Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Ruth Cormican, from Clarinbridge, Co. Galway and LLB student at NUI Galway’s School of Law, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study for an LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Notre Dame in the United States. This is one of the most prestigious programmes of its kind in the United States.  Ruth is especially interested in studying the application of human rights laws and norms to transnational corporations. Following her studies, she hopes to engage in field-work with a human rights NGO or with the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Ruth graduated with first-class honours from the BA (Law) programme at NUI Galway in 2015, during which she spent a year at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. She has received academic prizes for her fluency in French, and was the recipient of the Thomson-Reuters-Round Hall Law Prize in 2012, and the Lexis Nexis Butterworths Law Prize in 2015.  Ruth will graduate from the LLB programme at NUI Galway in October. She is spending the summer on a summer internship programme, now in its third year, run by the School of Law at NUI Galway in partnership with the Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Ruth will spend the summer working with two criminal justice NGOs: Prisoner Legal Services and the New England Innocence Project. Congratulating Ruth on the Scholarship, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “It is a great credit to Ruth, and my colleagues who taught her, that her academic accomplishments have been recognised in this way. The Fulbright scheme is the gold standard of academic recognition and for someone as young as Ruth to be the recipient of a Fulbright award augurs extremely well for her future. We are immensely proud of her and wish her continued success.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway, a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals, Saolta and NUI Galway launch clinical trials awareness campaign The Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility Galway (CRFG) is inviting local researchers, health and social care professionals and patients to highlight the ‘It’s OK To Ask’ campaign to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day, which takes place on Friday, 20 May. The ‘It’s OK To Ask’ about clinical research message from the public awareness campaign aims to encourage patients, carers, and the public to ask healthcare professionals if there is a clinical trial study they might be suitable for. The HRB CRFG is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals (GUH), Saolta and NUI Galway, and has been in operation since March 2008. The HRB CRFG provides the infrastructure, physical space, facilities and expertise needed to optimally support biomedical research, and focuses on studies aimed at understanding a range of diseases and speedily translating the knowledge obtained through this research work into reimbursed, regulatory approved advances in patient care. On the 20 May, 1747, James Lind, a naval surgeon initiated the first known clinical trial, and discovered that giving sailors fruit improved their scurvy. Lind’s trial provides a focal point to raise awareness of the importance of research to healthcare and highlights how partnerships between patients and healthcare practitioners are vital for high-quality, relevant research. Clinical trials have developed quite a bit since Lind's discovery and it is important to remember his work and acknowledge the need for research in healthcare. People in Ireland have access to high quality clinical trials across a range of bioscience areas and primary care. The HRB CRFG brings together health and social care professionals, academics, industry, patients and members of the public. The work they undertake seeks to provide evidence on the best outcomes for patients, but also attracts major funding and economic investment into Ireland. It is essential that clinical research and trials are undertaken to question whether there may be better, safer and more effective ways of doing things within healthcare than how things are currently being done. Supporting the awareness campaign, Professor Martin O’ Donnell, Director of the HRB CRFG, commented: “Clinical trials are crucial to identifying new and better approaches to prevent, treat and diagnose clinical conditions. Effective clinical research requires the collaborative partnership of patients and healthcare practitioners, in an effort to improve the future health of others.” For further information contact Danielle Nicholson, Clinical Research Engagement Associate at HRB-CRFG on 091 493918 and crfg@nuigalway.ie or visit www.nuigalway.ie/hrbcrfg/ ENDS

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Inish: Island Conversations festival will take place on Inishbofin from 2-5 June and will feature the best in literature, poetry, film and music. Now in its second year, the cultural festival will see world-class performers, writers and artists convene in this special, secluded place for performances, talks, and conversations.   Leading academics from NUI Galway speaking at the event will include Professor Daniel Carey, Dr Philip Dine and Dr Brendan Flynn. Dr Rebecca Barr will be moderating a session on “Identity in transition”, a discussion about the nature of identity and the movement of people. Author Kevin Barry said: “The Inish Festival is one of the most innovative, original and downright entertaining events I'd been to in a long time. It uses the place of Inishbofin itself as a springboard for all sorts of musical, literary and intellectual escapades.”  Barry returns this year to perform, and to host, with Olivia Smith, a series of featured artists and writers from their Winter Pages Irish arts anthology. Others writers, poets and artists who will feature include Michael Longley, Theo Dorgan, Bernard O’Donoghue, Vincent Woods, Andrew McNeillie, Claire Kilroy, Alan McMonagle, Edna Longley, and actor Olwen Fouéré. Legendary English artist Norman Ackroyd will be on hand to talk about an exhibition of his work which will be on display at the festival. Musical treats throughout the festival will be a concert by Martin Tingvall, acknowledged as one of the world’s top jazz pianists, and musicians such as Steve Wall, Jack L., Larry Beau, Doug Paisley, and Elisa Rodrigues. The multi-instrumentalist Poppy Ackroyd will also perform and one of the festival highlights will be a performance by Máirtín Ó Connor, Garry Ó Briain, Cathal Hayden, and the ConTempo String Quartet. For Film lovers there will be a screening of Paula Kehoe’s Deargdhil: Anatomy of Passion, a critically acclaimed study of the Irish poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi, and the multi-award winning A Turning Tide in the Life of Man, as well as Atlantic, winner of the Best Documentary category at the Dublin International Film Festival in 2016. Returning to perform at Inish this year, poet and academic Bernard O’Donoghue, said: “Surely there is no better place for a festival of music and writing than Inishbofin in June, the light of the summer evenings, the corncrakes crexing by every roadside, the foam-washed shorelines and the quiet roads, and the best of cultural company and friendship. It was the best weekend of everyone’s year in 2015.” Full programme and details are available at www.inishfestival.com. Accommodation is limited so early booking is advised. For further information contact festival organiser and NUI Galway graduate, Peadar King at 087 2171146 or peadarking@hotmail.com. -Ends-

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Project to have transformative impact on Irish Theatre Research and will preserve the Gate’s archive for future generations  NUI Galway and the Gate Theatre today (Thursday, 12 May) announced that they are joining forces to digitise the Gate’s archive, a major resource for theatre scholars and artists. When completed in 2018, the Gate Theatre Digital Archive will be exclusively available at NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library, where users will be able to access hundreds of videos, scripts, show programmes, and many more treasures from the Gate’s history.  Michael Colgan, Director of the Gate Theatre, stated: “The Gate Theatre is full of admiration for NUI Galway and we congratulate them for having the vision and courage to provide this extraordinary resource for generations to come. Long may their work continue and long may it be supported.” Founded in 1928 by Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir, the Gate Theatre has played a leading role in the production of Irish and international theatre, launching the careers of such actors as Orson Welles and Michael Gambon, staging the premieres of major plays like Brian Friel’s Philadelphia Here I Come! and presenting major international festivals dedicated to the Nobel laureates Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter – among many other major achievements. The Gate Theatre’s archive is drawn mainly from the years since 1980, and includes information about many of the Gate’s major national and international successes during that period. The Gate has a long tradition of working with some of the world’s great actors; the archive features material relating to Orson Welles, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Penelope Wilton, Stephen Rea, Ian Holm, Liam Neeson, Charles Dance, and many others. As a multimedia archive, this resource demonstrates the Gate’s enormous contribution not only to the art of playwriting but also to acting, design, direction and production. Patrick Lonergan, Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, stated that the Gate Theatre project will have a transformative impact on Irish theatre research. “The Gate is one of the major European theatres, and has played an enormous role in the development of our theatrical culture, especially in the areas of design, direction and acting, but also in playwriting, as shown by its long association with Brian Friel. This archive will allow NUI Galway researchers and students to learn from these achievements and, we hope, to build on them into the future as well.”  NUI Galway is the home to numerous Irish theatre archives, all of which are stored in custom-built facilities at the University’s James Hardiman Library. These include the archives of Druid Theatre, the Lyric Players Theatre, Thomas Kilroy, John Arden and Margaretta D’Arcy and Siobhán McKenna, as well as online access to the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive. These resources make available almost 1,000 videos of Irish theatre productions since the 1980s and thousands of scripts, photographs and other files. Archival material from prior to that period is currently stored at Northwestern University, Illinois. To mark this exciting project with the Gate, NUI Galway is announcing the establishment of a new MA in Irish Theatre History and Archives. Students on this course will have full access to resources like the Gate Theatre Digital Archive, and will get hands-on training in the use of theatre archives, including internships. Professor Lonergan added that the digitisation process will preserve the Gate’s archive for future generations. “Digitisation allows us to use archival material in new ways, to search through it quickly, to cross-reference it, and so on. But crucially it also protects the Gate’s material, ensuring that this national treasure will be available in Ireland for future generations.” John Cox, University Librarian at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, said: “By connecting the Gate collection to its existing archival material on the Abbey, Druid and other theatres, NUI Galway’s status as the leading international centre for the study of Irish theatre will be further enhanced. The University will also have access to an extraordinarily large dataset for several major Irish cultural institutions, opening up opportunities for new research through text and data mining.” The digitisation of the Gate Theatre archive commenced on February 1, 2016 at the James Hardiman Library. Digitisation will take 18 months. The project will encompass 200,000 pages, 20,000 images, 150 hours of audio and 750 hours of video, representing a comprehensive archive of material since 1983. The digital archive will be available for use in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room at NUI Galway. For further details visit: www.nuigalway.ie/gatetheatre  ENDS

