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Medical Academy under construction at Sligo Regional Hospital

Medical Academy under construction at Sligo Regional Hospital-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

NUI Galway and Saolta Hospital Group are delighted to announce the development of a new purpose built Medical Academy, and undergraduate education facility on the site of Sligo Regional Hospital. The €2 million euro (700 M2) state of the art facility will include a lecture theatre, clinical skills laboratory, tutorial rooms, mock consultation rooms, tutor offices, and study spaces for the students. The new landmark development will be constructed at levels 7 and 8 above the existing Library. This is a major investment by the University into Clinical training in Sligo one of a series of proposed medical academies in the West/North West region. Construction of similar facilities at Mayo and Letterkenny General Hospitals is due to commence early in the New Year. The new academy will allow doctors of the future to fine tune their clinical skills under the watchful eyes of 11 part time tutors/lecturers covering all medical specialties. 60 students per semester from 3rd, 4th and final medical years rotate through Sligo for one year clinical training. Work is commencing on site today, 24 November 2014, with an anticipated completion date of September 2015. ENDS

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NUI Galway to host major international conference on brain disorders

NUI Galway to host major international conference on brain disorders-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

A major conference on neurodegenerative diseases takes place in Galway this week from 27-28 November. NUI Galway will host the 24th Annual Meeting of the Network of European Central Nervous System Transplantation & Restoration (NECTAR). The NECTAR meeting is a major international gathering for researchers working on the development of cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. In one of the sessions, Professor Roger Barker of the University of Cambridge and one of his patients, Mrs. Sheila Roy, will share their experiences of a new experimental drug called ProSavin® with the audience. ProSavin® is a viral gene therapy manufactured by Oxford BioMedica that is currently undergoing clinical trial for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. It is injected directly into the brain, inducing production of the neurotransmitter dopamine which is deficient in this condition. Trials in laboratory animals and humans have been a success, with ProSavin® demonstrating significant efficacy without the side effects associated with other current treatments for Parkinson's disease. Neurodegenerative diseases are currently treated using drugs that neither address the underlying causes of disease nor prevent neurodegeneration. Given that the incidence, and consequent personal, societal and economic costs, of neurodegenerative disease is set to escalate with the ageing population, it is essential that novel neuroprotective and neuroreparative therapies are developed to treat these devastating conditions sooner rather than later. This conference has been held annually across Europe since its inauguration in Lund, Sweden in 1984, and this is the first time in its history that this prestigious international meeting has come to Ireland. The major remit of the 2014 NECTAR conference is to bring together scientists, clinicians, patient advocates and industry partners from across Europe and the international community to share the latest research in repairing the damage to the central nervous system as a result of degenerative diseases. The Chair of the local organising committee is Dr Eilís Dowd, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway and a member of the University’s NCBES Galway Neuroscience Centre. Speaking about the conference, Dr Dowd said “It is a privilege to host this prestigious conference, and we expect that holding the conference in Galway will significantly enhance Ireland’s reputation in the field of cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative disease.” Eighteen international experts from across Europe, Australia and Canada will speak at the meeting. These include major international scientific speakers such as Professor Colin Masters, University of Melbourne, Australia and Professor Anders Björklund, Lund University, Sweden, as well as policy makers such as Dr Mary Baker, Past President of the European Brain Council, patient advocates, experts in clinical trial design and industrial speakers. In addition to the invited speakers, there will also be several “data-blitz” sessions of short oral communications delivered by Irish and international researchers. PhD students and post-doctoral researchers will play a significant role at the conference, adding to the environment of vibrancy and collaboration that lies at the heart of NECTAR. Indeed, NUI Galway-based PhD students and post-doctoral researchers are organising a special satellite symposium in advance of NECTAR, to be held on Wednesday, 26 November. This symposium is entitled Careers in Neuroscience (CNS) 2014, and will focus on the many career opportunities open to young neuroscientists, with senior experts sharing their advice and experience with younger delegates. Neuroscience research and teaching are very vibrant at NUI Galway, and the University’s Galway Neuroscience Centre is proud to support both the NECTAR and CNS2014 meetings. The conference organisers gratefully acknowledge the support they have received from several funding agencies including the Campaign for Alzheimer’s Research in Europe, Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and Fáilte Ireland. More information on the conference can be found at ( Ends

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Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway

Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 24 November 2014

Over 1,400 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from Tuesday, 25 November to Thursday, 27 November. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate all our graduands and extend a warm welcome to their parents, families and friends. We are delighted to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and wish them continued success in the future.” In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends- Bronnadh an Gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh Bronnfar céim ar bhreis is 1,400 mac léinn as cúig choláiste OÉ Gaillimh idir Dé Máirt, an 25 agus Déardaoin, an 27 Samhain, i searmanais bronnta céime an gheimhridh san Ollscoil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, roimh thús na searmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, déanaim comhghairdeas lenár gcéimithe ar fad agus tá fearadh na fáilte roimh a dtuismitheoirí, a dteaghlaigh agus a gcairde. Tá ríméad orainn aitheantas a thabhairt dá gcuid éachtaí agus guímid gach rath orthu san am atá le teacht.” Sa bhreis air sin, bronnfar céimeanna, ard-dioplómaí, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna le linn na dtrí lá ar mhic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. -Críoch-

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40 NUI Galway Scholars Honoured at NUI Annual Awards Ceremony

