Friday, 27 October 2023

Tá comhaontú comhpháirtíochta sínithe inniu (Dé hAoine, 27 Deireadh Fómhair) ag an Aire Dúlra, Oidhreachta agus Athchóirithe Toghcháin, Malcolm Noonan T.D., agus Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, idir an tSeirbhís Páirceanna Náisiúnta agus Fiadhúlra (NPWS) agus an Ollscoil faoina gcuirfear le deiseanna taighde agus foghlama i réigiún Bhoirne i gContae an Chláir. Cuirfear tacaíocht ar fáil faoin gcomhpháirtíocht do thaighde agus staidéir acadúil, rannpháirtíocht in imeachtaí a chuireann caomhnú an dúlra chun cinn, taighde agus staidéar sa Bhoirinn, agus gníomhaíochtaí foghlama do dhaltaí i scoileanna áitiúla agus do mhic léinn in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Tacaíonn an chomhpháirtíocht le bainistíocht agus rochtain chomhroinnte ar dhá shaoráid i réigiún Bhoirne – Saoráid Taighde Allamuigh an Chairn agus Ionad Taighde Fhíonaigh Bheara, chun críocha oideachais, taighde agus for-rochtana. Bhunaigh an Ollscoil Saoráid Taighde Allamuigh an Chairn in 1975 mar bhunáit do thaighde sa Bhoirinn. Is in ómós don Ollamh Máirín de Valera a ainmníodh é, ar ceapadh í mar chéad Ollamh le Luibheolaíocht san Ollscoil in 1962 agus arb í a bhí freagrach as Plandeolaíocht a theagasc san Ollscoil le blianta fada ina dhiaidh sin. Bhunaigh an Ollscoil Ionad Taighde Fhíonaigh Bheara chun tacú le taighde mara agus cósta. Agus an comhaontú seo á shíniú aige, bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Aire Dúlra, Oidhreachta agus Athchóirithe Toghcháin, Malcolm Noonan T.D.: “Cuirfidh an chomhpháirtíocht seo tuiscint níos fearr chun cinn ar a luachmhaire atá ár n-oidhreacht nádúrtha, ar sampla de sin tírdhreach Bhoirne a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta air. Ainmníodh Boirinn mar Pháirc Náisiúnta os cionn fiche bliain ó shin, áit ina bhféachtar leis an dúlra a chaomhnú agus ina mbaineann cuairteoirí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta taitneamh as. Áit foghlama a bheidh ann anois feasta chomh maith. Ligfidh sé d’Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus don NPWS dúil san fhoghlaim faoin dúlra a chothú sa timpeallacht mhaorga seo ina bhfuil an oiread sin speiceas agus gnáthóg neamhchoitianta agus luachmhar. Beidh tóir ag daltaí na scoileanna áitiúla air, agus ag mic léinn Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus níos faide i gcéin, agus iad ag féachaint lena gcuid taighde a dhéanamh agus tuilleadh a fhoghlaim faoi chaomhnú an dúlra agus faoin éiceolaíocht, geolaíocht agus seandálaíocht.”  Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá naisc ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe le Boirinn le fada an lá: fuair an scríbhneoir JR Tolkien inspioráid ón tírdhreach mistéireach agus é ina scrúdaitheoir seachtrach san Ollscoil, chaith an tOllamh Máirín de Valera sealanna ann agus í i mbun oibre allamuigh agus, le déanaí, tá ár gcuid mac léinn féin ag baint úsáid as an réigiún mar shaotharlann foghlama bheo. Tá lúcháir orainn deiseanna nua don Ollscoil a fheiceáil i réimse an teagaisc agus na foghlama, agus i dtaighde agus for-rochtain i limistéar atá chomh tábhachtach sin don bhithéagsúlacht, i gcomhpháirtíocht leis an tSeirbhís Páirceanna Náisiúnta agus Fiadhúlra.” Dúirt Niall Ó Donnchú, Ard-Stiúrthóir leis an NPWS: “Is minic a abraítear gurb é ‘an dúlra an teagascóir is fearr’, agus éascóidh an chomhpháirtíocht seo tuiscint níos fearr ar ár n-oidhreacht nádúrtha tríd an teagasc agus an fhoghlaim a dhéanamh sa dúlra féin. Cuirfidh taighde, foghlaim agus for-rochtain sa Bhoirinn le líon na ndeiseanna oideachais atá ar fáil inár bPáirceanna Náisiúnta, agus ar acmhainn na bPáirceanna.” Thart ar 450 km cearnach in Iarthuaisceart an Chláir atá i gceist le réigiún Bhoirne. Tá cáil dhomhanda ar an réigiún i ngeall ar a thírdhreach uathúil carstach, a fhlúirse is atá plandaí, speicis agus gnáthóga, agus líon na láithreán seandálaíochta luachmhara. Bunaíodh Páirc Náisiúnta Bhoirne in 1991, ar limistéar laistigh de Bhoirinn é, chun caomhnú an dúlra agus rochtain phoiblí a bhainistiú. Limistéar Caomhantais Speisialta (SAC) atá ann agus baineann luach ard caomhantais leis i ngeall ar an méid plandaí, ainmhithe agus gnáthóg neamhchoitianta atá ann. Bunaíodh Páirc Náisiúnta Bhoirne in 1991 agus idir 2% agus 3% d’achar Bhoirne trí chéile atá i gceist léi. Áirítear sa Pháirc samplaí de ghnáthóga móra an réigiúin, lena n-áirítear gnáthóga aolchloiche, féarach agus fraochmhá chailcreach, scrobarnach agus coillearnach chomh maith le gréasán lochanna agus turlach cailcreach. Críoch

Friday, 27 October 2023

Minister for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan T.D. and President of University of Galway Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh have today (Friday October 27th) signed a partnership agreement between the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the University to enhance opportunities for research and learning in the Burren region in Co. Clare. The partnership will support programmes for academic research and study, participation in events which promote nature conservation, research and study in the Burren, and learning activities for students in local schools and University of Galway. The partnership underpins shared management and access to two facilities in the Burren region – the Carron Field Research Facility and the Finavarra Research Station, for education, research and outreach. The Carron Field Research Facility was originally established by the University in 1975 as a base for research in the Burren. It was named in honour of Professor Máirín de Valéra, who was appointed the first Professor of Botany at the University in 1962 and was solely responsible for teaching Plant Science at the University for many years. Finavarra Research Centre was set up by the University to support marine and coastal research. In signing this agreement, Minister for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan T.D said: “This partnership will promote greater appreciation of the immense, intrinsic value of our rich natural heritage, reflected in the internationally renowned landscape here in the Burren. “For over twenty years now the Burren National Park has been a place for nature conservation and enjoyment of visitors locally and from around the world. It will now also be a place for learning. It will allow the University of Galway and the NPWS to cultivate a love of learning about nature in these magnificent surroundings which are home to so many rare and precious species and habitats. It will attract students from local schools, the University of Galway and further afield to explore their research and learning in nature conservation, ecology, geology and archaeology.”  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “University of Galway has a long tradition of connections with the Burren - from JR Tolkien, it is said, taking inspiration from the mystical landscape while an external examiner at the University; and Professor Máirín de Valera’s field work; and more recently our own students using the region as a living lab for learning. We are delighted to see new opportunities for teaching and learning, research and outreach for the University, in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service in an area of such importance for biodiversity.” Niall Ó Donnchú, Director General with NPWS, said: “It has often been said that ‘nature is the best tutor’, and this partnership will facilitate a greater understanding of our natural heritage by bringing teaching and learning out into nature itself. Research, learning and outreach in the Burren will add to the growing educational offer and potential of our National Parks.” The Burren region extends over some 450 sq. km in North West Clare. The region is internationally renowned, due to its unique karst landscape, its abundance of plants, species and habitats, and its rich archaeological remains. The Burren National Park, based within the region was established in 1991 to manage nature conservation and public access. The site is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and of major conservation value due to the many rare plants, animals and habitats. The Burren National Park was established in 1991 and makes up 2 to 3% of the area of the Burren region. The Park includes examples of all of the major habitats in the region, including limestone habitats, calcareous grasslands and heath, scrub and woodland, and a network of calcareous lakes and turloughs. Ends

Thursday, 26 October 2023

Tá sé fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu go bhfuil an tOllamh Peter McHugh ceaptha mar an chéad Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí eile. Deimhníodh go nglacfadh an tOllamh McHugh leis an ról ón 1 Bealtaine 2024 ag cruinniú d’Údarás na hOllscoile, arb é Údarás Rialála na hOllscoile é.  Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá lúcháir orm fáilte a chur roimh cheapachán an Ollaimh Peter McHugh mar an chéad Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí eile. Ní amháin go bhfuil an-eolas agus taithí ag Peter agus tuiscint dhomhain ar ár nOllscoil agus ar a pobal aige, ach tá cur amach aige freisin ar an tírdhreach ardoideachais sa bhaile agus thar lear. “Ba mhaith liom freisin an deis a thapú inniu buíochas a ghabháil leis an Ollamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh as an obair atá déanta aige ar mhaithe le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe ó thosaigh sé sa phost in 2014 agus as a dhúthracht do chaighdeáin acadúla agus do theagasc agus d’fhoghlaim dár bpobal mac léinn, chomh maith le saincheisteanna oideachais a bhaineann leo siúd a dhéanann an Ardteistiméireacht agus leo siúd a fhaigheann rochtain ar ardoideachas trí chonairí eile.” Dúirt an tOllamh McHugh: “Is mór an onóir agus pribhléid dom a bheith ceaptha sa ról ceannaireachta tábhachtach seo in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, arb í mo alma mater í. Tá an-díograis agam dár nOllscoil agus féachfaidh mé le cinntiú go n-éiríonn thar cionn léi sa todhchaí. Creidim gur tréimhse iontach í seo le bheith ag obair nó ag staidéar in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, mar go bhfuil an oiread sin buntáistí againn: campas álainn i gcathair bhríomhar, daonra mac léinn iontach agus foireann den scoth. Tá mé ag súil go mór oibriú leis an Uachtarán agus leis an bpobal ollscoile trí chéile ar fhás leanúnach agus ar fhorbairt dhearfach na hinstitiúide iontaí seo.” Is Ollamh Bunaithe le hInnealtóireacht Bhithleighis é an tOllamh McHugh agus is comhalta dáimhe den Ollscoil é ó 1991 i leith. Tá tréimhsí caite aige roimhe seo mar Dhéan ar Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice, mar Cheann Scoile na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice, agus mar Cheann Scoile na hInnealtóireachta.  Bhain an tOllamh McHugh céim chéadonóracha amach in Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, agus céim Mháistreachta agus PhD in Ollscoil Brown, Rhode Island, Meiriceá. Tá Dochtúireacht le hEolaíocht faighte aige ó Ollscoil na hÉireann chomh maith as a bhfuil foilsithe aige.  Thosaigh an tOllamh McHugh ag obair le foireann teagaisc na hOllscoile in 1991. Tá sé ina Ollamh Bunaithe le hInnealtóireacht Bhithleighis ó 2007 agus bhí sé ina Dhéan agus ina Cheann Scoile ar Scoil na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice ó 2016 go 2019 agus ina Cheann Scoile ar Scoil na hInnealtóireachta ó 2019 go 2021.  Bhí sé ina cheannródaí i bhforbairt na hinnealtóireachta bithleighis in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta, agus ba é Stiúrthóir bunaidh an Ionaid Taighde Bithmheicnice (BioMEC) in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe é.  Tá aitheantas idirnáisiúnta tuillte ag an Ollamh McHugh mar cheannaire taighde san innealtóireacht bhithleighis agus cuid mhór taighde déanta aige ar bhunfhorbairtí agus ar fheidhmeanna modhanna ríomhaireachtúla agus turgnamhacha sa bhithmheicnic, i meicnic fíochán agus in ionchlannáin agus feistí leighis.  Tá teist foilseachán shuntasach aige agus áirítear léi 177 alt piarmheasúnaithe in irisleabhair acadúla, 10 gcaibidil leabhair agus breis agus 350 foilseachán comhdhála. Tá stiúrthóireacht déanta aige ar 33 mac léinn PhD agus ar 23 mac léinn máistreachta taighde. Tá breis agus €14m i maoiniú taighde ginte aige ó fhoinsí náisiúnta, AE agus ón earnáil tionsclaíochta, agus tá comhpháirtíochtaí taighde gníomhacha aige le ceannairí idirnáisiúnta sa réimse san Eoraip agus i Meiriceá. I measc na spéiseanna teagaisc atá aige, tá modhanna ríomhaireachtúla san innealtóireacht bhithleighis agus mheicniúil, anailís agus dearadh feistí leighis, agus an bhithmheicnic. Tá sé an-tiomanta don oideachas ag leibhéal na céime agus na hiarchéime araon, agus bhí ról lárnach aige i bhforbairt cláir fochéime agus iarchéime na hOllscoile i réimse na hinnealtóireachta bithleighis. Faoina stiúir mar Cheann Scoile, d’fhorbair Scoil na hInnealtóireachta a plean gníomhaíochta don chomhionannas inscne, agus de bharr na réamhoibre seo, bhain an scoil Gradam Airgid Athena SWAN amach anuraidh, arb í an chéad Scoil Innealtóireachta in Éirinn í ar éirigh léi déanamh amhlaidh. Tá lear mór gradam bronnta air féin, agus san áireamh leo sin tá ballraíocht d’Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (2011), Bonn Airgid Acadamh Ríoga an Leighis in Éirinn – an Rannóg Bithinnealtóireachta (2011), Ainmní an Uachtaráin do Chomhaltacht Innealtóirí na hÉireann (2009), comhaltacht d’Acadamh Innealtóireachta na hÉireann (2019) agus Comhaltacht Alexander von Humboldt (1995).  Tá tréimhsí caite aige chomh maith i róil oifigigh in Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, arb é an ról is déanaí a bhí aige Rúnaí ar Pholasaí agus Caidrimh Idirnáisiúnta, áit a raibh sé ina ionadaí Éireannach do roinnt eagraíochtaí acadúla idirnáisiúnta, lena n-áirítear Comhairle Chomhairleach Eolaíochta Acadaimh na hEorpa (EASAC).  Críoch 

