering at University of Galway, said: “This was a truly excellent feat of engineering by Amber, creating a solution for real human needs, to make lives better. It shows how placements, with industry partners like Boston Scientific, can help our students to launch their engineering careers.” Professor Walter Gear, Executive Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at University of Galway said: “Congratulations to Amber on her well-earned award. This project is another example of the world-leading work the University does in our many partnerships with advanced industry based in and around Galway." Amber Dowling highlighted how she believes her work on the project is just the beginning, and intends to continue her engineering career with cobots. She added: “Cobots have capabilities I feel aren't yet fully explored, and it's exciting to think of the developments ahead. I'm furthering my education in automation and controls, and hope to pursue it as a career. This project has shown me that there is much more to come in applications of cobots.”  Ends

Friday, 16 December 2022

 Scientists at University of Galway have identified a set of biomarkers which can distinguish patients with Parkinson’s disease from those not affected. The study, published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology, provides a new direction for research towards a blood-based test, which combined with the current approach of clinical and neuropsychological testing would improve the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The research was led by Professor Adrienne Gorman in the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, University of Galway. She said: “This research brings us one step closer to improving Parkinson’s disease diagnosis.”  The study was funded by Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme and it was conducted in collaboration with University Hospital Galway, University of Limerick and Randox Teoranta. Parkinson’s disease is a condition that is primarily associated with the loss of motor function, such as the use of muscles and movement of limbs, due to the degeneration and death of nerves that control movement. When nerves start to die they send stress signals to the surrounding neurons and distal tissues by releasing stress-regulated proteins.  Dr Katarzyna Mnich, the first author on the paper, said: “For that reason we were looking for markers in blood of Parkinson’s disease patients that would indicate neuronal stress.” The research found that four stress-regulated proteins - PDIA1; PDIA3; MANF; and clusterin - enable us to distinguish Parkinson’s disease patients from those not affected by this disease.  Dr Shirin Moghaddam, the co-author on the paper, said: “The next step is to translate our findings to a clinical diagnostic test. This requires validation of the biomarker panel in further independent cohorts to evaluate the test sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.”  Dr Mnich added: “The development of a blood-based diagnostic test would offer patients faster, cheaper and more accurate diagnosis to start their treatment sooner. And all of us on the research team would like to express our gratitude to everyone engaged in the project, especially to the people who are living with Parkinson’s disease and supported the study.” Ends

Friday, 16 December 2022

The Marine Institute in partnership with the University of Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) has released the latest update on the performance of Ireland’s Ocean Economy. The report provides an update on Ireland’s ocean economy across three main economic indicators: turnover, gross value added (GVA) and employment, and provides an analysis of trends over the last five years. The update shows that Ireland’s ocean economy in 2021 had a turnover of €4.98 billion, with a direct economic contribution, as measured by GVA, of €2.1 billion. Taking into account indirect GVA generated from ocean related activity in Ireland total GVA is €3.8bn, representing 1.6% of national output. Brexit effects on trade and fisheries as well as the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on marine tourism and the international cruise industry meant a significant reduction in ocean economy output value in 2020. Commenting on the results, co-author Professor Stephen Hynes, Director of SEMRU at the University of Galway stated: “The latest figures demonstrate that it has been a very turbulent period for Ireland’s ocean economy in the two years since the publication of the last report in the series. Against the backdrop of the immense challenges that have faced the sector we have seen a rebound in terms of output and employment in 2021. It continues to be a period of transition for Ireland’s ocean economy as the marine industries innovate in the face of new policies and measures aimed at dealing with the impacts of the climate and biodiversity crises.” Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, said: “I am delighted to receive this latest SEMRU (University of Galway) and Marine Institute report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy, which provides such useful data on the value of our marine industries and sectors. The marine sector and the employment it provides in crucial areas such as Ireland’s fisheries and seafood sector, under my own area of Ministerial responsibility, are crucially important contributors in maintaining the viability of our coastal communities. This interesting and timely report demonstrates that the marine sector as a whole has experienced significant challenges over recent years in common with international trends but is now slowly recovering. It will be particularly interesting to see if the current trends continue into 2023 and future years. We look forward to the next report and hopefully to a resurgent and vibrant marine sector both here in Ireland and internationally.” The report also reviews demographic change in Ireland’s coastal economy, as well as highlighting developments in marine natural capital accounting. Natural capital accounting/ecosystem accounting views nature and ecosystems as assets, which provide a stream of ecosystem service benefits to society. The report highlights the importance of healthy marine ecosystem services to the ocean economy industries and Irish society more widely. In doing so it discusses the latest advancements in ocean environmental and economic accounting and how the Marine Institute and the University of Galway, in partnership with the CSO, are in the process of developing such accounts for Ireland. Welcoming the report, Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute said: “The ever-growing demand for more integrated advice and services has seen an increasing demand for economic data and evidence that will support the state’s governance of our maritime area. This work, carried out in partnership with University of Galway, and other state organisations such as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), is delivering a robust analytical framework to inform marine and maritime policies and planning, delivering a more equitable and sustainable ocean and coastal economies.” Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report 2022 is available on the Marine Institute’s website at Ends