Friday, 25 September 2015

Michael O’Flaherty, Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre of Human Rights at NUI Galway, has been chosen as the new Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Commenting on the appointment, Professor O’Flaherty said: “It is a great honour for me to take up this important position. I very much look forward to working together with the staff and the Management Board of the FRA to advance the protection and promotion of fundamental rights throughout the EU, particularly in these critical times. Professor O’Flaherty added, “It has been an enormous pleasure and privilege to direct the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway over the past three years. As I prepare to depart I wish to express appreciation for my wonderful colleagues who have done so much to maintain the centre as a world leader in Human Rights research, teaching and advocacy.” President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne congratulating Professor O’Flaherty on his new appointment said: “Michael has been a great leader at the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway and we very much appreciate the significant work he has done for NUI Galway and internationally. He leaves an important legacy at the University and we wish him the very best in his new role as Director of FRA.” Michael O'Flaherty has been Established Professor of Human Rights Law and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway since February 2013. He was Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission until November 2013. He has also been a member of the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee and has been active in the field of human rights for over 20 years, nationally and internationally. He has been a senior expert for Ireland as part of FRA’s multidisciplinary research network, FRANET, since 2014. For further information on the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights contact -Ends-

Monday, 28 September 2015

Over 70 actively recruiting companies across all industries will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair on Tuesday, 6 October from 12.30-4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Graduate Jobs Fair will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, civil and public sectors, and consultancy. Major local employers such as Medtronic, SAP, Enterprise Ireland and Smyths will attend, in addition to international companies including Abbott, SITA Inc., Pepper Asset Servicing and Gerson Lehrman Group. Emma Goode, Employment Officer with NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates across all academic disciplines remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Emma also has some advice for those attending the Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you! Prepare for the fair. Research the companies you are interested in and the type of opportunities they have available. Have something to say when you approach a stand and be confident, positive, enthusiastic and professional. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on participating exhibitors is available from     -Ends-

