NUI Galway Launch €6 Million Robotic Stem Cell Production Project

NUI Galway Launch €6 Million Robotic Stem Cell Production Project-image

Thursday, 28 January 2016

New €6 million EU Horizon 2020 research project ‘AUTOSTEM’ at NUI Galway will launch state-of-the-art, robotic stem cell production, offering new therapies for a range of diseases NUI Galway’s Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) has launched a new €6 million research project AUTOSTEM to develop pioneering manufacturing systems for stem cell therapy. Funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, AUTOSTEM will go a long way towards meeting the demand for these new treatments, by transforming the way stem cells are manufactured. Stem cells offer exciting prospects of new therapies for a range of diseases, including cancers, diabetic complications and arthritis. However, current manufacturing protocols are relatively inefficient and require highly-skilled teams of technicians operating in a clean-room environment. As clinical trials progress, efficient and high throughput manufacturing remains a major challenge with the risk that supply will not meet demand. AUTOSTEM will develop a robotic cell production factory, the StromalCellFactory, which will minimise manual operations while producing large batches of cell product in a closed, sterile environment. The process involves extraction of adult stem cells from tissues such as bone marrow or fat followed by efficient purification and culture expansion in large-capacity bioreactors, finally packaging the product in a format ready for delivery to the patient. The research project will be led by Dr Mary Murphy, senior lecturer in Regenerative Medicine and principal investigator at REMEDI at NUI Galway. REMEDI is a European leader in therapeutic stem cell research with investigators leading major EU-funded programmes that develop and test treatments for osteoarthritis, diabetic kidney disease, diabetic wound repair and corneal transplantation. Dr Murphy comments: “This is an exciting interdisciplinary project that will take us beyond the state-of-the-art in stem cell manufacturing. The outcome will be a highly automated and efficient production technology that will allow patients worldwide to benefit from efforts to develop stem cell therapies.” Other essential contributions will come from: NUI Galway’s Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) - the only licensed stromal cell manufacturing facility in Ireland, which will verify regulatory compliance and patient-readiness. Orbsen Therapeutics, a NUI Galway spin-out company that brings novel stem cell isolation procedures. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology in Aachen, Germany, which provides robotic and control system expertise. The University of Aston, UK and the German company Zellwerk, who contribute optimal bioreactor technology for cell culturing within the ‘StromalCellfactory’. Crospon, another Galway SME, who will develop novel devices for sterile marrow harvesting and cell delivery to patients. The Tyndall Institute at UCC, who will develop a mobile sensor, building on existing ‘SmartPill’ sensor systems that will patrol the cell culture surface to enable remote real time process monitoring. The UK-based Cell Therapy Catapult research organisation, which will monitor cost-effectiveness and regulatory compliance. Professor Frank Barry, REMEDI’s Scientific Director and technology leader on the research project said: “This project will be game-changing and will lead to remarkable new efficiencies in manufacturing, making the entire process more industrially relevant and cost-effective.” The project is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. ENDS

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NUI Galway Announce 2016 Alumni Award Winners

