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Galway Science and Technology Forum and Boston Scientific Announce CERN’s ‘Accelerating Science’ is Coming to Galway
Monday, 3 September 2012
CERN, the world's leading laboratory for particle physics will bring ‘Accelerating Science’, its flagship travelling exhibition exclusively to Galway this month in partnership with the Galway Science & Technology Forum and sponsored by Boston Scientific. NUI Galway and GMIT with assistance from Science Foundation Ireland are also participating in this exciting Exhibition by providing physics experts for Facilitated Tours. The announcement was made at Boston Scientific Galway, the Exhibition’s sponsor, today (Monday, 3 September). This unique Scientific Exhibition is coming exclusively to Galway from CERN, Geneva, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for fundamental physics and scientific research. The exhibition will open from 16 September to 2 November at Leisureland, Salthill, Galway and will take visitors on an extraordinary journey on which they will learn about the History of the Universe, activate a model of the Large Hadron Collider, understand how a particle detector works and see what happens when particles collide at almost the speed of light! ‘Accelerating Science’ is suitable primarily for students aged between 11 and 18 years. The exhibition is available exclusively for Secondary School tours from Monday to Friday and is open to the public at weekends and during midterm break. Teachers and members of the public are encouraged to prebook their place on www.eventelephant.com/galwayscience. Commenting at the announcement Mike O’Flynn, Managing Director and Vice President of Operations, Boston Scientific Galway said: “We’re delighted to support this unique exhibition. It’s essential for our future success that we encourage the next generation to take up science, technology and maths-based subjects at school. This exhibition is aimed at doing just that - inspiring budding young scientists and engineers of tomorrow to make a big bang with their career.” Speaking from CERN, Geneva Dr Rolf Landua, Head of Education and Public Outreach said: “The first time that a CERN Exhibition comes to Ireland just happens to be when the elusive Higgs Boson might have been discovered. The Exhibition is particularly suited for school students from 11-18 years, their teachers and their parents. It shows how CERN’s researchers try to find out more about the laws of Nature, the origin of the Universe, the LHC and the huge particle detectors. I am looking forward to attending the official opening of the CERN Exhibition on Sunday, 16 September at Leisureland, Galway.” Welcoming the arrival of CERN’s “Accelerating Science” to Galway Professor Tom Sherry, Dean of Science at NUI Galway added: “It is a real coup that Ireland is hosting the CERN Exhibition in Galway. The Exhibition will help us build on the current groundswell of interest in science and the public understanding of the role physics plays in our everyday lives. Physics is the fundamental science which helps us to understand naturally occurring phenomena in the world around us and enables Irish Physicists to apply those phenomena to benefit mankind. Many technologies, including MRI scanners and sat-nav systems, owe their existence to fundamental physics research. Indeed, the fundamental laws of physics find application in almost every branch of science, engineering and technology.” Tom Hyland, Chairman of Galway Science & Technology Forum and coordinator of the ‘Accelerating Science’ Exhibition, said: “We are delighted to be able to bring this fantastic exhibition to Galway. This is a wonderful opportunity for young students to engage with science in a fun and interactive way; the exhibition will inform students about the Higgs Boson and the Big Bang Theory. This is a unique opportunity for all second level students, their teachers and indeed their parents to visit this truly exciting Exhibition from CERN, here in Galway over a seven week period.” CERN’s flagship Exhibition will educate those curious about the origins of our universe, the nature of the particles from which we are all made and the power of fundamental science. Setup in five modules, ‘Accelerating Science’ takes the visitor through the early-21st-century scientific adventure and discover how fundamental science has changed the world, as we know it. Starting with the Big Bang, which explores the world’s largest scientific experiment, the particles, the mysteries of the universe and the LHC’s (Large Hadron Colliders) exploration of matter guide. For school bookings visit www.eventelephant.com/galwayscience or for general enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.galwayscience.ie Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. -Ends-
NUI Galway Joins Forces with Bank of Ireland to Launch New Student Loan Scheme
Thursday, 2 August 2012
NUI Galway has teamed up with Bank of Ireland to introduce a new College Finance Loan to students and their parents. College Finance is an easy and affordable way for parents/guardians to cover the cost of University tuition from September. A new loan scheme from Bank of Ireland, College Finance enables parents/guardians of full-time undergraduate students to borrow the cost of the Student Contribution Charge, which is currently €2,250 and applies to all Undergraduate Degree courses. The loan is offered at a preferred rate for the length of the course, for up to five years. Once the course is completed the standard Graduate loan interest rate applies and the loan is repaid over three years. All applications must be received by the Bank of Ireland by 31st October 2012. The College Finance scheme is designed to give parents/guardians and students peace of mind as the full loan, for the duration of the course, is approved up front. NUI Galway is one of 25 Higher Education Institutions participating in the new Loan scheme, and only parents/guardians of students attending participating institutions are eligible to apply. Commenting on the Loan scheme, President Jim Browne of NUI Galway, said: “The cost of Third Level education has risen steadily over the last four years and, in the current difficult economic climate, we are aware that many parents and students are increasingly struggling to make ends meet. The Bank of Ireland College Finance Scheme is a welcome development which will help families to support their child’s education, ensuring that access to Higher Education remains open to as many students as possible.” Donal Flynn, Regional Manager, Bank of Ireland, said: “Bank of Ireland is proud to be able to deliver meaningful products and services to Ireland’s students and graduates. We are very conscious that in the current economic climate Ireland’s future generation of employees need initiatives such as this to enable them upskill for a changed environment. We look forward to working with NUI Galway to provide finance to enhance their skills and their prospects for their future careers.” Ends
