All 2012

NUI Galway Scientists Identify Novel Role for Small RNA Molecules in Breast Cancer

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The research labs of Professor Charles Spillane (Genetics and Biotechnology Lab, NUI Galway) and Professor Michael J Kerin (National Breast Cancer Research Institute, Galway) have discovered a new genetic control system implicated in breast cancer. Their research findings have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which is considered the 7th most important scientific journal worldwide by the Eigenfactor ranking system. Professor Kerin highlighted that “Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer worldwide in women and while treatments and outcome are improving there is a compelling need for continued research into its cause and treatment. About 2700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year. Advances in cancer biosciences research provide the basis for earlier diagnosis and new treatment regimes for breast cancer.” Both research labs are collaborating to investigate a new class of genes called microRNAs which produce small RNA molecules that can switch off other genes in normal and cancer cells.  Professor Spillane indicated that “There are over 1500 different types of these small microRNA genes identified so far in human cells and it is a major scientific challenge for us to understand which ones can make the difference between a normal and a cancer cell”. Working closely with Professor Spillane and Professor Kerin, molecular biologist Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu made the discovery that a particular microRNA gene called miR-9 acts to suppress tumour growth of breast cancer cells. In the project, the team also identified a new gene involved in breast cancer called MTHFD2 whose levels are kept down by the small RNA miR-9. However, when miR-9 levels go down in a cancer cell, levels of MTHFD2 go up and promote cancer cell development. Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu indicated that “Our findings are important as they show that high levels of miR-9 in cancer cells slows down tumour cell growth by down-regulating cancer promoting genes (oncogenes) such as MTHFD2. Measuring the levels of miR-9 and MTHFD2 in patient samples holds promise for use in the clinic as a novel biomarker in breast cancer diagnostics.” The research was funded by the Irish Cancer Society, the Health Research Board and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) in Galway. ENDS

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NUI Galway hosts Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Liverpool football legend, Ian Rush, was in Galway this week to launch the Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp, hosted by NUI Galway. Throughout the Summer Camp children aged between 5 and 16 will received top class soccer skills advice and a taste of the Premier League at the Liverpool Football Academy in the University’s sports grounds in Dangan.  Speaking at the launch Ian Rush said: “At Liverpool FC we pride ourselves on producing world class players and delivering exciting football to our fans. We take time to develop our younger players to ensure that they reach their full potential by guiding them through extensive training programmes and nurturing their development. As a result we have produced some world-class players over the years, which is something we’re really proud of. We apply the same principles to all age groups, including those who attend our Soccer School programmes. Liverpool FC International Football Academies run throughout the UK and are growing internationally too. So no matter where in the world you take a course, you’ll train and be coached in exactly the same way – The Liverpool Way.” Kathy Hynes, Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway is delighted to welcome the Liverpool FC official academy coaches to the University.  This is a wonderful event for everyone involved and we are delighted to provide our facilities to Liverpool FC and extending the University reach through sport into our local community.” This Academy school is held in association with the charity, Happy Children, which aims to improve the life of children in need. Brian Gallagher, from the charity Happy Children who coordinates all the soccer schools activity in Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the football academy to Galway as part of our expansion into all parts of Ireland with kids of all abilities, boys and girls, all welcome.” For more information on these soccer schools, please see -ENDS-

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Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium 2012

Monday, 20 August 2012

The role of centres of excellence in treating cancer will feature during Ireland’s largest surgical conference next month.  Over 300 delegates are expected to attend the 37th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium which takes place from 7- 8 September. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work, and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. Dr John R. T. Monson will deliver the Memorial Lecture on ‘Role of Centres of Excellence in Rectal Cancer’ on Friday, 7 September at 3pm.  Dr Monson is Chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, New York.  Dr Monson, who was born in Dublin, most recently served as a Professor of Surgery, Head of the Academic Surgical Unit, and Deputy Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Hull in England.  His areas of expertise include the use of minimally invasive technologies in colorectal cancer treatment, and he has also been involved in basic research into a broad range of cancer-related areas.  They include such diverse topics as evaluating the activity and effectiveness of antibodies in fighting cancer, and qualitative assessments of decision-making in cancer care.  Dr Monson led the development of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in the UK since 1990 and chaired the UK’s National Training Programme.  A lecturer and award-winning author of more than 220 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters, he is a former Vice President of the British Association of Surgical Oncology, served on the Executive Council of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Professor John MacFie will deliver the State of the Art Lecture on ‘Training Surgeons for Future Service Requirements’ on Saturday, 8 September at 1pm.  Professor MacFie is Professor of Surgery at the Post Graduate Medical Institute, University of Hull.  He is current President of the Leeds Regional Surgical Club and President of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland.  In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the James IV Surgical Foundation.  He holds Honorary Fellowships with the Royal College Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, says: “Cutting-edge research is taking place here in Ireland, but this is an opportunity to engage with research from other countries, and combine that with the latest clinical knowledge. We are delighted to welcome Dr Monson and Professor MacFie to this annual event, and look forward to hearing their insights.” Surgery is a discipline within the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, teaching programmes for undergraduate medical students and postgraduate surgical trainees.  Next month will see the first intake into a new study programme, the Masters Degree in Surgery (MCh), which is designed to enhance the academic and professional development of surgical trainees by improving the level of scientific appreciation for evidence-based clinical practice. The venue for the 37th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium will be the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. For further information call 091-524390 or visit -ends-

