NUI Galway Fair showcases over 400 Postgraduate Programmes at Open Day

NUI Galway Fair showcases over 400 Postgraduate Programmes at Open Day -image

Monday, 23 January 2012

The annual NUI Galway Postgraduate Open Day takes place on Wednesday, 1 February, from 12 to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. Almost 3,500 postgraduate students currently attend NUI Galway, making it one of Ireland’s most popular universities for postgraduate study. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options.The Open Day will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme and the practicalities of making an application. 80 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at NUI Galway, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses.According to John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre: “In the current economic climate, there is increased interest among undergraduate students in staying in education by pursuing postgraduate studies. A postgraduate qualification can provide a real career boost. Undoubtedly, it can maximise career prospects and earnings.”NUI Galway offers a wide range of fourth level courses, developing programmes based on its traditional academic strengths of Arts, Social Sciences, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Medicine, Nursing, Health Science, Law, Engineering, Informatics and Science. These areas have been augmented with innovative Research Centres in areas as diverse as Biomedical Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine.Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Admissions Officer, adds: “People are always interested in up-skilling, improving their qualifications and their employability. With so many options available at postgraduate level, people must choose carefully. The Postgraduate Open Day offers the opportunity to talk to lecturers and current postgraduate students. My advice would be to apply early and often as you can make up to three applications online at” Information on scholarships, fees and other practical considerations will also be made available to prospective students on the day.To book your place at the Open Day visit or you can register on the day. -ends-  

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Arthritis Researchers Ask for Views of Patients and Public

Arthritis Researchers Ask for Views of Patients and Public-image

Monday, 23 January 2012

Osteoarthritis researchers at NUI Galway are part of a new European project which is looking to incorporate the views of patients and the general public at the earliest stages of research. As part of the EU-funded GAMBA project, the University is looking for osteoarthritis patients who would like to learn about new therapy approaches and are willing to evaluate theses approaches from a patient’s point of view. The patients should be resident in Galway, be at least 18 years old, and be available for four days in March 2012. The views of the general public will be sought in early summer. Osteoarthritis is a very common joint disease, which can impact quite severely on the quality of life of patients. At the age of 65 most people are affected, and women are more commonly affected than men. Symptoms such as restricted mobility and pain can be alleviated and the progression of the disease can be slowed, but up to now it is not possible to heal the disease. For the consultation project, based at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, the participants will be introduced to the topics of innovative basic research into osteoarthritis and – depending on interest – further background information on gene therapy, stem cell research and nanomedicine. “We are really planning to engage with the people who arguably know most about arthritis, the sufferers. What is it that patients need and want? Will it be possible to regrow bones, to generate cartilage in the body and to stop joint inflammation effectively in 20 years time? What risks and ethical aspects are associated with such visions? These are just some of the questions we want to discuss”, said Dr Mary Murphy, REMEDI, NUI Galway. Dr Murphy added: “Until now, the evaluation of the risks associated with new health technologies are normally left to the experts. New therapy approaches usually don’t come to the attention of patients and society until they are tested in clinical trials or once the products are launched on the market. However, NUI Galway is actively inviting those suffering from osteoarthritis and the general public to contact them, so share their own insights with scientific experts.” All the sessions will be supported by a experienced team of moderators, who will ensure that the information supplied is comprehensible. As part of the GAMBA project (Gene Activated Matrices for Bone and Cartilage Regeneration in Arthritis) researchers at REMEDI are involved in developing new methods for the treatment of osteoarthritis. In collaboration with nine partner institutions from Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland, researchers in REMEDI hope it might be possible to heal diseased joints in 10 to 20 years. This would be done by introducing a combination of biomaterials, stem cells harvested from the patient, gene vectors and nanoparticles directly into the diseased tissue. “The hope is”, explains Dr Murphy, “that these enriched biomaterials could make a regeneration of the joints possible.” The application form and further information are available online or can be requested on 091 49 4276. The main website for the project is -ends-

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NUI Galway Students to Hold Annual Teddy Bear Hospital

