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Simvastatin safe but ineffective in the treatment of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)
Thursday, 2 October 2014
NUI Galway researchers have been part of a large-scale clinical trial of statin treatment in patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) which was published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). This international, multi-centre study, led by the Irish Critical Care Trials group, was carried out in over 40 Intensive Care Units across Ireland and the United Kingdom. It was funded by the UK’s Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation programme (a Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research partnership) and by Ireland’s Health Research Board. This four-year project tested the efficacy of the drug simvastatin in 540 patients with ARDS. ARDS is a devastating condition that occurs in patients with critical illnesses such as severe infections or following severe injuries. The primary condition triggers an uncontrolled inflammatory response which in turn damages the lining of the lungs causing them to fill with fluid. Patients with ARDS are unable to breathe on their own and require artificial ventilation. There is currently no effective treatment for the condition, and about 25% of patients with ARDS die of the combined effects of the lung inflammation and the primary condition. Observational and early stage research strongly suggested that statins, drugs widely prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in the blood in order to prevent strokes and heart attacks, might also reduce the inflammatory response to critical illnesses and so might reduce the severity of ARDS. Statins are cheap, generally safe drugs with few side effects which, if the early research translated into a benefit in clinical practice, would be rapidly adopted to treat ARDS. The study (Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibition with simvastatin in Acute lung injury to Reduce Pulmonary dysfunction (HARP-2)) was led by Professor Danny McAuley from Queen’s University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Professor John Laffey was chief investigator for Ireland. The Northern Ireland Clinical Trials Unit coordinated the overall trial. NUI Galway was the study sponsor in Ireland, while the Galway HRB Clinical research facility study played a key role in the conduct of the study in the Irish centres. Results showed that while simvastatin was safe and well tolerated, it did not decrease the duration of artificial ventilation or the number of patients who died whilst in hospital with ARDS. According to Professor John Laffey, “While statin therapy demonstrate considerable promise for ARDS in early phase clinical studies, unfortunately our study shows that simvastatin does not result in better outcomes for patients with this devastating disease.” According to Graham Love, Chief Executive of the Health Research Board: "Health research is not just about always finding new treatments. Sometimes it is just as important to rule something out as it is to rule it in. It is very encouraging to see one of the HRB's investments in clinical research infrastructure play such an important role in this study. The HRB Clinical Research Facility in Galway has enabled Irish researchers to collaborate internationally and contribute to significant clinical findings, as evidenced by this research being published in such a renowned medical journal.” -ends-
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NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair Announced
Thursday, 2 October 2014
Major organisations from business, industry and voluntary sector will feature at the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday 7 October from 12.30pm - 4.00pm. The popular annual event will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Visitors to the event can attend spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Creganna, Medtronic, Cisco, Sourcedogg, and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies including Accenture, Abbott, KPMG and Lidl. According to Emma Goode, Employment Officer with the Career Development Centre at NUI Galway: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Her advice for those attending the fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Plan in advance - know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Bring along an up-to-date CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all your experiences to date. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers -ends-
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Medtech startup Embo Medical secures €3 million investment
Monday, 6 October 2014
Early-stage medical device company is developing minimally invasive embolization technology for the treatment of wide variety of diseases Embo Medical, an early stage medical device company focused on developing technology to shut down blood flow in blood vessels, has secured €3 million in seed-funding. The investment syndicate included the AIB Seed Capital Fund (managed by Enterprise Equity), Irrus Investments, HBAN’s Medtech Business Angel Syndicate, Western Development Commission, Enterprise Ireland and the AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund (managed by ACT Venture Capital). The investment will enable Embo Medical to secure regulatory approval and enter the market, and in doing so employ approximately 10 people directly and up to another 10 people indirectly. Embo Medical is based in NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre. In 