NUI Galway Announce 2016 Alumni Award Winners-image

Thursday, 28 January 2016

NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2016 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 16th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 5 March, 2016 in the Bailey Allen Hall located in Áras na Mac Léinn on campus. The Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of outstanding graduates who have gone on to honour their alma mater, including, for example, President Michael D. Higgins, Olympian Olive Loughnane, Rugby great Ciarán FitzGerald, RTÉ broadcaster Sean O’Rourke, Attorney General Máire Whelan, former Creganna CEO, Helen Ryan, Tony Award-winning actress, Marie Mullen and broadcaster Gráinne Seoige. The winners of the six alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2016: Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies - sponsored by AIB  - Siobhán Ní Ghadhra, Owner/Producer at Danú Media. Alumni Award for Business and Commerce – sponsored by Bank of Ireland   -  Ruth Curran, Managing Partner in MERC Partners and Global Chair IIC Partners. Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government – sponsored by Galway University Foundation   -  Dr Mathilda Twomey, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Seychelles. Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology – sponsored by Aramark  - Gearóid Faherty, Former CEO and Chairman of Eurand NV. Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences – sponsored by Medtronic  - Professor Joe Murray, Professor of Medicine and Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic. Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport – sponsored by Bank of Ireland  - Dr Paul Hession, Olympic and world champion sprinter and junior doctor in Tallaght Hospital.                     Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne said: “Our Alumni Awards programme recognises the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. I congratulate each of the Award winners and look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in March.” For ticket and booking information contact the Alumni Office on 091 494310 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -Ends- Buaiteoirí Ghradaim Alumni 2016 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh  Tá buaiteoirí Ghradaim Alumni 2016 fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh; bronnfar na gradaim ag an 16ú Mórfhéasta bliantúil de na Gradaim Alumni Dé Sathairn, an 5 Márta 2016 i Halla Bailey Allen atá suite in Áras na Mac Léinn ar an gcampas. Tugann na Gradaim Alumni aitheantas d’fheabhas agus d’éachtaí cuid den 80,000 céimí atá ag an Ollscoil ar fud an domhain. Go dtí seo tá gradaim Alumni bronnta ar chéimithe den scoth – céimithe a bhfuil a n-alma mater fíorbhródúil astu, lena n-áirítear an tUachtarán Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, an tOilimpiach Olive Loughnane, an t-imreoir rugbaí Ciarán FitzGerald, an craoltóir le RTÉ Sean O’Rourke, an tArd-Aighne Máire Whelan, iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach Creganna, Helen Ryan, an t-aisteoir a bhfuil gradam Tony bainte amach aici, Marie Mullen agus an craoltóir Gráinne Seoige. Seo a leanas buaiteoirí na sé ghradam alumni a bhronnfar ag Mórfhéasta 2016: Gradam Alumni do na Dána, an Litríocht agus an Léann Ceilteach - urraithe ag AIB  - Siobhán Ní Ghadhra, Úinéir/Léiritheoir Danú Media. Gradam Alumni don Ghnó agus don Tráchtáil – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann   -  Ruth Curran, Páirtí Bainistíochta in MERC Partners agus Cathaoirleach Domhanda ar IIC Partners. Gradam Alumni don Dlí, an Beartas Poiblí agus an Rialtas – urraithe ag Fondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe   -  An Príomh-Bhreitheamh Mathilda Twomey, Príomh-Bhreitheamh Chúirt Uachtarach Phoblacht na Séiséal. Gradam Alumni don Innealtóireacht, an Eolaíocht agus an Teicneolaíocht – urraithe ag Aramark  -Gearóid Faherty, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach agus Cathaoirleach Eurand NV. Gradam Alumni don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte – urraithe ag Medtronic  -An Dr Joe Murray, Ollamh le Leigheas agus Comhairleach, Rannóg na Gaistreintreolaíochta agus na Heipiteolaíochta, Mayo Clinic. Gradam Alumni don Spórt – urraithe ag Banc na hÉireann  - An Dr Paul Hession, Curadh Oilimpeach agus domhanda sa ráibeáil agus dochtúir sóisearach in Ospidéal Thamhlachta.             Agus buaiteoirí na nGradam fógartha, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Tugann na Gradaim Alumni aitheantas d’alumni na Gaillimhe atá ina gceannairí ina ngairmeacha agus atá ag déanamh gaisce ar leibhéal náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Déanann na Gradaim seo ceiliúradh ar an luach fadsaoil a bhaineann leis an oideachas a fhaightear in OÉ Gaillimh agus tugann siad aitheantas do chéimithe a bhfuil éachtaí suntasacha bainte amach acu as breis is 80,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile atá lonnaithe ar fud na cruinne. Tréaslaím leis na buaiteoirí ar fad agus táim ag súil le fáilte a chur rompu ar ais chuig a n-alma mater don Mhórfhéasta i mí an Mhárta.” Chun ticéid agus eolas faoi áirithintí a fháil téigh i dteagmháil leis an Oifig Alumni ar 091 49 4310 nó seol ríomhphost chuig alumni@nuigalway.ie. Áirithintí ar líne ar www.nuigalway.ie/alumni-friends -Críoch-