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NUI Galway Lecturer Recognised with National Teaching Award
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
NUI Galway Lecturer in Geography, Dr John Morrissey, is among fifteen higher education staff representing six different institutions recognised as exemplifying excellence in teaching at the annual National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) awards. The award presentations will take place at a special ceremony in Dublin in September. Now in its fifth year, the NAIRTL awards recognise higher education teachers who demonstrate outstanding dedication to their teaching and have made an exceptional impact on student learning. This year’s winners are no exception and were chosen from thirty-one detailed submissions from fourteen different Higher Education Institutions across Ireland. The 2012 winners represent disciplines as diverse as Business, Chemistry, Geography, the Humanities, Paediatrics, and Physical Sciences, and were nominated by senior staff in their institution to go forward for the highly competitive award. Dr Morrissey is a Lecturer in Geography and Director of the MA in Environment, Society and Development at NUI Galway. His research interests are in geopolitics and post-conflict development, which he has published on widely. He was an IRCHSS Fellow in 2007/2008. His teaching is driven by a passion for engaging his students and to this end he is a keen advocate of both field-based learning and technology-enhanced learning. In 2011, Dr Morrissey won NUI Galway’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2012 he completed an MA in Academic Practice at NUI Galway. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “It is great news that Dr Morrissey has been recognised by NAIRTL as an exemplary teacher. NUI Galway has a successful record at the NAIRTL awards, with awards being presented to our lecturers each year since the formation of NAIRTL. This is a huge achievement and a testament to the quality of nominations put forward by this University. Dr Morrissey was a recipient of our internal awards for teaching excellence in 2010-11. This scheme recognises the outstanding efforts academic staff make to ensure NUI Galway students receive the highest quality learning experience. We look forward to continued collaboration with NAIRTL and to further success in the national awards scheme in 2013.” NAIRTL was established in 2007, and its vision is one where research and teaching go hand in hand. Previous recipients of the National Award for Excellence in Teaching include senior and junior staff members from thirteen different Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. -ENDS-
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The Universities of Ireland to honour Chuck Feeney
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
The universities of Ireland*, North and South, will jointly confer an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Charles F. "Chuck" Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies on 6 September next. This is the first time such an honour will have been conferred jointly by all the Universities on the island of Ireland. The universities are coming together to honour Chuck Feeney’s remarkable contribution to Irish society, and in particular to the universities. Chuck Feeney’s philanthropic purpose in Ireland has been to create a brighter future and a better society for the people of Ireland. He believes that one way to achieve this is to enable Ireland to become a full participant in the knowledge society and to compete in the knowledge economy. The Atlantic Philanthropies, which he founded in 1982, identified Irish universities, which of their nature are devoted to the transmission of knowledge and the generation of new knowledge, as institutions central to this purpose. Since 1990, Atlantic has donated nearly €770 million to Irish universities, North and South. The physical manifestations of this philanthropy can be seen today most notably in the transformational research infrastructure which has been created on university campuses. This is providing a new generation of researchers with facilities their predecessors could only dream about. Human capital development in the universities had been supported through endowed chairs, scholarships and other forms of student support. University projects have also included support for new libraries and student on-campus housing and projects in the fields of health and ageing. In the longer term, the impact of the funding provided by Atlantic can be expected to be even more significant. The Atlantic Philanthropies (http://www.atlanticphilanthropies.org) is a limited life foundation. It has announced that it will complete its grantmaking in 2016. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., and Minister for Education & Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., will attend the conferring ceremony. NUI is co-ordinating the special ceremony which will take place in Dublin Castle. -ENDS- * The Universities of Ireland: Dublin City University; National University of Ireland; National University of Ireland, Galway; National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Queen’s University Belfast; Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin; University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick; University of Ulster.