40 NUI Galway Scholars Honoured at NUI Annual Awards Ceremony-image

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Graduates and students of NUI Galway featured prominently at the annual NUI Awards ceremony which took place this week in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham taking home an impressive 40 awards. Included in this number are two recipients from St. Angela’s College in Sligo, which is a partner college of NUI Galway. Two NUI Travelling Studentships in the Sciences were awarded to NUI Galway Engineering graduates Edward Fagan and Sinéad O’Halloran. Sinéad also picked up the Pierce Malone Scholarship. Other scholarships and awards include the EJ Phelan Scholarship in International Law which was awarded to NUI Galway’s Amina Adanan. The Denis Phelan Scholarship in Humanities and Social Sciences was awarded to Francis Kelly, with Felim O’Toole picking up the NUI Club London Scholarship. The French Government Medal and NUI Prize for Proficiency in French was awarded to Caolán O’Donnell. PhD student Alena Yuryna Connolly was presented with the Fulbright/NUI Visiting Researcher Award. The Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary scholarships and prizes were awarded to: Nicola de Faoite and Róisín Egan, Gaeilge; Leisha Marlow, German; and Jennifer Bent, Spanish. The Scoláireacht agus Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara/Mansion House Fund Scholarship and prizes went to Arts graduate Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, for a Scoláireacht Gaeilge. A total of 27 Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes were awarded to NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. The award recipients were Clodagh McDermott and Robert Mulligan, Anaesthesia; Seamus Lehane, Anatomy; Sabrina Sheridan, Biochemistry; Dr Bryan Reidy, Clinical Radiology; Cillian McNamara and Anne Marie Sweeney, Gynaecology and Obstetrics; Dr Rebecca Finnegan, Medicine; Claire Beecher and Elaine Finucane, Midwifery; Nicola Hyde, Tracy McHugh and Linda McNulty, Nursing; Máire Mullooly and Lisa McKeon, Psychiatric Nursing; Dr Claire Kelly and Linda Horan, Occupational Therapy; Siobhan McCormack, Ophthalmology; Lauren Hughes, Paediatrics; Katie Sheehan, Pathology; Tony Haddad, Pharmacology; Olga Carey and Marie Hegarty, Podiatry; Matthew Smyth, Psychiatry; Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Public Health; Amy Curran, Speech and Language Therapy; and Jennifer Kielty, Surgery. Lauren Hughes, Psychiatry also received a Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and Prizes commendation. Speaking on the success of NUI Galway students and graduates, President Jim Browne, said: “This clearly highlights the high calibre of students studying on NUI Galway programmes and follows previous successes in these annual awards. I congratulate the Awardees on their achievements and encourage them in the future endeavours. In commending the Award recipients, I’d also like to pay tribute to their teachers for their work in supporting these students and in helping them to achieve such high standards.” At the ceremony, the Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning presented Travelling Studentships, scholarships and other awards to 130 students and graduates of the NUI Constituent Universities and Recognised Colleges. The total value of NUI Awards in 2014 was in excess of €1.2 million. NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Maynooth University, RCSI, St Angela’s College and NCAD were represented among the award winners. -Ends- Onóir tugtha do 40 Scoláire ag Gradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann Rinne céimithe agus mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh thar barr ag searmanas bronnta Ghradaim Bhliantúla Ollscoil na hÉireann nuair a d'éirigh leo 40 gradam a bhaint amach. Bhí an searmanas ar siúl san Ospidéal Ríoga, Cill Mhaighneann. I measc an 40 seo bhí beirt as Coláiste San Aingeal i Sligeach, coláiste comhpháirtíochta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh dhá Scoláireacht Taistil nua de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann sna hEolaíochtaí ar chéimithe Innealtóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, Edward Fagan agus Sinéad O’Halloran. D'éirigh le Sinéad chomh maith Scoláireacht Pierce Malone a fháil. I measc na scoláireachtaí agus na ngradam eile bhí Scoláireacht EJ Phelan sa Dlí Idirnáisiúnta a bronnadh ar Amina Adanan as OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh Scoláireacht Denis Phelan sna Daonnachtaí agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta ar Francis Kelly, agus bronnadh Scoláireacht Chlub Ollscoil na hÉireann-Londain ar Felim O’Toole. Bronnadh Bonn Rialtas na Fraince agus Duais OÉ do Líofacht sa Fhraincis ar Chaolán O’Donnell. Bronnadh Gradam Taighdeora ar Cuairt Fulbright/Ollscoil na hÉireann ar an mac léinn PhD Alena Yuryna Connolly. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí agus duaiseanna liteartha an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart ar: Nicola de Faoite agus Róisín Egan, Gaeilge; Leisha Marlow, Gearmáinis; agus Jennifer Bent, Spáinnis. Bronnadh Scoláireacht agus Duais Chiste Theach an Ardmhéara ar an gcéimí sna Dána, Hannah Ní Dhoimhín, do Scoláireacht Gaeilge. San iomlán, bronnadh 27 Scoláireacht agus Duais Leighis de chuid an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart ar Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh. Bronnadh gradaim ar na daoine seo a leanas: Clodagh McDermott agus Robert Mulligan, Ainéistéise; Seamus Lehane, Anatamaíocht; Sabrina Sheridan, Bithcheimic; an Dr Bryan Reidy, Raideolaíocht Chliniciúil; Cillian McNamara agus Anne Marie Sweeney, Gínéiceolaíocht agus Obstatraic; an Dr Rebecca Finnegan, Leigheas; Claire Beecher agus Elaine Finucane, Cnáimhseachas; Nicola Hyde, Tracy McHugh agus Linda McNulty, Altranas; Máire Mullooly agus Lisa McKeon, Altranas Síciatrach; an Dr Claire Kelly agus Linda Horan, Teiripe Shaothair; Siobhan McCormack, Oftailmeolaíocht; Lauren Hughes, Péidiatraic; Katie Sheehan, Paiteolaíocht; Tony Haddad, Cógaseolaíocht; Olga Carey agus Marie Hegarty, Cosliacht; Matthew Smyth, Síciatracht; Caoimhe O’Sullivan, Sláinte Phoiblí; Amy Curran, Teiripe Shaothair agus Theanga; and Jennifer Kielty, Máinliacht. Fuair Lauren Hughes, Síciatracht ardmholadh Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna Leighis an Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart. Ag labhairt dó ar chomh maith is a rinne mic léinn agus céimithe OÉ Gaillimh, dúirt an tUachtarán Jim Browne: “Is léiriú soiléir é seo ar an gcaighdeán ard mac léinn atá i mbun staidéir ar chláir de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus tagann sé sna sála ar éachtaí a rinneadh ag na gradaim bhliantúla seo cheana. Déanaim comhghairdeas leis na daoine ar bronnadh gradaim orthu as a gcuid éachtaí agus guím gach rath orthu amach anseo. Agus mé ag moladh iad siúd a fuair Gradaim, ba mhaith liom freisin aitheantas a thabhairt dá dteagascóirí as an tacaíocht a thug siad do na mic léinn seo leis na caighdeáin arda seo a bhaint amach.” Ag an searmanas, bhronn an Seansailéir, an Dr Maurice Manning Scoláireachtaí Taistil, scoláireachtaí agus gradaim eile ar 130 mac léinn agus céimí as Ollscoileanna agus Coláistí Aitheanta Ollscoil na hÉireann.Bhain luach sa bhreis ar €1.2 milliún le Gradaim Ollscoil na hÉireann sa bhliain 2014. Bhí daoine as OÉ Gaillimh, UCD, UCC, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad, RCSI, Coláiste San Aingeal agus NCAD i measc bhuaiteoirí na ngradam. -Críoch-

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Leading Irish University Bio-Photonics Laboratory and Compact Imaging Extend Agreement for Innovative Research Collabora

Leading Irish University Bio-Photonics Laboratory and Compact Imaging Extend Agreement for Innovative Research Collabora-image

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

NUI Galway’s TOMI Lab Provides Globally-Recognised Scientific Leadership for Advanced Development of Company’s Mobile OCT Technology The National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) ( and Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI) ( today jointly announced the extension of their innovative research collaboration in the field of optical coherence tomography (OCT) for a variety of applications, including mobile health monitoring and identity verification. The research agreement will continue the advanced development of CI’s novel multiple reference OCT sensor technology, MRO™, very small, low cost, low operating power OCT architecture ideal for high volume mobile applications. The original two-year research collaboration successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of applying CI’s MRO™ technology in areas such as monitoring skin lesions and creating 3D fingerprint images. OCT is an imaging technique similar to ultrasound, but employing light rather than sound. Since its commercialisation in the early 2000s, OCT has revolutionised medical diagnostics in clinical settings. It is the fastest growing medical imaging modality, with annual re-imbursement for ophthalmic assessments exceeding $1 billion and more than $400 million in OCT instrument sales, up from virtually nothing a decade earlier. The research collaboration combines NUI Galway’s globally-recognised body of OCT research in medical and biological imaging with CI’s development and intellectual property in OCT and MRO™ to enable very small, low cost, and low operating power devices for applications such as non-invasive mobile personal health monitoring and identity verification. CI has developed an extensive patent portfolio, comprised of 14 issued US patents and numerous published and unpublished US and foreign applications. Professor Martin Leahy, Chair of Applied Physics at NUI Galway, Director of the Tissue Optics and Microcirculation Imaging (TOMI) Laboratory, and Scientific Director of the National Platform for Biophotonics and Imaging (Ireland), will continue to direct the collaboration’s research efforts in Galway. Researchers associated with the collaboration had several accomplishments over the initial two-year term, including: Demonstrated technical feasibility of building MRO™ OCT systems using consumer level components, proving that MRO™ is inherently a low cost, small size (the size of a wristwatch), and low operating power sensor technology, well-suited to mobile applications. Demonstrated technical feasibility of a combination of an MRO™ OCT system with a dermascope to enable depth imaging and biometry of skin lesions in a low cost, small form factor device. Demonstrated technical feasibility of MRO™-based 3D fingerprint imaging for secure personal identification and verification.   “Compact Imaging’s MRO™ architecture has clear and sustainable advantages in size, cost, and power consumption over other OCT technologies,” said Professor Leahy. “We’re delighted that our team in Galway is contributing so significantly to a dramatically different version of OCT technology that can make advanced optical imaging and biometry accessible both outside the clinic to patients and other health-oriented consumers and to developing countries where provision of affordable, ‘fit for purpose’ diagnostics is a real need.” CI is an early stage technology company focused on the rapidly expanding markets for mobile imaging and biometry in applications such as health monitoring and biometric security. Its proprietary MRO™ technology makes possible non-invasive optical imaging, biometry, and analysis across a range of high volume applications.   “Our collaboration with NUI Galway and Professor Leahy’s labs has been critical to demonstrating the principles and potential applications of MRO™’s low cost, small form factor design,” said Don Bogue, CEO of Compact Imaging. “We believe that CI’s MRO™-based sensor development is unlocking the world of high value personal biometrics. “The collaboration has been very successful,” said Bogue. “This is just one of several ways in which Ireland, its people, and its institutions, have supported the development of Compact Imaging. With the strong Irish position in medical device design, development, and manufacturing, we expect continued expansion of our presence in Ireland.” CI holds a portfolio of US patents covering multiple reference optical coherence tomography (MRO™). The underlying imaging technology, optical coherence tomography (OCT), was first commercialised over a decade ago for use in ophthalmic diagnostic imaging. CI’s MRO™ is a much different architecture from that used in conventional OCT systems. MRO™ sensor technology enables design of very small, low cost devices ideally-suited to high volume mobile monitoring applications. Compact Imaging, Inc. (CI), headquartered in Mountain View, CA, USA, is privately-held.  -ends-

