All 2012

NUI Galway Researchers Win Top Prizes at Irish Pain Society Conference

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Researchers from NUI Galway received prestigious prizes for their research posters presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Irish Pain Society, held in Galway recently.  Elaine Jennings won first prize and the Pain Research Medal for her research on the impact of stress on pain and associated alterations in the body’s so-called endocannabinoid system. Dr Bright Okine won third prize for his characterisation of changes in a nuclear receptor signaling system during pain. Both researchers work within Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the NCBES Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway under the supervision of Dr David Finn and Dr Michelle Roche.  The winning research projects were funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. The research competition was judged by a panel of international experts who commended the high quality of the research.  NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research has an impressive track record in this competition, winning the Pain Research Medal on five occasions in the last six years. Leading experts on the assessment and management of headache and pain affecting the face and mouth attended the Annual Scientific Meeting. Coinciding with the Global Year Against Headache, the meeting heard about new advances in the diagnosis and treatment of common, but often debilitating conditions such as migraine and less common conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia which is associated with severe facial pain. Clinical experts and scientists from a range of professional disciplines such as pain medicine, surgery, nursing, physiotherapy and psychology presented their research findings to an audience of scientists and health practitioners.  Dr David Finn, Co-Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research and member of the Irish Pain Society’s committee, said: “We are very pleased that the meeting in Galway was so well-attended. The quality of the presentations was excellent and we are particularly pleased to see these prizes awarded to researchers at NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research.” -ENDS-

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NUI Galway launches Civic Engagement Book Collection

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and James Hardiman Library’s Civic Engagement Book Collection will be launched by Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, in the Library foyer on Thursday, 8 November at 3.30pm. This collection of books incorporates diverse aspects of civic engagement and contains books from a wide range of disciplines and will act as a central reference point for all materials in this field. It is envisaged that this collection will be a valuable resource to those who seek to integrate and promote civic engagement within and without the University. Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project coordinator at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway continues to highlight its leadership in the area of university engagement with community through civic engagement. We at the CKI are delighted that the James Hardiman Library has established itself as a site of knowledge and resource excellence that will enable our student and community populations to learn broadly about aspects related to this area through this collection.” Civic Engagement is a strategic priority for NUI Galway and through the CKI the University works to promote greater civic engagement through its teaching and research. This is reinforced through the use of service learning, community based learning, volunteering and research. To visit the James Hardiman Library website go to -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Economics Graduates Network

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Economics Discipline in the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics has established a new network - the NUI Galway Economics Graduates Network – in order to establish closer links between the Discipline and its graduates.  The Economics Discipline is proud of its association with its graduates many of whom have gone on to make a significant contribution in different areas of business, economic and public life in Ireland. The Economics Discipline at NUI Galway has itself made significant strides in recent years in regard to both research and teaching and prides itself on being an influential  force within the economics community in Ireland and internationally. The network will be launched in Lecture Hall 1, St. Anthony’s, NUI Galway between 4pm and 7.30pm on Friday, 2 November. The event will begin with a talk delivered by Max Watson on Financial Integration in Europe: Lessons from Ireland. Mr Watson is a Fellow of Wolfson College, and is also the Director of a research programme on the Political Economy of Financial Markets at the University of Oxford. He has served as a Director of the Central Bank of Ireland, and co-authored a report for the Oireachtas on the sources of Ireland's Banking Crisis. Following Mr Watson’s talk, the network will be formally launched with remarks from representatives of the University, the economics discipline, employers, and former graduates. The launch will feature an outline of a mentoring programme that is being introduced this academic year. The goal is to pair around twenty former graduates now employed in prominent positions in leading private and public organisations with twenty of the current students. The mentoring programme is just one part of a broader programme of activities designed to make it easier for graduates in economics to make the transition to the workplace. For further information please contact Brendan Kennelly, JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway. Email: -ends-

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Scientists Informed by General Public Regarding Gene and Stem Cell Therapy

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Report to be published on 2 November A cure for osteoarthritis would be a sensation. Many international research teams are working towards this goal, but few, if any, of these groups have asked the ‘target group’ of their research, patients and interested lay people, for their opinion. Researchers at the Science Foundation Ireland funded Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway have led the Irish effort to hear the views of the ordinary patient member of the general public. The speakers of the patient and citizen panels will officially present their report to Marian Harkin, MEP at 5pm this Friday, 2 November in the Orbsen Building at NUI Galway. Members of the general public, political and scientific communities and the media are expected to attend. The research was run by a project called GAMBA (Gene Activated Matrices for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration in Arthritis), which asked osteoarthritis patients and citizens to participate in an intensive dialogue and to evaluate their EU-funded research. A series of discussion panels took place in Germany, Switzerland and in Galway and surprisingly, the opinions generated by the five panels involved are quite similar, despite different professional and cultural backgrounds. Involving end users at the early stages of research is a novel and exciting approach which could lead to better understanding and acceptance by the public and also gives valuable insights to the researchers themselves. Researchers at REMEDI in NUI Galway were joined by 17 patients and 10 interested citizens, aged between 19 and 78. Over the course of four days the volunteers were given comprehensive information. Researchers, journalists, ethicists, surgeons and health professionals from NUI Galway, and elsewhere in Ireland and the UK, joined them to discuss the opportunities, risks and the ethical aspects of adult stem cell and gene therapies and nanomedicine. The resulting report emphasises the need for more research in osteoarthritis, allied with a responsibility for researchers not to raise false hopes in patients. Panels expressed concerns about the ability of ethics committees to assess complex topics under time pressure with the Irish citizen panel called for a peer review system. All panel groups were adamant that good communication between research teams and between researchers and the public was of utmost importance and stressed that successes and failures in research needed to be published. All panels also thought it was important not to neglect research into the causes of osteoarthritis and to also explore alternative and complementary medicine. Overall, the Irish participants were the most positive in the evaluation of the process with the final outcome a tentative endorsement of the GAMBA approach. “Our experience with the Galway panels was very positive and rewarding.  The dialogue challenged us as researchers to be more thoughtful about research questions and ethical standards, to place the patients centre stage and engage with the public in general as we develop novel therapies for the medicines of the future,” says Dr Mary Murphy, the GAMBA leader at REMEDI.  -ends-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Athlone on Thursday, 8 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts with Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and our Bachelor of Arts with Journalism which is brand new for 2013. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Dublin, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Athlone is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Athlone, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 239 1219 or . ENDS

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