All 2012

NUI Galway Calls on Patients with Back Pain for Trial of a new Rehabilitation Programme

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway is currently recruiting patients with back pain to take part in the Pain Disability Prevention Programme (PDP) trial..  The study offers patients with back pain the opportunity to avail of 10 sessions with a clinical psychologist trained in pain rehabilitation. The sessions, which are free of charge, will focus on active rehabilitation, instruction in a range of pacing techniques, cognitive therapy to help identify negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges, stretching and exercising to improve physical function.  The study, funded by the HSE, will take place in counties Galway, Dublin, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Limerick and Cork.  GPs and physiotherapists in these counties are being encouraged to refer suitable patients to the study.Miriam Raftery, Researcher at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway says: “We know that a combination of psychological and physical therapies provided at the early stages of back pain are beneficial, particularly for people at risk of long term disability.  However this type of service is often only accessible via specialised hospital-based pain management teams.  In this trial we will offer this type of service to people locally and at the earlier stages of injury. Ms Raftery added: “Many people find that a combination of cognitive and physical rehabilitation like the PDP programme enables them to take back control of their lives, to do more and feel better.  By trialing this early-intervention programme we can assess if this type of service is beneficial for people with chronic pain.”Patients can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial.  Clinicians are attached to the trial in each of the participating counties so appointments take place locally for patients.  In Limerick, Cork, Dublin and Galway appointments take place in the city, while in Donegal appointments are held in Letterkenny and Buncrana.  For patients in the Mayo region, appointments take place in Swinford, while in Sligo appointments are in Sligo town.The researchers are specifically interested in hearing from people who have back pain for no longer than 12 months and are either off work or on reduced work hours due to pain.For further information, please contact Miriam Raftery, Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, email , phone 091 495 830 or see the website  GPs interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also contact this number.ENDS

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Conference on Agricultural Biodiversity for Sustainable Food and Agriculture at NUI Galway

Monday, 30 January 2012

The conservation and sustainable use of our agricultural biodiversity is critical to future sustainable development, both in Ireland and internationally. In response to this, on Thursday, 9 February, the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Centre is hosting AgBioDiv2012.The free event is Ireland’s first Annual AgroBiodiversity Conference. Agricultural biodiversity or agrobiodiversity refers to all biological and genetic diversity which is directly relevant to agriculture and food production.Agrobiodiversity concerns the variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture, including crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries. It comprises the diversity of genetic resources (varieties, breeds) and species used for providing the food, fodder, fibre, fuel and medicines that we depend on for our everyday lives.AgBioDiv2012 organiser Professor Charles Spillane, Head of Plant and AgriBiosciences at NUI Galway, highlighted that: “Since the early 1990s there has been a tremendous upsurge in activity to conserve Ireland’s rare livestock breeds and threatened crop varieties. A coalition of activities by the Department of Agriculture and Food, universities, NGOs, and dedicated individuals across Ireland has led to a vibrant community now involved in agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use.”Professor Spillane said:“The time is right for an annual conference to bring everybody together to take stock of what has been done, what can be done and what is necessary to do over the coming years to ensure that agrobiodiversity contributes to a vibrant and sustainable food and agriculture sector in Ireland.”He added: “Such agrobiodiversity conservation efforts have ensured that native livestock rare-breeds such as Galway sheep and Kerry bog ponies and many threatened plant varieties have not become extinct over the past decade. Many such rare-breeds and varieties have become eligible for REPS (Rural Environment Protection Scheme) support. Ireland now has a national genebank, and we now store Ireland’s threatened crop varieties in the long-term Svalbard Global Seed Vault on the island of Spitzbergen inside the Arctic circle.”The line up of 19 invited speakers assembling for AgBioDiv2012 includes international speakers from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Bioversity International, and the National History Museum in Paris. A wide range of speakers from Ireland will cover agrobiodiversity topics including rare breeds of livestock, rare and threatened crops wild relatives, seed saving, forestry and tree conservation, seaweed diversity, horticultural and ornamental plants, energy crops, and honey bees.Dr Danny Hunter, Adjunct Lecturer in AgroBiodiversity and Leader of the AgroBiodiversity research theme in the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Centre highlighted that: “The recent State of Knowledge, Ireland’s Biodiversity 2010 report highlights the importance of biodiversity to the national economy with an estimated contribution of over €2.6 billion. Agricultural biodiversity, that element of biodiversity important for agriculture and food production, contributes substantially to this figure. The pollinators of our crops alone contribute about 80 million euro. Irish agriculture and food security depends on this diversity of animal, plant and microbial genetic resources. However, these biological resources are increasingly threatened and this requires urgent action to ensure they are effectively conserved for future generations.”NUI Galway AgroBiodiversity researcher Ms Angela Mina-Vargas said: “AgBioDiv2012 will provide opportunities to learn more about Ireland’s national activities and priorities regarding conservation of agrobiodiversity resources including rare breeds, rare crop and horticultural varieties, and a host of other diverse organisms including seaweeds, bryophytes, birds and bees that are important for the sustainability of future food and agricultural systems. Agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use is critical to future sustainable development and to ensuring food and livelihood security in societies across the globe, particularly in developing countries.”Dr Danny Hunter stressed that: “AgBioDiv2012 will hopefully contribute to an improved understanding of the current status of conservation and utilisation of agricultural biodiversity in Ireland including how we are meeting our commitments and obligations to global biodiversity Conventions and Treaties. It should also highlight gaps in our knowledge and provide a platform for greater networking among partners to address these. It is fitting that such a conference is taking place a few weeks after the death of Dr Erna Bennett, one of Ireland’s great unheralded scientists and an early pioneer of the science and practice of genetic conservation and champion of small farmers all over the world who have been the custodians of the planet's agricultural biodiversity.”AgBioDiv2012 will be held at NUI Galway on Thursday, 9 February, 2012 and is open to all who are interested. Registration is available at the conference website, and is supported by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre, and Genetic Heritage Ireland. -ends-