2011, the management team of Wayne Allen, Colin Forde and Liam Mullins undertook the BioInnovate Ireland Fellowship, a specialist medical device innovation programme. Upon completion, they founded Embo Medical to develop solutions to unmet clinical needs that were identified while observing embolization procedures in hospitals during the Fellowship. Embolization is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure used to deliberately stop blood flow in blood vessels when treating cancers, internal haemorrhage, aneurysms, and venous disease. Current embolization procedures require multiple coils and plugs, which can be cumbersome and time consuming to insert and often do not provide an optimal clinical result. Embo is developing the first true one-shot (one device per vessel) vascular embolization device. The product is aimed at the peripheral vascular embolization market, a market where physicians perform about 180,000 procedures per year worldwide. The Embo platform technology is intended to provide a superior solution in shorter procedural times; resulting in safe, cost-effective embolization. In preclinical studies, Embo’s technology reduced blood vessel treatment time by over 80%, while ensuring rapid and durable occlusion across all blood vessel sizes. Embo CEO Wayne Allen said: “This investment will accelerate Embo’s development of a state-of-the-art solution for the treatment of several diseases, will further prove the product’s value through clinical studies and enable us to access the large US market. Our technology has the potential to become the standard of care while simultaneously reducing the cost of healthcare.” Dr Mahmood K. Razavi, Interventional Radiologist and Director of Clinical Trials, St. Joseph Heart & Vascular Centre, Orange, CA, USA, said: “The innovative Embo solution combines the desirable characteristics of coils and plugs into one device and represents a potential new gold standard in embolization. It is designed for safe and easy delivery, and rapid cessation of blood flow. The technology will be a clinically effective approach for patients requiring embolization.” The company outsources manufacture, packaging and sterilisation to med-tech companies based primarily in the West of Ireland, accounting for the indirect employment of approximately 10 people. Embo expects to directly create 10 new jobs over the next two years as a result of this investment. This includes a series of both senior management and technical/functional hires over the coming months to fulfil the research and development, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, marketing and finance functions of the company. -ends-
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New Archive Exhibition between NUI Galway and the Russian State Art Library, Moscow
Monday, 6 October 2014
NUI Galway will launch a new exhibition of archive material from the collection of the Russian State Library on Tuesday, 7 October. “Unchanged but the Spirit...” is a co-exhibition between NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library and the Russian State Art Library, Moscow and for the first time in Ireland, will present archive material on the production and stage history of the Seagull by Anton Chekhov, from initial staging in 19th Century Russia to later adaptations in contemporary Ireland. The Chekhovian classic The Seagull has engaged and provoked audiences since its Moscow premiere in 1896. From a poor initial reception from audiences and critics alike, the play was close to being abandoned and forgotten until it received its production at the Moscow Art Theatre, directed by Constantine Stanislavsky in 1898. Since then, the play has been regarded as one of Chekhov’s finest works. In an Irish context, the play received a translation and adaptation by playwright Thomas Kilroy, premiering at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1981. In opening up and combining the archive sources of Kilroy and other theatre archives of the Hardiman Library and of the R.S.A.L collections in Moscow, will highlight how across cultures, languages, societies and centuries, theatre and its impact can remain unchanged. This exhibition will simultaneously stage material from the theatre collections of the Hardiman Library and the Russian State Art Library in both Galway and Moscow throughout the month of October and is a unique chance to see a visual and archival history of The Seagull, in its many manifestations, from Chekhov to Kilroy. All are welcome to attend the launch of the exhibition by Dr Ian Walsh, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway, at the Hardiman Building (Room G011) at 6pm, Tuesday, 7 October. -Ends-
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Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais Seolta ag OÉ Gaillimh
Monday, 6 October 2014
