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Wednesday, 31 May 2023
Tá an chéad Institiúid do Thrialacha Cliniciúla in Éirinn bunaithe agus an bhéim á leagan aici ar thairbhe agus ar thionchar d’othair D’fhógair Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu go bhfuil an chéad institiúid do thrialacha cliniciúla sa tír bunaithe acu. Déanfaidh an institiúid nua an comhthéacs taighde chliniciúil a athrú ó bhonn trí thimpeallacht a chothú ina dtabharfar aire níos fearr d'othair a bhuíochas le forbairtí i réimse na heolaíochta. Athróidh an Institiúid do Thrialacha Cliniciúla saol na ndaoine trína chinntiú go bhfaighidh othair rochtain ar na cógais agus ar na cóireálacha is déanaí go tráthúil. Tá clár taighde sárchaighdeáin uaillmhianach ag an Institiúid agus féachfaidh sí le hÉirinn a chur ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le fionnachtain chliniciúil agus bhithleighis. Dúirt Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Mar ollscoil ar mhaithe le leas an phobail, faoi stiúir ár luachanna, lena n-áirítear barr feabhais agus oscailteacht, déanfaidh bunú na hInstitiúide do Thrialacha Cliniciúla bealaí nua taighde a rianú ar mhaithe le sláinte agus folláine daoine ag an am is leochailí dóibh, in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta. Is sampla iontach é seo dár n-uaillmhian agus léiriú ar Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ag breathnú chun cinn, i mbun ceannródaíochta san eolaíocht agus sa taighde, ar fud an domhain agus chun leasa an domhain.” Thug Stiúrthóir na hInstitiúide, an tOllamh Peter Doran, cuntas ar uaillmhian na hInstitiúide: “Tá taighde ríthábhachtach d’éiceachóras an chúraim sláinte. Bíonn torthaí níos fearr ag othair a fhreastalaíonn ar ospidéil atá gníomhach i gcúrsaí taighde, mar gheall ar rochtain níos fearr ar chóireálacha tarrthála luatha, agus mar gheall ar an gcultúr atá ann nuair a bhíonn taighde agus fiosrú i gcroílár na gcóras sláinte. Trí ghníomhaíocht taighde chliniciúil a mhéadú, atá mar chroílár uaillmhian na hinstitiúide, spreagfaimid torthaí d’othair. “Tá a fhios againn freisin go mbíonn deacrachtaí ag cuideachtaí dúchasacha, go háirithe in earnáil na teicneolaíochta leighis, meastóireachtaí cliniciúla a dhéanamh in Éirinn, rud atá riachtanach do rochtain ar an margadh. Táimid ag cur straitéis ar bun chun dul i ngleic leis na bacainní a chuireann srian le reáchtáil trialacha cliniciúla in Éirinn.” Cuid mhór de ghníomhaíocht na hInstitiúide a bheidh ann feabhas a chur ar an gcaoi a ndéantar trialacha, ag comhtháthú modheolaíochtaí nuálacha le teicneolaíochtaí feabhsaithe agus le hanailís mhóilíneach níos fearr chun trialacha na todhchaí a chruthú agus go mbeidh Éire ina ceann feadhna maidir le trialacha cliniciúla. Dúirt an tOllamh Doran: “Ní bheidh leithéidí ghníomhaíochtaí trasearnála na hInstitiúide do Thrialacha Cliniciúla le fáil in aon áit eile sa tír. Beidh siad i gcomhréim le straitéisí forbartha réigiúnacha na hÉireann agus feabhsóidh siad iomaíochas eacnamaíoch trí infheistíocht, poist agus daoine cumasacha a mhealladh, chomh maith lena croímhisean maidir le sláinte na tíre a fheabhsú.” Sheol Noreen Doyle, fiontraí agus máthair ceathrar leanaí, an institiúid go hoifigiúil ar maidin. Bhí ailse na hóige ar bheirt dá clann agus tháinig siad slán as. Ag labhairt di ag an seoladh, dúirt Noreen Doyle: “In 2007 chuireamar ár mac dhá bhliain d’aois, James, i dtriail chliniciúil tar éis diagnóis de Ghéarleoicéime Limfeablastach (ALL) a fháil le súil go gcabhródh sé le leanaí amach anseo an ailse a chomhrac. Is beag a cheapamar an t-am sin go mbeadh a dheirfiúr beag, Kate, 10 mbliana ina dhiaidh sin, ar dhuine de na leanaí a bhainfeadh an-tairbhe as an triail cheannann chéanna seo.” Beidh an Institiúid faoi stiúir Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Dúirt an tOllamh Martin O’Donnell, Déan Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Dochtúir Comhairleach: “Déanfaidh an institiúid seo ár réimsí láidreachta nach beag a chomhdhlúthú i dtrialacha cliniciúla, cinnteoidh sé go ndéanfar fionnachtana leighis a aistriú go tapa chuig meastóireacht chliniciúil agus ar deireadh feabhsóidh an institiúid saol othar agus sláinte na ndaoine, ag baint leas as láidreachtaí acadúla na hOllscoile agus a comhpháirtí cúraim sláinte, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ollscoile Saolta. Díreoidh an Institiúid freisin ar chomhpháirtíochtaí marthanacha, comhbhuntáisteacha a fhorbairt le comhpháirtithe tionscail agus acadúla, chun go mbeidh ár réigiún ina cheannaire i dtaighde sláinte agus teicneolaíochta leighis.” Críoch
Wednesday, 31 May 2023
Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials established with a focus on benefit and impact for patients University of Galway has today announced the establishment of Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials. The new institute will transform the clinical research landscape by creating an environment where scientific advances are translated into improved care for patients. The Institute for Clinical Trials will transform lives by ensuring patients get access to the latest medicines and treatments in a timely way. Through its ambitious programme of research excellence, the Institute will position Ireland at the forefront of clinical and biomedical discovery. University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “As a university for the public good, led by our values, including excellence and openness, the establishment of the Institute for Clinical Trials will chart new paths in research for the benefit of the health and well-being of people at their most vulnerable time, in Ireland and internationally. This is a shining example of our ambition and a manifestation of University of Galway looking beyond the horizon, forging breakthroughs in science and in research, in the world and for the world." Director of the Institute, Professor Peter Doran, outlined the ambition for the Institute, said: “Research is critical to the healthcare ecosystem. Patients who attend hospitals that are research active have better outcomes, due to both increased access to early lifesaving treatments, and through the culture that pervades when research and inquiry are at the core of the health systems. By increasing clinical research activity, which is at the centre of the institute ambition, we will drive outcomes for patients. “We also know that indigenous companies, particularly in the medtech sector, struggle to conduct clinical evaluations in Ireland, which is essential for market access. We are setting in