Wednesday, 26 July 2017

NUI Galway Lead International Research Project to Develop Next Generation Antimicrobials to Prevent Bacterial Infections

NUI Galway has embarked on a new European project, PATHSENSE (Pathogen Sensing) Training Network, which has been funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation MSCA programme. The overall goal of the project is to identify vulnerabilities in pathogenic bacteria (bacteria that can cause infection) that can be targeted with next generation antimicrobial treatments to inhibit the growth of bacteria. The PATHSENSE European Training Network, which secured €3.4 million to undertake this work, will investigate the mechanisms that bacterial pathogens use to sense their environment. The objective is to focus on understanding a highly sophisticated but poorly understood sensory organelle in bacteria called the ‘stressosome’, which in some respects is like a miniature brain for processing sensory inputs. The stressosome allows bacteria to detect and respond to the conditions they encounter in their environment, which helps them to survive when conditions become unfavourable. The project will explore the relationships between structure and function that exist in this structure with the long-term aim of blocking its function. The research programme will be led and coordinated by Dr Conor O’Byrne, Lecturer in Microbiology in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, and will collaborate with eight universities and four companies, located in seven different countries around Europe. Dr O’ Byrne recently received an Ireland’s Champions of EU award from Enterprise Ireland in the category ‘Recognising the career development of our next generation researchers’, for his leadership of the PATHSENSE project. Dr Conor O’Byrne explains: “Rapid and sensitive systems to sense and respond to environmental changes are a cornerstone of a bacterium’s survival apparatus, and if we understood how these systems worked then we could design drugs to block them and this should help to kill the bacteria. Imagine if you deprived someone of their sense of hearing, smell and vision and then placed them into a crowded city, they would find it pretty difficult to survive. This is what we aim to do with these bacterial pathogens, with the goal of reducing their chance of survival and ultimately preventing infections in humans.” The team participating in the PATHSENSE Network met recently in Amsterdam and plan to recruit 13 researchers who will each embark on a PhD degree. Researchers will be trained in state-of-the-art methodologies, including structural biology, proteomics and protein biochemistry, molecular biology, bacterial genetics, food microbiology, mathematical modelling, cell biology, microscopy and comparative genomics.   A major long-term objective of this Network will be to develop new antimicrobial treatments that target the sensory apparatus of bacteria, preventing them from protecting themselves and thereby reducing their survival. These antimicrobials will have applications in the food and public health sectors. The PATHSENSE project team led by NUI Galway will include multinational giant Nestle, and leading European Universities (University of Cambridge, University of Dundee and University of Newcastle in the UK, University of Regensburg and University of Greifswald in Germany, University of Umea in Sweden, University of Groningen in The Netherlands and the National Centre for Biotechnology in Madrid). Partner companies include NATAC Biotech Spain, Nizo Food Research, The Netherlands, Aquila Biosciences, Galway, Ireland, and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721456. -Ends-

