All 2007

Minister Martin TD announces Smith & Nephew and REMEDI R&D Collaboration at NUI

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Wednesday 10th October 2007) announced that Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology company, and REMEDI, the Regenerative Medicine Institute at NUI Galway, are to establish a four year R&D collaborative programme for the development of groundbreaking new treatments for bone and joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis. The investment, in excess of €6 million, is supported by IDA Ireland. Smith & Nephew is a global provider of medical technologies, including orthopaedic treatments and implants for knees, hips and shoulders. REMEDI, recognised as the Ireland's primary centre for stem cell and gene therapy research, was established as a CSET (Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology) in 2004 by Science Foundation Ireland. It has a core expertise in arthritis research and a particular emphasis on the translation of its research findings in the delivery of new therapies in orthopaedics, cardiovascular and neural diseases. Minister Martin, welcoming the collaboration, said "This is truly cutting-edge R&D and will be extremely important in the discovery of treatments for osteoarthritis, a common degenerative joint condition for which there is currently no cure. The management of osteoarthritis involves substantial cost to the healthcare system in every country and, because it is associated with ageing, these costs are expected to rise as the global population ages. This collaboration is in line with the Government's strategy of positioning Ireland at the forefront of R&D in emerging technologies and novel biotherapeutics." The Smith & Nephew Research Centre in York (UK) will work in partnership with REMEDI to develop new therapies using adult bone marrow stem cells to promote the re-growth of healthy cartilage and repair damaged joints. Stem cells are known to possess properties which allow them to be programmed to create healthy new tissue to repair the damage caused by injury or disease. Peter Arnold, Group Director of Technology for Smith & Nephew, said: "We are delighted to be working with the team at REMEDI, who are widely recognised and respected as world leaders in this field. There are currently no regenerative options available for people suffering from osteoarthritis and other similar musculoskeletal conditions. This would be particularly beneficial for younger patients, who often spend many years on high doses of pain killers before receiving a joint replacement." He added: "The aim of the Smith & Nephew collaboration with REMEDI is to develop a new generation of orthopaedic therapies that will help people to remain active and pain free for much longer by harnessing the healing power of adult stem cells to promote the growth of new cartilage or bone." Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI said: "This is a very significant milestone for us in our research programmes. We are delighted to be working with Smith & Nephew in the development of novel, cell-based therapies for osteoarthritis. In addition to this support from Smith & Nephew we acknowledge the critical support that Science Foundation Ireland has provided in the establishment of REMEDI and the funding provided now by IDA which will allow us to expand our efforts in developing a new generation of arthritis therapies. The Smith & Nephew Research Centre has already developed early prototype cell technologies, including the ability to grow human cartilage from adult stem cells. The collaboration with REMEDI, who have extensive expertise in osteoarthritis cartilage repair, will speed up the process of producing viable new orthopaedic therapies. These therapies will have the potential to alleviate or delay the need for joint replacement and lower the need for long-term pain management. Over 100 million people worldwide suffer from painful osteoarthritis, which is one of the most common causes of disability. Current treatments for the incurable condition largely focus on pain management and the eventual replacement of the affected knee or hip joint. The project will be led by James Huckle, Programme Manager for Enabling Technologies at the Smith & Nephew Research Centre, and Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI and a leading expert in adult stem cell engineering. It will involve 10 researchers working at REMEDI. In addition, the project will receive support from the Smith & Nephew Research Centre in York which has strong management skills and expertise in running collaborative research involving academia and industry. President of NUI Galway Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh welcomed this announcement, saying, "This partnership between REMEDI with Smith & Nephew is a wonderful example of academic - industry collaboration. On behalf of NUI Galway I warmly welcome this investment, from which scientific research and innovation will ultimately yield real benefits to those suffering from bone and joint disease". The required facilities will involve the use of the REMEDI laboratories in NUI Galway and its manufacturing laboratory for the production of clinical batches of adult stem cells to be used in clinical trials. ENDS

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The Medtronic Vascular Award for Academic Excellence