Monday, 28 September 2015

The clinical translational research facility will be a significant development for health care and medical technology sector in Ireland Enable the best researchers and health professionals to carry out studies that will change people’s lives for the better Currently over 100 clinical trials underway involving people with cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, amongst others NUI Galway will open the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and HRB Clinical Research Facility at University Hospital Galway today. The co-location of these two facilities in one building on hospital grounds will mean basic laboratory research conducted in the translational research facility can be evaluated in clinical trials in the clinical research facility and ultimately benefit patients faster. Some examples of the types of studies undertaken in the two facilities will include: Predicting risk of breast cancer due to inherited characteristics Stem cell trials to help improve blood flow in legs of diabetic patients and prevent amputation Clinical trials in blood cancer patients to establish whether new treatments can be combined with existing treatment for better outcomes. How implantable medical devices can provide new solutions for patients Officially opening the building today, An Taoiseach said: “I am delighted to celebrate the opening of this new clinical and translational facility made up of the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and the Health Research Board Clinical Research Facility. This project represents a truly innovative partnership between NUI Galway, Health Research Board, Saolta University Health Care Group, and HSE supported by private philanthropy through Galway University Foundation. Ireland is recognised as an emerging global hub for the ‘medtech’ sector. Galway is at the very heart of this development and NUI Galway is the powerhouse for much of this progress. In July 2011, I officially opened a new Engineering building at NUI Galway. Last February I launched the Biomedical Sciences building. Today we open a unique clinical and translational research facility. Taken together these three facilities complete an ecosystem of education, research, innovation and healthcare in the West of Ireland. This latest facility represents the point where research and health care meet – where “bench” meets “bedside”. The advances made by researchers and clinicians in this facility will undoubtedly lead to better frontline health outcomes and will ultimately improve patients’ lives.” NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said, “Today is a milestone in the development of medicine at NUI Galway. NUI Galway has given strategic priority to the development of biomedical engineering science. Over the past two decades we have invested heavily in this area, with major new research facilities on our campus. Our researchers advance scientific knowledge to address health challenges. Here in this building that scientific knowledge is being developed into novel treatments, which are then carefully applied in the clinical setting and tested in clinical trials led by NUI Galway.” Dr Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board highlights, “The HRB Clinical Research Facility is not just a building - it is a game changer. Turning health research discoveries into real benefits for people’s health and patient care doesn’t happen by itself. This HRB facility will enable the best researchers and health professionals to carry out studies that will change people’s lives for the better. The HRB CRF will provide a safe place for patients to take part in clinical trials and access the latest treatments. It will be a centre of learning for young researchers and health professionals– so we are investing in our future. And it will also create opportunities for partnership between the health system, academia and industry that we know will support health system innovation and economic development.” Commenting, Maurice Power, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group said, “This exciting new facility brings together leading-edge medical research directly to the bedside of patients at University Hospital Galway and the wider Hospital Group.  For our patients, the facility will provide inpatient and outpatient beds, a minor operations room, endoscopy, endocrine and cardiorespiratory suites, a phlebotomy room and a biometrics unit.  As well as its primary function in benefiting our patients it will also allow our Hospital Group attract and retain the highest calibre of medical professionals." Philanthropy has played a central role in this development. Galway University Foundation acknowledged the support of philanthropic donors, in particular, Dr Ronan and Ann Lambe, the 50 plus member of the Corrib Medical Network, Bank of Ireland and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute. Speaking at the launch Dr Ronan Lambe, said:  “It is a great privilege for my wife and I to be associated with such a state of the art facility which will enhance the reputation of NUI Galway as a centre of excellence for Bio Medical Research.”    The proximity of the University to UHG will enable direct patient access and collaborative trial input from the hospital Oncology/Haematology Clinical Trials Unit. The CRF will ensure that patients in the West and North West of Ireland have access to a number of new cancer therapies that would otherwise not have been available to them. Clinical trials are active in the treatment of melanoma, multiple myeloma, mantel cell lymphoma, breast, prostate, lung, gastrointestinal and gynaecological cancers. Some Examples of trials that are underway at the two facilities Case Study 1 – Predicting risk of breast cancer due to inherited characteristics The incidence of breast cancer is increasing and the role genetics play is not yet fully understood for the majority of women. We calculate that less than 10% of women with a strong family history have an abnormality in the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 genes which are known to be associated with a risk of developing breast cancer. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Interim Director of the Lambe Institute for Translational Research, “In the West of Ireland we have a very high incidence of breast cancer and examining the genes that cause this cancer is a key research priority and has contributed to multiple international studies, including one which identified 74 new genetic changes associated with breast cancer. The HRB-Clinical Research Facility will allow new trials to be developed around these genetic targets.”   Case study 2 Preventing amputation in patients with diabetes mellitus Patients with Diabetes Mellitus can often experience limited blood flow to the leg. Many patients present with gangrene, pain at rest or ulceration in the leg. While bypass of the obstruction is possible in some patients amputation may be required for one in every three patients with this complication. In fact an amputation occurs every 30 seconds somewhere in the world due to diabetes mellitus and thus new treatments are urgently required. A new study, which will take place across the HRB Clinical Research Facility, the Lambe Institute for Translational Research and University Hospital Galway will take stem cells isolated from patients’ bone marrow, grow them in a specially designed laboratory at NUI Galway and then inject them into the leg in the dedicated clinical research space. This research is a first-in-person study which aims to assess the safety and feasibility of this approach and is funded by the Health Research Board and Science Foundation Ireland. According to lead researcher, Professor Tim O Brien, Dean, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway and Consultant Endocrinologist at University Hospital Galway, “The aim is to see if injections of stem cells along the leg will improve blood flow and prevent the need for amputation in these patients. This first-in-person study is designed to assess the safety and feasibility of this approach and if this is demonstrated larger studies will be required to assess efficacy. Having a dedicated laboratory provided by the Lambe Institute in close proximity to the HRB Clinical Research Facility on hospital grounds transforms our ability to do this research and provide our patients with early access to trials in a safe environment. The provision of the new facility along with recent capital developments in Galway including the Biomedical Science Research Building, the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland and the Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment provides the complete infrastructure to perform studies of stem cell therapy in Ireland.” Case study 3 Tackling blood cancer Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood cancer and it has a particularly high incidence in Ireland. It is important to look for new therapies to treat people who relapse or are unresponsive to existing treatment. Another clinical trial which will take place across these two new facilities will test the efficacy of a new drug in combination with existing treatments to see if it improves outcomes for these patients. Professor Michael O’Dwyer, HRB Clinician Scientist at NUI Galway says, “Based on promising results of an initial trial, we are now moving forward to test the impact of a stronger dose of the new drug in combination with existing treatments. If this is successful, the treatment should be available to Irish patients sometime later this year. The availability of labs and clinical facilities in one place is fantastic. It creates a situation where we have the optimum facilities, skills and patients which means we are very competitive in attracting international trials. This is important because it has been shown that regardless of the outcome of trials, patients who get to participate in trials do better than those who don’t.” Case Study 4 Prevention is better than cure – Diabetes in pregnancy Diabetes in pregnancy, known as Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) poses many risks to both mother and baby. The prevalence of GDM is 12% of all pregnancies in Ireland but varies considerably across Europe with prevalence of up to 20% reported for some populations.  It is known that if women adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, they can help create optimal health outcomes for both mother and the baby they are carrying. However, there is currently little evidence that actually shows the benefits of preventing of diabetes in pregnancy.  In order to build evidence in this area Professor Fidelma Dunne Consultant Endocrinologist, NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital is the Irish Principal Investigator on a new European randomised controlled trial called DALI. “This study is comparing the impact of diet, exercise, taking Vitamin D, and various combinations of these lifestyle changes, on reducing the risk of developing gestational diabetes in at-risk pregnant women. The HRB Clinical Research Facility is one of 11 centres around Europe where this EU FP7 funded study is taking place.” She continues, ‘It is essential that we increase the evidence base and highlight the importance of preventing and managing diabetes in pregnancy for mother and baby.’ According to Professor Martin O’Donnell, Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway, “In tandem with our focus on improving clinical care of patients, a clear priority for the HRB Clinical Research Facility is to improve health at a population level, through prevention of disease. At the HRB-CRFG we are conducting a range of studies that will inform optimal approaches to preventing stroke, heart attack and dementia in populations, with a focus on nutrition, blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and lifestyle behaviours.” Case Study 5 - Predicting responses to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients The era of personalised medicine means that chemotherapy is now more targeted towards specific cancer subtypes. However the prediction of response to common chemotherapeutic agents still poses a problem for clinicians. It would be beneficial to be able to predict treatment response by a simple blood test and save women, who are not getting the benefit from chemotherapy, the trauma of continued treatment and instead give them the option of an alternative and better regimen. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Interim Director of the Lambe Institute for Translational Research, "We have exciting data from trials which suggest that specific biomarkers (microRNAs) circulating in the bloodstream can predict response to treatment in breast cancer. As a result of this we may be able to select better therapies for patients. The research questions raised will be translated into new clinical trials in conjunction with the HRB-Clinical Research Facility.” If you would like more information on the work of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, please email -ENDS- Osclaíonn an Taoiseach Ionaid nua Taighde a rachaidh chun tairbhe Príomhchúram Othar Forbairt shuntasach do na hearnálacha cúraim sláinte agus teicneolaíochta leighis in Éirinn a bheidh sa tsaoráid taighde aistrithigh agus chliniciúil Cuirfear ar chumas na dtaighdeoirí agus an lucht gairme sláinte is fearr tabhairt faoi staidéir a chuirfidh feabhas ar shaol daoine Sa bhreis ar 100 triail chliniciúil ar siúl faoi láthair le daoine a bhfuil ailse, diaibéiteas, galar cardashoithíoch ag gabháil dóibh Inniu osclóidh OÉ Gaillimh Ionad Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh. De bhrí go mbeidh an dá shaoráid seo in aon fhoirgneamh amháin ar thailte an ospidéil beifear in ann an buntaighde saotharlainne a dhéanfar sa tsaoráid taighde aistrithigh a mheas sna trialacha cliniciúla sa tsaoráid taighde chliniciúil agus dá bhrí sin feicfidh othair an tairbhe i bhfad níos sciobtha. I measc na gcineálacha staidéar a dtabharfar fúthu sa dá shaoráid beidh: -          An baol a bhaineann le hailse chíche a fhorbairt mar gheall ar thréithe dúchais a réamh-mheas -          Trialacha gascheall chun sreabhadh fola i gcosa othar diaibéiteach a fheabhsú d'fhonn teascadh a sheachaint -          Trialacha cliniciúla in othar a bhfuil ailse fola ag gabháil dóibh le déanamh amach an féidir cóireálacha nua a chur le seanchóireálacha chun torthaí níos fearr a fháil -          Conas is féidir le feistí leighis ionchlannaithe réitigh nua a chur ar fáil d'othair Dúirt an Taoiseach inniu agus é ag oscailt an fhoirgnimh go hoifigiúil: “Tá an-áthas orm ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar oscailt na saoráide nua seo áit a bhfuil Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil an Bhoird Taighde Sláinte.  Léiríonn an tionscadal seo comhpháirtíocht thar a bheith nuálach idir OÉ Gaillimh, an Bord Taighde Sláinte, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ospidéil Saolta, agus Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhíse Sláinte; comhpháirtíocht atá maoinithe ag daonchairdeas príobháideach trí Fhondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Samhlaítear Éire mar mhol domhanda atá ag teacht chun cinn go láidir san earnáil leighis-teicneolaíochta. Tá Gaillimh i gcroílár na forbartha seo agus tá OÉ Gaillimh mar lárionad do chuid mhór den dul chun cinn seo. I mí Iúil 2011, d'oscail mé an foirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta go hoifigiúil in OÉ Gaillimh.  I mí Feabhra seo caite d'oscail mé an foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis. Inniu osclaímid saoráid uathúil taighde chliniciúil agus aistrithigh.  Nuair a chuirtear le chéile na trí shaoráid seo tá éiceachóras iomlán againn d'oideachas, taighde, nuálaíocht agus cúram sláinte in Iarthar na hÉireann. Seasann an tsaoráid is déanaí seo don phointe ina dtagann taighde agus cúram sláinte le chéile – an pointe ina dtagann an “teoiric” agus an “cleachtadh” le chéile.  De bharr na hoibre a dhéanfaidh taighdeoirí agus cliniceoirí sa tsaoráid seo is cinnte go mbeidh torthaí sláinte príomha níos fearr ann agus ar deireadh cuirfear feabhas ar shaol na n-othar.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, “Is buaicphointe i bhforbairt an leighis in OÉ Gaillimh atá sa lá inniu.  Tá tús áite straitéiseach tugtha ag OÉ Gaillimh d'fhorbairt na heolaíochta innealtóireachta bithleighis.  Le scór bliain anuas tá infheistíocht láidir déanta againn sa réimse seo, agus saoráidí móra taighde ar an gcampas mar thoradh air seo. Cuireann ár dtaighdeoirí eolas eolaíoch chun cinn d'fhonn aghaidh a thabhairt ar dhúshláin sláinte.  San fhoirgneamh seo táthar ag déanamh cóireálacha nua as an eolas eolaíoch seo, agus ansin tá siad sin á gcur i bhfeidhm sa suíomh cliniciúil agus á dtástáil i dtrialacha cliniciúla faoi stiúir OÉ Gaillimh.” Dúirt an Dr Graham Love, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Bhoird Taighde Sláinte, “Tá níos mó ná foirgneamh i gceist le Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB, is athrú iomlán ar chur chuige atá ann. Tá obair mhór i gceist le fionnachtana taighde sláinte a aistriú isteach i bhfíorbhuntáistí do shláinte daoine agus do chúram othar. Cuirfidh an tsaoráid HRB seo ar chumas na dtaighdeoirí agus na ngairmithe sláinte is fearr dá bhfuil ann staidéir a dhéanamh a athróidh saol daoine chun feabhais. Beidh áit shábháilte ag othair sa tsaoráid HRB chun páirt a ghlacadh i dtrialacha cliniciúla agus chun teacht ar na cóireálacha is nuaí. Lárionad foghlama do thaighdeoirí óga agus do ghairmithe sláinte a bheidh ann – táimid ag déanamh infheistíochta inár dtodhchaí. Chomh maith leis sin, cruthóidh sé deiseanna comhpháirtíochta idir an córas sláinte, an lucht acadúil agus an tionscal a thacóidh le nuálaíocht sa chóras sláinte agus le forbairt gheilleagrach. Dúirt Maurice Power, Príomhfheidhmeannach, Grúpa Cúraim Sláinte Ospidéil Saolta, “Tugann an tsaoráid nua seo taighde ceannródaíoch leighis chuig an othar sa leaba in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh agus sa Ghrúpa Ospidéil níos leithne.  Cuirfidh an tsaoráid na nithe seo a leanas ar fáil dár n-othair: leapacha in-tí agus eisothair, seomra do mhionobráidí, seomraí ionscópachta, inchríneacha agus cardairiospráideacha, seomra fleibeatóime agus aonad bithmhéadrachta.  Chomh maith le feidhmiú go príomha ag déanamh leasa dár n-othair cuirfidh sé ar chumas an Ghrúpa Ospidéil na gairmithe leighis is fearr a mhealladh agus a choinneáil.” Bhí ról lárnach ag an daonchairdeas san fhorbairt seo.  Thug Fondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe aitheantas don tacaíocht a fuarthas ó dheontóirí daonchairdiúla, go háirithe an Dr Ronan agus Ann Lambe, breis is 50 ball de Líonra Leighis na Coiribe, Banc na hÉireann agus an Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche.  Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh dúirt an Dr Ronan Lambe:  “Is iontach an phribhléid dom féin agus do mo bhean a bheith bainteach le saoráid den scoth a chuirfidh go mór le cáil OÉ Gaillimh mar ionad barr feabhais don Taighde Bithleighis.”    Mar gheall go bhfuil an Ollscoil chomh gar don Ospidéal beidh teacht ag taighdeoirí go díreach ar othair agus beidh ionchur comhoibríoch trialach ag an Aonad Trialacha Cliniciúla Oinceolaíochta/Haemaiteolaíochta san ospidéal. Cinnteoidh an tSaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil go mbeidh teacht ag othair in Iarthar agus in Iarthuaisceart na hÉireann ar theiripí nua ailse nach mbeadh ar fáil dóibh murach an tsaoráid seo. Tá trialacha cliniciúla ar siúl faoi láthair chun cóir leighis a chur ar fáil in aghaidh: meileanóma, mialóma iolrach, liomfóma ceall maintlín, alise chíche, phróstataigh, scamhóige, ghastraistéigeach agus ghínéiceolaíoch. Roinnt samplaí de na trialacha atá ar bun sa dá shaoráid   Cás-staidéar 1 – An baol a bhaineann le hailse chíche a fhorbairt mar gheall ar thréithe dúchais a réamh-mheas Tá níos mó cásanna den ailse chíche ag teacht chun cinn agus níltear cinnte fós faoin ról atá ag géinitic i bhformhór na mban. Áirímid go bhfuil níos lú ná 10% de mhná le stair láidir teaghlaigh a bhfuil mínormáltacht sna géinte BRCA1 nó BRCA 2, géinte atá bainteach leis an mbaol a bhaineann le hailse chíche a fhorbairt. Dar leis an Ollamh Michael Kerin, Stiúrthóir Gníomhach Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach, “In Iarthar na hÉireann feictear líon an-ard d'ailse chíche agus is príomhthosaíocht taighde é na géinte is cúis leis an ailse seo a scrúdú agus tá go leor staidéir idirnáisiúnta déanta sa réimse seo, staidéar amháin a d'aithin 74 athrú nua géiniteach bainteach le hailse chíche. Tabharfaidh Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB deis dúinn trialacha nua a fhorbairt bunaithe ar na spriocanna géiniteacha seo.”   Cás-staidéar 2 – Teascadh in othair le diaibéiteas mellitus a sheachaint Is minic go gcuireann sreabhadh teoranta fola sa chos as d'othair a bhfuil diaibéiteas mellitus ag gabháil dóibh. Go hiondúil bíonn morgadh, pian agus tú ar do shuaimhneas nó othrasú sa chos ag cur as d'othair. Cé gur féidir seach-chonair a dhéanamh ar an mbacainn i gcásanna áirithe, tá an baol ann go mbeidh teascadh i gceist d'othar amháin as triúr a mbaineann an aimhréidh seo dóibh. Go deimhin, tarlaíonn teascadh chuile 30 soicind in áit éigin ar domhan de bharr diaibéiteas mellitus, agus is ar an mbunús sin a theastaíonn cóireálacha nua go géar. Déanfaidh staidéar nua – a bheidh ar bun idir Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB, Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach agus Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh – a bhaineann le gaschealla a thógáil ó smior na n-othar, iad a fhás i saotharlann speisialta ar leith in OÉ Gaillimh agus iad a instealladh sa chos ar an láthair taighde chliniciúil faoi leith.  Tá an taighde seo ar an gcéad staidéar a bhaineann leis an taighde daonna agus é mar aidhm aige an cur chuige ó thaobh sábháilteachta agus indéantachta a mheas; tá an taighde á mhaoiniú ag an mBord Taighde Sláinte agus ag Fondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann.  Dar leis an bpríomhthaighdeoir, an tOllamh Tim O Brien, Déan, Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte, OÉ Gaillimh agus Comhairleoir le hInchríneolaíocht in Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh, “Is é an aidhm atá leis an staidéar seo go bhfeicfí an gcuideoidh na hinstealltaí de ghaschealla sa chos leis an sreabhadh fola a fheabhsú agus teascadh a sheachaint sna hothair seo. Tá an chéad staidéar a bhaineann le taighde daonna curtha ar bun chun sábháilteacht agus indéantacht an chuir chuige a mheas agus má léirítear gur amhlaidh atá, beidh gá le taighde breise ar scála níos mó chun a éifeachtúlacht a mheas.  Cuireann an tsaotharlann speisialta in Institiúid Lambe atá cóngarach do Shaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ar thailte an ospidéil go mór lenár gcumas an taighde seo a chur i gcrích agus luath-thrialacha i dtimpeallacht shábháilte a sholáthar dár n-othar. Soláthraíonn an tsaoráid nua, móide na forbairtí caipitil reatha i nGaillimh ar a n-áirítear foirgneamh Taighde Eolaíochta Bithleighis, an tIonad don Chillmhonarú in Éirinn agus Bunaíocht Fola agus Fíocháin na Gaillimhe, an t-infreastruchtúr iomlán d'fhonn staidéar ar theiripe gascheall a bhaint amach in Éirinn.”   Cás-staidéar 3 – Dul i ngleic le hailse fola Tá mialóma iolrach ar an dara hailse fola is coitianta le líon an-ard cásanna den chineál ailse seo in Éirinn. Is den tábhacht go lorgófaí teiripí nua chun cóireáil a chur ar dhaoine a dtagann athiompú orthu nó iad siúd nach n-oibríonn an chóir leighis atá ar fáil faoi láthair dóibh. Déanfaidh triail chliniciúil eile, a bheidh ar bun sa dá shaoráid nua seo, dianscrúdú ar a éifeachtúla is atá an chóir leighis nua le feiceáil an mbíonn torthaí níos fearr le fáil nuair a dhéantar cóireálacha nua a chur le seanchóireálacha. Thug an tOllamh Michael O’Dwyer, Eolaí Cliniceora HRB in OÉ Gaillimh le fios: “Bunaithe ar dhea-thorthaí trialach tosaigh, táimid anois ag déanamh tástáil ar an tionchar atá ag dáileog níos láidre den druga nua in éineacht le seanchóireálacha. Má éiríonn leis seo, ba chóir go mbeadh an chóir leighis ar fáil do mhuintir na hÉireann níos deireanaí sa bhliain. Tá sé thar cionn go bhfuil na saotharlanna agus na saoráidí cliniciúla seo ar fáil faoi aon díon amháin. Buntáiste mór é na hothair, na saoráidí agus na scileanna ardchaighdeáin seo a bheith ar fáil ar an láthair chéanna agus léiríonn sé go bhfuilimid thar a bheith iomaíoch ó thaobh trialacha idirnáisiúnta a mhealladh. Tá tábhacht ar leith leis seo mar go léirítear, beag beann ar thorthaí na dtrialacha, go n-éiríonn níos fearr le hothair a bhíonn rannpháirteach sna trialacha i gcomparáid leo siúd nach mbíonn.”   Cás-staidéar 4 – Is fearr cosc ná leigheas – Diaibéiteas le linn toirchis D'fhéadfadh go leor rioscaí a bheith i ndán do mháthair agus leanbh mar gheall ar dhiaibéiteas le linn toirchis, nó Diaibéiteas Mellitus le linn Toirchis (GDM). Bíonn GDM i gceist in 12% de gach toircheas in Éirinn, le rátaí éagsúla ar fud na hEorpa agus tuairiscítear go bhféadfadh GDM a bheith i gceist i suas le 20% de thoirchis i bpobail ar leith.  Tuigtear má chloíonn mná le stíl shláintiúil mhaireachtála an fhad is atá siad ag iompar, gur féidir leo dea-thorthaí sláintiúla a bhaint amach dóibh féin agus don leanbh atá á iompar acu. Mar sin féin, is beag fianaise atá ar fáil i láthair na huaire a léiríonn na buntáistí a bhaineann le diaibéiteas le linn toirchis a sheachaint.  Chun críche fianaise a bhailiú sa réimse seo tá an tOllamh Fidelma Dunne, Comhairleoir le hInchríneolaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh agus Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Gaillimh ag feidhmiú mar Phríomhthaighdeoir na hÉireann ar thriail nua Eorpach atá randamaithe agus rialaithe dar teideal DALI. “Díríonn an staidéar seo ar an laghdú is féidir le haiste bia, aclaíocht, Vitimín D a ghlacadh, agus meascáin éagsúla de na hathruithe saoil seo a dhéanamh ar an mbaol do mhná sa chatagóir ardriosca diaibéiteas le linn toirchis a fhorbairt. Tá Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ar cheann d'aon ionad déag ar fud na hEorpa ina bhfuil an staidéar maoinithe FP7 AE ar siúl.” Mhínigh sí “go bhfuil sé riachtanach go gcuirfimis leis an mbonn fianaise agus go dtairngneoimis aird ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le diaibéiteas le linn toirchis a chosc agus a bhainistiú don mháthair agus don leanbh.” Dar leis an Ollamh Martin O’Donnell, Stiúrthóir Shaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB in OÉ Gaillimh, “I gcomhar lenár bhfócas ar chúram cliniciúil othar a fheabhsú, tá sé mar phríomhthosaíocht ag Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB cúram sláinte ag leibhéal pobail a fheabhsú, trí chosc a chur ar ghalair. Tá foireann Shaoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB ag stiúradh réimse staidéar óna mbeidh eolas úsáideach ar fáil ó thaobh na gcur chuige is fearr i dtaca le stróc, taom croí agus néaltrú a chosc i measc an phobail, trí dhíriú ar iompraíochtaí cothaithe, brú fola, diaibéiteas agus stíl mhaireachtála.” Cás-staidéar 5 –  An tionchar a bhíonn ag ceimiteiripe ar othair a bhfuil ailse chíche ag gabháil dóibh a réamh-mheas Le ré an leighis shainiúil glactar leis go bhfuil ceimiteiripe ar fáil a dhíríonn ar fhochineálacha ailse ar leith. É sin ráite cruthaíonn an tionchar a bhaineann le gníomhaithe ceimiteiripeacha a réamh-mheas fadhb do na cliniceoirí. Bheadh sé ina bhuntáiste dá bhféadfaí an tionchar a bhíonn ag cóireálacha a réamh-mheas trí thástáil fola simplí a dhéanamh agus mná, nach ndéanann an cheimiteiripe aon mhaitheas dóibh, a chosaint ó chóireáil leanúnach a fháil, agus rogha eile de réim mhalartach níos fearr a chur ar fáil dóibh. Dar leis an Ollamh Michael Kerin, Stiúrthóir Gníomhach Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach, “Tá eolas spéisiúil bailithe againn ó thrialacha a léiríonn gur féidir le bithchomharthaí sóirt ar leith (miocrRNAs) atá sa chóras fola an fhreagairt chóireála i gcásanna ailse chíche a réamh-mheas. Mar thoradh air seo, beimid ábalta teiripí níos fearr a roghnú dár n-othair. Déanfar na ceisteanna taighde a thagann chun cinn a aistriú isteach ina dtrialacha taighde nua i gcomhar le Saoráid Taighde Chliniciúil HRB.” -CRÍOCH-  

