All 2011

Experts Convene to Explore Molecules’ Influence on Disease

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

International experts will gather at NUI Galway later this month to further the scientific knowledge-base surrounding microRNA profiling. MicroRNAs are a class of newly discovered molecules within our cells that control the activity of genes. The regulation and function of microRNAs is still poorly understood, but they are required for the normal functioning of our bodies. When their behaviour is perturbed, disease, such as cancer, can arise. As a result, there is enormous interest worldwide in developing microRNAs as diagnostic markers and even as therapeutics to treat a range of conditions. The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) practical course entitled ’MicroRNA-profiling, from in-situ hybridization to next-generation sequencing’ takes place at NUI Galway from 21 to 27 May. MicroRNA research at NUI Galway has been a growing area since 2006, supported in part by a Transfer of Knowledge Grant from the EU (under Marie Curie Framework 6). Research groups in the Schools of Medicine and Science (headed by Professor Michael Kerin, Dr Linda Howard, Dr Nicola Miller and Dr Sanjeev Gupta, amongst others) are investigating microRNAs. Their work is focussed on diagnostics for cancer, regenerative medicine and a broad range of basic research areas from cell death to cell cycle regulation. These NUI Galway researchers will support a team of international experts who will come to Galway to train a group of 22 scientists from all over the world in the latest techniques for investigating microRNAs, as part of the EMBO course. The course will bring to NUI Galway basic and clinical researchers with interests ranging from marine algae, and viniculture to regenerative medicine and cancer therapy to learn the latest advances in microRNA techniques. The course instructors are drawn from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, the Cambridge Cancer Centre, University of Cambridge and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and include Dr Eric Miska and Dr Greg Hannon, two very highly respected scientists in the microRNA field. The core of the team are experts from the EMBL-Gene Core, led by Dr Vladimir Benes who will share their extensive experience in techniques ranging from microarrays, in situ hybridization and RNA sequencing. Dr Howard Fearnhead, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, School of Medicine at NUI Galway said, “MicroRNAs are small RNAs that are critically involved in controlling an enormously wide range of cellular processes through direct posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. The realisation that these, and other small RNAs, are so important has driven an explosion of research activity that aims to identify, characterize and understand microRNA regulation and function. With this increase in interest comes the need to provide training in the cutting edge research technologies. The course at NUI Galway fulfils this requirement very well by bringing together highly motivated non-experts and a team of international experts to study, discuss and share a fascinating area of modern cell biology.” The meeting is co-organised by Dr Howard Fearnhead, NUI Galway, in collaboration with Dr Vladimir Benes, and Dr Mirco Castoldi, EMBL-Heidelberg, and Dr Donal O’Carroll, EMBL-Montorotondo. -Ends-

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Eighth International Economics Colloquium to take place at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Eighth International Colloquium on Economic Growth, Structural Change and Institutions will be held in NUI Galway later this month. Jointly organised by the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at NUI Galway and the Department of Economics of the University of Brasília, the Colloquium will bring together a unique group of international scholars from North and South America, Europe, India and Japan. The event will take place from the 26 to 28 May in MY243 Lecture Theatre, Áras Moyola in NUI Galway. The main objective of the Colloquium is to contribute to the understanding of the ongoing economic crisis from the point of view of growth, structural change and institutions. The Colloquium aims to provide a platform for productive exchange of analysis and research results focusing on both theoretical and policy aspects of the theme. It also aims to stimulate the exchange of ideas from within the discipline of economics and other related disciplines to reinforce the multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Political Economy. The sessions of the Colloquium is organised along the following sub-themes: Economic Expansion, Demand Management and Structural change: Lessons from the Crisis; Growth and Income distribution: Theory and Policy; Institutions, Growth and Development; Interaction between the Real and the Financial Sector: Implications for Theory and Policy; Political Economy of Development: Gender, Power and Identity; Special session on ’Growth and Income distribution’; and Special session on ’Crisis in Economics: The Way Forward’. Speaking about the upcoming Colloquium, the organiser, Dr Srinivas Raghavendra, Lecturer of Economics at NUI Galway, said: “The Colloquium is an annual event hosted in different countries throughout the world and, and we are delighted that NUI Galway was invited to host the International Colloquium 2011. The Colloquium brings together outstanding international scholars in the field of Economic Growth, Structural Change and Institutions from Europe, North and South America, India and Japan, which on this year will address the implications of the global economic crisis. The Colloquium has been facilitated by the generosity of the University, J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics and the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, reflecting the research activities of NUI Galway.” For further information or to register for the conference visit -Ends-