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Tom Creedon, HR Manager Medtronic awarded two students for academic excellence at the end of first year of the part-time Bachelor of Commerce at NUI Galway. This award was given to the Part-time Bachelor of Commerce students who received the highest average upon completion of the first year of studies following the summer 2007 exams. All non-degree holders were eligible. The award was divided between two students; Brian Guiry, from Concorde Travel in Ennis, Co. Clare and Michael Noone, from Bank of Ireland, Galway who both received the same overall mark. The Faculty of Commerce greatly values the support that Medtronic have given this particular programme. The Part-Time Batchelor of Commerce is a four year degree programme in business education. A Diploma in Management is awarded upon successful completion of the first two years. The programme is delivered via e-learning/blended learning which usually involves two introductory training and six weekend workshops per year. There is a high level of flexibility in the design of the programme and it is particularly well suited to real work situations. A strategic goal of the Cairnes Business School is to strengthen our links with companies like Medtronic and with the wider community. In our new strategy we will seek to work in partnership to develop new and flexible educational programmes and opportunities for collaborative research projects Medtronic is the world's leading medical technology company, providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. Every 5 seconds, Medtronic products are helping to improve somebody's life all around the world. Medtronic's establishment in Galway came via its 1999 acquisition of Arterial Vascular Engineering (AVE). AVE had previously acquired the cardiovascular business of CR Bard Inc, including the Galway facility, which was set up by Bard in 1982. Medtronic employs over 2,300 people in Galway. These people are involved in the research, development and manufacture of a range of leading-edge, minimally invasive product technologies for the Vascular Division, including stents, stent delivery systems and angioplasty balloons. These products are used to treat arterial vessel disease in the heart and other regions of the body. The Galway site is also a centre of excellence for the Cardiac Rhythm Management Division, developing and manufacturing products to support heart failure therapy applications. ENDS

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Seoladh Oifigiúil an Ionaid um Thaighde ar Phian

Monday, 8 October 2007

Seoladh an tIonad um Thaighde ar Phian go foirmiúil in OÉ Gaillimh Dé Céadaoin, an 3 Deireadh Fómhair 2007. Is é atá mar aidhm ag an Ionad um Thaighde ar Phian ionad barr feabhais do thaighde idirdhisciplíneach a chruthú idir an Ollscoil agus comhghleacaithe sa tseirbhís sláinte agus é mar chuspóir cur leis an tuiscint eolaíoch atá ar phian. Is ar na heolaíochtaí bunúsacha agus an pobal a bheidh an obair seo bunaithe. Cuireann pian ainsealach, sheasmhach isteach ar na milliúin daoine ar fud na cruinne, pian a chuireann bac ar shláinte agus dea-bhraistint daoine agus téann níos mó daoine chun comhairle dochtúra a lorg de dheasca pianta ná airí ar bith eile. In Éirinn, cuireann pian ainsealach isteach ar bheagnach leathmhilliún duine go laethúil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Uachtarán Ó Muircheartaigh ag seoladh oifigiúil an Ionaid, "Cinnteoidh an tIonad um Thaighde ar Phian go mbeidh próifíl náisiúnta ag pian mar ábhar taighde agus deis eile atá ann freisin do OÉ Gaillimh ról ceannaireachta a ghlacadh i dtaighde ar chúrsaí sláinte agus forbairtí beartais in Éirinn." Is é an tIonad um Thaighde ar Phian an chéad ionad atá dírithe ar thaighde ar phian in Éirinn agus beidh taighdeoirí ó réimsí éagsúla léinn ag obair ann agus iad roinnte i gcúig ghrúpa faoi leith: Taighde réamhchliniciúil Gnéithe síceolaíocha agus néarshíceolaíocha den phian Pian a chóireáil agus a bhainistiú An daonra agus gnéithe beartais den phian Taighde réamhchliniciúil ar phian agus cleachtas cliniciúil a chomhtháthú Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag an Dr David Finn agus an Dr Brian McGuire, Comhstiúrthóirí an Ionaid, "Forbairt iontach tábhachtach é seo a chinntíonn go mbeidh ról ag Gaillimh sa taighde ar phian go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta" I measc cuid de na himeachtaí a bheidh ar siúl le linn sheoladh an ionaid beidh beirt aoichainteoirí - saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta sa taighde ar phian - i mbun cainte ag an Ionad. Tabharfaidh an tOllamh Chris Main, síceolaí cliniciúil agus údar téacsleabhar ildisciplíneach maidir le pian a bhainistiú ó Ollscoil Keele, spreagaitheasc faoi Psychosocial barriers to effective pain management agus labhróidh an tOllamh Irene Tracey, saineolaí aitheanta ar néar-íomháú sa taighde ar phian, atá i gceannas ar an aonad fMRI in Ollscoil Oxford, faoi Advances in Pain Neuroimaging. I measc an lucht oibre, cruthaíonn pian in íochtar an droma níos mó míchumais ná ailse, galar croí, stróc agus SEIF in éindí. Tá post caillte ag duine amháin as gach seisear in Éirinn atá i bpian de dheasca na riochta atá orthu. Cosnaíonn íocaíochtaí sochair i ndáil le pian den chineál sin os cionn €1.2 milliún in aghaidh na seachtaine (Pain in Europe Study, 2003). CRÍOCH