motion a strategy to address the barriers which limit the conduct of clinical trials in Ireland.” A major component of the Institute’s activity will be to improve how trials are done, integrating innovative methodologies, with enhanced technologies and better molecular analysis to create the trial of the future and position Ireland as a leader in clinical trials. Professor Doran continued: “The cross-sectoral activities of the Institute for Clinical Trials will be nationally distinctive, will align with Ireland’s regional development strategies and will enhance economic competitiveness by attracting investment, jobs and talent, in addition to its core mission of improving the health of the population.” The institute was officially launched this morning by Noreen Doyle, an entrepreneur and mother of four children, two of whom are childhood-cancer survivors. Speaking at the launch, Ms Doyle said: “In 2007 we entered our two year-old son, James into a clinical trial following is diagnoses of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) with the hope that it would help children in the future to fight cancer. Little did we know then that it would actually be his little sister, Kate, 10 years later, who would be one of those children to benefit greatly from this exact trial.” The Institute will be led from University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway and Consultant, said: “This institute will consolidate our areas of considerable strength in clinical trials, ensure the rapid translation of medical discoveries to clinical evaluation and ultimately improve the lives of patients and health of our population, leveraging the academic strengths of our University and its healthcare partner Saolta University Healthcare Group. The Institute will also focus on developing sustained, mutually advantageous partnerships with industry and academic partners, positioning our region as a leader in health and med tech research.” Ends
Monday, 29 May 2023
University of Galway academics Professor Louise Allcock, Dr Róisín Healy and Professor John Laffey have been elected as Members of the Royal Irish Academy for their exceptional contribution to literature, antiquities and science. They are among 28 new members admitted to the Academy by Professor Pat Guiry, President of the Royal Irish Academy, on Friday May 26. Louise Allcock is Professor of Zoology at University of Galway. She is a world leader in systematics and biogeography of molluscs, with a focus on octopuses and deep-sea biota, and uses her broad knowledge to advocate for ocean conservation. She has brought her passion to public attention via television, radio and beautifully illustrated books on ocean life. Professor Allcock has contributed actively to equality and diversity throughout her professional life. Róisín Healy is senior lecturer in History at University of Galway. She has published on modern German, Irish and Polish history. Dr Healy has helped forge a comparative history of colonialism in Europe by comparing British rule in Ireland with Prussian rule in Poland. She has received funding from the Fulbright Commission, the Irish Research Council and the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation. John Laffey is Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine and Director of Clinical Research at University of Galway's School of Medicine and Galway University Hospitals. His research is focused on acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis. A major focus is on therapeutic potential of cell therapies and the effects of carbon dioxide in the critically ill. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Professor Allcock, Dr Healy and Professor Laffey who have all made exceptional contributions in their respective fields. Research and academic excellence are the cornerstones of all that we do here at University of Galway, and I am very happy to see their work and achievements recognised by the RIA.” Professor Pat Guiry, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: “These individuals, elected by their peers, have made exceptional contributions in their fields of endeavour. We are delighted to recognise their achievements. As Members of the Academy, they will support the RIA by engaging and leading in activities that strengthen the international recognition of the Academy’s scholarship and serve the public good through their knowledge and insight." The RIA noted that Professor Allcock and Dr Healy were among 15 women elected as Members of the Academy as part of the latest awards for academic excellence. Election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy is the highest academic distinction in Ireland. The Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Ends
Wednesday, 24 May 2023
University of Galway will welcome 150 researchers, PhD students and external industry stakeholders from across the ENLIGHT network to campus for a special event to address and discuss solutions for global societal challenges. The ‘ENLIGHT European Dialogue Digital Innovation in Health and Wellbeing’ runs from 23 to 25 May, 2023 and brings together ENLIGHT universities and external stakeholders to share best practices and foster future research and education collaborations. One of the highlights of the networking event is the Academic Industry Meeting (AIM) day on Wednesday May 24. Created by Uppsala University in Sweden, AIMday is an exchange of knowledge and ideas focused on finding novel approaches to real-world challenges, and has been successfully adapted by universities around the world to open new networks and develop new collaborations between academia and industry. Numerous local companies will participate in the event including SymPhysis Medical, FeelTect, Croí and Boston Scientific and they will be joined by digital health companies from across ENLIGHT regions. President of University of Galway Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway’s mission is to be a university for the public good. At the edge but in the middle of everything, the openness and shared respect of the European ideal is central to us. Through working together, we are always seeking new ways to build connections and make an impact in our society and the ENLIGHT AIMDay is part of that.” Professor Becky Whay, Vice President International at University of Galway, said: “The ENLIGHT alliance exemplifies University of Galway’s commitment to openness and diversity in our University, creating opportunities for students and staff, as well as for our region. “Our partnership in a European University Network puts us at the forefront of designing models for cross European collaboration, in education, research and our external stakeholders in Galway and throughout Europe.” ENLIGHT is a partnership of nine universities, supported by the Government and the European Commission, to build a platform for the creation a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. The ENLIGHT University Alliance includes University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); and Uppsala University (Sweden). ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education and research, addressing societal challenges and promoting equitable quality of life, sustainability and external engagement with the communities of the partner universities. Ends