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Chinese Experts at Conference to Confer on Environment and Health

Monday, 20 August 2012

NUI Galway will host the 2012 Sino-European Symposium on Environment and Health (SESEH 2012) starting today (Monday, 20 August) until Saturday, 25 August. The event will provide a platform for interaction between scientists, consultants, and public servants engaged in the multi-disciplinary area of environment and health. Over 200 delegates are expected to attend, including 100 experts from China. SESEH will, for the first time, provide an opportunity for a direct communication between environment and health experts from China and Europe, and help to foster and develop international collaborations. SESEH 2012 will discuss questions such as ‘Is the air we breathe still fresh?’, ‘Is the water we drink still clean?’ and ‘Is the food we eat still safe?’  “Safeguarding our environment and our health is one of the most challenging issues that we are currently facing”, explains Dr Chaosheng Zhang of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and Chair of SESEH 2012. “With economic development and improvements in our quality of life, the environment around us is under pressure, and often deteriorating. As the second largest economy in the world, we have much to learn from and discuss with our Chinese colleagues.” Dr Zhang is an expert in Geographical Information Science (GIS) and is head of NUI Galway’s GIS Centre, based in the Ryan Institute.  GIS is generally understood as a computer-based mapping system, but its functions go far beyond that to solve sophisticated spatio-temporal problems in sectors of society, ranging from socio-economy, government, commerce and business, and environmental management. The conference is sponsored by NUI Galway, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Failte Ireland, Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi) and GIS company SuperMap from China. -ENDS-

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CAO Points Soar for Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering at NUI Galway