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Expert to give public talk on coastal environments

Expert to give public talk on coastal environments-image

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

An expert on coastal environments will visit NUI Galway on Thursday, 27 November, to deliver a free public talk on coastal climate change. Andrew Cooper is Professor of Coastal Studies at the University of Ulster and co‐founder of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Research and Centre for Maritime Archaeology. His latest book The Last Beach, which was published this month, is a call to action to prevent global beach destruction. The talk ‘Human response to coastal climate change: adaptation or resistance’ takes place on Thursday, 27 November, at 4pm in Seminar Room 203 of the Arts and Science Building. The realisation of climate change and its potential impacts on coastal environments and coastal communities has prompted much activity in the area of ‘adaptation’. Adaptation is typically viewed as actions in response to climate change that seek to limit its impacts and/or bring some benefit to human society. This talk will consider adaptation actions in response to the twin risks of coastal flooding and shoreline retreat both of which are likely to increase in frequency, rate and magnitude as a result of global climate change. Those measures that involve adaptation of human activities in response to the changing coastal environment are likely to be more sustainable in the longer term, but are politically more difficult to implement.  Dr Kevin Lynch, Director of the NUI Galway's MSc in Coastal and Marine Environments, and a member of the University's Ryan Institute, said: “Last winter, the Irish coast, countryside and cities were ravaged by a series of intense storms from early December. Coastal communities, their defences and facilities bore the brunt of this onslaught which continued for months. Professor Cooper’s talk will perhaps give us some insights as to how we can prepare for such storms in the future, and plan for the long-term sustainability of our coastal communities in a changing planet.” Professor Andrew Cooper chaired the Northern Ireland Coastal and Marine Forum for six years. He has been researching coastal geomorphology and coastal zone management worldwide for 25 years and has published more than 200 articles.  -ends-

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Careers in Neuroscience Symposium at NUI Galway

Careers in Neuroscience Symposium at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

NUI Galway will host the Careers in Neuroscience Symposium on Wednesday, 26 November, where several high-calibre and distinguished researchers will discuss their careers, share their experience and present their latest research findings. Sessions are scheduled on career options in academia, industry, scientific communication and other alternative careers as well as a workshop on funding and grants. The symposiums overarching theme is careers in neuroscience but students and early career researchers from all interested disciplines are invited to attend. Through open discussions and social events, there will be ample opportunity for delegates to meet experts in an informal and friendly environment and also to network with other early career neuroscientists from different institutes. Symposium speakers will include: Professor John Cryan, University College Cork Professor Markus von Kienlin, Head of Preclinical Imaging at Hoffmann-La Roche, Switzerland Professor William O’Connor, University of Limerick Dr Max Bianchi, Transpharmation Ireland, Ltd. Dr Grainne Gannon, Clinical Project Manager at Novartis Dr Dara Dunican, Scientific Program Officer, Science Foundation Ireland Cormac Sheridan, Science Journalist at Nature Biotechnology, BioWorld Dr Maeve Caldwell, Reader in Stem Cells and Regeneration, University of Bristol Dr Nikita Burke, post-doctoral researcher with NUI Galway’s Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and Chairperson of the symposium said: “This symposium is an exciting new forum for bright young neuroscientists to present cutting-edge research and network with national and internationally renowned experts in the field, learning about various career pathways in academia, industry and alternative sectors. Given that 80% of PhDs do not stay in academia, it is critical to inform students of their options.” This symposium is organised by students in the Galway Neuroscience Centre, with support from the Neuro Society at NUI Galway, for other young neuroscientists from different national and international institutes. It aims to allow undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as post-docs, to hear the latest research from leading scientists within neuroscience and to extend their academic, presentation and communication skills. The Careers in Neuroscience Symposium is funded by Neuroscience Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and replaces the Galway Neuroscience Research Day and Neuroscience Ireland Conference this year. This event is a satellite meeting to NECTAR 2014 (Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration). Abstracts were invited from students and early career scientists for scientific sessions. Registration is currently open and costs €15. Prizes will be awarded for best poster and best talk. For more information visit -Ends-

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NUI Galway Host First Matrix Biology Ireland Meeting

NUI Galway Host First Matrix Biology Ireland Meeting-image

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

NUI Galway will host the First Annual Meeting of Matrix Biology Ireland (MBI) in the University’s new Bioscience Building from the 19- 21 November. This inaugural meeting represents the formal launch of Matrix Biology Ireland, which has recently been established as a learned society, with the scope of promoting and consolidating knowledge and expertise in the Extracellular Matrix field in Ireland. The Extracellular Matrix plays a vital role in health and disease. Understanding its biology is an essential component in such diverse fields of applied biomedical research, as Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, Regenerative Medicine and Developmental Biology, Drug delivery and Medical Device research, Imaging and Microscopy, and Glycobiology. In Ireland, and particularly in NUI Galway, there is a considerable level of expertise in all these domains, and, this makes the study of the Extracellular Matrix a useful complement to several highly rated national and local research groups. This meeting provides a platform to encourage both national and international interdisciplinary exchange in the field of Matrix Biology with world class speakers coming to Galway, including industry speakers and world authorities in the Matrix and related fields. This meeting will also offer the opportunity to many junior investigators to present their work with a podium presentation in front of a highly qualified audience. Matrix Biology Ireland has been founded by two NUI Galway-based researchers, Dr Fabio Quondamatteo and Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis, and has additionally been endorsed by a number of further investigators including: NUI Galway’s Professor Peter Dockery, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Professor Tim O’Brien, and Professor Abhay Pandit; and Dr Garry Duffy and Professor Fergal O’Brien, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; and Dr Tom Flanagan, Professor William Gallagher and Professor Colm O’Brien of UCD. Dr Fabio Quondamatteo, Senior Lecturer of Anatomy at NUI Galway and organiser of the meeting, said: “We hope that this meeting will contribute to stimulate continuous growth of Matrix interest in Ireland and will further consolidate the Irish presence in the Matrix field, and, that this initiative will ultimately prove to be a useful platform to further support and complement the existing excellent research community in the country.” The international Matrix community has seen with favourable eyes the birth of a Matrix Society in Ireland. There has been a fundamental contribution by the International Society of Matrix Biology, two of the most important national societies for Matrix biology, namely the British and the German, and the leading journal in the field, namely Matrix Biology. Further support was given by the Anatomical Society, various companies both in the areas of laboratory supplies and medical devices, the University branch of the Bank of Ireland, and from NUI Galway. For further information visit, or email or -Ends-

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Europe to Seize Big Data Opportunities

Europe to Seize Big Data Opportunities-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

