Thursday, 14 April 2016

Online study at NUI Galway seeks participants throughout Ireland, to understand how and why people experience sleep difficulties like sleep paralysis The School of Psychology at NUI Galway is starting a study on the number of people affected by sleep paralysis and unusual sleep experiences. The researchers are seeking over 1,000 participants throughout Ireland to take part in the online study. This study is interested in looking at how people’s emotions and lifestyles relate to their sleep. It is also interested in understanding how and why people experience sleep difficulties like sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis can happen when we are falling asleep or waking up and is often viewed as a distressing experience. Previous studies at NUI Galway have found that about a quarter of its students have reported experiences of sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis involves a person experiencing the inability to move when they are just falling asleep or when waking up from sleep. People who experience sleep paralysis often report seeing a shadow of a man or an old woman, or a sense of someone being present in their room. Sometimes the figure sits on their chest, or just simply moves towards them. Other people report their bed clothes being moved or their body being touched.  In some cases, the person reports that they feel as if they are looking down on themselves whilst being unable to scream or move. Most reported the experience as very frightening, but some will have pleasant recollections, such as a dead relative coming to caress their face or tuck-them-in. One student reported that she recalled the Easter Bunny jumping up on her bed! The study is being carried out by Michelle Tomas, a Doctoral student on the clinical psychology training programme at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway and her supervisor Dr Jonathan Egan, Deputy Director of the clinical programme. Dr Jonathan Egan from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “We are interested in how general well-being, sleep quality, stress and mood are related to episodes of sleep paralysis. No study has addressed a large non-student population in Ireland before and we hope to get over a thousand people to participate in the research.” To participate in the study visit: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sleepstudynuigalway ENDS

Thursday, 14 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Enactus Society recently held their annual showcase which saw the student’s present five projects which they ran over the previous year. These projects benefit the world, socially, economically and environmentally and engage those most vulnerable in our society with members of the University. NUI Galway was one of the founding Irish teams of Enactus Ireland and this year will mark its fifth year of involvement. Guided by academic advisors and business experts, participating students from all disciplines form a team on their university campus and apply business concepts to create and implement community empowerment projects around the globe. Enactus NUI Galway students take entrepreneurial action to positively impact on the lives of those in need in their community. Partnerships with the community include Galway Simon Community, COPE Galway, Ability West, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Croí and The Olive Branch for Children. Working with both the Galway Simon Community and COPE Galway, the Wall Flower Initiative involved training long-term homeless men on the development of vertical gardening pockets for urban spaces as well as how to grow plants from seeds. In the HeadstARTS project, a team of students organised weekly drama and dance sessions with teenagers from Ability West, while the CARA group engaged adolescents from CAMHS in a series of art classes under the tutelage of local volunteer artist Maeve Gallagher. Now in its second year, the Communication Awareness Project (CAP) led by students from the Discipline of Speech and Language Therapy, provides training programmes for staff in the service industry on how to communicate with members of our community who experience verbal communication challenges. Future plans for Enactus NUI Galway include ensuring the sustainability and expansion of the current projects and to develop new projects. The OppTech Micro Finance team is working on developing a business training programme and a supplementary app to bring to Tanzania. They are accompanying volunteers from the Draíocht Society on campus this summer to deliver this pilot programme. New project “Whats the craic?” is focused at the concept stage and is looking to facilitate learning language exchanges at NUI Galway. The current Team Leader and PhD candidate at NUI Galway, Orlagh Reynolds, has been involved in Enactus for over a year and also attended the Enactus World Cup 2015 which took place last year in Johannesburg, South Africa. Orlagh said: “From working with some of Galway’s key community organisations to travelling to the Enactus World Cup in Johannesburg, Enactus has given me insight into what is needed to make a sustainable impact in our community and beyond. Our showcase demonstrated the incredible work of our team and impact of our projects.” Michael Campion, a lecturer at NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Faculty Advisor for Enactus NUI Galway, said: “The typical student who engages with Enactus is enterprising and passionate about making things better for others. Designing and developing Enactus projects is not easy due to the criteria laid down by the Enactus worldwide organisation. It challenges students to be innovative, enterprising and hard-working. It’s a privilege to work with and support such students in their Enactus endeavours.” In May, Enactus NUI Galway students, along with nine other third-level institutions, will gather at the Chartered Accountants of Ireland in Dublin for the Enactus Ireland National Final 2016. The winners will represent Ireland at the Enactus World Cup, which this year will be held in Toronto, Canada in September. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Former Olympic rower and NUI Galway graduate, Neville Maxwell, will deliver a talk on combining sports and academic performance at NUI Galway’s Undergraduate Open Day. The Open Day, which takes place on Saturday 16 April from 10am to 3pm, is an excellent opportunity for students, along with their parents and families, to explore NUI Galway’s facilities and to learn first-hand from the lecturers themselves about the more than 60 courses on offer. Lecturers and current students will be on hand to talk to students and parents at the main Exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, with over 80 subject-specific exhibition stands. The ‘Parents Programme’ will provide parents and students with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation and support services for students. To get the most out of your day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays. Talk Highlights include: A guest appearance by Neville Maxwell, Olympic rower and former NUI Galway student. Information will also be available about the range of supports and scholarships for athletes Career talks - “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Blackstone LaunchPad- Training the next generation of Innovators and Entrepreneurs SUSI- Applying for a student grant Creative Arts Performance Points- bonus CAO performance points Taster sessions designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway will include: Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – Introduction to the Healthcare Programmes Arts – BA Connect Programme in Drama, Theatre and Performance studies Studying Engineering- what parents and students need to know Introduction to Commerce International Hotel Management Niamh Connolly, Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make and parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, explore the campus and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you. Open Day has proved invaluable in the past to many students, particularly those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July.” Tours of the campus will include the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and the Engineering Building. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day, with the tour shuttle bus departing regularly from outside the Orbsen Building. Guided walking tours of the main campus will also take place throughout the afternoon. Full Open Day Programme is available here: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/April-Open-Day-Programme.pdf. To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone +353 91 494398 or email visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Iar-rámhaí Oilimpeach Fógartha mar Aoichainteoir ag Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh Is é an t-iar-rámhaí Oilimpeach agus céimí OÉ Gaillimh, Neville Maxwell, a thabharfaidh aoichaint ar an spórt agus an obair acadúil in OÉ Gaillimh don Lá Oscailte Fochéime. Beidh an Lá Oscailte ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 16 Aibreán ó 10am go 3pm, agus is iontach an deis é do dhaltaí agus dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlaigh, áiseanna OÉ Gaillimh a fheiceáil agus cloisteáil ó na léachtóirí féin faoin mbreis is 60 cúrsa atá ar fáil anseo. Beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn reatha ar fáil ar an lá le labhairt le daltaí agus lena muintir i Halla Bailey Allen, áit a mbeidh breis is 80 seastán a bhaineann le hábhair ar leith. Cuirfidh ‘Clár na dTuismitheoirí’ eolas ar fáil do thuismitheoirí agus do mhic léinn ar cheisteanna tábhachtacha cosúil le táillí agus maoiniú, gairmeacha, lóistín agus na seirbhísí tacaíochta atá ar fáil do mhic léinn. Chun an tairbhe is mó a bhaint as an lá moltar do chuairteoirí breathnú ar amchlár na gcainteanna anseo www.nuigalway.ie/opendays. I measc na gcainteanna beidh: Aoichaint le Neville Maxwell, rámhaí Oilimpeach agus céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh eolas le fáil chomh maith faoin tacaíocht agus na scoláireachtaí atá ar fáil do lúthchleasaithe Cainteanna faoi ghairmeacha – “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Blackstone LaunchPad - Oiliúint don chéad ghlúin eile Nuálaithe agus Fiontraithe SUSI - Iarratas a dhéanamh ar dheontas na mac léinn Pointí Breise do na hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha - pointí breise CAO I measc na seisiún beag chun léargas ceart a thabhairt ar an staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh tá siad seo: Leigheas, Altranas agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte – Eolas ar na Cláir Cúraim Sláinte Na Dána – An Clár BA Connect sa Drámaíocht, Amharclannaíocht agus Taibhiú Staidéar ar an Innealtóireacht – eolas riachtanach do thuismitheoirí agus do dhaltaí Eolas faoi Thráchtáil Bainistíocht Óstáin Idirnáisiúnta Dúirt Niamh Connolly, Oifigeach Margaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh dalta go brách an ollscoil a fhreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le daltaí agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú le mac nó le hiníon i rith a t(h)réimhse ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith ar spéis leo staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar an gcampas agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse. Bhain go leor mac léinn leas as an Lá Oscailte sna blianta roimhe seo go háirithe má bhí rún acu athrú intinne an CAO a úsáid roimh an spriocdháta an 1 Iúil.” Ar thurais den champas, taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt le giomnáisiam den scoth mar aon leis an bhFoirgneamh nua Innealtóireachta. Beidh turais ar fáil de lóistín na mac léinn chomh maith ar an lá agus féadfaidh cuairteoirí dul ar an mbus a bheas ag fágáil go rialta taobh amuigh d'Áras Oirbsean. Tabharfar na cuairteoirí ar shiúl na gcos freisin tráthnóna timpeall an phríomhchampais. Tá Clár iomlán an Lae ar fáil anseo: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/April-Open-Day-Programme.pdf. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil téigh chuig www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, cuir glao ar +353 91 494398 nó seol ríomhphost chuig visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Volunteering For Social Change Focus of NUI Galway Presidential Award Ceremony  Over 1,000 NUI Galway students were presented with volunteering awards at a special ceremony on campus this week. The ALIVE certificate acknowledges volunteering efforts by NUI Galway students both on and off campus in a range of clubs, societies and community-based organisations. The ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) programme was established by NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) in 2003 to harness, acknowledge and support student volunteering. The goal of NUI Galway’s internationally acclaimed student volunteering programme, ALIVE, is not only to connect students with volunteer vacancies in Galway but also mould and design graduates who make meaningful contributions to society as future volunteers and community actors.  Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Programme, ALIVE coordinator, said: “Volunteering makes a difference.  Students at NUI Galway are encouraged to volunteer to learn valuable civic skills that will enhance all our communities into the future.  Each student reflects on how their volunteering makes a difference.” This year, students have volunteered with Bohermore Youth Development Project, Galway Autism Partnership, Galway Traveller Movement, Presentation Primary School Homework Club and St. Francis Day Centre. Student volunteer Amy Mannin volunteered with Ability West’s best Buddie programme: “I have so many positive experiences as part of being a volunteer with Best Buddies. I have gained a forever friend through meeting my buddy Jenny. I have learned to listen more and try to be as supportive as I can to someone else. It has enlightened my perspective towards individuals with intellectual disabilities in a very positive way. I have gotten to meet so many individuals with such positive outlooks on life.” This year’s ceremony featured two special guests, NUI Galway graduate and activist for LGBTQ rights, Ivan Fahy and NUI Galway PhD candidate, Chris Noone. Ivan spoke about the the importance of being different and unique, and Chris focused on his work with creating a social enterprise, Key Ideas and Decisions, a new civic engagement platform by young people for young people.  Lorraine added: “Both Ivan and Chris epitomise passion for activism in Irish society and will inspire attendees to continue to volunteer for change and greater social justice in Ireland.” To find out more about NUI Galway’s ALIVE programme visit www.nuigalway.ie/alive. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