Wednesday, 25 October 2023

University of Galway has today announced the appointment of Professor Peter McHugh as the next Deputy President and Registrar. Professor McHugh was confirmed to take on the role from May 1, 2024 at a meeting of Údarás na hOllscoile, the University’s Governing Authority.  President of University of Galway, Professor Ciaran Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “I am delighted to welcome the appointment of Professor Peter McHugh as the next Deputy President and Registrar. Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, both from his deep appreciation of our University and its community, but also the higher education landscape at home and abroad. We also know him as an accomplished, decent colleague who wears his achievements in research, teaching and leadership lightly and with great humanity. I look forward to working closely with him in his new role from 1 May 2024. “I would also like to take the opportunity of today’s announcement to thank Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh for his work on behalf of University of Galway since he joined in 2014 and his dedication to academic standards and teaching and learning for our student community. He has been a great support and honest adviser to me and to many colleagues, which is much appreciated. We will continue to work together as he completes his term as Deputy President and Registrar, and beyond.” Professor McHugh said: “It is a real honour and privilege for me to be appointed to this important leadership role in University of Galway, my alma mater. I am passionate about our University and working to ensure the absolute best for its future. I believe that it is a fantastic time to be at University of Galway, as we have so much going for us: a beautiful campus in a fantastically vibrant city, a wonderful student population and truly outstanding staff. I look forward very much to working with the President and our whole university community on the continued growth and positive development of our wonderful institution.” Professor McHugh is Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering and has been part of the faculty of the University since 1991. He previously served as Dean of College of Engineering and Informatics, Head of School of Engineering and Informatics, and Head of School of Engineering.  Professor McHugh holds a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Galway and a Master’s and a PhD from Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. He also holds a Doctor of Science on published work from the National University of Ireland.  Professor McHugh joined the University faculty in 1991. He is an Established Professor of Biomedical Engineering since 2007 and served as Dean of College and Head of School of Engineering and Informatics from 2016 to 2019 and Head of School of Engineering from 2019 to 2021.  He has been a pioneer in the development of biomedical engineering in Ireland and internationally, and he was the founding Director of the Biomechanics Research Centre (BioMEC) at University of Galway.  Professor McHugh is an internationally recognised research leader in biomedical engineering and his research is focused on fundamental developments and applications of computational and experimental methods in biomechanics, tissue mechanics and medical implants and devices.  He has a significant publication record, with 177 refereed journal publications, 10 book chapters and over 350 conference publications. He has supervised to completion 33 PhD and 23 research master’s students. He has generated over €14m in research funding from national, EU and industry sources, and has active research collaborations with international leaders in the field, spanning Europe and the USA. His teaching interests are in computational methods in biomedical and mechanical engineering, medical device analysis and design, and biomechanics. He is deeply committed to undergraduate and postgraduate education, and has been instrumental in developing and extending the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the biomedical engineering domain. Under his leadership as Head of School, the School of Engineering developed its gender equality action plan, and building on this groundwork the school went on to achieve the Athena SWAN Silver Award last year, the first School of Engineering in Ireland to achieve this award. He has himself received numerous awards, including membership of the Royal Irish Academy (2011), the Silver Medal of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland - Section of Bioengineering (2011), the Presidential Nominee Fellowship of Engineers Ireland (2009), fellowship of the Irish Academy of Engineering (2019), and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship (1995).  He has also served in officer roles in the Royal Irish Academy, most recently as Secretary for Policy and International Relations where he was the Irish representative to several international academy organisations, including the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).  Ends 

Tuesday, 24 October 2023

Tá daoine a bhfuil suim acu i bhforbairt an réigiúin á spreagadh chun machnamh a dhéanamh tacú le fís don todhchaí     Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Ollscoil Teicneolaíochta an Atlantaigh (Gaillimh) tagtha le chéile le Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe agus le Cumann Tráchtála na Gaillimhe chun Cairt Mhórcheantar na Gaillimhe a fhógairt agus a shíniú – forógra do smaointeoireacht straitéiseach agus don phleanáil fhadtéarmach don réigiún. Tá dhá phríomhchuspóir ag Cairt Mhórcheantar na Gaillimhe:  Ar an gcéad dul síos, léirítear sa Chairt na luachanna a chinnteodh go bhféadfaí cathair inbhuanaithe, chuimsitheach, a bhfuil teacht aniar inti agus atá bródúil a bheith againn i gCathair na Gaillimhe sna 50 bliain atá romhainn. Ar an dara dul síos, is forógra atá ann do gach cathair a dteastódh uathu cruthú áite atá faoi threoir físe a chur i gcroílár a gcuid smaointeoireachta agus a gcuid pleanála straitéisí go fadtéarmach. Tá Cairt Mhórcheantar na Gaillimhe beartaithe mar cháipéis oibre, bheo, cáipéis a chuideodh chun comhráite trasphobail a spreagadh faoin gcineál cathrach agus áiteanna a theastaíonn ó na sínitheoirí do Ghaillimh faoi 2070, agus ina luafar na céimeanna a chaithfear a thógáil inniu chun an fhís 50 bliain sin a bhaint amach. Is é an tAcadamh Uirbeach a chuir an cháipéis ar fáil le tacaíocht ó Institiúid Ríoga Ailtirí na hÉireann. Is féidir an cháipéis a léamh agus tacú léi ar láithreán gréasáin an Acadaimh Uirbigh - https://www.theaou.org/resources/the-greater-galway-charter Is féidir le gach duine ar spéis leo treo forbartha na Gaillimhe sa todhchaí, agus aon duine a bhfuil a chroí sa chathair amach anseo, clárú le tacaíocht a thabhairt don Chairt agus a bheith gníomhach sa chomhrá. Seoladh an Chairt ag searmanas speisialta in Eaglais Choláisteach San Nioclás, áit ar thit nithe thar a bheith tábhachtachta amach i stair chathair na Gaillimhe le hocht gcéad bliain anuas. Tá an Chairt bunaithe ar thraidisiún seanbhunaithe na gcairteacha pleanála agus dearaidh, Cairt Freiburg 2012 san áireamh, cairt a luaitear le claochlú na cathrach i réigiún na Foraoise Duibhe sa Ghearmáin, á dhearbhú mar cheannaire domhanda i bpleanáil agus i ndearadh uirbeach inbhuanaithe, pobal-lárnach.  Ba iad na sínitheoirí tosaigh Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe, Comhairleoir Fhine Gael Eddie Hoare; Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh; Uachtarán Ollscoil Teicneolaíochta an Atlantaigh, an Dr Orla Flynn; agus Uachtarán Chumann Tráchtála na Gaillimhe, Dermot Nolan. Dúirt Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe, an Comhairleoir Eddie Hoare: “Is deis iontach é síniú Chairt na Gaillimhe le haghaidh plé agus rannpháirtíocht an phobail i ndáiríre a chinntiú maidir leis na dúshláin atá romhainn agus an deis uathúil atá againn anseo i gcathair na Gaillimhe.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Nuair a bhí mise ag fás aníos, thabharfadh muid ‘an baile mór’ ar Ghaillimh. Is cathair í Gaillimh anois. Leagtar amach bunfhealsúnacht agus fís don todhchaí sa Chairt seo chun fás na Gaillimhe sa todhchaí a threorú, faoina ndéanfar cur agus cúiteamh, agus cinnteoidh an Chairt pointe cinniúna don ‘Uirbeacht Inbhuanaithe’ ar féidir lenár gcathair a thabhairt le chéile. Táim thar a bheith bródúil go bhfuilim páirteach, in éineacht le daoine eile, sa dréacht seo den todhchaí, don todhchaí.” Labhair an Dr Orla Flynn ar aidhm Ollscoil Teicneolaíochta an Atlantaigh chun leas a bhaint as láidreachtaí comhchoiteanna, go háirithe san ailtireacht agus sa timpeallacht thógtha inbhuanaithe, agus deir: “Is bealach nua chun cinn í Cairt Mhórcheantar na Gaillimhe do Chathair na Gaillimhe agus táim ag súil go mbeidh páirt ghníomhach ag pobal an ATU lena cur i gcrích.” Labhair Dermot Nolan ar thiomantas fadtéarmach an Chumainn Tráchtála d’fhís den chathair, agus deir: “Creid uaimse é nuair a deirim nach mbeidh Cumann Tráchtála na Gaillimhe, a dhéanann ionadaíocht ar an bpobal gnó, ag luí ar na maidí maidir le conas is féidir linn leanúint ar aghaidh ag tacú leis na huaillmhianta atá leagtha amach sa Chairt seo agus iad a bhrú chun cinn don todhchaí.” Shínigh Cathaoirleach an Acadaimh Uirbigh, Jas Atwal agus Uachtarán Institiúid Ríoga Ailtirí na hÉireann, Charlotte Sheridan an Chairt chomh maith. Forbraíodh agus tugadh chun críche an cháipéis seo faoi choimirce Fhóram Mhórcheantar na Gaillimhe. D’eascair téamaí na Cairte ó shraith ceardlann agus comhráite poiblí a eagraíodh le linn na Féile Ailtireachta Ar an Imeall i mí Dheireadh Fómhair 2022 agus a d’éascaigh an tAcadamh Uirbeach agus Institiúid Ríoga Ailtirí na hÉireann. Tá sé beartaithe borradh a chur faoi chomhráite leathan trasphobail faoin gcineál cathrach ar mian le muintir na Gaillimhe go bhforbrófaí amach anseo, dá gclann agus do chlann a gclainne sin arís.  Tá sé mar aidhm leis an gCairt freisin plé den chineál céanna a spreagadh i mbailte agus i gcathracha eile a mbeadh iarrachtaí ar bun iontu breis tithíochta a sholáthar i gcomharsanachtaí sábháilte, cuimsitheacha agus a bheadh íseal ó thaobh an charbóin. Críoch

Tuesday, 24 October 2023

People interested in development of the region urged to consider supporting a vision for the future     University of Galway and Atlantic Technological University (Galway) have come together with the Mayor of the City of Galway and the Galway Chamber to announce and sign the Greater Galway Charter – a manifesto for long-term strategic thinking and planning for the region. The Greater Galway Charter has two main objectives:  Firstly, it is an expression of the values which will deliver the kind of sustainable, inclusive, resilient and proud city which Galway can become over the next 50 years. Secondly, it is a manifesto for all cities looking to put vision-powered place-making at the heart of their long term strategic thinking and planning. The Greater Galway Charter is intended as a living, working document which helps to stimulate cross community conversations about the kind of city and places signatories want for Galway by 2070, and the steps to begin today to deliver that 50-year vision. The document was produced by the Academy of Urbanism with the support of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. It is available to read and endorse on the Academy of Urbanism website - https://www.theaou.org/resources/the-greater-galway-charter Everyone interested in the future direction of development of Galway, and anyone who shares the passion for the city of the future, can sign up to signal support for the Charter and be part of the conversation. The Charter was launched at a special ceremony at St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, the setting for key moments in the history of Galway city over the past eight centuries. It builds on the established tradition of planning and design charters, including the Freiburg Charter of 2012, which is credited with encapsulating the transformation of the city in Germany's Black Forest region, confirming it as a global leader in sustainable, community-centred urban planning and design.  The initial signatories were Mayor of the City of Galway, Fine Gael Councillor Eddie Hoare; President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh; President of Atlantic Technological University, Dr Orla Flynn; and President of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Dermot Nolan. Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Eddie Hoare said: “The signing of the Galway Charter represents an enormous opportunity for discussion and real public engagement on the challenges and the unique opportunity which we face into here in the city of Galway.” Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “When I was growing up, as Gaeilge we called Gaillimh ‘an baile mór’. Galway is a city now. This Charter sets out a core philosophy and future vision to guide Galway’s future growth, for discussion and debate, and will provide a rallying point for ‘Sustainable Urbanism’ around which our city can coalesce. I am very proud to have been involved, together with others, in this draft of the future, for the future.” Dr  Orla Flynn spoke of the aim of Atlantic Technological University to harness collective strengths, particularly in architecture and the sustainable built environment, adding: “The Greater Galway Charter signals a new way forward for Galway City and I look forward to the ATU community making a strong contribution.” Dermot Nolan spoke of the long term commitment of the Chamber to a vision of the city, saying: “Believe me when I say that Galway Chamber, representing the business community will not be found wanting in terms of how we can continue to support and drive the ambitions set out in this Charter for the future.” The Charter was also signed the Chair of the Academy of Urbanism, Jas Atwal and President of the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, Charlotte Sheridan. The document was developed and finalised under the auspices of The Greater Galway Forum. The themes of the Charter emerged from a series of public workshops and discussions organised during the Architecture at The Edge Festival in October 2022 and facilitated by the Academy of Urbanism and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland. It is intended to catalyse broad, cross community conversations around the kind of future city which Galwegians want to see evolve for themselves, their children and grandchildren.  It also aims to stimulate similar discussions across other towns and cities which are looking to provide increased housing in safe, inclusive and low carbon neighbourhoods. Ends