NUI Galway Students to Hold Annual Teddy Bear Hospital-image

Monday, 23 January 2012

The 7th annual Teddy Bear Hospital at NUI Galway will take place this Thursday and Friday (26, 27 January). The event will see over 1,300 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their minders, 1,300 primary school children. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, and up to 200 medical and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help children, ranging in age from 3-8, feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. Over the years, children have come along with teddy bears suffering from an imaginative range of sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of others weird and wonderful ailments. Hanin Hamza, a first year medical student at NUI Galway and a member of Sláinte Society, is heading up the event organisation this year: “We hope to build on the successes of previous years and show that going to the doctor isn’t so scary after all.  This is expected to be the largest Teddy Bear Hospital ever, and it will be an incredibly busy couple of days. As students, we have so much fun on the day, it’s a great change of pace from study, and we love the excitement among the kids who really get into the spirit of things.” This year, 32 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the ‘waiting room’, which contains jugglers and face painters. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them.  The students will have specially designed and built X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them.   Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce, along with medical supplies from Matt O’Flaherty to help poor teddy recover. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and visit an Order of Malta ambulance. Further support for the event has come from, among others, MPS, Eye Cinema, Dunnes Stores, Medisource and Smyth’s Toys. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “The Teddy Bear hospital is a wonderful opportunity for the students to engage in a meaningful way with the children in Galway City and County schools. It is one of the NUI Galway societies' most colourful and endearing community outreach programme and we are thrilled with its success. Congratulations to Sláinte Society who invite the children and their teddy bears on to campus for such a great reason and we look forward to a rewarding few days for all involved.” -ends-        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                        Otharlann na mBéiríní á reáchtáil ag Mic Léinn OÉ GaillimhDen seachtú bliain as a chéile, beidh Otharlann na mBéiríní, ar oscailt in OÉ Gaillimh an 26 agus an 27 Eanáir. Tiocfaidh breis agus 1,300 béirín tinn chun na hotharlainne lena bhfeighlithe, 1,300 páiste bunscoile. Is é an Cumann Sláinte, craobh OÉ Gaillimh de Chónaidhm Idirnáisiúnta Chumann na Mac Léinn Leighis, agus suas le 200 mac léinn leighis agus eolaíochta a bheidh ar láimh le scrúdú leighis a dhéanamh ar na béiríní agus le cóir leighis a chur orthu. Tá súil acu go gcuideoidh sin le páistí, idir 3-8 mbliana, a bheith ar a suaimhneas nuair a bheidh siad ag an dochtúir nó san otharlann.  Thar na blianta, thug páistí béiríní chuig an otharlann agus réimse leathan tinnis ag gabháil dóibh cosúil le cluasa tinne, boilg bhreoite agus gach cineál gearán eile faoin spéir. Tá Hanin Hamza, mac léinn chéad bhliana sa leigheas in OÉ Gaillimh agus ball den Chumann Sláinte, ag eagrú ócáid na bliana seo: “Tá súil againn go n-éireoidh chomh maith linn is a d’éirigh le blianta beaga anuas agus go léireoimid nár cheart eagla a bheith ar pháistí dul chuig an dochtúir. Táthar ag súil go mbeidh Otharlann na mBéiríní i mbliana ar an gceann is mó riamh, agus beidh cúpla lá thar a bheith gnóthach againn. Mar mhic léinn, bíonn an-spraoi againn ar an lá, is iontach an t-athrú é ón staidéar, agus is breá linn na sceitimíní a bhíonn ar na páistí agus iad thar a bheith tógtha leis an ócáid.” I mbliana, beidh daltaí agus béiríní as 32 bunscoil áitiúil ag freastal ar an Otharlann. Nuair a thagann na páistí chuig Otharlann na mBéiríní ar an gcampas, rachaidh siad chuig an 'seomra feithimh', áit a mbeidh lámhchleasaithe agus maisitheoirí aghaidheanna ag fanacht orthu.  Ansin buailfidh na páistí agus na béiríní le foireann de Dhochtúirí Béiríní agus d’Altraí Béiríní a chuirfidh scrúdú leighis orthu.  Beidh meaisíní speisialta X-gha agus MRI ag na mic léinn ar fhaitíos go mbeidís ag teastáil ó na béiríní. Beidh Cógaslann Béiríní ann chomh maith, agus beidh torthaí sláintiúla ó Total Produce ann mar aon le soláthairtí leighis ó Chógaslann Matt O’Flaherty le cóir leighis a chur ar na béiríní. I ndiaidh an rírá seo ar fad beidh na páistí ábalta súgradh sa chaisleán spraoi agus cuairt a thabhairt ar otharcharr de chuid Ord Mhálta. Beidh Cumann Cleasaíochta OÉ Gaillimh agus maisitheoirí aghaidheanna, a bheidh ag obair go deonach, ag cur siamsaíochta ar fáil i rith an ama. I measc na ndreamanna atá ag tabhairt tacaíochta don ócáid tá MPS, Pictiúrlann an Eye, Dunnes Stores, Medisource agus Smyth’s Toys. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Ríona Hughes, Oifigeach na gCumann in OÉ Gaillimh:  “Is iontach an deis a thugann Ospidéal na mBéiriní do mhic léinn oibriú go fiúntach le páistí i scoileanna chathair agus chontae na Gaillimhe. Tá sé ar cheann de na cláir pobail for-rochtana is ildaite agus is deise a bhíonn idir lámha ag cumainn OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid thar a bheith sásta lena fheabhas atá ag éirí leis. Comhghairdeas leis an gCumann Sláinte a thugann cuireadh do pháistí agus dá mbéiríní chun an champais agus táimid ag súil le cúpla lá thar a bheith tairbheach do chách atá bainteach leis an ócáid”. -ends-