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NUI Galway Offers Leaving Cert Students Second Chance with Special Maths Exam
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway has announced details of a Special Entrance Maths Examination which will give students a second chance to pursue careers in Engineering and IT. The exam, which takes place on Wednesday, 22 August, is for students who achieve the CAO points for an undergraduate Engineering or IT Degree course at NUI Galway but have not met the Leaving Cert maths requirement. In advance of this exam NUI Galway will hold an intensive preparatory course for applicants intending to sit the exam. This free course will run for five days, from Thursday, 16 August to Tuesday, 21 August (including Saturday). In addition to preparing students for the Special Entrance Examination, lecturers will demonstrate the relevance and application of mathematics to Engineering and will highlight the applicability of mathematics to some illustrative engineering examples. 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. For more than 20 years, NUI Galway has provided this special entrance exam to help applicants who did not achieve the required grade in Leaving Cert mathematics. Those who took either higher level or ordinary level maths in the Leaving Cert can apply for the exam. Students who pass this special entrance 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. Dr Edward Jones, Vice-Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The Engineering and Informatics programmes at NUI Galway foster the development of analytical and problem solving skills, and mathematical ability is one of the fundamental tools of the trade. Every year, we have a number of students who haven’t achieved the necessary results in Leaving Cert maths taking advantage of our Special Entrance Maths Examination to demonstrate that they have the necessary ability in this area. Many of these students are high achievers who are ideally suited to engineering, and they go on to graduate and pursue successful careers because they were given the second chance which this Special Entrance Exam represents. The preparatory course in advance of the exam has also proved very popular with students taking the entrance exam.” The new four-story Engineering Building at NUI Galway, opened in July 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff with its 400 rooms. The 14,250 sqm building is supporting an emerging generation of engineers engaged in a new wave of technologies, and embracing innovation and entrepreneurship. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway offers a broad range of courses across the major engineering and informatics disciplines, including recently-introduced courses such as Energy Systems Engineering, which is designed in response to a growing demand for professional engineers to work in the energy sector, and Sports and Exercise Engineering, designed to develop the skills and expertise to design sports and exercise equipment of the future. NUI Galway also offers students an 'undenominated' entry route to Engineering which allows them to delay their choice of final discipline until the end of their first year of study. To apply for the Special Maths Examination, or for further information, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. The deadline for applications for the examination is Friday, 17 August and photo ID will be required on the day of the exam. Those interested in the preparatory maths course and the examination should call 091 492101 or email email@example.com . -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 a fhógairt go mbeidh an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice, scrúdú a thugann seans eile do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi ghairm na hInnealtóireachta agus na Teicneolaíochta Faisnéise, ar bun arís i mbliana. Beidh an scrúdú ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Lúnasa, agus tá sé dírithe ar mhic léinn a bhaineann na pointí cuí don CAO amach chun cúrsa céime san Innealtóireacht nó sa Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise a dhéanamh in OÉ Gaillimh ach nach bhfuil an marc atá 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 ar feadh cúig lá ó Déardaoin, an 16 Lúnasa go dtí Dé Máirt, an 21 Lúnasa (Dé Sathairn san áireamh). 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 as an matamaitic i samplaí innealtóireachta. Is é an aidhm atá leis an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin seo cur lena mbíonn foghlamtha ag na daltaí ag an ngnáthleibhéal san Ardteistiméireacht, le go n-éireoidh leo sa scrúdú iontrála matamaitice; déanfar seo trí thabhairt faoi fhadhbanna éagsúla ag leibhéil éagsúla deacrachta a réiteach. Cuirfear béim ar an gcaoi le tabhairt faoi fhadhb agus ar an gcaoi a gcuirfear an t-eolas atá ar fáil i bhfeidhm. Le breis agus scór bliain anuas, tá an scrúdú speisialta iontrála seo á reáchtáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun cabhrú le hiarratasóirí nach bhfuil an grád riachtanach bainte amach acu sa pháipéar matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht. Féadfaidh daoine a rinne an páipéar