University of Galway

Our prestigious history spans almost two centuries. Our spectacular location boasts the unique landscape and culture of the west of Ireland. Our global network connects us to partners around the world. Our researchers are shaping the future. Our students are shaping their own.

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31 May 2023

University of Galway to lead on clinical trials of the future

Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials established with a focus on benefit and impact for patients   University of Galway has today announced the establishment of Ireland’s first Institute for Clinical Trials. The new institute will transform the clinical research landscape by creating an environment where scientific advances are translated into improved care for patients.  The Institute for Clinical Trials will transform lives by ensuring patients get access to the latest medicines and treatments in a timely way.  Through its ambitious programme of research excellence, the Institute will position Ireland at the forefront of clinical and biomedical discovery.    University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “As a university for the public good, led by our values, including excellence and openness, the establishment of the Institute for Clinical Trials will chart new paths in research for the benefit of the health and well-being of people at their most vulnerable time, in Ireland and internationally. This is a shining example of our ambition and a manifestation of University of Galway looking beyond the horizon, forging breakthroughs in science and in research, in the world and for the world."    Director of the Institute, Professor Peter Doran, outlined the ambition for the Institute, said: “Research is critical to the healthcare ecosystem. Patients who attend hospitals that are research active have better outcomes, due to both increased access to early lifesaving treatments, and through the culture that pervades when research and inquiry are at the core of the health systems. By increasing clinical research activity, which is at the centre of the institute ambition, we will drive outcomes for patients. “We also know that indigenous companies, particularly in the medtech sector, struggle to conduct clinical evaluations in Ireland, which is essential for market access. We are setting in motion a strategy to address the barriers which limit the conduct of clinical trials in Ireland.”     A major component of the Institute’s activity will be to improve how trials are done, integrating innovative methodologies, with enhanced technologies and better molecular analysis to create the trial of the future and position Ireland as a leader in clinical trials.   Professor Doran continued: “The cross-sectoral activities of the Institute for Clinical Trials will be nationally distinctive, will align with Ireland’s regional development strategies and will enhance economic competitiveness by attracting investment, jobs and talent, in addition to its core mission of improving the health of the population.”    The institute was officially launched this morning by Noreen Doyle, an entrepreneur and mother of four children, two of whom are childhood-cancer survivors.    Speaking at the launch, Ms Doyle said: “In 2007 we entered our two year-old son, James into a clinical trial following is diagnoses of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) with the hope that it would help children in the future to fight cancer. Little did we know then that it would actually be his little sister, Kate, 10 years later, who would be one of those children to benefit greatly from this exact trial.”   The Institute will be led from University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.   Professor Martin O’Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at University of Galway and Consultant, said: “This institute will consolidate our areas of considerable strength in clinical trials, ensure the rapid translation of medical discoveries to clinical evaluation and ultimately improve the lives of patients and health of our population, leveraging the academic strengths of our University and its healthcare partner Saolta University Healthcare Group. The Institute will also focus on developing sustained, mutually advantageous partnerships with industry and academic partners, positioning our region as a leader in health and med tech research.”  Ends

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24 May 2023

University of Galway host European Dialogue Digital Innovation in Health and Wellbeing

University of Galway will welcome 150 researchers, PhD students and external industry stakeholders from across the ENLIGHT network to campus for a special event to address and discuss solutions for global societal challenges.  The ‘ENLIGHT European Dialogue Digital Innovation in Health and Wellbeing’ runs from 23 to 25 May, 2023 and brings together ENLIGHT universities and external stakeholders to share best practices and foster future research and education collaborations. One of the highlights of the networking event is the Academic Industry Meeting (AIM) day on Wednesday May 24. Created by Uppsala University in Sweden, AIMday is an exchange of knowledge and ideas focused on finding novel approaches to real-world challenges, and has been successfully adapted by universities around the world to open new networks and develop new collaborations between academia and industry. Numerous local companies will participate in the event including SymPhysis Medical, FeelTect, Croí and Boston Scientific and they will be joined by digital health companies from across ENLIGHT regions.  President of University of Galway Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway’s mission is to be a university for the public good. At the edge but in the middle of everything, the openness and shared respect of the European ideal is central to us. Through working together, we are always seeking new ways to build connections and make an impact in our society and the ENLIGHT AIMDay is part of that.” Professor Becky Whay, Vice President International at University of Galway,  said: “The ENLIGHT alliance exemplifies University of Galway’s commitment to openness and diversity in our University, creating opportunities for students and staff, as well as for our region.  “Our partnership in a European University Network puts us at the forefront of designing models for cross European collaboration, in education, research and our external stakeholders in Galway and throughout Europe.”  ENLIGHT is a partnership of nine universities, supported by the Government and the European Commission, to build a platform for the creation a new type of European university campus where students and staff have increased opportunities for international study, training, teaching, research and sharing of services. The ENLIGHT University Alliance includes University of Galway; Comenius University, Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Groningen (Netherlands); University of Bordeaux (France); Gent University (Belgium); University of Tartu (Estonia); University of Gottingen (Germany); University of the Basque Country (Spain); and Uppsala University (Sweden). ENLIGHT aims to collaboratively transform higher education and research, addressing societal challenges and promoting equitable quality of life, sustainability and external engagement with the communities of the partner universities. Ends

