All Year 2010

Pharmaceutical Companies to Invest in NUI Galway Research Team

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A research team at NUI Galway is embarking on a research project with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. Johnson & Johnson and The National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT) are jointly investing in a Bioanalytical Research Project at the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory (NBL) in NUI Galway. The investment is part of the Government initiative to attract strategically important research and development to Ireland. The NBL is an interdisciplinary research group located in NUI Galway's School of Chemistry and its primary focus involves the development of new photonics and chemometrics based analytical methods for industry and academia. Principle investigator for the research programme, Dr Alan Ryder, in conjunction with a team of two postdoctoral researchers in the NBL, will develop novel mathematical and spectroscopic techniques for the analysis of various very complex biogenic materials. The area of research is called chemometrics and is a major component in the drive to automate and improve the monitoring of bioprocesses such as the production of biopharmaceuticals. It is envisioned the outcome of this research will support greater understanding and control of biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes and aid the industry to satisfy Quality by Design and design space expectations of regulatory agencies. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies makes a big difference in the health and well-being of people every day. Johnson & Johnson have more than 250 operating companies in 57 countries employing approximately 114,000 people. Speaking about his vision for the NBL, Director of the NBL, Dr Alan G. Ryder said: "The NBL exists to meld the photonics technologies being developed by the physics community with the extensive needs for more accurate, information rich, and sensitive analytical chemistry required for today's Industrial and Healthcare applications. Our goal is to undertake both basic and applied research at the chemistry-physics-biology interphase and to translate the outputs into new industrial technologies. The NBL will achieve this by working very closely with our industrial partners in the Biopharmaceutical manufacturing sector, with selected academic partners, and with NIBRT." Welcoming the announcement, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway, Professor Terry Smith said, "This is an exciting and a very important development for NUI Galway that leverages the expertise of the Nanoscale Biophotonics Laboratory to understand and control manufacturing processes within the Biopharmaceutical industry. It is a validation of translational, industry focused R&D and industry partnership at NUI Galway." For further information contact: Dr Alan Ryder, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway at 091 492943 or -Ends-

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NUI Galway Information Evening for Prospective Mature Students

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

NUI Galway will hold an information evening for mature students considering undertaking a full-time undergraduate degree programme. The event will be held in NUI Galway on Tuesday, 02 December, at 8pm, in the Colm Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. Information will be provided on the programmes available to mature students, on entry requirements and on the application and selection procedures. There will also be a focus on financial and other supports. Each year at NUI Galway, a quota of places on most programmes is reserved for mature students, who are deemed to be those aged 23 and over. Applications for degree courses are made in the normal way for University entrants through the Central Applications Office (CAO) by 1 February. Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, says: "With so much unemployment around the country many people are looking to develop new employment opportunities by studying for a degree. However, anticipating a harsh upcoming budget, it is imperative that prospective students seriously consider their financial situation before embarking on a full-time course of study." A key element of the information evening will be financial support for students. "Tuition fees are currently free for first-time undergraduates. There are also higher education grants to avail of if an individual is eligible and meets certain criteria. Social Welfare recipients may be entitled to Back to Education Allowance, again if they meet certain criteria. I recommend people speak with the authorities involved in these supports to ascertain their eligibility. It is also vital to note that changes may take place in the grants and social welfare systems after the announcement of the 2011 budget." adds Ms Hoare. During the information evening, information will also be given on the University's pre-University Foundation Courses, open to all, in Science and Engineering and in Commerce. -Ends-

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Rare Archive of John Huston Material Presented to NUI Galway

Monday, 22 November 2010

NUI Galway will be presented with a rare collection of director, writer and actor John Huston's papers and recordings at a special ceremony in the University this evening. The Huston Archive will be launched in the presence of John's son, Tony (who was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay of The Dead) and daughter, Allegra. The Archive contains extensive material relating to a number of his films and centres on the making of The Dead, as well as draft scripts, recordings, publicity materials, interviews and legal documentation. The Huston Archive offers a unique view of the prolific intersection of Irish literature and American cinema. The multiple draft scripts included offer insights not just about the film, but also about the director's wide-ranging oeuvre, as nearly all of his 37 features are, similarly, literary adaptations. The material will contribute to the rich vein of debate already developed by scholars including NUI Galway Professor Kevin Barry in his book, The Dead, published in the 'Ireland into Film series' and a new book from the Centenary Conference held at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media in 2006, edited by Tony Tracy from the Huston School and Roddy Flynn, entitled John Huston: Essays on a Restless Director. The Archive includes an early version of a script written by Jean-Paul Sartre for the film Freud: the Secret Passion; Sartre visited Huston in St Clerans, his home near Craughwell, in 1958. It is rich in ancillary documentation which supplements that held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles; and it includes Huston's personal copies of various books that he adapted and their screenplays. There are also recordings of music used in his films, publicity materials, photos and magazines, press cuttings and legal documentation. Other rare material includes a Scottish television interview with Huston conducted by film scholar, Charles Barr, at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1975. The Archive has been enriched by significant items donated by Teresa Grimes, Paul Balbirnie and Joe Dillon. Academy Award winner and daughter of John Huston, Anjelica Huston says she is delighted that the Archive will be based at NUI Galway, "I regret that due to my current filming schedule I will miss the launch of the Huston Archive at NUI Galway. It gives me great satisfaction to see that these extensive archives, including remarkable materials relating to THE DEAD, have found a permanent place in their rightful home in Galway and will be made widely available to scholars, including those who enter the Huston School s doors for future generations to come." The Huston Archive will be held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, home to a range of theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern and Tom Kilroy; and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'. A new Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building, adjoining the Library, is currently under construction. This will include excellent facilities for access to, digitisation and storage of, archives and special collections. Scholars will enjoy state-of-the-art reading and seminar rooms, as well as collaborative spaces and exhibition areas, all supported by expert staff. According to Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, "Bringing this material into the public domain through its availability online and in the library at NUI Galway, is an exciting development for those interested in John Huston's work. It is at the intersection of American cinema and Irish culture." The establishment of the Archive has been made possible by the University Foundation and Tony Huston, who will present NUI Galway with the Huston Archive at a special ceremony at the Bailey Allen Hall, NUI Galway, this evening at 5.30pm. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Research Scholar Awarded Irish Cancer Society Prize