 Insight at NUI Galway, founding member of the Big Data Value Association, Announces over €1 Million Investment in Joint Research and Innovation Projects with European Commission Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda, and the Big Data Value Association of which the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway is a founding member, has signed in Brussels a contractual Public Private Partnership with a joint public and private investment of over €1 million in collaborative research and innovation within the Horizon 2020 research programme. The objective of the initiative is to explore and seize the new technological and technology-driven opportunities that come with Big Data, enabling social and economic progress. Digitalisation is expected to be one of the main business drivers during the next decade and a huge opportunity especially for Europe’s strong industrial sector, where large amounts of data are being created every day. Based on Europe’s advanced infrastructure, using the existing domain knowledge and new technologies like Cloud or In-Memory Computing, Big Data is expected to contribute to Europe’s competitiveness. “The Big Data Value Public Private Partnership or PPP has the potential to be the game changer to scale a data driven economy in Europe,” said Edward Curry from the SFI-funded Insight Centre for Data Analytics and representative of NUI Galway on the Big Data Value Association. “Ireland is positioned at the centre of this European partnership. The challenge now is for Irish business and research organisations to engage in the Big Data PPP in Horizon 2020 to maximise the benefits for the Irish economy.” “Data is not scary, or intrusive. With the right legal protection and anonymisation tools, data is the fuel which lays the foundation of a new economy, giving every kind of organisation the building blocks to boost productivity and performance, from farm to factory, from the lab to the shop floor. This is what Europe needs,” said Neelie Kroes Vice President of the European Commission, highlighting the importance of mastering Big Data for the European Economy and Society. PPP will be implemented starting 2015 and will run until 2020. Technology topics being addressed include data integration, real-time data processing; advanced analytics, data protection and privacy technologies. Main elements of the programme will include lighthouse projects in potential areas like personalised medicine, manufacturing, and logistics. The Big Data Value Association partnering with the European Commission is a not-for-profit industry-lead organisation comprising large and small European industry and research organisations. Insight at NUI Galway is a founding member of the association and has been a key contributor to the development of the Big Data Value Public Private Partnership. Industry members together with research organisations cover the Big Data Value (BDV) chain from data generation and acquisition, through data processing, analysis, and curation, to usage and service provisioning. Big Data Value Association’s founding members are: Answare, ATC, Atos, CINI, Engineering, Fraunhofer, DFKI, IBM, INDRA, ITI, Intel, IT Innovation Center, Nokia, NUI Galway, Orange, SAP, Siemens, Software, SINTEF, THALES, TIE Kinetix, UPM, Paluno, VTT, supported by Platte Consult. -ends-

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Researchers compete to explain their work – in just three minutes

Researchers compete to explain their work – in just three minutes-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

An 80,000 word thesis would take nine hours to present – their time limit is three minutes Have you ever been curious about how university research impacts upon our daily lives, those of our family and our broader communities? NUI Galway will host its third Annual ‘Threesis in Three’ competition to help answer some of these questions on. The free public event takes place on Thursday, 20 November, at 7pm in An Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway City Centre. The evening promises to be an exciting night of quick-fire presentations, with researchers presenting three slides, in three minutes, to three judges. The competitors have come through a series of heats already held on campus to take on the final challenge and pitch under the theatre lights of An Taibhdhearc. They will be judged on how well they convey and communicate their subject to a general audience. Research areas represented at the event include science, engineering, information technology, humanities, social sciences and medicine, with topics ranging from novel tests for early detection of breast cancer to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, commented: “This event will provide a snapshot of the world class research being undertaken at NUI Galway. It presents us with great opportunity to discuss and debate the impact of our research with our local community, we look forward to welcoming you all to this important event in the University calendar.” NUI Galway is delighted to announce Jonathan McCrea as MC for the event. Jonathan is a multi-award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, who presents The Science Squad on RTÉ, The Lie on TV3 and Futureproof on Newstalk 106-108fm. The event is free and refreshments will be served on the night. The public are invited to attend but should register in advance at -ENDS-

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Healthy diets are good for the kidneys - not just the heart

Healthy diets are good for the kidneys - not just the heart-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

A healthy diet may help protect our kidneys, according to a new study presented by NUI Galway researchers at a major conference in Philadelphia which comes to a close today. However, individuals must also pay particular attention to their sodium (salt) and potassium intake, according to the research, which analysed data from over 500,000 people. Chronic kidney disease is estimated to affect over 300,000 people in Ireland, although many people with chronic kidney disease may be unaware that they have it. Recent data suggests that approximately 4,000 people in Ireland have end-stage kidney disease, the most severe form of chronic kidney disease, and need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Chronic kidney disease is associated with an increased risk of other medical conditions including cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). “Current guidelines for healthy eating focus primarily on preventing cardiovascular disease”, explains the lead author on the research, NUI Galway’s Dr Andrew Smyth, whose work is supported by the Health Research Board. “We completed this research work to explore if healthy eating may also protect from kidney disease. This is particularly important, as people with more advanced kidney disease may be advised to restrict their diet.” The study indicates that dietary modifications may reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease. Dr Smyth said: “Our results suggest that a healthy diet may reduce the future risk of kidney outcomes. Importantly, it highlights the importance of looking at the whole diet, rather than just looking at healthy foods alone. The most benefit was seen from a healthy diet, containing plenty of healthy foods, low amounts of unhealthy foods, higher potassium and not too much sodium. As dietary modification is a low-cost, simple intervention, it offers the potential to significantly reduce the burden from chronic kidney disease, while also protecting from cardiovascular disease.” Dr Smyth presented the initial findings of the study at Kidney Week 2014, the annual meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, which was attended by over 13,000 people. The study, which was called ‘Diet and Major Renal Outcomes: The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study’, used data from a large US study (National Institutes of Health Diet and Health Study). Dr Martin O'Donnell of NUI Galway was the senior author on the report.   Over 500,000 people aged 50-71, living in the United States, provided medical information and completed a diet questionnaire, which was used to measure how healthy each person's diet was at baseline (using four different scoring systems), as well as calculating each person's intake of sodium and potassium. Using available follow-up data, the researchers explored the association between diet and kidney outcomes, including the need for dialysis or dying with chronic kidney disease. During the study period, almost 5,000 people required dialysis or died with chronic kidney disease. Using three of the four diet scoring systems, people with the highest scores for diet quality had the lowest risk of kidney outcomes. In these three scoring systems, people scored highly for eating plenty of healthy foods (such as fruits and vegetables) and for eating low amounts of unhealthy foods (e.g. deep fried, fatty or sugary foods). The biggest effects were seen with the scoring systems that focus on the whole diet. The fourth scoring system, which focuses only on healthy foods (Recommended Food Score), was not associated with kidney outcomes. In addition, the researchers found that high sodium intake was associated with an increased risk of kidney outcomes, as was low potassium intake. -ends-

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NUI Galway Award 28 new Sports Scholarships

NUI Galway Award 28 new Sports Scholarships-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