Monday, 28 September 2015

Seolfaidh OÉ Gaillimh Suirbhé Teangeolaíochta ar Oileáin Árann  ‘An staidéar is cuimsithí ar aon chanúint Ghaeilge go dtí seo’ Seolfaidh Iar-Chláraitheoir agus Iar-Leas-Uachatarán na hOllscoile, an tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, saothar an Dr Séamas Ó Direáin, Suirbhé ar an nGaeilge Labhartha in Oileáin Árann, Co. na Gaillimhe, ar Aoine 9 Deireadh Fómhair ag 1.30in in Téatar Uí Chearbhalláin, Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh. Saothar saoil de chuid theangeolaí de shliocht Árann, an Dr Séamas Ó Direáin as California, is ea Suirbhé ar an nGaeilge Labhartha in Oileáin Árann, Co. na Gaillimhe, saothar a cruthaíodh thar tréimhse 25 bliain. Tráth dá raibh sé i mbun taighde ar theangacha na hAfraice sa Chéinia sna 1970í, thosnaigh an Dr Ó Direáin – a mbeidh 77 bliain slánaithe aige an mhí seo chugainn – ar an nGaeilge a fhoghlaim ó dheoraithe as Éirinn. Agus os cionn 40 bliain caite ó shin, tá ríméad ar an Dr Ó Direáin go mbeidh a Shuirbhé ar theanga dhúchais a mhuintire ar fáil anois ar líne agus saor in aisce ón 9 Deireadh Fómhair 2015 ar aghaidh. Staidéar mionchruinn canúineolaíochta ar an nGaeilge labhartha in Oileáin Árann atá sa Suirbhé seo. Díríonn sé go speisialta ar na difríochtaí tíreolaíocha agus sóisialta a bhaineann leis na glúnta, idir shean agus óg, leis na hinscní (fir/buachaillí agus mná/cailíní), agus le leibhéil oideachais. Den chéad uair riamh i gcás aon teanga in aon áit ar domhan, déantar anailís chuimsitheach shochtheangeolaíochta agus canúineolaíochta ar raon leathan éagsúlachtaí a mhaireann san fhoghraíocht agus sa ghramadach. I gcás an oileáin is mó, Árainn (nó Inis Mór, mar a thugtar air amanta), tá mioneolas sa Suirbhé i dtaobh éagsúlachtaí foghraíochta, gramadaí agus an stóir focal go fiú ar leibhéal na mbailte fearainn. Adeir an tOllamh Kevin Scannell, Ollamh le Matamaitic agus Ríomheolaíocht, Ollscoil St Louis: “Is léir go bhfuil éacht déanta ag Séamas Ó Direáin lena chuid taighde teangeolaíochta ar na canúintí Gaeilge in Oileáin Árann.  Is dócha gurb é seo an staidéar is cuimsithí ar aon chanúint Ghaeilge go dtí seo, agus tá sé go hiontach go mbeidh scoláirí agus taighdeoirí in ann teacht ar an anailís agus ar na bunsonraí go léir ar líne i bhfoirm inchuardaithe leictreonach." Adeir an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh: “Baineann tábhacht náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta leis an saothar canúineolaíochta seo le Séamas Ó Direáin. Cuireann sé go mór lenár n-eolas ar chanúineolaíocht chomhaimseartha na Gaeilge trí chéile agus sáraíonn sé aon staidéar eile a deineadh ar chanúintí Árann roimhe seo. Is mór iad na deiseanna eile taighde a eascraíonn as agus tá áthas orm gur in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh a bheidh sé lonnaithe feasta.” Féach an Suirbhé -Críoch-   NUI Galway to Launch Linguistic Survey of the Aran Islands ‘Most comprehensive study of any dialect of Irish completed to date’ Former NUI Galway Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil will launch Dr Séamas Ó Direáin’s A Survey of Spoken Irish in the Aran Islands, Co. Galway on Friday, 9 October at 1.30pm in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI Galway. Created over a period of 25 years, A Survey of Spoken Irish in the Aran Islands, Co. Galway represents the life’s work of Californian linguist Dr Séamas Ó Direáin, whose grandparents emigrated from Inis Mór to Boston over 100 years ago. Dr Ó Direáin, who turns 77 this October, first started learning Irish from expats in Kenya in the 1970s where he was researching African languages. Over 40 years later, he is delighted to make his Survey available for free and online from 9 October. The Survey constitutes a highly detailed, almost microscopic, micro-dialectological study of spoken Irish in the Aran Islands, focusing on geographical and social variation linked to generations (older and younger age-groups), genders (male and female), and level of education. It provides for the first time ever, for any language anywhere in the world, an extensive analysis linguistic variations of the islands. In the case of the largest of the three islands, Inis Mór, the Survey includes detailed information on phonological, grammatical and lexical variation at the level of individual townlands. Professor Kevin Scannell, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, St Louis University, said: “Séamas Ó Direáin’s linguistic research on the dialects of Irish spoken in the Aran Islands is clearly a major achievement. This is probably the most comprehensive study of any dialect of Irish completed to date, and it is wonderful that scholars and researchers will now have searchable online access to all of the data and analysis.” Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway, said: “This dialectological work by Séamas Ó Direáin is of national and international importance. It adds greatly to our knowledge of the dialectology of Irish in general and surpasses all over previous studies of the dialects of Aran. Many other research possibilities can emerge from it and I am delighted that it will be housed at the NUI Galway from now on.” For further information or to view the Survey visit -Ends-

Monday, 28 September 2015

Places still available for fitness programme   Monday, 28 September, 2015: Places are still available for a new community exercise programme, Exercise4Healthdesigned for those who due to health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise. The programme is a collaboration between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club. Croí’s Specialist Physiotherapist, Denise Dunne said: “This new initiative is proving very popular and we have capacity to cater for many more people who are interested in joining us.” Being physically active prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Exercise4Health provides a locally accessible opportunity for anyone looking to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme supervised by professional trainers and exercise specialists. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or improve their overall health and wellbeing. The six-week rolling exercise programme is specially designed to suit all levels of current fitness and prior to enrolling for the classes, participants will be provided with a medical assessment to ascertain their fitness level. This new programme, led by expert cardiac physiotherapists/exercise specialists from Croí and delivered in conjunction with the fitness team at Kingfisher Club, will provide participants with: An assessment of their existing fitness level and a personalised plan for improvement Fitness classes delivered at a level to suit everyone Weekly heart-rate monitoring and personal progress tracking A motivating and enjoyable fitness programme which can be continued at home and which if followed will provide a measurable improvement in fitness levels Professor Terry Smith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway said, “This exciting new partnership between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club aims to provide a community based exercise initiative which will significantly help to improve the health and wellbeing of people suffering from a range of chronic illnesses. Participants will only undertake exercise activities that suit their individual abilities and needs. Thebenefits are not just improved physical health, but meeting other participants and the fitness team at the Kingfisher Club also provides a great social outlet.” The Exercise4Health programme will take place in the Kingfisher Fitness Club at NUI Galway from 12pm-1pm every Thursday. For further information or to book a place on this exciting new programme call Croí on 091 544310. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

