NUI Galway Researchers to Investigate Human Ageing

NUI Galway Researchers to Investigate Human Ageing -image

Monday, 10 March 2008

NUI Galway's School of Psychology is embarking on new research looking at how cognitive and physiological functions change as we get older. Following the awarding of two separate research grants to Dr. Michael Hogan and Professor Jack James, work is about to commence on two studies investigating issues relating to human ageing. Researcher and lecturer at the School of Psychology, NUI Galway, Dr. Michael Hogan, says, "We are living through a major demographic shift. There is increasing awareness across all levels of society that we need to invest in successful ageing. The logic and the mathematics are straightforward: everyone benefits when more of us are doing well. More and more, researchers in the field of biological and behavioural science are focusing on how best to maintain high levels of functioning throughout the lifespan. We are fortunate to be working with some of the best researchers in the field on these projects. We aim to understand the brain dynamics that underpin memory problems and Alzheimer's disease, and to understand how sleep patterns and mood influence blood pressure and critical markers of heart disease." Brain Signals and Memory Performance The first study is being undertaken by a newly established research consortium, involving collaboration between NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This research group plans to investigate the relationship between electrical brain signals and the memory ability of both younger and older adults. At NUI Galway, a state of the art electroencephalography (EEG) laboratory has been built, which will allow researchers to identify types of brain activity that correlate with memory performance. From this work, it is hoped that deficits in memory performance can be detected earlier and thus allow for earlier and more successful interventions. The current research effort continues a line of work initiated by Dr. Hogan and colleagues over the past number of years. The decision of GSK to award funding adds further to its growing reputation of the School and of the University as a renowned research centre. It is hoped that research participants can be located within Galway City who will take part in this groundbreaking research. To this end, Dr. Hogan will visit a number of Active Retirement Groups over the coming week to discuss the project and give people an opportunity to ask questions and express interest in the project. Dr. Hogan will also give a public lecture on Saturday, 15 March at 11am in the Fottrell Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway, to which members of the public are invited. Sleep Duration, Mood, and Blood Pressure A second study, funded by the Health Research Board, is concerned with the effect that the amount of sleep has on mood and blood pressure. In particular, the project will shed light on a long-standing puzzle concerning the effects of sleep duration on heart health. On one hand, long-term studies indicate that chronic sleep loss contributes to the development of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, sleep loss appears to have little immediate effect on blood pressure level. Professor Jack James and his colleagues think the answer to this puzzle lies in knowing more about the processes that affect blood pressure level. "Recent work by us suggests that the key to understanding this dilemma may involve a mechanism whereby restricted sleep acutely induces a vascular hemodynamic profile while having little direct effect on blood pressure level. This so-called 'vascular profile' has been identified as a risk factor for development of cardiovascular disease. We think that chronic sleep deprivation may contribute to the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular pathology. The findings of our research could help to inform the development of improved health promotion strategies and clinical management for cardiovascular diseases" said Professor James. Information on both studies can be obtained directly from the School of Psychology, NUI Galway at (091) 495832. Information packs will also be available at the public lecture. ENDS

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Archive of Joe Burke's Music Bestowed to NUI Galway Library

Archive of Joe Burke's Music Bestowed to NUI Galway Library-image

Monday, 10 March 2008

An extensive archive of the work of traditional musician Joe Burke has been officially bestowed to the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. Born in Loughrea, Co. Galway, Joe Burke is widely known for his accordion playing and over the course of the past fifty years amassed a significant collection of traditional Irish music. As well as commercial recordings, the collection contains field recordings made in Ireland, Britain and the US, featuring artists such as Paddy Fahy, Andy McGann and Seán Maguire. Currently, there are over 300 hours of recordings already digitised from the collection, with much more on reel-to-reel and audio-cassette tape. The collection also contains over 1,300 paper items, including photographs, letters and promotional material. The library will house the collection under the official title The Joe Burke Archive Collection. Joe Burke, accompanied by his wife Anne Conroy, were guests of honour at a special celebration on campus to mark the occasion. In his opening address at the event, Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, described Joe as, "The maestro of Kilnadeema, a man whose music brings people to their senses". Professor Ó Tuathaigh continued, "Joe Burke is one of a generation of musicians who presided over dramatic changes in traditional Irish music as it shifted from the domestic to the public domain, in Ireland and overseas. In this regard, Joe Burke's archive is of critical importance for future research into the transformation that has taken place in the performance and reception of Irish traditional music. The University is demonstrating its commitment to act as a regional repository for material of national and international significance." The Centre for Irish Studies, in conjunction with the James Hardiman Library, has been facilitating the acquisition of this important archive collection since 2004. The collection will be available to scholars worldwide through NUI Galway. -ends-