Friday, 13 May 2016

21 new projects funded by the NUI Galway/NUI Galway Students’ Union EXPLORE innovation initiative were showcased on Thursday, 12 May 2016 in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway. EXPLORE is a dynamic model for innovation delivery that has been piloted by NUI Galway and NUI Galway Students’ Union since early 2012. The first scheme of its kind in Irish higher education, EXPLORE facilitates NUI Galway students and staff to work as equal partners to trial new ideas. The EXPLORE process breaks down traditional hierarchies in higher education, and enables participants to work differently with each other. To date, EXPLORE has seed funded over 100 new projects involving more than 600 NUI Galway students and staff, and off-campus partners. EXPLORE projects have gone on to secure prestigious external funding of over €290,000. The EXPLORE projects showcased yesterday span a diverse range of themes, including health, schools outreach, creativity, local history, mediation, digital skills and much more. Tingyi Koh and Paul Choi, undergraduate medical students at NUI Galway, from the Do-It-Yourself Laparoscopic Trainer EXPLORE project talked at the event about how they developed a surgery simulation tool on a budget to improve the technical skills of undergraduate medical students with an interest in surgery as a career. Dr. Ray Butler from the NUI Galway Centre for Astronomy spoke about the Loss of the Night in Galway EXPLORE project, which aims to run Galway’s first light pollution/night sky quality measurement campaign, which may help Galway become Ireland’s first ‘dark sky city’, with improved lighting ordinances. According to Prof. Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance, NUI Galway,“EXPLORE is an ideal vehicle for students and staff to pilot new ideas and establish a proof of concept in a collaborative, low-risk environment. We are delighted that the EXPLORE programme won the Community Awareness Award at the National Student Achievement Awards 2016. These awards recognise the contribution of individuals and groups from third level education institutions across the island of Ireland.” NUI Galway Students’ Union President Phelim Kelly said: “EXPLORE is a proven model for enabling innovation. We’re proud to have been the first higher education institution in Ireland to run a programme such as EXPLORE. It’s encouraging that two concepts central to EXPLORE, namely ‘students as partners’ and ‘students as co-creators’, feature as key principles in the new Higher Education Authority report on student engagement.” (http://www.hea.ie/sites/default/files/enhancing_student_engagement_in_decision_making_1.pdf) The keynote address at the event was given by Dr Easkey Britton, world-renowned Irish big-wave surfer, scholar and social change-maker. Dr Britton is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Social Change at NUI Galway investigating nature-based solutions to health and wellbeing. She spoke about using one’s passion to bring about positive social change and the Waves of Freedom organisation that she co-founded (http://easkeybritton.com and http://wavesoffreedom.org/). Amber Walsh Olesen, EXPLORE Coordinator, NUI Galway Students’ Union said: “EXPLORE makes it easy for students and staff at NUI Galway to work together and bring new ideas to life. The wider community benefits from EXPLORE as many projects are specifically developed to address societal needs, and the reach of EXPLORE projects already stretches into the thousands both on and off campus.” ENDS

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

‘The Economic and Political Implications of Brexit on Ireland and the UK’ NUI Galway is delighted to announce it will host, in association with the British Embassy in Ireland, a public event on Britain’s EU Referendum on Wednesday, 18 May. The event is also in collaboration with European Movement Ireland’s national conversation. The UK is facing a momentous decision on 23 June on whether to remain in or leave the EU.  Not surprisingly, the 'Brexit' debate is being followed with particular interest in Ireland – the only EU country with which the UK shares a land border.  John McHale, Established Professor and Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The possibility of Brexit looms large as we scan the horizon for threats to the Irish economy and our trading partners. Even though the consequences are uncertain, it is critical that we rigorously debate the potential implications before this momentous decision is made.” The public event will bring together a distinguished panel to debate the economic and political implications of Brexit on both the UK and Ireland. The panelists include: Mairéad McGuinness (MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament); Dan O’Brien (Institute of International and European Affairs), David Begg (TASC), Noelle O’Connell (European Movement Ireland), John McHale (NUI Galway) and Conall Mac Coille (Davy).  MC for the event will be TG4 news anchor Eimear Ní Chonaola. Places are limited and those wishing to attend the public forum are required to register in advance at: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/debating-brexit-tickets-25156337282 The forum will take place in the Aula Maxima (Lower), Quadrangle Building, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 18 May from 1.30pm - 4.15pm. The event begins at 2.00pm and a light lunch will be provided beforehand. ENDS