NUI Galway will host a free public concert in the Aula Maxima on Monday, 18 April at 8pm. ‘Polar Voices – From the Arctic to the Atlantic’ consists of performances by members of Ensemble XXI dedicated to the ancient music of the indigenous people of the Russian Arctic, as well as the story of the great Irish explorer, Henry Kellett in the Arctic. Ensemble XXI, Russia’s first independent orchestra, was founded by the Irish conductor, Lygia O'Riordan and Finnish violinist, Pia Siirala during their studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. The orchestra has, over the last decade, carried out an intense study of the music of the indigenous peoples of the Russian Arctic, namely in Chukotka, Kamchatka and in Sub Arctic Sakhalin. This resulted in the establishment of ‘Polar Voices’, which is dedicated to the preservation of the music collected in recordings and film and in its preservation and exposition as a world treasure. Lygia O'Riordan said: “The world is rightly concentrating on the disappearance of ice and creatures in the Arctic as we witness the horror of climate change, yet there is another catastrophe occurring in the Arctic too - the disappearance of the cultural treasures of small nations. It can be compared to the white washing of ancient cave paintings or the destruction of ancient artefacts. In the case of the ancient music from Palaeolithic times, once it goes to the grave with the indigenous Elders it can never be heard again.” ‘Polar Voices - from the Arctic to the Atlantic’ presents this music in film and describes in readings from diaries written during the field trips of “Polar Voices” life amongst the nomads and the Small Nations of the Russian Arctic. Pia Siirala will perform her composition for solo violin on indigenous themes Ulita's Walk.  The performance will also tell the story of the Irish explorer, Henry Kellett who was one of the foremost Arctic explorers in the mid 1800's. He discovered the two islands, Herald and Wrangel that now make up the Russian National Arctic Park, also known as the ‘Nursery of Polar Bears’. Further information is available at http://www.ensemblexxi.org/ensembletimes.htm. -Ends-

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

NUI Galway postgraduate course has been shortlisted for the national postgradireland Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards 2016. The MSc (Biotechnology) programme is shortlisted in the Postgraduate Course of the Year in the Science category. The award winners will be announced on Thursday, 28 April at a reception in the Mansion House, Dublin. The annual Postgraduate Course of the Year Awards recognises excellence amongst Irish postgraduate course providers. The winning courses are judged on the success of the course including employability of graduates, recognition of the course’s quality or ranking by external bodies, research record of academic staff, and providing a good experience for students. Judges also take feedback from students into consideration when selecting a winner. Valerie Leahy, Postgraduate Recruitment Officer at NUI Galway, said: “We’re delighted to again make the shortlist for these important national awards; it’s great that the calibre of our postgraduate courses is being acknowledged, as is their effectiveness in terms of employability, and interaction with industry and business. The MSc Biotechnology is now accepting applications and those interested can apply online via the Postgraduate Applications Centre at www.pac.ie/nuigalway. We also offer generous full-time taught masters scholarships for first-class students, so that’s another reason to consider NUI Galway for postgraduate studies.” 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 Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. Over 3,600 postgraduate students (including international students) currently attend NUI Galway. For further information on any of the postgraduate courses available at NUI Galway call 091 495148 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/courses. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Tibetan Buddhist Monk to deliver public mindfulness classes at NUI Galway as part of the University’s ongoing initiative towards integrating a mindful culture As part of its ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture, NUI Galway will host a day of Mindfulness classes with Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten. The classes are free and will take place in NUI Galway’s Aula Maxima Lower on Friday, 15 April, throughout the day from 8.15am to 5pm.   This month’s theme will focus on Mindfulness Using Visual Objects, followed by a reflection practice on ‘Contemplating the roots of happiness and suffering. Exploring the mechanisms of stress and the psychology of happiness.’ Classes are open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. The April class is the fourth in a series of monthly classes, which will continue over the coming months, excluding May. The purpose of the classes is to provide a thorough training in mindfulness, teaching new themes and reflection practices each month, which should be practiced in between modules. For those attending for the first time, there is an opportunity to cover the previous three sessions at the 12pm class. Tibetan Buddhist Monk, Gelong Thubten is based at the Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery in Dumfriesshire in Scotland and works with businesses, hospitals, schools, prisons and addiction centres, and counts among his clients such organisations as the NHS, Google, Morrisons, Clifford Chance and Linklaters. He has lectured on Buddhism and meditation at the universities of Oxford, Helsinki and Cardiff.  Commenting on what people can expect from the Mindfulness classes Gelong Thubten said: “Mindfulness teaches people to understand more about themselves and where their thinking habits are coming from. It is a way of training the mind to reduce stress and develop greater clarity. It’s about focusing on the present moment, feeling less controlled by our own thoughts and having more mental freedom. At its core mindfulness is teaching people to be compassionate and valuing themselves and others around them.” Class Schedule for Friday, 15 April, 2016: 8.15am – 9:00am 10.45am – 11.30am 12:00pm – 12.45pm (Beginners) 13.15pm – 14:00pm 17: 00pm – 17:45pm For more information about NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change in NUI Galway will hold its Annual Research Day on Wednesday, 13 April. The Institute is named after Dr T.K. Whitaker who is widely recognised for setting Ireland’s economy on a path of internationalisation and modernisation through his 1958 study, Economic Development. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr Whitaker demonstrated and implemented innovative ideas and approaches to challenges and issues facing our economy and society. The event is open to the public, researchers and policy makers. The Whitaker Institute has adopted a similarly innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative approach in its research on challenges facing business and society in Ireland and internationally. As such, the Whitaker Institute has positioned itself to play a leading research-led role in the debate on the future of economic development across its three research themes of Sustainable and Inclusive Societies, Public-Sector Innovation and Reform and Business, Innovation & Economic Development. Focusing on these main themes, the Whitaker Institute Research Day is an opportunity for researchers and policy makers from across multiple disciplines to meet and discuss how the multi-perspective research of the Institute, on a range of social and economic issues, can promote a more sustainable and inclusive society. Professor John McHale, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The Whitaker Institute Research day will discuss topics such as climate change, environmental sustainability, gender equality, information management in the public sector and healthy societies. While the Irish economy and the policy issues were very different on the eve of T.K. Whitaker producing his famous 1958 study compared to the issues we face now, there are still potential resonances from that time for research and policy making in Ireland today. The research day is about discussing those ideas that can have real policy impact and ultimately help deliver a more sustainable and inclusive society.” The research day will involve a series of talks at NUI Galway. The day is divided up into five main sessions. The first morning session sees each cluster of the Whitaker Institute give a short presentation on their research and how it advances the three key research themes of the Institute. The other sessions throughout the day will see Whitaker researchers presenting some of the key ongoing projects of the Institute in more detail. There will also be a number of external speakers on the day. A plenary talk will be delivered by Professor John Fitzgerald, Chair of the Advisory Council on Climate Change who will speak on moving to a low carbon Irish economy. And Orlaigh Quinn, Head of the Expenditure Policy and Reporting & Government Reform Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, who will take part in a panel discussion on information management in the public sector. The event will take place in the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 13 April. To register attendance online, and download the full agenda for the day, visit http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/whitaker-research-day/. Attendance is free but registration is required. ENDS