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Oilimpigh i measc Bhuaiteoirí Gradam Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh

Oilimpigh i measc Bhuaiteoirí Gradam Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh -image

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Tá Buaiteoirí Gradam Spóirt 2008 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh. Is é an t-aoi speisialta, An tOllamh Jim Browne, Uachtarán nua na hOllscoile, a bhronnfaidh na gradaim. Beidh an searmanas bronnta ar siúl anocht, Déardaoin, an 6 Márta in Óstán an Ard Oileáin, i nGaillimh ag 8pm. I measc na mbuaiteoirí gradam tá Alan Martin (Bóthar na Trá), Cormac Folan (Bearna) and James Wall (Luimneach) – ó fhoireann cheathrar iomróirí trom-mheáchain na hÉireann – a gheobhaidh Gradam Gnóthachtála Speisialta 2008. Déanfaidh an criú seo ionadaíocht thar ceann na hÉireann ag na Cluichí Oilimpeacha a bheidh ar siúl i mBéising níos déanaí i mbliana. Seo a leanas buaiteoirí na nGradam Spóirt i mbliana: Boghdóireacht: Niamh Breathnach, Corr na Móna, Co. na Gaillimhe. Lúthchleasaíocht: Kevin Duggan, An Muileann gCearr, Co. na hIarmhí. Dornálaíocht: Deirdre Flynn, Sráid an Mhuilinn, Co. Chorcaí. Camógaíocht: Laura Linnane, Sionainn, Co. an Chláir. Cruicéad: Abhi Shekdixit, An India. Iománaíocht: Darragh Egan, Cill Daingin, Co. Thiobraid Árann. Peil Ghaelach na mBan: Anna Conlon, Drom Dhá Thiar, Co. Liatroma. Sacar na mBan: Niamh Fahey, Cill Aithnín, Co. na Gaillimhe. Rugbaí na mBan: Anne O'Callaghan, Abhainn an Scáil, Co. Chiarraí. Peil Ghaelach na bhFear: Gareth Bradshaw, Maigh Cuilinn, Co. na Gaillimhe. Rugbaí na bhFear: Gary Collins, An Rinn Mhór, Gaillimh. Sacar na bhFear: Seamus Conneely, Caiseal, Co. na Gaillimhe. Gradam Foirne: An Club Rámhaíochta – Ruadhán Cooke, John Forde, Evin Donnelly, Paul Giblin, Jason Wall, Breffny Morgan, Mathew Carroll, Martin Wallace, Dave Mannion agus Paul Murray. Bhuaigh an fhoireann seo Comórtas Sinsearach na bhFear do Cheathrar Iomróirí agus Liagóir agus Comórtas Sinsearach na bhFear do Bheirt Iomróirí gan Liagóir ag Craobhchomórtas Náisiúnta Rámhaíochta na hÉireann 2007, mar aon leis an gComórtas Sinsearach d'Ochtar Iomróirí ag an gComórtas Rámhaíochta Idir-Ollscoile. Gradam Foirne: An Club Liathróid Láimhe – Shane Hayes, Kevin Cradock, Ciaran Burke, Ricky O'Gara, Caitríona Casey, John Kennedy agus Marianne Rushe. Is é an Club Liathróid Láimhe seaimpíní foirne 40 x 20 Idir-Ollscoile. Bhuaigh Marianne Rushe agus Caitríona Casey an Comórtas Oscailte Dúbailte ag Comórtas Domhanda na nOllscoileanna Coláisteacha i Missouri in 2007. Gradam Foirne: An Club Tonnmharcaíochta – Stephen Kilfeather, Eoin McCarthy Deering, Hugh Galloway, Andrew Kilfeather, Aidan Kelly, Claire Concannon, Elisha Hickey, Brian O Donnacha, Brendan O'Toole, Ricky Whelan. Bhuaigh an fhoireann seo an Comórtas Idir-Ollscoile trí bhabhta as a chéile. Gradam Gnóthachtála Speisialta 2008: Alan Martin, Cormac Folan agus James Wall, Rámhaíocht. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Tony Regan, Oifigeach Spóirt agus Áineasa, OÉ Gaillimh le linn dó na buaiteoirí a fhógairt: "Tá bua ar leith ag buaiteoirí na ngradam i mbliana agus is iad an chéad ghlúin eile de Réalta Spóirt na hÉireann iad. Tugann na lúthchleasaithe iontacha seo dea-shampla dúinn ar fad agus cúis bróid agus mórtais dúinn iad a bheith mar mhic léinn againn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair. Cabhraíonn na Gradaim Spóirt seo linn, i dteannta lenár Scéim Scoláireachta Spóirt, aitheantas a thabhairt do bhua na ndaoine óga seo agus guímid gach rath orthu sna blianta amach romhainn". Bronntar Gradaim Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh gach bliain chun aitheantas a thabhairt do mhic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar éirigh go maith leo i gcúrsaí spóirt sa bhliain acadúil atá caite agus is é Brainse na hOllscoile de Bhanc na hÉireann a chuireann urraíocht ar fáil do na gradaim. CRÍOCH