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World Leaders in Biomedical Engineering Deliver Keynote Lectures at NUI Galway Conference

World Leaders in Biomedical Engineering Deliver Keynote Lectures at NUI Galway Conference-image

Friday, 29 January 2016

Two world leaders in the field of Biomedical Engineering, Professor Elazer Edelman, M.I.T and Harvard Medical School, USA, and Professor Gerhard Holzapfel, Technical University of Graz, Austria, delivered Keynote Lectures at the 22nd Bioengineering in Ireland Conference, which was recently hosted by NUI Galway. In their inspirational lectures both speakers illustrated how their research teams have combined engineering analysis and computer modelling with biological investigation to transform the current understanding and treatment of heart disease. Both speakers also praised the internationally leading quality of biomedical engineering research in Irish universities, while also remarking positively on the vibrancy of the Irish medical device sector. Conference Chair, Dr Patrick McGarry from Biomedical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway stated: “This year’s conference attracted a record 250 delegates from across all leading Irish research groups in the field of Biomedical Engineering Science, with a record 185 scientific presentations. Several medical device companies actively participated in the conference, further highlighting the strong interaction between Irish research institutes and the medical technology sector.” A highlight from the event was the presentation of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Bioengineering Section Silver Medal to Professor Timothy O’Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute, at NUI Galway. In his keynote lecture Professor O’Brien described the ground-breaking development of Ireland’s first Centre for Cell Manufacturing in Ireland (CCMI) a centre located at NUI Galway manufacturing culture-expanded stem cells for clinical trials. The Conference took place at the Salthill Hotel, Galway and was sponsored by Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Aerogen, Hollister, Stryker, DePuy, Zwick, CadFem, Neuravi, and the Irish Medical Devices Association. To learn more about the Conference programme visit: http://bini2016.ie/ ENDS

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NUI Galway Researcher Elected to EU Student And Young Investigator Section

NUI Galway Researcher Elected to EU Student And Young Investigator Section-image

Friday, 29 January 2016

CÚRAM researcher of ‘next generation’ stem cell therapies for cardiovascular diseases is elected to the EU Student and Young Investigator Section of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society A research student developing ‘next-generation’ stem cell therapies for cardiovascular disease at the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) at NUI Galway, has been elected to the prominent position of Chair-Elect for the EU Student and Young Investigator Section (SYIS) of the Tissue Engineering International & Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS). TERMIS is one of the most prominent organisations in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine globally and attracts interest from researchers at the highest levels of the scientific community in biomedical research. The EU Student and Young Investigator Section provide a platform for the next generation of scientists and engineers in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine to interact. SYIS aims to further the professional and scientific development of its members. Dilip Thomas is currently concluding his doctoral studies, co-supervised by Professor Abhay Pandit at CÚRAM and Professor Timothy O’Brien, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, at NUI Galway. Dilip’s research interest is in the development of ‘next-generation’ stem cell therapies for cardiovascular diseases, with particular focus on Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), which is a severe obstruction of the arteries and markedly reduces blood flow to the extremities (hands, feet and legs) and has progressed to the point of severe pain and even skin ulcers or sores. Mr Thomas has successfully designed and developed biomaterial cell capsules referred to as a ‘microgel’, for delivering stem cells for tissue repair. He has demonstrated that altering the design parameters of the microgels can influence stem cells to direct development of new blood vessels. He has also proven expertise in pre-clinical models for testing these types of therapies for treating cardiovascular disease. Recently, Dilip was awarded the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) fellowship to further his research through training in Marchetti-Deschmann’s analytical laboratory at Vienna University of Technology. Congratulating Dilip on his election, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM, and himself a Fellow of TERMIS said: “Dilip will be a valuable asset to the EU SYIS of TERMIS and his election will be another important step in his career. Our confidence in the future of the MedTech sector in Ireland is largely based on the talent and skills of our young researchers, and at CÚRAM. Training and development of our students to the highest level, in a multi-disciplinary environment is a priority.” The current Chair of the EU SYIS of TERMIS, Michael Monaghan, currently a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Research Institute for Women's Health in Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen in Germany, and also a former PhD student of Professor Pandit, added, “Dilip’s enthusiasm and drive for research translation from bench-to-bedside therapy has led him to acquire additional funding from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for fabricating a high-throughput microfluidic droplet device, which is a device that can generate cells containing droplets in small volumes, for microgel fabrication, funded through the National Access Programme. CÚRAM, the SFI Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and industry partners and aims to radically improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illness by developing the next generation of smart, implantable medical devices. ENDS

