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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Launch of the ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ Survey 2014

Launch of the ‘Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ Survey 2014-image

Thursday, 10 December 2015

The Health Promotion Research Unit at NUI Galway delivers promising findings from national study in the health behaviours of our children   Dr Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Health today, 9 December 2015, launched the main findings from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Ireland Survey 2014, carried out by the Health Promotion Research Unit at NUI Galway. The HBSC study is a cross-sectional study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.  Findings in the report are based on 13,611 school students from 230 schools across the county and are compared with data from the last HBSC survey in 2010. In welcoming the report, Minister for Health, Dr Leo Varadkar stated: “I welcome the decrease in smoking levels and drunkenness as well as the increase in fruit and vegetable consumption among children in Ireland. I am concerned about children’s exposure to second hand smoke and the ease at which young people report being able to purchase cigarettes. There are also still a worrying number of children going to bed hungry and skipping breakfast. If we can convince children that healthy habits and lifestyles are worth pursuing, then we have got a better chance of these children maintaining healthy behaviours and habits into adulthood. Being healthy and preventing disease is a key focus of Healthy Ireland.” Commenting on the findings, Principal Investigator Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn stated: “This report brings welcome good news about the health behaviours and well-being of children in Ireland with a decrease in smoking, alcohol and cannabis use. Further, the majority of children in Ireland report having high life satisfaction. However there are areas of children’s lives where we need to continue to encourage positive healthy behaviours particularly around physical activity and nutrition.” Key Findings 2014 (Main Study, 10-17 year olds) A decrease in the proportion of children reporting tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use from 2010.  Overall 8% report that they currently smoked (12% in 2010); 21% report ever being really drunk (31% in 2010) and 8% report cannabis use in the last 12 months (9% in 2010). New to the study this time, young people were asked about their exposure to second hand smoke in their family home and family car (12% reported adults allowed to smoke in family home; 16% report adults allowed to smoke in family car). Children were asked about cyberbullying. Overall, 13% of children report ever being bullied in the past couple of months by being sent mean messages and 15% ever being bullied in the past couple of months by someone posting unflattering or inappropriate pictures of them online without permission. Overall, 27% of young people aged 15-17 years old report having ever had sex. An increase in the proportion of young people who report eating fruit and/or vegetables more than once a day (fruit: 23% 2014 vs. 20% in 2010) (vegetable: 22% 2014 vs. 20% in 2010).  There is a decrease in the proportion of young people who report eating unhealthy foods.  Overall, 27% report eating sweets daily or more (37% in 2010) and 13% report soft drink consumption daily or more (21% in 2010). The proportion of young people who report excellent health, feeling very happy with their life and high life satisfaction has remained stable or unchanged from 2010.   Study Context The survey runs every four years and in 2014 there were 44 participating countries and regions (www.hbsc.org).  The 2014 Irish HBSC survey, carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway is the fifth round of data collection in Ireland. The overall study aims to gain new insight into, and increase our understanding of young people’s health and wellbeing, health behaviours and their social context. As well as serving as a monitoring and a knowledge-generating function, one of the key objectives of HBSC has been to inform policy and practice. A total of 13,611 children aged 9-18 from 230 schools across Ireland participated in the 2014 survey.  Overall, 59% of invited schools and 84.5% of invited children participated.  This report includes findings from the HBSC main study, which includes children from 5th class to 5th year and middle childhood, which includes children in 3rd and 4th class in primary schools. For the first time in the Irish HBSC survey, children and young people from across the country identified new priorities for the study and these findings are also presented in this report. Click the link to view the Irish HBSC survey. ENDS

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An Taoiseach Announces National Conference as part of Ireland 2016

An Taoiseach Announces National Conference as part of Ireland 2016-image

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ireland 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. and Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys T.D., today (10 December) announce a major National Conference as a key part of Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. NUI Galway will host the major national academic conference of the 1916-2016 commemoration next year, on the theme, Ireland 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty. This conference will run 10-12 November 2016 and will include academic contributions from a broad range of Ireland's universities and institutes of technology, as well as from a number of leading international figures. The Department of Education and Skills is also delighted to support this conference and has reserved some funding within its Ireland 2016 commemorative programme for the project. This major international conference will facilitate an intensive exploration of two dominant and connected themes: - The vision and aspiration invested in an independent Irish state by idealists and thinkers of the revolutionary generation - The challenges facing the Irish sovereign state in 2016 – and the visions and horizons of ambition that should inspire the Irish people as they face the future Speaking at the announcement, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. said: “This is an opportunity to acknowledge the role of third level institutions in Irish life and the contribution they make to helping us examine our history, reflect on our achievements and look to our shared future. The conference is a national initiative and an invitation to all our third level institutions to participate, engage and contribute our best thinking at this unique moment in Ireland’s history.” Minister Heather Humphreys said: ”Next year, all of our third level institutions will be a hive of activity; hosting debates and discussions on the Rising, the last 100 years, and the future. This flagship National Conference, to be hosted in NUIG, will examine the ideals of the 1916 Leaders and the challenges facing the 2016 generation. Our third level sector will help us to understand our history better as we commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising, and to consider what Irishness means to us as a nation a century later.” The conference will convene 10-12 November 2016 and will be addressed by several leading international speakers. Among those who have already confirmed they will participate in the conference are: Louise Richardson, Vice Chancellor of Oxford, Roy Foster, historian, and academics Professors Kevin O'Rourke, Mary Daly, Philip Pettit, Brendan O'Leary, and Dr Maurice Manning. The conference will also be addressed by Conference Patron Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarán na hÉireann. Major plenary sessions are planned on The Promise of 1916; Culture and Identity in a Globalized World; Economy, Society and the Well-Being of Citizens; and The Challenges, Promise and Responsibility of Education in the 21st century. The conference will conclude with a session on Political Futures and New Paradigms. Conference Chair and Chancellor, National University of Ireland, Dr Maurice Manning, said: “Ireland’s Decade of Centenaries has provided a wonderful opportunity for our nation to take stock and to examine 100 years of Irish independence. As the 100th anniversary year draws to a close in November 2016, this national academic conference will enable a wide ranging reflection on how Ireland – a small country can position itself globally for the next period of its development. We believe this is a great opportunity for Irish academics and global commentators to reflect on Irish identity and independence and to look forward at Ireland in a globalised future.” There will be a programme of public events associated with the conference which will be open to the public. A detailed programme will be available in early 2016 and updated on www.ireland.ie Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway welcomed the announcement: “NUI Galway is very pleased to host this national academic conference on our campus next year. We look forward to welcoming colleagues from all Irish higher education institutions to our campus for an important discussion on Ireland 1916-2016: The Promise and Challenge of National Sovereignty. We also embrace the public dimension of this event and will ensure wide participation in a public programme of talks, exhibitions and events on the campus and across the city.” ENDS