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Olympians among NUI Galway Sports Awards Winners

Olympians among NUI Galway Sports Awards Winners-image

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

NUI Galway has announced the recipients of the 2008 Sports Awards. The awards will be presented by Guest of Honour Professor Jim Browne, newly appointed President of the University. The award ceremony will take place tomorrow, Thursday, 6 March in the Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway at 8pm. Among the award winners announced are Irish rowing heavyweight fours crew members Alan Martin (Salthill), Cormac Folan (Barna) and James Wall (Limerick), who will receive the Special Achievement Award 2008. The crew will represent Ireland in the Olympic Games in Beijing later this year. This year's Sports Awards recipients are: Archery: Niamh Breathnach, Corr na Mona, Co. Galway Athletics: Kevin Duggan, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath Boxing: Deirdre Flynn, Millstreet, Co. Cork Camogie: Laura Linnane, Shannon, Co. Clare Cricket: Abhi Shekdixit, India Hurling: Darragh Egan, Kildangan, Co. Tipperary. Ladies Gaelic Football: Anna Conlon, Dromahair, Co. Leitrim Ladies Soccer: Niamh Fahey, Killanin, Co. Galway Ladies Rugby: Anne O'Callaghan, Annascaul, Co. Kerry Men's Gaelic Football: Gareth Bradshaw, Moycullen, Co. Galway Men's Rugby: Gary Collins, Renmore, Galway Men's Soccer: Seamus Conneely, Cashla, Co. Galway Team Award: Rowing Club – Ruadhán Cooke, John Forde, Evin Donnelly, Paul Giblin, Jason Wall, Breffny Morgan, Mathew Carroll, Martin Wallace, Dave Mannion and Paul Murray. The team were Winners of Men's Senior Coxed Fours and Men's Senior Coxless Pairs at the Irish National Rowing Championships 2007, also winners of Senior Eights at Rowing Intervarsities. Team Award: Handball Club – Shane Hayes, Kevin Cradock, Ciaran Burke, Ricky O'Gara, Caitríona Casey, John Kennedy and Marianne Rushe. The club are Intervarsity 40 x 20 team champions. Marianne Rushe and Caitríona Casey were winners of the Women's Open Doubles at the World Handball Collegiates in Missouri 2007. Team Award: Surfing Club – Stephen Kilfeather, Eoin McCarthy Deering, Hugh Galloway, Andrew Kilfeather, Aidan Kelly, Claire Concannon, Elisha Hickey, Brian O Donnacha, Brendan O'Toole, Ricky Whelan. The team are three in a row Intervarsity Champions. Special Achievement Award 2008: Alan Martin, Cormac Folan and James Wall, Rowing. Announcing the awardees, Tony Regan, Sports and Recreation Officer, NUI Galway said: "This year's winners have outstanding talent and are the next generation of Irish Sporting Stars. These outstanding athletes are wonderful role models and are an inspiration to us all and we are proud and honoured to have them as current students at NUI Galway. In conjunction with our Sport Scholarship Scheme, these Sports Awards have helped to identify the talents of these young people and we wish them well in their future endeavours". The NUI Galway Sports Awards are given out each year in recognition of the NUI Galway students who excelled in the world of sport during the year and are supported by Bank of Ireland University Branch. ENDS