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Scoil na Gaeilge Annual Conference at NUI Galway

Monday, 8 October 2007

Scoil na Gaeilge's annual conference will take place 12-13 October to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of St. Anthony's Franciscan College, Louvain. The conference will be opened on Friday afternoon (Oct 12) by Senator Ronan Mullen and will discuss the contribution the Louvain friars made to Irish literature, history and hagiography. There will be eleven lectures in all. The keynote speakers include Fearghus Ó Fearghail (Mater Dei) who will discuss the importance of the Irish translation of the New Testament (1602); Angharad Price (University of Bangor) whose topic is the literary productions of Welsh Catholic exiles on the continent; and Martin Stone (Leuven) who will assess the Louvain friars' contribution to the study of Scotistc philosophy on the continent. The other speakers include Pádraig A. Breatnach, Marie-Louise Coolahan, Charlie Dillon, Mícheál Mac Craith, Nollaig Ó Muraíle, Tadhg Ó Dúshlaine, Marie Ó Tuathaigh and Salvador Ryan. Marie Ó Tuathaigh's talk on the adventures of Mary Stuart O' Donnell, the daughter the Earl of Tyrconnell never saw, should be particularly interesting, involving as it does a potent cocktail of religion, politics and cross-dressing. The conference will close with a showing of Antaine Ó Donnaíle's highly acclaimed documentary, Na hIarlaí san Eoraip. To coincide with the conference The James Hardiman Library is mounting an exhibition of books and manuscripts associated with Louvain. Pride of place will go to Duanaire Finn and the Book of the O' Conor Don, two manuscripts which were commissioned for Sorley McDonnell, a captain in the Tyrone Regiment of the Spanish army under the command of his second cousin John O' Neill, a son of the great Hugh O' Neill. Scoil na Gaeilge's Professor Micheál Mac Craith said, "Duanaire Finn is the most important anthology of Ossianic ballads that we have, while the the Book of the O'Conor Don contains over three hundred and fifty poems, most of them relating to contemporary events. Captain Sorley was buried in the cloister of St. Anthony's College and the Duanaire came into the possession of the Franciscans. The fate of the other manuscript was unknown until it came into the possession of the great antiquarian, Charles O' Conor of Belanagare in the 18th century. This is the first time that Captain's Sorley's most treasured possessions will have been together in nearly 400 years, a major coup that Scoil na Gaeilge and NUI Galway are delighted to have brought about." ENDS

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Official Launch of the Centre for Pain Research

Monday, 8 October 2007

NUI Galway has formally launched the recently approved Centre for Pain Research (CPR). CPR aims to provide a centre of excellence for interdisciplinary research between the University and colleagues in the health service with the aim of advancing the scientific understanding of pain from the basic sciences to the population level. Chronic, persistent pain affects millions of people worldwide, significantly impairing health and well-being and is the most common symptom for which patients seek medical help. In Ireland, over half a million people suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. President Ó Muircheartaigh in opening the Centre said, "The CPR will help ensure that the topic of pain has a national profile and will also provide another route by which NUI Galway plays a leadership role in health-related research and policy developments in Ireland." As Ireland's first dedicated centre for research into pain, the CPR incorporates researchers from a range of disciplines and is organised into the following five clusters: Pre-clinical research Psychological and neuropsychological aspects of pain Pain treatment and pain management Population and policy aspects of pain Integration of pre-clinical pain research and clinical practice Dr. David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire, Joint Directors of the Centre said, "This is a very exciting and important development which puts Galway very firmly on the national and international pain research map" To mark the launch, guest speakers included two internationally renowned experts in pain research. Professor Chris Main, a clinical psychologist and author of several authoritative multidisciplinary pain management textbooks from University of Keele, who gave a keynote address on Psychosocial barriers to effective pain management and Professor Irene Tracey, a recognised leader in the neuroimaging of pain who leads the fMRI unit at University of Oxford, who spoke on Advances in Pain Neuroimaging. In the working population, lower back pain is responsible for more disability than cancer, heart disease, stroke and AIDS combined. One in six people in Ireland suffering from pain has lost a job because of their condition and pain costs the Irish economy over € 1.2 million per week in disability benefit payments alone (Pain in Europe Study, 2003). ENDS

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