News Archive

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

A modern play about motherhood and magic Dún na mBan Trí Thine by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, is a modern Irish play which is currently running in An Taibhdhearc and the O’Donoghue Centre, at NUI Galway as part of the 2017 Galway International Arts Festival.  The play is directed by Anne McCabe and NUI Galway’s Marianne Ní Chinnéide, Perfoming Arts Manager at the university and will run from the 17-30 July. The contemporary play is based on a character named Léiní who is struggling as a wife, a mother with young children, and the desire to be an artist. On top of that, witches from Dún na mBan haunt her and threaten to invade her house. Léiní begins to crack up. Is she losing her mind? Or will she give in to the witches and go over to Dún na mBan? Marianne Ní Chinnéide, Performing Arts Manager at NUI Galway and co-director of the play said: “It's of the utmost importance that contemporary Irish language plays are shown on the international stage and the Galway International Arts Festival provides that opportunity. This play, 'Dún na mBan Trí Thine' is central to Ireland’s canon of feminine literature and this production shows how essential it is to produce Irish language drama for the stage.” Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, has been nominated for The Irish Times Orange Prize for Fiction, “A compelling voice in anyone’s language”. Éilís has worked closely with the directors to create a revised version of the play which was first staged in the Peacock in 1995. Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama at NUI Galway said: “This production is a sign of our commitment to Irish language drama and to contemporary drama written by women.” Starring Linda Bhreathnach, award-winning actress and filmmaker. Máire Ní Mháille, Tara Breathnach, Yvonne Laife, and Catherine Denning. Set design is by Tríona Lillis with costumes by Chérie White who designs for Macnas. The stage manager is Rae Penelope Visser from Fíbín. The play is as Gaeilge with English-language surtitles. For tickets see and the festival box office on Forster Street. #GIAF17 -Ends- __________________ DÚN na mBan Trí Thine - The Fairy Fort Is On Fire Dráma comhaimseartha faoi mháithreachas agus draíocht Is dráma Gaeilge comhaimseartha é Dún na mBan Trí Thine le hÉilís Ní Dhuibhne atá á léiriú in Amharclann na Taibhdheirce agus in Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha in OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair mar chuid d'Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe 2017.  Is iad Anne McCabe agus Marianne Ní Chinnéide, Bainisteoir na dTaibh-Ealaíon in OÉ Gaillimh, stiúrthóirí an dráma, agus beidh an dráma le feiceáil ar stáitse idir 17-30 Iúil. Léiriú comhaimseartha ar shaol an charachtair Léiní a fheictear sa dráma seo, carachtar atá ag streachailt mar bhean chéile, mar mháthair a bhfuil clann óg uirthi, agus lena mian slí bheatha mar ealaíontóir a bhaint amach. Ina theannta sin, tá cailleacha ó Dhún na mBan á ciapadh agus ag bagairt go dtiocfaidh siad isteach ina teach. Tá Léiní ag dul ar mire. An bhfuil sí ag cailleadh na meabhrach? Nó an ngéillfidh sí do na cailleacha agus a haghaidh a thabhairt ar Dhún na mBan? Deir Marianne Ní Chinnéide, Bainisteoir na dTaibh-Ealaíon in OÉ Gaillimh agus duine de chomhstiúrthóirí an dráma: “Tá sé ríthábhachtach go bhfeicfí drámaí Gaeilge comhaimseartha ar stáitsí idirnáisiúnta agus tugann Féile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe an deis sin dúinn. Tá an dráma seo 'Dún na mBan Trí Thine' lárnach i gcanóin litríochta feimineachais na tíre seo, agus léiríonn sé go soiléir cé chomh riachtanach agus atá sé drámaíocht Ghaeilge a chur ar stáitse.” Ainmníodh Éilís Ní Dhuibhne don Orange Prize for Fiction as “glór a bhfuil meas air beag beann ar an teanga ina bhfuil sé” The Irish Times. D'oibrigh Éilís go dlúth leis na stiúrthóirí chun leagan leasaithe den dráma seo a chur ar fáil, dráma a cuireadh ar stáitse den chéad uair riamh sa Phéacóg, Amharclann na Mainistreach in 1995. Deir Patrick Lonergan, Ollamh le Drámaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is comhartha atá sa léiriú seo ar cé chomh tiomanta agus atá muid do dhrámaíocht na Gaeilge agus do dhrámaíocht chomhaimseartha atá scríofa ag mná.” Ar na haisteoirí a bheidh le feiceáil ar stáitse, beidh Linda Bhreathnach, aisteoir a bhfuil duaiseanna go leor bainte amach aici agus déantóir an scannáin Adulting, Máire Ní Mháille, Tara Breathnach, Yvonne Laife agus Catherine Denning. Is í Tríona Lillis an dearthóir seit agus is í Chérie White, a dhearann cultacha do Mhacnas, an dearthóir cultacha. Is í Rae Penelope Visser ón gcomhlacht drámaíochta Fíbín an bainisteoir stáitse. Tá an dráma á léiriú i nGaeilge le fortheidil Bhéarla. Féach agus oifig na Féile ar Shráid Forster chun ticéad a chur in áirithe. #GIAF17 -Críoch-