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2015

Workshop on imaging marine microorganisms

Workshop on imaging marine microorganisms-image

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Have you ever wondered how scientists photograph the thousands of tiny plants and animals that live in a drop of seawater? A day-long workshop to further unravel the mysteries of imaging plankton will be hosted by NUI Galway and the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) on Monday, 14 September, 2015.   The event entitled Imaging Marine Microorganisms: Microscopy and Photography of Plankton is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and will be held in NUI Galway’s old Civil Engineering Building now known as Block E (Room 1002).   The workshop is part of the SMARTSkills series which supports early stage researchers in developing the practical ‘blue’ skills required to understand our seas and oceans. The day will include lectures by leading Irish and international researchers, and practical sessions describing and demonstrating imaging methodologies and sample preparation techniques.   The workshop will conclude with a public lecture in the evening by Wim van Egmond curator of the ‘Micropolitan Museum of Microscopic Art Forms’ at 7pm in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle, NUI Galway. Wim’s life-long interest in natural history combined with the fact that he grew up a few kilometres from Anthony van Leeuwenhoek who developed the first microscope, may explain his choice of photomicrography. His lecture will showcase astonishing images of the microscopic marine achieved with modest and accessible equipment and instrumentation and we hope will inspire researchers and citizen scientists alike. The public lecture is free and everyone is welcome.   If you have any queries regarding the events please see http://www.smartseaschool.com/content/smartskills-2015. For queries please contact smart@gmit.ie or Dr Yvonne Lang at yvonne.lang@nuigalway.ie. This event is supported by funding from EPA Grant (EPA 2014-HW-DS-3) and EPA Event Support Grant (2015-CONF-70). The workshops are facilitated by the Centre for Microscopy and Imaging, NUI Galway. -ends-

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December 2015

Over 300 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway

Over 300 Primary School Students ‘Graduate’ from NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

NUI Galway recently conferred special certificates on the ninth cohort of ‘graduates’ from its Youth Academy. 305 primary school children from across the Western region received their certificates, with more than 1000 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 1500 students have graduated from a variety of courses held on Saturday mornings ranging from Mandarin to Art, Engineering to English Literature, Drama 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, Vice-President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway, Professor Chris Curtin, 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. We are committed at NUI Galway to fostering the sharing of knowledge across the boundaries of the University and into the community. 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-

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€2.2m research investment launched at NUI Galway Research Centre by Minister English

€2.2m research investment launched at NUI Galway Research Centre by Minister English-image