Sheol Príomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta Steve Ó Culáin an Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais in Áras na hOllscoile, Carna le gairid. Cúrsa tráthúil nuálaíoch é a bheidh le tairiscint trí fhoghlaim chumaisc ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge an Fómhar seo. Ag freagairt don éileamh a bhí ar chúrsaí Leibhéal 7 sa réimse léinn seo, tríd an modh seachadadh traidisiúnta, ar fud na nGaeltachtaí le roinnt blianta chinn an tAcadamh leagan ar líne den chúrsa a fhorbairt ar mhaithe le freastal ar an éileamh níos leithne ó phobal labhartha na Gaeilge ó cheann ceann an Oileáin. Dúirt Dónal Ó Droighneáin, Stiúrthóir an Chúrsa: “Tabharfaidh an cúrsa nua seo deis do mhuintir na Gaeltachta agus do phobal na Gaeilge fré chéile páirt a ghlacadh i dturas léinn agus cultúrtha a chuireann deacrachtaí taistil ar ceal. Ina theannta sin is é a gcultúr fhéin – an cultúr dúchais - a bheidh á fhiosrú agus á léiriú ar an gcúrsa.” I measc na n-ábhar a chuimseoidh an Dioplóma nua a mhairfidh dhá bhliain Ollscoile, beidh: Gnéithe den Bhéaloideas, na hEalaíona Dúchais, Cultúr Ábhartha, Nósmhaireacht Thraidisiúnta agus an Amhránaíocht. Tabharfaidh fóram idirlín an chúrsa deis do rannpháirtithe a bheith ag comhrá faoi na hábhair éagsúla agus beidh teacht acu freisin ar stórchiste de chartlanna digiteacha a chuirfidh go mór lena n-éispéireas foghlama. Treiseoidh na ceardlanna a fhreastalóidh na rannpháirtithe orthu sna hIonaid Ghaeltachta le linn an chúrsa an eispéireas léinn agus cultúrtha a bheidh sealbhaithe ar an idirlíon acu le linn an chúrsa. Duirt Príomhfheidhmeannach an Údaráis Steve Ó Cualáin: “Tá tábhacht ar leith ag baint le cláir Ollscolaíochta ar nós an Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais ar mhaithe le treisiú a dhéanamh ar chultúir shainiúla na Gaeltachta agus na hÉireann, rud a chabhróidh le seachadadh na Gaeilge agus chultúir dhúchasaigh ó ghlúin go glúin. Leis an modh sechadadh nuálaíoch seo cruthaítear deis cultúr uathúil na Gaeltachta a chur i láthair pobal níos leithne ná riamh agus deiseanna oibre a chothú bunaithe ar na hacmhainní dúchasacha.” -Críoch- NUI Galway Launch new Diploma in Traditional Culture Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO, Steve Ó Culáin, recently launched the Diploma in Traditional Culture (Diplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais) at Áras na hOllscoile, Carna. This new Diploma is a timely and innovative programme delivered through blended learning by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. In view of the demand for NUI Galway outreach programmes in this discipline, through traditional models of delivery, an online alternative has been developed to further meet the demand from Irish speakers throughout the island of Ireland. Dónal Ó Droighneáin, Programme Director, said: “This new programme will afford both Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking communities throughout the island of Ireland the opportunity to undertake an academic and cultural expedition, regardless of their location. Furthermore, it is the indigenous culture of these communities that the programme will investigate and exhibit.” The Programme which will run for two academic years will include the following subject areas: Aspects of Folklore, the Traditional Arts, Material Culture, Traditional Customs and Song. The programme’s online forum will allow participants to share their knowledge and experience of traditional culture with fellow learners. Participants will have access to a treasure house of digital archives which will greatly enhance the rich online learning milieu available to them. Workshops delivered in Gaeltacht Centres will augment the learning and cultural experience acquired online. Údarás na Gaeltachta CEO, Steve Ó Cúláin, said: “Educational programmes such as the Dioplóma sa Chultúr Dúchais have an important role in perpetuating traditional Gaeltacht and Irish Culture, and in doing so, assist in the intergenerational transmission of the Irish Language and its indigenous culture. This programme creates the opportunity to showcase our rich culture to a wider audience and in doing so nurture new educational and employment opportunities based on our natural resources.” -Ends-
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Galway Build-a-Book Workshop in conjunction with ‘Books Are My Bag’ Campaign
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Join NUI Galway’s MA in Publishing and MA in Writing Programmes students and the staff of Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on Saturday, 11 October from 11am-12:30pm, for a very special children’s story time, plus a fun build-your-own-book workshop for kids. Local children’s authors Patricia Forde, author of Mise agus an Dragún and Hedgehogs Do Not Like Heights, Michelle Melville, co-author of Óisín the Brave, and MA in Writing student Tony Gapper, will read at story time. Afterwards NUI Galway M.A. students will help the children create their very own books. Children will also be given their very own special-edition ‘Books are my Bag’ tote bag, so that they can carry their creations home safely. ‘Books are my Bag’ is the biggest-ever international campaign to promote books and bookshops. With the combined effort of booksellers, publishers, and authors, ‘Books are my Bag’ aims to create a simple but universal message about the joy of books and bookshops. For more information visit www.booksaremybag.com or contact Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop on 091 561766. -Ends-
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Innovative New Resources to Support Mental Health in Galway
Wednesday, 8 October 2014