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Two NUI Galway mature students, Brian Doherty and Arron Claffey-Conneely, have been awarded two Experiment Intercultural Learning (EIL) Group Explore Travel scholarships. This is the fourth year in a row that students from the University have received the award. This year four NUI Galway students were shortlisted among the 25 applicants from every Irish institution reviewed for the scholarship, with four overall winners. EIL Explore is a programme that funds participants with an interest in global issues to travel abroad for the purpose of volunteering, cultural immersion, or language education through a variety of awards. Brian, from Galway City, is a first year mature student of Youth and Family Studies under the College of Arts Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Under the EIL scheme, Brian will be going to Ecuador in June to work with children in need. Also from Galway City, Arron is currently in his third year of his Arts degree studying Psychology and Social and Political Studies. Aaron, who came in to his degree via the Access Course, will be going to Thailand to work with Burmese refugees. The vision is that upon their return to Ireland, students will have grown as individuals and will use this wonderful learning experience to be agents for change in their local community advocating for a more globally just society. Trish Bourke, NUI Galway’s Mature Students Officer, said: “Working with Mature and Access students on these EIL Travel Scholarships is one of the highlights of my year. I am proud that NUI Galway’s Mature Students have been winners for four years in a row outperforming all other universities.” -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

To mark International Clinical Trials Day the ‘Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network’ based in NUI Galway launches START COMPETITION for primary school students On May 20th every year, the world celebrates International Clinical Trials Day. This event marks the anniversary of the first ever documented clinical trial, which was conducted on sailors in the Royal Navy in 1747. To celebrate this important occasion, the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) based in NUI Galway has launched the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition. This competition invites 4th, 5th and 6th class students and their teachers to design, carry out and evaluate their very own clinical trial. Participation in this competition meets several key aspects of the school curriculum including Maths, Science, English, Irish, Information & Communication Technology and Social, Personal & Health Education. Students are asked to choose a simple, easy to answer question and use the proper steps of a trial to answer it scientifically, using the resources provided on the HRB-TMRN website. Questions might include things like ‘Can using coloured paper for written spelling tests increase students’ scores?’ or ‘Does 10 minutes of dancing every morning before classes improve student’s attention?’. Findings from each trial can be reported through podcast, video, website, report format, collage or poster. The purpose of the competition is to help students become aware of the clinical trial process, rather than answering a ground breaking question. Commenting on the project, Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Coordinator based in NUI Galway said: “This is an exciting new initiative and the first of its kind to bring awareness of clinical trials to the younger community. Schoolchildren and their teachers are so creative and we are really looking forward to seeing what innovative ways teachers and pupils go about designing and reporting their trial.” All schools submitting an entry will be listed among the ‘Trial Aware Primary Schools 2016’ on the HRB-TMRN website, and shortlisted entries will be invited to Galway on Friday, May 20th, where the winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2016. Each project will be assessed by: How well does the project adhere to the structure of a clinical trial? Does the project provide new insights into a healthcare issue in the school or local or wider community? How well presented are the findings of the trial, so that any member of the community could understand the findings? Can other schools learn something new from this project? To register your trial complete the Trial Registration Form, which can be found on the website www.hrb-tmrn.ie and it email to hrb-tmrn@nuigalway.ie or alternatively Post to: Room 235, 1st Floor, Áras Moyola, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway. ENDS

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

NUI Galway study highlights the different pathways of normal development of worrisome thoughts in children and young adolescents, dependent on the child’s gender and pubertal status A study carried out by researchers at NUI Galway found that while children at age 10 worry the most, young female adolescents at age 13, are most affected in performing daily activities due to worrisome thoughts, as published today (5 April) in the British Journal of Health Psychology.   Anxiety and worry is a normal part of childhood and adolescence, however, research observing children throughout childhood to evaluate the development of worrisome thoughts is lacking, and makes it difficult to distinguish between normal and pathological worrying patterns. The study was carried out by Dr Line Caes at the School of Psychology & Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway in collaboration with Professor Christopher Eccleston and Dr Emma Fisher both from the Centre for Pain Research at Bath University. The study investigated mothers’ perspectives on their child’s normal level of worry and impact on daily life from childhood to early adolescence. The data for the study was extracted from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) in which 2,227 mothers reported on their child's worry content, frequency, control, and emotional disruption when their child was aged 7, 10, and 13 years old. The researchers found that age 10 seems to be a pivotal age with respect to worries, with mothers reporting the highest level worry frequency at age 10 combined with a low ability to control those worries at this age. However, the highest level of impact in performing daily activities due to worrisome thoughts was observed at age 13, particularly for girls. These findings suggest that parents may perceive the increased level of worries and the difficulty to control these worries when their children are 10 years of age as a normal part of growing up. However, early adolescence, especially for girls, might be a vulnerable time for the development and early identification of intrusive worries. The child’s gender and pubertal status play a role in understanding how normal worry patterns develop from age 10 onwards, with advanced puberty at age 10 being associated with overall higher worry frequency and emotional disruption. The authors discussed the findings within a developmental framework outlining the normal development of worrisome thoughts, associated distress, and how it impacts on engaging in daily activities, throughout early adolescence. The study highlights that increased knowledge of typical worry patterns could help inform a better understanding of adolescence as a vulnerable time for the development of mental health problems, such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Commenting on the study, Dr Line Case from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway explains: “This study represents an exciting collaboration between NUI Galway and Bath University providing a new view on how children develop and how they are affected by a normal aspect of life, worry, depending on their developmental stage. These findings will help inform future research and policy on early detection and treatment of pathological levels of anxiety in childhood.” The study is supported by Galway University Foundation and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. For further information on the data from ALSPAC visit: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac To read the full paper in the British Journal of Health Psychology visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjhp.12174/abstract ENDS

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the tenth cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. In total, 324 primary school children from across the West of Ireland received their certificates, with more than 1,000 friends and family attending the ceremony. Established in 2012, the Youth Academy aims to inspire entry to university by introducing primary school students and their families to university life. Since its foundation, almost 2,000 students have graduated from a variety of courses on Saturday mornings ranging from Mandarin to Art, Engineering to Creative Writing, Cell-EXPLORERS and Kitchen Chemistry to IT and The World of Cops and Robbers to Social Innovation. The Youth Academy runs for a six week period and works with high ability fourth, fifth and sixth class primary school children to support their learning and academic development, in partnership with their primary schools. Speaking at the event, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The Youth Academy is a very important initiative by this University. We feel that it responds to the educational needs of our most important young citizens and gives talented young students the opportunity to get experience of learning in a university. NUI Galway is committed to the sharing of knowledge with the wider community and ensuring that the pathways to university are open to all. I hope that initiatives such as the Youth Academy can highlight how the University can and does serve its community, not only here Galway but in society in general.” For further information on the courses and participation please contact Geraldine Marley, NUI Galway Youth Academy Coordinator, at youthacademy@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

NUI Galway will host the seventh Conference of Italian Archaeology between on 16-18 April, attracting almost 200 participants from across Europe, North America, South America, North Africa, and Australia. Over the three days, 150 presentations will reveal the newest discoveries in the archaeological heritage of Italy from prehistory through to the modern period, with a particular focus on funerary archaeology. The highlight of the conference will be a special session of papers to honour two of the UK’s leading scholars in Italian archaeology, Ruth Whitehouse and John Wilkins, who run the Accordia Research Institute in University College London, the premier research organisation for the study of early Italy in Britain. The conference is organised by NUI Galway’s discipline of Classics, with support from Fáilte Ireland, Galway University Foundation, NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Moore Institute, and the discipline of Archaeology. Dr Edward Herring, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to be hosting the Seventh Conference of Italian Archaeology this Apil and to join the select band of universities that have been home to this prestigious event, following Lancaster, Sheffield, Cambridge, London, Oxford and Groningen. This conference gives us the chance to showcase our work in Classics and Archaeology and to welcome international scholars to our beautiful campus and world-class facilities. For me, personally, bringing the conference to Galway is a particular pleasure as Italian Archaeology is my own research field and I previously helped organise the conference when it was held in London in 1990.” The Conference of Italian Archaeology series began in Lancaster in 1977 and has been subsequently hosted by several universities in the UK and the Netherlands. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