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NUI Galway Launches the Twelfth Annual Arts Festival

NUI Galway Launches the Twelfth Annual Arts Festival-image

Monday, 23 January 2012

Special guest, poet Rita Ann Higgins, has launched the 12th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, which runs from 6-10 February. The Festival contains a superb programme of music, art, performance and film, with many free events to which the public are welcome. This year’s theme is Illumination/Soilsiú and fun features include pop-up sculptures, protest art, street art, origami, hip-hop and a ‘yarn bomb’, where structures on campus receive bespoke knitwear.  Deep Sea/Deep Space, a video installation created for the Sea2sky Festival held in 2011, will be on show in the University Art Gallery. Marielle MacLeman, artist in residence with Geology and Zoology, will show new works at the Zoology and Marine Biology Museum and will be in residence at the James Mitchell Geology Museum throughout the week. Special guest artist, Sinéad Aldridge, will launch Artsoc’s annual show ‘Derelicte’ and deliver an illustrated lecture entitled ‘Stop Making Sense-Play Havoc’, on protest art or the aesthetics of resistance. Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson will transform a glass bridge on campus and five selected artists will show proposals for large-scale original art-works for the NUI Galway campus. Former MA students of Art Therapy will also present new work in ‘Sacred Space-Porous Place’ in the Arts Millennium Building. Juggling and magic join forces as guest artiste Yann Frisch performs a superb magic manipulation act in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Galway Musical Society, GUMS, will perform the new musical, ‘Spring Awakening’, in the Town Hall Theatre. The ‘Witless Band Competition Final’ takes place in the Student Union Bar with judges and public vote, while Music for Galway features the remarkable Rolf Hind on piano, playing ‘Debussy and Beyond’ in the Aula Maxima. NUI Galway Orchestra, Tradsoc, Choralsoc and Diplóma in Trad music students also perform. The Bank of Ireland Student Theatre will host ‘Mise Scéal Cailín’, the hit puppet show from Branar; a Poetry Slam with MC Pete Mullineaux; new writings and performances from NUI Galway’s students and staff in ‘Solo Show’ and a production of ‘The Clean House’ by Sarah Ruhl, performed by Dramsoc. Comicsoc takes on the ‘24 Hour Comic Book Challenge’ where these bright young artists will draw, write, edit and publish a comic within one full day. Huston Film School students present a selection of their new works and Anime Manga soc and Filmsoc show their favourites. Current staff and alumni will showcase published fiction and poetry and local filmmakers will present new short works. NUI Galway’s President Jim Browne extends an open invitation to the public to attend the closing event of Múscailt, ‘The Galway Music Residency-NUI Galway Sponsor’s Concert’, at 1pm on Friday, 10 February, in the Bailey Allen Hall. The specially chosen programme includes Air by J.S. Bach, Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns, and the exciting ‘Finale from the American Quartet’ by Antonin Dvorák, all performed by Galway ensemble-in-residence, ConTempo Quartet, in association with Arts in Action. Commenting on this year’s line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer says, “Our theme this year, Illumination, represents a bursting forth of ideas from all of the art-forms. Múscailt 2012 will be provocative and fun and there is room for interaction, debate and feedback throughout the week. Everyone is welcome to participate.” All exhibitions are open Monday - Friday. For full information see For a copy of the programme contact the Arts Office at 091 493766 or 091 495098. Tickets for events and info on Society events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or Spring Awakening tickets are also available from Town Hall Theatre or 091 569777. -ends-         -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                Seolann OÉ Gaillimh an 12ú Féile Bhliantúil EalaíonInniu sheol an t-aoi speisialta, an file Rita Ann Higgins an 12ú clár bliantúil