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CALL FOR ENTRIES TO ‘FAMELAB’ 2016

CALL FOR ENTRIES TO ‘FAMELAB’ 2016-image

Friday, 11 December 2015

NUI Galway to host regional heat of one of the biggest science communication competitions in the world and is seeking scientists with a passion for public engagement As part of the recent Galway Science & Technology Festival Exhibition, NUI Galway launched ‘FameLab’, one of the biggest science communication competitions in the world. For the first time ever the University will host a regional heat in the competition and the organisers are calling for entries now. If you think you can explain a scientific concept to a general audience, in just three minutes, then why not enter? You could become the new face of science, represent Ireland at the 2016 FameLab International finals in the UK, and open doors to global opportunities in science communication. The competition is open to scientists, mathematicians and engineers across Ireland working in industry, business, research, academia, education, public service or other sectors, including specialist post-primary science teachers and third-level students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects. Training for entrants will take place in Galway on Tuesday, 12 January with the Regional heat scheduled for Tuesday, 9 February 2016 at An Taibhdhearc Theatre in Galway. The application deadline to enter is Friday, 31 December 2015. Successful candidates who make it through to the initial regional heat, will be invited to attend an all-expenses paid Communication Masterclass that will help them develop invaluable STEM media and presentation skills. The Communication Masterclass will take place in Dublin on the 19 and 20 March, 2016. The aim of each presentation is that the audience and judges should be left inspired and enthused about science. The winner will be a charismatic presenter who makes the science easy to listen to, entertaining, exciting and who is not only able to communicate the science but who can share their passion for it. The FameLab Ireland Final will be held at the Science Gallery in Dublin on Thursday, 7 April 2016 and participants will be judged by leading researchers, media personalities and science policy makers on the content, clarity and charisma of their presentation. To register your interest and take part in the FameLab Galway competition, apply to: http://www.britishcouncil.ie/famelab/enter-competition/apply Please note that the competition is not open to people who are already working professionally in public engagement with science, including: • Press or PR officers, even for science-related organisations • Artists who work on science-related themes • Performers whose shows are about science or engineering • Science centre staff who work exclusively or mainly with the public • Journalists and broadcasters (as their main or only job) • Non-specialist teachers Contact famelab@ie.britishcouncil.org if you are unsure about your eligibility. ENDS

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NUI Galway Professor Attends 2015 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Honour of Winning Supervisor

NUI Galway Professor Attends 2015 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Honour of Winning Supervisor-image

Friday, 11 December 2015

A research professor at NUI Galway helped honour his previous supervisor for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2015, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm yesterday Thursday, 10 December. Professor Bob Lahue from the Centre for Chromosome Biology at NUI Galway, trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Professor Paul Modrich of Duke University in the United States. Professor Modrich, the James B. Duke professor in the Department of Biochemistry at Duke University’s School of Medicine, was one of three scientists to share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for landmark discoveries over four decades of work in DNA repair. The Nobel Committee cited one of the Lahue-Modrich publications as groundbreaking. The Nobel Committee recognised Professor Modrich’s work on mismatch repair, which acts as a genetic spellchecker to preserve the DNA. Defects in mismatch repair are now known to cause certain hereditary forms of colorectal cancer. Genetic testing of cancer patients helps identify those with mismatch repair defects, providing information which is important in guiding their treatment. Commenting from the Nobel Prize ceremony, NUI Galway’s Professor Lahue said: “Our DNA is damaged every day in every cell. DNA repair is a fix-it machine that repairs the damage and keeps our genetic information safe. It was tremendously exciting to discover how mismatch repair worked. Paul is an outstanding supervisor and I feel very lucky to have trained in his laboratory. It was wonderful to see him honoured with a Nobel Prize for his seminal work.” Professor Lahue has worked since 2007 at NUI Galway’s Centre for Chromosome Biology in the Biosciences Research Building. Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board have funded his research. ENDS

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