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Calling NUI Galway Classes of 2001 and 2006

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

NUI Galway invites all graduates from the classes of 2001 and 2006 to attend its Reunion BBQ and Disco on Saturday, 11 June. The reunion begins at 7:00 pm and brings together those classes celebrating their 10th and 5th reunions for a fun, informal evening in the Students’ Union Bar overlooking the River Corrib - a perfect location for the Reunion BBQ event. Entertainment will be provided by College Bar regular DJ Byrno who will play hits from the late 1990s and 2000s. Emma Goode, Alumni Project Manager, encourages alumni to come along: “Reunion is that perfect excuse to put the date in your diary and say ’Right, that’s the day we’ll all get together again’. Busy lives mean that old friends fall out of touch and we’re told regularly that graduates look for these occasions to pull out the stops. Many alumni from the classes of 2001 and 2006 have already booked their places and they never regret making the effort. You never know who’ll be there.” The Alumni Association serves over 80,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include Alumni Clubs, both national and international, Alumni Publications, Reunions and Alumni Awards. Graduates who are interested in getting involved with any of the above programmes are encouraged to contact the Alumni Office for further details. Register at or for further information contact Colm O’Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email 

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Student Entrepreneurs Set to Bank € 15,000 in final of Student Enterprise Awards

Monday, 16 May 2011

Six teams are keenly contesting the final of the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards in anticipation of securing an investment of € 15,000 into the winning project. The competition is the initiative of the NUI Galway Students’ Union, with the support of NUI Galway and has the goal of fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the students of the University. The competition successfully attracted entrants from across all of the colleges and schools of the University, from which six ideas were chosen to progress to the final stage. As part of the final assessment of their entries, students have received an investment of € 500 into their projects, and also have received the assistance of mentoring from the highly specialised team of mentors, which is comprised of a combination of members of the academic staff of the University and members of the local business community. The finalists are required to prepare their final business plans for submission on Friday, 28 May ahead of the final presentation of their ideas to the judging panel on Wednesday, 8 June. The winners will be announced at the final awards ceremony dinner on Friday, 10 June in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. NUI Galway Students’ Union President, Peter Mannion said: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries to the NUI Galway Student Enterprise Awards. The entrants are testament to the exceptional initiative and creativity of students in social and business enterprise. They show that students are both able and willing to create the big ideas that will help fuel our recovery. The Students’ Union is delighted to be in a position to facilitate some of these ideas as they take their first steps. I have no doubt but that we are working with the leaders of the future.” -Ends-

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Ocean Energy Focus of NUI Galway Public Lecture

Monday, 16 May 2011

NUI Galway will hold a public lecture by Professor Tony Lewis, Director of the Hydraulics & Maritime Research Centre, UCC, on Ocean Energy later this month. The lecture entitled The Status of Ocean Energy Development in Ireland will take place on Monday, 23 May, 2011 in Room IT125, IT Building at 2pm. Professor Lewis has been at the forefront of ocean research nationally and internationally for over 20 years. He has just returned from the most recent meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change in Abu Dhabi. Despite the global recession, rising energy demand and limited fossil fuel energy supplies will ensure that focus is maintained on research in renewable energy. Ireland has enviable natural resources and has particularly ambitious targets regarding renewable energy, both wind and ocean. In his lecture, Professor Lewis will summarise the latest national and international developments in ocean energy and government strategies to meet the challenges ahead. “Energy supply and sustainability are key challenges for the future,” says Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway. “While Ireland is very heavily dependent upon energy imports, we have unique advantages in terms of climate and location for the development of renewable energy sources. Professor Lewis is ideally positioned to help us all understand the challenges and opportunities.” For further information on the lecture contact Tina Earls, College of Engineering & Informatics at NUI Galway, at or 091 493143. -Ends-

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