NUI Galway researcher is author of paper contributing to the design of an innovative device to close heart defects without placing patients on bypass Researchers, including four Irish researchers, while based at the Wyss Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Boston Children’s Hospital have jointly designed a fundamentally different way to implant an innovative patch to close a heart tissue defect that eradicates the need to place a patient on bypass. Their work was published recently in Science Translational Medicine, and features as the cover article. Ellen Roche, PhD and a graduate from the Biomedical Engineering Program at NUI Galway was the first author of the paper. Roche completed the work published in Science Translational Medicine during her PhD at Harvard University and is a current research fellow at NUI Galway under Professor Peter McHugh, working on a project in Biomedical Engineering in the area of novel cardiac drug delivery device development. The PhD scholar is a future faculty member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The researchers invented a flexible, UV light-containing catheter that can be inserted through a vessel, and directed to the defect within the heart. Two balloons, one on either side of the hole, are inflated when the catheter is in place. One of the balloon’s surfaces has a mirror-reflecting quality that reflects UV light from a small internal fibre optic to cure the adhesive. All components of the device are soft and can deflate for easy loading and removal through the outer catheter shaft. Dr Roche said: “This system has proven successful in closing tissue defects in a number of experiments described in the paper. As well as correcting heart defects, the patch and the catheter can be used in a variety of situations - for example, abdominal hernia repair or peptic ulcer closure.” The other Irish authors who contributed to the research with Dr Roche were Professor Conor Walsh, joint senior author and a Trinity College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate who runs the Harvard Biodesign Lab, Dr Eoin O’Cearbhaill, Lecturer at UCD and a Biomedical Engineering and PhD graduate from NUI Galway, and William Whyte, a current PhD student at Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). View the paper on Science Translational Medicine website: -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Beidh an ceathrú comhdháil is fiche ar Litríocht agus ar Chultúr na Gaeilge á reáchtáil ag Roinn na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh, ar an Aoine agus ar an Satharn 9-10 Deireadh Fómhair. Is í an chomhdháil seo an t-aon chomhdháil bhliantúil ollscoile dá leithéid a reachtáiltear go hiomlán trí Ghaeilge. Is iad An tOllamh Barry McCrea, Ollscoil Notre Dame, An Dr Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh, agus Darach Mac Con Iomaire, Stiúrthóir agus Scríbhneoir aoichainteoirí Chomhdháil 2015. Mar chuid den chomhdháil, seolfaidh an tOllamh Nollaig Mac Congáil an saothar teangeolaíochta Suirbhé ar Ghaeilge Labhartha Árann, Co. na Gaillimhe, leis an Dr Séamas Ó Direáin. Beidh an suirbhé cuimsitheach seo ar chanúintí Árann ar fáil saor in aisce ar líne ar Ina theannta sin, seolfar an leabhar Cruinneas le hAntain Mac Lochlainn agus Amhráin na Midhe: Athchóiriú agus Aistriúcháin le Lesa Ní Mhunghaile. Beidh na seoltaí ar siúl in Áras na Gaeilge, OÉ, Gaillimh. Deir an Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Cathaoirleach an choiste eagraithe: “Comhdháil ar leith í seo a chothaíonn an scoláireacht agus an taighde trí mheán na Gaeilge. Cé go mbeidh go leor réimsí éagsúla taighde á bplé i rith na comhdhála, beidh béim ar leith ar an gceangal idir litríocht na Gaeilge agus an Eoraip i mbliana.” Tá clár iomlán na comhdhála ar fáil ar   -Críoch-

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NUI Galway will present a series of mathematics appreciation events for the upcoming Maths Week 2015, running from the 10-18 October. Lecturers from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will provide interactive talks and workshops at local schools, launch the nationwide secondary schools competition PRISM (PRoblem Solving for Irish Second Level Mathematics), and organise a series of public talks on the University campus. Robin Wilson, Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, London, will deliver two talks on Friday, 16 October. The first talk, ‘Stamping through Mathematics’ is aimed at primary school students from 5th and 6th class. It will cover the whole history of mathematics in one hour, and is illustrated with 250 attractive (and sometimes bizarre!) postage stamps from around the world, featuring mathematics and mathematicians. The second talk, ‘Lewis Carroll in Numberland’ is aimed at secondary school students and will offer a look at the mathematical life of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), the author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Professor Graham Ellis from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway said: “Maths Week is the biggest festival of mathematics in the world, and we are always eager to participate. It provides a great opportunity to engage with pupils and show the beauty of mathematics and its importance in education and in the wider world.” On Thursday, 15 October, the School of Mathematics will launch and host the nationwide maths competition PRISM (PRoblem solving for Irish Second level Mathematics). PRISM can be run in each interested secondary school at junior and/or senior levels. Registered Maths teachers can download a full package (problem sheets, answer keys, and more) for their classes. The website generates numerical and graphical summary statistics of student performances in real time and identifies the top-performing schools and individuals. Talks with Professor Robin Wilson will take place on Friday, 16 October in the IT Building, Theatre IT250 at NUI Galway. ‘Stamping through Mathematics’ will take place at 11am and ‘Lewis Carroll in Numberland’ will take place at 1pm. To arrange school visits by lecturers contact and to book seats for public lectures on campus email To take part in PRISM visit and for all other events taking place across the country during Maths Week visit -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

NUI Galway student wins award for research presentation on modifying brain dysfunctions in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease CÚRAM PhD student Juhi Samal has been awarded first prize out of 300 entries, for her presentation on ‘Delivery of Neurotrophic Factors to the Brain using Fibrin-based Hollow Microsphere Reservoirs'. The prize was awarded at the 27th European Society for Biomaterials (ESB) Conference held in Krackow, Poland this month. ESB conferences attract over 1,000 delegates every year. The annual conference allows scientists and engineers from different disciplines to discuss current issues concerning the latest research in the field of biomaterials. The conference sessions included topics ranging from biomaterials for regenerative medicine, nanotechnology to stem cells application and smart systems for various therapies. Juhi Samal was awarded the Hardiman Fellowship in 2013 and is undertaking her PhD at the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), based at NUI Galway under Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr Eilis O’Dowd. One of CÚRAM’s key research areas focuses on developing solutions for neurodegenerative disease. Juhi’s research is investigating delivery of neurotrophic factors to modify neuronal dysfunctions in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. “Neurotrophic factors are proteins that can promote the initial growth and development of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems and have also been shown to be capable of slowing, halting or reversing neuronal degeneration in laboratory and pre-clinical settings” explains Juhi Samal. “However their therapeutic potential is limited by their short half-life. My research has been investigating a biomaterials-based intervention, which protects these proteins, allowing them to survive for longer and be released where and when needed in a more controlled fashion.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, congratulated Juhi on her award and commented, “CÚRAM has attracted a wide pool of talented researchers. With the talent and technical tools we have at our disposal, our aim is to take the fruits of our research and develop it to the stage where these medical device products can be brought to clinical trial in Ireland. We want to see results, not only for healthcare, but also for job creation and the economy.” Supported by Science Foundation Ireland and industry funding, CÚRAM aims to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing implantable ‘smart’ medical devices. It will develop these devices through strong clinical collaborations with industry partners and hospital groups to enable their rapid translation to clinics. -Ends-

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Continuous improvement for University in both THE and QS rankings NUI Galway has maintained its position in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2015-16, remaining within the 251-300 range and improving on previous scores across most categories. Once again NUI Galway performed strongly in the international outlook score and research citations score as well as improving scores across most other metrics. NUI Galway was the only Irish university to maintain or increase its position in the two main international rankings in 2014, having recently increased to 271st in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2015/2016, one of just two Irish universities to improve their standing in this year’s league table. Last month Thomson Reuters ranked four outstanding researchers from NUI Galway among the ‘World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015’ an increase on the three researchers cited last year. The 3000 international academics named on the list earned their distinction by publishing the highest number of articles that rank among those most frequently cited by fellow researchers. More individuals were listed from NUI Galway than from any other Irish university. The continuous improvement has been attributed to a concerted approach by the University in developing world-class research in specific fields, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne explained: “This is a major improvement for NUI Galway and reflects a sustained upward trend in these very competitive global rankings. This consistent improvement in NUI Galway’s THE World University Rankings this year is an affirmation of our very focused approach to developing our international reputation in a select set of research areas. These areas of activity underpin our growing international research reputation and continue to attract researchers, scholars and international partners. To maintain or increase our position in both the 2015 THE World University Rankings and the recently published QS World University Rankings, it is beyond doubt that our position globally is on the rise. Despite significant cuts in overall funding at third-level in Ireland and increased student numbers, our University has gone against the tide to secure a continued improvement in these very competitive rankings.” The Times Higher Education league table of the world’s top universities is based on 13 separate performance indicators covering all of the core missions of a world class university; teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The survey also includes one of the world’s largest academic reputation survey, with more than 10,000 academics asked to rate the world’s best universities for the 2015/16 ranking. Phil Baty, editor of the THE World University Rankings: “The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, now in their 12th year, apply rigorous standards, using tough global benchmarks across all of a global research university’s key missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The results are trusted by students and their families, academics, university leaders and governments. For NUI Galway to make 251-300 in the world is an outstanding achievement to be celebrated.” The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2015-16 is available to view online at: -ends- OÉ Gaillimh san áit chéanna le scór níos airde i Ranguithe an Times Higher Feabhas leanúnach don Ollscoil sna ranguithe THE agus QS Tá a seasamh coinnithe ag OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education (THE) do 2015-16, í ag fanacht sa réimse 251-300 agus d'ardaigh sí a scóir i bhformhór na gcatagóirí. D'éirigh thar cionn arís le OÉ Gaillimh sa dearcadh idirnáisiúnta agus sna tagairtí taighde agus i bhformhór na méadrachtaí eile. Ba í OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a rinne dul chun cinn sa dá phríomhrangú idirnáisiúnta in 2014, bhain sí amach an 271ú háit i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain 2015/2016 le gairid, agus gan ach ollscoil amháin eile in Éirinn ag ardú i dtábla sraithe na bliana seo. An mhí seo caite, d'fhógair Thomson Reuters ceathrar taighdeoirí den scoth as OÉ Gaillimh i measc ‘the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015’, ardú ar an triúr taighdeoirí a fógraíodh anuraidh. Ainmníodh 3,000 duine acadúil idirnáisiúnta ar an liosta as ucht an líon is mó alt a fhoilsiú a dtagraíonn taighdeoirí eile dóibh. Ainmníodh níos mó daoine as OÉ Gaillimh ná as aon ollscoil eile in Éirinn. Mhínigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, go ndearnadh an dul chun cinn seo mar gheall ar chur chuige comhaontaithe na hOllscoile taighde den scoth a fhorbairt i réimsí sonraithe: “Is dul chun cinn ollmhór é seo do OÉ Gaillimh agus léiríonn sé ardú leanúnach sna ranguithe domhanda seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch. Is dearbhú é an t-ardú leanúnach i mbliana ar sheasamh OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE ar an gcur chuige thar a bheith dírithe atá againn i leith ár gcáil idirnáisiúnta a fhorbairt i réimsí áirithe taighde. Tacaíonn na réimsí gníomhaíochtaí seo lenár gcáil idirnáisiúnta taighde atá i mbun forbartha agus meallann siad taighdeoirí, scoláirí agus comhpháirtithe idirnáisiúnta. Ó tharla go ndearnamar dul chun cinn arís i Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid THE 2015 agus i Ranguithe Ollscoile QS an Domhain a foilsíodh le gairid, tá sé ríshoiléir go bhfuil ár stádas domhanda ag dul ó neart go neart. In ainneoin na gciorruithe suntasacha sa mhaoiniú trí chéile ag an tríú leibhéal in Éirinn agus méadú ar líon na mac léinn, tá an Ollscoil s’againne ar a mine géire le dul chun cinn leanúnach a dheimhniú sna ranguithe seo atá thar a bheith iomaíoch.” Tá tábla sraithe an Times Higher Education de na hollscoileanna is fearr ar domhan bunaithe ar 13 tháscaire feidhmíochta ar leith a chlúdaíonn gach croímhisean a bheadh ag ollscoil den scoth; teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá ceann de na suirbhéanna is mó ar domhan maidir le cáil acadúil áirithe sa suirbhé seo chomh maith. Fiafraíodh de bhreis is 10,000 duine acadúil na hollscoileanna is fearr a rátáil do rangú 2015/16. Dúirt Phil Baty, eagarthóir Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education: “Cuireann Ranguithe Ollscoile an Domhain de chuid Times Higher Education, le 12 bhliain as a chéile, caighdeáin ghéara i bhfeidhm, ag úsáid tagarmharcanna dochta domhanda i leith na gcroímhisean a bhaineann le hollscoil taighde dhomhanda – teagasc, taighde, aistriú eolais agus dearcadh idirnáisiúnta. Tá muinín ag mic léinn, a dteaghlaigh, lucht acadúil, ceannairí ollscoile agus rialtais as na torthaí. Ó tharla go bhfuil OÉ Gaillimh sa chatagóir 251-300 ar domhan is mór an t-éacht é sin agus is fiú go mór é a cheiliúradh.” Tá Ranguithe Ollscoile Times Higher Education (THE) 2015-16 le feiceáil ar líne ag: -críoch-