gnáthleibhéil nó an páipéar ardleibhéil Matamaitice san Ardteistiméireacht cur isteach ar an scrúdú. Má fhaigheann daltaí pas sa scrúdú seo beidh an riachtanas matamaitice sásaithe aige/aici agus gheobhaidh sé/sí tairiscint eile ón CAO i mBabhta a Dó má bhíonn na pointí cuí aige/aici. Dúirt an Dr Edward Jones, Leas-Déan Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice: “Ar na cláir Innealtóireachta agus Ionformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh cuirtear le scileanna anailíseacha agus le scileanna chun fadhbanna a réiteach. Ceann de na huirlisí is bunúsaí sa cheird seo cumas sa mhatamaitic. Gach bliain, bíonn roinnt daltaí againn nach bhfaigheann na torthaí riachtanacha sa mhatamaitic san Ardteistiméireacht agus tugann siad faoin Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála Matamaitice chun a léiriú go bhfuil an cumas riachtanach acu sa réimse sin. Is daltaí uaillmhianacha go leor de na daltaí seo agus feileann an innealtóireacht go mór dóibh. Éiríonn leo céim a bhaint amach agus slí bheatha a chothú dóibh féin mar go bhfaigheann siad an dara deis leis an Scrúdú Speisialta Iontrála seo. Bíonn an-tóir ag daltaí a thugann faoin scrúdú iontrála ar an gcúrsa ullmhúcháin roimh ré chomh maith.” Tá 1,110 mac léinn agus 110 comhalta foirne mar aon le 400 seomra san Fhoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta ceithre stór, a d’oscail an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, i mí Iúil 2011. Tá an foirgneamh 14,250 méadar cearnach ina chnámh taca ag glúin nua innealtóirí a rachaidh i ngleic le teicneolaíochtaí nua agus a thabharfaidh faoin nuálaíocht agus faoin bhfiontraíocht. Is uirlis teagaisc ann féin an foirgneamh mar gur fágadh teicnící tógála gan chumhdach ann agus úsáideadh an iliomad modhanna tógála éiceolaíocha ann. Tá réimse leathan cúrsaí sna príomhdhisciplíní innealtóireachta agus ionformaitice á dtairiscint ag Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice in OÉ Gaillimh: cúrsaí amhail Innealtóireacht Chórais Fuinnimh a bunaíodh mar gheall ar an éileamh atá ar innealtóirí gairmiúla in earnáil an fhuinnimh agus Innealtóireacht Spóirt agus Aclaíochta, a bunaíodh le scileanna agus saineolas a fhorbairt le trealamh spóirt agus aclaíochta na todhchaí a dhearadh. Tá cúrsa ‘neamhainmnithe’ san Innealtóireacht ar fáil do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh chomh maith ionas go mbeidh na mic léinn in ann a rogha disciplín a phiocadh ag deireadh na chéad bhliana. Chun iarratas a dhéanamh ar an Scrúdú Speisialta Matamaitice, nó chun eolas breise a fháil féach http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/specialmaths.html. Is é spriocdháta na n-iarratas Dé hAoine, an 17 Lúnasa agus teastóidh cárta aitheantais a bhfuil grianghraf díot air ag an scrúdú. Ba chóir do dhuine ar bith a bhfuil suim aige/aici sa chúrsa ullmhúcháin agus sa scrúdú glao a chur ar 091 492101 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig firstname.lastname@example.org . -CRÍOCH-
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NUI Galway First Year Student Hotline Opens for Third Consecutive Year
Wednesday, 8 August 2012
NUI Galway will once again open its dedicated First Year Student Hotline on Wednesday, 15 August. Now in its third year the hotline will be open to students, their parents and their advisers and will run until Friday, 28 September, 2012. The initiative, which was launched in summer 2010 and was the first of its kind across the sector, has been specially designed to help incoming first year students make the transition to third level education. With NUI Galway anticipating an intake of over 3,200 new students in September, a team of specially-trained students will service the hotline Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, and Saturday 18 and 25 August, 10am to 1pm. The availability of the hotline coincides with the period of frantic activity and decision making that immediately follows the release of the Leaving Certificate results. The hotline will be active throughout first year orientation on 8 and 9 September and will remain in service for two weeks after lectures begin on September 10, providing students with a place to direct any conceivable query they encounter as they embark on their journey to NUI Galway. The hotline team will provide an efficient, responsive service to callers and are expected to deal with numerous issues that are of concern to incoming first year students. Anticipated queries include: points requirements for courses; first round offers; registering as a student of the University; start dates; fees and accommodation options. A designated website for first years will also update on a daily basis detailing the information sought and fed through the new hotline. It will be a portal of specific information aimed at demystifying the first few weeks of university life. Stephen O’Dea, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, says: “For every young person, the transition from second-level to third-level education represents a significant life-change, and whilst this is an exciting time, navigating your way through the change can sometimes be daunting. The First Year Student