Tuesday, 23 May 2023
Three primary schools who used scientific methods to answer questions about well-being, education and fitness in the classroom have been awarded the START Trophy 2023 at a special event in University of Galway. Organised by the Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) at University of Galway, the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) annual competition encourages children throughout Ireland to learn more about healthcare decisions and how we can improve health and wellbeing by learning about randomised trials. Sometimes called clinical trials, randomised trials are a type of research study often used to find out if a new medicine or treatment works. The START competition is a fun, project-based approach to learning about randomised trials. It also helps meet key aspects of the current school curriculum in several subjects including maths, science, SPHE and ICT. The competition website provides all the tools needed to allow children and teachers create their own randomised clinical trial in the classroom. The three shortlisted primary schools and their trial questions were: Currow National School, Ranalough, Killarney, Co. Kerry Running Debate- should you run for distance or time? Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin, Dublin 9 Which method of learning produces better results in a test: educational videos or educational text? Corrandulla National School, Corrandulla, Galway Do mindful opportunities increase concentration in the classroom? Coming in at third place, Corrandulla National School from County Galway explored the imact of mindfulness on concentrating in the classroom. Techniques such as colouring, storytelling, breathing techniques, yoga and sensory play were tested, and the children’s emotions / feelings were recorded. This school concluded that the children felt happier after engaging in the mindfulness breaks, less likely to fidget misbehave or disrupt the class. The mindfulness intervention had positive emotional and academic outcomes for the children involved. Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin, Dublin, were presented with second place for their trial ‘Which learning method gives better academic outcomes, educational videos or educational text?’. The students randomised their fellow classmates to the intervention or control arm of the study, using a fun spinner wheel. Using a standard test for both control and intervention groups, the students concluded that the video resource resulted the children getting better test scores. The overall START first place winners were Currow National School, Ranalough, Killarney, Co. Kerry. They addressed whether or not running for distance or time to improve fitness and concluded that there was no difference between these two groups, and that either method would be good to improve fitness. Commenting on the START competition, Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-TMRN at University of Galway, said: “We started this competition for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to raise awareness of the importance of randomised trials with children. Secondly, we wanted to harness the creativity and imagination of children in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of trials. The high standard and variety of applications we receive each year demonstrates that the START competition has indeed raised the awareness of randomised trials and capitalised on children’s innate ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and in a fun way.” Dr Sandra Galvin National Programme Manager of the HRB – Trials Methodology Research Network, said: “The questions that the children come up with every year are amazing. They usually focus on an aspect of their own lives in the classroom, and they work together to create the trial, but also have a lot of fun. The curiosity and creativity of their bright young minds means they usually challenge our concepts and get us to think more creatively.” The three shortlisted schools were selected by four judges: Iseult Mangan, Former Primary School Principal Cloghans Hill NS (2017 START winner) and Teen Turn Mentor Aisling Murray, Teacher, St. Joseph’s National School in Kinvara and teacher of the 2018 START Competition winning class. Professor Shaun Treweek, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Aberdeen, UK Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK. The competition is run by the Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN), which is a collaborative Network across five University partners - University of Galway, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick - to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day and the anniversary of the first clinical trial which was carried out in 1747 in the British Navy. To learn more about START visit www.startcompetition.com or follow on Twitter @STARTSchools and Facebook at www.facebook.com/STARTCompetition Ends
Tuesday, 23 May 2023