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NUI Galway launches new Masters in Law, Technology and Governance

NUI Galway launches new Masters in Law, Technology and Governance-image

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

NUI Galway is launching a new Masters programme, the LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance. This new postgraduate course offers students an innovative and internationally focused programme dealing with law, commercial activity, science and technology. The new LL.M includes mandatory modules in regulation, governance and enterprise and optional modules dealing with cutting edge topics such as Internet Regulation, Copyright in the Digital Era, and Biotechnology. The programme is full time for twelve months and applicants must hold a degree in law, or an interdisciplinary degree which includes a substantial law component. The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Donncha O'Connell, also announced that a scholarship for the course has been generously funded by Galway commercial law firm, RDJ Glynn Solicitors. Programme Co-ordinator, Rónán Kennedy, said, "The LL.M. in Law, Technology and Governance will provide a solid grounding for future practitioners, academics and policy-makers. Led by a dynamic team of experts, the students will acquire an ability to deal critically with the problems which arise for law and policy-makers in this rapidly changing area." This programme builds on the success of the existing LL.M. in Public Law, which was launched in 2005. According to the Head of the Department, Marie McGonagle, "Taught masters programmes of the kind offered at NUI Galway are invaluable for those seeking to deepen their knowledge in a particular area of the law, whether for the purposes of professional application or further doctoral study." For further information on the new programme and the RDJ Glynn Solicitors scholarship, contact Rónán Kennedy at 091-495626 or email llmltag@nuigalway.ie Information on all of NUI Galway's postgraduate programmes is available at http://www.goforth.ie -ends-

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Mic Léinn ag triail ar an tSaimbia le Tithe a Thógáil do Theaghlaigh atá ar an n

Mic Léinn ag triail ar an tSaimbia le Tithe a Thógáil do Theaghlaigh atá ar an n-image