Tuesday, 24 October 2023

University of Galway has announced a new sponsorship deal for the Camogie Club with Ireland’s largest indigenous MedTech company - Aerogen. The announcement was made by University of Galway President Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and John Power, founder and chief executive of Aerogen at a special get-together with players at the Quadrangle. The Aerogen sponsorship will run for two years.  Speaking at the launch, President of University of Galway Professor Ó hÓgartaigh said: “University of Galway is thrilled to see Aerogen, a company which epitomises our value of excellence, coming on board to support and sponsor our camogie team. It is a great symbol of intent. Building on the strength of camogie in Galway, our Camogie Club is an important and vibrant club in our university and contributes to participation by our students in sport, so important for student wellbeing. I am sure everyone in the University community will support our wishes for the camogie teams to pursue excellence in the University colours. We look forward to our camogie team capturing new glories in their cup campaigns this year, and on into the future.” John Power, founder and CEO of Aerogen, said: “We are delighted to announce our two-year partnership with the University of Galway Camogie Club. As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations we were looking for unique ways to engage with our community and this sponsorship gives us the opportunity to support local sports talent. We look forward to cheering the team on and wish all the players and coaching team the very best of luck.” Speaking at the launch Muireann O’Reilly, Chairperson of University of Galway Camogie Club, and a PhD candidate in the School of Medicine at the University, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aerogen on board as sponsors of our club. With the support of the University of Galway Sports Unit, we are working hard to strengthen and grow the club and to re-establish ourselves at the top level of camogie. Membership numbers are at their highest level in recent years with the club now fielding two teams. We provide a tremendous sporting and social outlet for our students and we are delighted that Aerogen has come on board to support us.” University of Galway Camogie Club will take to the field in the Purcell and Uí Mhaolagáin Cup competitions in the coming year. The first team competes in the Purcell Cup and the second team competes in the Uí Mhaolagáin Cup.  The teams include players from clubs across Galway, Clare, Offaly, Kilkenny, Wexford, Kildare, Limerick and Westmeath including All-Star nominee and Galway goalkeeper Fiona Ryan and 2022 All-Ireland medal winner with Kilkenny Tiffanie Fitzgerald.  University of Galway Camogie Club has 14 Ashbourne Cups in its history. Ends

Monday, 23 October 2023

Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum: A qualitative peer research study of Travellers view  The HSE network of Mental Health Service Coordinators for Travellers, in collaboration with the Health Promotion Research Centre at University of Galway, has launched a research study Traveller Mental Wellness Continuum: A qualitative peer research study of Travellers’ views. The main findings include: There is a range of community supports, services and actions that members of the Traveller community deem essential in promoting and protecting their mental health and wellbeing  The importance of improving educational, training and employment opportunities, improving Traveller accommodation, curbing discrimination while celebrating and reviving Traveller culture  Improving access to culturally appropriate mental healthcare.  This study was funded by the HSE National Office of Suicide Prevention and the HSE Mental Health Engagement and Recovery national office. The research project explored the views of Travellers on the range of improvements needed to promote mental wellbeing and reduce suicide and to create a more appropriate mental health service for Travellers. Seventeen Traveller peer researchers were employed to collect data in 10 counties across Ireland through a number of group discussions and individual interviews.  The data indicates the importance of factors such as Traveller cultural identity, the right to equal opportunities and life choices, the detrimental effect of discrimination and the changes needed in how health services are delivered. Research findings shared shows that promoting Travellers mental wellbeing requires a social determinants, strengths-based approach, rooted in Traveller culture and identity.  Speaking at the launch, Julie Duke, HSE Traveller Peer Support Worker and member of the Traveller Community, outlined: “An overarching recommendation stemming from this study is the implementation of a national plan to address the distinct mental health needs of the Traveller community. “It’s vital that this national plan be spearheaded by Travellers themselves, with collaboration and support from both national and local agencies.” Michael Ryan, Head of Mental Health Engagement & Recovery, National Mental Health Operations, HSE, said: “This research highlights the importance of engaging with members of the Traveller community, using a partnership approach, in order to create a mental health service provision that fits the needs of this community. Embedding an ethos of cultural safety and cultural humility and listening to Travellers’ ideas and suggestions helps to improve services and to create a more inclusive environment that strives towards recovery.” The study shows a need to address the specific mental health needs of the Traveller community, through a process that is owned and led by members of the community, and supported by national and local agencies. A collaborative approach is critical to addressing the social determinants of Traveller mental health and the provision of a continuum of support encompassing mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and community support services based on a co-production and peer-led model of delivery. John Meehan, Assistant National Director, Mental Health Planning and Head of National Office for Suicide Prevention, said: “The HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention was very pleased to support this valuable research, the clear findings of which we hope will advance our collective understanding of the mental health needs of Travellers across the country. In the context of suicide prevention, Travellers remain a priority group for targeted initiatives and interventions as outlined in Connecting for Life, our national strategy to reduce suicide. In order to affect change – and ultimately reduce deaths by suicide among Traveller communities – we must continue to build effective partnerships across the range of diverse community and statutory services working in suicide prevention, recovery, social inclusion, mental health and wellbeing.” Professor Margaret Barry, Health Promotion Research Centre at University of Galway, said: “We are very pleased to have been involved in this collaborative project with the HSE Mental Health Service Coordinators for Travellers, and are very grateful to all the members of the Traveller community and Traveller organisations who made this study possible. This study adopted a peer research approach, whereby members of the Traveller community facilitated the data collection and analysis of Travellers’ views across the country on what actions are needed to support Traveller’s mental health and wellbeing.  “The findings highlight the importance of enabling good lifelong mental health and wellbeing for Travellers through creating more supportive environments, including improving living conditions, education, training and employment opportunities, curbing discrimination, celebrating Traveller culture, and improving access to culturally appropriate services. The study findings provide an important basis for advancing the promotion of Traveller mental health and wellbeing as an urgent policy priority, including developing a continuum of Traveller-led services embracing mental health promotion, prevention, treatment and recovery.” See the HSE website for the summary study here and the full report is available here.   Ends

Friday, 20 October 2023

Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy Hildegarde Naughton T.D. has officially launched a ground-breaking new Masters in Evidence-Based Future Healthcare at University of Galway.  The programme - announced to coincide with World Evidence-Based Healthcare Day - is designed to equip health and social care workers from around the world with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the complex landscape of modern healthcare.  University of Galway’s MSc in Evidence-Based Future Healthcare is a fully online programme and is currently recruiting for its first intake in September 2024. It has been designed to be uniquely tailored for busy healthcare workers engaged in clinical practice, as well as those in broader healthcare settings (such as research, administration or policy), who are seeking to transform their current practice, optimise healthcare outcomes and advance their careers in a rapidly evolving field. The programme aims to respond to the growing global demand for evidence-based healthcare, driven by the expectations of funders, policymakers and the public, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme will also deepen healthcare workers’ appreciation of health-tech advances, such as artificial intelligence, and how to use these appropriately. Government Chief Whip and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. said: “I am delighted to officially launch the new Masters in Evidence-Based Future Healthcare at University of Galway. This initiative will offer invaluable opportunities for healthcare professionals and individuals in related fields such as medtech, to develop their understanding of the critical skills needed to enhance patient care and health service delivery through the application of best practices. Our experiences through the pandemic underscore the significance of collaborative, efficient and effective evidence-based healthcare in safeguarding the well-being of communities.”  Dr Elaine Toomey, a Lecturer in Evidence-Based Healthcare at University of Galway, Health Research Board fellow and Co-Director of the new Masters, said at the launch: “In an era where information is abundant, but not always reliable, it is essential that healthcare professionals and people working in healthcare have the knowledge and skills to rigorously evaluate and apply the latest evidence in their practice.  “This new and innovative programme will be fully online, enhancing accessibility and flexibility of learning for people from all areas of Ireland and internationally. It is primarily designed to provide clinicians and healthcare workers from a variety of backgrounds, with the tools they need to make truly-informed decisions alongside patients and their families, ultimately leading to significantly improved quality of care.” The MSc programme aims to empower workers and address the challenge of misinformation around healthcare by providing a robust interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasises critical appraisal of research evidence and the importance of basing healthcare decisions on the latest scientific findings. It also underscores the critical role of bringing together healthcare workers from multiple disciplines to develop and implement evidence-based approaches that can transform healthcare delivery and ultimately improve patient outcomes.  The MSc programme combines the expertise of faculty from diverse backgrounds, including medicine, nursing, public health, allied health, data analytics and ethics to provide a comprehensive and holistic education in evidence-based healthcare.  It covers a wide range of topics, including: Applied Health Research Methods: Participants will gain practical skills in research design and data analysis, enabling them to find, evaluate and apply healthcare research effectively. Clinical Decision-Making: The program equips healthcare professionals with the tools to make evidence-based clinical decisions in true collaboration with patients and their families, enhancing patient care. Communication and Patient-Centred Care: Participants will learn about effective communication strategies to engage patients and provide person-centred care in an increasingly multicultural and data-savvy society. Digital Health and Data Analytics: The curriculum also explores the efficient and effective use of digital technologies and data analytics to enhance healthcare decision-making. Professor Declan Devane, Professor of Health Research Methodology at University of Galway and Co-Director of the Masters, said: “As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, so must our strategies for education and professional development. Our new postgraduate course in Evidence-Based Future Healthcare stands as a timely and essential response to an urgent global need. It offers an interdisciplinary, forward-thinking platform for healthcare workers of all backgrounds to develop their skills and knowledge. This programme provides the tools to tackle pressing challenges in healthcare, incorporating the latest in evidence-based practice, and fostering a culture of continuous learning and collaboration.” The Masters is linked with the internationally-recognised centres of excellence of Evidence Synthesis Ireland, Cochrane Ireland and the Health Research Board Trials Methodology Research Network. Ends    

Friday, 20 October 2023

University of Galway leads international research to reveal scale of patient and economic burden of silent health crisis    Alarming statistics show up to half a million people in Ireland live with osteoporosis     An international research team has revealed that between 300,000 and 500,000 men and women in Ireland are living with osteoporosis.   The findings are being released by University of Galway to coincide with World Osteoporosis Day on Friday October 20th.    Osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle resulting in skeletal failure. Half of all women, and 1 in 4 men, aged 50 years and older will suffer an osteoporotic fracture before they die.    A postmenopausal woman’s annual risk of fracture is greater than her combined risk of stroke, heart attack, invasive breast cancer and death from heart disease.   Although the burden of illness related to osteoporosis - morbidity, mortality and economic costs - is similar to cardiovascular disease and cancer, the importance of osteoporosis is often not understood, and therefore care is neglected.   Researchers from the schools of Engineering, Computer Science and Medicine at the University of Galway carried out their analysis in collaboration with Tsinghua University in China, Oxford University in England, and Galway, Manorhamilton and Sligo University Hospitals.   The research used data from the health service in Ireland spanning 20 years to reveal:  More than 50,000 osteoporotic fractures occur each year in Ireland. 1 in 3 men and 1 in 5 women die within 1 year following a hip fracture. The number of osteoporosis-related deaths in Ireland is similar to, or greater than, the number of deaths related to Covid-19. Fewer than one fifth of people admitted to public hospitals with an osteoporotic fracture are discharged with a diagnosis of, or treatment for, osteoporosis. More than 1 million people in Ireland have low bone mineral density putting them at greater risk of fracture. Although men have a lower risk of fracture, they account for almost 1 in 3 public hospital admissions for osteoporotic fractures in Ireland. Less than 50% of older people who suffer an osteoporotic hip fracture will return to their baseline level of function. Fractures are one of the leading causes of long-term admissions to nursing homes.   The research team noted that public hospital bed days for fragility fractures among adults aged over 50 have risen almost 50% since 2008 and are at a higher level than those for ischemic heart disease, solid cancers, or diabetes mellitus - conditions where national programmes exist.   Clinicians, computer scientists and engineers at University of Galway are using Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) technology to measure bone density and develop new screening and testing strategies for early identification of osteoporosis.    Funded by the Health Research Board, the Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry Management Application Project (DXA MAP) uses state of the art machines to develop a personalised, patient-centred tool for osteoporosis screening and fracture prediction.   The international research team said novel osteoporosis-screening could reduce the number of unnecessary requests for a DXA test and increase referrals for those in need.   Early data suggests the financial cost of poor quality DXA scans in Ireland may be greater than the cost of providing high quality DXA which adheres to national and international standards, in particular avoiding testing and treating those at low risk and improving diagnosis and management of those with prior fractures.   Professor John Carey is Professor in Medicine at University of Galway and Consultant Physician in Medicine and Rheumatology and Clinical lead in DXA, Osteoporosis and Fracture Liaison Services, Galway University Hospitals.   “The key to prevention is the early detection of those most at risk. But what we require is a better use of current resources to benefit those at greatest risk, preventing more fractures, and eventually lead to substantial cost savings,” Professor Carey said.    “DXA is the clinical test used to diagnose osteoporosis before a fracture occurs, as well as to estimate fracture risk and to monitor the effects of treatment. Access to quality DXA is a global problem, and Ireland is no different.    “Although Ireland has one of the highest rates of osteoporotic fracture and will have the one of the greatest increases in cost and incidence over the coming decade, it does not have a national programme or consider osteoporosis a national priority. It is very clear to those of us who lead treatment and research of the disease that we should. A national programme could greatly focus efforts to enhance current care and further improvements can be made without additional funding.”   The research team validated the Osteoporosis Self-assessment Tool Index (OSTi) - one of the oldest and simplest methods for the identification of those at risk of osteoporosis - for the Irish population. They then compared it with new modelling, using artificial intelligence, which outperformed OSTi.    Dr Attracta Brennan, School of Computer Science in University of Galway, said: “AI and big data are deeply intertwined - together, they offer powerful tools for risk prediction, modelling disease progression and prognosis, and supporting intervention recommendations.    “AI can improve DXA detection of osteoporosis classification in older men and women. Underpinned by AI, our DXA-MAP tool assesses the user’s probability of having osteoporosis in less than 30 seconds using age, gender, height and weight. AI and big data can be used to reduce unnecessary testing, improve patient care, reduce the burden of osteoporotic fractures and improve efficiency and reduce waste.”    Ends