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Professor Mark Tushnet, a world-renowned constitutional expert from Harvard Law School, will be the keynote speaker at the seventh Annual Conference of the Irish Society of Comparative Law (ISCL). This conference, organised by the NUI Galway’s School of Law in collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will be held from 23-24 May at Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. The theme of the conference is ‘(Dis)Locating Comparative Law’ and will explore the role of space or place in the comparative law arena, in an increasingly interconnected world. The conference will question the traditional narratives of comparative law in the context of the increasing complexity of legal orders within, between and beyond states. Speaker panels will address various comparative topics such as: Privacy and Responses to Terrorism, Human Dignity, Comparative Constitutional Law, and a host of other topics stemming from private law, criminal law and criminal justice, public law, legal education and international law. Professor Mark Tushnet is a William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of four casebooks, including the most widely used casebook on constitutional law, has written numerous books, including a two-volume work on the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall and, most recently, Advanced Introduction to Comparative Constitutional Law, In the Balance: The Roberts Court and the Future of Constitutional Law, Why the Constitution Matters, and Weak Courts, Strong Rights: Judicial Review and Social Welfare Rights in Comparative Perspective, and has edited several others. Professor Tushnet was President of the Association of American Law Schools in 2003.  In 2002 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His presentation for this year’s Irish Society of Comparative Law Conference is entitled The Boundaries of Comparative Law. Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway said: “It is a great honour for the School of Law to host the Annual Conference of the Irish Society of Comparative Law and, in particular, to welcome Professor Tushnet to NUI Galway. The comparative approach to law is of critical importance at this particular stage in the development of the rule of law nationally and internationally. The School of Law in NUI Galway and its research centres have always been outward-looking and internationally-aware and this event will provide a very rich opportunity for speakers and participants to make the most of that tradition.” For further information is available at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=218 -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How have the 1916 Rising and other revolutions – from France, to Greece, Romania, Russia and Cuba – being depicted in cinema? What impact did the Rising have on early Irish cinema? What role did women play in the emergence of this cinema? These are some of the questions to be examined as part of a major international conference on 1916, Cinema and Revolution to be held from 25-27 May at NUI Galway. The conference is part of NUI Galway’s programme of events to commemorate the 1916 Rising and will he hosted by NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media. 1916 marked the establishment of Ireland’s first indigenous film company, The Film Company of Ireland, whose co-founder James Mark Sullivan was arrested after the Rising and charged with complicity. Events in that year and subsequently have featured in a range of cinematic and televisual productions while there is also a significant international dimension to the relationship between revolutionary history and cinema. This conference will consider aspects of the representation of the Rising, as well as other revolutionary moments in Irish and world history. Plenary speakers will include leading experts on revolutionary and Irish cinema including: acclaimed filmmaker and academic Professor Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton; seminal film scholar Professor Charles Barr, Emeritus Professor, University of East Anglia; leading authority on early Irish cinema Dr Denis Condon, Maynooth University; and prominent contributors to Irish film, theatre studies, and visual culture such as Dr Díóg O Connell, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology; Professor Adrian Frazier, Emeritus Professor, NUI Galway; and Dr Catherine Morris, University of Liverpool. In addition to the presentations, the conference will also feature screenings of relevant films from the revolutionary period in Ireland, including John Ford's adaptation of O’Casey’s classic play, The Plough and the Stars, as well as a special screening of the documentary 1916: The Irish Rebellion, which will be followed by an interview with the film’s writer and producer, Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada. The conference will also include a screening of the major production of the Film Company of Ireland, Knocknagow which will be accompanied by a specially arranged accompaniment by Irish pianist Morgan Cooke. The conference will close with a screening of Michael Chanan’s The American Who Electrified Russia, a film concerning the extraordinary story of Solomon Trone (1872-1969), the communist revolutionary who became a director for General Electric (first in Russia, then the USA). Conference co-director and Lecturer with NUI Galway’s Huston School for Film and Digital Media, Dr Seán Crosson said: “We are delighted with the response to our call for papers on the topic of 1916, Cinema and Revolution. The 1916 Rising coincided with a vibrant period of film production in Ireland and it is important for us to reflect on this legacy and indeed the impact of the Rising on film subsequently. This is the only conference in Ireland this year dedicated to the topic of 1916 and cinema and it provides a unique opportunity to consider not just depictions of the Rising but also on how this moment connects with depictions of other revolutionary moments internationally, including in the US, France, Russia and Latin America.” A full programme of events during the conference is available online at http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/menu.asp?menu=2080&Conference=463. Attendance at the conference and all related events is free and all queries should be directed to sean.crosson@nuigalway.ie or 091 495687. -Ends- 1916, an tÉirí Amach sna Scannáin - Comhdháil mhór idirnáisiúnta ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh Cén chaoi a léirítear Éirí Amach 1916 agus réabhlóidí eile – cosúil leis an Fhrainc, an Ghréig, an Rómáin, an Rúis agus Cúba – sna scannáin? Cén tionchar a bhí ag an Éirí Amach ar scannánaíocht luath-Éireannach? Cén ról a bhí ag mná i dteacht chun cinn na scannánaíochta seo? Sin roinnt de na ceisteanna a bheidh á scrúdú mar chuid de mhór-chomhdháil faoi 1916, an tÉirí Amach sna Scannáin a bheidh ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh idir an 25-27 Bealtaine. Tá an chomhdháil mar chuid de chlár imeachtaí atá leagtha amach ag OÉ Gaillimh chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar Éirí Amach 1916 agus is í Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston atá á reáchtáil. Is i 1916 a bunaíodh an chéad chompántas scannán in Éirinn, The Film Company of Ireland; gabhadh comhbhunaitheoir an chompántais, James Mark Sullivan, tar éis an Éirí Amach agus cúisíodh é i gcomhpháirteachas. Léiríodh imeachtaí na bliana sin agus ina dhiaidh sin i réimse léiriúchán scannán agus teilifíse; tá gné shuntasach idirnáisiúnta ag baint leis an gcaidreamh idir stair réabhlóideach agus scannánaíocht. Pléifidh an chomhdháil seo gnéithe den léiriú a dhéantar ar an Éirí Amach, mar aon le tráthanna réabhlóideacha eile i stair na hÉireann agus an domhain. I measc na gcainteoirí beidh saineolaithe mór le rá ar an scannánaíocht réabhlóideach agus ar scannánaíocht na hÉireann lena n-áirítear: an scannánóir agus an fear léinn clúiteach, an tOllamh Michael Chanan, Ollscoil Roehampton; an scoláire scannán ceannródaíoch, an tOllamh Charles Barr, Ollamh Emeritus, Ollscoil East Anglia; príomhúdarás ar scannánaíocht luath-Éireannach, an Dr Denis Condon, Ollscoil Mhá Nuad; agus daoine mór le rá i saol na scannán, i léann na hamharclannaíochta, agus sa chultúr físiúil cosúil leis an Dr Díóg O Connell, Institiúid Ealaíne, Deartha agus Teicneolaíochta Dhún Laoghaire; an tOllamh Adrian Frazier, Ollamh Emeritus, OÉ Gaillimh; agus an Dr Catherine Morris, Ollscoil Learphoill. Mar aon leis na láithreoireachtaí, taispeánfar scannáin chuí ón tréimhse réabhlóideach in Éirinn ag an gcomhdháil, lena n-áirítear athchóiriú John Ford ar dhráma clasaiceach O’Casey, The Plough and the Stars (1936), agus léiriú speisialta den chlár faisnéise 1916: The Irish Rebellion, agus beidh agallamh ina dhiaidh sin le scríbhneoir agus léiritheoir an scannáin, an tOllamh Bríona Nic Dhiarmada. Ag an gcomhdháil freisin taispeánfar oll-léiriú de chuid an Film Company of Ireland, Knocknagow (1918) agus beidh tionlacan leis atá cumtha go speisialta ag an bpianódóir Éireannach Morgan Cooke. Dúirt comhstiúrthóir na comhdhála agus Léachtóir i Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston, an Dr Seán Crosson: “Tá an-áthas orainn leis an bhfreagra a fuaireamar ar an ngairm ar pháipéir ar an ábhar 1916, an tÉirí Amach sna Scannáin. Tharla Éirí Amach 1916 ag am ina raibh beocht ar leith i léiriú scannán in Éirinn agus tá sé tábhachtach go smaoineoimis ar an oidhreacht seo agus go deimhin ar thionchar an Éirí Amach ar scannánaíocht ina dhiaidh sin. Is í seo an t-aon chomhdháil atá ar siúl in Éirinn i mbliana atá dírithe ar 1916 agus scannánaíocht agus tugann sé deis uathúil dúinn machnamh a dhéanamh ní hamháin ar an léiriú a rinneadh ar an Éirí Amach ach freisin ar phointí ama réabhlóideacha eile go hidirnáisiúnta, lena n-áirítear sna Stáit Aontaithe, an Fhrainc, an Rúis agus Meiriceá Laidineach.” Tá clár iomlán d’imeachtaí na comhdhála ar fáil ar líne ar http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/menu.asp?menu=2080&Conference=463. Tá an chomhdháil agus na himeachtaí gaolmhara ar fad saor in aisce agus ba cheart aon cheist a chur ar aghaidh chuig sean.crosson@nuigalway.ie nó 091 495687. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Cuirfear tús le páirtnéireacht nua idir Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh, agus RTÉ inniu (Dé Luain, 9 Bealtaine). Reachtálfar cúrsa cumarsáide san Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua dírithe ar dhaltaí idirbhliana ó cheann ceann na tíre. Mairfidh an cúrsa ar feadh seachtaine agus cuirfear oiliúint ar na rannpháirtithe i léiriú míreanna raidió agus teilifíse. Is ó scoileanna Gaeltachta agus Gaelscoileanna a thiocfaidh na daltaí.  Beidh an cúrsa faoi stiúr Kevin Burns, léiritheoir ar an gclár teilifíse Prime Time. Beidh baill foirne agus iarmhic-léinn an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua páirteach ann chomh maith. Le linn do na daltaí a bheith ar an gcúrsa, tabharfaidh siad cuairt ar na meáin i gConamara, ar roinnt comhlachtaí léiriúcháin, agus ar phríomhchampas OÉ Gaillimh, áit a dtabharfar léargas dóibh ar Léann na Meán mar ábhar ollscoile. Beidh deis acu bualadh le cuid de chraoltóirí na Gaeilge agus a bheith ag breathnú ar chláir teilifíse agus raidió a gcraoladh beo. Tá an pháirtnéireacht luaite sa cháipeis, ‘Meáin Ghaeilge RTÉ: Plean Gníomhaíochta 2015 – 2019’ a leag amach straitéis RTÉ i leith na Gaeilge do na blianta atá romhainn. Luaitear ceannródaíocht ó thaobh na cruthaitheachta agus na nuála sna meáin chumarsáide Ghaeilge mar chuid den chur chuige i bplean gníomhaíochta RTÉ. Cuideoidh an pháirtnéirecht idir an tAcadamh agus an craoltóir náisiúnta an plean a fheidhmiú trí acmhainní agus saineolas a roinnt. Chuir Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, Dónall Ó Braonáin, fáilte roimh an pháirtnéireacht nua le RTÉ: “Tá roghanna úra ar fáil do mhic léinn tabhairt faoin gcéim GY122 Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge nó Léann na Cumarsáide a roghnú mar ábhar ar an gnáthchéim sna dána GY101. Tá súil agam go bhfeicfimid cuid de na daltaí a bheidh linn ar feadh seachtaine ag tabhairt faoi chuid de na roghanna seo sna blianta atá le teacht.” Dúirt Grúpcheannasaí Gaeilge RTÉ, Rónán Mac Con Iomaire: “Seo cuid thábhachtach de thiomantas nua RTÉ i leith na Gaeilge agus muid ag iarraidh an chéad ghlúin eile de chraoltóirí a fhorbairt i gcomhar le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Fáiltíonn muid ach go háirithe roimh an gcomhoibriú seo leis an Acadamh agus súil againn cur leis sna blianta atá amach romhainn.” Tá súil an scéim phiolótach a fhorbairt agus a leathnú i dtreo is go rachaidh sí chun tairbhe daltaí dara leibhéal ar fud na tíre gur spéis leo Léann na Cumarsáide. Ar na cúrsaí cumarsáide a chuireann an tAcadamh ar fáil tá GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; an t-ábhar Léann na Cumarsáide ar GY101 BA Dhá Ábhar Onóracha; GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (lánaimseartha) agus GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (páirtaimseartha). -Críoch- New Training Partnership Between Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and RTÉ A new partnership between Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway and RTÉ will commence today (Monday, 9 May). A week-long communications course, aimed at Transition Year students, will take place in the Acadamh in An Cheathrú Rua. The participants, who will learn how to produce radio and television, will be drawn from Gaeltacht schools and Gaelscoileanna throughout Ireland. The training will be overseen by Kevin Burns, a producer with the RTÉ Prime Time programme. Staff members and past students of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will also participate. While in Connemara, the students will have an opportunity to visit locally based Irish language media, they will be afforded a chance to observe live radio and television broadcasts and meet some of the broadcasters. Participants will also visit NUI Galway’s main campus, where they will learn about media studies as a university subject.  The new partnership is mentioned in ‘Meáin Ghaeilge RTÉ: Action Plan 2015 – 2019’ a document which sets out the national broadcaster’s Irish language strategy for the next number of years. The plan champions creativity and innovation in Irish language media and the partnership between the Acadamh and RTÉ will help to realise this. Dónall Ó Braonáin, Chief Executive of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, said: “There are new choices available to students with GY122 Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge or Léann na Cumarsáide as a subject on GY101, the traditional arts degree programme in NUI Galway. I hope we will see some of the students attending the week-long course on these degree programmes over the coming years.” Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, RTÉ Group Head Irish Language, said: “This is an important part of RTÉ’s commitment to the Irish language as we endeavour, in association with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, to develop a new generation of broadcasters. We especially welcome the cooperation with the Acadamh and hope to develop this in the years to come.” It is hoped to develop this pilot scheme as part of the new initiative to benefit students throughout the country who are interested in media studies and communications. Media courses offered by the Acadamh include GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; the subject Léann na Cumarsáide on GY101 BA Arts (Joint-Honours); GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (full-time) and GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (part-time). -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Royal Meteorological Society has announced that Professor Colin O’Dowd from NUI Galway and one of the world’s most highly cited and influential scientific minds in 2014 and 2015 as cited by Thompson Reuters, has been awarded the 2015 Mason Gold Medal award. The Society recognises excellence in meteorology and climate science through its medals, awards and prizes. The Mason medal is the most prestigious acknowledgement that the society can award. Throughout his career, Professor O’Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies in the School of Physics at NUI Galway, has published several hundred scientific articles including 240 peer-reviewed publications. He has provided international leadership in the field of atmospheric aerosol particles. His work has focused on making detailed and careful observations of particles, particularly in the marine atmosphere, and providing novel insights into the advancement of our knowledge of many key processes. Of his many important contributions, Professor Colin O’Dowd is probably best known for establishing a physical basis for the formation of new particles in the marine atmosphere, first observed by John Aitken in 1898. He has also played a leading role in the establishment of the role of organic matter in new particles formation over terrestrial forests. These findings of new particle formation have provided a firm basis for explaining the re-population of small particles in the atmosphere and the role they subsequently play in cloud formation.  Professor O’Dowd has made many contributions to the production of sea spray aerosol into the atmosphere and has shown that small sea spray particles are not composed solely of salts but are greatly enriched in organic matter resulting from natural biological detritus on the sea surface. These advances have greatly improved our understanding of the role aerosols play in the atmospheric and climate system. In addition to his major scientific contributions, Professor O’Dowd has been responsible for developing the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station on the west coast of Ireland into one of the best equipped and scientifically important World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Global Atmospheric Watch stations in the world. He has given considerable service to the international community through his editorship of Journal of Geophysical Research. Professor O’Dowd stated: “The Royal Meteorological Society is one of the longest established and most respected meteorological societies in the world and it is a great pleasure to receive their most prestigious award. It is particularly important for Irish climate research to see such an important institution acknowledge the efforts of Irish research in the topic of atmospheric composition and climate change. It is especially significant for me to receive the Mason Gold medal in honour of the late Sir John Mason who passed away in 2015. Sir John, as he was known in the community, is perhaps the single most influential atmospheric physicist in history having published the seminal works The Physics of Clouds in the 1950s and having spawned about five generations of atmospheric and climate scientists and meteorologists.”  The Mason Gold Medal is awarded to a Fellow of the Society for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the fundamental processes that determine the variability and predictability of weather and climate. The Medal is awarded biennially and will be presented to Professor Colin O’Dowd at the High Impact Weather and Climate Conference at the University of Manchester on 7, July 2016, followed by a lecture by Professor O’Dowd. ENDS