NUI Galway Vice President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan, recently presented 28 outstanding athletes with NUI Galway Student Sports Scholarships. The new recipients bring to 94 athletes in 18 different sports that are supported by the NUI Galway scheme. This year’s ceremony also saw the Performance Points Sports Scholarship awarded to seven outstanding athletes.The scheme provides 40 additional points to those earned in the Leaving Certificate for elite athletes, for academic courses over 350 entry points. Kathy Hynes, NUI Galway Clubs Sports Officer, manages the scholarship scheme: “The support the students receive from these scholarships is designed to maintain their academic and sporting progress. It is very rewarding to support athletes from a range of sports in their academic and athletic endeavour to achieve in both areas the best they can be.” This year’s recipients represent some of the finest young women’s talent in Irish sport today including Lisa Casserly, a member of the Irish U19 International Women’s soccer team, and Olivia Divilly, who has represented her club Kilkerrin Clonberne at county minor and senior level and is considered one of the brightest stars in women’s Gaelic football. Also receiving a scholarship was Emer Fogarty who is continuing to progress up the inter-county and college sporting ladder, Ailish O’Reilly, a leading light in the camogie circuit as an All-star won the All-Ireland senior camogie final in 2013, and Edel McMahon, Connacht and Women’s Irish Rugby interprovincial representative panel. The men’s soccer club will host the 100 years Collingwood cup competition in Dangan in February 2015 and soccer recipients Sean Gavin, who captained U21 Salthill Devon to FAI Eircom League cup, Evan Boyce, Mervue United U19 league of Ireland team and Niall Whelan will be welcome additions to the squad. NUI Galway continues to grow its success in Rowing, with 2013/2014 proving to the most successful in the clubs history with a record number of eight championship victories including the ‘Blue riband’ event in men’s and women’s rowing in Ireland – the senior eights. Four scholarships were awarded to rowing athletes, Stephanie Creed, Richard Bennett, Liam Keane, Aidan Kinneen. The 2014 recipients will join an already established rowing team and previous scholarship recipients, Patrick Higgins, Luis Simo. Keville Neville and Manta Pukelis. Rugby scholarships were presented to Malcolm Hanley, Connacht academy player, Conan O’Donnell, Connacht U17 player, David O’Mahony, U20 Munster squad, Edel McMahon and Hugh O’Donnell. Swim Ireland Connacht Performance centre based on the NUI Galway campus has continued to attract the finest of swimmers with Kelly McNicholas, seven time USA Olympic trails qualifier and Keelhan Ward, Waterpolo, both receiving swimming scholarships. Scholarships in individual sports such as judo, golf and volleyball were awarded to All Ireland Judo champion, Stephen Bradshaw, Colm Hughes with a golf handicap of 1.7, and Paul Holohan, a member of the U17 Irish volleyball squad. Hurling recipients included Galway minor goalkeeper Cathal Tuohy and Clare hurler Cathal Cleary. Men’s Gaelic Football within NUI Galway continues to attract high profile players and future talent including Damien Commer, Raymond Connellan, Michael Daly, Andrew Mc Cormack, Enda Tierney and Ritchie Feeney all secured scholarships on the night. Speaking at the award ceremony, Vice-President for the Student Experience, Dr Pat Morgan, said: “I would like to congratulate the recipients of this year’s awards and remind them of the honour of representing the University and we hope they will aspire to even greater successes such as those achieved by the recent scholarship holders in Hurling, Camogie, Rowing, Rugby and Swimming who have reached the pinnacle of their sports.” Performance Points awardees: Gaelic Football: Olivia Divilly from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway Gaelic Football: Eoin  O’Donoghue from Belmullet, Co. Mayo Gaelic Football: Enda Tierney from Oughterard, Co. Galway Rugby: Peter Claffey from Portumna, Co. Galway Rugby: Marc Kelly form Portumna, Co. Galway Soccer: Lisa Casserly from Ballinderreen, Co. Galway Swimming: David O’Sullivan from Kingston, Galway City NUI Galway Sports Scholarships awardees: Archery: Carl Byrne from Greystones, Co. Wicklow Basketball: Stephen O’ Brien from Bushypark, Galway Camogie: Ailish O’Reilly from Maree, Co. Galway Hurling: Conor Cleary from Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare Hurling: Cathal Tuohy from Whitegate, Co. Clare Gaelic Football: Damien Comer from Claregalway, Co. Galway Gaelic Football: Raymond Connellan from Athlone, Co. Westmeath Gaelic Football: Michael Daly from Ballinasloe, Co. Galway Gaelic Football: Richie Feeney from Ballintubber, Co. Mayo Gaelic Football: Emer Fogarty from Kilcullen, Co. Kildare Gaelic Football: Andrew McCormack from Derryhall, Co. Westmeath Golf: Colm Hughes from Knocknacarra, Galway Judo: Stephen Bradshaw from Douglas, Co. Cork Rowing: Stephanie Creed from Coachford, Co. Cork Rowing: Richard Bennett from Renmore, Galway Rowing: Liam Keane from Dangan, Galway Rowing: Aidan Kinneen from Renmore, Galway Rugby: Malcolm Hanley from Renmore, Galway Rugby: Edel McMahon from Kilmihil, Co. Clare Rugby: David O’Mahony from Clonakilty, Co. Cork Rugby: Conan O’Donnell from Standhill Road, Sligo Rugby: Hugh O’Donnell from The Curragh, Co. Kildare Soccer: Sean Gavin from Caragh Hill, Galway Soccer: Evan Boyce from Renmore, Galway Soccer: Niall Whelan from Market Street, Galway Swimming: Kelly McNichols from Illinois, USA Volleyball: Paul Holohan from Loughrea, Co. Galway Waterpolo: Keelan Ward from Salthill, Galway -Ends- 28 Scoláireacht Nua Spóirt bronnta ag OÉ Gaillimh Dé Luain, 17 Samhain 2014: Bhronn Leas-Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh d'Eispéireas na Mac Léinn, an Dr Pat Morgan, Scoláireachtaí Spóirt de chuid OÉ Gaillimh ar 28 lúthchleasaí den scoth le deireanas.   Is 94 lúthchleasaí san iomlán anois a bhaineann le 18 spórt éagsúla a bhfuil scoláireacht spóirt bronnta orthu faoi scéim na hOllscoile. Ag searmanas na bliana seo freisin bronnadh Scoláireacht Spóirt Pointí Ardfheidhmíochta ar sheachtar lúthchleasaithe de scoth.Faoin scéim seo tugtar 40 pointe breise do shár-lúthchleasaí anuas ar na pointí a fhaigheann an mac léinn san Ardteistiméireacht; le cláir léinn os cionn 350 pointe iontrála a bhaineann an scéim seo. Is í Kathy Hynes, Oifigeach Clubanna Spóirt na hOllscoile, a riarann an scéim scoláireachtaí: "Tá an tacaíocht a thugtar do na mic léinn faoin scéim seo leagtha amach ionas gur féidir leo dul chun cinn a dhéanamh sa réimse acadúil agus sa réimse spóirt araon. Tá an-sásamh le baint as an gcúnamh seo atáimid a thabhairt do lúthchleasaithe ó réimsí éagsúla spóirt agus iad ag iarraidh barr feabhais a bhaint amach ina gcuid léinn agus sa spórt a bhfuil siad gafa leis." Tá cuid de na ban-lúthchleasaithe is fearr sa tír i gceist i mbliana – Lisa Casserly, atá ar fhoireann sacair na hÉireann faoi 19, agus Olivia Divilly, atá tar éis imirt lena contae sna mionúir agus sna sinsir ar son a club, Cill Choirín-Cluain Bheirn, agus atá ar dhuine de na réaltaí is mó a bhfuil gealladh fúithi i bPeil na mBan.   Tá scoláireacht faighte freisin ag Emer Fogarty atá ag dul chun cinn go láidir ag an leibhéal contae agus coláiste; Ailish O’Reilly, duine de na himreoirí camógaíochta is fearr sa tír agus a bhuaigh gradam Sárimreora agus Bonn Uile-Éireann i gCamógaíocht na Sinsear in 2013; agus Edel McMahon, atá ar phainéal rugbaí ban Chonnacht agus ar phainéal chúigí na hÉireann. Reáchtálfaidh club sacair na bhfear Corn Collingwood (an 100ú comórtas) i mbliana sa Daingean i mí Feabhra 2015. Beidh fáilte mhór sa chlub roimh na scoláireachtóirí sacair Seán Gavin, a bhí ina chaptaen ar Salthill Devon faoi 21 nuair a bhuaigh siad Corn Sraithe Eircom FAI, Evan Boyce ó fhoireann Faoi 19 Mervue United faoi 19 i Sraith na hÉireann, agus Niall Whelan. Tá ag éirí thar cionn i gcónaí leis an Ollscoil i gcúrsaí iomraimh; ba í 2013/2014 an bhliain ab fhearr fós i stair an chlub – bhuaigh an club ocht gcinn de chraobhchomórtais agus an príomhchomórtas in iomramh na bhfear agus na mban in Éirinn, iomramh ochtair na sinsear, ar cheann díobh sin. Bronnadh ceithre scoláireacht ramhaíochta, ar Stephanie Creed, Richard Bennett, Liam Keane, Aidan Kinneen. Rachaidh scoláireachtóirí na bliana seo isteach i bhfoireann iomraimh na hOllscoile in éineacht le Patrick Higgins, Luis Simo, Keville Neville agus Manta Pukelis, a fuair scoláireachtaí roimhe seo. Keville Neville and Manta Pukelis. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí rugbaí ar Malcolm Hanley, imreoir in Acadamh Chúige Chonnacht; Conan O’Donnell, imreoir faoi 17 le Cúige Chonnacht; David O’Mahony, atá ar phainéal faoi 20 Chúige Mumhan; ar Edel McMahon agus ar Hugh O’Donnell. Tá Ionad Ardfheidhmíochta do Chúige Chonnacht ag Cumann Snámha na hÉireann ar champas na hOllscoile agus tá ag éirí leis an ionad sin togha na snámhaithe a tharraingt chuige féin. Orthu sin tá Kelly McNicholas, a cháiligh seacht n-uaire do thrialacha Oilimpeacha na Stát Aontaithe, agus Keelhan Ward, póló uisce – ghnóthaigh an bheirt acu scoláireachtaí snámha. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí i spóirt aonair ar nós júdó, gailf agus eitpheile ar Sheaimpín na hÉireann sa júdó, Stephen Bradshaw, ar Cholm Hughes a bhfuil cis ghailf 1.7 aige, agus ar Paul Holohan, atá ar phainéal eitpheile faoi 17 na hÉireann. Ar na scoláireachtóirí iománaíochta tá cúl báire na Gaillimhe sna mionúir, Cathal Tuohy, agus Cathal Cleary ó Cho. an Chláir. Tagann togha na n-imreoirí i bPeil Ghaelach na bhFear chuig an Ollscoil chuile bhliain, agus bronnadh scoláireachtaí i mbliana ar imreoirí óga ar nós Damien Commer, Raymond Connellan, Michael Daly, Andrew Mc Cormack, Enda Tierney agus Ritchie Feeney. An labhairt di ag searmanas bronnta na scoláireachtaí, dúirt an Leas-Uachtarán d'Eispéireas na Mac Léinn, an Dr Pat Morgan: "Tréaslaím le chuile dhuine ar ar bronnadh scoláireacht i mbliana agus meabhraím dóibh an onóir a bhaineann le hionadaíocht a dhéanamh ar son na hOllscoile; tá súil againn go ndéanfaidh siad a ndícheall gaisce a dhéanamh faoi mar a rinne mic léinn eile dár gcuid a ghnóthaigh scoláireachtaí san Iománaíocht, Camógaíocht, Iomramh, Rugbaí agus Snámh agus a bhfuil barr feabhais bainte amach acu ina spórt féin. Scoláireachtóirí Pointí Ardfheidhmíochta: Peil Ghaelach: Olivia Divilly as Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co. na Gaillimhe Peil Ghaelach: Eoin O’Donoghue as Béal an Mhuirthead, Co. Mhaigh Eo Peil Ghaelach: Enda Tierney as Uachtar Ard, Co. na Gaillimhe Rugbaí: Peter Claffey as Port Omna, Co. na Gaillimhe Rugbaí: Marc Kelly as Port Omna, Co. na Gaillimhe Sacar: Lisa Casserly as Baile an Doirín, Co. na Gaillimhe Snámh: David O’Sullivan as Baile an Rí, Cathair na Gaillimhe Scoláireachtóirí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh: Boghdóireacht: Carl Byrne as na Clocha Liatha, Co. Chill Mhantáin Cispheil: Stephen O’ Brien as Páirc na Sceach, Cathair na Gaillimhe Camógaíocht: Ailish O’Reilly as Meáraí, Co. na Gaillimhe Iománaíocht: Conor Cleary as Sráid na Cathrach, Co. an Chláir Iománaíocht: Cathal Tuohy as an nGeata Bán, Co. na Gaillimhe Peil Ghaelach: Damien Comer as Baile Chláir, Co. na Gaillimhe Peil Ghaelach: Raymond Connellan as Baile Átha Luain, Co. na hIarmhí Peil Ghaelach: Michael Daly as Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co. na Gaillimhe Peil Ghaelach: Richie Feeney as Baile an Tobair, Co. Mhaigh Eo Peil Ghaelach: Emer Fogarty as Cill Chuillinn, Co. Chill dara Peil Ghaelach: Andrew McCormack as Derryhall, Co. na hIarmhí Galf: Colm Hughes as Cnoc na Cathrach, Cathair na Gaillimhe Júdó: Stephen Bradshaw as Dúglas, Co. Chorcaí Iomramh: Stephanie Creed as Áth an Chóiste, Co. Chorcaí Iomramh: Richard Bennett as an Rinn Mhór, Cathair na Gaillimhe Iomramh: Liam Keane as an Daingean, Cathair na Gaillimhe Iomramh: Aidan Kinneen as an Rinn Mhór, Cathair na Gaillimhe Rugbaí: Malcolm Hanley as an Rinn Mhór, Cathair na Gaillimhe Rugbaí: Edel McMahon as Cill Mhichíl, Co. an Chláir Rugbaí: David O’Mahony as Cloich na Coillte, Co. Chorcaí Rugbaí: Conan O’Donnell as Bóthar na Leithcheathrún, Sligeach Rugbaí: Hugh O’Donnell as an gCurach, Co. Chill Dara Sacar: Sean Gavin as Cnoc na Cathrach, Cathair na Gaillimhe Sacar: Evan Boyce as an Rinn Mhór, Cathair na Gaillimhe Sacar: Niall Whelan as Sráid an Mhargaidh, Cathair na Gaillimhe Snámh: Kelly McNichols as Illinois, SÁM Eitpheil: Paul Holohan as Baile Locha Riach, Co. na Gaillimhe Póló Uisce: Keelan Ward as Bóthar na Trá, Cathair na Gaillimhe -Críoch-