d’Fhéile Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, Múscailt, a bheidh ar siúl ón 6-10 Feabhra. Tá clár iontach ceoil, ealaíne, léirithe agus scannáin ag an bhFéile, agus tá go leor de na himeachtaí saor in aisce agus fáilte roimh chách chucu.Is é Soilsiú téama na bliana seo agus i measc na nithe iontacha a bheidh le feiceáil beidh preabdhealbha, ealaín agóide, ealaín sráide, origami, hip-hap agus “buama cniotála", áit a bhfaighidh struchtúir ar an gcampas ábhar cniotála aonuaire. Taispeánfar Deep Sea/Deep Space, físeán a rinneadh don Fhéile Sea2sky, i nGailearaí Ealaíne na hOllscoile. Beidh saothair nua le Marielle MacLeman, an tEalaíontóir Cónaitheach le Geolaíocht agus Zó-eolaíocht, le feiceáil ag doras Mhúsaem na Zó-eolaíochta agus in situ i Músaem Geolaíochta James Mitchell ar feadh na seachtaine.Seolfaidh aoi speisialta, an t-ealaíontóir Sinéad Aldridge, ‘Derelicte’, seó bliantúil an Artsoc agus tabharfaidh sí léacht le léaráidí dar teideal ‘Stop Making Sense-Play Havoc’, léacht faoi ealaín agóide nó aeistéiticí friotaíochta. Léireoidh Anthony J. Faulder Mawson droichead gloine ar an gcampas agus taispeánfaidh cúigear ealaíontóirí roghnaithe tograí do bhunsaothair ealaíne ar mhórscála do champas OÉ Gaillimh. Taispeánfaidh iar-mhic léinn Teiripe Ealaíne saothar nua in Sacred Space-Porous Place in Áras Dán na Mílaoise.Tiocfaidh an chleasaíocht agus an draíocht le chéile nuair a fheicfear Yann Frisch, aoi-thaibheoir, i mbun a cheirde i Halla Bailey Allen. Cuirfidh Cumann Ceoldrámaíochta na hOllscoile an ceoldráma nua, ‘Spring Awakening’, i láthair sa Dubhlann. Beidh ‘Craobhchomórtas na mBannaí Witless’ ar siúl i mBeár Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn, áit a mbeidh vóta ag na moltóirí agus ag an bpobal. Chomh maith leis sin beidh Rolf Hind le cloisteáil ar an bpianó ag casadh ‘Debussy and Beyond’ san Aula Maxima mar chuid de Music for Galway. Beidh Ceolfhoireann OÉ Gaillimh, an Tradsoc, an Choralsoc agus mic léinn ón Dioplóma sa cheol traidisiúnta ar stáitse chomh maith.I measc na rudaí a bheidh le feiceáil in Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann beidh ‘Mise Scéal Cailín’, an seó puipéad ón gComhlacht Amharclainne Branar; Craobh Filíochta le Duaiseanna agus Pete Mullineaux mar fhear an tí; scríbhinní agus léirithe nua ó mhic léinn agus ó fhoireann OÉ Gaillimh sa ‘Seó SOLO’ chomh maith le léiriú de The Clean House le Sarah Ruhl, á chur i láthair ag an Dramsoc. Beidh dúshlán ‘Leabhar Grinn 24 uair an chloig’ ar siúl ag an Comicsoc, áit a ndéanfaidh na healaíontóirí óga is cumasaí i nGaillimh leabhar grinn a tharraingt, a scríobh, a chur in eagar agus a chur ar fáil laistigh de lá amháin.  Cuirfidh mic léinn ó Scoil Scannán Huston rogha dá saothair nua i láthair agus taispeánfaidh an cumann Anime Manga agus an Filmsoc na saothair is ansa leo. Taispeánfaidh cuid den fhoireann reatha agus an alumni ficsean agus filíocht atá foilsithe, agus cuirfidh lucht áitiúil scannánaíochta saothair nua ghearra i láthair.Tugann an tUachtarán James J. Browne cuireadh oscailte don phobal chuig searmanas dúnta Múscailt, ‘Ceolchoirm Urraithe OÉ Gaillimh leis an Galway Music Residency’ Dé hAoine, an 10 Feabhra ag 1pm i Halla Bailey Allen. Ar an gclár speisialta seo tá Air le J.S. Bach, Swan le Camille Saint-Saëns, agus an ‘Finale spleodrach ón Quartet Meiriceánach’ le Antonin Dvořák, agus iad ar fad á léiriú ag Ensemble Cónaithe na Gaillimhe, ConTempo Quartet i gcomhar le Arts in Action.Agus í ag tagairt d’imeachtaí na bliana seo, dúirt Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, “Cuimsíonn téama na bliana seo, Soilsiú, maidhm smaointe ó gach cineál ealaíne. Beidh Múscailt 2012 gríosaitheach agus spraíúil agus beidh neart deiseanna idirghníomhaíochta, díospóireachta agus aiseolais le linn na seachtaine. Tá fáilte roimh chách a bheith páirteach.”Beidh na taispeántais ar fad ar oscailt Dé Luain – Dé hAoine. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil féach  Chun cóip den chlár a fháil déan teagmháil leis an Oifig Ealaíon ag 091 493766 nó 091 495098. Beidh ticéid do na himeachtaí chomh maith le heolas faoi imeachtaí ar fáil ón Socsbox ag 091 492852 nó  Is féidir ticéid do Spring Awakening a fháil chomh maith ó Amharclann na Cathrach ag nó 091 569777.-críoch-