Fluorescent dyes show sea creature’s cells complete takeover by transplanted stem cells A new study by a research team in the Centre for Chromosome Biology, University of Galway has described the developmental potential of adult stem cells in cnidarian Hydractinia - a creature which is a close relative of jellyfish. Cnidarians are a group of animals that includes corals and jellyfish, and unlike most of its allies, Hydractinia can be easily grown in the laboratory. The study was published as a cover article in the international journal Current Biology. The team, led by Professor Uri Frank, at University of Galway’s Centre for Chromosone Biology, and PhD student Áine Varley, established this animal as a model organism for stem cell research. This included the development of genetic tools that allow the generation of transgenic animals. A major question in stem cell biology is the ability of these cells to generate other cell types, such as neurons and muscle, throughout life. In the study, the team addressed the problem by transplanting a single stem cell from a donor animal to a recipient. The single transplanted stem cell was genetically labelled by fluorescent dyes, making it visible in the tissue of the recipient. The research team found that, following several months, progeny of the single transplanted stem cell gradually displaced the recipient’s own cells. Eventually, a complete takeover occurred, thereby the recipient animal became genetically identical to the donor. University of Galway PhD student Áine Varley who led the study said: “Cnidarians are known for their exceptional regenerative ability. Many of these animals can regenerate whole bodies from small tissue fragments. Another unusual feature of cnidarians is the apparent lack of ageing; indeed, some cnidarians, such as corals, are known to live for thousands of years without experiencing any decline in their health. These fantastic traits, which are uncommon in animals, are thought to depend on a population of adult stem cells that behave like embryonic cells in that they can renew all tissues, continuously.” Professor Uri Frank said: “Hydractinia adult stem cells are functionally similar to human embryonic cells. The technology developed in this project allows us easy access to embryonic-like cells in an adult animal. The study has implications on our understanding of how stem cells function to contribute to tissue regeneration.” Ends
Friday, 19 May 2023
Does cold water swimming improve general and mental health? Will screen time before bed affect sleep quality? Does antiperspirant/deodorant cause breast cancer? These are some of the questions researchers led by University of Galway are seeking to address on a website aimed at tackling some of the myths around healthcare claims. iHealthFacts.ie, a resource where the public can quickly and easily check the reliability of a health claim circulated on social media or word of mouth, aims to help people think critically about health claims and make well-informed choices. How does iHealthFacts.ie determine if a health claim shared on social media or in everyday conversation is trustworthy? Members of the public submit any health claims they are curious about through iHealthFacts.ie. A team of researchers in University of Galway will then search for scientific evidence to support or refute the claim. The team will look for relevant studies in a systematic way; searching for not just one study but trying to find all available studies on the topic. All the responses are reviewed by a team of Evidence Advisors from University of Galway, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, University of Limerick, University College Cork, Atlantic Technological University and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, by a panel of Public and Patient Advisors and by a health journalist before being published. There may not always be definitive answers to the questions asked as good quality studies might not have been conducted on the topic. However, there may be recommendations from expert groups. iHealthFacts will be explicit about the quality and certainty of the evidence underpinning all published answers. In other words, the team will describe not only the current state of knowledge on a topic, but also, how sure the public can be about the quality and certainty of that knowledge, empowering them to make well-informed decisions regarding their health, in line with their own values and preferences. Dr Paula Byrne, lead researcher with iHealthFacts.ie and post-doctoral researcher with Evidence Synthesis Ireland and Cochrane Ireland, said: “Unreliable claims can lead to poorly informed choices, under- or over-use of things we do to improve or maintain health. Unreliable claims can also lead to unnecessary waste and human suffering. iHealthFacts.ie offers a platform to help tease out the reliability of health claims. We hope it also helps the public think critically about health claims.” iHealthFacts.ie is updated regularly in response to the submitted and prioritised claims so members of the public can quickly and easily check the reliability of a health claim circulated by social media. The researchers hope this information will help people think critically about health claims and make well-informed choices. Dr Byrne added: “The results and the answers which we publish on iHealthFacts, should never been taken as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. They are intended for information purposes only. What we provide are short, easy to read, clearly presented responses to help a member of the public make an informed decisions about their own health.” Professor Declan Devane, Professor of Health Research Methodology, University of Galway and Principal Investigator with iHealthFacts.ie, said: “Good healthcare requires people to make informed, evidence-based decisions about their health. However, many people are overwhelmed with information, particularly information about what they can do to improve or protect health. Increasing amounts of health information now spread faster and further through multiple channels, including the web, social media, instant messaging, television and radio. Much of this information is unreliable. Unreliable information leads to poorly informed choices, under-or over-use of health interventions (or treatments) and avoidable waste and human suffering.” Johanna Pope, PhD candidate with iHealthFacts said: “Our team of researchers have already collected and addressed a number of claims which can be viewed on iHealthFacts.ie. These were submitted by the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are now expanding our remit to include any health topic. These include: diet, nutrition and fitness; heart health, blood pressure and cholesterol; cancer; breathing, smoking and respiration; sleep; reproductive and sexual health; brain and cognitive health; and others. iHealthFacts.ie is easy to use, and we welcome the public’s help in submitting health claims to be prioritised for review.” iHealthFacts is funded by the Health Research Board and the Health Service Executive. To learn more visit https://ihealthfacts.ie/, email email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @iHealthFacts1, Facebook, Instagram. Ends
Wednesday, 17 May 2023