Hotline has been set up therefore to provide information, guidance and support to all individuals involved in the transition process and we invite students, parents and advisors to avail of this service to make the passage to NUI Galway as smooth as possible.” Students, parents and advisers can contact the First Year Student Hotline at 091 493999 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -ENDS- Beolíne ar fáil do Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana in OÉ Gaillimh don Tríú Bliain as a chéile Beidh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar fáil arís i mbliana in OÉ Gaillimh ó Dé Céadaoin, an 15 Lúnasa ar aghaidh. Don tríú bliain as a chéile, beidh mic léinn, a dtuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe in ann glaoch ar an mbeolíne go dtí Dé hAoine, an 28 Meán Fómhair 2012. Bunaíodh an tionscnamh seo, a seoladh i samhradh na bliana 2010 agus arbh é an chéad cheann dá leithéid é san earnáil seo, le cabhrú le mic léinn na chéad bhliana an t-aistriú a dhéanamh chuig an oideachas tríú leibhéal. Tá OÉ Gaillimh ag dúil go mbeidh breis agus 3,200 mac léinn nua ag tosú i mí Mheán Fómhair, agus, dá bhrí sin, beidh foireann de mhic léinn i mbun na beolíne ó Luan go hAoine, 9am - 6pm, agus Dé Sathairn, an 18 agus an 25 Lúnasa, 10am - 1pm. Beidh an bheolíne ar fáil sa tréimhse chorraitheach sin ina mbíonn ar dhaltaí cinneadh a dhéanamh i ndiaidh dóibh torthaí na hArdteistiméireachta a fháil. Beidh an bheolíne ar oscailt i rith thréimhse na seisiún eolais do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana, an 8 agus an 9 Meán Fómhair, agus beidh an líne ag feidhmiú ar feadh coicíse i ndiaidh an dáta a gcuirfear tús leis na léachtaí, an 10 Meán Fómhair. Beifear in ann a rá le mic léinn gur cheart dóibh glao a chur ar an mbeolíne má bhíonn ceist ar bith acu agus iad ag tabhairt faoina saol in OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh foireann na beolíne seirbhís éifeachtach ar fáil dóibh sin a ghlaonn ar an líne agus meastar go mbeifear ag plé le hábhair go leor a bhíonn ag déanamh tinnis do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana. Meastar go mbeidh ceisteanna á gcur faoi na hábhair seo a leanas, i measc ábhair eile: na pointí atá riachtanach do chúrsaí ar leith; tairiscintí sa chéad bhabhta; clárú mar mhac léinn san Ollscoil; dátaí tosaithe; táillí agus roghanna lóistín. Tabharfar láithreán gréasáin ar leith atá ann do mhic léinn na chéad bhliana cothrom le dáta gach lá chomh maith. Beidh eolas le fáil ann faoi na ceisteanna a bhí ag na daoine a ghlaoigh ar an mbeolíne nua. Is tairseach eolais ar leith a bheidh sa láithreán gréasáin agus beidh sé de chuspóir aige cuid den cheo a bhaineann leis an gcéad chúpla seachtain ar an ollscoil a scaipeadh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Stephen O’Dea, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is athrú mór saoil an t-aistriú ón dara leibhéal go dtí an tríú leibhéal do gach duine óg agus cé gur tréimhse iontach an tréimhse sin dóibh d’fhéadfadh sí a bheith crua chomh maith. Bunaíodh Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana chun eolas, treoir agus tacaíocht a thabhairt do gach duine bainteach leis an athrú saoil seo agus tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus a lucht comhairlithe úsáid a bhaint as an tseirbhís chun cuidiú leis an aistear chuig OÉ Gaillimh.” Féadfaidh mic léinn, tuismitheoirí agus lucht comhairlithe teagmháil a dhéanamh le Beolíne Mhic Léinn na Chéad Bhliana ar 091 493999 nó dul go dtí http://www.nuigalway.ie/new-students/. -CRÍOCH-
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Chinese Collaboration with Biomedical Researchers at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Agreement confirms global potential for biomaterial based research at NUI Galway The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway will formally sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a leading Chinese research institute the Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine (TJAB) and a major Chinese medical technology company China Nucleon Medical Technology Group (CNPK). The official signing ceremony will take place at the Irish Embassy in Beijing today (Tuesday, 14 August) and will be attended by Minister for Health Dr James Reilly TD, the Irish Ambassador to China, Mr Declan Kelleher and President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne. TJAB is a new, state-of-the-art, 173 million dollar research facility in Northern China while CNPK is a pioneer in medical imaging for the Chinese pharmaceutical industry and has extensive facilities for clinical trialling and preclinical drug development throughout China. The memorandum is designed to encourage a mutually beneficial relationship which will facilitate the exchange of researchers, the exchange of academic information and the development of collaborative research projects. For the first project under this new agreement, NFB will be collaborating with its Chinese partners to develop a cutting edge polymer for cancer treatment. Dr Wenxin Wang, Principal Investigator at NFB, said: “This agreement has huge potential both for the development of new