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Letterkenny-image

Monday, 17 November 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Letterkenny on Thursday, 27 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Donegal, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Letterkenny is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Letterkenny, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 2440858 or -Ends-

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Parents Influence Children’s Tendency to Comfort Eat

Parents Influence Children’s Tendency to Comfort Eat-image

Friday, 14 November 2014

Findings from a research project at NUI Galway have provided new insights into the underlying causes of comfort eating. Comfort or emotional eating happens when we are not hungry but perhaps in need of stress relief or a reward. The study of over 500 people traced individuals eating habits back to their early childhood and particularly their parents responses to their emotions. Dr Jonathan Egan of NUI Galway presented the findings at the 44th Annual Psychological Society of Ireland Conference in Kilkenny yesterday (13 November). While the wide availability of convenience foods and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are recognised as significant contributing factors to the spike in obesity rates, research is finding that psychosocial factors in childhood, such as abuse, lack of parental support, depression, may also play a role. “For many, if you are unable to express your emotions, the ‘solution’ is to comfort eat”, explains Dr Egan. “Children learn from an early age what emotions are acceptable within the household or not. If parents are caring and responsive to their children’s needs, while still being authoritative, our research indicates this leads to a healthy relationship with food. However, when a parent is overly dictatorial – ‘my way or the highway’ – children’s relationships with food can altered right into adulthood.” Combined with findings on the influence of permissive parenting, it seems that the degree of warmth and/or caring in the parent-child interaction may be of particular relevance in the development of attitudes towards expressing emotion. Healthcare professionals may play an important role in reinforcing the advantages of authoritative parenting and warmth and/or caring in the home, and communicating messages to parents regarding the importance of tolerance of emotional expression. The research looked at the relationship between a range of factors, such as how people learned to cope with their emotions in childhood, or how people relate to others, and how this influences eating patterns and BMI in adulthood. High fat and high sugar comfort food are often particularly popular with emotional eaters. Dr Egan explains, “biologically such foods reduce the activity of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-adrenal axis in the brain, which in turn dampens the stress response and activates the brains reward centres. This also makes the likelihood of similar (compulsive) behaviour more likely in the future. The findings suggest that health professionals should routinely assess broad childhood experiences (including invalidation) when working with individuals around weight management. Furthermore, the findings point to the importance for health care professionals to promote authoritative parenting in childhood, as it is protective against overweight and obesity in adulthood. Dr Egan also pointed that: “Mindfulness and being able to recognise internal and external changes within and without your body seem also to be protective suggestions lots for treatment strategies.” Dr Egan worked with Roisín Finnegan, Andrea Gibbons and Lorraine McDonagh on the research which was funded by the Millennium Research Fund at NUI Galway. -ends-