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Final year PhD student Dilip Thomas has been awarded a travel fellowship by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), to advance his research in the area of vascular repair and regeneration. Dilip is carrying out his PhD at NUI Galway, supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit and Professor Timothy O’Brien of CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland funded Centre for Research in Medical Devices.  Dilip’s project looks specifically at the development of a functionalised stem cell delivery platform for critical limb ischemia. Critical limb ischemia is a serious form of peripheral arterial disease and is caused by atherosclerosis, the hardening and narrowing of the arteries over time due to the build-up of fatty deposits called plaque and is a chronic condition that results in severe pain, even while resting. Complications of poor circulation can include sores and wounds that won't heal and complications of critical limb ischemia can result in amputation. The research goal at CÚRAM is to engineer a unique ‘finger-print’ microenvironment, also called ‘niche’, for the modulation of stem cell behaviour to promote new blood vessel formation. The long-term goal is to translate pre-clinical success to a viable therapeutic alternative for the treatment of ‘no option’ critical limb ischemia patients to allow amputation-free survival. The fellowship opportunity at Professor Marchetti-Deschmann’s analytical laboratory, Technical University of Vienna, Austria will help dissect the key molecular factors and events that drive tissue repair and regeneration with help of state-of-the-art tissue imaging mass-spectrometers. EMBO is an organisation of more than 1,700 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences. The major goals of the organisation are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a European research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. “The EMBO fellowship is a great step in Dilip’s career as a researcher and reflects the high standard of research being carried out at CÚRAM in ‘smart’ medical device development at all levels” said Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM. “The key aim of our work is to radically improve health outcomes for patients suffering from chronic illnesses, including CLI.” CÚRAM is a national research centre advancing R&D in the medical device sector. Supported by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners, CÚRAM enhances Ireland's standing as a major hub for the global medical devices industry. ENDS

Thursday, 6 August 2015

The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a special entrance maths examination to give students a second chance to pursue a career in engineering. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 19 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate engineering degree course at NUI Galway but who have not met the obligatory maths requirement. NUI Galway will also hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run from 13-18 August. For more than 20 years NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade C3 or better in higher level mathematics. Those who took lower level maths in the Leaving Cert may also apply for the exam. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and, providing they have the necessary points, will receive an additional CAO offer at Round Two. From 13-18 August, in addition to preparing students for the special entrance examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to engineering. The aim of the preparatory course is to bridge the gap between the Leaving Certificate lower level and that required to be successful in the entrance exam. This will be achieved by tackling a variety of problems of increasing difficulty. Learning how to approach a problem and apply the knowledge available will be emphasised. “The nature of engineering programmes is that they are focused on the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and thus require significant use of mathematics and applied mathematics,” said Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway. “Every year we see a number of promising students who perform poorly on the day of the Leaving Cert exam. Our Special Entrance Maths Examination provides these students with a second opportunity to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary standard in maths. Over the years, we have had some exceptionally talented students graduate and pursue successful careers in engineering because they were given the second chance which this exam represents.” “Demand for engineering programmes at NUI Galway continues to rise year on year and the College of Engineering has expanded its degree programmes to meet requirements. NUI Galway realises its role in providing world-class graduates to meet the needs of industry and the economy”, continued Professor Lyons. NUI Galway offers students an undenominated entry to engineering. This course is specifically designed for students who are interested in becoming an engineer, but uncertain as to which field they want to specialise in. This course offers students the option of studying engineering in a general way for one year before going on to specialise in their chosen field in year two. To apply for the special maths exam please visit: Those interested in the revision maths course should visit for further details. -Ends-   Seans Eile á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do Mhic Léinn na hArdteistiméireachta trí Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice a Reáchtáil Tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh i ndiaidh sonraí a chur ar fáil faoi scrúdú speisialta iontrála matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hinnealtóireachta. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 19 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san innealtóireacht a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc riachtanach acu sa mhatamaitic. Beidh dianchúrsa ullmhúcháin ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh roimh ré dóibh siúd ar mian leo an scrúdú a dhéanamh. Beidh an cúrsa saor in aisce seo ar siúl ón 13-18 Lúnasa. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nár éirigh leo an grád riachtanach C3 nó os a chionn a bhaint amach sa pháipéar matamaitice ardleibhéil. Féadfaidh daoine nach ndearna ardleibhéal matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú chomh maith. Má fhaigheann mac léinn pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta 2, chomh fada is go bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha aige/aici. Ní hamháin go n-ullmhófar daltaí don scrúdú speisialta iontrála, ach léireoidh léachtóirí an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an matamaitic san innealtóireacht agus an úsáid is féidir a bhaint aisti. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice. Cuirfear é seo i gcrích trí dhul i ngleic le fadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta. Cuirfear béim ar conas tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus an t-eolas atá ar fáil a chur i bhfeidhm. “Is é mianach na gclár innealtóireachta go bhfuil siad dírithe ar fhorbairt a dhéanamh ar scileanna anailíseacha agus ar scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach, agus dá bhrí sin caithfear úsáid shuntasach a bhaint as matamaitic agus as matamaitic fheidhmeach,” a deir an tOllamh Gerry Lyons, Déan na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh. “Gach bliain feicimid daltaí cumasacha nach ndéanann chomh maith agus a d’fhéadfaidís ar lá an scrúdaithe Ardteiste. Tugann an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice deis eile do na daltaí seo léiriú go bhfuil an caighdeán riachtanach sa mhatamaitic bainte amach acu. Thar na blianta, d’éirigh le roinnt mac léinn a raibh cumas eisceachtúil iontu, céim a bhaint amach agus dul sa tóir ar shlí bheatha dóibh féin san innealtóireacht mar go bhfuair siad an dara deis leis an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo.” “Tá an t-éileamh ar chláir innealtóireachta in OÉ Gaillimh ag dul i méid ó bhliain go bliain agus tá Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta tar éis na cláir chéime a leathnú chun freastal ar na riachtanais seo. Tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh a ról maidir le céimithe den scoth a chur ar fáil chun freastal ar riachtanais an tionscail”, a dúirt an tOllamh Lyons. Tá cúrsa neamhainmnithe san innealtóireacht ar tairiscint do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an cúrsa seo dírithe go háirithe ar mhic léinn a bhfuil suim acu a bheith ina n-innealtóirí ach nach bhfuil cinnte cén réimse ar mhaith leo díriú air. Tugann an cúrsa seo deis do mhic léinn staidéar ginearálta a dhéanamh ar an innealtóireacht ar feadh bliana sula roghnaíonn siad a réimse speisialtóireachta i mbliain a dó. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an scrúdú speisialta matamaitice téigh chuig: Ba chóir dóibh siúd ar spéis leo an cúrsa ullmhúcháin matamaitice agus an scrúdú féachaint ar chun eolas breise a fháil. -Críoch-

Monday, 10 August 2015

University Foundation provide unique opportunity for students to meet global business leaders Students from NUI Galway’s Executive MBA programme recently took part in a week-long Global Gateway Programme at the world renowned Fordham University in New York City as part of their international study experience. During the week, the students were exposed to world-leading academics at Fordham University where they attended seminars, workshops and lectures on a broad range of topics including global finance, leadership, change management, and participated in a ‘Teamwork through Jazz’ seminar hosted by musicians in the famous Jazz at the Lincoln Centre. The MBA class also visited Tiffany & Co. where they spoke to the Vice-President of Finance, Mark Aaron, about leading one of the most recognised global luxury brands. Other key speakers included Professor John Tognino, former Managing Director of Merrill Lynch and Professor Bill Catucci, former CEO AT&T Canada. One of the highlights of the international study visit was an interactive roundtable panel discussion organised and sponsored by the Galway University Foundation entitled ‘International Career Reflections: Looking Back, Looking Forward’ held at the private New York Athletic Club on Central Park South. The event provided students with insights from senior Irish ex-pat leaders across a range of sectors who have achieved significant international career success.  The panellists, many of whom are NUI Galway graduates, advised on how to craft successful careers drawing from their own varied and diverse experiences. “Each and every one of the very influential ex-pats was highly impressive, very inspirational, academically enriching and ultimately captivating”, said Denis Duggan, Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway Executive MBA Student, 2014-16.   The panel reflected on the challenges ahead for executives and business leaders. Elisha Daniels, NUI Galway Executive MBA Student, 2014-16, said: “It was an immense privilege to be in the presence of such esteemed business leaders at this event, and to have them share their stories of leadership with us. Each speaker was of an extremely high calibre and brought their own vast wisdom and experience to the table. Overall it was an inspirational event and provided great insight as well as practical advice.” This year’s international study programme also included a breakfast event at the Irish Consulate in Ireland House on Park Avenue where the NUI Galway MBA group were hosted by the Deputy Counsel General, Anna McGillicuddy. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Director at NUI Galway, said: “We established the international programme on the MBA programme in 2011 and since then it is considered by students to be one of the most distinctive and greatest learning experiences on the MBA. We are very pleased to be able to draw on the excellent network Galway University Foundation has built in New York City and to continue our partnership with Fordham University.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