techniques and treatments and for the commercialisation and translation of existing technologies to the clinical environment. China is currently emerging as a major player in biomedical research, and establishing these relationships now will pay ever-increasing dividends in the future. NFB is well poised to engage opportunities in China.” The NFB is a Science Foundation Ireland funded strategic research cluster which has established a critical mass of biomaterials research in Ireland. Speaking of the singing of the Memoranda of Understanding in China, President Browne said: “Partnerships such as the one we sign today point to Ireland’s global strength in the Biomedical Sector and the importance of creating linkages which will be of mutual benefit to industry and enterprise both in Ireland and in China. It also highlights the global opportunities which exist for Irish universities and research organisations. NUI Galway is very pleased to see our partnerships in China grow and flourish in this way. We must remember that the work of this partnership in commercial research will ultimately benefit countless cancer patients and sufferers. Their future health depends on new and innovative treatments – such as those that will be addressed by this technology.” Other existing partnerships between NUI Galway and Chinese institutes include collaborations with both Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Medical Military University Hospital in Xi’an which were signed as part of the Trade and Investment Mission to Shanghai and Beijing earlier this year led by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Minister Richard Bruton TD. The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) based at NUI Galway signed collaborative agreements with the Shanghai Institute for Pediatric Research, Bio-X Institutes and the Tangdu Neurosurgery & Neurology Hospital, research institutes based in two leading Chinese Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, REMEDI is Ireland’s leading research institute in the area of regenerative medicine and stem cell research. ENDS
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NUI Galway Scientists Identify Novel Role for Small RNA Molecules in Breast Cancer
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
The research labs of Professor Charles Spillane (Genetics and Biotechnology Lab, NUI Galway) and Professor Michael J Kerin (National Breast Cancer Research Institute, Galway) have discovered a new genetic control system implicated in breast cancer. Their research findings have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, which is considered the 7th most important scientific journal worldwide by the Eigenfactor ranking system. Professor Kerin highlighted that “Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer worldwide in women and while treatments and outcome are improving there is a compelling need for continued research into its cause and treatment. About 2700 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Ireland each year. Advances in cancer biosciences research provide the basis for earlier diagnosis and new treatment regimes for breast cancer.” Both research labs are collaborating to investigate a new class of genes called microRNAs which produce small RNA molecules that can switch off other genes in normal and cancer cells. Professor Spillane indicated that “There are over 1500 different types of these small microRNA genes identified so far in human cells and it is a major scientific challenge for us to understand which ones can make the difference between a normal and a cancer cell”. Working closely with Professor Spillane and Professor Kerin, molecular biologist Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu made the discovery that a particular microRNA gene called miR-9 acts to suppress tumour growth of breast cancer cells. In the project, the team also identified a new gene involved in breast cancer called MTHFD2 whose levels are kept down by the small RNA miR-9. However, when miR-9 levels go down in a cancer cell, levels of MTHFD2 go up and promote cancer cell development. Dr S. Duygu Selcuklu indicated that “Our findings are important as they show that high levels of miR-9 in cancer cells slows down tumour cell growth by down-regulating cancer promoting genes (oncogenes) such as MTHFD2. Measuring the levels of miR-9 and MTHFD2 in patient samples holds promise for use in the clinic as a novel biomarker in breast cancer diagnostics.” The research was funded by the Irish Cancer Society, the Health Research Board and the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) in Galway. ENDS