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Debating Science Issues 2015 Competition Open for Applications

Debating Science Issues 2015 Competition Open for Applications-image

Thursday, 13 November 2014

In conjunction with Ireland’s Science Week, Debating Science Issues (DSI) the cross border biomedical, bioethical project is being launched with an upper secondary school workshop series. NUI Galway-coordinated REDDSTAR leads the assemblage of collaborators delivering the schools’ science programme now in its eighth year. Although the workshop phase of the Debating Science Issues project is launched, several partners are still recruiting schools. The pre-competition workshops provide an open and impartial environment and challenge the students to consider the ethical impacts of contemporary research. After the school workshop, students work with their team and under their teacher’s supervision to prepare for a debate competition involving more than 36 schools across the island of Ireland to determine the 2015 All-Ireland winners. Debate adjudicators represent various stakeholders including science, communications/journalism, religion, medicine, ethics, patients, and interested publics. Debating Science Issues Coordinator, Danielle Nicholson said “As part of the Responsible Research and Innovation framework, Debating Science Issues builds bridges between the practice and end products of research and aims to meet the needs and values of the people it will ultimately affect- our young people. Debating Science Issues encourages students to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. This project addresses contemporary scientific issues such as lifestyle-related disease, stem cells, nanotechnology, genetically modified food, immunology practices, organ transplantation allocation, rare diseases and health and self-testing.” Collaborators for Debating Science Issues 2015 include REDDSTAR, an EU project coordinated at NUI Galway, the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute at DCU, AMBER at Trinity College, Insight at UCD, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at UCC, Cork Institute of Technology, W5 in Belfast and University of Ulster, Coleraine. To find out more on the project visit -Ends-

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Galway Science & Technology Festival Opens and Explores the Power of Science

Galway Science & Technology Festival Opens and Explores the Power of Science-image

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The 17th Galway Science and Technology Festival, part of National Science Week, opened on Monday 10th November and will run for two weeks culminating in the hugely popular Festival Exhibition on Sunday 23rd November at NUI Galway. Funded by main sponsor Medtronic, the Festival aims to increase the uptake and popularity of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects among young people, and will bring over 180 free shows to 35,000 primary and secondary school students over the next two weeks. The Festival will explore and celebrate the ‘Power of Science’ in schools, colleges, research institutes, companies and community centres across Galway City and County.  Children at Primary schools will be immersed in all things science with a fantastic line up of free shows including Origami Workshops learning about Origami structures for use in nano-technology and medical diagnostics, a Lego Education Workshop will introduce robotics to young children, Bug Doctor brings tarantulas and snakes into the classroom, the Science of Sound shows students how to make sound and test how it travels, Wibbly Wobbly Web, Fantastic DNA invloves extracting the DNA from a bananaand Little Cells introduces students to the concept of cells that form our body. Secondary school shows will feature live experiments in Scientific Sue’s Chemistry Show, True Physics shows students how to launch rockets and and learn about flight pressure, Dr Ken’s Circus reveals the scientific principles used by circus performers using gravity in their stunts, travel on a hovercraft in The Magic of Science with Terence Finnergan and Bend it like Beckham in James Soper’s Science Shows. NUI Galway will throw open its doors to schools providing educational tours to the Geology, Zoology and Marine Biology and Computer Musuems, the NCBES Roadshow looks at the exciting future of Biomedicine in Ireland, a visit to the School of Maths are running workshops in schools on how to genetically breed a superpet, the 3rd annual THREESIS Competition where researchers battle it out to get to the point in 3-minutes and visits to the  Sea Science exhibition presented by NUI Galway's Ryan Institute at Galway City Museum. The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials will also hold workshops with children performing “surgery” to fix heart shaped biscuits with decorations representing biomaterials. The workshops will take place in AC201 on the Arts and Science concourse at 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm. There is something science and technology for everyone at GMIT including Careers in Science – Live Online in the Classroom, Creating Software Apps and Online Market Opportunities, The Ocean and Us introduces students to the Awesome Atlantic in the Marine Resarch Laboratories, Build Your Own Satellite by GMIT’s Civic Engineering, Sustainable Energy goes to schools as part of the Green Schools initiative engaging engineering with the community, and workshops on Hydraulics/Structures/Surveying in the Engineering Labs. The Marine Institute in Renville, Oranmore is hosting an open day on Thursday 20th November and inviting secondary school students from Galway City and County to visit their facility. On the day there will be exhibits on display, a tour of the site and the opportunity to speak to Engineers regarding careers in marine engineering. Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented, “We are looking forward to a wonderful two week celebration of the Power of Science and invite everyone to join us on our final day Exhibition on Sunday 23rd November at NUI Galway. During the two weeks students the length and breadth of the county will be participating in demonstrations, shows and workshops all geared towards inspiring the students to develop an interest in the STEM subjects.”  He added “I would like to thank our main sponsor Medtronic who for the last 13 years has been a sterling sponsor of this event, and also greatly appreciate the support of our partners SFI Discover, Boston Scientific, Cisco, Galway Enterprise Board, NUI Galway, GMIT, Avaya, Hewlett Packard, Fidelity Investments, Creganna, Merit Medical, IDA Ireland, Galway County Council, The Marine Institute, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Enterprise Ireland who all help bring excitement and fun to science and technology for children and families across the city and county.” The Final Day Exhibition will take place at NUI Galway Campus on Sunday 23rd November and will host over 80 interactive stands and over 25 shows and workshops representing areas in research, education, industry and the environment. For students and families interested in seeing more of the shows and workshops that will be visiting schools, they will have an opportunity to see them on Sunday 23rd at the Festival Exhibition. The shows are free and advance booking is advised due to demand. Up to 70% of the Exhibition shows will be available to book at on Friday 14th November and the remainder will be available on the Exhibition day. Programme details available at  and the Festival Exhibition will open from 10am to 6pm on Sunday 23rd November. Bookings can be made at on Friday 14th November. Visit  for details of events nationwide or alternatively organise your own event – check out the ‘Get Involved’ guide Connect on Twitter @galwaysciencefe and on and use the hashtag #SciWk2014 and #GalSci2014 to join the conversation. ENDS

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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Kildare

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Kildare-image

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Kildare on Thursday, 20 November. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Osprey Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to County Kildare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Naas is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Kildare, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Siobhan Dorman on 086 0421591 or -Ends-

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Winners of Science Video Competition Announced