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

NUI Galway final years and graduates who are seeking employment are invited to a unique graduate support event in NUI Galway on Thursday, 12 May. The ‘Kick Start your Job Search’ is a free event and will run from 9.30am to 1pm in AC201 on the Arts/Science Concourse. Organised by NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, the event will focus on effective CVs, interview skills, and being creative in the job search process, including a tailored workshop on using LinkedIn effectively. Interactive workshops will challenge and motivate participants to review their current approach to their job search and a panel discussion with employers from various sectors will give insights into job search strategy and what candidates can do to enhance their job prospects. A list of current vacancies will also be on display. Josephine Walsh, Head of the Career Development Centre, NUI Galway, said: “We look forward to working again with our recent graduates and strongly encourage those who are looking for new ways to market themselves to come along and get their job search on track.” Details of the full programme are available on www.nuigalway.ie/careers, where those who are interested in attending the event can also book a place. -Ends-

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Pint of Science International Festival is returning to Galway from 23-24 May in Oslo Bar, Salthill from 7pm. A fantastic line-up of scientists will engage the public with the latest in science research in an accessible format. Ten leading and developing scientists, mostly from NUI Galway and affiliated institutes and centres, will meet the general public to talk about the research advances in their fields. The Body Night on Monday, 23 May, will see researchers talk about recent progress in understanding human diseases, including cancer and diabetes, and the technologies to treat them. Tuesday, 24 May, will be a Marine Science themed night including topics such as the effect of climate change on our oceans and geological mapping of the seabed. ‘Pint of Science’ is the largest festival of science globally, running concurrently in multiple pubs across twelve countries in 50 cities. Created in 2012 by a group of UK postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, ‘Pint of Science’ is a non-profit organisation involving scientists on a voluntary basis. Internationally it takes place across several countries in Europe, and in America, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Australia.  Established in 2013 by Seán Mac Fhearraigh, Pint of Science Ireland is running for the third time in Dublin and for the second time in Galway. To view the detailed ‘Pint of Science Galway’ programme, and book your free ticket, visit www.pintofscience.ie. Follow ‘Pint of Science Galway’ on Facebook and @pintofscienceIE on Twitter to find out more. -Ends-

Monday, 9 May 2016

NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences Bio-EXPLORERS programme, in collaboration with Kitchen Chemistry, is now taking bookings for its two Summer Science Camps, one running from 4-8 July and the second from 11-15 July. The camp is open to all young scientists aged between 8 and 13 years old and participants will get a chance to work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  The Bio-EXPLORERS programme is composed of two science communication and public engagement initiatives: Cell EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Muriel Grenon and Eco-EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Michel Dugon. With Dr Dugon, the host of the RTÉ’s Bug Hunters, children will participate in activities such as discovering live local and exotic plants and animals, studying their habitats, and understanding how they interact with their environment. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, children will learn how cells make our bodies work. They will run their own experiments, build models, observe their own cells under microscopes and extract DNA from cells. Each camp will also include a session with Kitchen Chemistry, from the School of Chemistry, who run fun, hands-on experiments that bring chemistry to life. The primary goal of these NUI Galway science outreach programmes is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. All three programmes run activities designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. They have engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland and are very active during the Galway Science and Technology Festival. Since 2014 Bio-EXPLORERS has run successful Summer and Easter science camps, in addition to the very popular ‘Scientist for a Day’ one-day workshops during mid-terms, run in conjunction with Kitchen Chemistry. These camps provide a fun take on science where children can get involved and experiment as real scientists do. Small participant numbers, hands-on activities and a good ratio of well-trained, interactive demonstrators maximize the learning environment. Both camps will run over five days from 9.30am to 4.30pm each day and places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.. The cost is €160 per child, €145 for additional siblings for this course packed with fun and exciting activities. Pre-register your child on the camp Eventbrite page and secure the place by sending the completed registration form and payment within five working days to Bio-EXPLORERS, Dr Martina Wernecke, Biochemistry, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. Visit www.cellexplorers.com for more details on the camp and registration. For any queries email cellexplorers@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-      

Friday, 6 May 2016

Three NUI Galway choirs excelled at the recent 62nd Cork International Choral Festival, taking home three prizes. The choirs consist of NUI Galway students, staff and graduates. Sing‘n’Tonics were presented with the first prize for the National Competition for Chamber Choirs, receiving a massive score of 89.25%. It is the first victory by a university choir at the Cork Choral Festival since the 1980s. Pieces performed were ‘Baby Shark’ by Gordon Hamilton and ‘Fáilte don Éan’ by Derry composer Kevin O'Connell. The Sing‘n’Tonics also won the John Mannion Perpetual Trophy for the best piece at the festival for their performance of Fáilte don Éan. The award was particularly fitting as John Mannion used to sing with Galway-based choirs Cois Cladaigh Chamber Choir and Galway Baroque Singers. The nine member chamber choir won by 5% and the membership of the group includes four visiting American students and two German Erasmus students.  The NUI Galway Testostertones, which recently won ChoirFactor in Galway city, were placed a very close second in the National Male Voice Category finishing 0.25% behind the Portadown Singers. The group sang an ABBA medley and ‘Daemon’ by the Hungarian composer Orban. The NUI Galway Alumni Ensemble competed in the National Light Music section and finished in fifth place out of thirteen choirs. Peter Mannion, Director of each choir and NUI Galway graduate, said: “It’s been the accumulation of a year’s hard work for these amateur singers. They are great ambassadors for themselves and the University and it is wonderful to see groups made up of students, staff and alumni working so well together. It is the true community spirit of the University.”  Nearly 5,000 singers from all around the world participated in the 62nd Cork International Choral Festival. The Festival, which is the oldest in Cork and one of Europe’s most prestigious Choral Festivals, included gala concerts, schools concerts, national and international competitions, workshops and free outdoor performances. -Ends-

Friday, 6 May 2016

Experts from across Ireland gathered at NUI Galway today for a symposium on ‘Research, Development and Innovation in Marine and Renewable Energy in Ireland’. The symposium was hosted by MaREI, Ireland’s Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy. The demand for energy is growing relentlessly with the pressures of population growth and improved living standards. With a sea to land ratio of over 10:1, Ireland is ideally placed to address this challenge through our marine and renewable energy resources. The two-day symposium brings together experts to discuss the main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the marine and energy spaces. The event provides an opportunity for researchers to disseminate their research, identify further opportunities for collaboration and discuss the future direction of marine and renewable energy in Ireland. Professor Jerry Murphy, Interim Director of MaREI, said: “MaREI's strategy is strongly aligned to national priorities and international roadmaps in marine and renewable energy and Ireland’s Transition to a Low Carbon Energy Future. MaREI research achieves high impact by ensuring relevance and accessibility to academia, industry and policy makers. One of MaREI’s great strengths is its multidisciplinary approach to research and its engagement with stakeholders. By working collaboratively across all MaREI’s six institutions and with its 46 industry partners, it is possible to assemble the skill sets needed for impactful research.” Declan Meally, Head of Emerging Sectors in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), commented: “The development of ocean energy technologies in Ireland, and in particular the SEAI Ocean Energy Programme, in 2015 has been the most successful year to date with more research and projects funded than any other year previously. Events like the MaREI symposium, not only demonstrate the breadth of research expertise in Ireland, but also how State Agencies and Government Departments are all working together with Industry and Academia to build the sector which will benefit all communities in Ireland in the future.” Dr Jamie Goggins, Chairperson of the MaREI Symposium and Senior Lecturer at NUI Galway, said: “The investment in world-class research facilities in Ireland for ocean energy is hugely important to bringing technology to market and helping Ireland to develop an export market for Ocean Energy Technologies. The recent State investment in the full scale structural testing facility for tidal turbine blades here at NUI Galway along with the one-quarter scale ocean energy test site and Ocean Observatory in Galway Bay position Ireland at the forefront of testing and development of ocean energy devices.” MaREI is a world leading research centre supported by Science Foundation Ireland. Its industry-led research programme provides innovative solutions that reduce the time to market, and reduce costs to a competitive level. The Centre has built upon the excellent track record of well-established marine and energy-based research groups across each of our academic partners, covering a wide range of cross-cutting topics across these spaces, including device design and modelling, energy conversion and storage, novel materials and structural testing, operations and decision support, energy policy and modelling, and environmental monitoring. MaREI is coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork and has 130 researchers working across 6 academic institutions collaborating with over 45 industry partners.  -Ends-