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Clinicians and Scientists Gather to Advance Multiple Myeloma Expertise

Clinicians and Scientists Gather to Advance Multiple Myeloma Expertise -image

Monday, 23 January 2012

Ireland has one of the highest incidences in the world of a blood cancer known as multiple myeloma, a gathering of clinicians and scientists heard last week. The event was a workshop hosted by NUI Galway, on behalf of the Myeloma Ireland Consortium (MIC), with the support of Science Foundation Ireland. MIC was established within the past year with the aim of increasing collaboration between ‘like-minded’ researchers from different academic institutions and hospitals in a co-ordinated approach to maximise research potential and improve patient outcomes in multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that arises from plasma cells, the white blood cells that produce antibodies. In effect, the cancer causes overproduction of antibody producing plasma cells leading to problems such as anaemia, bone damage, kidney failure and elevated calcium levels. The primary purpose of the meeting, which took place in Maynooth, was to highlight current research activities and encourage co-operation between the various research groups in Ireland working in the multiple myeloma field. In addition to updates from research groups from NUI Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, delegates also heard from international experts. Dr Aldo Roccaro from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston spoke about new insights into the interaction of myeloma cells with the bone marrow microenvironment, including the role of exosomes. Dr Dirk Hose from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, covered the use of gene expression profiling for risk stratification and target assessment in clinical practice. Professor Frank Giles, who leads the HRB Clinical Research Facility in Galway and is Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin discussed Irish early-phase studies in myeloma in the context of the National Clinical Research Framework. An update on current multiple myeloma trials being conducted by the all-Ireland Cooperative Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG) was given by Dr Peter O’Gorman, Chair of the ICORG Haematology study group. Professor Micheal O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway and Consultant Haematologist, University Hospital Galway, who convened the event stated: “While treatments have improved over the last decade, and most patients are living longer, multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease. It is vital that scientists across the entire Irish research spectrum work together to find new treatment approaches and improve patient outcomes.” Throughout the event, there were opportunities to discuss the practicalities of undertaking translational research and potential opportunities for collaboration in Ireland. This workshop was also supported by Janssen and Celgene. -ends-

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Study Shows Community-based Programmes Effective in Helping People to Manage their Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseas

Study Shows Community-based Programmes Effective in Helping People to Manage their Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseas -image