NUI Galway online treatment programme for chronic pain sufferers extended due to interest A recent online treatment programme, set up by expert psychologists and physiotherapists, aims to help those who suffer from chronic pain. Recruitment has been extended until Friday, 29 April due to the number of inquiries received in recent weeks. The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, with the support of the Health Research Board, is currently recruiting people with chronic pain (pain which has lasted for three months or more). The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) trial will provide eight online sessions to people in the comfort of their own home. At the moment, such supports are mainly available through specialised hospital-based pain management teams.  Chronic pain affects up to 35% of the Irish population and is increasingly recognised as a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is sometimes associated with psychological effects, which may include anxiety and changes in mood, as well as forgetfulness, and difficulties in focusing attention, planning tasks and making decisions. The ACT trial is based on emerging clinical science that demonstrates the usefulness of managing chronic pain through mindfulness and psychological wellbeing. The study is open to people all over Ireland and will take place over the coming months. GPs and physiotherapists around the country are being encouraged to refer suitable people with pain to the study. The free online sessions in the ACT programme will focus on values and goals that are individual to each person in the trial. Participants will be provided with instructions on a range of activity-pacing techniques to encourage more consistent levels of activity from day-to-day. In addition, mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy will help identify both negative thinking patterns and the development of effective challenges.  Dr Christopher Dwyer, coordinator of the study at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, said: “We know that psychological therapies provided to people with chronic pain are beneficial, particularly for people at risk of long term disability. However, this type of service is often only accessible via specialised hospital-based pain management teams. In this trial, we will offer this type of service to people all over the country and at any stage of injury.” People who take part in the ACT trial will not need to attend any clinic or the University at any stage. All materials are tailored for those wishing to learn effective ways of managing their chronic pain. Participants can access physiotherapy and all medical services as usual while involved in the trial.  Study supervisor Dr Brian McGuire said “this is a promising new online pain management programme and we are hopeful it will be of benefit to people with chronic pain.” For further information contact Dr Christopher Dwyer at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway at painresearch@nuigalway.ie or 091 495 391, or see the website http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre-for-pain-research/ before Friday, 29 April. GPs or physiotherapists who are interested in referring suitable patients to the trial can also use these contact details. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The venom from a false black widow spider known as the Steatoda nobilis is being researched for the first time at NUI Galway for its therapeutic potential for anti-cancer properties An NUI Galway scientist has begun research on venom variations from the false black widow spider and its therapeutic potential for anti-cancer properties. The venom will be tested on different lines of human cancerous cells. This is the first time that an Irish bug is being investigated for its potent bio-activity and the first time that venom from this particular spider is been investigated. Dr Michel Dugon, an Irish Research Council Fellow in Botany and an Adjunct Lecturer in Zoology at the School of Natural Sciences in NUI Galway, is carrying out the research on the rapid evolution of spider venom and its potential therapeutic applications. To date less than 100 species worldwide have been investigated for the therapeutic potential of their venom. Mr Dugon will use the venom from a local invasive spider, the false black widow, known as the Steatoda nobilis, which arrived in Ireland in 1997 and is well known in the British Isles as ‘the most venomous spider in the UK’. There is evidence of people having fairly serious effects from the bite of this spider, which result in symptoms similar to a wasp or bee sting, but until now the venom has never been studied. In his research Dr Dugon is using the false black widow spider as a model to determine: If there is some truth regarding the potency ot their venom. If the venom is in fact different between populations, which would explain why this spider has such a bad reputation in Ireland and the UK but not in its native range in Madeira and the Canary Islands. If the venom has potential anticancer properties. Initial tests have shown that the venom from this spider causes significant cell death when diluted with one part venom to one million part water. The venom will now be tested on different lines of human cancerous cells. In the case of spiders, virtually all of the 40,000 species known worldwide possess a pair of fangs and venom glands used to kill prey and deter predators. Venom is a complex cocktail containing hundreds of bioactive components, including potent toxins. Spider neurotoxins can shut down the central nervous system of their prey, leading to respiratory or cardiac arrest. Commenting on the new study, Dr Michel Dugon said: “These toxins, once rearranged, can become powerful tools for the treatment of diseases. It is already asserted that each species of spider possesses its own cocktail of toxins, giving unique properties to its venom. Worldwide, this represents at least 40,000 toxic blends that might hold treatments for diseases crippling millions of people. What if venom was not just species-specific but population-specific? Or maybe even individual-specific, just like our fingerprints? That would mean millions of bioactive combinations are there to be explored and a huge biodiverse pharmacy may be waiting to be harvested.” Dr Dugon added, “We thought that the venom from a Steatoda nobilis would be quite benign and rather unlikely to cause mass cell death in a biological assessment on healthy or cancerous cell lines, especially once the venom is diluted and sprayed on cells. To our great surprise, the venom from this spider causes significant cell death even when diluted with one part venom to one million part water. We are just amazed that a solution containing 0.0001% of crude venom still manages to cause serial death in our cell lines. What causes it? We hope to find out soon.” Michel Dugon has opened the ‘Venom Systems and Proteomics Lab’ in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway with the aim of identifying venomous animals that are a potential source of novel bioactive compounds. He currently works in collaboration with Dr Ronan Sulpice (Botany), Dr Peter Crowley (Chemistry), the team of Professor Afshin Samali (Biochemistry) and the team of Professor Lokesh Joshi (VP of Research) at NUI Galway. ENDS

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Distinguished Lecture will be delivered by Professor Emeritus Nicholas Canny and chaired by Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn The Annual Distinguished Lecture 2016, hosted by the School of Law at NUI Galway, will be delivered by Professor Emeritus, Nicholas Canny, in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday, 15 April at 8pm. The title of his lecture will be “English Law in Early Modern Ireland: Promoting or Impeding Anglicization?’ and will be chaired by the former EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Dr Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. In the past, the annual lecture has been delivered by: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University; Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court with Ms Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court; Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University and Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Irish Supreme Court. Last year it was delivered by Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, and the event was chaired by Chief Justice of Ireland, Susan Denham. Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “Nicholas Canny is an internationally renowned scholar and Máire Geoghegan-Quinn is a public figure of real distinction. We hope that this event will be an opportunity for our students and alumni to hear from two outstanding individuals. This is the first time that the lecture has been delivered by someone from outside the discipline of Law and it affords an opportunity for perspective-taking with historical insight that will be both rich and stimulating.” The lecture is held annually to mark the end of the academic year and to bid farewell to final year law students and provide an opportunity for them to be introduced to members of the NUI Galway Law School alumni community as they embark on the next stage of their careers. -Ends-

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

NUI Galway will host the second Twitter Mixed Days conference from 19-20 April. The conference is intended to foster collaboration and to build community and will take place in the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. The increasing availability of massive datasets from the Twitter platform is revolutionising the scientific study of a variety of phenomena in fields as diverse as Sociology, Computer Science, Business, Law, Crisis Management, Psychology and others. Yet, while many important advances have taken place in these different communities, the dialog between researchers using Twitter data across disciplines is only beginning. The purpose of Twitter for Research conference is to bring together leading researchers in order to lay the foundation for ongoing relationships and to build a lasting multidisciplinary research community.  A ‘Workshop on Extracting Business Value from Twitter Data’ will take place on Tuesday, 19 April. Designed to arm participants with the knowledge to extract real business value from the Twitter platform and the data it produces, Joe Rice from Twitter will deliver the keynote talk. Additional workshops on the day will include: Twitter for Beginners by Dr Clément Levallois, Emlyon Business School; How to use Twitter to Generate Leads by Ineke Oates, Virtual Office Worx; Customer Behaviour with Message Analysis by Dr Maciej Dabrowski, Altocloud; and Extracting Intelligence from Twitter Data, which will be delivered by DrTheo Lynn, DCU. To register for the workshops visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/workshop-on-extracting-business-value-from-twitter-data-tickets-21561019590. Wednesday, 20 April sees the Twitter for Research conference taking place. The multi-disciplinary conference is open to all researchers interested in using Twitter data or studying the platform itself. Participants from sociology, business, computer science, law, politics, and crisis management are particularly welcome. To register for the conference visit https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/twitter-for-research-tickets-19409213480 Dr Eoin Whelan, conference organiser and lecturer in Business Information Systems at NUI Galway, said: “We are very excited to be hosting the second Twitter Mixed Days conference. With 320 million active users generating 100,000 tweets per minute, the Twitter platform holds enormous potential for both researchers wishing to reveal the often hidden workings of our societies, and for industry practitioners intent on adding real value to their organisations. The conference takes place over two days and brings together researchers and practitioners from multiple fields and countries. In my own research I have used large twitter datasets to explain how exposure to diverse and contrarian viewpoints results in more creative ideas, and it is in this spirit which the conference takes place.” For further information contact Dr Eoin Whelan at eoin.whelan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 31 March 2016