Friday, 6 May 2016

NUI Galway will host a public seminar by Dr Díóg O’Connell, Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology from 4-5pm on Wednesday, 11 May in the Hardiman Research Building. Entitled Irish Women Screenwriters cast in the shadows - Knocknagow and Guests of the Nation, the seminar is organised by NUI Galway’s Gender ARC and the Centre for Global Women’s Studies Dr O’Connell’s will explore how Irish women screenwriters are often written out of the historical record, and cast in the shadows of male directors and novelists. In the case of Knocknagow and Guests of the Nation, two significant films in the early history of Irish cinema, very little is known about the screenwriters Mrs NF Patton (Knocknagow) and Mary Manning (Guests of the Nation). These films could be considered landmark films in early Irish cinema history at the level of narrative theme, historical significance and audience appeal. Both films were written by women but very little historical references are found for either writer. Yet much is written about the male directors of these films and more noticeably the male authors of the source material for both films. Knocknagow is based on a Charles Kickham novel of the same name (1873) and Guests of the Nation is based on a story of the same name by Frank O’Connor (1931). The nature of adaptation is closely examined without any mention of the scriptwriter. Examining the archive material of both these films, this study traces through the reviews of these films, the place awarded to the screenwriter in the documented history. Is this just a case of the screenwriter being cast to the periphery or is there further marginalisation happening at the level of gender? Drawing on theories around social capital, Dr O’Connell’s presentation will explore what the barriers are to recognition and record. Is the status of the male author privileged over that of the screenwriter, or is there a gender bias at work, relegating women screenwriters to the margins, on two levels, as screenwriters and as women? Dr Díóg O’Connell is the author of New Irish Storytellers: Narrative Strategies in Film and Documentary in a Changing State. She has written extensively on Irish cinema, television drama and screenwriting. She has also been a member of a Writers’ Team for Irish television drama. Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society) is a research network linking more than fifty academics at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick who are engaged in gender-focused research across diverse disciplines. The network hosts a variety of seminars and public lectures throughout the year. To learn more about this event and future Gender ARC events contact Amie Lajoie, Gender ARC Postgraduate Research Associate, at a.lajoie1@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The screening of Hubert Butler Witness To The Future will take place on Thursday, 12 May at 8pm in the Town Hall Theatre. The event is being organised in cooperation with the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, and will be followed by post-screening discussion with Irish producer Lelia Doolan. Hubert Butler Witness To The Future is a new documentary on the writer, essayist and human rights champion Hubert Butler. The film premiered at a sell-out Dublin Film Festival screening in February, followed by a packed out home-coming in Kilkenny’s Set Theatre to launch this tour. Hubert Butler (1900-91) is, in the words of John Banville and Roy Foster who both featuring in the film as “one of the great Irish writers”, our greatest exponent of the essay form since Jonathan Swift; “fifty years ahead of his time” according to writer and broadcaster Olivia O'Leary. Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “Butler was amongst Ireland's great human rights voices of the 20th century. He was unafraid to challenge Church and State in Ireland. He was also an ardent defender of free speech and advocate for a pluralist independent Ireland. Efforts to silence and discredit him almost succeeded. This film is testimony to his enduring legacy.” Film-maker Johnny Gogan's extensive documentary tells the largely untold story of Hubert Butler. Inspired by the events of 1916, the young Hubert turned his back on the Empire and the prospect of a role in the British diplomatic service, and declared himself a republican “in the mould of Wolfe Tone and Henry Flood”. However, being a public intellectual from the Protestant tradition in the new Ireland would prove to be a bruising experience, bringing Butler into conflict with the unholy alliance of Catholic Church and State. In Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) in the mid 30s, Butler witnessed Jewish people fleeing the German-speaking lands. In response, he travelled to Vienna in 1938 to work with the Quakers who assisted persecuted Jews and so-called “non-Aryan Christians” to escape the city. In 1946, Butler returned to Zagreb where he uncovered evidence of a mass genocide of Orthodox Serbs by the Croatian Nazi puppet (Ustashe) state under the auspices of a “Compulsory Conversion To Catholicism” policy.  Butler found support among liberal intellectuals from the Catholic tradition such as Seán O'Faoláin, Owen “The Pope” O'Mahony and Myles Dillon. What has also come to light in recently de-classified documents is the detail of how the Irish State provided sanctuary to one of the key players in the Croatian genocide, former Croatian Minister of the Interior Andrija Artukovic.  Artukovic had been spirited into the country by Franciscans in 1947, and lived in Dublin under an alias before being given an exit visa to the USA by the Irish authorities in 1948. Butler's insights into the “on the ground” dynamics of religion and nationalism in Europe – a sensibility he gained first in Ireland - ring true today as a lack of internal coherence in the “European Project” and the external pressure of the refugee/migrant crisis bring old tensions and prejudices to the fore.  Butler's description of the war-time Croatian Nazi puppet state as being “the personification, the epitome of the extraordinary alliance of religion and crime” could so easily describe the contemporary Daesh/Islamic State project.  Hubert Butler Witness To The Future is a production of Bandit Films and is being distributed by Studio North West.tv. It was filmed, produced and directed by Johnny Gogan. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

NUI Galway hosted the 2016 Research Excellence Awards last Friday, 29 April, when winners of the 2016 Ryan Award for Innovation and the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced. These awards are made to members of the NUI Galway research community, by the University’s President Dr Jim Browne, in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research.  The 2016 Ryan Award for Innovation went to the Nucleic Acid Diagnostics Research Laboratory (NADRL) for their RAP-ID (Rapid Aqua Pathogen Identification) project. The team consists of Dr Kate Reddington (Enterprise Ireland Postdoctoral Researcher), Dr Thomas Barry (PI NADRL and Lecturer) and Ms Shannon Fullbrook (Irish Research Council PhD candidate) from the Discipline of Microbiology at the School of Natural Sciences. The research team have developed novel bacterial culture independent test kits which allows for the very rapid detection and identification of a number of human pathogens that can contaminate water. They aim to launch a spin-out company from NUI Galway focused on the development of these technologies for use in testing building water distribution systems. These innovative technologies address a global unmet market need in the building infrastructure environment bacterial monitoring sector. Now in its third year, the Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of Environment, Marine and Energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. The Ryan Award is a very prestigious award and €25,000 is a significant amount of funding to make a difference in progressing an innovation, technology or idea to the next level, while delivering impact.  In addition, the winners of the 2016 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as: Early Stage Researcher Award Winners Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko, Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law Dr Eoin Whelan, Business Information Systems, School of Business & Economics Dr Eva Szegezdi, Biochemistry, School of Natural Sciences Dr Manus Biggs, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering & Informatics and CÚRAM Established Researcher Award Dr Gavin Collins, Environmental Microbiology, School of Natural Sciences Professor Gary Donohoe, School of Psychology Research Supervisor Dr Adrienne Gorman, Apoptosis Research Centre, College of Science Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Scoil na Gaeilge, College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies Speaking at the event, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “At a national level, the higher education sector is in an era of performance-based funding. Consequently, it is important that we continue to support, recognise, and encourage outstanding research by rewarding high performance to promote the continued development of research and innovation excellence across campus. Against an increasingly competitive external environment, I am proud of the consistently high quality of our research here in NUI Galway. Dr Browne added, “Last year, we launched our new strategic plan, entitled Vision 2020. This ambitious plan aims to bring NUI Galway into the top 200 universities in the world while securing €100 million in competitive funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. Among the Irish universities, NUI Galway has had the highest success rate and is also among the top 50 best performing universities in Europe for attracting Horizon 2020 funding. Thanks to the commitment of our research colleagues across many areas, from biosciences to the social sciences, we are on track to meet our ambitious target by 2020.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to celebrate our researchers and the incredible work that they do. The University is committed to producing research that is recognised as being excellent, transformative, and relevant to societal and economic needs. To date NUI Galway has had the highest success rate of all Irish institutions in EU Horizon 2020 funding for research, and among the top 40 in Europe drawing down €30 million. We will continue to support and invest in excellent people to ensure we constantly excel in our achievements, which include: Four Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers in 2015; QS Rankings increase to 250-275 in 2015/2016; and increasing our position in the top 200 of the World University Rankings 2015.” The awards ceremony included an interactive panel session with four NUI Galway EU Horizon 2020 awardees based on their experiences of the Horizon 2020 process and an interactive panel session entitled ‘H2020 Experiences and Future Opportunities.’ ENDS