University of Galway is to join 18 international research and academic partners in a Horizon Europe funded project to develop new biodegradable vascular implants. The BIOMEND programme will be led by Dr Ted Vaughan, Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Principal Investigator in the Biomechanics Research Centre at the University of Galway, with his colleague Professor Peter McHugh, and in close partnership with Dr Alexander Kopp, founder of Meotec Gmbh, located in Aachen, Germany, a world-leader in the production of biodegradable metal alloys for medical applications. Biodegradable materials are a category of biomaterial that gradually degrade when implanted in the body and have the potential to form the basis for the next-generation of endovascular stents, as they can reduce long-term complications associated with existing devices. Together with the wider BIOMEND consortium, the research team will tackle key technological challenges in the area of biodegradable implants so that they can be safely used in the human body. Dr Ted Vaughan, Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering at University of Galway, said: "We are delighted to receive this funding, which allows us to bring together leading experts from across Europe to develop the next-generation of biodegradable implants. Our goal is to develop a range of endovascular stent implants that reduce the risk of long-term complications and improve patient outcomes." Funded through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions scheme, the BIOMEND project is structured as an integrated research and training programme. As the proposal lead and BIOMEND training coordinator, Dr Eva Barrett, School of Engineering at University of Galway, explains: “BIOMEND will deliver world-class interdisciplinary training to 15 PhD researchers, who will carry out industry-based doctorates across the BIOMEND network. This will significantly enhance the career development and employment prospects of these researchers, promoting their future development into leading innovators of medical technologies.” Ends
Monday, 15 May 2023
University of Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics has hosted a leadership conference and reunion gala, as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme. During the event, the University announced plans to establish a new University of Galway MBA Alumni Network for more than 600 MBA graduates who have come through the programme, many of whom have gone on to senior leadership roles across sectors nationally and globally. The leadership conference and reunion gala served as a platform to showcase the outstanding expertise and experiences of the MBA alumni who have contributed significantly to their respective industries over several decades. The conference, opened by President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, featured panel sessions focusing on the impact of the MBA on business and society; talent development for future success; career reflections from alumni; and a CEO Leaders’ forum hosted by Danny McCoy, Director of Ibec. Since it was founded in the 1972/73 academic year, University of Galway’s MBA has established itself as one of the leading programmes of its kind in the country, providing exceptional business education and preparing leaders for the challenges of the ever-evolving global marketplace. Speaking at the event, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “I would like to congratulate the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics on 50 successful years of the MBA programme. The programme, and more importantly our graduates have made a significant impact to the world in the last five decades, helping to create the capacity, talent and leadership that would not otherwise be here. “The establishment of programmes such as the MBA are inflection points, envisioned by the people involved, facilitated by the place, responding to the needs of the time. We are facing new challenges now, in social cohesion, health and wellbeing, and climate action. And University of Galway is stepping up again to identify and respond to future opportunities and challenges. “In fifty years’ time, what will people say we did now that made a positive difference across the decades?” Professor Alma McCarthy, Dean of J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at University of Galway, said: “Over the past five decades, our MBA has consistently produced exceptional business leaders who have made significant contributions to their organisations and the business community as a whole. The events that we have been able to hold as part of the 50 year celebrations are testament to the achievements of our graduates, our alumni, and the enduring impact of the University of Galway MBA.” Professor Kate Kenny, MBA Programme Director at University of Galway, said: "As Programme Director, it was an honour and a pleasure to welcome so many MBA alumni, current students, faculty and even our founding Programme Director Professor Jim Doolan. During the day, I appreciated the rich insights from our panellists, on all manner of leadership learnings and challenges overcome since their time on campus as MBA students. But my stand-out memory is the strong sense of camaraderie and friendship among classes, past and present." The University of Galway MBA is accredited by AMBA, the global mark of excellence for MBA education. The two-year part-time executive leadership programme enables participants to prepare for accelerated career progression while also applying learning in their organisation from the start of the programme, with graduates going on to senior leadership roles across a broad range of sectors. For further information about the MBA at University of Galway visit https://www.universityofgalway.ie/mba/. Ends
Wednesday, 10 May 2023
