All 2011

Ryan Tubridy Launches Student Mental Health Website at NUI Galway

Monday, 7 February 2011

RTÉ Television and radio personality, Ryan Tubridy today officially launched a new student mental health web portal at NUI Galway. My Mind Matters (MMM) is a student website which provides information, help, support and advice to college students around a range of topics that can affect mental health and well-being, such as anxiety, depression, exam stress and coping with the transition to college life. In some colleges, students can also apply for confidential online one-to-one counselling and other interactive supports. This new initiative is led by NUI Galway, in partnership with Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork and Dundalk IT, and has attracted €1 million investment from government and college funds. This collaborative project from the four colleges will provide interactive, anonymous and confidential help and support for students. In the development of the project and to source quality mental health information, the colleges partnered with, an online service that inspires young people to help themselves through tough times. The My Mind Matters website is the result of a Mental Health Portal Project in which students were central to making decisions about the type of service they wanted and needed. Focus groups of students were held in the four participating colleges to decide on the design of the site which included colours, font styles, images, interactive features, navigation and layout. There will be an ongoing feedback facility within the site to ensure that it continually caters for the needs of students. It is hoped that the web portal will become a national widely availed of service. Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Registrar and Deputy-President of NUI Galway says: "Our University is not concerned solely with the academic aspect of our students' lives but with their physical and mental well-being also. We are therefore particularly delighted to welcome this new and collaborative mental health support website which will provide a very valuable and confidential service to students." Ms. Bea Gavin, Head of Student Counselling in NUI Galway says," My Mind Matters is an online resource for an online population. These are tough times for students and their families. Extra stress is reflected in constantly increasing demand for reliable information and counselling. We hope that young men, in particular, who have sometimes been slow to seek help in the past, will turn to this exciting new facility." For further information please contact: Bea Gavin on 091 492427 or email Log onto ENDS

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NUI Galway To Host Ashbourne Cup

Monday, 7 February 2011

NUI Galway is once again to the fore of hosting third level intervarsity GAA activity when the Camogie Club host the Ashbourne Cup from the 19 to 20 February. The hosting of the prestigious Ashbourne Cup follows NUI Galway's successful hosting of Fitzgibbon 2010, which culminated in ending a 30 year wait for success for the university. The quarter finals of the Ashbourne Cup will take place on 9 February with four mouth-watering ties in prospect. Hosts NUI Galway, who last won the Ashbourne Cup in 1994, take on the reigning champions WIT, who are backboned by a plethora of intercounty stars. The management team of NUI Galway includes Richard McNicholas, who has been involved at underage intercounty level management and under 21 hurler of the year Seamus Hennessy, who is a current scholarship student in NUI Galway. NUI Galway chairperson and club captain Michaela Morkan states, "NUI Galway Camogie Club are once more delighted to host the blue riband of third level camogie, an event that is second only to the All Ireland Senior Camogie title race." The Offaly senior centre back wishes all teams in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups the very best of luck and looks forward to a weekend of camogie to remember in NUI Galway. The host college last won the Ashbourne Cup in 1994 and boasts a worthy 15 titles won over the years. Gaelic games officer Michael O'Connor welcomes once again the highlight of third level camogie to Galway expressing a wish that all teams in the Ashbourne and Purcell Cups play to their optimum and bring from Galway memories of participation and enjoyment long after the games have ended. NUI Galway President Dr. James J Browne said, "On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted that the Ashbourne Cup competition will be hosted on our campus this year. The Ashbourne-Purcell weekend is one of the premier events in the camogie calendar and I wish all of the 16 teams taking part a wonderful weekend of sport." Chairman of CCAO third level camogie Shane Darcy said, "It is a very exciting and busy time for all involved in third level camogie. NUI Galway once again will host the second ever joint Ashbourne-Purcell weekend. It promises to be a festival of camogie with 16 teams taking part. I would like to take the opportunity to wish Michael O Connor and his organising team at NUI Galway the very best for hosting the 2011 weekend." President of The Camogie Association Joan O'Flynn said, "The Ashbourne and Purcell Cup Competitions provide plenty of top class camogie action played by players who are fantastic ambassadors for the game of camogie. It is the sporting ambition of all college playing camogie players to win either an Ashbourne or a Purcell All Ireland medal, and the weekend of 19 and 20 February will be no different with the country s leading colleges vying for these prestigious titles. We wish host college NUI Galway well with the event and the competition is sure to provide the city with an economic boost as over 500 players from colleges across the country spend the weekend here." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers Participate in Occupational Hygiene Conference