President James A. Michel of the Seychelles, upon the unanimous recommendation of the Constitutional Appointments Authority, has appointed NUI Galway Law graduate Justice Mathilda Twomey, née Butler Payette, as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Seychelles. Justice Twomey has had an illustrious career in the legal profession, serving as a barrister first in the Ocean Gate Law Centre as pupil to Justice Francis MacGregor, then in the Attorney General’s Chambers, subsequently as an attorney-at-law in private chambers and a member of the Constitutional Commission before moving to Ireland in 1995, where she presently resides with her family. Justice Twomey graduated with a BA in English and French Law from the University of Kent, Canterbury, holds a degree in French Law from the University of Paris-Sud and was admitted as a Member of the Bar at Middle Temple, London, and as an Attorney-at-Law in Seychelles. She holds an LLM in Public Law from the School of Law, NUI Galway where she also completed her PhD research under the joint supervision of Marie McGonagle, NUI Galway and Seán Donlan, UL, and will defend her doctoral thesis in early-September 2015. She has also lectured on a part-time basis at the University’s School of Law.  Welcoming the announcement of her appointment as Chief Justice, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “Mathilda Twomey is a jurist of great renown and it is an honour for the School of Law at NUI Galway to be associated with her success. Her doctoral research is of foundational importance for its meticulous and ground-breaking study of the ‘mixed jurisdiction’ that exists in the Seychelles. I have no doubt that she will serve with great distinction and, on behalf of my colleagues, I wish her well in the professional and personal challenges that lie ahead.” Justice Twomey was appointed a non-resident judge of the Court of Appeal in March 2011. She will be sworn in as Chief Justice by President Michel on 18 August, 2015. Commenting on the appointment, President Michel noted that the empowerment of Seychellois, especially women, has always been and will continue to be at the core of his philosophy and policies for the advancement and progress of the country. “Justice Twomey is a highly-qualified legal practitioner, with a wealth of experience and knowledge, which, no doubt, will be of vast benefit to the legal and judicial system in our country and the reforms that are needed. She is the third Seychellois Chief Justice and I’m particularly proud of the fact that I have appointed a woman to the post, a first for Seychelles and a major achievement,” said President Michel. -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A new online treatment programme, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists, aims to help those who suffer from chronic pain. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are mainly available through specialised hospital-based pain management teams.  Chronic pain affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly recognised as a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is sometimes associated with psychological effects, which may include anxiety and changes in mood, as well as forgetfulness, and difficulties in focusing attention, planning tasks and making decisions. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing chronic pain through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs and physiotherapists around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people with pain to the study. The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges.  Dr Christopher Dwyer, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, says: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic 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 all over the country and at any stage of injury.” People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. All materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their chronic pain. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial. Study supervisor Dr Brian McGuire, NUI Galway, said: “This is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with chronic pain.”  For further information, please contact Dr Christopher Dwyer at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, email, phone 091 495 391, or see the website GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. ENDS

Monday, 17 August 2015

The continuing popularity of NUI Galway was reflected by CAO offers issued today, with the vast majority of courses maintaining or increasing points from 2014. Across all five colleges, points have risen. Arts (Psychology), Commerce (International) with French, Biomedical Science, Financial Mathematics and Economics, Biopharmaceutical Chemistry, Energy Systems Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Occupational Therapy all requiring greater than 500 points for entry with Commerce (International) with Spanish, Biotechnology and Biomedical Engineering in the high 400s. Courses on the rise Prospective students have shown particular interest in Commerce programmes, especially those with an international language, reflecting awareness of the need for language mobility in a global jobs market. NUI Galway’s three International Commerce programmes (French German, and Spanish) all rose in points, with the French course reaching 500 points. Business Information Systems, Commerce with Irish and Commerce (Accounting) all rose by 10 points to 430, 430 and 460 respectively. The popularity of NUI Galway’s two Law programmes continues to rise with increases in points for the third consecutive year (20 points to 390 for Corporate Law and 15 points to 440 for Civil Law). Engineering programmes have shown a strong points performance across the board. The points for the undenominated programme increased by 50 to 450, showing a significant rise in interest in this subject area, reflecting the growing demand for employment in this arena. Civil, Mechanical, Electronic and Computer, and Biomedical Engineering have all risen by at least 35 points to over 450 points, with Energy Systems and Electrical Engineering reaching 500 points and above. Computer Science and IT also increased from 420 points to 440. Demand for Science courses is equally robust, with entry to General Science up 10 points to 410. Recognising NUI Galway’s national and international leadership in biomedical science programmes, Biomedical Science remained the course with the second highest points for the University, at 530. Biopharmaceutical Chemistry remains a 500 points plus programme while Biotechnology increased 10 points to 475. Interest in Financial Mathematics and Economics has grown significantly over the last year, with entry onto this programme now requiring 505 points. Entry onto the medical programme requires 723 points (including HPAT), an increase on the 2014 requirement, and Nursing is up 15 points to 460, while Psychiatric Nursing rose 35 points to 440. Both of NUI Galway’s Therapy programmes, Occupational and Speech and Language, are up 20 points each to 535 and 530 respectively. In Arts, NUI Galway’s popular Film Studies degree continues to attract a great deal of interest with the points increasing by 15 to 400 points this year. Journalism and Creative writing also continue to be popular at 420 and 425 points respectively. The BA with Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies has increased in demand with a 30 point rise to 435. NUI Galway’s Admission Officer, Stephen O’Dea, said: ‘For the third year running, NUI Galway’s courses in Commerce and Law have seen a steady increase in their points indicating a continued growth in interest in these areas. International Commerce programmes continue to be a popular choice for students with a global outlook. Engineering courses have performed especially well this year, with significant increases in the points requirement across all programmes, students recognising the value of an Engineering degree from NUI Galway in today’s increasingly competitive job market. NUI Galway’s strength and reputation in Biosciences is also reflected with Biomedical Science continuing to perform well (530 points) and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry at 500 points. There has been a notable increase in the points for the Financial Mathematics and Economics programme to above 500 points (505). This is reflective of a growing confidence in the national and international economies and financial markets, and growth in employment opportunities therein, both at home and abroad. The B.A. Connect suite of courses provides an attractive learning experience for students as recognised by an increase in the points for Film Studies and for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Psychology also finished at a high 515 points. Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language Therapy maintain their popularity with students, both courses requiring more than 500 points.” He concluded, “Incoming students will be well placed to benefit from NUI Galway’s significant capital investment programme in embracing innovation, entrepreneurship and research.”   With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,000 new students in September, a hotline is in place for students, parents and teachers. The First Year Student Hotline number is 091 493999 or visit A team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and also on Saturday, 22 August, 9am to 1pm. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Dr Gerard Wall, a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at NUI Galway and investigator at the Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM), has received an SFI Industry Fellowship Award. The Fellowship will support the development of an innovative diagnostics platform for the detection of pathogens and other contaminants in biological samples, in collaboration with industry partner Snowy Range Instruments in Wyoming, USA. The research will follow on from Dr Wall’s current work to develop an immunotest to detect marine neurotoxins that accumulate in shellfish and cause diarrhetic poisioning when ingested. “Our work in Wyoming will focus on developing a user-friendly instrument to improve marine monitoring”, said Dr Wall, “but the technology will also be applicable to rapid, on-site diagnosis of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in biological samples such as serum and saliva.” Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, said: “The Fellowship allows the exchange of Dr Wall’s expertise in antibody engineering for the instrumentation and manufacturing know-how of a leading industry partner. The collaboration will also enable CÚRAM to access new technology pathways for commercialisation of our ongoing research.” This research will be carried out in collaboration with Snowy Range Instruments who are leaders in developing innovative Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) platforms for researchers. These hand held SERS platforms can be used for identification and analysis of a wide range of materials, and the goal of this research is to develop the capacity for their use in point-of-care (POC) clinical screening and diagnosis, such as primary care settings and in developing countries as well as in the potential identification of biothreat agents, monitoring of environmental pathogens and toxins and in sectors such as food safety monitoring. The SFI Award will also generate benefit to industry by developing new expertise, up-skilling of staff in biological techniques and enabling it to access a new technology pathway for commercialisation of an elaborate range of sensor devices as well as supporting innovation and collaboration between scientists and industry. -Ends-

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Leading transport researchers are expected to attend the Irish Transport Research Network (ITRN) annual conference at NUI Galway, which takes places from 27-28 August. As the N6 project, harbour extension and traffic layouts dominate local headlines, this conference aims to shed light on the major national and international transport challenges and the latest developments in transport technology and policy. The highlight of the conference will be a panel discussion on the conference theme ‘Green shoots v green transport: are economic growth and sustainable transport compatible?’. This talk is open to the public and will take place at 6pm on Thursday, 27 August, in the Engineering Building, NUI Galway. “The annual ITRN conference brings together academics, students and practitioners to discuss the latest developments in transport research. We are delighted to host the conference at NUI Galway this year and to be joined by two international experts, Dr Georgina Santos from Cardiff University and Dr Robin Hickman from University College London, for keynote speeches,” said NUI Galway’s Dr Amaya Vega who is co-organiser of this year’s conference. This year’s conference is co-organised by researchers from civil engineering, economics and sociology, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of transport. Galway City is a good example of an urban area trying to balance demands for economic activity and new infrastructure with needs for sustainability and a liveable community. The conference is sponsored by some of Ireland’s leading commercial, state and research organisations including ITS Ireland, IMDO Ireland, and NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute and the Whitaker Institute. The ITRN conference qualifies as an Engineers Ireland Career Professional Development (CPD) event. For further information visit or follow the conference on Twitter @itrn_conference (#itrnconference2015). -Ends-

Friday, 21 August 2015

Conference to take place at NUI Galway and Dublin City University Migration, exile and displacement are crucial international issues in our time. Topics of relevance to these issues, as well as wider questions of longing and belonging, will be addressed at a major conference taking place jointly in two venues, at NUI Galway and Dublin City University, on 24-28 August. This is the Biennial Congress of the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies, which will attract some 250 delegates from over 40 countries, including countries in the Middle East. Presentations will include papers on how the themes of ‘longing and belonging’ are expressed in literature, film and a wide range of cultural and artistic forms. The material studied will range from Irish novels centred on emigration, to Colombian indigenous poetry, from French and German narratives of displacement, to Lithuanian, Scottish, Polish, Portuguese and American interpretations of exile and ‘otherness’. Issues of language, identity and nomadism will feature in several of the talks, in studies centred on literature and art from these and numerous other countries around the world. Besides the work of Irish writers such as John Banville, W.B. Yeats, Emma Donoghue and Hugo Hamilton, the conference will include discussions of many major and not so major writers, such as the German W.G. Sebald, the Spanish poet José Ángel Valente, Charles Dickens, Marcel Proust and George Sand. Keynote speakers at the conference will include: French expert on Geocriticism, Professor Bertrand Westphal of Limoges University, who examines the relationship between place and literature and an expert in Children’s Literature; and Irishwoman Emer O’Sullivan, Professor of English Literature at Leuphana University in Germany and author of eight bilingual children’s books. On the opening day of the conference, in DCU, a poetry reading will take place, sponsored by Poetry Ireland and the Spanish Embassy, at which the Irish poet, Ciaran Carson, and the Spanish poet, Beatriz Villacañas, will read from their work. The Congress is jointly organised by NUI Galway and DCU, under the auspices of the European Network for Comparative Literary Studies and the Comparative Literature Association of Ireland. The event is organised by NUI Galway’s Professor Hans Walter Schmidt-Hannisa, Professor Paolo Bartoloni and Professor Bill Richardson, and DCU’s Dr Brigitte Lejuez, Dr Áine McGillicuddy and Dr Nina Shiel. For more information on the Congress visit -Ends-