‘Bricks and clicks for Europe: building a successful digital campus’ NUI Galway is delighted to announce it will host the European University Association (EUA) Annual Conference 2016 “Bricks and clicks for Europe: building a successful digital campus” from 7 to 8 April 2016. This is the first time that the EUA conference has been held in Ireland and President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, will deliver the opening address. With 850 members across 47 countries, EUA is the largest organisation representing universities in Europe. 17 million students are enrolled at EUA member universities. As the voice of Europe’s universities EUA supports and takes forward the interests of the European higher education sector as a whole. The EUA Annual Conference will explore how Europe’s universities are developing comprehensive “bricks and clicks” strategies and how they are tackling the challenges involved in becoming more interactive and interconnected.  Of specific interest to the Irish higher education sector will be sessions on ‘University mergers in Europe’ and ‘Galway as a Digital University’. Universities in Europe are currently engaged in large-scale transformation in an attempt to address social, cultural and technological changes. The conference will address these changes, especially the advent of digitalization and why it is important for European universities. In welcoming the conference, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted that the EUA annual conference is being held for the first time in Ireland this year, and I’m particularly pleased that NUI Galway will host our colleagues from the university sector right across Europe. From our position on the edge of Europe, Galway has a unique view of the global education agenda. NUI Galway will provide a unique platform for informed discussion and stimulating exchange on the changing paradigms in higher education and research and I very much look forward to welcoming more than 300 leaders in European higher education to Galway for this important conference.” High-level university leaders and practitioners from across Europe will share their experiences of major change processes, such as the introduction of open access, open innovation and research and the incorporation of new technologies in university teaching. The conference will also seek to explore how these transformations are affecting institutional development, in particular in terms of HR and campus management as well as community relations. Conference speakers include Entrepreneur in Residence at NUI Galway, student Edel Browne, Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu UK and Ireland and Lord David Puttnam, Chair, Atticus Education, and former Chancellor, Open University UK as well as many other leaders of European universities and representatives from the European Commission. The conference will provide a Europe-wide discussion for higher education stakeholders to exchange experiences, share good practices, discuss future strategies and thus anticipate tomorrow’s educational needs. For more information or to view the conference programme, please visit the conference  website. Ends Mórchomhdháil Oideachais in OÉ Gaillimh do Cheannairí Ollscoileanna as gach cearn den Eoraip  ‘Bricks and clicks for Europe: building a successful digital campus’ Is cúis áthais do OÉ Gaillimh a fhógairt go mbeidh Comhdháil Bhliantúil Chumann Eorpach na nOllscoileanna (EUA) 2016, dar teideal ‘Bricks and clicks for Europe: building a successful digital campus’,  á reáchtáil san Ollscoil an 7 agus an 8 Aibreán 2016. Seo an chéad uair a bheidh comhdháil an EUA ar siúl in Éirinn agus is é Uachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn a thabharfaidh aitheasc na hoscailte. Tá 850 ball as 47 tír san EUA, arb í an eagraíocht is mó í a dhéanann ionadaíocht ar ollscoileanna san Eoraip. Tá 17 milliún mac léinn cláraithe in ollscoileanna ar baill iad den EUA. Tugann an EUA guth d’ollscoileanna na hEorpa agus cuireann sé leas earnáil ardoideachais na hEorpa i gcoitinne chun cinn. Ag Comhdháil Bhliantúil an EUA féachfar ar an gcaoi a bhfuil ollscoileanna na hEorpa ag forbairt straitéisí cuimsitheacha ‘brící agus cliceanna’ agus ar an gcaoi a bhfuil siad ag tabhairt faoi na dúshláin a bhaineann le héirí níos idirghníomhaí agus le níos mó ceangail a chothú eatarthu.  Cuirfidh earnáil an ardoideachais in Éirinn spéis go háirithe sna seisiúin dar teideal ‘University mergers in Europe’ agus ‘Galway as a Digital University’. Tá athrú ó bhonn á dhéanamh ar ollscoileanna san Eoraip faoi láthair d'fhonn dul i ngleic le hathruithe sóisialta, cultúrtha agus teicneolaíochta. Pléifear na hathruithe sin sa chomhdháil seo, agus díreofar go háirithe ar theacht an digitithe agus ar an gcúis a bhfuil tábhacht leis an digitiú d’ollscoileanna na hEorpa. Agus é ag fáiltiú roimh an gcomhdháil, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: ‘Tá ríméad orm go bhfuil comhdháil bhliantúil an EUA á reáchtáil in Éirinn den chéad uair i mbliana, agus tá mé thar a bheith sásta gur in OÉ Gaillimh a bheifear ag fáiltiú roimh ár gcomhghleacaithe ó earnáil na n-ollscoileanna fud fad na hEorpa. Tá léargas ar leith ag Gaillimh ar an gclár oibre oideachais domhanda, ón áit a bhfuilimid suite ar imeall na hEorpa. Cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh ardán ar leith ar fáil le plé stuama a dhéanamh agus le smaointe spreagúla a roinnt maidir leis na múnlaí ardoideachais agus taighde atá ag athrú. Tá mé ag dúil go mór le fáilte a chur roimh níos mó ná 300 ceannaire as earnáil ardoideachais na hEorpa chuig an gcomhdháil thábhachtach seo.’ Roinnfidh ceannairí agus cleachtóirí ó ollscoileanna ardleibhéil ar fud na hEorpa a dtaithí ar mhórphróisis athraithe, mar shampla, tús a bheith á chur le rochtain oscailte agus le nuálaíocht agus taighde oscailte, agus teicneolaíochtaí nua a bheith á dtabhairt isteach sa teagasc ar an ollscoil. Déanfar iarracht sa chomhdháil freisin plé a dhéanamh ar an tionchar atá ag na claochluithe seo ar fhorbairt na n-institiúidí, go háirithe ó thaobh bainistiú Acmhainní Daonna agus campais de agus ó thaobh an chaidrimh leis an bpobal chomh maith. I measc chainteoirí na comhdhála beidh Fiontraí Cónaitheach OÉ Gaillimh, an mac léinn Edel Browne, Regina Moran, Príomhfheidhmeannach Fujitsu sa Ríocht Aontaithe agus in Éirinn agus an Tiarna David Puttnam, Cathaoirleach, Atticus Education agus iar-Sheansailéir Open University UK, mar aon le go leor ceannairí eile ó Ollscoileanna san Eoraip agus ionadaithe ón gCoimisiún Eorpach. Tabharfaidh an chomhdháil deis plé do pháirtithe leasmhara ón ardoideachas ar bhonn uile-Eorpach chun a dtaithí a roinnt, dea-chleachtais a mhalartú, agus straitéisí a bheidh acu amach anseo a phlé chun go mbeidh siad ábalta freastal ar na riachtanais oideachais a bheidh ann amach anseo. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil nó chun féachaint ar chlár na comhdhála, téigh chuig láithreán gréasáin na comhdhála. Críoch