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Tá 21 mac léinn ó OÉ Gaillimh le coicís a chaitheamh ag obair go deonach ar thionscadal tógáil tithe sa tSaimbia. Tabharfaidh na mic léinn aghaidh ar bhaile Kawama i dTuaisceart na Saimbia an 30 Bealtaine, agus is ag obair le cumainn chleamhnaithe Habitat for Humanity (HFH) a bheidh siad. Eagraíocht idirnáisiúnta tógáil tithe é HFH a bhfuil obair déanta aici i mbeagnach 100 tír anois. Is é atá mar aidhm ag HFH tithe a sholáthar dóibh siúd nach bhfuil tithe acu. Is é an tAthair Iomar Daniels, Déan na Seirbhíse Séiplíneachta, OÉ Gaillimh, ceannaire an ghrúpa mac léinn, agus tá triúr ceannairí foirne ann. Dúirt an tAthair Daniels go bhfuil gníomhaíochtaí tiomsaithe airgid ar siúl ag foireann OÉ Gaillimh i láthair na huaire ar mhaithe le costas an turais a ghlanadh agus síntiús a thabhairt do HFH. I measc na ngníomhaíochtaí atá eagraithe do na míonna amach romhainn tá cáirióice, ceolchoirmeacha, tráth na gceist boird agus neart eile. Deir sé go bhfuil súil acu go leor airgid a bhailiú trí na gníomhaíochtaí tiomsaithe airgid seo. Beidh na mic léinn ag obair faoi threoir ceardaithe áitiúla oilte, agus iad ag tabhairt faoi bhríceadóireacht, siúinéireacht, plástráil agus péinteáil. Beidh na mic léinn ag obair i dteannta oibrithe deonacha áitiúla agus teaghlaigh. Dúirt duine de na mic léinn a bheidh ag obair sa tSaimbia – Katie Crudden as Inis Ceithleann, Co. Fhear Manach, mac léinn sa tríú bliain i nDámh na Tráchtála – go bhfuil an fhoireann ag súil go mór leis an turas seo agus an taithí a bheidh le fáil acu. "Táimid ar fad ag tnúth le bheith ag obair agus ag maireachtáil sa phobal, ag bualadh le muintir Kawama, ag sealbhú scileanna nua agus ag cuidiú le teaghlaigh tithe simplí inacmhainne a thógáil". Bíonn cuma dhifriúil ar na tithe a thógann HFH i dtíortha éagsúla agus sa tSaimbia is déanta de bhrící cré atá na tithe agus iad clúdaithe le leatháin d'iarann rocach. Sa tSaimbia, áfach, meascán de thithe déanta as láib le clúdach féir agus struchtúir chaolaigh is coitianta – tithe agus struchtúir nach mór iad a dheisiú go bliantúil. Meastar go bhfuil 86% de dhaonra na Saimbia ag maireachtáil faoin tairseach bochtaineachta. Aisíocann formhór na dteaghlach a cheannaíonn tithe HFH thart ar £5 in aghaidh na míosa – airgead a úsáidtear chun tithe eile a thógáil don phobal. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais uait faoin turas seo nó más mian leat síntiús a thabhairt, féadfaidh tú teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an Athair Iomar Daniels ag 091-492168 nó iomar.daniels@nuigalway.ie. Chomh maith leis sin, féadfaidh tú síntiús a thabhairt ar an láithreán gréasáin www.mycharity.ie/event/nuigzambia08/ - críoch -

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First Ever Green Week at NUI Galway

First Ever Green Week at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

NUI Galway's first ever Green Week is to be held from the 10-14 March. It is aimed at raising environmental awareness and promoting the importance of wildlife and biodiversity among students, staff and the general public. The week is being organised by NUI Galway's Student Ecological Society and is supported by the Environmental Change Institute. Among the range of events to take place is an Art Workshop on "Ecological Living" using recycled and found objects (7-9pm, Tuesday, 11 March), a talk by the Irish Seed Saver Association (12pm, Wednesday, 12 March), a unique lecture on the "Cuban Organic Growing Movement" (6pm, Wednesday, 12 March), and a week-long photo exhibition depicting a wide range of Ireland's wildlife (in the foyer of Áras na mac Léinn). A contributor to the wildlife photo exhibition, Professor Michael O'Connell of the Botany Department at NUI Galway expressed his enthusiasm for the Green Week, saying "People have never been so conscious of the importance of the environment, not least for our future but for our pleasure." Dr. Martina Prendergast of the Environmental Change Institute said she expects that Green Week will become an annual event at NUI Galway, "We hope the events will highlight the positive contribution that biodiversity and wildlife can have to our everyday wellbeing". Other events during the week will include a talk on 'Environmental Politics in Galway' (7.30pm, Monday, 10 March) by local community leader and head of the Save the Terryland Forest Park campaign, Brendan Smith. The talk will inform people about environmental issues currently at the forefront in Galway. According to Mr. Smith, "The proposal before Galway City Council to build a road through Terryland Forest Park, which will have a devastating effect on local wildlife, is being met with considerable objection by the general public." A full calendar of events and venues is available on the NUI Galway Societies website at http://www.socs.nuigalway.ie/ or by contacting Christina O Rourke at c.orourke4@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Students Travel to Zambia to Build Houses for Families in Need