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland invest €2.2 million in a new clinical research network for blood cancers Irish patients to be among the first in the world to test new, potentially life-saving treatments   A new national clinical research network was launched today at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway by the Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation, Mr Damien English TD, which will bring fresh hope for blood cancer patients in Ireland. The newly established Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) represents a multimillion euro investment in cancer research by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland. The €2.2 million investment has established a new virtual clinical research network that will offer early stage haematology clinical trials, providing blood cancer patients in Ireland with the opportunity to be among the first in the world to test new, potentially life-changing, drugs and treatments. This joint investment with Science Foundation Ireland comes on foot of the Irish Cancer Society’s strategy to establish and support collaborative cancer research initiatives to bring Irish clinicians, scientists and population researchers together to increase the pace of discoveries. This new national cancer research initiative is also supported by the pharmaceutical industry. Commenting on this significant investment in cancer research, Minister for Skills, Research, and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD said: “The establishment of Blood Cancer Network Ireland by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society will bring real and tangible benefits to Irish cancer patients by helping to develop new treatments for blood cancer. It is in line with the Government’s policy of investing and focusing excellent scientific research that impacts positively on Ireland’s economy and society.” Over the next five years, Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) hopes to make novel drugs and treatments available to patients with all types of blood cancers across Ireland. The first clinical trials being rolled out through BCNI will bring fresh hope, in particular, to patients with difficult to treat blood cancers. Patients with Multiple Myeloma (MM) or Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) will be among the first to take part in early phase clinical trials to test the safety and effectiveness of experimental and potentially life-saving drugs that are in development. Early stage clinical trials test the safety, efficacy, dosage, and side effects of new drugs and treatments on a small number of patients, usually at an advanced stage of disease. These trials are the first hurdle in the licensing process in the development of experimental drugs and treatments. BCNI will be established across the country through clinical research facilities in NUI Galway, University College Cork, and St James’s Hospital/Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG) will also be a partner in this national network. The research initiative will be led by Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, and will also involve Professor Mary Cahill, Clinical Professor of Haematology, University College Cork; Professor Paul Browne, Professor of Haematology, Trinity College Dublin; Dr Eva Szegezdi, NUI Galway, and Dr Harry Comber, National Cancer Registry of Ireland, as co-lead investigators. This new clinical research network will establish a blood cancer biobank to collect and analyse patient samples to further our knowledge and understanding of blood cancers and an enhanced registry, in association with the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, to collect information about the treatment, outcomes, and quality of life of patients with blood cancers in Ireland. Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland and Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, Michael O’Dwyer, said: “This investment will put Ireland on the map in terms of developmental therapeutics in blood cancers. We are now in a position to attract cutting edge Phase I/II trials to Ireland giving Irish patients the earliest access to promising new treatments, while the development of a dedicated biobank and registry will greatly enhance our efforts in the areas of translational, population and health economics research. Overall, this investment will have many potential benefits: it will make Ireland internationally competitive in blood cancer research, increase access to expensive medicines free of charge with consequent savings to the taxpayer, enhance research and development in Ireland, contribute to job creation, and most importantly of all, benefit patients.” Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, Dr Robert O’Connor, said: “We are delighted to partner with Science Foundation Ireland to fund this innovative cancer research initiative that will bring new hope for blood cancer patients across the country. The Society is investing in research that is making a real difference to patient lives and this investment is another example of the vital and impactful cancer research that is being facilitated thanks to the support of members of the public who donate to us. Blood Cancer Network Ireland is the second collaborative cancer research initiative to be rolled out by the Society and ultimately it will give blood cancer patients new treatment options and hope for the future.” Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “A key goal of Science Foundation Ireland’s strategy Agenda 2020 is to develop significant strategic partnerships with industry, charities and international funders to support excellent and impactful research in Ireland. We are pleased to partner with the Irish Cancer Society and industry to support the establishment of Blood Cancer Network Ireland. This new clinical research network will bring direct benefits to cancer patients, support new drug discovery through clinical trials and increase our research competitiveness.” For further information about this new national research initiative visit www.bloodcancers.ie. ENDS

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NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award