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Register in advance for a chance to win a GoPro Camera NUI Galway’s annual Spring Undergraduate Open Day will be held on Saturday, 16 April from 10am to 3pm. The Open Day is an opportunity for students and parents to experience first-hand all that NUI Galway has to offer. There is a packed programme of events lined up for the day including subject talks, taster sessions, hands-on science workshops and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics. There will be over 80 subject-specific stands in the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall, where lecturers and current students will be available to answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, and career progression routes. The ‘Parents Programme’ will provide parents with information on important issues such as fees and funding, careers, accommodation, career destinations and the range of support services for students. Highlight talks throughout the day will include: Scholarship schemes including Creative Arts Performance Points, CAO Sports Performance Points, Sports Scholarships and Excellence Scholarships The new Bachelor of Commerce (Global Experience) The new BA Children’s Studies Arts – the new BA Joint Honours Shannon College of Hotel Management – International Hotel Management Career talks – “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Students registering in advance to attend the Open Day are invited to enter a competition using the hashtag #experiencenuigalway on any social media outlet indicating why they should win a GoPro camera to capture their NUI Galway Open Day experience. The winner will be given a special GoPro tutorial and invited to record their visit to the campus. Niamh Connolly, Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Attending Open Day is the perfect opportunity to get a real feel for university life at NUI Galway, talk to lecturers and current students, and get all the information you need to make that important decision. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along as the Open Day is a unique opportunity to experience what the University has to offer and decide whether NUI Galway feels right for you.” Tours of the campus will feature the state-of-the-art sports complex and gym, the Engineering Building and tours of student accommodation. Guided walking tours of the main campus and campus accommodation will also take place throughout the afternoon. To plan your visit advance, receive an Open Day programme, and be in with a chance of winning a GoPro camera, visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays or visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Cláraigh anois do Lá Oscailte Fochéime an Earraigh in OÉ Gaillimh  Cláraigh roimh ré agus beidh deis agat Ceamara GoPro a bhuachan Dé Máirt, 29 Márta 2016: Beidh Lá Oscailte Fochéime an Earraigh ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Sathairn, an 16 Aibreán ó 10am go 3pm. Is deis atá sa Lá Oscailte do mhic léinn agus do thuismitheoirí taithí phearsanta a fháil ar gach a bhfuil ar tairiscint in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá clár lán le himeachtaí eagraithe don lá lena n-áirítear cainteanna faoi na hábhair, seisiúin eolais, ceardlanna eolaíochta praiticiúla agus seisiúin idirghníomhacha le córais IT agus róbataic. Beidh os cionn 80 seastán a bhaineann le hábhair ar leith sa phríomh-halla taispeántais i Halla Bailey Allen, áit a mbeidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn reatha ar fáil chun ceisteanna a fhreagairt ar chúrsaí, pointí CAO, infhostaitheacht, agus dul chun cinn gairme. Cuirfidh ‘Clár na dTuismitheoirí’ eolas ar fáil do thuismitheoirí ar cheisteanna tábhachtacha cosúil le táillí agus maoiniú, gairmeacha, lóistín, poist agus an réimse seirbhísí tacaíochta atá ar fáil do mhic léinn. I measc na gcainteanna spéisiúla a bheidh ar siúl ar an lá tá: Scéimeanna scoláireachta lena n-áirítear Pointí Breise do na hEalaíona Cruthaitheacha, Pointí Breise CAO do Spórt, Scoláireachtaí Spóirt agus Scoláireachtaí Sárchaighdeáin An Baitsiléir nua le Tráchtáil (Eispéireas Domhanda) An BA nua le Staidéar Leanaí Na Dána – an BA nua Comhonóracha Coláiste Ósta na Sionna – Bainistíocht Idirnáisiúnta Óstáin Cainteanna faoi ghairmeacha – “Where are the jobs? What are my employment prospects after University?” Tá deis ag mic léinn a chláraíonn roimh an Lá Oscailte iarratas a dhéanamh ar chomórtas tríd an haischlib #experiencenuigalway a úsáid ar aon cheann de na meáin shóisialta agus a rá cén fáth ar cheart dóibh ceamara GoPro a bhuachan chun a gcuid féin de Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh a chur i bhfoirm grianghraf. Cuirfear rang teagaisc speisialta GoPro ar fáil don bhuaiteoir agus tabharfar cuireadh dó/di a c(h)uairt ar an gcampas a thaifeadadh. Dúirt Niamh Connolly, Oifigeach Margaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is deis iontach atá sa Lá Oscailte tuiscint mhaith a fháil ar shaol na hollscoile in OÉ Gaillimh, labhairt le léachtóirí agus le mic léinn reatha, agus an t-eolas ar fad a theastaíonn uait a fháil chun an cinneadh tábhachtach sin a dhéanamh. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith ar spéis leo staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte mar gur deis ar leith atá ann eolas a chur ar a bhfuil ar fáil san Ollscoil agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse.” Ar thurais den champas, taispeánfar an t-ionad spóirt le giomnáisiam den scoth, an Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta agus lóistín na mac léinn. Tabharfar na cuairteoirí ar shiúl na gcos freisin tráthnóna timpeall an phríomhchampais agus thart ar lóistín na mac léinn. D’fhonn do chuairt a phleanáil roimh ré, clár den Lá Oscailte a fháil, agus a bheith sa mhála mór chun ceamara GoPro a bhuachan, tabhair cuairt ar www.nuigalway.ie/opendays or visit@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Thursday, 31 March 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Law will host a conference on Law, Revolution and Sovereignty: Reflections on the Legal Legacy of the 1916 Rising and the Declaration of Independence. The conference will take place at the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on 9-10 April.  The conference, part of NUI Galway’s commemorative programme for the centenary of the 1916 Rising, will consider the legacy of Irish independence and sovereignty in the domain of law and legal thought.  The conference will address: The distinctive character of the legal order that developed post-independence The impact of revolutionary ideals in the Irish legal and constitutional system Constitutional experimentation and evolution in independent Ireland Concepts of nationalism and popular sovereignty and their impact in the area of social and penal policy The conference will be opened by Dr Maurice Manning, Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, and Mr Justice John MacMenamin of the Supreme Court of Ireland.  Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, will close the proceedings. Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “The School is delighted to host this conference. It provides an opportunity for staff, alumni and students, and members of the public, to join a distinguished panel of speakers in considering how Ireland has used a century of political independence to fashion its legal order and engagement with the wider world.” To view the full conference programme and speakers visit www.conference.ie. To register for the conference email m.portuondo1@nuigalway.ie. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points will be available for legal professionals who register and attend the conference. -Ends- 

Thursday, 31 March 2016

NUI Galway announced the recipients of the 2016 Sports Awards at a ceremony last week. The awards recognise sporting performance, leadership and participation, as well as those that contribute to the running and development of the NUI Galway Sports Clubs. Among the individual award winners were Irish Hockey International Naomi Carroll, who has been capped 72 time for her country and has scored 21 international goals and Soccer player Jenny Byrne, an underage and University Games International who this month  captained the NUI Galway ladies soccer team to All-Ireland Colleges Glory. Promising Triple jumper Conall Mahon, who is both the indoor and outdoor Intervarsity’s champion, was also among the awardees. Conall will be going for four in a row in the outdoor event later this year. Katie Mc Eneff took the individual award for rowing after winning two All-Ireland titles at the national championships, one of which was in a course record. The Judo club were represented by Darren Friel, who followed up his wonderful medal haul of two gold medals at the Irish intervarsity’s with an impressive Silver and Bronze at the National Championship. Eoghan Staunton represents one of the new world sports, Ultimate Frisbee. Eoghan not only coaches our ladies team but was a member of the Irish team to compete in Dubai at the World Championships. Gaelic sports are represented by members of the Hurling Club and the Camogie Club. Chloe Morey, a current member of the Clare Senior camogie team and a leading member of the NUI Galway camogie team, won a Camogie All Star. Niall O’Brien is a current member of the Westmeath Senior Hurling team and has been one of NUI Galway top scorers over the last four years. The Tom Tuohy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rowing this year went to the Intermediate Fours of Jack Bennett, Daniel Buckle, Kevin Neville, Aidan Kinneen and cox Sandra Kelly. Mike Heskin, NUI Galway’s Director of Sport and Physical Activity, said: “The ongoing success of our students and alumni is a great source of pride for the University and the clubs and coaches that have helped them along the way. NUI Galway has a long tradition in high performance on the national and international stage, it is particularly pleasing to see the high level of success now been achieved by our women across the entire spectrum of sport.” The ‘Most Improved Sports Club Recognition’ was awarded to the NUI Galway Surf Club who have shown great strides in building their club with international surfing trips, providing  lifeguard instruction courses, surf camps, yoga classes and a jam-packed social event’s calendar to take full advantage of the unique location of NUI Galway to Ireland’s prime surfing spots. The ‘Special Achievement Award’ recognises, over a period of time, the excellence of a club or an individual. This year there were two recipients of the award. For Archery, Darren Wallace who has been one of the University’s outstanding representatives. Over the last year Darren has been an outdoor and indoor national champion and represented his country at World and European Games level, as well as the World University Games. For Judo the award goes to Eoin Mac Crossain. Eoin was a member of the winning men’s intervarsity team in 2014.  In the summer of 2014 Eoin was diagnosed with cancer and spent six months in hospital but still captained the men’s team to take Gold in the Intervarsity men’s team event in February 2015. Receiving the all clear in the summer of 2015, Eoin returned to light training with the club January 2016. He was a member men’s team at this year’s Intervarsity’s, and helped the club secure bronze in this event. The ‘Club Captain’s award’ was presented to Elizabeth Mc Keever of Women Rugby. As a player, administrator and mentor Elizabeth has lead her club to three landmark victories over the last year. Under her Captaincy NUI Galway’s Women Rugby won the Irish Universities Rugby Union (IURU) Intervarsities, the Connacht Women's Rugby League and recently the Women's College Rugby league Final, making this session the most successful ever for the club. 2016 Sports Award Winners: Individual Awards Athletics: Conall Mahon from Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh Camogie: Chloe Morley from Sixmilebridge, Co. Clare Hockey: Naomi Carroll from Cratloe, Co. Clare Hurling: Niall O’Brien from Ballinagore, Co. Westmeath Judo: Darren Friel from Carrabaun, Co. Mayo Ladies Soccer: Jennifer Byrne from Athlone, Co. Westmeath Rowing: Katie McEneff from Galway City Ultimate Frisbee: Eoghan Staunton from Taylors Hill, Galway City Club Captains Award: Elizabeth McKeever from Butlersbridge, Co. Cavan Special Achievement Award: Joint winners – Darren Wallace from Portlaoise, Co. Laois and Eoin Mac Crossain from Muff, Co. Donegal Team Winners Team Award: Ladies Soccer Team Team Award: Mystics Basketball Team Team Award: Men’s Basketball Team Team Award: Women’s Rugby Team Team Award: Women’s B Squash Team Most Improved Club: Surf Club Recreation Participation Award: Couch to 5K Team Tom Tuohy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Rowing: Men’s Intermediate Fours -Ends-

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

NUI Galway researchers working on development of technology for self-driving vehicles present to high-level European Transportation Research Advisory Committee Researchers from NUI Galway presented their work on the development of technology for autonomous vehicles at the recent meeting of the European Road Transport Research Advisory Committee (ERTRAC), which was hosted by Valeo Vision Systems in Tuam, County Galway. ERTRAC engages with key stakeholders in road transportation across Europe to develop a common Europe-wide vision for road transportation, and includes in its membership national transportation policy makers and regulators, research and innovation agencies, and major transport industry representatives. Dr Edward Jones and Dr Martin Glavin from the Connaught Automotive Research (CAR) Group at NUI Galway presented research being conducted on the development of highly advanced intelligent automotive systems. This work focuses in particular on signal and image processing technology for applications such as automatically detecting pedestrians and other vehicles using cameras and other sensors. The objective of technology like this is to provide ‘advance warning’ of hazards on the road and give the driver or the vehicle more time to avoid a collision. Technology like this is already making its way into several production cars, and will be an important part of autonomous vehicles that will be capable of driving themselves without human intervention. The NUI Galway CAR Group has a very successful partnership with Valeo for almost 17 years, and has worked on numerous research projects during that time that were aligned with Valeo’s technical and commercial objectives. Since then the CAR Group’s researchers have benefitted enormously by working with an industry partner. At the ERTRAC meeting, Aengus Parsons, Director of Research at NUI Galway spoke about the rich research activity across the University, noting in particular NUI Galway’s significant recent success in attracting non-exchequer funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research Programme. Aengus Parsons, Director of Research at NUI Galway, commented: “The long-standing collaboration between NUI Galway’s CAR Group and Valeo is a testament to the commitment of both parties in fostering a research programme that combines the University’s expertise in signal and image processing with the needs of industry. It highlights the relevance and value of NUI Galway’s research in contributing to the commercial and economic development in the Galway region and further afield.” Further information on the CAR Group may be found at http://car.nuigalway.ie For more information about NUI Galway’s Research Office visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/research-office/ ENDS