Students Travel to Zambia to Build Houses for Families in Need-image

Monday, 3 March 2008

Twenty-one NUI Galway student volunteers are to spend two weeks in Zambia participating in a house building project. The students will leave for the village of Kawama in Northern Zambia on 30 May, and will work with local affiliates of Habitat for Humanity (HFH). HFH is an internationally acclaimed self build housing organisation at work in almost 100 countries and their aim is to make the elimination of poverty housing a matter of conscience and action. The student group is being led by Fr. Iomar Daniels, Dean of Chaplaincy Service, NUI Galway, with the help of three team leaders, "The NUI Galway team are currently fundraising to cover the costs of the trip and their donation to HFH. They are planning karaoke, concerts, table quizzes and many more events in the coming months. With all the energy and enthusiasm going into fundraising we hope to see the group off to an auspicious start". The volunteers will work under the supervision of local skilled trades people, doing work such as bricklaying, carpentry, plastering and painting. They will work alongside local volunteers and families. One of the student volunteers, third-year Bachelor of Commerce student Katie Crudden from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, says "The team is very excited about the new experiences they will encounter during their trip. We are all looking forward to living and working in the community, meeting the people of Kawama, learning new skills and helping families to build simple affordable homes". HFH homes are different in every country and in Zambia they are constructed from clay blocks and covered with corrugated iron sheets. This is in comparison to typical Zambian homes that are grass thatched mud and wattle structures requiring annual overhauling. An estimated 86% of the population of Zambia live below the poverty line, the families most in need that purchase HFH homes repay about £5 a month which is then put back into making more homes in the community. For more information on the trip, or to make a donation please contact Fr. Iomar Daniels on 091-492168 or iomar.daniels@nuigalway.ie. Donations can also be made on the Zambia group website at www.mycharity.ie/event/nuigzambia08/ -ends-

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New Ignite Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway

New Ignite Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 3 March 2008

NUI Galway has launched the new Ignite Technology Transfer Office (formerly TTO NUI Galway) to provide expertise and guidance to researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs in the western region. The 15 members of the Ignite TTO team will offer a range of programmes and services to support Intellectual Property Management and new Enterprise Development. The team will build on existing technology transfer activities at the University, with a focus on the early stage identification and protection of intellectual property (IP), technology marketing, technology valuation and technology commercialisation. The new entrepreneurial forum, enhancing spin-out formation, technology licensing & business mentoring and the expansion of support services, such as the business incubation space, will add to enterprise support that Ignite TTO provides. Dr Daniel O'Mahony, Consultant Advisor, Ignite TTO, said "NUI Galway's investment in research and technology commercialisation exceeded €46m in 2007. When people think of Ignite TTO we want them to equate it with the birth of new technologies, the emergence of new breakthroughs, an endless source of innovation, a fountain of future commercial prospects. It will excite the imagination and attract entrepreneurs to our sandbox of commercially viable offerings. In time it will represent a place of excellent research giving way to excellent technologies and thereafter to commercial success. " NUI Galway has a long standing involvement with the promotion of indigenous enterprise and the direct provision of services to locally based industry. More than 40 collaborative projects with industry were secured in 2007, generating over €2.3m, as well as the establishment of a new entrepreneurial forum with a view to providing researchers and emerging entrepreneurs the fundamental knowledge and skill set required in the pursuit of enterprise development. Ignite TTO has a strong focus on market assessment and delivery of tailored solutions and technology offerings to market on time. During the last year, following licensing of technologies and intellectual property, a number of start-up companies were formed from NUI Galway including Eirzyme Ltd, Theta Chemicals Ltd. and Syncrophi Ltd. Numerous other spin-out companies are at late stage negotiation. Summary of Some Key Achievements in 2007: 1. €46M spent on research in 2007 2. Twenty four Option & License Agreements executed in 2007 3. Thirty patent applications 4. Four spin-out companies in past 12 months 5. 40 collaborative projects with industry (start-ups, SMEs and MNCs) 6. Six bio-incubation labs and a core equipment lab for Life Science companies created 7. Launch of Campus Commercialization Program and Start-up-Solutions to promote enterprise development 8. Funding for new graduate programmes in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Dr Neil Ferguson, Ignite TTO Commercialisation Officer, said, "There is a real sense of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation among businesses in the west of Ireland, matched by the cutting-edge research taking place on campus. The encouragement of our future entrepreneurs is critical to the sustained economic prosperity. The Ignite TTO team is there to lend a helping hand to entrepreneurs in our University and region as they take the first steps in bringing their technology concepts to commercial reality". This is a vibrant and stimulating time to be part of Ignite TTO where National University of Ireland, Galway has developed an attractive portfolio of technologies suitable for licensing, spread across life sciences, biotechnology, medical devices, ICT, engineering and many more. For further information please visit Ignite TTO at www.nuigalway.ie/tto or contact the TTO team on 091-492147 ENDS