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A new study from NUI Galway has shown a significant improvement in managing breathing difficulties among people suffering from COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The Health Research Board (HRB) - funded study trialled a community-based approached, through nurses, GP practices and physiotherapists, to help sufferers better manage their condition. COPD is a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease can cause coughing that produces large amounts of mucus, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms. While cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD, long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust, may also contribute to COPD. The PRINCE (Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Nurse-led Community Environment) study was funded by the HRB, and consisted of a two-armed randomised cluster trial. In one arm (intervention group), persons with COPD received a structured education pulmonary rehabilitation programme, while the other arm (control group) received usual care. The study is one of the largest pulmonary rehabilitation trials conducted in primary care. The pulmonary rehabilitation programme was specifically designed by the study team for clients living in the community with COPD. The programme was delivered in GP practices or venues close by and facilitated by practice nurses and physiotherapists who were trained by the PRINCE study team to facilitate the programme. The content of the programme included medication management, breathing techniques and exercise training. It was delivered two hours per week over eight weeks. The study found that people who attended the programme were significantly better able to manage their breathing difficulties than those who did not attend. Principal study investigators Professor Kathy Murphy and Dr Dympna Casey, from the School of Nursing at NUI Galway, are excited by the study findings. Professor Murphy commented: “We both feel strongly that healthcare research must make a real difference to patients’ lives and we are delighted that the findings of our large trial does just that. Our study found that a community based pulmonary rehabilitation programme facilitated by trained physiotherapists and practice nurses who had no prior COPD expertise, is feasible, safe, and effective. Not only that, but it makes a real difference to patients with moderate to severe COPD by improving their dyspnoea and physical functioning.” Dr Casey added: “A key strength of this study is that by involving the practitioners who work within primary care and training them to facilitate delivery of the pulmonary rehabilitation programmes, we have helped to strengthen and build capacity within the Irish primary health care setting to manage COPD more effectively. Our work shows that it’s possible to expand the scope of pulmonary rehabilitation practice in Ireland from hospital-based to community-based programmes.” The comprehensive findings of the PRINCE Study were presented at a Respiratory Symposium sponsored by Pfizer and co-ordinated by the PRINCE research team, which was held in NUI Galway on 21 January 2012. The symposium, which focuses on respiratory management, was chaired by Dr Andrew Murphy Professor of General Practice, NUI Galway, and member of the PRINCE research team. The symposium also included a number of key note speakers including Dr Joe Clarke, HSE Primary Care Clinical Lead, and Professor JJ. Gilmartin, Respiratory Consultant, GUH, Galway. -ends-

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The Science and Technology of Swimming

The Science and Technology of Swimming-image

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The next in NUI Galway’s series of public talks on sports technology will focus on ‘Re- Engineering the Swimmer: the Science and Technology of Swimming’. The free event takes place in room 3035 of the new Engineering Building on campus, on Tuesday, 31 January at 6pm. The lecture will be given by Dr Gavin Corley of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, who is himself a competitive swimmer. Dr Corley’s talk will focus on emerging technologies which are being used to enhance swimming coaching and performance. “More people in Ireland and the UK participate in swimming than in any other sport, with many of these people swimming at a competitive level,” explains Dr Corley. “Despite this, mainstream swimming hasn’t yet seen the same degree of adoption of new technologies as many other sports such as running or cycling. This is set to change. Recent developments in sensing, communication and material technologies are leading the way for a number of new innovations in swimming performance and coaching.” Following an overview on the history and physics of swimming, these emerging technologies will be discussed in depth with some conclusions on the future of the technological swimmer.” Dr Corley has been swimming competitively for most of his life and has spent the last 10 years teaching and coaching swimming. He currently swims with the NUI Galway swimming club.    Dr Gavin Corley is a post-doctoral researcher in the Bioelectronics Research Cluster at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Science and Adjunct Lecturer in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway. He is working on the commercialisation of therapeutic and sensing technologies for older people. He is also an editor for the online medical device journal, Medgadget, where he writes about emerging medical, health and sporting technologies. The series of Sports Technology talks is being organised as part of NUI Galway’s degree programme in Sports & Exercise Engineering, whose students are being educated to design the next generation of sports and exercise systems and devices. For more information on the sports technology talks, which are supported by Engineers Ireland (West), and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, visit or call 091 492728. -ends- 

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

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

Monday, 30 January 2012

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

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

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

Monday, 30 January 2012

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

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

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

Monday, 30 January 2012

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

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