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

NUI Galway to host major exhibition ‘A University in War and Revolution 1913-1919’ which offers a glimpse into the lives of many individuals from the University caught up in the historic events of the era NUI Galway will host a major exhibition entitled ‘A University in War and Revolution 1913-1919’ which will be officially opened by Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Professor Emeritus at NUI Galway on Monday, 4th April. The exhibition examines life in University College Galway (UCG), as it was then known, during a period of great social, cultural and political change. Exhibition materials drawn from the NUI Galway archives show that the emerging Ireland was reflected in the increasing numbers of students taking Irish, in the growing popularity of Gaelic games, and in the establishment of a University Corps of Volunteers. The outbreak of World War 1 in August 1914 came as a shock to many, and it had a tremendous impact on the University, as it had on Ireland in general. In the medium term, the war led to rebellion and political transformation, but more immediately there was a rush to enlist in the British army, which was encouraged by the University authorities. About 140 UCG students, staff and graduates fought in the war, of whom fifteen were killed. Their expectations and experiences are conveyed in the exhibition through poignant images and in obituaries published in the student magazines of the day. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the lives of many individuals caught up in the historic events of the era, people like Mary Donovan O’Sullivan and Brigid Lyons, who took very different positions politically. Mary Donovan O’Sullivan, the Professor of History at UCG was still in her 20s in 1916. She had been an active feminist in the Connaught Women’s Franchise League, but in 1915, she married Lieutenant Jeremiah O’Sullivan, a UCG engineering graduate. As chairperson of the Galway Women’s Recruitment Committee, she was a strong supporter of the war effort. Early in 1916, she denounced the campus republicans, urging, “There [is] no doubt that a number of young men here [in UCG] would be better employed at the front.” Among the republicans Donovan O’Sullivan was criticising, was Brigid Lyons, a second-year Arts student from Roscommon who had taken a lead in establishing the Galway branch of Cumann na mBan. Lyons was at home on her Easter holidays when word of the Rising reached her. She travelled to Dublin with her uncle, Joseph McGuinness, a prominent Longford republican, joining the Four Courts Garrison, where her commanding officer, Frank Fahy, was a UCG graduate himself. The exhibition will open on Monday, 4th April at 5.30pm in the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway. Members of the public are invited to visit the exhibition which will run in the Hardiman Research Building until mid-November 2016. For further information on the exhibition visit: www.nuigalway.ie/anationrising ENDS

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Society will hold its second Climate Congress highlighting national and international approaches, adaptation and mitigation. This year the theme will focus on climate change and Ireland and will take place on Tuesday, 5 April in Áras na Mac Léinn from 11.30am-5pm. Speakers will include: Professor Peadar Kirby, Professor Emeritus of International Politics and Public Policy, University of Limerick; Emer Cosgrove, Climate Leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project; and James Nix, Director of Brussels-based non-profit Green Budget Europe. The speakers will discuss the direct causes and consequences of climate change for Ireland, and potential solutions. In addition, this year’s event will feature some new voices in the field with the Ignite Talks competition where postgraduate and early stage researchers will showcase their research. The event is free to attend with lunch provided, but registration in advance is requested at http://tinyurl.com/jhlhvpb. -Ends-

Thursday, 24 March 2016

NUI Galway will host ‘1916: The Irish Rising at 100 Years’ conference in Columbia University to discuss the formative role of America in shaping the Easter Rising NUI Galway will host a conference entitled ‘1916: The Irish Rising at 100 Years’. It is the only 1916 event being held outside of Ireland by an Irish university and will take place at Columbia University’s prestigious Heyman Center for the Humanities on Friday, 1st of April. Four speakers from NUI Galway will discuss aspects of the relationship between Ireland, America, and 1916, telling the story of the Easter Rising, its context and cultural impact, and the formative role of America and New York in particular in shaping the Rising. The Galway speakers will be joined by three academics from Columbia University and three scholars from Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Penn State University. From NUI Galway, 1916 Scholar-in-Residence Dr Conor McNamara will look at the relationship between America and the Irish. The most significant figure in the events leading to the Rising, Thomas Clarke, emigrated to New York in 1880. He worked closely there with Clan na Gael leader John Devoy, the journalist and editor of the New York Herald, the Irish Nation and Gaelic American. Clarke returned to Ireland in 1907, re-organised the Irish Republican Brotherhood, and was executed following the Easter Rising. Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa, a major leader in the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), was exiled in 1871 (along with Devoy), and spent most of the rest of his life in New York, where he edited the United Irishman newspaper. He died in Staten Island and the return of his body to Ireland for burial in 1915 was the occasion of Patrick Pearse’s milestone funeral oration. Pearse himself recognised the centrality of assistance from the US in the independence struggle and as a means to raise funds. In New York he delivered an important Emmet memorial speech in March 1914. Historian Dr Mary Harris from NUI Galway will look at the role of the key leaders in the Rising, Padraic Pearse and Eoin MacNeill, who moved from cultural to political activism. Pearse was inducted into the Irish Republican Brotherhood, initially to boost his attempts to raise funds in America for St. Enda’s School and he went on to play a significant role in planning the Easter Rising, leaving MacNeill in the dark. Dr Harris will discuss their perspectives on the Irish language, literature, and revolt, the consequences of which MacNeill lived to deal with after Pearse’s execution. NUI Galway Historian, Dr John Cunningham, will discuss the crucial role of Irish labour in this transformative historical moment. James Connolly spent 1903 to 1910 in the US, and lessons he learned there informed the Dublin Lockout of 1913, while others drew on the British and American trade union organisation to advance their cause. Literary scholar Dr Adrian Paterson from NUI Galway will talk about the reaction to the Rising in the work of W.B. Yeats. ‘Easter 1916’ became his most famous poetic response but he made a series of other contributions: ballads about the sixteen men, later made into multimedia hand-printed broadsides, and an astonishing combination of east and west, a Japanese Noh play set in the west of Ireland, The Dreaming of the Bones, featuring a rebel who flees after his role in the Rising to the desolate places of the west coast. For further details on this event visit: http://heymancenter.org/events/1916-the-irish-rising-at-100-years/ ENDS

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Recruitment opportunities for Ireland’s future techpreneurs Bank of Ireland has been announced as a sponsor of TechInnovate, a new technology entrepreneurship fellowship at NUI Galway. TechInnovate is a unique specialised technology innovation programme at the University, where teams identify real needs in a certain domain and invent/implement solutions. The programme is a 10 month full-time stipend-supported fellowship. The full-time programme combines teams of high-calibre Fellows from either an engineering, business or design graduate background that aims to align unmet domain needs with a market opportunity. Team members are chosen to contribute their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of a multidisciplinary Fellowship team. Now recruiting, TechInnovate’s focus is on enabling technology innovators and innovations, by producing more technology entrepreneurs in local startups, as well as more intrapreneurs in established technology companies in the West of Ireland. High-calibre Fellows are recruited to form 2-3 person interdisciplinary teams and participate in an intensive 10-month programme that goes from concept to product. The programme has been inspired by BioInnovate, a successful medical device technology fellowship that is modelled on the prestigious and internationally-recognised Stanford BioDesign programme. In parallel to the fellowship programme, the second aspect of TechInnovate involves a series of ten day-long industry training workshops that are offered to industry partners, and that mirrors the TechInnovation process undergone by the full-time Fellows. The aim of this stream is to instill intrapreneurial thinking among staff from participating corporates. Tracy Keogh, Galway Community Manager at Bank of Ireland, said: “In the West of Ireland, we need more people thinking entrepreneurially and intrapreneurially, and TechInnovate will provide an injection of these people into the tech ecosystem in the region.” Dr John Breslin, Director of TechInnovate, and senior lecturer at NUI Galway, said: “TechInnovate aims to enable technology innovators and innovations, and will help to derisk startups through a comprehensive needs finding-centred process in different application domains.” TechInnovate is a joint initiative from the College of Engineering and Informatics and the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at NUI Galway, and is supported by Bank of Ireland, Blackstone LaunchPad at NUI Galway, the Galway University Foundation, NUI Galway, and the Western Development Commission. Interested fellowship candidates can apply for the TechInnovate fellowship at www.techinnovate.org before Friday, 8 April 2016. Candidates in the areas of engineering, information technology, design, law, and business must have completed an undergraduate degree in their area and should hold a postgraduate qualification or have equivalent professional experience. ENDS