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COGG iTunes U Channel to be launched live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta

Monday, 30 January 2012

A new learning resource developed by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway for Gaeltacht and all-Irish primary schools will be launched by the Head of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Edel Ní Chuireáin, on Wednesday (2pm) 1 February 2012, in Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Carna.  The launch will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta. The new iTunes U – COGG (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta) Channel comprises audio and video resources that have been carefully selected from both the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta and NUI Galway archives, as part of a research project undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. The 300 new learning resources include songs, poems, stories, interesting points of information and history in the different dialects that are aimed at stimulating language acquisition and enrichment among Gaeltacht and all-Irish primary schools, particularly in 5th and 6th class.  A learning plan has also been developed for teachers to assist in the effective use of the resources in the classroom.  The Channel will also have resources for other learner groups.Muireann Ní Mhóráin, Chief Executive of COGG comments: “Digitial resources of a high standard are a prerequisite for the contemporary classroom.  The new Channel will add significantly to the current corpus of Irish language teaching resources available to Gaeltacht and all-Irish primary school teachers and to the student learning experience.  And with the Channel being launched on the Feast of St. Brigid it’s great see to our rich cultural heritage and new technology  being intertwined to develop Irish language learning resources in such an attractive and efficient way.”Commenting on behalf of the research team at NUI Galway Séamas Ó Concheanainn says: “This project  reinforces the role of research in third-level institutions in addressing the contemporary needs of primary schools with regard to the availability of excellent digitial teaching resources for the classroom.  The project draws on the expertise being developed in the digitial humanities at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and at the Acadamh Centre at Carna, in particular.  The exploitation of modern learning tools and traditional resources together has the potential to significantly contribute to language acquisition and therefore this project underpins one of the Centre’s key strategic objectives, that of sustaining and strengthening the Irish language in the Gaeltacht and throughout the country.”Ends _________________________________________________________________________ Cainéal iTunes U de chuid COGG le seoladh beo ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Seolfaidh Ceannaire RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Edel Ní Chuireáin áis fhoghlama úrnua atá forbartha ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh do bhunscoileanna Gaeltachta agus lán-Ghaeilge, ar an gCéadaoin (2 p.m.) an 1 Feabhra 2012, in Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Carna. Craolfar an seoladh beo ar an gclár Ardtráthnóna ar RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.Is éard atá sa Chainéal nua iTunes U - COGG (An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta) ná cnuasach saibhir d’acmhainní físe agus fuaime a roghnaíodh go cúramach ó Chartlann RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta agus ó Chartlanna Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh féin, mar chuid de thionscadal taighde atá curtha i gcrích ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge.  Áiríonn an Cainéal 300 mír fhoghlama ina bhfuil amhráin a gcasadh, dánta á n-aithris, scéalta spraíúla á n-insint, eolas á roinnt agus míreanna staire á gcur i láthair i gcanúintí éagsúla.   Tá na míreanna dírithe ar shealbhú agus ar shaibhriú na Gaeilge i measc daltaí i mbunscoileanna Gaeltachta agus lán-Ghaeilge, go háirithe daltaí Rang 5 agus 6.  In éineacht leis na hacmhainní féin, tá plean foghlama deartha a bheidh mar áis sa seomra ranga ag múinteoirí bunscoile agus iad ag úsáid na míreanna foghlama.  Tá acmhainní foghlama atá feiliúnach do spriocghrúpaí eile ar fáil ar an gCainéal freisin.Deir Príomhfheidhmeannach COGG, Muireann Ní Mhóráin:“Teastaíonn acmhainní digiteacha den chéad scoth sa seomra ranga. Cuirfidh an cainéal nua le stór acmhainní teagaisc mhúinteoirí bunscoile i ranganna 5 agus 6 ach go háirithe. Ba cheart go gcuirfeadh an cainéal go mór le heispéireas na foghlama i scoileanna Gaeltachta agus i nGaelscoileanna ar fud na tíre. Agus an cainéal á sheoladh ar Lá Fhéile Bríde, is maith liom go bhfuil an sean agus an nua ag obair as lámha a chéile agus go bhfuil saibhreas na muintire á roinnt an athuair ar shlí atá saoráideach agus snasta.”Thar ceann fhoireann an tionscadail in OÉ Gaillimh deir Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh, Carna , Séamas Ó Concheanainn:“Tionscnamh eiseamláireach é seo a dhaingníonn tábhacht an taighde ar an gceathrú leibhéal le freastal ar riachtanais chomhaimseartha múinteoirí bunscoileanna trí acmhainní digiteacha teagaisc den scoth a chur ar fáil don seomra ranga. Cuireadh an togra i gcrích a bhuíochas den saineolas sna daonnachtaí digiteacha atá á saothrú in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge trí chéile ach go háirithe in Ionad na hOllscoile anseo i gCarna. Cothaíonn saothrú an léinn nua-aoisigh agus an chultúir traidisiúnta in éineacht deiseanna ar leith don sealbhú teanga agus tacaíonn an tionscadal taighde seo go láidir mar sin le ceann de phríomh chuspóirí an Ionaid, sé sin an Ghaeilge a bhuanú agus a threisiú sa Ghaeltacht agus ar fud na tíre.”CRÍOCH