Monday, 20 August 2012

Following national trends, points for NUI Galway’s courses has seen a dramatic increase of 51% this year. Demand for Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering have all soared in the CAO first round offers from NUI Galway, with sights firmly fixed on the jobs markets in these areas. Medicine at NUI Galway has seen a substantial increase in demand across all courses*, in particular Midwifery, up 30 points to 450 and Psychiatric Nursing degree increasing 25 points in 2012. NUI Galway’s Undenominated Bachelor of Engineering and Civil Engineering courses have increased from 400 points in 2011 to 430. Electronic and Computer Engineering has also jumped 40 points to 445 this year. Courses such as Biomedical Engineering (425 to 430), Sports and Exercise Engineering (380 to 400), Energy Systems Engineering (410 to 430), Project and Construction Management (315 to 325) and Electrical and Electronic Engineering (445 to 455) have all seen an increase in CAO points. Points for the majority of Science courses have increased this year with NUI Galway’s Biomedical Science degree seeing a substantial increase of 35 points to 550, with Biotechnology also jumping up 30 points to 445 this year. Specialised Science programmes have also increased such as Biopharmaceutical Chemistry degree increasing 80 points to 495, Mathematical Science (455 to 485), Earth and Ocean Sciences (365 to 380), Physics and Applied Physics (390 to 400) and Physics with Astrophysics (390 to 405). The Computer Science and Information Technology course has increased by 25 points to 415 this year with Business Information Systems degree also leaping to 370 from 355 in 2011. As with national trends Humanities programmes at NUI Galway has seen a dip in points this year. However specialised courses such as the BA sa Cumarsáid has increased 25 points to 350. Similar with Business courses nationally specialised programmes such as Commerce with French see a rise of 20 points to 495 this year. NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘This year, as with last year, CAO applicants have their eyes firmly set on the jobs market as we once again witness increases in the entry level points for courses in Science, Medicine, IT and Engineering, with 87% of all courses in these areas showing points increases over last year. As expected, and in line with national trends, demand for Humanities courses are down, however specialised Arts courses continue to perform well. Applicants are making well-informed decisions; they are choosing courses where the University has unique strengths and a well-established reputation. In particular, our Biomedical Science, IT and Engineering courses have proved very popular this year, which are supported by heavy investment in the Capital Infrastructure Project as new buildings, to house these courses, come on line. For example the new Engineering Building, a world-class teaching and research facility opened last year, accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. The 14,250sqm building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship.” -ENDS-   Pointí CAO méadaithe go mór don Eolaíocht, Leigheas, IT agus Innealtóireacht in OÉ Gaillimh Tá méadú suntasach 51% tagtha ar phointí do chúrsaí OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana, ag teacht leis an méid atá ag tarlú ar fud na tíre. Tá an-éileamh ar Eolaíocht, Leigheas, IT agus Innealtóireacht sa chéad bhabhta de thairiscintí CAO ó OÉ Gaillimh, mar gheall ar mhargadh na bpost sna réimsí sin. Tá an-éileamh tagtha ar gach cúrsa Leighis* in OÉ Gaillimh, go háirithe Cnáimhseachas, tá méadú 30 pointe go 450 pointe tagtha air sin agus tá méadú 25 pointe tagtha ar chéim san Altranas Síciatrach in 2012. Tá méadú ó 400 pointe in 2011 go 430 pointe tagtha ar Bhaitsiléirí Neamhainmnithe san Innealtóireacht agus san Innealtóireacht Shibhialta in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá méadú 40 pointe go 445 tagtha ar Innealtóireacht Leictreonach agus Ríomhaireachta i mbliana. Tá méadú tagtha ar phointí CAO a theastaíonn ar chúrsaí cosúil le Innealtóireacht Bhithleighis (425 go 430), Innealtóireacht Spóirt agus Aclaíochta (380 go 400), Innealtóireacht Chórais Fuinnimh (410 go 430), Bainistíocht Tionscadail agus Foirgníochta (315 go 325) agus Innealtóireacht Leictreach agus Leictreonach (445 go 455). Tá méadú tagtha ar phointí d’fhormhór na gcúrsaí Eolaíochta i mbliana agus tá méadú suntasach 35 pointe tagtha ar an gcéim san Eolaíocht Bhithmhíochaine in OÉ Gaillimh go 550, agus méadú 30 pointe tagtha ar Bhiteicneolaíocht go 445 i mbliana. Tá méadú tagtha chomh maith ar shainchláir Eolaíochta cosúil le céim sa Cheimic Bhithchógaisíochta a mhéadaigh 80 pointe go 495, Eolaíocht Mhatamaiticiúil (455 go 485), Eolaíochtaí Domhain agus Aigéin (365 go 380), Fisic agus Fisic Fheidhmeach (390 go 400) agus Fisic le Réaltfhisic (390 go 405). Tá méadú 25 pointe tagtha ar an gcúrsa Ríomheolaíochta agus Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise go 415 i mbliana agus léim an chéim Córais Faisnéise Gnó go 370 ó 355 in 2011. Mar atá ag tarlú ar fud na tíre, tháinig laghdú ar phointí do chláir sna Daonnachtaí in OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana. Mar sin féin, tháinig méadú 25 pointe ar shainchláir cosúil leis an BA sa Chumarsáid go 350 pointe. Cosúil le cúrsaí Gnó ar fud na tíre tháinig méadú 20 pointe go 495 ar shainchláir cosúil le Tráchtáil le Fraincis i mbliana. Dúirt Oifigeach Iontrála OÉ Gaillimh, Stephen O’Dea: “I mbliana, ach an oiread leis an mbliain seo caite, tá iarratasóirí CAO ag coinneáil súil ghéar ar mhargadh na bpost agus arís eile tá sé le feiceáil againn an méadú atá tagtha ar na pointí a theastaíonn do chúrsaí Eolaíochta, Leighis, IT agus Innealtóireachta. Tá méadú tagtha ar na pointí ar 87% de na cúrsaí sna réimsí seo le bliain anuas. Mar a bhíothas ag súil leis, agus ag teacht leis an méid atá ag tarlú ar fud na tíre, laghdaigh an t-éileamh ar chúrsaí sna Daonnachtaí, ach tá ag éirí go maith i gcónaí le sainchláir sna Dána. Tá iarratasóirí ag déanamh cinntí maithe; tá siad ag roghnú cúrsaí a bhfuil an Ollscoil láidir iontu agus a bhfuil cáil ar an Ollscoil dá mbarr. Tá an-tóir ar chúrsaí san Eolaíocht Bhithmhíochaine, san IT agus san Innealtóireacht anseo i mbliana, agus tá infheistíocht mhór déanta san Infreastruchtúr Caipitil agus foirgnimh nua á dtógáil chun na cúrsaí seo a chur ar bun iontu. Mar shampla an Foirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta, áis Teagaisc agus Taighde den scoth a d’oscail anuraidh agus ina mbíonn 1,100 mac léinn agus 110 comhalta foirne. Tá an foirgneamh 14,250 méadar cearnach ina chnámh taca ag glúin nua innealtóirí a rachaidh i ngleic le teicneolaíochtaí nua agus a thabharfaidh faoin nuálaíocht agus faoin bhfiontraíocht.” -CRÍOCH-

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