Galway Senior Hurler Fergal Moore was at NUI Galway this week to launch a new series of cards promoting ‘Art and Positive Mental Health’. His visit also saw the official start of Mental Health Week at NUI Galway and the announcement of a new online resource for students, Student Health101. Student Health101 is a dynamic, continuously updated, monthly digital magazine for students, providing new information on nutrition, relationships, fitness and recipes every month for free. Widely available throughout the US and Canada, NUI Galway is the first third-level institute in Ireland to offer this resource, customised and edited for NUI Galway students. It includes student videos and comments from NUI Galway students as well as information about local events and resources available. There is also a parents’ edition, to help parents keep informed in order to better support their students. The ‘Art and Positive Mental Health’ set of cards list five simple steps to maintaining mental health and wellbeing. The size of a business-card, they will be available across campus. Sponsored by the Mental Health Association Galway, supported by Mental Health Services, HSE West and NUI Galway Health Promotion Service, the cards also feature original art by service users of the Céim Eile Day Centre and Service Users from Galway Training Centre, Merlin Park. At NUI Galway, Mental Health Week runs until Friday and features a range of opportunities to maintain one’s mental health. Students and staff can try meditation or laughter yoga, or enjoy ‘Laughter is the Best Medicine’, a lunchtime comedy session. The show features an hilarious hour of entertainment from storyteller, comic and author Rab Fulton, who is also the editor of the NUI Galway health and resilience blog http://riskybizzness.blogspot.ie/ According to Cindy Dring, NUI Galway Health Promotion Coordinator, “Mental health underpins all health and wellbeing, and helps us to enjoy life more, so we all need to protect and strengthen our mental health every day. Find out what helps you to feel happier, and then do it!” On Saturday, 11 October at 10am, NUI Galway, in association with the Kingfisher Club, will host its second annual charity 8K Run/Walk. The route consists of a traffic-free, mixed terrain run around the University’s campus and along the banks of the river Corrib. The official charity partner for this event is Jigsaw Galway and coincides with global events around World Mental Health Day. ENDS
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8x8 Festival Brings Global Perspectives to Irish Campuses
Friday, 10 October 2014
This October and November, the 8x8 Festival will be taking place on campuses in NUI Galway, UCC, UCD, TCD and DCU. 8x8 is a development focused arts festival, presented by Suas Educational Development and University campus partners. The festival is designed to raise awareness and challenge student’s perspectives of some of the key issues that are shaping our world today. A national survey of third level students conducted by Suas in 2012 found that 85% of students think it is important to take action on global development issues; yet only one in five believed that they could influence decisions affecting our world. This festival was born out of a need to inspire action amongst student and youth populations. In 2014 over 2,500 people attended the 8x8 Film Festival and for this year’s Festival we are expecting an increase in interest. The 8x8 exhibition touches the surface of what is currently happening worldwide. The exhibition and associated events bring together elements that we believe are key to achieving sustainable development and global justice. The exhibition begins with a focus on consumerism, its impact on people and the environment and the rising competition for natural resources. It continues with a glimpse into innovative solutions to development challenges before focusing on education and its role in sustainable development. Finally, it puts a lens to the topic of human rights, and people’s participation in democracy. The festival was launched recently, and will run in NUI Galway the week of October 13th, after which it will tour to DCU, UCC and finally UCD. Each campus will host the outdoor photo exhibit as well as a number of events including speaker events, discussions and film screenings, drawing out the themes of the festival. To find out more about the films, and to book free tickets for the festival, visit www.stand.ie/8x8. The 8x8 Film Festival is funded by Irish Aid and Europe Aid, and is part of the Irish and European Global Campus Programme. In NUI Galway it is part of the new Societies Global Week which runs from the 13th-17th of October The themes for the week are: Celebrating Difference, Being Kind to The Planet & Understanding Global Issues. The timetable can be viewed on www.socs.nuigalway.ie. There is a Global Fair on Monday 13th in the Bailey Allen Hall which will be transformed into a Global Village from 12pm-4pm. Highlights will include Games from around the world - Storytelling - Short Films - Cakes of the World - Free Veggie Pizza - How to build a Water Purification System - Bicycle checks - Pétanque - Free tours - Food from all over the Globe - Dance - Stalls...and our community partners will be involved highlighting and raising awareness of global and green issues. ENDS Tugann Féile 8x8 léargais domhanda do hollscoileanna na hÉireann Beidh an féile 8x8 ar siúl an Deireadh Fómhair agus Samhain seo i gcampas OÉ Gaillimh, UCC, UCD, TCD agus DCU. Féile na healaíona í dírithe ar forbairt idirnáisiúnta, a chur i láthair ag Suas Educational Development agus a bpáirtnéirí na hollscoile. Bhí an fhéile a cruthaíodh chun feasacht a ardú agus dúshlán a chur ar na mic léinn faoina príomh-shaincheisteanna ár ndomhan sa lá atá inniu. Thug Suas faoi deara tríd suirbhé náisiúnta i 2012 gur cheap 85% na mic léinn go bhfuil sé an-thábhactach chun gníomh a ghlacadh ar saincheisteanna forbartha domhanda; afach, ní chreideann ach duine as gach cúigear go bhfuil siad ábalta tionchar a chur ar na cinntí a théann i bhfeidhm ár ndomhan. Rugadh an féile seo amach as an gá chun gníomh a spreagadh i measc pobal na mac léinn agus an óige. Bhí níos mó ná 2,500 duine i láthair ar an féile i 2014 agus bímid