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Gender ARC and the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway will host a book launch and public lecture on Thursday, 5 May. NUI Galway’s Dr Caitriona Clear will launch her upcoming book Women’s Voices in Ireland: women’s magazines in the 1950s and 60s. Irish poet and playwright Mary Coll will introduce Dr Clear’s lecture, ‘What we preserve from the past and what we ignore: some new perspectives on women in Ireland in the 1950s and 60s’. The lecture will focus on Dr Clear’s work which involves reflecting and making realisations about the state of Irish women’s history.  Caitriona Clear is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish and European History at NUI Galway. Women’s Voices in Ireland: women’s magazines in the 1950s and 60s, is her fourth book, following Social Change and Everyday Life in Ireland 1850-1922, Women of the House: women’s household work in Ireland 1926-1961 and Nuns in Nineteenth-century Ireland. She has also published research on homelessness in post-Famine Ireland, Irish women during the First World War, twentieth-century Irish women writers, and clothes and fashion in Ireland. She is a contributor to the forthcoming Cambridge History of Ireland edited by Thomas Bartlett. Mary Coll is a Limerick poet, playwright and broadcaster. Publications include All Things Considered and numerous contributions to RTÉ Radio One and RTÉ Lyric FM. She has had stage productions of Excess Baggage and Anything But Love, radio plays commissioned by RTÉ Drama On One, lyrics for the Choral Work ‘Spirestone’ and two art song cycles in association with the composer Fiona Linnane. She also has a new play Diamond Rocks: Sunset, commissioned by The Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick and a second collection of poems entitled Silver due for publication this year. Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society) is a research network linking more than fifty academics at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick who are engaged in gender-focused research across diverse disciplines. The network hosts a variety of seminars and public lectures throughout the year. The event takes place at 5pm in room RG011 in the Hardiman Research Building. All are welcome to this free event light refreshments will be provided. To learn more about this event and future Gender ARC events, please contact Gender ARC Co-Convenor and Director of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies Dr Niamh Reilly at niamh.reilly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The fifth ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’, organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, is offering free lunchtime screenings of international award-winning films celebrating ageing from 9-13 May. Marking Ireland’s Bealtaine Festival, the ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’ screenings will include: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Still Alice; Quartet; The Lady in the Van; and Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch). All films start at 1pm and are open to the public. The screenings will take place in the auditorium of the University’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. The building, which includes a new 250-seater movie venue, has wheelchair access, a theatre-size screen, and surround-sound. The festival opens with a musical comedy, Quartet, boasting a stellar cast of Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs. Set in an English home for retired musicians, the annual fundraising concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is the focus of everyone’s attention. Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin in an intense portrayal of an academic mid-life woman living with Alzheimer’s disease, and its game-changing effect on her family. Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch), an Italian subtitled film follows four fabulous ladies in their 90s, none of them professional actors, who are left in the charge of on-screen director Gianni Di Gregorio for the night in a film oozing the lazy charm of a hot August in Rome. This will follow with screen interviews with the film’s cast in a behind-the-scenes take. Thursday’s screening is The Lady in the Van, with the all-star cast of Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings. This film is based on the true story of English playwright, Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman who lived in an old camper van for 15 years in his garden. Reel Lives closes on the Friday with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a cast to include Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Richard Gere. In this follow-up to the original Marigold, new relationships are forged alongside pathos, and music. In addition to free entry, audience members can enjoy complimentary refreshments sponsored by NUI Galway’s Students’ Union shop. Parking is available on campus to non-NUI Galway personnel within the pay and display areas of Dangan car park, or a free shuttle bus runs regularly between the Orbsen building on the main campus and the terminus where ILAS is located. There are a limited number of car parking spaces for those with a disability directly outside of the ILAS building. For further information contact event organiser Alison Herbert at 091 495461 or 087 2830757. Full details of the film programme are on www.icsg.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

NUI Galway was awarded the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2016 which took place in Dublin last week. This year, the prize was awarded for the University’s MSc in Biotechnology. Judges commented on evolving nature of the well-established MSc in Biotechnology programme by stating that despite the course being around since 1981, it is a strong course that keeps evolving with deep-rooted industry links, comprehensive content and a great reputation. The NUI Galway MSc Biotechnology programme is the longest running course of its kind in Ireland and it continues to be the most up-to-date programme in the country. This postgraduate programme is highly regarded nationally and internationally as a programme through which students develop the skills, knowledge and experience required for a successful career in biotechnology. Graduates of the MSc Biotechnology programme are essential for Ireland’s smart economy that has at its core exemplary research, innovation and commercialisation. Potential applicants interested in applying to participate in the MSc in Biotechnology can contact Dr Mary Ní Fhlathartaigh at mary.nifhlathartaigh@nuigalway.ie for more details. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Biomedical Sciences Building has been awarded one of the prestigious Top Ten Design Award for Sustainability by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE), the only award outside of the United States.  The COTE Top Ten Awards program, now in its 20th year, is the profession’s most rigorous recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. NUI Galway’s Biomedical Sciences Building opened in 2014 and provides high technology science research space dedicated to cancer research, medical device technology, biomaterials science, glycoscience, regenerative medicine and chemical biology.  On awarding the honour the AIA said: “The design of the Biomedical Sciences Building embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project is able to take advantage of natural ventilation. Due to this approach, 45% of this intensive research building is able to function without mechanical ventilation. This is an extremely simple, yet radical approach and is rarely implemented to even a modest extent in similar laboratories in comparable US climates.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “The same design team also delivered the University’s Lambe Institute for Translational Research which works in collaboration with the Biomedical Sciences Building to provide a unique blend of research in the field of biomedical science.” Speaking of the award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with this award for the Biomedical Sciences Building. This is well-deserved recognition by the American Institute of Architects for the collaborative and innovative design by Payette Architects, Anthony Reddy Architects and their design team, and the design and build team led by J.J. Rhatigan & Company. It is further demonstration of NUI Galway’s commitment to sustainability in the development and operation of its buildings and estate.” More information on the Top Ten Awards is available at http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB108782. -Ends- Gradam Meiriceánach mór le rá don Inbhuanaitheacht buaite ag an bhFoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh Tá ceann de na Gradaim do na Deich nDearadh is fearr don Inbhuanaitheacht bainte amach ag an bhFoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh. Bhronn an American Institute of Architects (AIA) agus a Choiste Comhshaoil (COTE) an gradam ar an Ollscoil, an t-aon ghradam a bronnadh lasmuigh de na Stáit Aontaithe.  Is í seo an fichiú bliain do na Gradaim COTE - an t-aitheantas is airde is féidir a fháil as sárchaighdeán do dhearadh inbhuanaithe sa ghairm.  Déanann an clár ceiliúradh ar thionscadail a thagann chun cinn mar gheall ar chur chuige comhtháite i leith ailtireachta, córas nádúrtha agus teicneolaíochta. Osclaíodh Foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis OÉ Gaillimh sa bhliain 2014 agus tá spás ann do thaighde eolaíochta ardteicneolaíochta dírithe ar thaighde ailse, teicneolaíocht feistí leighis, eolaíocht bithábhar, gliceolaíocht, leigheas athghiniúnach agus bitheolaíocht cheimiceach.  Agus an gradam á bhronnadh dúirt an AIA: “Cuimsíonn dearadh an Fhoirgnimh Eolaíochta Bithleighis aeráid mheasartha na hÉireann. Trí spásanna atá tíosach ar fhuinneamh a lonnú ar imeall an fhoirgnimh, is féidir leis an tionscadal úsáid a bhaint as aeráil nádúrtha. I ngeall ar an gcur chuige seo, tá 45% den fhoirgneamh taighde seo in ann feidhmiú gan aerú meicniúil. Cur chuige thar a bheith simplí ach radacach é seo agus ní minic a chuirtear i bhfeidhm é, fiú de bheagán, i saotharlanna dá shamhail in aeráidí inchurtha le Meiriceá.” Dúirt an tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Déan Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is í seo an fhoireann chéanna dearaidh a d’oibrigh ar Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach san Ollscoil a oibríonn i gcomhar leis an bhFoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis chun meascán uathúil taighde a chur ar fáil i réimse na heolaíochta bithleighis.” Ag labhairt dó faoin ngradam, dúirt John Gibney, an Stiúrthóir Acmhainní Fisiciúla in OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá an-áthas orainn an gradam seo a fháil don Fhoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis. Is aitheantas é seo ón American Institute of Architects atá tuillte go maith ag an dearadh comhoibríoch agus nuálach a rinne Ailtirí Payette, Ailtirí Anthony Reddy agus a bhfoirne dearaidh, agus an fhoireann dearaidh agus tógála faoi stiúir J.J. Rhatigan & Company. Is léiriú é arís eile ar chomh meáite is atá OÉ Gaillimh don inbhuanaitheacht i bhforbairt agus i bhfeidhmiú a cuid foirgneamh agus eastát.” Tá tuilleadh eolais faoi na Gradaim do na Deich nDearadh is fearr le fáil ar http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB108782. -Críoch-  