Monday, 7 February 2011

Researchers at NUI Galway will participate in the Occupational Hygiene Society of Ireland (OHSI) Annual Conference which will take place on 16 to 17 February in the Clayton Hotel, Galway. The event will feature presentations from NUI Galway researchers who are pursuing projects in the area of Occupational Hygiene, which deals with the monitoring and control of hazards to health in all workplaces. Among those to present will be PhD student Patricia McDonnell, who is incoming President of the OHSI. Patricia will present a paper on her research project, which is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, and involves the refinement and validation of an exposure model, known as the Advanced Reach Tool (ART) for use in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Catherine Healy, also a PhD student at NUI Galway will describe her research into the exposure of stone masons to silica dust. Both Patricia and Catherine are graduates of the taught MSc programme in Occupational Health and Safety, at NUI Galway. As well as contributors from NUI Galway, the conference will include presentations from other agencies including the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the Health Safety Authority (HSA), the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) and Alvin Wooley and Associates, UK. The day before the annual conference (February 16) the OHSI present a court room drama entitled 'Hygiene in the Stand', in which an occupational hygienist will be put through his paces by barrister Roisin Liddy in a hypothetical court case. The barrister will scrutinise the report written by the hygienist, along with the work carried out and his professional competency. This will be beneficial to all those working as Health and Safety professionals in industry who wish to familiarise themselves with such court procedures. Commenting on the Conference, Dr Tom O Connor of the School of Physics at the University says: "NUI Galway has over 25 years experience in the area of Occupational Health and Safety. It is important that we in the University continue to contribute to industry at events such as this conference and it is a great testament to the quality of our courses to see students presenting at a national level." Dr O'Connor adds, "Drawing on the resources of the disciplines of Science, Medicine, Engineering, Law and Commerce, Occupational Health and Safety Courses at NUI Galway provide a multidisciplinary approach to health and safety and provide a very solid foundation for a career in occupational health and safety or a very useful additional qualification for many other professional careers." The OHSI is an organisation for all those interested in the area of Occupational Hygiene and it offers important networking opportunities for people involved in Health and Safety at work. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host Free Family Events for National Engineers Week

Monday, 7 February 2011

NUI Galway is calling all young wanna-be-engineers to participate in six days of events and activities from 14 to 20 February as part of National Engineer's Week. As part of the line-up, for the second year in a row, NUI Galway will bring a free family-event to the Galway City Museum on Saturday, 19 February from 11 am to 5 pm. Following on from the success of last year's event, this year's Engineering for Communities promises to be a great day out for everyone, with activities on the day to suit all ages. At Engineering for Communities, visitors will be able to take part in hands-on experiments, workshops, and demonstrations. Each activity will explore engineering solutions to different community needs such as bridge building, sustainable housing, medical devices, water treatment and electricity. There will be puppets and a lego-build area especially for the young visitors and a display of antique engineering equipment to make the grown-ups feel at home. Highlights of the event will include a K'Nex Bridge Building Contest, an Eco-House Design Challenge, Electronic Circuitry Demonstrations, and more. Speaking about the event, Dr Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway, said: "It will be a fun, free, family-friendly day out and will provide insight to just how much engineering affects the way that we live in our homes and communities." He added "From rural Zambia to urban Galway, engineering plays a fundamental role in our day-to-day lives. As we face a low-carbon, high-tech future, engineering solutions are evolving at a very rapid pace. This event is a great opportunity for people of all ages to learn more about these solutions in a very fun and highly interactive way." Engineering for Communities is being organised by the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway with support from GMIT and the Alan Kerins Project. The event is part of National Engineers Week, which aims to showcase the diversity of engineering and to celebrate the role of engineers in Ireland. Other NUI Galway events being hosted during National Engineers Week include primary school workshops by the College of Engineering and Informatics and many school events, seminars and public lectures hosted by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). -Ends-

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NUI Galway Awarded €3 Million to Lead EU Project in Cancer Diagnosis

Monday, 7 February 2011

Stokes Professor of Glycosciences at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES), Professor Lokesh Joshi, has been awarded an EU-FP7 grant worth €3 million to lead a large collaborative research project known as GlycoHIT over three years. GlycoHIT (Glycomics by High throughput Integrated Technologies) is aimed at developing future technologies that will enable fast and accurate analysis of glycosylation in blood samples from cancer patients. All cells and most proteins in blood are glycosylated, that is they are coated with sugars, and these sugars are known to be altered in many diseases, including cancer. High throughput technologies to analyse these altered sugars, or glycobiomarkers, will allow scientists to diagnose different forms of cancer from a simple blood test without the need for biopsy. GlycoHIT will also further develop sugar testing technologies to allow this rapid form of diagnosis to be used in a clinical setting. As Professor Joshi explains, "The development of reliable and fast diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancer is central to the project and of great importance. Early initiation of treatment can result in increased survival rates and improved quality of life for the patient. This research is an important step toward making that happen." A number of specific sugar biomarkers associated with certain forms of cancer have already been identified, but more are needed to improve the accuracy with which they can be used for cancer diagnosis. GlycoHIT will also assist the identification of improved glycobiomarkers for cancer. By discovering new biomarkers, as well as modifying existing lab technologies to decrease the amount of time required for testing, GlycoHIT has the potential to deliver a diagnosis in minutes rather than days. GlycoHIT is being funded under the EU-FP7 SICA (Specific International Cooperation Action) programme, the goal of which is to encourage much closer research cooperation between EU Member States and non-EU countries, in this case China. GlycoHIT has 15 academic and industry partners from across Europe, the US, Japan and China. A Chinese 'sister' project for GlycoHIT funded by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has also been identified by the European Commission. The two projects will hold a number of joint events during the project term to share expertise and knowledge. Vice President for Research at NUI Galway Terry Smith said "NUI Galway is delighted to be part of this investment by the EU for research to be led by Professor Lokesh Joshi. It is an affirmation of the quality of research conducted at NUI Galway and promises to further our commitment to enable the translation of research from bench to bedside." Welcoming this funding success, University President, Dr James Browne said: "This development highlights NUI Galway strong research reputation in key areas and our success in building collaborations with international partners. NUI Galway has to date, won over €25 million in competitive EU research funding under Framework Programme 7 (2007-13)." Professor Joshi is also Director of the NUI Galway-led Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC), which is examining how glycosylation is involved in the biology of good and bad bacteria, commensals and pathogens, in the gut, with a view to the identification of new therapies for gut diseases. -Ends-

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