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

University of Galway and Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology, have announced a five-year €5 million signature innovation partnership focused on three pillars: developing the MedTech ecosystem, STEM and research.    This marks the first signature partnership between University of Galway and industry. Medtronic’s investment will enable significant expansion of the University’s MedTech ecosystem and progress its current range of STEM programmes, and offer access to early-stage seed funding for new collaborative research projects.   The partnership will also support the establishment of two new research institutes at University of Galway. The first being the new Institute for Clinical Trials, which was launched in May 2023. The second, still in development, will focus on medical technologies and advanced therapeutics.    The institutes, and the support afforded through the University of Galway-Medtronic partnership, will facilitate sustained, research-led development, further positioning Galway as the centre of Ireland’s global MedTech hub, a significant contributor to economic growth and regional development and the University as integral to research for the public good on the world stage.    The partnership was announced at a special event at National University of Ireland in Dublin, which was attended by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., Medtronic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Martha and President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.    Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris T.D., speaking at the event said: “University of Galway and Medtronic have enjoyed a long-standing and rewarding relationship. This ambitious, five-year, campus-wide partnership will significantly advance their existing collaboration, and will also help to launch bold new initiatives that will have significant impact for Galway, Ireland, and the world. Ireland’s place at the vanguard of healthcare technology development is secured by investing in the next generation of talent, in tandem with collaborations like this that bring industry, clinicians and academics together to pioneer treatments of the future.”   Geoff Martha, Medtronic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “One of the crucial tenets of the Medtronic Mission is to foster good citizenship, and we hope that this investment with University of Galway in Ireland’s workforce, research, community, and education will pave the way for long-term, meaningful effects on patient outcomes and economic growth. Medtronic has a wealth of technologies at our disposal, but we can’t do it alone – a highly-educated and skilled workforce is critical to pioneering the treatments of tomorrow. Graduates of University of Galway play an important role in many facets of Medtronic’s operations, and I’m certain that students involved in this partnership will go on to create life-transforming advancements in healthcare technology.”   President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “At University of Galway, we are deeply conscious of our role and work for the public good and we are delighted that the focus which we place on that has helped us to develop such a strong and committed relationship with Medtronic. This landmark partnership that is being announced today is a fitting complement to our values, which we live and work by, respect for patients, excellence in everything we do, openness in and for the world, sustaining the next generation. We welcome the opportunity to expand our relationship with Medtronic as we pursue learning, research and innovation with a commitment to making a difference locally and globally. We are both organisations committed to impact with purpose, with and for people in profound need.”      The new University of Galway-Medtronic partnership will be transformative, ensuring Galway is attractive to global talent and advancing and accelerating basic and applied medical technologies research at the highest level to help more patients.     Ends

Tuesday, 17 October 2023

Tá Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Medtronic plc, ar comhlacht é atá ina cheannaire domhanda i dteicneolaíocht cúraim sláinte, tar éis sainchomhpháirtíocht nuálaíochta arbh fhiú €5 mhilliún í a fhógairt atá dírithe ar thrí chatagóir mhóra: éiceachóras na Teicneolaíochta Leighis a fhorbairt, STEM agus taighde. Is é seo an chéad chomhpháirtíocht shainiúil idir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus an earnáil tionsclaíochta. Fágfaidh infheistíocht Medtronic go mbeifear in ann éiceachóras Teicneolaíochta Leighis na hOllscoile a fhorbairt go mór agus cur leis an réimse clár STEM atá á thairiscint aici faoi láthair chomh maith le rochtain ar shíolmhaoiniú luathchéime do thionscadail taighde comhoibríocha nua a thairiscint. Tacóidh an chomhpháirtíocht chomh maith le bunú dhá institiúid taighde in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. An chéad cheann díobh sin an Institiúid do Thrialacha Cliniciúla ar seoladh i mí Bealtaine 2023 í. Díreoidh an dara ceann, atá i mbun a forbartha i gcónaí, ar theicneolaíochtaí leighis agus ar fhionnachtain ardteiripe. Déanfaidh na hinstitiúidí féin, chomh maith leis an tacaíocht a chuirfear ar fáil tríd an gcomhpháirtíocht idir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Medtronic, éascaíocht d’fhorbairt faoi stiúir taighde ar bhonn leanúnach, rud a fhágfaidh go gcuirfear le stádas na Gaillimhe mar chroílár mhol domhanda teicneolaíochta leighis na hÉireann, go ndéanfaidh sí cion tairbhe suntasach d’fhás an gheilleagair agus d’fhorbairt réigiúnach agus go láidreofar le híomhá na Ollscoile mar institiúid a bhfuil ról lárnach aici leas an phobail a chur chun cinn i gcomhthéacs domhanda.  Fógraíodh an chomhpháirtíocht ag ócáid speisialta in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Baile Átha Cliath, ag a raibh an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta, Simon Harris, T.D., Cathaoirleach agus Príomhfheidhmeannach Medtronic, Geoff Martha agus Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh i láthair. Agus é ag labhairt ag an ócáid, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Simon Harris, T.D., an tAire Breisoideachais agus Ardoideachais, Taighde, Nuálaíochta agus Eolaíochta: “Tá caidreamh torthúil idir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Medtronic le fada an lá. Cuirfidh an chomhpháirtíocht uaillmhianach uilechampais cúig bliana seo go mór leis an gcomhoibriú atá ar siúl eatarthu cheana féin, agus cabhróidh sé freisin tionscnaimh cheannródaíocha nua a sheoladh a mbeidh tionchar nach beag acu ar Ghaillimh, ar Éirinn agus ar an domhan mór. Is trí infheistíocht a dhéanamh sa chéad ghlúin eile d’oibrithe sároilte agus sárchumasacha a chinnteofar stádas na hÉireann mar cheannródaí i bhforbairt teicneolaíochta cúraim sláinte, agus trína leithéid seo de chomhoibrithe ina dtugtar le chéile lucht na hearnála, cliniceoirí agus lucht acadúil chun obair cheannródaíoch a dhéanamh ar chóireálacha leighis na todhchaí.” Seo mar a labhair Geoff Martha, Cathaoirleach agus Príomhfheidhmeannach Medtronic:“Ceann de na bunphrionsabail atá againn in Medtronic is ea an dea-shaoránacht a chur chun cinn, agus tá súil againn go mbeidh sé mar thoradh ar an infheistíocht seo le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe i bhfórsa saothair, taighde, pobal agus oideachas na hÉireann go mbeidh éifeachtaí fiúntacha fadtéarmacha ar fholláine othar agus ar fhás an gheilleagair. Tá raidhse teicneolaíochtaí ar fáil againn in Medtronic ach níl sé de chumas againn gach rud a dhéanamh linn féin – tá sé den riachtanas go mbeadh fórsa saothair ann atá idir oilte agus ildánach chun cóireálacha leighis na todhchaí a fhorbairt. Tá ról tábhachtach á chomhlíonadh ag céimithe de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe in go leor gnéithe d’oibríochtaí Medtronic agus níl aon amhras orm ach go n-éireoidh leis na mic léinn atá páirteach sa chomhpháirtíocht seo athruithe móra chun feabhais a dhéanamh in earnáil na teicneolaíochta cúraim sláinte.” Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá muide, in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an-fheasach ar ár ról agus ar ár gcuid oibre ar mhaithe le leas an phobail agus tá an-áthas orainn go bhfuil caidreamh chomh láidir agus chomh tiomanta sin forbartha againn le Medtronic mar thoradh air sin. Tá an mhórchomhpháirtíocht seo atá á fógairt inniu ag teacht lenár luachanna, arb iad sin meas ar an othar, barr feabhais a bheith mar sprioc againn i ngach a ndéanaimid, oscailteacht don domhan agus an chéad ghlúin eile a chothú.  Fáiltímid roimh an deis cur lenár gcaidreamh le Medtronic agus leanfaimid orainn i mbun foghlama, taighde agus nuálaíochta agus muid tiomanta difear a dhéanamh ar bhonn áitiúil agus ar bhonn domhanda.  Tá an dá eagraíocht tiomanta tionchar a imirt orthu siúd a bhfuil cúnamh de dhíth orthu go géar.”    Beidh éifeacht chlaochlaitheach ag an gcomhpháirtíocht nua seo idir Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus Medtronic agus cinnteoidh sé go mbeidh Gaillimh in ann oibrithe sároilte a mhealladh anseo chomh maith le taighde bunúsach agus ardtaighde i dteicneolaíochtaí leighis ag an leibhéal is airde a chur chun cinn, agus dlús a chur leis.   Críoch

Monday, 16 October 2023

University of Northampton scientists a buzz with support for University of Galway researchers in the field   Academic colleagues in the UK have come to the rescue of a University of Galway research team who needed urgent help with an important bee ecology project. After the team led by Professor Grace McCormack spent time in the woodland investigating wild honeybee populations, the University of Northampton’s Science department opened their doors giving them access to urgently-needed, cold storage equipment and expertise. University of Galway had travelled to Northampton for the study of the rare insects as part of a research project focusing on their survival and adaptation in unique forest habitats in Britain and its application to sustainable beekeeping. Like other species of bees and other pollinators, wild honeybees are vitally important as they help produce the next generation of plants, including the fruit and crops we eat. The University of Galway team went to Boughton Estate Forests in Northampton to compare the DNA of wild bees to conventionally managed bees that are kept in hives. After collecting samples of bees, they needed support with freezing the samples as quickly as possible to avoid any deterioration of the bees’ DNA so the samples could be safely transported back to Galway for testing. This is where University of Northampton came in. Chiara Binetti, Research Assistant with University of Galway Honey Bee Research Centre, said: “There’s much to be learned from wild-living colonies of honeybees. Survival under natural selection and adaptation of free-living bees in old UK forests is currently being investigated, thanks to collaboration between beekeepers and scientists – this might be the key to unlocking their secrets and potential, and possibly inform more sustainable bee keeping. Overall, the team are aiming to sample 90 colonies at three sites in Britain, including Boughton, Blenheim and one other location. Beekeepers at the research study locations have been supporting wild honeybees in their natural environment, including through the creation of nest sites for wild colonies using log hives. University of Galway introduced a log hive on campus this year. Ms Binetti said: “We are indebted to the people in the local honeybee group who identified the wild colonies, helped to sample them, and also wish to acknowledge the valued assistance of Dr Alexandra Woodacre in University of Northampton, and her colleagues, in supporting us by preserving our samples until further examination.” The analysis of the wild honeybees will include assessment of the diversity of the colony; the extent of hybridisation; and population dynamics. Dr Alexandra Woodacre, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Bioscience, was part of the University of Northampton team who were buzzing with delight to lend a helping hand for University of Galway’s research. “Bees play such a key role in shaping our natural environment and contributing to food security and this project is really exciting and should find out how diverse honey bees really are,” Dr Woodacre said. “We were more than happy to support Galway’s exciting research and provided lab facilities and technical expertise to process the samples by freeze drying and then storing them so they can be transported back to Galway for further analysis. My colleagues Joe Bauwens and Stefan Davis monitored the samples for several days.   “I look forward to supporting the University of Galway research team when they come to Northamptonshire again to survey the bees.” Ends

Tuesday, 10 October 2023

President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, has paid tribute to the late Chuck Feeney, founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies:   “The community of University of Galway is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Chuck Feeney, an inspiring and transformative figure whose generosity and leadership was dedicated to making real differences in people’s lives, particularly on the island of Ireland.   “Chuck Feeney realised the importance of investment in education and our University benefited immeasurably from his investment in people, our students, our staff, our research community. Everyone associated with our university, past, present and future generations, will always be grateful for that.   “In September 2012, our University, together with the universities of Ireland, North and South, conferred an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) on Dr Feeney. The award symbolised the respect and high esteem with which Chuck Feeney is held for his incredible support for Irish universities over many long years.   “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”