ag súil le méadú an bhliain seo. Léiríonn an taispeántas 8x8 dúinn cuid de na rudaí ag tarlú ar fud an domhain faoi láthair. Tugann an taispeánas agus na imeachtaí a bhaineann leo heilimintí go bhfuil lárnach le forbairt inbhuanaithe agus ceartais dhomhanda le chéile. Thosaigh an taispeántas le díriú ar an tomhaltachas, a thionchar ar dhaoine agus ar an gcomhshaol agus leis an iomaíocht ag ardú le haghaidh acmhainní nádúrtha. Leanann sé ar aghaigh le léargas ar réitigh nuálacha le dúshláin forbartha roimh díriú ar oideachas agus ar a ról i bhforbairt inbhuanaithe. Ar deireadh, cuireann sé lionsa ar an ábhar ar chearta an duine, agus rannpháirtíocht na ndaoine sa daonlathas Beidh an Féile ar seoladh ar campas TCD ar an 6 Deireadh Fómhair, ar campas OÉ Gaillimh ar an 13 Deireadh Fómhair le haghaidh Seachtain an Domhain ina dhiaidh sin a mbeidh sé ar camchuairt go DCU, UCC agus ar deireadh UCD. Beidh gach gcampas a óstáil an taispeántas grianghraf amuigh faoin aer chomh maith le roinnt imeachtaí, le imeachtaí cainteoir díospóireachtaí agus scannáin san áireamh, téamaí na féile ag tarraingt amach. Chun a fháil amach níos mó faoi na scannáin, agus chun ticéid saor in aisce don fhéile a chur in áirithe, cuairt a thabhairt ar www.stand.ie/8x8. Bíonn an Féile 8x8 a maoiníodh le Irish Aid agus Europe Aid, agus bíonn sé i bpáirt mar chuid de The Irish and European Global Campus Programme.
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Insight hosts major Workshop On ‘Controlled Natural Language’
Monday, 13 October 2014
The Insight Centre for Data Analytics recently hosted a major international workshop in NUI Galway on ‘Controlled Natural Language’ that was attended by renowned experts in a field that is becoming increasingly important as a methodology for describing technical information related to web technologies. According to Dr Brian Davis of Insight, “The everyday or natural languages that humans use to communicate can be difficult for machines to understand as it is inherently ambiguous with for instance the same word having entirely different meanings in different contexts. So ‘Controlled Natural Language’ or CNL is designed to be a simplified language with restricted vocabulary, grammar, and semantics (meaning) which can be used to improve technical communication among humans, especially for non-native speakers of the respective natural language and is now commonly used in sectors such as ICT, localisaton, airline industries, global maritime among others. Applications include authoring and translating technical doucuments. It is about making it easier for computers to understand and to analyze documents faciliating for instance creating datababes or automatic translations into other languages.” Speakers at the workshop, that was sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), Eurosentiment (http://eurosentiment.eu/ ) and Digital Grammars, included Professor Marti A. Hearst of the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Aarne Ranta of the University of Gothenburg and Professor Johan Bos, Univeristy of Groningen. Co-organisers of the workshop were Dr Brian Davis (Insight), Dr Tobias Kuhn (ETH, Zurich) and Dr Kaarel Kalijurand (University of Zurich). The Insight Centre for Data Analytics, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is a joint initiative between researchers at Dublin City University, NUI Galway, University College Cork, University College Dublin and other partner institutions. Insight brings together more than 200 researchers from these institutions, with over 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. For further information, contact Dr Brian Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org. -Ends-
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NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award
Monday, 13 October 2014
Winners selected from almost 5,000 submissions from 200 institutions worldwide An NUI Galway student was awarded a 2014 Undergraduate Award - an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research. A further ten NUI Galway students were highly commended. Louisa Brophy Browne from Knocknacarra, Galway City was announced winner of the Undergraduate Award in the Classical Studies & Archaeology Category for her paper entitled Discuss and Evaluate the Main Points of the Debate on the Ethnics of Archaeological Work in War Zones and Occupied Territories Using Case Studies. Judged by a panel of academics and industry experts from each field, the winning essays were selected from almost 5000 submissions in over 200 colleges and universities across the globe. Congratulating Louise and the other highly-commended NUI Galway students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “Louisa's success highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in. Such success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to the academic development of our students as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching.” Each winner is recognised as the top student in their respective field globally and will be awarded a gold medal of this achievement. Louisa, along with the 48 other UA winners, will be brought to Dublin for the UA Summit from 19-21 November to receive her medal. The Summit is designed to celebrate these outstanding students from across the world, and to inspire them with speakers assembled from a diverse range of backgrounds. For further information on the UA Summit and the results of the 2014 Undergraduate Awards, please see http://www.undergraduateawards.com. -Ends-
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