Friday, 29 April 2016

NUI Galway research study discovers the partial or complete suppression of an individual’s immune system following major surgery can lead to post-surgical mortality Scientists at NUI Galway completed a research study which has revealed that post-traumatic immunosuppression (PTI) is one of the leading causes of post-surgical mortality and makes patients vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections, multiple organ failure and many other complications. The study was published today (29 April) in the international journal Clinical & Translational Immunology by Nature Publishing Group. Lead author of the study, Professor Rhodri Ceredig, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, said: “An evolutionarily sophisticated and balanced immune system exists in our body whose equilibrium can be altered by different physical, environmental or psychological stresses. Trauma, including major surgery and accidental injury, leads to post-traumatic immunosuppression (PTI) increasing a patient’s vulnerability to hospital-acquired infections. Florence Nightingale initially raised this question during the Crimean War and great efforts were then made to improve hospital hygiene. Although sanitation has been improved in hospitals, an equivalent phenomenon of post-traumatic deaths from systemic infections persists to this day. ” Professor Ceredig added, “More and more new infections are still threatening major trauma patients. An important question remains, ‘why do wounded patients acquire systemic infections even in a hygienic environment?’ Research over the past two decades suggests that following trauma, a patient’s immune system is imbalanced, thereby increasing their vulnerability to acquired infections. However, the underlying mechanisms of PTI are poorly defined and as yet, there are no universally accepted treatments. Our study, carried out by Dr Md. Nahidul Islam at NUI Galway in collaboration with Professor Benjamin Bradley of the University of Bristol, used total knee replacement surgery as a model of sterile surgical trauma.” At sites of tissue damage, whether it be following major surgery or accidental injury, many bioactive molecules are produced. These molecules include so-called ‘danger’ signals expressed by damaged cells that in turn stimulate production by local, undamaged, cells of very potent, soluble hormone-like molecules. Some of these molecules dampen, whereas others stimulate inflammation. It is thought the overall purpose of these early local events is to create an environment favourable to tissue healing. However, some of the molecules produced locally enter the blood stream and have effects on distant organs such as the liver, brain and organs of the immune system. The overall effect of these is to dampen immune responses thereby rendering the patient more susceptible to oportunistic infections. The origin of such infections can be either external or internal, for example from an imbalance of gut bacteria or failure of the body to control low-grade infection. In some respects, the profile of bioactive molecules circulating in the blood following sterile surgical intervention can resemble that seen in the early stages of serious bacteriological infections. Hospital-acquired infections and their treatments pose a huge economic burden on healthcare services and are a cause of serious morbidity and even mortality. One key finding of this study was that additional research is necessary in order to be able to distinguish immunosuppression following sterile trauma from that seen in the early stages of non-sterile infection, thereby providing guidelines for the initiation of appropriate treatments. This study was supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and North Bristol NHS Trust. To read the full study in Clinical & Translational Immunology visit: http://www.nature.com/cti/journal/v5/n4/full/cti201613a.html ENDS

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ben Gwalchmai, a PhD student in Digital Arts and Humanities at NUI Galway, has been awarded a prestigious Venice Biennale Fellowship. The Fellowship, coordinated by The British Council, awards a sponsored grant of £1,600 to cover travel, accommodation and living costs. Ben, who is originally from Wales, will spend one month in Venice as part of a group of eight individuals responsible for invigilating the British Pavilion each month and taking part in a dedicated research programme. The 15th Venice Architecture Biennale will run from 28 May-27 November 2016, with a preview taking place on 25-27 May and offers an important opportunity to review and rethink important aspects of architecture. The Biennale is focussed on the resourcefulness and vitality in which architecture responds to the demands of civil society.  Fellows will undertake site-specific research considering how architecture in Venice responds to periods of occupancy. Under a structured research programme, fellows will devise a research proposal in advance of their travel to Venice, and will be assisted by receiving feedback from British Pavilion exhibition contributors and industry experts. Ben’s particular focus in ‘Reporting from the Front’ is in line with his PhD at NUI Galway. He will be looking at the historical changes in public space in Venice alongside charting which and how many private homes – in line with the Home Economics exhibition – have become public spaces. Ben said: “It’s an honour to be a British Council Venice Fellow and I look forward to making long-lasting, international connections.” Dr Justin Tonra, Humanities Director of NUI Galway’s Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme, said: “Ben’s receipt of this prestigious British Council Fellowship is fitting reward for his track record of achievement and wide-ranging scholarly and artistic interests, and his research project in Venice closely relates to his PhD topic of utilising open public data to understand and reshape public spaces. The award is a great honour for Ben, and continues the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme’s record of close collaboration with prominent cultural bodies and institutions.” For further information on the Venice Biennale Fellowship visit http://design.britishcouncil.org/. For more information on the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme at NUI Galway visit http://dahphd.ie/. -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

 NUI Galway student selected as prize winner from 1,100 global submissions and awarded Illumina Next-Generation Sequencing technology to advance research in breast cancer A PhD student from NUI Galway has been selected as a prize winner from 1,100 submissions worldwide to win the ‘Go Mini Scientific Challenge Program’. Úna McVeigh was awarded cutting edge technology to the value of $4,500 to further support her research in the genetics of breast cancer. The announcement was made at a reception at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in New Orleans in Louisiana. The Scientific Challenge Program was launched to highlight the range of applications that can be performed using Illumina’s MiniSeq System. The MiniSeq, unveiled earlier this year is Illumina’s smallest and simplest next-generation sequencing (NGS) system ideally suited for research and industrial applications in many segments including cancer, infectious disease, inherited disease, and reproductive health. Úna McVeigh, a PhD student at NUI Galway and originally from Tourlestrane in Sligo, will receive three sequencing runs on a MiniSeq System facilitated by Illumina. She will study the genetics of breast cancer in the population of the West of Ireland, specifically in women with a strong family history of the disease, to understand the role of genes other than BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 in cancer susceptibility. Ms McVeigh’s translational research study, which leverages samples from a large biobank at NUI Galway’s department of surgery, aims to identify the frequency of genetic variants, their effects on breast cancer risk, and the clinical utility of testing for them. She hopes to be able to validate new clinically-relevant variants that are potentially applicable in broader populations. Commenting on her research, Úna McVeigh said: “Next-generation sequencing is an invaluable tool for identifying new cancer susceptibility genes. Despite the discovery of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, the majority of inherited predisposition to breast cancer remains unexplained. We hope our research can begin to identify new genetic drivers of breast cancer, so that one day better patient screening can improve health outcomes for populations with a genetic predisposition to the disease.” Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway and Research Director of Breast Cancer Research said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for a young researcher starting out on her PhD studies to undertake, being invited to attend one of the most important Cancer Research conferences in the world. Úna is working in the exciting area of breast cancer genomics and with support from Breast Cancer Research she is investigating a panel of genes of interest that will add to the growing knowledge around inherited breast cancer risk.” The research was funded by Breast Cancer Research, a national charity that raises funds in support of world-class breast cancer research at NUI Galway. Commenting on the MiniSeq award, Helen Ryan, Board Chairperson of Breast Cancer Research said: “We are delighted for Úna on winning this much sought after award for her research on the genetics of breast cancer. Innovative research like Una’s is advancing Breast Cancer Research’s vision of having a real and measurable impact on outcomes for breast cancer patients.” Sam Raha, Vice President of Global Marketing for Illumina said: “The diversity and creativity of the scientific challenge applications that we received is a testament to the versatility of the MiniSeq. We’re excited that MiniSeq will be used to advance scientific understanding in entomology, virology, and oncology, through the work of these researchers and look forward to seeing our other customers use the system on a myriad of applications critical to improving human health.” For further information about the winners announced at the first Illumina MiniSeq Scientific Challenge visit: http://www.illumina.com/company/news-center/feature-articles/illumina-announces-winners-of-miniseq-scientific-challenge.html  ENDS