Wednesday, 11 October 2023

: Donkeys are vital to the lives of women in Ethiopia and could be the difference between destitution and modest survival, new research has found. The study also revealed that societal perception of donkeys as low-status animals has an impact on both the owners’ lives and the wellbeing of the donkeys.   The findings of the University of Bristol led study, funded by international animal welfare charity, The Donkey Sanctuary, and published in Society & Animals, are being released to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day of Rural Women on Sunday October 15, 2023. Researchers analysed the responses of 137 participants who worked with donkeys from 12 workshops to understand how humans value and treat their donkey co-workers. Despite the lower status of donkeys in comparison to other domesticated animals, such as cows, their contribution was valued by both female and male co-workers. Through their work, donkeys can help their human co-workers sustain and improve their livelihoods by helping them to earn an income, send their children to school, acquire land and contribute to savings schemes. They make a vital contribution to women’s domestic work and substantially reduce the physical burden of carrying water, firewood, and crops from the fields to homesteads.  However, the study also revealed that both donkeys and their human co-workers experience marginalisation by the wider population and their communities, and this was most keenly felt by poorer women in rural areas. Both are subjugated, given lower status, their labour under recognised and undervalued.  Importantly, the study also demonstrated that while owning a donkey can be the difference between modest survival and destitution, the bond formed between women and their donkeys was based on more than just utility – one woman described her donkey as ‘a member of my family’, and another as ‘my friend’. Supporting these women by giving them access to employment opportunities, education, and donkey welfare programmes, has the potential to improve the lives of both women and donkeys. It is also possible to elevate the status of both by highlighting the value they bring to their communities and broader Ethiopian society. Martha Geiger, in the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), formerly at the University of Bristol, and corresponding author, said: "We hope our work brings attention to the nuances and complexities of human and donkey lives in Ethiopia, where both work in often difficult circumstances in harsh environments at the margins of society, with little protection or support from the state. "Our research highlights the important, but often under-recognised and undervalued labour women perform with donkeys to support their families. When my fieldwork revealed that donkeys and women were equated and that their alignment affected both their respective social status and wellbeing it became clear to what degree both women and donkeys are marginalised. "This research underscores the important and valuable role donkeys play in the lives of poor women who are often the most disadvantaged in their communities. Donkeys and their labour should therefore be considered within development work that is focused on elevating the status of women." Professor Becky Whay, Vice-President International and Professor of Sustainable Global Animal Welfare at the University of Galway, formerly at the University of Bristol, and one of the co-authors, added: "When I first heard the quote ‘Women and donkeys are the same, they both like to be beaten’, it caused a feeling of physical shock. That shock has never gone away and reminds me why research which gives a voice to these issues is so important. "The link between the social status of women and donkeys also highlights the opportunity for partnerships between animal welfare organisations and NGOs who focus on the empowerment of women, to deliver mutually beneficial interventions." Dr Faith Burden, Executive Director of Equine Operations at The Donkey Sanctuary, explained: "To support donkeys and those who depend upon them, it is necessary to further our understanding of the value placed on donkeys and the subtleties of their impact on people’s lives. This study demonstrates the crucial economic and social role donkeys play in some of the most marginalised communities in Ethiopia. "Donkeys and the communities that depend on them, in Africa and around the world, are currently under threat from the growing demand for ejiao, a traditional Chinese remedy made from donkey-skin gelatine. Around 4.8 million donkeys are slaughtered each year to meet this demand, and the decimation of China’s own donkey population has led skin traders to target countries like Ethiopia to meet this growing demand. It’s crucially important that governments enforce legislation to protect their precious donkey populations and the citizens who rely on them." Dr Getachew Mulugeta, Senior Global Researcher at The Donkey Sanctuary Ethiopia said: "These animals are often invisible, ignored by governments and policymakers despite their huge number and immense socio-economic contribution. The main reason, often raised, is the lack of in-depth quantitative socio-economic studies that show their contribution to a country’s GDP. I believe studies such as this are invaluable and contribute to making these animals more visible, not only to the communities and the government, but also to the scientific community. Further in-depth study is needed – not only of their socioeconomic value, but also the health and welfare of these animals. Poor welfare often hampers their working efficiency and reproductive performance, which can have a direct or indirect impact on the livelihoods of donkey-dependent and resource-limited communities." Gebre Engida from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Addis Ababa University, said: "Donkeys are the backbone for the livelihoods of rural communities in Ethiopia where there is little access to clean water in the dry season. The typography of the land and distances make this task even harder. People must travel long distances to find water and this responsibility falls on the rural women. So, donkeys are the only means of reducing this burden, the time and effort they spend collecting water." Ethiopia has the largest donkey population of any country and is home to approximately 19 per cent of the estimated global donkey population of 45.8 million. Despite their important contribution to many of Ethiopia's impoverished communities, donkeys remain absent from government animal health and welfare policies and are overlooked in sustainable development goals. The researchers suggest their research could be included in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The contribution of donkeys is significant to many of the goals and currently policymakers don’t recognise, protect or support the role of donkeys in delivery of the SDGs.  The study’s findings could inform the thinking of governments, especially when donkey populations are vulnerable and under pressure. Future research could further explore the complex economic and sociocultural dynamics of urban donkey co-working, donkey care, and gender relations in Africa. 'Being with donkeys: Insights into the valuing and wellbeing of donkeys in Central Ethiopia' by Martha Geiger, H. R. Whay, F. A. Burden, Gebre T. Engida et al. in Society and Animals Ends

Monday, 9 October 2023

University of Galway has capitalised on the Rugby World Cup to further cement its ENLIGHT partnership with University of Bordeaux. The University rugby team lined out as part of the exchange, including playing a challenge match with Rugby Club of Gradignan and training at their home ground, Ornon Stadium as well as a conference-discussion on inter-culturalism in sports with the two clubs and the Olympic Sports Committee. Professor Becky Whay, Vice President International at University of Galway, said: “We are extremely proud of our place in the ENLIGHT partnership - even moreso, we are delighted to see such a relationship with Bordeaux develop in such an organic way, with students and players engaging with one another. We hope it is a symbol of the much broader partnerships which can develop between the two cities and universities, as well as at a more local level with Galway and Gradignan.” The University of Galway trip was facilitated through a collaboration between Renaud Delbru, a graduate and former staff member of the University, and co-founder of University of Galway spin-out Siren, and the Gradignan town hall, particularly Councilwoman Claire Rivenc of IUT Bordeaux, University of Bordeaux.  Mike O'Mahony, University of Galway Rugby Club, said: “The exchange was an excellent example of seizing an opportunity to build relations and partnerships, thanks both to the Rugby World Cup and also University of Galway’s involvement in ENLIGHT. We have something to build on and we hope we can use these links to learn from our French partners as well, on and off the field.” The University of Galway players spent four days in Gradignan and also met the local mayor and joined the local rugby school at the Rugby Club of Gradignan, where they met the youngest players involved in the sport.   Ends

Monday, 9 October 2023

€2.7m Horizon Europe grant awarded for innovative research into new therapeutics    Researchers at University of Galway are to lead an international research project exploring innovative therapeutics targeting one of the most aggressive and challenging cancers to affect women – Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC). The project is supported by €2.7million Horizon Europe grant funding from the European Research Executive Agency. Led by Professor Sharon Glynn, Fulbright Scholar and Professor in Pathology at University of Galway, the research is dedicated to developing a new set of therapeutics for the treatment of Triple Negative Breast Cancer – which affects about 10-15% of women diagnosed with breast cancer.  The cancer is highly aggressive and challenging to treat as it lacks hormone receptors, making targeted therapies ineffective. As a consequence, treatment options for women suffering from the disease are limited to surgery and chemotherapy. The research team is a collaboration between University of Galway; CÚRAM – the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices based at University of Galway; University of Seville; University of Luxemburg; University of Udine; University of Sienna; Trinity College Dublin; EPHE-PSL; Danish Cancer Institute; ISOF-CNR;  Saolta University Health Care Group; Galway Clinic; Houston Methodist Hospital; and other international partners.  The research project - Advanced Engineering of Nitric Oxide Based Therapeutics for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Training Network (No-CANCER-NET) - will focus on developing a new set of therapeutics for the treatment of TNBC.  Professor Glynn, who through her dedicated research over the past 15 years, has made significant advancements in understanding TNBC, said: “A big issue with this type of breast cancer is that it tends to be more aggressive from the very start and it carries a higher risk of spreading early to different parts of the body. Also, women can be diagnosed at a very young age with this cancer - often before standard breast cancer screening begins at the age of 50.”  Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of CÚRAM and co-Principal Investigator in NO-CANCER-NET, said: “CÚRAM has internationally renowned expertise in research for the development and delivery of therapeutics, in addition to being model for expert training of postgraduate and postdoctoral scientists.” Professor Glynn continued: “My team and I have been working to find new ways to treat TNBC, including the discovery of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) levels predicting poor outcomes in hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.  “Women whose tumour had high levels of iNOS were five times more likely to die from breast cancer than those who had low levels providing us with a new therapeutic opportunity. “This project will take two approaches to target nitric oxide, one which can trigger cell death and tumour regression, and the second, by targeting blood flow and tumour vasculature.” Professor Glynn’s research, during her postdoctoral training at the US National Institutes of Health, provided the initial rationale for findings that then led to a clinical trial of NOS inhibitors for the treatment of TNBC, by Dr Jenny Chang in Houston Methodist Hospital.  Dr Jenny Chang, a specialist in Breast Medical Oncology and Director of the Houston Methodist Hospital, said: “The cancer landscape is a fast-moving and ever-progressing area of research. Treatment modalities for various cancers have drastically improved in the past 10 years. However, our fight to treat some form of cancers, especially rare, aggressive and metastatic disease is still on going. We are delighted to collaborate with NO-CANCER-NET led by University of Galway as part of an international network, which will train the next generation of doctoral students. This network will provide a unique opportunity to understand the complexities of bench to bedside cancer research, as well as the importance of an interdisciplinary approach and an understanding of the fundamentals of related disciplines. This will be of great importance in preparing these students to work between academia, industry and in clinical healthcare providers. This skillset will accelerate the development of new therapeutics like NO-related therapeutics.” Ends 

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

University of Galway led research project funded by the Health Research Board    A University of Galway researcher has secured funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) to advance blood pressure treatment using artificial intelligence.  The project led by Dr Conor Judge - An Artificial Intelligence approach to improving blood pressure treatment - is set to revolutionise the management and treatment of hypertension, a critical health issue affecting more than 1.4 billion people around the world. The funding of €700,000 has been awarded under the HRB’s Clinician Scientist Fellowships (CSF) 2023 scheme. The research project will run for four years and aims to address the significant care-gap in hypertension management, which currently requires people with the condition to visit their doctor frequently, thus posing a challenge to both the person with hypertension and the healthcare providers, by exploring the potential of artificial intelligence in enhancing treatment decisions. Initially, the project will analyse two extensive clinical trials on blood pressure treatment to train a computer program to make treatment decisions similar to clinical hypertension experts. Following this, safety features will be integrated into the AI program to ensure reliable recommendations, especially in unfamiliar medical scenarios. The project will carry out comprehensive surveys with both clinicians and people being treated for high blood pressure to gauge their perceptions of AI-driven treatment. The final step involves a thorough evaluation of the AI program's efficacy in recommending blood pressure treatments in a real world setting. Dr Conor Judge, a senior lecturer of applied clinical data analytics with University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Consultant Nephrologist at Saolta University Health Care Group said: “Doctor capacity is a crucial factor that limits how well we can control high blood pressure, leading to a significant gap in managing this condition worldwide.”  “The overarching goal is to personalise hypertension management, thereby bridging the existing care-gap and significantly reducing the global burden of hypertension-related complications. The project's findings could potentially set a precedent for employing AI in managing other critical health conditions, marking a significant stride towards integrating AI in routine clinical practice.” The research will be supervised by Professor Martin O'Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at University of Galway, and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group. Professor O’Donnell said: “Artificial Intelligence Clinical Decision Support Systems (AICDSS) for Hypertension holds considerable potential to improving hypertension management but require rigorous evaluation before assimilation into routine clinical practice. “This scheme is designed to fund health and social care practitioners who have completed their PhD and are engaged in clinical care delivery. The primary aim is to nurture these professionals into independent clinician researchers with a profound ambition to influence policy and practice through their research endeavours.” Ends  

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

Beidh comhdháil mhór idirnáisiúnta ar an tsláine acadúil agus taighde ar siúl an tseachtain seo in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe  i gcomhpháirtíocht leis an Líonra Náisiúnta do Shláine Acadúil (NAIN). An aidhm atá ag Comhdháil na hÉireann 2023 ar an tSláine Acadúil agus Taighde deis a thabhairt do mhic léinn, taighdeoirí, acadóirí agus dóibh siúd a oibríonn go gairmiúil san earnáil bualadh lena chéile chun foghlaim óna chéile, smaointe a roinnt, agus dul i mbun machnaimh i dteannta a chéile maidir leis na céimeanna praiticiúla atá riachtanach chun go gcothófar luach na sláine tuilleadh san earnáil ardoideachais. Reáchtálfar an chomhdháil in Óstán Galmont i gCathair na Gaillimhe ón gCéadaoin, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair go dtí Dé hAoine, an 6 Deireadh Fómhair 2023. Is féidir clárú, breathnú ar chlár na comhdhála, agus eolas breise a fháil anseo Seo a leanas roinnt de na téamaí a bheidh idir chaibidil ag an gcomhdháil: dúshláin a bhaineann leis an teicneolaíocht a aithint agus deiseanna tacú leis an tsláine acadúil agus taighde cosúil le ChatGPT, Google Translate, DALL-E, etc; athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar bhealaí chun déileáil le mí-iompar acadúil agus taighde - polasaithe agus cleachtais; agus comhpháirtíochtaí mac léinn a chruthú le go gcuirfí le cultúr sláine acadúil atá faoi stiúir mac léinn. I measc na bpríomhchainteoirí ag an gcomhdháil beidh saineolaithe idirnáisiúnta mór le rá i réimsí na Sláine Acadúla agus Taighde agus san áireamh beidh Elisabeth Bik (California, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá), Sarah Elaine Eaton (Calgary, Ceanada), Lex Bouter (Amstardam, an Ísiltír), Phil Newton (Swansea, an Bhreatain Bheag), Serge Horbach (Aarhus, an Danmhairg), agus Ann Rogerson (Wollongong, an Astráil).  Tá sé mar aidhm ag an gcomhdháil freisin treoir agus tacaíocht phraiticiúil a chur ar fáil, naisc a dhéanamh idir na téamaí agus ár bpobail chleachtais a neartú tuilleadh. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Uachtarán Ionaid agus Meabhránaí, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Is am tráthúil tús bliain acadúil nua chun machnamh a dhéanamh ar bhunphrionsabail an ardoideachais, agus ní mór don tsláine de gach cineál a bheith ina príomhluach d’ollscoileanna. An cúram atá orainn le chéile dul i ngleic leis na dúshláin atá á dtabhairt ag an intleacht shaorga don taighde, don teagasc agus don fhoghaim, agus is fóram thar a bheith feiliúnach an chomhdháil seo don phobal ollscoile teacht le chéile agus breithniú a dhéanamh ar ar féidir linn a dhéanamh chun na caighdeáin is airde sláine a chothabháil agus a chosaint sa chóras oideachais agus cáilíochtaí.” Seo mar a labhair an Dr Billy Kelly, Cathaoirleach an Líonra Náisiúnta do Shláine Acadúil:: “Tá áthas ar an Líonra Náisiúnta do Shláine Acadúil (NAIN) an chomhdháil seo a óstáil i gcomhar le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe. Tá dúshlán á thabhairt do chleachtais reatha teagaisc, foghlama agus measúnaithe i láthair na huaire mar thoradh ar dhul chun cinn na teicneolaíochta agus tá iarmhairtí suntasacha ag na dúshláin sin, idir iarbhír agus féideartha, don tsláine acadúil agus don tsláine taighde araon. Soláthrófar deis ag an gcomhdháil seo foghlaim ó cheannairí idirnáisiúnta agus náisiúnta sa spás seo, agus tabharfaidh na rannpháirtithe leo léargais phraiticiúla agus indéanta mar ábhar plé laistigh dá n-eagraíochtaí agus dá bpobail chleachtais féin.” Críoch