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NUI Galway hosts Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Liverpool football legend, Ian Rush, was in Galway this week to launch the Liverpool FC Football Academy Summer Camp, hosted by NUI Galway. Throughout the Summer Camp children aged between 5 and 16 will received top class soccer skills advice and a taste of the Premier League at the Liverpool Football Academy in the University’s sports grounds in Dangan. Speaking at the launch Ian Rush said: “At Liverpool FC we pride ourselves on producing world class players and delivering exciting football to our fans. We take time to develop our younger players to ensure that they reach their full potential by guiding them through extensive training programmes and nurturing their development. As a result we have produced some world-class players over the years, which is something we’re really proud of. We apply the same principles to all age groups, including those who attend our Soccer School programmes. Liverpool FC International Football Academies run throughout the UK and are growing internationally too. So no matter where in the world you take a course, you’ll train and be coached in exactly the same way – The Liverpool Way.” Kathy Hynes, Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway said: “NUI Galway is delighted to welcome the Liverpool FC official academy coaches to the University. This is a wonderful event for everyone involved and we are delighted to provide our facilities to Liverpool FC and extending the University reach through sport into our local community.” This Academy school is held in association with the charity, Happy Children, which aims to improve the life of children in need. Brian Gallagher, from the charity Happy Children who coordinates all the soccer schools activity in Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be bringing the football academy to Galway as part of our expansion into all parts of Ireland with kids of all abilities, boys and girls, all welcome.” For more information on these soccer schools, please see www.liverpoolfc.tv/soccerschools. -ENDS-
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Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium 2012
Monday, 20 August 2012
The role of centres of excellence in treating cancer will feature during Ireland’s largest surgical conference next month. Over 300 delegates are expected to attend the 37th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium which takes place from 7- 8 September. The annual event provides a platform for healthcare professionals to present their research and clinical work, and allows for the merging of both scientific and clinical information. It is named in memory of the Galway-born surgeon, Sir Peter Freyer, who performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900. Dr John R. T. Monson will deliver the Memorial Lecture on ‘Role of Centres of Excellence in Rectal Cancer’ on Friday, 7 September at 3pm. Dr Monson is Chief of the Division of Colorectal Surgery and Vice-Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Centre, New York. Dr Monson, who was born in Dublin, most recently served as a Professor of Surgery, Head of the Academic Surgical Unit, and Deputy Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Hull in England. His areas of expertise include the use of minimally invasive technologies in colorectal cancer treatment, and he has also been involved in basic research into a broad range of cancer-related areas. They include such diverse topics as evaluating the activity and effectiveness of antibodies in fighting cancer, and qualitative assessments of decision-making in cancer care. Dr Monson led the development of laparoscopic colorectal surgery in the UK since 1990 and chaired the UK’s National Training Programme. A lecturer and award-winning author of more than 220 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters, he is a former Vice President of the British Association of Surgical Oncology, served on the Executive Council of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland, and is a Fellow of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Professor John MacFie will deliver the State of the Art Lecture on ‘Training Surgeons for Future Service Requirements’ on Saturday, 8 September at 1pm. Professor MacFie is Professor of Surgery at the Post Graduate Medical Institute, University of Hull. He is current President of the Leeds Regional Surgical Club and President of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the James IV Surgical Foundation. He holds Honorary Fellowships with the Royal College Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena, says: “Cutting-edge research is taking place here in Ireland, but this is an opportunity to engage with research from other countries, and combine that with the latest clinical knowledge. We are delighted to welcome Dr Monson and Professor MacFie to this annual event, and look forward to hearing their insights.” Surgery is a discipline within the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, teaching programmes for undergraduate medical students and postgraduate surgical trainees. Next month will see the first intake into a new study programme, the Masters Degree in Surgery (MCh), which is designed to enhance the academic and professional development of surgical trainees by improving the level of scientific appreciation for evidence-based clinical practice. The venue for the 37th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium will be the Engineering Building at NUI Galway. For further information call 091-524390 or visit www.freyer.ie -ends-
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