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

NUI Galway to host workshops for teenagers based on the perception of art and science and exposing the idea that both are not mutually exclusive The outreach team from the Department of Chemistry in NUI Galway, funded by EXPLORE Innovation Initiative will host free workshops entitled ‘Explore Science in Art’ on the University campus over three separate days in April and May. The workshops will gauge the perception of art and science among secondary school students aged 14-18 years and will blur the boundaries between art and science by showing the scientific method and principles involved in art and the creativity required in science. The practical workshops will consist of three parts: Chemically synthesise pigments for paintings as they were made hundreds of years ago and use them to create artwork. Making and using fabric dyes. Create your very own masterpiece. On Friday, 6 May the School of Chemistry will host two free talks entitled ‘Talks @ Explore Science in Art’ linking two disciplines that are generally considered unrelated, exposing the idea that science and art are not mutually exclusive. A conservation scientist will talk about how science helps us better understand art while a scientist will discuss how understanding art and being creative helps science! The first talk ‘From Art to Science and back again...’ by Dr Peter Crowley from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will take place at 5pm on Friday, 6 May. The second talk entitled, ‘Lapis & Gold: looking at manuscripts through the eyes of a Conservator’, by Ms Kristine Rose Beers from the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, will take place at 5.30pm. Both talks will take place in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. On Monday, 9 May the ‘Talks @ Explore Science in Art’ will continue with the man who made Yoda himself - on how science helps us understand art better. Dr Spike Bucklow from Hamilton-Kerr Institute at the University of Cambridge will discuss ‘Can science help you understand art better?’ The talk will take place from 5.30pm to 6.30pm in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts and Science Building at NUI Galway. Saturday, 30 April workshops will take place in the Chemistry Teaching Labs in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. For registration and further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/explore-science-in-art-tickets-24301970849 The talks on Friday, 6 May will take place from 5pm to 6.30pm in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. For registration and further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talks-explore-science-in-art-tickets-23913873038 For registration and further information on Friday, May 9 talks, visit: https://goo.gl/GVTxdI ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUI Galway launch ‘Citizen Authored Briefs’ that draw on research conducted by older people, children and youth and people with disabilities to highlight community issues A new research collaboration empowering local residents to highlight community issues for children, older people and people with disabilities has been carried out by the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) at NUI Galway. In an innovative partnership with the Project Lifecourse group at ILAS, children and youth, older people, and people with disabilities conducted research in six neighbourhoods across Dublin, Galway and Limerick. Offering a unique insight and voice into the experiences of these groups, the research captures the impact of community change from the viewpoint of local people and vulnerable groups within each neighbourhood context in Ireland. Speaking about this collaboration, Alexandra Revez, one of the NUI Galway researchers, said: “This initiative has allowed the coming together of these residents, from very different backgrounds and different types of neighbourhoods, to really unearth the lived experiences of growing up, ageing and living with a disability in today’s urban society.”      This exciting research collaboration is marked by the launch of the ‘Citizen Authored Brief Series’. These briefs document research on important issues such as: safety and the built environment; social and economic disadvantage; community identity and intergenerational relationships; migration and the value of intercultural spaces, and community activism. Asked about their motivation to participate in this initiative one of the Citizen Researchers remarked that this collaboration was: “A chance to open people’s eyes to what I see and an opportunity to have my voice heard.” The Citizen Researcher Initiative is part of NUI Galway’s 3-Cities Project, which aims to engage in a collaborative process to re-imagine services and communities to maximise participation for children and youth, older people and people with disabilities in their localities and cities. The project, focusing on Claddagh and Doughiska (as part of the greater Ardaun, Roscam and Doughiska community area) in Galway, East Wall and the Liberties in Dublin, and South Circular Road and Garryowen in Limerick, is interested in the urban environment and the impact it has on the life-course trajectories of individuals. This research also explores the impact of different community participation practices on the lives of older people, children and youth and people with disabilities. The Citizen Researcher Initiative represents international best practice in the activation and empowerment of members of the public as researchers. By engaging in this process the project has strived to provide local members of the community which represent older people, children and youth and people with disabilities with a way to contribute to and direct the 3-Cities Project research and its outputs. The 3-Cities Project marks the first major programme of work undertaken by Project Lifecourse, which is the flagship research initiative at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) in NUI Galway. This initiative is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and represents Ireland’s most visible contribution to the growing international field of life course studies. For more information on 3-Cities Project please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/ilas/project-lifecourse/thethreecitiesproject/ ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Breast Cancer Now-funded research aims to determine why one third of breast cancer patients treated with anti-estrogen therapies relapse within 15 years Monday, 25 April, 2016: Scientists at NUI Galway have completed a research study funded by Breast Cancer Now that has begun to unravel why women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer develop a resistance to endocrine treatment, and have found a potential new approach to overcome the problem. Such findings may pave the way for new therapies to treat breast cancers resistant to endocrine therapy. The study was published today (April 25) in the international journal Oncogene by Nature Publishing Group. A cancer is called estrogen-receptor-positive if it has receptors for estrogen. This suggests that the cancer cells, like normal breast cells, may receive signals from estrogen that could promote their growth. Every woman has estrogen and progesterone hormones in her body, which can serve as fuel for some types of breast cancer. They help the cells grow and spread. Hormone therapy, also called endocrine therapy, adds, blocks, or removes those chemicals to treat the disease. Approximately 70% of breast cancers are positive for estrogen receptor and are treated with hormonal therapy. However, one third of breast cancer patients treated with hormonal therapy relapse within 15 years, which is why it is so important that this research continues, to help determine how the cancer finds ways to survive in these patients. The research was performed by a team of scientists and clinicians led by Dr Sanjeev Gupta at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway and lead author of the study, Dr Ananya Gupta, Lecturer of Physiology at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway. XBP1 is a protein that is involved in a cell’s response to stressful conditions, which allows tumours to grow and survive when they are deprived of nutrients. Dr Sanjeev Gupta and his team found that XBP1 increases the production of the protein, NCOA3 that enables the breast cancer cells to avoid anti-estrogen treatment. This indicated that combining standard hormonal therapies with a XBP1 inhibitor (this blocks the XBP1 function), could improve treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients by preventing relapse due to therapy resistance. Dr Sanjeev Gupta, who has been working on XBP1 since 2007 says that: “This research could lead to better approaches to predict an individual patients responsiveness to endocrine therapies.” Analysing human patient specimens, Dr Gupta and his team found that testing for high levels of XBP1 and the protein NCOA3, could predict whose breast cancer is likely to be resistant to anti-estrogen drugs and which patients could benefit most from combined treatment with hormonal therapies and a XBP1 inhibitor. The findings suggest that resistance to anti-estrogen treatment could be overcome by targeting the cancer cells with a XBP1 inhibitor, using the cell’s reliance on XBP1 as their Achilles heel. Dr Ananya Gupta from NUI Galway and lead author of the research said: “The next step is to identify a suitable therapeutic target in the XBP1-NCOA3 pathway. XBP1 is a transcription factor, and transcription factors have been very difficult to target with small molecules. We look forward to developing new ways to target this molecule in breast cancer.” Dr Richard Berks, Senior Research Communications Officer at Breast Cancer Now, said: “This study reveals how the XBP1 protein could be helping some breast cancers survive anti-hormone treatments. We look forward to further research to find out whether blocking this protein could reduce the risk of a patient’s breast cancer spreading or returning, ultimately helping to stop women dying from the disease. It’s crucial that we continue to find ways to make breast cancer therapies even more effective, and match individual patients with the treatments most likely to work for them.” The study was led by NUI Galway and co-authors included Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital (GUH) and Director of Breast Cancer Research; and Grace Callagy,  Professor of Pathology at NUI Galway and GUH. The research was funded by Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign. To read the full study in Oncogene visit: http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/onc2016121a.html  ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUI Galway in partnership with Mindfulness Ireland and Plum Village, Bordeaux is delighted to announce a free public event ‘An Evening of Mindfulness’ NUI Galway is delighted to host a very special event entitled ‘An Evening of Mindfulness’ in association with Mindfulness Ireland, exploring the practice of Mindfulness. The free event is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, 28 April from 6pm to 8pm in the Aula Maxima Lower at NUI Galway. The Mindfulness session will be presented by Teacher Sister Jina, and her colleagues Sr Tri Nghiem and Sr Tao Nghiem from Plum Village in Bordeaux. Sister Jina is a Senior Dharma Teacher within the Plum Village Mindfulness tradition and lives her daily life practicing mindfulness and leading mindfulness retreats around the world. In the hectic lives we lead it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day eventualities. Between going over what happened yesterday to worrying about and planning for tomorrow we can sometimes forget about enjoying today. The practice of mindfulness is about being present and awake to each moment of our daily lives. It will give people the opportunity to look at ways in which we can improve the quality of our lives and that of those around us by listening deeply, building community and paying attention to how we live. Plum Village, near Bordeaux in southwest France, is the largest international practice centre in the Plum Village tradition, and the first monastic community founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment - the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. This unique event is part of NUI Galway’s ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture and the importance of mindfulness in higher educational institutions and the wider community. The event is open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway and coordinator of the University’s Mindful Way initiative said: “NUI Galway is on a journey to adopt a mindfulness culture to benefit both staff and students that is being shared with the wider Galway community. We are honoured to host Sr Jina and her monastic colleagues from Plum Village and hope that everyone who attends will enjoy this truly unique evening with such a globally revered group.” The Plum Village Monastics are in Galway as part of Mindfulness Ireland's Annual Retreat Programme, which takes place every year over the May Bank Holiday weekend. For more information visit www.mindfulnessireland.org/ and www.plumvillage.org To register attendance please contact Martina Finn on galwaysangha@gmail.com or 087 2201972. For more information regarding NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A colloquium on commercial sex will be hosted by the Commercial Sex Researchers Network of Ireland (CSNRI) in conjunction with the NUI Galway-UL Gender Arc on Tuesday, 3 May in Room 110, St. Anthony’s Building, NUI Galway. Entitled ‘Research on the margins? Commercial sex, the researcher and the researched’, this is an interdisciplinary event which encapsulates local and international expert opinion on the issue of commercial sex is organised by Seán Burke, a PhD candidate at NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology. Keynote speaker Dr Lorraine Nencel will critically explore how researchers make sense of knowledge about the sex trade, how they work with sex workers, and some of the implications of that. She will draw on her 20 year experience of research with sex workers in Peru, Netherlands, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Dhaka Bangladesh, and make the case that researching the sex trade is not like researching any other topic, or not ‘a job like any other’.  Dr Nencel’s address will be followed by two interactive workshops hosted by NUI Galway’s Dr Eilís Ward and Dr Leigh-Ann Sweeney. Dr Nencel is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at the VU University, Amsterdam. Trained as an anthropologist, she has been researching the subject of sex work for more than twenty years, beginning with her research in Lima Peru. Momentarily, she is finishing research on migrant sex workers in the Netherlands, has a project concerning ‘economic empowerment’ and sex workers in Kenya and Ethiopia, and has recently began a project on migrant young women and sexual and reproductive rights in Dhaka Bangladesh, which also works with sex workers.  Dr Eilís Ward is lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway and has been researching and publishing on the politics of the sex trade for over ten years. She is a member of the management committee of the EU funded Cost Action network, ProsPol, and co-editor of a forthcoming book on the state, feminism and prostitution politics.  Furthermore, Dr Ward has contributed to the national debate on prostitution by giving submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee Justice Equality and Defence, which investigated legislating for prostitution in Ireland. Dr Leigh-Ann Sweeney is a Health Services Postdoctoral Researcher at NUI Galway’s Health Promotion Research Centre. Her research to date has focused on qualitative, service-user led research, with a specific interest in narrative inquiry. Dr Sweeney’s PhD research topic, ‘The psychosocial experiences of women involved in prostitution: An exploratory study’, provides empirical evidence on the health needs and experiences of women in the sex industry. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a place, contact Seán Burke at seandeburca1986@gmail.com.  -Ends-