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

University of Galway is to host a major international conference on academic and research integrity this week, in partnership with the National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN). Academic & Research Integrity Conference Ireland 2023 sets out to offer students, researchers, academics and professional staff in the sector the opportunity to come together to learn from each other, share ideas and think collectively about what practical steps are needed to sustain the value of integrity at the heart of higher education. The conference will take place at the Galmont Hotel in Galway city from Wednesday October 4th to Friday October 6th 2023. Registration, conference programme and further details are available here Some of the themes to be featured at the conference include: identifying technology-related challenges and opportunities for supporting academic and research integrity such as ChatGPT, Google Translate, DALL-E, etc; reviewing approaches to academic and research misconduct - policies and practices; and creating student partnerships to enhance a culture of student-led academic integrity. Keynote speakers at the conference include prominent international experts in the fields of Academic and Research Integrity including: -      Elisabeth Bik, a science integrity volunteer and consultant who has worked at Stanford University and in industry. -      Sarah Elaine Eaton, Associate Professor in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada and Honorary Associate Professor, Deakin University, Australia -      Lex Bouter, Professor Emeritus of Methodology and Integrity at the Department of Epidemiology and Data Science of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers and the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities of the Vrije Universiteit -      Phil Newton, neuroscientist at the Swansea University Medical School -      Serge Horbach from the Danish Centre for Studies in Research and Research Policy, Aarhus University. -      Ann Rogerson, Associate Dean (Education) at the Faculty of Business and Law at University of Wollongong, Australia The conference also aims to offer practical guidance and support, and to make connections across the themes and further strengthen our communities of practice. Deputy President and Registrar, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, said: “The start of a new academic year is an opportune time to reflect on the core principles of higher education, and integrity, in all its forms, must be a leading value for universities. Together, we face the task of coming to grips with the challenges to research, teaching, and learning posed by generative artificial intelligence, and this conference provides a perfect venue for members of the university community to gather and to consider what we can do to maintain the highest standards of integrity in our education and qualifications.” Dr Billy Kelly, Chair of the National Academic Integrity Network, said: “The National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN) is pleased to co-host this conference with University of Galway. At the current time, advancements in technology challenge current teaching, learning and assessment practices and these challenges have significant actual and potential consequences for both academic and research integrity. The conference will be an opportunity to learn from international and national leaders in this space, with all participants taking away tangible and actionable insights to discuss within their own organisations and communities of practice.” Ends

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

New study from University of Galway alleviates concerns over metformin drug for mothers and babies   Clinical trial shows no difference in outcomes for women and their newborns   Researchers at University of Galway have taken a significant step forward in the management of gestational diabetes mellitus after a clinical trial involving pregnant women provided new hope for expectant mothers suffering the condition. The findings from the trial are being published in JAMA: the Journal of American Medical Association. (The paper is available on request).  Gestational diabetes is a global health issue affecting almost 3 million pregnant women worldwide every year. It is a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy, posing increased health risks for both mothers and their babies.  Professor Fidelma Dunne, Professor of Medicine at University of Galway and Consultant Endocrinologist at Saolta University Health Care Group, managed the EMERGE, randomised, placebo-controlled trial, funded by the Health Research Board, involving more than 500 pregnant women. It found:  Women assigned to metformin were 25% less likely to need insulin, and when insulin was necessary, it was started later in the pregnancy. Metformin is used routinely in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and has been widely available for over 60 years. Fasting and post-meal sugar values in the mother were significantly lower in the metformin exposed group at weeks 32 and 38.  Women receiving metformin gained less weight throughout the trial and maintained this weight difference at the 12-week post-delivery visit. Importantly, delivery occurred at the same mean gestational age (39.1 weeks) in both groups. There was no evidence of any increase in preterm birth (defined as birth before 37 weeks) among those who received metformin.  Infants born to mothers who received metformin weighed, on average, 113g less at birth, with significantly fewer infants classified as large at birth, or weighing over 4kg (8lbs 8ounces). While there was a slight reduction in infant length (0.7cm), there were no other significant differences in baby measurements.  There were slightly more babies who were small at birth but this did not reach statistical significance.  The study also revealed no differences in adverse neonatal outcomes, including the need for intensive care treatment for new-borns, respiratory support, jaundice, congenital anomalies, birth injuries or low sugar levels. Additionally there were no variations in rates of labour induction, caesarean delivery, maternal haemorrhage, infection or blood pressure issues during or after birth.  Professor Fidelma Dunne presented the results (on Tuesday October 3, 2023) at the 59th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Hamburg, Germany. Professor Dunne said: “While there is convincing evidence that improved sugar control is associated with improved pregnancy outcomes, there was uncertainty about the optimal management approach following a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. “In our pursuit of a safe and effective treatment option we explored an alternative approach – administering the drug metformin. A previous trial compared metformin to insulin and found it to be effective, yet concerns remained, especially regarding preterm birth and infant size.” To address concerns comprehensively, the team at University of Galway conducted a ground-breaking placebo-controlled-trial, filling a critical gap in the gestational diabetes treatment landscape.  535 pregnant women took part, with 268 receiving metformin and 267 a placebo. 98% of women remained in the trial until delivery, with 88% completing the 12-week post-delivery follow up assessment. Only 4.9% of women discontinued medication due to side effects, highlighting the safety of the interventions.  Professor Dunne said: “Traditionally, gestational diabetes has been managed initially through dietary advice and exercise, with insulin introduced if sugar levels remain sub-optimal. While effective in reducing poor pregnancy outcomes, insulin use is associated with challenges, including low sugars in both the mother and infant which may require neonatal intensive care, excess weight gain for mothers, and higher caesarean birth rates. “For mothers with gestational diabetes, they are also at greater risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia. “Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes face their own set of risks, such as excessive weight at birth, birth injuries, respiratory difficulties and low sugar levels after delivery potentially requiring admission to neonatal intensive care. Gestational diabetes also increases the lifetime risk of diabetes for these mothers and their children. In addition mothers have an elevated lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, low and middle-income countries bear a significant burden of gestational diabetes cases.” Professor Dunne added: “The results from the EMERGE study are a significant step forward for women with gestational diabetes. Metformin has emerged as an effective alternative for managing gestational diabetes, offering new hope for expectant mothers and healthcare providers worldwide.” Ends

Monday, 2 October 2023

NBCRI commits investment to further world-class research, including metastatic breast cancer, imaging, genetics and biomarkers   University of Galway has announced a new partnership with the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI) with the charity committing a €2 million research investment fund over two years. The collaboration builds on a longstanding relationship between NBCRI and the University, which dates back to the 1990s and has involved support for numerous projects and developments in breast cancer research. One in 7 Irish women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and there are 3,507 breast cancer diagnoses every year - a figure which is set to continue to increase. Thanks to advances in research and healthcare, the survival rate of breast cancer patients has gone from 50% to 88% over the last 40 years. The NBCRI-University of Galway partnership runs until October 2025 and sees the charity committing almost €2 million for a variety of research activity and projects led by Professor Michael Kerin; Professor Aoife Lowery; Dr Róisín Dwyer; and Dr Nicola Miller.  They include: translational research related to metastatic breast cancer; genetics to predict risk and treatment response; and biomarker discovery development of the Cancer Biobank, housing tissue and blood samples crucial to research clinical research focused on cardio-oncology and how cancer therapy affects the heart; breast cancer imaging; and women’s health, including post treatment support and rehab Since its foundation in 1989, the NBCRI has strived to increase awareness, improve access to treatment and conduct internationally significant research into breast cancer. A significant part of that work has been in partnership with University of Galway. The new partnership provides an opportunity to expand this key relationship with increased investment in the breast cancer research programme as the charity and academia work together to achieve better outcomes for patients. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “On behalf of the University of Galway community I would like to show a deep appreciation for both the longstanding relationship we have with the NBCRI but also the clear focus of supporting research for the public good - a strong ethos of our University. This partnership goes to the heart of our value of excellence and acts as a clear demonstration of the potential to make a difference in people’s lives, here in the west of Ireland, nationally and internationally.”  The fund will also enable research opportunities from undergraduate through to PhD and postdoctorate levels with projects focusing on trying to answer key questions in breast cancer research and treatment, including: How do cells communicate and how does cancer metastasise? How can we manipulate cells to find metastatic breast cancer cells and direct therapy to them? Can we detect new blood biomarkers for better diagnosis and to help predict response to treatment? Can we identify gene mutations to help predict who might develop breast cancer? How does cancer therapy affect the heart?  Microwave Breast Imaging - Is it a safe option and is it more sensitive than current mammography? Speaking about the partnership NBCRI Director of Research and Professor of Surgery at University of Galway, Professor Michael Kerin, said: “The advancement of research and healthcare for people diagnosed with cancer is remarkable. Day-in, day-out, we see patients and their loved ones in our clinics who reap the rewards. We need to increase the pace of those advancements in cancer treatment, care, quality of life and cures, by ensuring our patients can access a fit-for-purpose cancer centre that is underpinned by quality research, education and clinical trials.  “I would like to thank the NBCRI Board and its Chairperson, Caroline Loughnane, for their leadership and commitment to advancing breast cancer research to improve outcomes for patients. A commitment of this scale is testament to the value that the NBCRI charity places on research at the University of Galway and how it can be the catalyst for improvements in care and the lives of our patients and their families, as well as a lasting global impact on research.” Governed by a voluntary board, NBCRI is funded almost entirely by public donations from fundraising events held nationwide, which all help to keep the charity “in the pink” to fund research. The charity is one of the driving forces in the development of a major new cancer centre in the west of Ireland. Among many initiatives over the years of partnership with the University, NBCRI has supported major capital developments providing research and patient facilities for breast cancer research, including the Symptomatic Breast Unit and the Lambe Institute for Translational Research on the grounds of Galway University Hospital. In addition, NBCRI has been at the forefront of developing many of the key leaders in academic surgery and science including taking part in important national research initiatives such as Precision Oncology Ireland. The charity has also supported more than 40 full-time postgraduate places and more than 100 undergraduate medicine and science students as part of the University of Galway School of Medicine summer research programme. Ends