Monday, 24 August 2015

NUI Galway’s J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics will host the 18th Annual Irish Academy of Management Conference 2015 from 3-4 September. Formed in 1997, the Irish Academy of Management (IAM) is the leading professional association for management studies, research and education on the island of Ireland. The IAM conference has grown significantly in the past 18 years and now attracts leading academics in the business and management field in Ireland as well as academics from Universities across the globe. Over 240 delegates from 17 countries worldwide will come together at NUI Galway for this international event. During the course of the conference, over 140 research presentations will feature from a diverse range of speakers focusing on the conference theme which is ‘Towards Socially Responsible Management?’. Dr Alma McCarthy, IAM Conference Chair, J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: “We are honoured to host the 18th IAM conference in the Cairnes School of Business and Economics. The conference promises to provide lively debates and insights on a broad range of business and management issues across all disciplines. Galway is a great venue for international conferences and this year the IAM conference has attracted a particularly high number of international delegates from countries including Japan, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the US.” As well as research presentations, there are a number of keynotes and symposia taking place during the conference. A plenary roundtable discussion will examine the future of management education and research impact with panellists from Australia, the UK and Ireland. Three high-level thematic symposia will take place with panels of expert speakers. The conference keynote address will be delivered by Professor Andrew Pettigrew, Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Professor Pettigrew’s address will examine the impact leaders have on organisational performance. A Gala Dinner will be held for delegates in Hotel Meyrick on the evening of Thursday, 3 September. Conference sponsors include Fáilte Ireland, The Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, the J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway and Morans the Weir. Further information on the Irish Academy of Management is available at -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

€4 million European research project secured through Horizon 2020 programme CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, has secured €4 million to lead a consortium of researchers on a new research project that will investigate novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease. The funding award has been made through the Horizon 2020 grant programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Training Networks Action. The official project title is ‘Development of Biomaterial-based Delivery Systems for Parkinson’s disease - an Integrated Pan-European Approach’ (BrainMatTrain). Currently, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are treated using drugs which do not address the underlying cause of the disease, or slow down progressive neuro-degeneration. The BrainMatTrain project will develop new technology to target both the inflammatory and neurodegenerative phases of the disease. This research hopes to develop the first disease-modifying therapy for Parkinson’s which could slow down the progression of the disease rather than offering mere symptomatic benefits. “The goal of the project is to engineer functionalised biomaterials that will induce neuroregeneration in the Parkinsonian brain” explains Dr Eilís Dowd, President of the Network for European CNS Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR), and BrainMatTrain consortium co-lead. “These biomaterials will supply the local microenvironment around damaged tissue with appropriate therapeutic signalling factors.” The NUI Galway team of Professor Abhay Pandit, Dr Eílis Dowd and Dr Una Fitzgerald are leading the consortium that includes academic groups from the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique in France, Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, the Medical University of Innsbruck in Austria, Lund University in Sweden, and the Technical University of Denmark. Industry partners of the programme include Collagen Solutions Limited in the United Kingdom and Orbsen Therapeutics Limited in Ireland. The funding also provides for the recruitment of early stage and experienced researchers on the project, through a trans-national networking mechanism and provides a structure for high quality initial research training throughout European member states and associated countries. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM said: “The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks award will fund the training and development of researchers in biomaterials and regenerative neuroscience research over a four-year period beginning in January 2016. The programme will foster increased scientific dialogue between lead academics, industry and clinicians; transfer key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions involved and encourage researchers from around the world to conduct research in the EU. We are extremely privileged to be considered for this highly competitive award.” CÚRAM is the National Centre for Research in Medical Devices and is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry partners. Its goal is to radically improve health outcomes for patients with chronic and degenerative disease through the development of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. -Ends-

Monday, 31 August 2015

Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, is the first Ireland-based academic to be elected Fellow of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Group (TERMIS). The group (FTERM) was established in 2011 by the Governing Board of TERMIS and represents those who make significant contributions to the development and promotion of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The award recognizes Professor Pandit’s formative role in shaping and forming the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine field and the Society and his contributions in helping lay the foundation for the conceptualization, discovery, development and now clinical translation of novel approaches for functional tissue replacement. He will be recognized during a special session at the 2015 TERMIS World Congress which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, September 10th. Professor Pandit has established a critical mass of biomaterials expertise in Ireland. His research integrates material science and biological paradigms in developing solutions for chronic disease. He has developed next generation of biomaterials that have programmable degradation profiles and inbuilt gradients of physical and protective cues, which facilitates therapeutics to injury mechanisms at the molecular and cellular levels. These platforms have been developed for neural, musculoskeletal and cardiovascular clinical targets with numerous other targets currently under development. Professor Pandit has received numerous awards and distinctions. He has also been inducted as an International Fellow in Biomaterials Science and Engineering by the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals, filed numerous patent applications and has licensed four technologies to medical device companies. He has co-ordinated three EU grants to date and currently hosts researchers from 25 countries. Commenting on the award Professor Pandit stated ‘I am extremely honoured to be elected Fellow to the FTERM group. Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is a key area of expertise at CÚRAM and we are perfectly placed to continue to encourage and train the next generation of researchers who will sustain and further advance the principles of this important discipline. I look forward to fostering new activities within TERMIS and continuing my involvement with the Society.’ Based at the National University of Ireland, Galway and backed by Science Foundation Ireland and Industry funding, CÚRAM works with industry and clinical partners to radically improve health outcomes for chronically ill patients through the development of the next generation of ‘smart’ implantable medical devices. -Ends-

Monday, 31 August 2015

NUI Galway, in partnership with Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club, has launched a new exercise programme, Exercise4Health designed specifically for those who due to a number of health issues are reluctant to engage in exercise. The aim of the programme is to make available an opportunity for those otherwise reluctant to engage in exercise or try getting fit. Being physically active prevents and helps control a multitude of health problems, especially, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Exercise4Health provides a locally accessible opportunity for those with diabetes, heart disease, pulmonary disease; those recovering from stroke or cancer or those with breathing difficulties or other long-term health conditions, to commence a safe and beneficial exercise programme. The programme is ideally suited to anyone trying to reduce weight or indeed improve their overall health and wellbeing. The six-week rolling exercise programme is specially designed to suit all levels of current fitness and prior to enrolling for the classes, participants will be provided with a medical assessment to ascertain their fitness level. This new programme, led by expert cardiac physiotherapists/exercise specialists from Croí and delivered in conjunction with the fitness team at Kingfisher Club, will provide participants with: • An assessment of their existing fitness level and a personalised plan for improvement • Fitness classes delivered at a level to suit everyone • Weekly heart-rate monitoring and personal progress tracking • A motivating and enjoyable fitness programme which can be continued at home and which if followed will provide a measurable improvement in fitness levels Professor Terry Smith, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway said, “This exciting new partnership between NUI Galway, Croí and the Kingfisher Fitness Club aims to provide a community based exercise initiative which will significantly help to improve the health and wellbeing of people suffering from a range of chronic illnesses. Participants will only undertake exercise activities that suit their individual abilities and needs. The benefits are not just improved physical health, but meeting other participants and the fitness team at the Kingfisher Club also provides a great social outlet.” The Exercise4Health programme will take place in the Kingfisher Fitness Club at NUI Galway from 12pm-1pm every Thursday commencing on Thursday, 24 September. Individual assessments for participants will take place from 9am-12pm on Thursday, 10 and 17 September. For further information or to book a place on this exciting new programme call Croí now on 091 544310. -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation today announced the first international expansion of its campus entrepreneurship programme, Blackstone LaunchPad, to Ireland. Ireland becomes the seventh Blackstone LaunchPad region and its first international one, after Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Montana, and California. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, €2 million grant will establish a partnership between National University of Ireland Galway, Trinity College Dublin, and University College Cork to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and provide over 50,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.  The announcement event at Trinity College Dublin was attended by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., who delivered remarks, and United States Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, University College Cork President Dr Michael Murphy, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, and Professor Linda Hogan, Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Officer and Deputy President of Trinity College Dublin. Blackstone LaunchPad in Ireland will connect the university campuses, the business community, and local entrepreneurs to create an environment that nurtures students and provides them with the skills and network necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs. With a physical presence on each university campus and access to the Blackstone LaunchPad Global Network Technology Platform, the programme has the potential to generate some 1,500 new ventures and 3,700 new jobs across Ireland over the next five years.  Welcoming the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., said, “In rebuilding our economy we are promoting policies that support enterprise and job creation across a range of different sectors.  It is our goal that this balanced recovery will lead to sustainable full employment by 2018.  To achieve this vision, we need to embrace the entrepreneurial instincts of students in Irish universities - for them to ask not, ‘what company do I want to work for?’ but, ‘what company do I want to create?’ “The Blackstone LaunchPad programme will foster an entrepreneurial mind-set in students across the country and equip the entrepreneurs of today with the expertise to become the employers of tomorrow.  Very importantly, this programme supports, encourages and enables our most driven young people to build their futures and pursue innovation in Ireland.  The future of business development and international investment in Ireland is closely related to our international links with the world and I am proud that Ireland was chosen as the first global expansion of this highly successful programme.” “Ireland’s young people are driven, curious, and innovative thinkers – all qualities necessary to be successful entrepreneurs,” said Blackstone’s Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman. “Blackstone LaunchPad will enable these students to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, and build strong enterprises rooted in Ireland, and further strengthen economic activity across the country.”  Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said: “We want our students to participate in this type of activity, so that they learn prior to graduation the potential they have and gain the confidence to go out into the world to shape their own futures. At NUI Galway we have a thriving ecosystem of student innovation and entrepreneurship.   Through the Blackstone LaunchPad program our students will now have access to an even more powerful international network, based on this national partnership between our three universities.  I’m delighted to acknowledge the vision and funding of Blackstone Charitable Foundation, with support from Galway University Foundation, to ensure that our students will develop their capacity for innovation and become the entrepreneurs of the future.” Blackstone LaunchPad is modelled after a successful programme developed at the University of Miami in 2008, which has generated 6,000 ventures and drawn over 10,000 participants since its establishment. Each regional programme established through the Blackstone Charitable Foundation is linked, drawing ideas and best practices from across 15 campuses, giving student entrepreneurs in Ireland access to an international community of over 350,000 of their peers and expert advisers.  Funding for this programme is made possible through The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which seeks to support the development of ecosystems for aspiring entrepreneurs creating the high-growth ventures that are known to spark economic growth. Due to the early success of Blackstone LaunchPad following its implementation in Michigan, The Blackstone Charitable Foundation was recognized by President Obama’s “Startup America” Initiative and pledged to expand the programme to five new regions over five years. That pledge was fulfilled by the program’s earlier expansion to California. -Ends-

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The annual conference of the European Cinema Research Forum will be held at the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway from 7-8 July. Now in its fifteenth year, the European Cinema Research Forum gathers together academics and practitioners from across the continent and beyond to discuss and debate issues relating to the diverse range of films produced within Europe. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘The representation of space and place in European film’. It will address a wide range of topics, from the depiction of Paris in the films of French filmmaking great Jean Renoir to the representation of home in contemporary Turkish cinema. A number of papers will focus on contemporary Irish cinema, while the conference also includes several film practitioners who will be discussing their own work as it relates to the topics of debate. Dr Conn Holohan, Lecturer in Film at NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, said: “The advantage of a conference such as this is that it brings together researchers from across a range of departments and from wide range of backgrounds in terms of expertise and interest. Participants largely come from film backgrounds, but the conference also attracts speakers from language and literature departments across Europe and the United States, all of whom bring different geographical and conceptual perspectives to the discussion of European film.” Keynote speakers at this year’s conference are Professor Thomas Elsaesser and film scholar and artist Professor Victor Burgin. With his 2005 publication, European Cinema: Face to Face with Hollywood,Professor Elsaesser explored the significance and viability of a distinct European cinema in an age of cultural globalisation. His talk will directly address the arguments raised in this book and extend them into a contemporary era in which European cinema has increasingly become absorbed into the generic category of ‘world cinema’. Professor Victor Burgin is a renowned theorist of the still and moving image, as well as a highly influential artist whose works have been exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Tate Modern in London. Professor Burgin will be discussing the intersection of his theory and practice in conversation with Professor Ryan Bishop. The programme will also include a projection of Burgin’s digital projection works A Place to Read and Parzival. -Ends-  