Winners of Science Video Competition Announced-image

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Sligo schools scoop first prize in both categories The winners of the €3000 schools science video competition, ReelLIFE SCIENCE, are today announced as part of Science Week 2014. The primary school category winners are Sooey National School, Co. Sligo, with Julien Torrades from Summerhill College, Sligo taking first place at secondary school level. Primary and secondary schools from all over Ireland were challenged by NUI Galway to make entertaining and educational short videos on a range of science topics. The challenge was taken up by thousands of students in 24 counties around Ireland, producing more than 250 three-minute science videos, in both English and Irish, for the competition. Selecting the best videos to share in the €3000 prize fund were judges Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, broadcaster and Lecturer in Mathematics at University College Dublin, Stephen Curry, Professor of Structural Biology at Imperial College London and Science writer with The Guardian, and Paul Clarke, St. Paul’s College, Raheny, winner of the SciFest National Final 2013 and Overall Winner of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2014. The ReelLIFE SCIENCE team, led by NUI Galway’s Dr Enda O’Connell, were overwhelmed by the response of the schools. Judge Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin said: “I was astounded by the calibre of the videos from both the primary and secondary schools. It is wonderful to see the thought, preparation, fun, and learning that went into all of the videos and it is very encouraging to see students enjoying and communicating science.” Primary School Winners: The judges selected ‘The Secret Life of Honeybees’ produced by the 5th and 6th class students of Sooey National School, Co. Sligo, under the direction of their teacher Thomas Egan, as the best primary school video. The prize consisted of €1000 towards science resources for their school. Judge Professor Curry commented: “Sooey National School’s video had good science content, with a very, very funny script and the kids were clearly having a lot of fun which makes the film hugely appealing.” A video called ‘ChemKids’, examining this year’s Science Week theme ‘The Power of Science’, and made by all students, from junior infants to 6th class, of Scoil Eoin, Tahilla, Co. Kerry, finished in second place, winning €300 in the process. The third placed primary school video, ‘All You Need Are Worms’ was submitted by 4th class students of Rush and Lusk Educate Together National School in Dublin, winning €200. Also shortlisted were ‘The Digestive System’ by St. Patrick’s National School, Newbridge, Co. Kildare and ‘Bíodh an Fórsa Leat’ by Scoil Náisiúnta Iognáid, Gaillimh. Secondary School Winners: At secondary school level, the judges chose ‘The History of Medicine’ by Leaving Certificate student Julien Torrades from Summerhill College, Sligo, under the supervision of his Art teacher Jonathan Cassidy, as their winner. The video, described by Professor Curry as “a good use of stop-motion…with a nice sense of humour…covering an impressive amount of ground in a short space of time” earns €1000 for Summerhill College’s science programme. In second place, a video about Austrian physicist ‘Lise Meitner - the Science Hero that time forgot’ impressed the judges, winning €300 for Rosses Community School, Dungloe, Co. Donegal, while ‘Gravity in a Nutshell’ earned Causeway Comprehensive School, Co. Kerry, €200 and third place. Also shortlisted were ‘Vision - How We See the World’ by 5th year students from St. Andrew’s College, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, and ‘Alexander Fleming - Science Hero’ by Transition Year students from St. Marys School for Deaf Girls, Cabra, Dublin 7. An additional €250 publicly voted prize, was won by the video ‘Trees: Properties and Uses’ produced by the students of St Michael’s House Special National School, Ballymun, Dublin 9, with the help of their teacher Melanie McInerney. All the videos can be viewed at and will be shown to the general public as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival Exhibition, held in NUI Galway on Sunday, 23 November. The ReelLIFE SCIENCE initiative is supported by NUI Galway; the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme, which seeks to promote the awareness and engagement of the Irish public with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM); the Biochemical Society Scientific Outreach programme; the EU FP-7 funded VISICORT research project; Medical Supply Company; and the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences outreach programme Cell EXPLORERS. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is one of 800 events taking place around the country for Science Week (, which runs from November 9-16. -Ends-

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Audio-visual lecture on ‘The Evolution of Old Time American, Country, and Blue Grass Music’

Audio-visual lecture on ‘The Evolution of Old Time American, Country, and Blue Grass Music’-image

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The renowned musicologist and performer Mick Moloney will deliver an audio-visual lecture at NUI Galway on ‘The Evolution of Old Time American, Country, and Blue Grass Music’. The event takes place on Thursday, 13 November, at 6pm in the Kirwan Theatre at NUI Galway. Using recordings of historic music and song, Mick Moloney will reconstruct the background of American music traditions, tracing their Irish sources. The event is co-sponsored by the Moore Institute at NUI Galway and the University’s Arts in Action series. Professor Moloney is Global Distinguished Professor of Irish Studies and Music at New York University. His exceptional career has combined the roles of professional musician, musicologist, record producer, teacher and arts presenter. He holds a PhD in folklore. He is author of Far From the Shamrock Shore: The Story of Irish American History Through Song and he has featured in documentaries Bringing It All Back Home and Out of Ireland. He was awarded the National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest official honour a traditional artist can receive in the United States. -ends-

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Talk on student grant at NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day

Talk on student grant at NUI Galway’s Postgraduate Open Day-image

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland), the national Awarding Authority for all higher and further education student grants, will be the feature talk at NUI Galway’s Autumn Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday, 19 November, from 12-4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. This talk will provide students with an opportunity to gain information on the funding opportunities and application process available to them. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, and doctoral research options. The Open Day will focus on the benefits of doing a postgraduate programme and the practicalities of making an application. With over 3,500 postgraduate students currently attending NUI Galway, 70 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at the University, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. Information on scholarships, fees and other practical considerations will also be made available to prospective students on the day. Bríd Seoige, Senior Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, comments: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, defines your areas of expertise, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 91% of NUI Galway graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating.” Throughout the day postgraduate students will have the option of attending talks on funding opportunities and applications available to them, career prospects and progression, CV clinics and there will also be information on how to apply for a postgraduate course. Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rank graduates, and postgraduate study boosts employability. The number of postgraduates in employment has grown consistently in recent years and NUI Galway’s well-established links with industry allows them to take the first step in building their career. 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 Science and Engineering, International Human Rights, Digital Media & Film Studies, and Regenerative Medicine. To view NUI Galway’s suite of new and unique postgraduate programmes and to book your place at the Open Day visit  or simply call in on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit -Ends-

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Geographers cook up a storm for Geo Week at NUI Galway

Geographers cook up a storm for Geo Week at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

As part of international Geography Awareness Week from 17-21 November, postgraduate students within NUI Galway’s Discipline of Geography have organised an eclectic programme of events around this year’s theme of ‘Geographies of Food’. Geo Week Ireland is an annual national event aimed to promote appreciation, understanding and awareness of geography and its relevance to society and education. The Geographical Society of Ireland is hosting its second national photographic competition on this years’ theme and has created a special webpage for students, teachers, community members and the general public to upload photographs around the themes of food growing, food exchange, food waste and food security. Dr Aaron Potito, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Geography and Archaeology, said: “GeoWeek Ireland promotes awareness, appreciation and understanding of geography through a huge variety of events and activities. Our postgraduates have been involved in GeoWeek since its inception and year-on-year there is a growing interest in the subject. This year our students have put together a broad range of events which shows there is a wonderful appetite for learning about food geographies in fun and exciting ways.”   Events this year include collaborations with the University’s Baking Society, the Organic Gardening Society, the Photo Society and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security Society. Among the many events taking place in NUI Galway during GeoWeek is a public panel discussion which is entitled ‘Food Futures on a Plate’, comprised of food experts from Galway and further afield. Dr Frances Fahy, Head of the discipline of Geography at NUI Galway, said: “This year we are delighted to welcome Dr Laura Devaney from TCD and Jacinta Dalton from GMIT. We especially welcome JP Mahon, owner of EatGalway, to our public panel discussion.”   The panel discussion, ‘Food Futures on a Plate’, is open to the public and will take place in Cairnes Lecture Hall 3, St Anthony’s Building, NUI Galway, on Wednesday, 19 November at 2pm. For more information or to register for the discussion please email To find out more about the photographic competition visit -Ends-

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‘Ebola – The Facts’ Lecture at NUI Galway

‘Ebola – The Facts’ Lecture at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 10 November 2014

NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery is running a free public lecture on Ebola: how it spreads, how it affects the human body, and how the outbreak can be contained. The lecture, on Tuesday, 18 November from 7-9pm in Áras Moyola, will also focus on hand washing and its importance in preventing the spread of infections in the community. Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, senior lecturer in NUI Galway’s School of Medicine and the Director of Public Health for the HSE West, will be delivering the lecture alongside Evelyn Byrne, lecturer from the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Evelyn Byrne will explain why hand washing is important, including a demonstration on effective hand washing. Dr O’Donovan recently returned from working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the Ebola response. ‘Ebola – The Facts’ is the second event of a public lecture series, an innovative community outreach initiative started in NUI Galway’s School of Nursing & Midwifery this year. The series aims to share knowledge and expertise on health matters with local communities. Dr Adeline Cooney, Head of NUI Galway’ School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “This public lecture series is interactive in nature, allowing full community engagement and we look forward to active and lively discussions and debates.” If there are any future topics you would like covered during the lecture, please contact or -Ends-

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