Researchers at University of Galway studying cell interactions in bowel cancer have identified innovative strategies to enhance how the body and drug treatments fight the disease. Colorectal, also known as bowel, cancer is a leading cause of death globally with increasing incidence in developing countries and in younger people. In Ireland alone, there are more than 2,500 newly diagnosed cases of bowel cancer every year, with limited treatment options for patients at advanced disease stage. The findings of the research have been published in life science journal Cell Reports. Aideen Ryan, Associate Professor in Tumour Immunology at University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “Unfortunately, a high proportion of colorectal cancer patients do not respond to immunotherapy. We have identified sugar coated molecules with sialic acid, called sialoglycans, that are present on cells in tumours, known as stromal cells. These are associated with poor responses to immunotherapy. Targeting these molecules enhances the immune response in tumours that have high levels of these cells.” The research was carried out by University of Galway in collaboration with VUB, Belgium; Palleon Pharmaceuticals, Boston, USA; CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre based at University of Galway; Glasgow Beatson Institute for Cancer Research; Queen’s University Belfast. What did the researchers investigate? Approximately 25% of bowel cancer patients have a high density of stromal cells, a type of cancer-supporting cell found in close proximity to cancer cells. These patients are the hardest to treat. Stromal cells use a number of methods to inhibit or suppress immune cell responses, many of which are utilised by the cancer cells themselves, to promote tumour growth. This leads to conventional anti-cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and, more recently, immunotherapies, having less than favourable results. The researchers studied a previously unknown mechanism of stromal cell immunosuppression. It occurs as sugar coated molecules expressed on the stromal cell surface binds to specific protein receptors expressed on the surface of immune T-cells. What did the researchers discover? The sugars - sialic acids (or sialoglycans) – bind to receptors called Siglecs. The Siglecs stop the cancer killing T cells from working. The research showed that stromal cells, when exposed to inflammatory molecules released by bowel cancer cells, express increased amounts of the sialoglycans - on their surface. It also showed that T cells could be re-activated by using specific drugs to disrupt the binding between the cells. The researchers tested the findings using stromal cells isolated from bowel cancer patient biopsies and got the same results, confirming that targeting the binding of sialic acid/Siglecs may represent an innovative strategy to enhance anti-tumour immunity in immunosuppressive tumour microenvironments. Dr Ryan added: “Our plan now is to test the effects of combining this new targeting approach with clinically approved immunotherapies in the hope that the combination will improve immune responses to cancer. “We are fortunate to have access to drugs, called sialidases, that target sialoglycans through our collaborators Palleon Pharmaceuticals to test these new combinations in our laboratory. These sialidase molecules derived from Palleon's EAGLE glyco-immunology drug development platform has recent clinical proof of mechanism.” Li Peng, chief scientific officer, Palleon, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Dr Ryan in studying the role of sialoglycans on tumour-associated stromal cells in inhibiting anti-tumour immune responses. Dr Ryan's ground-breaking research highlights the therapeutic potential of targeting stromal cell sialoglycans in the tumour microenvironment as a cancer treatment approach, utilising a sialidase molecule derived from Palleon's EAGLE glyco-immunology drug development platform that has clinical proof of mechanism." Ends
Wednesday, 10 May 2023
Three University of Galway graduates will be awarded for the impact of their start-up companies at this year’s MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Europe festival. The celebration of young European innovators takes place in Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal, on May 11-12, 2023. Each of the three Galway-based innovators co-founded medtech and health tech companies having graduated from University of Galway’s landmark BioInnovate programme. Elle Sander - co-founder and chief executive of Lifelet Medical, a medical device start-up company innovating in heart valve replacement. Bárbara Oliveira - co-founder and clinical lead of Luminate Medical. The company's first product is a novel, pain-free and patient-centred medical device to prevent hair loss during chemotherapy. Brendan Staunton - co-founder and chief executive of Amara Therapeutics, a spin-out which is revolutionising the treatment of pelvic health conditions by delivering digital support to patients’ smartphones. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Being nominated for the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Europe awards is great recognition. Elle, Bárbara and Brendan are among our brightest, young researchers and innovators and to see them being heralded among their peers in Europe is testament to University of Galway’s promotion of innovation and our determination to break new ground in research, all the while with a focus on the public good.” MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Europe is an annual list that recognises outstanding innovators who are younger than 35. The awards span a wide range of fields, including biotechnology, materials, computer hardware, energy, transportation, communications, and the Internet. University of Galway is proudly partnering with the festival organisers, Údarás na Gaeltachta and other partners, to bring this year’s festival of innovation to Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal and to celebrate young European visionaries pursuing the same objective: innovation, ingenuity, and advances toward addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. More here on Innovators Under 35 https://emtecheurope.com/innovators-under-35-europe/ Read more about our university spin-outs here https://stories.universityofgalway.ie/spin-outs/index.html Ends
Tuesday, 9 May 2023