Thursday, 2 July 2015

A new research partnership between J.K. Rowling’s international children’s organisation Lumos and a world-renowned Irish university will increase global momentum to transform the lives of children living separated from their families in orphanages. An estimated eight million children worldwide live in institutions and so-called orphanages, though at least 80% have living parents, most of who could look after them with some support. Research by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway, with Lumos, will aim to increase global understanding of why so many children are separated from families and placed in orphanages in different regions of the world, evaluate methods of deinstitutionalisation, and investigate the best ways to support families to stay together. Eighty years of scientific research has shown that children are best raised in families and that growing up in institutional care – deprived of the close, sustained adult engagement they receive in a family - has a negative impact on children’s physical, intellectual and emotional development. The European Union, the US Government and a number of international aid donors are committed to ending institutionalisation. While the science is consistent, further research is needed to gain a fuller understanding of the causes of institutionalisation and long-term solutions. Lumos and National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) share common goals including finding practical, cost-effective and sustainable ways to support families and children - particularly those who are very poor, disabled or from minorities - to stay together in the community; and empowering children and families to play a meaningful role in changing attitudes and practices. Lumos – which was recently selected as the winner of the 2015 UK Charity Awards - is dedicated to ending the institutionalisation of children worldwide by 2050. The non-profit organisation has a track record in demonstrating that most children can be reunited with families given the right support. Lumos is helping Moldova, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic to replace models of care based on institutions with education, health and social services to support vulnerable families to stay together in the community. It is also working in Ukraine, Serbia and Haiti. Meanwhile, the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is at the forefront of research, education and training in family support and youth development. It is the hub of an international network of universities, centres of excellence and agencies in the children and youth field. The research partnership will: Monitor the impact of moving from institutions to family based care on children and young people as they grow up in terms of health, quality to life and future chances; Evaluate ten years of Lumos’ work in its programme countries; Identify best practice for achieving the deinstitutionalisation of children across different regions of the world; Explore the cost-benefit in different regions of the world of replacing institutions with community based services; Develop models for advancing the work of Lumos in new regions around the world such as South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to a generous grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the partnership will start its activities by establishing links and learning opportunities between Irish examples of best practice, much of it also supported by Atlantic, and governments and practitioners in countries in the process of reforming systems of care and protection of children. Lumos CEO Georgette Mulheir – a pioneer over 20 years of a deinstitutionalisation model adopted by many governments, and named last year as one of the world’s most influential social workers – said: “Our mission is to help eight million children in institutions by promoting large-scale reform through our influence on governments and major international aid donors. We need compelling evidence to achieve the greatest impact. We are delighted to work with NUI Galway, which will bring world-leading independent academic rigour to our programmes – as well as an understanding of what works in practice to gain the best outcomes for children.” The UNESCO Chair Professor Pat Dolan, NUI Galway, will work with UNESCO Chair Professor Mark Brennan at Pennsylvania State University in the US on the Lumos project. Professor Dolan said: “The prospect of completing usable real-world research that helps to end the institutionalisation of children and youth globally, will be particularly fitting not only for UNESCO, and our research centre in NUI Galway, but for Ireland as a country given its sad and horrific past track record in relation to children in large orphanages."  -ends-

Monday, 6 July 2015

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2015 Ryan Award for Innovation, and the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence. These awards are made to members of the NUI Galway research community, by the University’s President Dr Jim Browne, in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research. The Ryan Award for Innovation 2015 went to the team behind The Galway energy-efficient Car’ (the Geec), consisting of Engineering lecturers Dr Nathan Quinlan, Dr Rory Monaghan and Dr Maeve Duffy. The lecturers, all from the College of Engineering and Informatics, worked with a team of NUI Galway engineering students to design and build the fuel-efficient car which can achieve the equivalent of 8,000 miles per gallon. In May 2015, the students competed with the car in the European round of Shell Eco-marathon in Rotterdam. It was Ireland’s first ever entry in the event with the team finishing in the top half of the leader board. Now in its second year, the Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of Environment, Marine and Energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. The Ryan Award is a very prestigious award and €25,000 is a significant amount of funding to make a difference in progressing an innovation, technology or idea to the next level, while delivering impact. In addition, the winners of the 2015 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as: In the ‘Early Stage Researcher’ category: Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Acting Director of the Centre for Disability Law, Institute for Lifecourse and Society Dr Elaine Dunleavy, Centre for Chromosome Biology and School of Natural Sciences Professor Declan Devane, School of Nursing and Midwifery In the ‘Established Researcher’ category: Professor Steven Ellis, Professor of History, School of Humanities Dr Molly Byrne, HRB Research Leader and School of Psychology Professor Afshin Samali, Apoptosis Research Centre, and School of Natural Sciences In the ‘Research Supervisor’ category: Dr Aaron Potito, Head of School of Geography and Archaeology Dr Patrick McGarry, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics Dr Laoise McNamara, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics. Speaking at the event, Dr Jim Browne said: “Earlier this year, we launched our new strategic plan, entitled Vision 2020. This ambitious plan aims to bring NUI Galway into the top 200 universities in the world while securing €100 million in competitive funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. In our first year we have had tremendous success and so far, NUI Galway leads the field amongst the Irish universities in attracting EU research funds. Thanks to the commitment of our research colleagues across many areas, from biosciences to the social sciences, we are on track to meet our ambitious target by 2020.” -ends-

Monday, 6 July 2015

President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins was the special guest at an event in NUI Galway today celebrating the prodigious career of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Professor Emeritus in History. One of the great historians of his generation, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has garnered enormous respect as a teacher, writer, university leader and public intellectual for over 40 years. The event also saw the launch of Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750 - Essays in honour of Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh. The new book brings together twenty-three essays by academic colleagues and by former students. Reflecting Ó Tuathaigh’s own versatility, the subject matter of the essays ranges widely, from the Famine of 1741 to the plays of Martin McDonagh, from Irish soldiers to Irish traditional musicians, from prisons to dispensaries. Topics also include the novels of Gerard Griffin and William Carleton in the nineteenth century, and Woman’s Way magazine in the 1960s. Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750 features new research as well as probing reassessments of some of the major changes of recent centuries in Ireland. A native of Limerick, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh came to study at University College Galway (now NUI Galway) in the 1960s. Following post-graduate studies at University College Galway and Cambridge University, he returned to take a full-time post in History in 1971, and soon established his academic reputation with his book Ireland before the Famine. A popular lecturer, he became known more widely during the 1970s through his media contributions and public lectures in both Irish and English. As a Dean of Arts and Vice-President of the University, and as a member of the Senate of the National University of Ireland, he participated to a significant degree in university administration. Prominent in public life, he has acted as a chairperson of Údaras na Gaeltachta and of Bord na Gaeilge. Throughout his career, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has been known throughout Ireland as a generous supporter of the work of voluntary and community organisations concerned with heritage and cultural matters. “Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh has long been recognised as a commentator of originality, generosity and rare insight on the Irish experience. He continues to be a fluent and distinctive voice, in both Irish and English, displaying a depth of knowledge and breadth of passion for this country”, said Dr John Cunningham, Lecturer in History at NUI Galway who co-edited the new book with his colleague Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin. History has a long and distinguished tradition at NUI Galway. One of the first disciplines to be taught at the University, it has emerged from inauspicious beginnings in the midst of the Great Famine to become one of the top history departments in the world, ranking highly in international QS subject ranking in 2015. -ends-

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Ahead of its move to the UN Headquarters in New York, a photography exhibition commission by UNESCO in 1949, is to be presented by NUI Galway from 9-24 July. The images toured the world not long after World War II in an effort to build awareness and understanding of human rights, and following on from the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Now the exhibition, The Changing Face of Human Rights, which takes place in St. Nicholas Collegiate Church in the heart of Galway City, will be displayed alongside modern images demonstrating perceptions of human rights today. The exhibition is an integral part the Galway International Summer School on the Arts and Human Rights that runs from 9-11 July at NUI Galway. The Summer School, organised by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, brings together arts and human rights practitioners to explore their shared space. Events take the form of panel discussions, exhibitions and performances as well as three parallel-track workshops on the topics of: literature and human rights; the visual arts and human rights; and music and human rights. Performances during the Summer School will include a free public performance on Thursday 9 July at 8pm in the CUBE in Áras Na Mac Léinn in NUI Galway. The event will feature Ariel Dorfman’s drama, ‘Speak Truth to Power: Voices from Beyond the Dark’, directed by Professor Patrick Lonergan, Director of NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. This will be directly followed by a concert based around the piper Mickey Dunne who came from an Irish Travelling family who were steeped in the playing and protecting of Irish Music on the Uilleann Pipes. The concert will also feature his daughter Bríd on fiddle and the Galway established composer, musical director and pianist Carl Hession. Songs will be presented by the contemporary folk singer Mary Mc Partlan and the evening will be narrated by Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the Law School at NUI Galway. “Practitioners in the areas of the arts and human rights, both of which are strongly aligned with issues such as social justice, cultural expression and cultural freedom, can learn from each other and understand each other much better”, explains Professor Michael O’Flaherty, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway and co-director of the Summer School with Dr Dominique Bouchard, Curator at the Hunt Museum. Professor O’Flaherty continued: “The Changing Face of Human Rights is a fascinating and moving photographic exhibition. Over time the display was ‘lost’ until re-curated last year by the Danish Institute of Human Rights. Now those historic photos will feature in Galway side-by-side with the winning images from our recent international photographic competition. In this context we get a sense of how some notions of human rights develop over time while others seem not to change at all.” The photographic competition judges include Irish Times Photographic Editor Frank Millar, internationally renowned artist Paul Seawright, and Professor Rod Stoneman, irector of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway. The exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm during normal public visiting times of the Church. Entry is free of charge and visitors are invited to make a small donation for Church upkeep. -ends-

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

An international conference will take place at NUI Galway to discuss theatre and performance archives. 'Performing the Archive' is a collaboration between the University’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance and its James Hardiman Library, and will run from 22-24 July. The event capitalises on the renowned theatre collections of the James Hardiman Library and the academic expertise of NUI Galway's Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance. The three-day conference is bringing together both national and international scholars, practitioners and artists including: Professor Tracy C. Davis, Northwestern University, Chicago; Professor Catherine Cole, University of California, Berkeley; Dr Doug Reside, New York Public Library; Professor Patrick Lonergan and Professor Lionel Pilkington, NUI Galway; Dr Emilie Pine, University College Dublin; and Dr Hugh Denard of Trinity College Dublin. Artist speakers will also feature including Louise Lowe, Anu Productions, and playwright and journalist Colin Murphy. Conference delegates will address issues such as developing new performance work and research projects based on archival materials including scripts, costume designs, prompt books, as well as digitised audio and video of performances. John Cox, NUI Galway Librarian, said: “Archives are vital to the academic mission. The James Hardiman Library has a particular strength in theatre archives, while a major project at the University, the largest of its kind internationally, to digitise the archive of the Abbey Theatre is nearing conclusion. Digital archives and in collaboration with academic colleagues on campus are opening up new opportunities for teaching and research, while also presenting a range of challenges, so this conference is very timely in promoting engagement with and among experts in the field.” Within the conference will be a staged reading of a historic text from the archives of the Hardiman Library. Pilgrims is a play staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1938, written by Mary Rynne and has never received a revival in over 70 years and is an example of a forgotten female Irish and Abbey playwright. Curated by Ciara O’Dowd, this reading is directed by the Druid Director in Residence at NUI Galway, Thomas Conway. The conference is supported by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme, the American Society for Theatre Research and NUI Galway. -Ends-