Monday, 22 November 2010

NUI Galway Research Scholar, Lisa Vincenz, has been awarded a Research Scholarship and Fellowship Programme by the Irish Cancer Society. Lisa is starting her PhD studies in biochemistry in the University's Apoptosis Research Centre and the School of Natural Sciences. Her studies will be focused on how some cancer cells can be protected from chemotherapy drugs. The aim of her PhD research is to find strategies to interfere with these protective mechanisms in order to sensitise the cancer cells to chemotherapy. Lisa was one of eight students to receive an Irish Cancer Society Scholarship, five at Scholarship level and three at Fellowship level at a recent awards ceremony held in Dublin where Ms Mary Harney, Minister of Health and Children presented some of Ireland's most gifted young cancer researchers with inaugural Irish Cancer Society's Research Scholarship Awards and Research Fellowship Awards. The research Lisa Vincenz is carrying out may lead to the development of novel, more effective cancer treatments. She is studying the ways in which cancer cells can escape cell death and become resistant to chemotherapy. Her project looks at the way a protein in the body called Hsp70 can protect cancer cells from cell death and at the development of drugs that can block this action of Hsp70. This research is based on a recent discovery made by researchers at NUI Galway and could lead to the development of more effective treatments for cancer and is particularly relevant for patients with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma but also apply to solid tumours. Professor Afshin Samali, Project Supervisor and Director of Apoptosis Research Centre said that "by understanding more about Hsp70 and the way it functions, scientists can learn how to block its function and interfere with cancer cells so they can no longer survive exposure to stressful conditions. This could have significant implications in the development of new cancer drugs, which would block the protein to encourage tumour cell death". Professor Samali states, "Lisa is a highly gifted individual and she has a major contribution to make in our efforts to understand what goes on in cancer cells and help with the development of approaches to eliminate cancer cells." Lisa Vincenz said "being awarded a prestigious Scholarship from the Irish Cancer Society will enable me to carry out cutting-edge cancer research and make a contribution to the betterment of society." The Irish Cancer Society, as part of its commitment to cancer research and to cultivating the next generation of cancer researchers, awarded €1.2 million to researchers through their research scholarship and fellowship programmes. The awards were presented by Minister for Health Mary Harney TD at a special ceremony in Dublin. In total, 56 applications were received this year for both schemes from hospitals and academic institutions all over Ireland. All applications went through a rigorous selection process where they were reviewed by international experts in cancer research. -Ends-

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Michael D Higgins to Launch Books on Irish Studies in NUI Galway

Monday, 22 November 2010

Michael D. Higgins TD will launch two books written by NUI Galway's Professor Emeritas of Classics Brian Arkins. The launch will take place in the Student Union Bar in the University on Friday 26 November at 5pm. The first book entitled Irish Appropriation of Greek Tragedy is a critical assessment of popular Greek tragedies as well as commentary on translations by contemporary Irish writers such as Seamus Heaney, Marina Carr, Aidan Carr, Tom Paulin and Brendan Kennelly. The book is published by Carysfort Press in Dubin. The second book to be launched is entitled The Thought of W.B. Yeats. This book explores the thoughts of the well known and celebrated Irish poets on important life subjects and themes. It deals with themes such as religion, sex and politics among others. This book is not a critical assessment but a collection of ideas and is published by Peter Lang. Brian Arkins, author of the two books became a lecturer in Classics at NUI Galway in 1974. He recently retired from the University and is the author of eight other books including three on the subject of Latin poetry. Brian Arkins says: "I am very pleased to launch these two books on Irish Studies in NUI Galway, and it is a great honour to have such a distinguished person as Michael D. Higgins TD, both as a public figure and as adjunct Professor of the University to launch the books." -Ends-

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