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April 2008

Comprehensive Study on Health and Lifestyle

Comprehensive Study on Health and Lifestyle-image

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Minister for Health Promotion and Food Safety, Mr. Pat The Cope Gallagher, T.D. has published the results from the latest National Health and Lifestyle Survey (SLÁN 2007). SLÁN 07, which is the third in a series of lifestyle and behaviour studies of the Irish population, was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children and was carried out by a consortium involving NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and University College Cork. The study involved face-to-face interviews with 10,364 adults along with a sub-study on body size of 967 younger adults (18-44 years old) and a more detailed physical examination of 1,207 adults aged 45 and over. The research team from NUI Galway was led by Professor Margaret Barry, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre, and included Dr. Michal Molcho and Mr. Eric Van Lente, also from the Health Promotion Research Centre. Professor Barry, on behalf of the team, said, "We are delighted as a cross-institutional team to deliver SLÁN 2007, the largest national health and lifestyle survey of adults undertaken in Ireland to date. It builds on two previous surveys, also carried out at NUI Galway, to provide a profile of health since 1998. For the first time, the SLÁN survey includes information on the mental health and social wellbeing of the Irish population and national level data on injuries. The findings for the survey give vital direction for policy and service developments in the coming decade." Key results emerging from the Survey The survey contains a wealth of data on lifestyle behaviours of the Irish adult population including smoking, alcohol consumption, mental health, diet and physical activity. Some of the key facts to emerge are: • Half the population recorded self-rated health as 'excellent' or very 'good' and that this has increased since the last SLÁN survey in 2002. Similarly, there is a reported increase in the number of respondents who described their quality of life as good or very good. • There was a decrease from 2002 to 2007 in the percentage of respondents who reported consuming 6 or more standard drinks ('risky drinking') at least once a week. • Overall, 65% reported consuming the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. One third either always or usually added salt to food at the table. Half reported snacking between meals, most commonly on biscuits and cakes. • 29% of the population smoked, with higher rates amongst young people. Almost half of both male and female smokers reported attempting to quit within the previous 12 months; younger smokers were more likely to report attempting to quit. • Younger men reported higher levels of physical activity, reducing with increasing age. This contrasts with the relatively low level of physical activity in women across all age groups. Of concern was the fact that respondents who reported that they were physically inactive gave their main reason as 'no time'. • Over half of respondents (55%) reported being involved in community activities, compared to 59% in 2002. • The results that emerged from the physical examination of the population sample over 45 years of age point to the prevalence of raised cholesterol and high blood pressure in this population group. In relation to body weight, 39% of those examined (ages 18+) were medically overweight with a further 25% classified as obese. "The SLÁN 2007 study provides invaluable data for policy development and programme planning on a range of lifestyle related health behaviours in the Irish population. More importantly, SLÁN 2007 allows us to identify trends and monitor changes in population behaviours thus better informing our priority setting decisions at national level. While people make their own lifestyle choices, it is only through more and better information that we can better understand the health behaviours of the population and provide the necessary advice and support to them," Minister Gallagher said. The lifestyle choices of individuals have a direct impact on their physical and mental well-being. These choices relate to what they eat, if they smoke, the amount of alcohol they consume and if they take regular exercise. While individuals can make their own lifestyle choices, policy makers need to develop and target effective health promotion policies and initiatives in order to inform and influence people to make healthier choices. It is crucial, therefore, that the information on which these policies are developed is accurate and up to date. The Survey Report is available on line at www.dohc.ie or at www.slan07.ie -ends-

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