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A mini-conference in conjunction with Path Breaking Women of NUI Galway: 1912-1922 and beyond Some of NUI Galway’s most remarkable - but little known - women over the last century will be celebrated and remembered this Friday, 21 July as a fascinating programme of talks and performances will take place entitled ‘Women in history, politics and culture’. The mini-conference takes place in conjunction with the exhibition Path Breaking Women of NUI Galway: 1912-1922 and beyond, which was officially opened by former EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn earlier this year, and on display at the Hardiman Library exhibition space through to September 2017.  Dr Claire McGing from Maynooth University will explore the careers of two erstwhile UCG students in the 1930s, who went on to be pioneering women parliamentarians in 1950s Ireland – Maureen O’Carroll (1913-1984), mother of actors and writers, Brendan and Eilish O’Carroll, who became the Labour Party’s first female TD, and Celia Lynch (1908-1989) born in Duras House, Kinvara, Co. Galway, who became the first woman Fianna Fáil whip, and was the longest-serving female TD when she retired in 1977. Traversing politics and culture, the poems of the inspirational sean nós singer, writer, poet and actor Caitlin Maude (1941-1982), a graduate of UCG, will be performed by the talented writer and actor, Caitríona Ní Chonaola, with an overview of Maude’s life presented by poet and director of the Irish Studies Centre at NUI Galway, Dr Louis de Paor.  Looking back to early decades, the opening session, chaired by historian, NUI Galway’s Dr Sarah Anne Buckley, will feature a keynote presentation by Dr Nadia Smith from Boston College. Smith will discuss the life and times of the impressive Galway woman and outspoken champion of diverse political, social and cultural causes, Mary Donovan O’Sullivan (1887-1966), who became UCG’s first Professor of History in 1914. Dr Smith will also talk about Síle Ní Chinnéide (1900-1980) who was born into a Catholic nationalist family in Waterford and active in the Irish language revival and was appointed Lecturer in History (through Irish) at UCG in 1927. A striking figure on campus, known for smoking cigarillos in a holder, Nadia Smith notes, Ní Chinnéide advised students “it would do them no harm to read certain works on the Vatican Index of Forbidden Books.”  The event runs from 11.00am to 3.30pm in the NUI Galway Hardiman Research Library. It is free and open to the public, but spaces are limited and anyone who would like to attend should rsvp to: The Path Breaking Women project, is led by Niamh Reilly, Established Professor of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway. It was supported by Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme 2016 and is co-sponsored by the School of Political Science and Sociology, the Centre for Global Women’s Studies, Gender ARC and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. The Exhibition runs until September 2017 in the library exhibition space at NUI Galway. For more information see: -Ends-

Friday, 14 July 2017

NUI Galway will test leading international concepts for the next generation of tidal and hydrokinetic turbine blades to power the world The MaRINET2 project has awarded €1.3 million to 34 technology development teams through a competitive call for proposals. This support will accelerate the next generation of offshore renewable energy technologies towards the marketplace by providing technology testing at MaRINET2’s network of world-leading testing facilities. Coordinated by MaREI (Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland), MaRINET2 is a €10.5 million project, funded by the European Commissions’ Horizon 2020 programme. The project provides support to technology developers of offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies to test their devices in research facilities and in real sea conditions. It is a continuation of the highly successful MaRINET project which ran from 2011-2015. MaRINET2 project gives free access to testing facilities to companies and researchers all over the world with NUI Galway offering its state-of-the-art ‘Large Structures Test Cell’ at the large structures laboratory, located at the University’s Alice Perry Engineering Building, to test full scale tidal blades (up to 9 metres). As a result of the first call for proposals in MaRINET2, two technology development teams have been awarded funding to facilitate 50 days of testing in the state-of-the-art tidal turbine blade testing facility at NUI Galway. These teams are led by Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd in Scotland, a world leader in the development of floating tidal stream and run-of-river turbines, and Verdant Power based in the US, a world leader in developing marine and hydrokinetic technologies and projects, generating clean renewable energy from tidal and river currents. Dr Jamie Goggins, lead Principal Investigator of the Structures and Materials research area in the MaREI Centre, and who is responsible for the large structures test facility located at the Alice Perry Engineering Building at NUI Galway, said: “It is great that there was such great interest from tidal stream and river turbine developers to access our large structures test cell for free through the MaRINET2 programme. We look forward to working with Verdant Power and Scotrenewables Tidal Power Ltd to assist them in de-risking their technologies through rigorous testing in our laboratory.” Dr Jimmy Murphy, co-ordinator of MaRINET2 said the announcement would be a significant boost to the development of offshore renewable energy technology in Europe: “In order to bring their product to market, it is essential for technology developers to de-risk their technologies through rigorous and staged testing programmes. With today’s announcement, the MaRINET2 project is supporting 34 technology developers to do just that. “What’s more, by helping technology developers test at facilities across the EU, and encouraging knowledge sharing and collaboration, MaRINET2 is strengthening Europe’s position as a centre of excellence for offshore renewable energy research.” -Ends- 

Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Time / Date Location
Driftwood 20:00 Thursday,
27 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 20:00 Friday,
28 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Driftwood 14:00 Saturday,
29 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The public are invited to a fascinating public lecture of a winter expedition with the German icebreaker “Polarstern” to Antarctica. The talk will be delivered by Professor Peter Lemke of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Helmholtz-Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Germany on Wednesday, 14 September, at 7.30pm in the Colm O’hEocha Theatre in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway. Professor Lemke has participated in nine polar expeditions with the German research icebreaker “Polarstern”, and has collections of stunning photographs depicting the Antarctic landscape and intriguing experiences to share. He is visiting Galway to participate in the Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme which is a week-long intensive, accredited workshop examining how climate and oceans interact, with particular examples from the Atlantic Ocean and higher latitudes. The lecture is open to members of the public and is part of a workshop organised by Dr Pauhla McGrane of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) being held in Galway, from 12-19 September,offered to international postgraduate students of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences. “Polar regions play an important role for our climate, but direct observations are difficult to obtain and can only be achieved with greatest effort. This is especially true in wintertime” said Professor Lemke. “Severe blizzards, being trapped between thick ice floes and forced to drift with the ice, the darkness of the polar night and temperatures around minus 30°C. This presentation will take you along on an extraordinary winter expedition into the Antarctic Ocean. It shows the beauty of the frozen ocean, presents some insight into polar and climate research, and demonstrates everyday life on a research icebreaker,” he continued. High latitudes have received attention recently because of significant changes in the atmosphere, sea ice, and ocean, and on land, especially in the Arctic. The surface air temperature in the Arctic has increased about twice as fast as the global air temperature. The Arctic sea-ice extent in summer has decreased by 35% since 1979, and the sea-ice thickness during late summer has declined in the Central Arctic by about 40% since 1958. A warming has also been observed at depth in the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. But surprisingly there is no negative trend observed in the Antarctic sea ice. Both, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are losing mass, and the sea level is rising. Most of these observed trends are in agreement with warming scenarios performed with coupled climate models, which indicate an amplified response in high latitudes to increased greenhouse gas concentrations. But details of the complex interaction between atmosphere, sea ice and ocean, and the impacts on the ecosystem and the human society are still only marginally understood. Results will be shown from the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and from a winter expedition the speaker has lead into the ice-covered Weddell Sea (Antarctica). Dr Pauhla McGrane, coordinator of SMART said: “We are delighted that Proffessor Lemke has agreed to provide his unique insight into carrying out climate research in hostile polar environments, particulaly when accompanied by such beautiful stark images. This is especially relevant as this year we will run the second North South Atlantic Training Transect on-board the RV Polarstern from Germany to South Africa which will train 24 postgraduate students, including seven Irish students, in researching climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions at sea. These innovative offshore international collaboarations, developed with AWI, the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) and funded by the Nippon foundation are essential in developing excellent climate and ocean scientists to measure and understand our changing planet”. Professor Lemke continues to work on the observation of climate processes in atmosphere, sea ice and ocean and their simulation in numerical models for the polar components of the climate system. On six expeditions on Polarstern he acted as chief scientist.  For more than 30 years he served on many national and international committees on polar and climate research. He was the Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 4 (Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground) of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report published in 2007. The IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with Al Gore in 2007. For the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC published in 2013 Proffessor Lemke worked as Review Editor of Chapter 4 and as Lead Author of the Technical Summary. All members of the public are welcome and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Atlantic Ocean Climate Scholars Programme is a collaboaration between SMART, NUI Galway, AWI and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) that is funded by the Nippon foundation under NF POGO Regional Training fund.  -ends-