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HEA ICT Skills Initiative Funding Success for NUI Galway and High-Tech Industry Partners

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

NUI Galway, in collaboration with software industry partners, has been awarded HEA funding for an innovative industry-focused Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development. This goal of this one-year post-graduate conversion course, co-designed with industry experts, is to increase the supply of skilled graduates to meet the needs of Ireland’s high-growth software industry. It will provide graduates with a fast-track, focused computing qualification, and presents them with an opportunity to obtain valuable industry work experience.The new Diploma builds on the existing strengths of collaborative academic-industry interaction in the Galway region, and will provide graduates with: a solid foundation in key software design knowledge; a choice of software architecture specialization in either .NET or Java Enterprise; and a guaranteed work placement to gain relevant experience, and so provide the opportunity to kick-start their career as software developers.The industry partners include Avaya, Ericsson, Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), Fidelity Investments, Hewlett Packard, Storm Technologies and the Marine Institute, and the new course will be delivered as part of the Information Technology Discipline’s complimentary portfolio of postgraduate degrees.Welcoming news of the award, Dr Jim Duggan, Lecturer in Information Technology at NUI Galway, commented: “This is a wonderful opportunity for highly motivated analytical graduates from engineering, science, business, and arts to invest just one year of their time in further education, and, through placement experience with our Industry partners, they will have an excellent prospect for recruitment as software developers in Ireland’s high tech ICT sector.”ENDS

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NUI Galway Students Scoops Watts Medal

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Four NUI Galway Medical students were recently presented with prizes from the Health Research Board (HRB). The overall winner of the Watts Medal was fourth-year medical student Dympna O’Dwyer from Mullagh, Co. Clare, with second place going to Sarah Cormican from Oranmore, Co. Galway, a third-year medical student at the University.Fourth-year medical student Urszula Donigiewicz from Carrigtwohill, Co. Sligo was presented with first place in the Watts Poster competition and third place was awarded to third-year medical student Maria Duignan from Boyle, Co. Roscommon.The Watts Medal is an annual prize awarded for the best presentation of scientific work to a lay audience. Undergraduate students who win a HRB Summer Scholarship are entitled to enter. Their entries are reviewed by scientists, and the best entries are selected for entry into the Watts Poster competition, with the top projects from that selected to compete for the Watts Medal proper.Commenting on the competition, HRB CEO Enda Connolly said: “The quality of the work on display both in the poster competition and the Watts Medal presentations was truly astounding. The students have shown ingenuity, commitment and drive to have accomplished so much in the eight weeks that their HRB Summer Scholarships lasted. They have been able to tackle complex problems, come up with genuine solutions, and place their research into the wider social context of how it translates to making people healthier and delivering better treatments.”Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway, hopes to build further on this outcome by encouraging clinical and biomedical research as an integral part of undergraduate medical education, “Research is an extremely important component of disease specific knowledge and treatment but also contributes significantly to population health and health services research. The awards have occurred as a result of the commitment of undergraduate students to research, the supervision and mentoring of students by staff within the school, and the high calibre of the research being conducted” she said.-ENDS-

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