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

NUI Galway will host a public forum to discuss the current challenges and future of mental health in Ireland on Thursday, 24 March in the O’Flaherty Theatre on the Arts Concourse at 7pm. Special guests will include Niall Breslin, better known as ‘Bressie’, and Dr Paul D’Alton, Clinical Psychologist and former president of The Psychological Society of Ireland and will be chaired by Dr Jonathan Egan from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway. Both Bressie and Dr D’Alton have spoken frequently on the topic of mental health, and have played an important role in challenging and changing attitudes towards mental health issues in Ireland. Dr D’Alton through his work as a Clinical Psychologist, equality campaigner and advocate of mental health reform, and Bressie through his openness and honesty about his own battle with anxiety and depression and through his website www.alustforlife.com. In an impassioned address to the Joint Committee on Health and Children about mental health and wellbeing at a meeting of the Oireachtas, Bressie and Dr D’Alton described mental ill-health as the great epidemic of this generation, and emphasised the necessity of a whole society response to the alarming increase in self-harm and consistently high rates of suicide in Ireland. Together they challenged the government and the people of Ireland to ask if we were doing enough.  Hannah Durand, NUI Galway PhD candidate in Psychology and member of the University’s Psychological Society and Psi Chi Chapter, said: “We are very excited to be able to facilitate this essential discussion around the future of mental health in Ireland. This is an important step towards changing for the better how Irish society responds to and takes care of all people with mental health issues.” Places are limited and early booking is advised. To register visit https://mentalhealthinireland.eventbrite.com. This event is facilitated by the University’s School of Psychology at NUI Galway, and students from NUI Galway’s Psychological Society and Psi Chi Chapter.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

NetFort Technologies is one of 65 companies the Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway has supported in their development phase over the last number of years NUI Galway client company, NetFort Technologies, a developer of the network security monitoring solution LANGuardian, announced it has now secured over 200 global customers worldwide. NetFort Technologies flagship LANGuardian product is a single software solution that monitors network traffic, users and security. It passively captures the traffic flowing through an organisation’s network switch, analyses it using deep packet inspection techniques, and stores the results in a database. A web-based user interface provides access to the traffic data in the database. As it works on traffic data, there is no client software to install, no interaction with the devices on the network, and no impact on network performance. Headquartered at the Business Innovation Centre in NUI Galway, with offices in London, the US and Australia, NetFort Technologies is an ambitious company that has grown exponentially with global customers that include the US Navy, US Department of Treasury, Honda Motor Company, Washington Gas, Norwest Venture Partners and McGraw Hill Financial. Founded by John Brosnan and Morgan Doyle the company continues to thrive in the security monitoring market. Mr Brosnan has extensive security and networking experience having worked as a Principal Engineer for several years with Digital Equipment Corporation in Ireland, the UK and the US. He has also worked on a number of high speed network interconnect projects in the past, specialising in low-level kernel programming. Commenting on the companies achievements, John Brosnan said: “The Business Innovation Centre at NUI Galway has provided many positives to our company, in particular the fantastic networking opportunities with other companies and being able to share information with each other. An additional benefit of being located within the vibrant community of NUI Galway is the many visitors who come to the University on an annual basis and provide us with access to a networking community that would otherwise be difficult to reach.” Mr Brosnan added, “One of the many difficulties a business faces during its start-up phase is around how it can best continue to move forward and grow. NetFort Technologies focuses primarily on its existing customers to inform them about the best methods of moving forward. By visiting our customers and listening to them, we are able to combine their opinions and thoughts with our own detailed analyst reports to foster a strong internal innovation that continues to keep us at the forefront of our industry.” Fiona Neary, Business Development Manager at NUI Galway’s Business Innovation Centre said: “It is always such a pleasure to work with and support a company like NetFort Technologies. Seeing them deliver a scalable, exportable, superior product is impressive, while at the same time John and his team are so willing to give their expertise back to the community. This is another example of a great West of Ireland company in Galway who has achieved global success.” The company now has 20 employees working in the areas of Research and Development, Support, Sales, and a number of technology partners. The focus for the future is continuing the development of the technology and growth through partnerships. For further information about NetFort Technologies visit: https://www.netfort.com/ ENDS

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

By adding just two DNA bases to its genome NUI Galway scientists have discovered that Black Fever, the second most deadly parasitic disease, can become resistant to drug treatment Scientists from NUI Galway and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK have shown how the parasite responsible for the neglected tropical disease Black Fever (visceral leishmaniasis) can become resistant to drug treatment, published today in the life sciences and biomedicine journal eLife. Studying the whole genomes (every single letter of the organism’s DNA code) of more than 200 samples of Leishmania donovani parasites revealed that the addition of just two bases of DNA to a gene known as LdAQP1 stops the parasite from absorbing antimonial drugs. While antimonials (a group of compounds used for the treatment of leishmaniasis) are no longer the first-line treatment for the disease, the discovery does show that whole-genome sequencing of Leishmania  donovani parasites could be used to study and track the emergence of resistance to frontline drugs – alerting health workers to potential outbreaks of resistance. Black Fever is the second most deadly parasitic disease after malaria, affecting nearly 300,000 people every year and killing up to 50,000. The parasite is mainly found in the Indian subcontinent, where up to 80 per cent of the disease occurs. To best understand how the parasite evolves and track the spread of drug resistance, researchers need a way to survey and monitor the parasite’s population structure. Unfortunately standard techniques to do this have proved fruitless because the strains of L. donovani parasite are so genetically similar. Dr Tim Downing, one of the paper’s first authors from NUI Galway and the Sanger Institute said: “We discovered that many of the parasites that were resistant to antimonial drug treatment had just two additional DNA bases in the gene LdAQP1, which produces an aquaglyceroporin protein. This insertion produces a scrambled version of this protein that can no longer move small molecules – including antimonials – across its cell membrane. These strains of L. donovani are likely to be resistant because they cannot take in the drugs.” Dr James Cotton, senior author of the study from the Sanger Institute said: “If you want to control visceral leishmaniasis, you need to understand what is going on at the geographic epicentre of the disease, and you need to be able to see changes at the level of individual DNA bases in the parasites’ genomes. Until now studies have been limited to looking at small regions of the parasite’s DNA or at what happens in the laboratory. To truly understand what is happening in the real world, we analysed the whole genomes of more than 200 samples from parasites captured in India, Nepal and Bangladesh over almost a decade.” Exploring the genetic landscape of L. donovani at such depth and breadth yielded new insights into the parasites’ ability to develop drug resistance, and its evolutionary history. In particular, the researchers found that the insertion of just two extra bases of DNA at this single LdAQP1 (aquaglyceroporin) gene in a genome with over 8,000 genes helped the parasite to overcome antimonial drugs. Black Fever – “kala azar” in Hindi – is the second largest life-threatening parasitic disease after malaria. Spread through the bites of sandflies, the parasites enter the internal organs such as the liver, spleen and bone marrow, making them inflamed and swollen. The infection produces fever, weight loss, fatigue and anaemia and is fatal if left untreated. Professor Jean-Claude Dujardin of the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp and the University of Antwerp, senior author of the study and leader of the consortium that ran the study said: “This study perfectly illustrates the relevance of collaboration between large sequencing centres like the Sanger Institute and clinicians and scientists involved in the battle against the most neglected diseases. Thanks to the acquired knowledge, it will be our turn now to beat Black Fever 2-0 by providing local health authorities with performance monitoring tools, and guiding research and development for new and more efficient anti-parasitic drugs.” Analysis of the genomes by the researchers revealed that the parasites responsible for the current epidemic first appeared in the Indian subcontinent in the 19th Century, matching the first historical records of Black Fever epidemics. In addition, the current genetic diversity of the parasite traces back to the 1960s, around the time that the widespread use of DDT to eradicate malaria in India came to an end. To read the full paper in eLife visit: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12613 ENDS

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

NUI Galway’s Italian department will host an evening of talks celebrating the culture of Italian food, and the people who make it in the West of Ireland on Thursday 7 April. ‘Italian Food Culture Meets the Atlantic Way’ will take place in IT125, IT Building at 6pm, followed by a food and wine reception provided by the Italian restaurateurs of Galway. Questions considered during the talk include: What is it that makes Italian food culture so popular in its many adaptations around the globe? What form does it take here, in the West of Ireland? Experts, such as the Italian Institute of Culture in Dublin, and Slow Food Galway, will be on hand to address these questions. Also offering their expertise will be the local Italian restaurateurs, including popular venues such as Mona Lisa, Il Vicolo, Basilico, and La Collina, and wine and cheese importer Grapecircus. The restaurateurs will contribute with their experiences, stories and ideas, showing us the significance of making Italian food in Galway. Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “This event responds to our intention to foster and consolidate the synergy between the tertiary sector and the world of business and creativity in Galway and its region, providing a full, engaging, and authentic encounter with the various aspects of Italian culture, and the ways it is experienced and lived in the West of Ireland.” The event is free to attend but, for catering purposes, attendees are requested to register on https://italianfoodatlanticway.eventbrite.com For further information please contact andrea.ciribuco@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-