NUI Galway Student Wins International Undergraduate Award-image

Friday, 4 December 2015

Winners selected from over 5,000 submissions from 255 institutions worldwide   NUI Galway student, Jonathan O’Rourke has been awarded a 2015 Undergraduate Award, an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research. A further ten NUI Galway students were highly commended, ranking in the top 10% of submissions internationally. Overall NUI Galway ranked in the top 30 for its student performance in the 2015 UA programme. Cited as the ultimate champion of high-potential undergraduates, and often referred to as a “Junior Nobel Prize”, The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s largest academic awards programme, recognising excellent research and original work across the sciences, humanities, business and creative arts. Jonathan O’Rourke, from Tramore, Co. Waterford, was announced winner of the Undergraduate Award in the Classical Studies & Archaeology Category for his paper entitled Self and the Other: The Construction of Barbarian Identity in Antiquity. The Undergraduate Awards 2015 programme received 5,117 submissions from undergraduates in 255 universities across 39 countries. Winners are the top performers in each of the 25 category. Louise Hodgson, Executive Director of The Undergraduate Awards, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for NUI Galway and its undergraduates. This year saw an NUI Galway student take first prize in this category for the second year in a row. Only the very top students from each university can submit their coursework, and The Undergraduate Awards identifies the very best of the best. With over 5,000 submissions from so many universities this year, the competition was extremely tough. Congratulations to all our 2015 Winners and Highly Commended Entrants.” Highly Commended entrants were brought together to meet their fellow awardees at the annual UA Global Summit in Dublin recently. The Summit was addressed by the philosopher AC Grayling, physicist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, human genome sequencer Craig Venter, and the world’s youngest professor, Dr Alia Sabur, among many more speakers and facilitators. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Study To Inform Future Mental Health Clinical Practice

NUI Galway Study To Inform Future Mental Health Clinical Practice-image

Friday, 4 December 2015

Study seeks participants aged 18-25 years old to examine common experiences of feeling disconnected or detached from one’s sense of self or their surroundings The School of Psychology at NUI Galway is conducting a research study on people who experience feelings of being disconnected or detached from themselves and their surroundings. Adults aged 18-25 years old are invited to participate in the study, with findings hoping to better inform professionals working within the mental health service. Recent research in mental health has identified that it can be common for people to experience unwanted thoughts and feelings of being more or less whole, or that the world is less real to them than at other times. This has been found to be a common phenomenon among the general population, but for some people it may cause them some distress. These experiences can be influenced by stress and fatigue, with most people not admitting to experiencing feelings of disconnect and detachment, for fear of being perceived as different or strange. International studies have found that people are more willing to report these experiences in surveys rather than disclose it to a doctor. The aim of this research is to normalise these common feelings and thoughts which people may have, and to determine whether they perceive them in a negative way. The study is particularly interested in people who may have experienced emotionally upsetting events or feelings in childhood, and evaluate if they are more likely to be affected by disconnected experiences in a more distressing way. The participants’ mood, anxiety and stress levels will also be measured, in order to establish if all these related issues impact on them in the here and now. The study is being carried out by Aoife Ó Laoide, a Psychologist in Clinical Training at the School of Psychology in NUI Galway, under the academic supervision of Dr Jonathan Egan, Deputy Director of the University’s Doctorate Programme in Psychological Science. Ms Ó Laoide is interested in examining this phenomenon and understanding how psychological factors, such as childhood experiences, current stress, anxiety, and mood might interact with these common experiences of feeling disconnected from yourself or your surroundings. Miss Ó Laoide said: “We are seeking people for the study who have ever felt ‘unreal’ or in a ‘dream-like’ state. People who experience a feeling of detachment or disconnection from themselves and their surroundings. We want to investigate this relatively common phenomenon that no one wants to admit to, in order to explore how it may impact on an individual and their overall psychological well-being, with the hope of informing future clinical practice.” For those aged 18-25 years old who wish to participate in the study please visit the online survey link at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/feelingunreal  For further information contact Aoife Ó Laoide at a.olaoide1@nuigalway.ie ENDS

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Unique Lady Gregory Portrait Joins ‘Yeats & The West’ Collection