The AtlanTec Festival, Ireland’s annual tech community festival, opens today May 8, 2023. The two-week festival is supported by University of Galway and organised by the non-profit association itag (Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway). Now in its ninth year, this year’s theme is "Connected Future – Unlocking the Potential of a Digitally Connected World". A packed programme of events are planned, including group meet-ups, talks, sporting events and an "unconference" which looks at equity of opportunity and urges the participants lead and drive the agenda. Key highlights of the festival will also include the AI Summit, Cloud Native Summit and Tech Leaders’ Summit, which will be co-hosted by University of Galway on May 17 and 18, 2023. On the morning of May 17, the AI Summit will explore how Artificial intelligence is driving a wave of innovation in IT and everyday lives. The ever-evolving challenge for businesses to establish best practice in aligning AI with ethical and societal values will also be examined. On the afternoon of May 17, the Cloud Native summit will explore an area which promises more speed and agility to organisations and delve into where to start with cloud migration and how to avoid common pitfalls. On May 18 , the Tech Leaders’ Summit will bring together industry leaders, academia and experts to discuss the latest trends, challenges and best practices in leadership, innovation and technology. There will be a focus on refining leadership for the ever-evolving future, enabling businesses to thrive in an environment of constant change and disruption. Over 300 business leaders and expert technology developers are expected to attend the University summits. Speakers across the three summits include: Dr Rachel Finn of Trilateral Research; Dr Adrian Byrne, Idiro Analytics; and former Ireland rugby player and leadership development consultant Philip Matthews. Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President for Research at University of Galway, said: “Ireland is the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. The west of Ireland is a vibrant hub for digital and technology innovation companies. The AtlanTec Festival is our annual opportunity to showcase this excellence and innovativeness while bringing our tech community together.” The festival is supported by Avaya, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, Genesys, HPE, itag Skillnet, University of Galway, Storm Technology, and others. For more information on the AtlanTec Festival visit https://atlantec.ie/ Ends
Friday, 5 May 2023
University of Galway has welcomed the significant investment in the region by US-based life sciences company Dexcom. Ahead of the announcement by Dexcom of the establishment of a new manufacturing base in Co Galway, senior executives from the company visited the University to learn about research activity. Barry Regan, Dexcom Executive Vice-President, Global Operations joined Adrian Furey, Dexcom Vice-President EMEA and alumnus, met Consultant Endocrinologist Professor Fidelma Dunne and Professor of Anatomy and Regenerative Therapies Garry Duffy to hear about clinical trials and transformative technologies being developed for diabetes treatment. Sinead Walsh, BioInnovate Director of Operations, briefed the executives on the BioInnovate Fellowship, a specialist medical device and digital health programme based at University of Galway. University of Galway Deputy President and Registrar Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “We are very pleased to have been able to host Barry Regan and Adrian Furey from Dexcom and give them the opportunity to hear first-hand about University of Galway’s focus on the public good in our research and our ambitions to take our work to new heights.” University of Galway Vice-President Engagement Dr Paul Dodd said: “The significant investment by Dexcom in Galway is testament to the region as a global medtech hub; a region which University of Galway is at the heart of with our ambitions for investment in research, our excellence in teaching and learning and our desire to ensure the highest standards of graduates. We wish Dexcom every success with the investment and we look forward to further developing our engagement in the future.” Ends
Thursday, 4 May 2023
D’ainmnigh an tAire Comhshaoil, Aeráide, Cumarsáide agus Iompair Eamon Ryan T.D. Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu mar Churadh náisiúnta SDG 2023-24. Tugann an t-ainmniúchán aitheantas don ról ollmhór atá ag an Ollscoil chun Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe (SDGanna) na NA a bhaint amach. Is í Ollscoil na Gaillimhe an chéad ollscoil a bhain an t-ainmniúchán seo amach. D’ainmnigh an tAire Ryan 21 Curadh eile agus ceithre iar-Churadh SDG ón saol tionscail agus earnálacha idir CLG, RTÉ, An Post, Tesco agus an FAI. Is é an ról atá ag Curadh SDG feasacht an phobail ar SDGanna a mhéadú agus a bheith mar eiseamláir den chaoi ar cheart d’eagraíocht cur leis na SDGanna agus iad a chomhtháthú ina gcuid oibre agus ina gcuid gníomhaíochtaí. Dúirt Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an-áthas ar Ollscoil na Gaillimhe a bheith ainmnithe mar Churadh SDG i mbliana. Tá sé ráite ag pobal na hollscoile seo gur inbhuanaitheacht agus oscailteacht an dá chroíluach atá againn, agus sa mheon seo bainfimid úsáid mhaith as ár stádas Curaidh SDG chun béim a leagan ar thábhacht na Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe dár mic léinn, dár sochaí agus dár bpláinéad. As seo go ceann 12 mhí, leagfaimid béim ar an obair a dhéanaimid ar mhaithe le leas an phobail ar an gcampas agus ar bhonn níos ginearálta inár dteagasc, taighde agus rannpháirtíocht. Táimid ag tnúth freisin le dul i gcomhpháirtíocht le heagraíochtaí eile atá ar aon intinn linn chun na SDGanna a chur chun cinn.” Tugann bronnadh stádais Curaidh SDG aitheantas do na blianta fada d’obair chrua atá déanta chun na SDGanna a leabú ar leibhéil éagsúla ar fud na hOllscoile. Tá cáil dhomhanda ar thaighdeoirí Ollscoil na Gaillimhe as teicneolaíocht leighis, mhuirí agus chomhshaoil, réitigh fuinnimh inbhuanaithe, anailísíocht sonraí, cultúr agus cruthaitheacht. Tá ról tábhachtach acu go léir i gcur i bhfeidhm na SDGanna. Tá an inbhuanaitheacht á neadú ag léachtóirí sa churaclam agus tá uirlis rianaithe nua forbartha ag an Ollscoil chun ábhar SDG ár gcúrsaí a dhéanamh amach. Ó 2006 i leith, sháraigh an Ollscoil spriocanna trí laghdú os cionn 50% a dhéanamh ar úsáid fuinnimh ar fud an champais. Is áis tástála an campas agus na foirgnimh le haghaidh gníomhaíochtaí dearfacha inbhuanaithe agus is é ár gcampas i gcathair na Gaillimhe an campas ollscoile is mó a bhfuil bithéagsúlacht ag baint leis in Éirinn. Bronnadh an Brat Glas ar an Ollscoil in 2019 agus 2022, agus tá an Chonair Bhithéagsúlachta ag cur an champais chun cinn mar acmhainn oideachais agus caithimh aimsire. Tá tuarascáil aonair ar gach ceann de na 17 SDG sa Tuarascáil Inbhuanaitheachta Bhliantúil is déanaí agus soláthraítear samplaí dá ceannaireacht maidir le dul i ngleic leis na SDGanna ar thrí bhealach: Mic Léinn agus Foghlaim; Taighde; agus Rannpháirtíocht Pobail. Dúirt an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí: “Mar churadh SDG, tá deis ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe anois feidhmiú mar urlabhraí ar Spriocanna na Náisiún Aontaithe, agus daoine eile a spreagadh, go háirithe iad siúd san ardoideachas, chun tiomantas a thabhairt d’Éirinn agus