Monday, 2 October 2023

Déanann NBCRI tiomantas infheistíochta chun cur le taighde den scoth, lena n-áirítear ailse chíche mheiteastáiseach, íomháú, géineolaíocht agus bithmharcóirí Tá comhpháirtíocht nua fógartha ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe leis an Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche (NBCRI) faoina ndéanfaidh an carthanas gealltanas do chiste infheistíochta taighde arbh fhiú €2 mhilliún é thar thréimhse dhá bhliain. Féachann an chomhpháirtíocht seo le togáil ar an gcaidreamh seanbhunaithe idir NBCRI agus an Ollscoil, ar cuireadh tús leis sna 1990idí, agus faoinár tugadh tacaíocht do go leor tionscadal agus forbairtí i dtaighde ailse chíche. Déanfar diagnóis ailse chíche ar dhuine as gach seachtar ban Éireannach le linn a saoil agus diagnóisítear 3,507 cás d’ailse chíche gach bliain, ar figiúr é sin a bheidh ag méadú i gcaitheamh an ama. Tá an seans go dtiocfaidh bean slán ó ailse chíche ardaithe ó 50% go 88% le 40 bliain anuas a bhuíochas leis an dul chun cinn atá déanta i dtaighde agus i gcúram sláinte. Mairfidh an chomhpháirtíocht idir an NBCRI agus Ollscoil na Gaillimhe go dtí Deireadh Fómhair 2025 agus déanfaidh an carthanas beagnach €2 mhilliún a chur i dtreo gníomhaíochtaí agus tionscadail taighde éagsúla faoi stiúir an Ollaimh Michael Kerin; an tOllamh Aoife Lowery; an Dr Róisín Dwyer; agus an Dr Nicola Miller.  Ina measc tá: taighde aistritheach i ndáil le hailse chíche mheiteastáiseach; géineolaíocht chun riosca agus freagairt do chóireáil a thuar; agus fionnachtain bithmharcóirí forbairt an Bhithbhainc Ailse, áit a stóráiltear samplaí fíocháin agus fola atá ríthábhachtach don taighde taighde cliniciúil dírithe ar charda-oinceolaíocht agus conas a théann teiripe ailse i bhfeidhm ar an gcroí; íomháú ailse chíche; agus sláinte na mban, lena n-áirítear tacaíocht iarchóireála agus athshlánúchán Tá curtha roimhe ag an NBCRI ón uair a bunaíodh é in 1989 feasacht maidir le hailse chíche a mhúscailt, rochtain ar chóir leighis a fheabhsú agus taighde suntasach idirnáisiúnta a dhéanamh. Rinneadh sciar nach beag den obair sin i gcomhpháirtíocht le hOllscoil na Gaillimhe. Tugann an chomhpháirtíocht nua deis an caidreamh seo idir an carthanas agus an t-aos acadúil a leathnú trí infheistíocht bhreise a dhéanamh sa chlár taighde ailse chíche agus muid ag féachaint le torthaí níos fearr a bhaint amach d’othair. Seo mar a labhair Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Ba mhaith liom, thar ceann phobal Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, mo bhuíochas ó chroí a léiriú as an gcaidreamh fadbhunaithe atá againn leis an NBCRI agus, go háirithe, as fócas soiléir na comhpháirtíochta seo tacú le taighde ar mhaithe le leas an phobail – ar gné láidir amháin d’éiteas na hOllscoile é. Tá luach an bhairr feabhais de dhlúth agus d’inneach na comhpháirtíochta seo agus léiriú follasach atá inti ar an bhféidearthacht difear a dhéanamh do shaol an duine, anseo in iarthar na hÉireann, go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta.”  Éascófar deiseanna taighde tríd an gciste seo chomh maith ag an leibhéal fochéime go dtí leibhéal PhD agus iardhochtúireachta. Féachfaidh tionscadail le freagraí a fháil ar na ceisteanna móra i dtaighde agus cóireáil ailse chíche, lena n-áirítear: Conas a dhéanann cealla cumarsáid agus conas a dtéann ailse i mbun meiteastáise? Conas is féidir linn cealla a ionramháil chun cealla ailse chíche meiteastáiseacha a aimsiú, agus teiripe a dhíriú orthu? An féidir linn bithmharcóirí fola nua a bhrath le go ndéanfaimid diagnóis níos cruinne agus chun cabhrú linn an chaoi a bhfreagróidh an t-othar do chóir leighis a thuar? An féidir linn sócháin géine a aithint a d’fhéadfadh cabhrú linn a thuar cé atá i mbaol ailse chíche a fháil? Cén éifeacht atá ag teiripe ailse ar an gcroí?  Íomháú Cíche Micreathonnach – An bhfuil sé sábháilte agus an bhfuil sé níos íogaire ná an mhamagrafaíocht i láthair na huaire? Ag labhairt dó faoin gcomhpháirtíocht dúirt Stiúrthóir Taighde NBCRI agus Ollamh Máinliachta in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Michael Kerin: “Díol suntais is ea an dul chun cinn atá déanta i réimse an taighde agus an chúraim sláinte dóibh siúd a bhfuil diagnóis ailse faighte acu. Baineann na hothair a bhíonn ag freastal ar ár gclinicí, agus a muintir, leas as na forbairtí sin ar bhonn rialta. Ní mór dúinn dlús a chur leis an dul chun cinn sin i gcóireáil ailse, cúram, cáilíocht na beatha agus leigheasanna agus déanfaimid é sin a chinntiú trí rochtain a éascú dár n-othair ar shainionad ailse a bhfuil taighde, oideachas agus trialacha cliniciúla ar ardchaighdeán mar bhonn agus mar thaca aige.  “Ba mhaith liom buíochas a ghabháil le Bord NBCRI agus lena Chathaoirleach, Caroline Loughnane, as a gceannaireacht agus a dtiomantas taighde ailse chíche a chur chun cinn le go mbeidh torthaí níos fearr ag othair. Léiríonn tiomantas ar an scála seo an luach a chuireann an carthanas NBCRI ar thaighde in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe agus an chaoi ar féidir leis a bheith ina chatalaíoch d’fheabhsuithe ar chúram agus ar shaol othar agus a dteaghlach, mar aon le tionchar domhanda fadtéarmach ar thaighde.” Rialaíonn bord deonach NBCRI agus tá sé á mhaoiniú beagnach go hiomlán ag síntiúis ón bpobal agus ó imeachtaí tiomsaithe airgid a reáchtáiltear ar fud na tíre le go mbeidh sé in ann taighde a mhaoiniú ar bhonn leanúnach. Tá an carthanas ar thús cadhnaíochta san fheachtas chun mórionad ailse nua a fhorbairt in iarthar na hÉireann. Thacaigh NBCRI le roinnt mhaith tionscnamh Ollscoile i gcaitheamh na mblianta, ina measc mórfhorbairtí caipitil a sholáthair áiseanna taighde agus othar le haghaidh taighde ailse chíche, lena n-áirítear an tAonad do Shiomptóim Chíche agus Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach ar thailte Ospidéal Ollscoile na Gaillimhe. Ina theannta sin, bhí ról lárnach ag NBCRI i bhforbairt go leor de na príomhcheannairí sa mháinliacht acadúil agus san eolaíocht lena n-áirítear páirt a ghlacadh i dtionscnaimh thábhachtacha taighde náisiúnta ar nós Precision Oncology Ireland. Tá tacaíocht tugtha ag an gcarthanas freisin do bhreis agus 40 áit do mhic léinn iarchéime lánaimseartha agus breis is 100 mac léinn fochéime leighis agus eolaíochta mar chuid den chlár taighde samhraidh a reáchtálann Scoil an Leighis in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Críoch

Wednesday, 29 November 2023

University of Galway’s Ryan Institute a key partner in developing responses to climate change, biodiversity loss and water crises University of Galway has joined a partnership of academics, industry and governments across Ireland and the UK to advance research to address climate, food sustainability, biodiversity and water crises. The developments are part of a new Co-Centres research programme announced by the Irish, British and Northern Ireland governments with a €70 million investment over six years.  University of Galway is an academic partner in the Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity and Water, and also in the Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems. President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Research and innovation to enable sustainability transitions are central to our University’s mission, where through our teaching and research activities, using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, we are enabling the next generation of students, researchers and innovators in tackling society’s sustainable development challenges. We welcome the opportunity to work in partnership through the new Co-Centres programme with academic colleagues, across the island of Ireland and in Britain, for the pubic good and to generate knowledge that enables a more sustainable future for all.“ Climate+ Co-Centre (Climate + Biodiversity & Water) Involving 14 institutions and 64 researchers in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Britain, it will begin its work in January 2024, and will carry out research to enable the transformative change urgently needed to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and water crises, as well as developing solutions on just transitions in land use. The Co-Centre will work closely with industry partners and other on sustainable agrifood transitions; communities and livelihoods; assessing risks and opportunities; and investing in carbon and nature, in forestry, peatlands, grasslands and coastal habitats. The Co-Centre for Climate + Biodiversity and Water will be led by Trinity College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Reading, with University of Galway’s Ryan Institute as a key partner.  Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute and lead of the Climate+ Sustainable AgriFood Transitions, said: “The CLIMATE+ Co-Centre is urgently needed to focus our combined research and innovation efforts on transition and transformation pathways that can address the converging and interlinked crises of climate change, biodiversity and water. The COP28 climate summit begins this week amidst ever rising emissions where humanity is on a trajectory for an alarming 3oC planetary warming by end of the century. In addition, we are in the midst of a massive biodiversity extinction crisis and a global water crisis, where difficult decisions will need to be made urgently by policymakers and society at large, to navigate major trade-offs, while maximising co-benefits, between sustainability options and actions on climate, biodiversity and water.” Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems Involving 14 institutions, again in Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland, it will also begin its work in January 1 2024. Its aim is to develop innovative and transformative solutions to transition the food system for positive and sustainable change in the transition to climate-neutrality by 2050.  The Co-Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems will be led by UCD, Queen’s University and University of Sheffield, with University of Galway as a key partner. The Co-Centres programme was announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan and Permanent Secretary at Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Katrina Godfrey. It is funded over six years with an investment of €70m, which includes up to €40 million from Science Foundation Ireland (supported by the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science and the Irish Government’s Shared Island Fund); up to £17 million from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland; and up to £12 million through UK Research and Innovation, and is co-funded by industry. Ends

Monday, 27 November 2023

Decades of papers from public life released to coincide with former politician being awarded honorary Doctor of Laws The archive of former civil rights activist, founding member of the SDLP, politician and economist Hugh Logue is being made available at University of Galway The historical resource – made up of more than 20 boxes of manuscripts, documents, photographs and political ephemera – was released to coincide with the award of an Honorary Doctor of Laws to Mr Logue at a special conferring ceremony in the University. The archive documents his life and career, from his entry into Northern Irish politics in the early 1970s, through to a distinguished career in the European Commission, and more latterly as a Chief Special Advisor and speech writer at the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister at Stormont, where he worked closely with Séamus Mallon during the establishment of the Executive in the years following the Good Friday Agreement, from 1998-2003.  Speaking at the University conferring, Hugh Logue said: “A request from University of Galway to donate one's Archives to it is a huge honour. Its reputation as an archive of distinction is worldwide and the scale of access by students and scholars remarkable. Its attention to material from over the last 50 troubled years in Northern Ireland is unparalleled. It is a privilege to have my papers placed there.” The archive includes a letter he wrote to Séamus Mallon on the day of the Omagh bomb, August 15, 1998, outlining the immediate risk to peace. He wrote: "Word is just coming in of the utter horror of Omagh... our task remains to give voice to that overwhelming vote [The Good Friday Agreement], the bombers' task is to render it speechless" Also included are multiple manuscript and annotated drafts of Logue's testimony to the Saville Tribunal and his actions and memories of civil rights marches and events in Northern Ireland, leading up to and including Bloody Sunday.  The Logue archive presents an important new collection that will enable new studies and understandings of the political, social and economic development of Northern Ireland, as well as important links with Europe.  Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of University of Galway, said: “University of Galway has a great tradition of preserving important archive material for both research and the public and Hugh Logue’s papers going back to the 1970s are a huge addition to that legacy. We are even more pleased to be able to honour Hugh Logue and recognise the huge contribution he made to the quest for civil rights, peace on our island and a more prosperous future for all communities. University of Galway places great store on working for the public good – Hugh Logue’s career and life epitomises that.” Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh, School of Political Science and Sociology, said: “Hugh Logue's papers shed light on key episodes in recent Irish history, including the role of the European Commission in the peace process, the rise of the civil rights movement and the SDLP, and efforts to negotiate an end to the 1981 Republican hunger strike. The legacy of violent conflict in Ireland continues to provide a focus for intense political debate and archives of this kind are invaluable in ensuring that those debates are informed by first-hand contemporary sources.” Other documents in the Logue archive contain early political and election material from his successful election to Westminster in 1973; SDLP policy papers in the 1980s and 90s; papers from his work with the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace which offer new insights into its work to resolve the 1981 hunger strikes.  The archive also includes key papers from his early work with the European Commission in the 1990s, including the Delors taskforce and the E.U. Peace and Reconciliation Fund, both PEACE packages and European Science and Technology for regional development.  Dr Barry Houlihan, University of Galway Library Archivist, said: “The archive of Hugh Logue is a remarkable collection of papers that will offer new understanding to the political, social and economic history of Northern Ireland through the last half century, as well as to Hugh’s crucial contributions in that time. The archive adds considerable new knowledge to an already extensive body of archive collections within the University documenting Northern Ireland’s recent past”. Monica Crump, Interim University Librarian, said: "At the University of Galway Library, we're thrilled to welcome Hugh Logue’s archive into our care. This collection is more than a testament to one individual's legacy, it also unlocks a deeper comprehension of our recent past, guiding future generations toward a richer understanding of Northern Ireland's intricate journey, from political milestones to his significant influence on European policy. Our staff, students and visiting researchers are hugely fortunate to have this resource available to them and we are hugely grateful to Hugh for entrusting us with the custodianship of his rich archive.” Ends

Monday, 27 November 2023

University of Galway and Galway Simon Community have come together with filmmakers to produce a new film capturing the experience of homelessness from the experience of those who have lived it. Lost & Found is a co-created, virtual reality film produced out of the University’s Centre for Creative Technologies, in collaboration with clients from Galway Simon. The production saw people who have lived experience of homelessness working with leading virtual reality filmmakers and University of Galway researchers as part of the Immersive Empathy project. The team adopted a 360-degree style of filming, which captures a fully immersive world that can be viewed within a virtual reality headset. The production utilised oral history interviews and collaborative workshops to develop the content of the film so that it conveyed the realities of being homeless.  The film was launched at a special screening at University of Galway as part of the Arts in Action programme with the audience wearing VR headsets allowing them to feel as though they are in the world of someone experiencing homelessness. Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Eddie Hoare, said: “Too often the voices of the people affected by the homelessness crisis are missing from our national debates. Huge credit goes to the people who opened up about their experiences of being homeless in order to allow us to more deeply appreciate its impact on their lives and wellbeing. The researchers at University of Galway and the filmmakers have demonstrated the value of giving people the tools and technology to open up new windows of experience and empathy.”  Karen Golden, chief executive of Galway Simon, said: “We’re very proud to have been part of this ground breaking initiative, and deeply grateful to the University of Galway for involving clients of Galway Simon Community in the project. Participants found the experience very empowering, and the feedback has been incredibly positive.” Dr Conn Holohan, Lost & Found project lead and Director of the Centre for Creative Technologies at University of Galway, said: “The goal of the immersive empathy project is to empower people who have experienced homelessness to tell their own stories through immersive technologies. It is only when communities are empowered to speak for themselves, to tell their own stories and challenge existing perspectives and beliefs, that empathy can provide a genuine platform for lasting social change.” Lost & Found was produced as part of the Immersive Empathy Project, an initiative of researchers within the disciplines of film, drama, psychology, business and digital humanities at University of Galway. The project explores the potential of virtual reality as a tool for social change. Much has been written during the recent explosion of interest in virtual reality and immersive technologies about the power of VR to increase empathy levels towards others. The potential for immersive technologies to act as catalysts for social change was identified by VR filmmaker Chris Milk in a 2015 TED Talk, in which he coined the term “empathy machine” to describe what he saw as the defining possibility of this technology. University of Galway launched the Centre for Creative Technologies in September 2023 with the aim of fostering and support research and teaching activities that explore and develop links between creative practice and technology and creativity as a principle and practice that extends beyond the arts. Ends 