Unique Lady Gregory Portrait Joins ‘Yeats & The West’ Collection-image

Thursday, 10 December 2015

NUI Galway ‘Yeats & The West’ Exhibition continues with the addition of a recently acquired portrait of Lady Gregory in 1912 William Butler Yeats, poet, playwright, politician, and Nobel prize-winner for literature, always looked west. Through rare books, art, music, drama, and film, the Yeats & the West exhibition at NUI Galway discovers what the west meant to him, and what this might mean for us. As part of this exhibition of original materials that are unique to the West of Ireland, NUI Galway has added a recently acquired portrait of Lady Gregory painted by the artist Gerald Festus Kelly in 1912. Lady Augusta Gregory was 60 at the time this portrait was painted for The Abbey Theatre, and established in her career as folklorist, translator, and playwright. She is depicted wearing mourning clothes for her late husband Sir William Gregory, not entirely in keeping with her energetic personality. The portrait is currently located in the Reading Room of the James Hardiman Research Building as part of the Yeats & The West collection. Celebrating Yeats2015 the Yeats & the West programme continues with an exclusive tour of the exhibition by the curators and events include a talk about ‘Yeats and the act of dying’ by Professor Kevin Barry from the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, and a Yeats & the West closing event next January featuring talks and readings by scholars, artists, and writers. Dr Adrian Paterson, lecturer in English and curator of the exhibition at NUI Galway, said: “I think people forget that Yeats was not just a poet, he was a cultural revolutionary. To put it differently you might say he was a collaborator, an entrepreneur, an artist and a man who made things happen. The west was the landscape of Yeats’s poetry. It was also a wellspring of songs, stories, folklore, artwork, drama and crafts. The exhibition takes a close look at his poetry. But it also highlights his collaborations, and the songs and plays and artwork and politics of those around him that shaped modern Ireland. It’s a western revolution.” Highlights of the Yeats & the West exhibition include watercolours from a 1900 Galway sketchbook by Jack B. Yeats, never-before seen paintings by Jack Yeats and Gerard Dillon, a wealth of visual material from artists and photographers from Fergus Bourke to Nicolas Fève, film footage and touchscreens, and rarely seen images, manuscripts, and books from archive collections in NUI Galway. Archive treasures include the Lady Gregory Collection, the Abbey Digital Archive, and the Lyric Theatre Belfast. Yeats & the West also highlights the gifted artists of Yeats’s own family, in original handprinted books from the Cuala Press and images of the Dun Emer embroideries from Loughrea’s St. Brendan’s Cathedral. A complete collection of the Cuala Press broadsides designed by Jack B. Yeats will also be on show. “Cuala Industries was essentially a feminist collective”, said Dr Paterson. “It was nationalist, too, but not in a narrow way, and they turned their hands to everything. The Broadsides feature original designs by Jack Yeats and other artists such as Harry Kernoff that are then coloured by hand. The later editions represent the only major collaboration between the two Yeats brothers.” The exhibition also features material from the Arthur Shields Collection, a spectacular resource of letters, photographs, and first editions. Arthur Shields was an actor at the Abbey Theatre involved in the Easter Rising of 1916, who acted in Yeats and O’Casey’s revolutionary plays, took the Abbey on tours to America, and then appeared in Hollywood films, making for a remarkable story. Yeats & the West tells a story of going west to find those places, real and imaginative, that change our sense of where and who we are. The exhibition runs until the end of January 2016 in the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway. The Yeats & the West programme is supported by the Moore Institute and James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, Galway City Museum, the National Library of Ireland, Loughrea Cathedral, the Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society and Yeats2015. ‘The throats of birds: W.B. Yeats and the act of dying’ talk with Professor Kevin Barry will take place on Tuesday, 15 December at 5pm in Room G011 in the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway. The talk is free and open to the public. The Yeats & The West exhibition is open daily from 9am-5pm in the Hardiman Research Building at NUI Galway. Visit: yeatsandthewest.org ENDS

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