cur lena spriocanna a bhaint amach.” Dúirt Michelle O’Dowd Lohan, Oifigeach Inbhuanaitheachta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe: “Is deis iontach é bheith inár gCuradh SDG chun feasacht agus infheictheacht na SDGanna a mhéadú ar an gcampas agus níos faide i gcéin agus ár bpobal campais a spreagadh arís maidir le hiompraíochtaí réamhghníomhacha inbhuanaithe. Aithnímid an ról ríthábhachtach atá ag ár gcuid mac léinn i gcur chun cinn na SDGanna. Mar chuid dár dtréimhse mar Churadh SDG, tá an-áthas orainn a fhógairt gur bronnadh Intéirneachtaí Inbhuanaitheachta Mac Léinn SDG ar bheirt mhac léinn ó Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Adam Mullins agus Ciara Varley chun tionscadail agus taighde a bhaineann le SDG a chur chun cinn i rith an tsamhraidh.” Thug Ranguithe Tionchair an Times Higher Education 2022 aitheantas d’Ollscoil na Gaillimhe mar an Ollscoil is fearr in Éirinn agus sa 50 Ollscoil is fearr ar domhan as a cuid iarrachtaí na SDGanna a chur chun cinn. Tá sí sa 5ú háit ar domhan maidir le dul chun cinn i leith SDG 12: Tomhaltas agus Táirgeadh Inbhuanaithe. Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ina sínitheoir ar Chomhaontú SDG agus tá roinnt dár gcás-staidéir inbhuanaitheachta le fáil i dTuarascáil Idirnáisiúnta Chomhaontú SDG 2022. Tá cur chuige Ollscoil na Gaillimhe maidir le SDGanna ar cheann de na cás-staidéir sa Dara Plean Feidhmiúcháin Náisiúnta de chuid na hÉireann maidir le Spriocanna Forbartha Inbhuanaithe 2022-2024. Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ina ball den Chumann Inbhuanaitheachta san Ardoideachas a Chur Chun Cinn (AASHE) agus tá sí liostaithe mar Institiúid den scoth in Innéacs an Champais Inbhuanaithe AAHE 2022. I mí na Samhna 2021 bronnadh rangú órga STARS uirthi as a cuid éachtaí inbhuanaitheachta. Tá Tuarascáil Inbhuanaitheachta Bhliantúil Ollscoil na Gaillimhe ar fáil ag https://www.universityofgalway.ie/media/sustainability/files/Sustainability-Report-22.pdf Críoch
Wednesday, 3 May 2023
University of Galway has today been designated as a national Sustainable Development Goal Champion for 2023-24 by Minister for the Environment, Climate, Communications and Transport Eamon Ryan T.D. The designation recognises the leading role the University is playing in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). University of Galway is the first university to hold this honour, joining 21 other newly appointed and four former SDG Champions announced by Minister Ryan across a range of industries and sectors, including the GAA, RTÉ, An Post, Tesco and the FAI. The role of an SDG Champion is to raise public awareness of the SDGs and act as a good practice example of how an organisation can contribute to and integrate the SDGs into their work and activities. University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway is delighted to be designated as SDG Champion this year. Our university community has defined sustainability and openness as two of our core values, and in this spirit we will make good use of our SDG Champion status to highlight the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals for our students, our society and our planet. Over the next 12 months, we will highlight the work we do for the public good on campus and more generally in our teaching, research and engagement. We also look forward to partnering with other like-minded organisations to progress the SDGs.” The awarding of SDG Champion status acknowledges many years of hard work embedding the SDGs on multiple levels across the University. Researchers at University of Galway have developed a global reputation for medtech, marine and environmental research, sustainable energy solutions, data analytics, culture and creativity, all having an important role to play in the implementation of the SDGs. Lecturers are embedding sustainability across the curriculum and the University has developed a new tracking tool to determine the SDG content of our courses. Since 2006, the University has exceeded targets by decreasing its energy usage across campus by over 50%. Our campus and buildings are test-beds for positive sustainable actions and our Galway city campus is the most biodiverse university campus in Ireland. The University was awarded the Green Flag in 2019 and 2022, and the Biodiversity Trail promotes the campus as an educational and recreational resource. Our latest Annual Sustainability Report includes an individual report on each of the 17 SDGs and provides examples of its leadership in tackling the SDGs in three ways: Students and Learning; Research; and Community Engagement. Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Deputy President and Registrar, said: “As SDG Champion, University of Galway now has an opportunity to act as an advocate of the UN Goals, and inspire others, especially those in higher education, to commit and contribute to Ireland achieving its targets.” Michelle O’Dowd Lohan, Sustainability Officer at University of Galway, said: “Becoming an SDG Champion is an ideal opportunity for us to raise awareness and increase visibility of the SDGs on campus and beyond and to re-energise our campus community around proactive sustainable behaviours. We recognise the crucial role that our students play in advancing the SDGs. As part of our SDG Champion tenure, we are delighted to announce that two University of Galway students, Adam Mullins and Ciara Varley have been awarded SDG Student Sustainability Internships to advance SDG-related projects and research over the summer.” University of Galway was recognised by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022 as the No.1 University in Ireland and Top 50 in the World for its efforts in progressing the SDGs. It is also ranked 5th in the world for its progress on SDG 12: Sustainable Consumption and Production. University of Galway is a signatory to the SDG Accord and a number of our sustainability case studies feature in the international SDG Accord Report 2022. The University’s approach to progressing the SDGs is featured as a case study in Ireland’s Second National Implementation Plan for the Sustainable Development Goals 2022- 2024. University of Galway is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and is listed as a top performer in the AASHE 2022 Sustainable Campus Index. In November 2021 it received a STARS gold rating for its sustainability achievements. University of Galway’s Annual Sustainability Report is available at https://www.universityofgalway.ie/media/sustainability/files/Sustainability-Report-22.pdf Ends