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23 May 2023

Winners named in national science competition for randomised trials

Three primary schools who used scientific methods to answer questions about well-being, education and fitness in the classroom have been awarded the START Trophy 2023 at a special event in University of Galway.   Organised by the Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) at University of Galway, the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) annual competition encourages children throughout Ireland to learn more about healthcare decisions and how we can improve health and wellbeing by learning about randomised trials. Sometimes called clinical trials, randomised trials are a type of research study often used to find out if a new medicine or treatment works.            The START competition is a fun, project-based approach to learning about randomised trials. It also helps meet key aspects of the current school curriculum in several subjects including maths, science, SPHE and ICT. The competition website provides all the tools needed to allow children and teachers create their own randomised clinical trial in the classroom.    The three shortlisted primary schools and their trial questions were:    Currow National School, Ranalough, Killarney, Co. Kerry Running Debate- should you run for distance or time?   Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin, Dublin 9  Which method of learning produces better results in a test: educational videos or educational text?    Corrandulla National School, Corrandulla, Galway Do mindful opportunities increase concentration in the classroom?   Coming in at third place, Corrandulla National School from County Galway explored the imact of mindfulness on concentrating in the classroom. Techniques such as colouring, storytelling, breathing techniques, yoga and sensory play were tested, and the children’s emotions / feelings were recorded. This school concluded that the children felt happier after engaging in the mindfulness breaks, less likely to fidget misbehave or disrupt the class. The mindfulness intervention had positive emotional and academic outcomes for the children involved.    Scoil Mobhi, Glasnevin, Dublin, were presented with second place for their trial ‘Which learning method gives better academic outcomes, educational videos or educational text?’. The students randomised their fellow classmates to the intervention or control arm of the study, using a fun spinner wheel. Using a standard test for both control and intervention groups, the students concluded that the video resource resulted the children getting better test scores.    The overall START first place winners were Currow National School, Ranalough, Killarney, Co. Kerry. They addressed whether or not running for distance or time to improve fitness and concluded that there was no difference between these two groups, and that either method would be good to improve fitness.     Commenting on the START competition, Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-TMRN at University of Galway, said: “We started this competition for two reasons. Firstly, we wanted to raise awareness of the importance of randomised trials with children. Secondly, we wanted to harness the creativity and imagination of children in the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of trials. The high standard and variety of applications we receive each year demonstrates that the START competition has indeed raised the awareness of randomised trials and capitalised on children’s innate ability to explain difficult concepts clearly and in a fun way.”   Dr Sandra Galvin National Programme Manager of the HRB – Trials Methodology Research Network, said: “The questions that the children come up with every year are amazing. They usually focus on an aspect of their own lives in the classroom, and they work together to create the trial, but also have a lot of fun. The curiosity and creativity of their bright young minds means they usually challenge our concepts and get us to think more creatively.”   The three shortlisted schools were selected by four judges: Iseult Mangan, Former Primary School Principal Cloghans Hill NS (2017 START winner) and Teen Turn Mentor  Aisling Murray, Teacher, St. Joseph’s National School in Kinvara and teacher of the 2018 START Competition winning class. Professor Shaun Treweek, Professor of Health Services Research, University of Aberdeen, UK Sarah Chapman, Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK.   The competition is run by the Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN), which is a collaborative Network across five University partners - University of Galway, University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and the University of Limerick - to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day and the anniversary of the first clinical trial which was carried out in 1747 in the British Navy.   To learn more about START visit or follow on Twitter @STARTSchools and Facebook at    Ends

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