Thursday, 23 November 2023

European Research Council awards University of Galway academic €2m grant for pioneering project developing computational model for healthcare    A University of Galway academic whose research work focuses on developing computational models of human biology has been awarded a €2 million research grant from the European Research Council.  Leading the transformative AVATAR project is Professor Ines Thiele, who leads the Molecular Systems Physiology Group at the University and is a Principal Investigator with APC Microbiome Ireland, the Science Foundation Ireland microbiome research centre headquartered in University College Cork and Teagasc Moorepark.  AVATAR is a ground-breaking project to construct an advanced computer model that delves into the connections between genes, metabolism, microbiome and diet, and to unravel their impact on health. The model aims to predict personalised health interventions based on individual health data, offering tailored advice - similar to a virtual health coach. It will be a stepping-stone for computer-assisted diagnosis and treatment. AVATAR’s powerful computer model of human metabolism will propel advancements in personalised medicine by predicting the optimal health interventions for individuals, based on their own health data. It will initially focus on inherited metabolic diseases and metabolic changes in individuals with cognitive issues. For example, the computer model may predict if a person is at risk of health issues based on their genes, microbiome, life-style parameters, and metabolism, and provide recommendations on how to intervene effectively, such as by giving specific diet recommendations.  Professor Ines Thiele has been awarded €2 million European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant to spearhead the project.   Professor Thiele explained: “AVATAR represents a monumental leap towards personalised medicine. Our society is very diverse, including our bodies, biologies and lifestyles, yet healthcare still largely relies on a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, assuming most people will respond the same way to the same treatment. In reality, and beyond genetics, our health is influenced by internal factors like metabolism, which are small molecules circulating in our bodies; external elements such as microbiome and lifestyle choices such as diet. “AVATAR addresses the differences between individuals by unravelling the intricate relationships between genes, metabolism, microbiome, and diet. While advancements in DNA technology hold promise for personalised medicine, the multitude of genetic variations presents a daunting challenging in determining their specific relevance to health. “The intricate interplay of these factors forms a complex web that requires a sophisticated, computer-based approach in order to untangle.” This is the second ERC award for Professor Thiele, who was awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant in 2017, which enabled her pioneering work on computational modelling of the role of the microbiome on human health. The pioneering Avatar project involves collaboration and multidisciplinary efforts in a team spanning Ireland, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and the USA.  Professor Paul Ross, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland commented: “Personalised nutrition and medicine will be a huge gamechanger once we achieve the research goals to make it possible. Pioneering projects such as AVATAR will bring individualized approaches to food and medicine closer to reality when it comes to people’s healthcare.  As such, broad spectrum solutions for healthcare will in the future need to be refined for the complexities of individual needs to realise faster and more effective results for everyone.” Ends

Tuesday, 21 November 2023

Construct Innovate, the Enterprise Ireland technology centre hosted by University of Galway, has secured €2million funding under a Government programme to invest in specialised equipment and testing facilities. Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney T.D. made the announcement under the 2023 Capital Equipment Fund administered by Enterprise Ireland through the Technology Gateway and Technology Centre Programmes. Construct Innovate secured grants to fund three projects at University of Galway and one project at University College Dublin. The 2023 Capital Equipment Fund will allow Construct Innovate to develop a building envelope testbed, expand and upgrade their structural testing facilities and enable the development of modern methods of construction (MMC) through automated and process technologies. Construct Innovate directors, Prof Jamie Goggins and Dr Magdalena Hajdukiewicz, welcomed the announcement of the Capital Equipment Fund results. Dr Hajdukiewicz said: “Construct Innovate facilitates industry-led, independent and evidence-based research supporting innovation and sustainability in the construction sector. This recent funding will provide our partner institutions with state-of the-art equipment that supports the development and testing of new materials and systems, including modern methods of construction and utilisation of digital technologies.” The funding supports the development of a Building Envelope Testbed at University of Galway. The 3-cell facility will have the capacity to conduct various types of tests measuring the performance of building envelope assemblies, including thermal characteristics, moisture transfer, solar and luminous characteristics of glazing, air permeability, water tightness, acoustic performance, energy performance (including renewable energy systems), and indoor environmental quality incl. thermal comfort. The testbed’s design and specifications were developed to ensure it meets the specific needs of Irish companies developing complex, innovative envelope systems, for which they expect short and efficient testing in full-scale real conditions. Secondly, a suite of equipment is being funded to extend the capabilities within the Large Structures Testing Laboratory at University of Galway to be suitable for testing construction elements at or near full-scale, such as novel floor makeups, timber elements, concrete structures, and connections for off-site structures. Over the coming years, the facility will be used for construction-based projects involving the mechanical performance testing of building elements and prefabricated building system components used in MMC. The funding will also go towards an Autonomous Mobile Robot in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at University of Galway, for furthering the automation of next-generation technology for on-site construction and inspection technology. This will also be deployed for off-site construction and assembly process development, specifically focusing on production scale-up capability. This technology represents the coming together of the forefronts of the construction sector (rapid build, modular construction, MMC) and of Industry 4.0 (mobile automation). University College Dublin were awarded funding for equipment to create an Automated Structures Innovation Hub. This will expand their automation and prototyping capabilities and also double the current capacity to perform structural/material tests. The new hub will promote engagement with companies in R&D, enable pilot manufacturing capability and prototyping for new product / process development and also enhance concrete printing technology. Ends

Monday, 20 November 2023

University of Galway has welcomed the 2023 Hardiman PhD Scholarship recipients to campus. The 21 successful scholars come from 12 different countries and are embarking on doctoral studies after being selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants from around the world.  The Hardiman PhD Scholarships are fully funded for four years, with a stipend of €19,000 per annum, plus fee waiver. The scheme offers opportunities for suitably qualified students to pursue a structured PhD at the University on topics aligned to five key areas of research: - Enhancing policy and society - Enriching creativity and culture - Improving health and wellbeing - Realising potential through data and enabling technologies - Sustaining our planet and people Since the scheme was introduced in 2011, University of Galway has awarded scholarships to almost 300 individuals. Professor Dónal Leech, Dean of Graduate Studies at University of Galway, said: “Our 2023 Hardiman Research scholar recipients represent the diversity, depth and distinctiveness of Galway research, with each scholar recruited for their excellence and supported over four years to develop their research skills and to generate new knowledge for the betterment of our society.” Applications for the for 2024 Hardiman PhD Scholarships will open on Friday December 1, 2023, and will remain open until Friday February 9, 2024 at 5pm. Further information on the Hardiman PhD Scholarships is available at www.universityofgalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships. The 2023 Hardiman PhD scholars include: Scholar Country of origin College and subject area of study Dayle Leonard Ireland College of Science and Engineering –  Investigating scorpion venoms as a source of novel antimicrobial and antivirulent compounds.   Mariia-Valeriia Morris Israel  College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Troubles Studies, representations of political violence in 20th century Ireland in film and comics.   Durre Zehra Syeda Pakistan College of Science and Engineering –  Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence.   Mohammad Khaboushani Afghanistan College of Science and Engineering –  Fatigue and fracture analysis of Submarine Power Cables.   Christine Ayu Indonesia College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  Researching innovative treatments, particularly stem cell therapy, for degenerative diseases, such as Diabetes Mellitus.   Aoife O’Connell Ireland College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  Pharmacology & Therapeutics, specifically using electrophysiology to improve our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and evaluate a novel therapeutic strategy.   Amanie Issa Palestine College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  Human Rights: Exploring the role of ‘state’ and law at perpetuating Gender-Based violence against women and girls with disabilities.   Simon Ngorok Uganda College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  Climate Change Impacts, and Adaptation - modelling loss and damage from flood events in sub-Saharan Africa.   Duduzile Unathi Ndlovu South Africa College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Sociology of higher education, towards critically (re)considering fallist student movements and their calls to decolonise Higher Education in South Africa.   Luke McDermott Ireland College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Researching the ways that analogy, metaphor and conceptual comparison manifested in Neo-Assyrian writing by applying Cognitive Linguistic and Intertextual methodologies.   Ronan O'Hanlon Ireland-UK College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  An intellectual history of George Berkeley, exploring the origins and influence of his work.   Kristal Jericho Australia College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  The impact of gendered norms and hegemonic masculinity on the mental health and wellbeing of commercial aviation pilots.   Rebecca Lane Ireland College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  An Investigation of the Endocannabinoid System and the Gut Microbiome in Patients with Abdominal Visceral Pain and Co-Morbid Negative Affect.   Fatemeh Fotouhi Chahooki Iran College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences –  Research into drug-like compounds inhibiting RIPK1-FADD interaction in FADDosome complex, mitigating chemotherapy agent side effects.   Dave Cormican  Ireland  College of Science and Engineering –  Mathematics with a focus on abstract algebra of zeta functions over rings.   Pouya Motienoparvar Iran College of Science and Engineering –  Evolutionary Biology, with focus on Agricultural Biotechnology to study the evolutionary paths by which newly evolved genes facilitate abiotic stress adaptation in plants.   Fatemeh Adelisardou Iran College of Science and Engineering –  Soil microbial community and carbon cycling in the Anthropocene.   Darcy Ireland USA College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies –  Analysis of a late eighth-century Latin exegetical text, the Irish Reference Bible.   Louisa Klatt Germany College of Business, Public Policy and Law –  An interdisciplinary study combining constitutional law, creative futures, and social science methodology.   Abdolvahed Noori Afghanistan College of Science and Engineering –  Revealing quorum sensing-based microbial communication in anaerobic digestion systems for enhancing biogas production.   Fatemeh Karamifard Iran College of Science and Engineering –  Development of computational models for bioresorbable metal matrix composites in medical implants. Ends

Monday, 20 November 2023

Tabharfar aitheantas do Chéimithe Oinigh as a gcuid oibre i gcearta sibhialta, cearta an duine, na meáin, ceol traidisiúnta na hÉireann, na healaíona, leigheas, daonchairdeas agus an saol acadúil   D’fhógair Ollscoil na Gaillimhe inniu na daoine a mbeidh Céimeanna Oinigh á mbronnadh orthu ag Searmanais Bhronnta an Gheimhridh 2023. Beidh an ceiliúradh ar siúl ó Dé Céadaoin, an 22 Samhain, go dtí Dé Céadaoin, an 29 Samhain, agus beidh an dream a mbronnfar Céim Oinigh orthu i gcomhluadar níos mó ná 3,000 mac léinn a mbeidh céimeanna á mbronnadh orthu i gcaitheamh na sé lá sin.  Baineann na daoine a bhfuil Céimeanna Oinigh á mbronnadh ag Ollscoil na Gaillimhe orthu ag Bronnadh an Gheimhridh 2023 le saol na gceart sibhialta, cearta an duine, na meáin chumarsáide, an ceol, na healaíona, an leigheas, an daonchairdeas agus an saol acadúil. Frankie Gavin (Dochtúir Ceoil (DMus)): Duine de na fidléirí is fearr ar domhan, is ilionstraimí agus cumadóir é Frankie Gavin as Gaillimh ó dhúchas atá ag seinm go náisiúnta agus go hidirnáisiúnta le breis is trí scór bliain.   Bronnadh Gradam Ceoil TG4 mar Cheoltóir na Bliana air in 2018. Mary Warde Moriarty (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): Duine den Lucht Taistil, gníomhaí cearta daonna agus údar, ag obair go dian dícheallach le beagnach leathchéad bliain chun cearta daonna an Lucht Taistil a chur chun cinn agus chun caidreamh a chothú idir an pobal socraithe agus Taistealaithe na hÉireann. Comhbhunaitheoir an chéad Ghrúpa Tacaíochta do Thaistealaithe Thuama a bunaíodh in 1984.  Bhí Mary ina hUachtarán ar an Lárionad Eorpach do Thaistealaithe na hÉireann agus bhí sí i gceannas ar fhorbairt leabharlainne atá tiomnaithe do stair agus do bhunús Thaistealaithe na hÉireann. Comhbhunaitheoir ar Chomhairle Náisiúnta na dTaistealaithe, Cónaidhm Náisiúnta Thaistealaithe na hÉireann agus Chumann Náisiúnta Lárionad na dTaistealaithe, bhí sí ina comhbhunaitheoir ar INVOLVE, an soláthraí is mó Seirbhísí Óige do Thaistealaithe óga. Hugh Logue (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): I mbéal an phobail ar dtús mar cheannaire sna cearta sibhialta ag deireadh na 60idí, mar bhall de choiste Chumann Cearta Sibhialta Thuaisceart Éireann agus mar Leas-chathaoirleach ar Chumann Cearta Sibhialta Dhoire Thuaidh. Duine de bhunaitheoirí an SDLP, toghadh é chuig Tionól Stormont don pháirtí in 1973, 1975 agus 1981. Chuaigh sé go dtí an Coimisiún Eorpach ansin agus d’oibrigh sa Bhruiséil ar feadh scór bliain ina dhiaidh sin mar oifigeach sinsearach don Choimisiún. Sa ról sin bhí sé an-tábhachtach ó thaobh obair an Aontais Eorpaigh i bpróiseas síochána Thuaisceart Éireann agus i gComhaontú Aoine an Chéasta. An tOllamh Peter Piot (Dochtúir Leighis (DMed)):  In 1976 bhí an tOllamh Piot ar dhuine den dream a d’aimsigh an víreas Ebola sa tSáír le linn dó a bheith ag obair san Institiúid do Leigheas Trópaiceach in Antuairp, sa Bheilg, agus bhí sé i gceannas ar thaighde ar VEID/SEIF, galair ghnéas-tarchurtha agus sláinte na mban, san Afraic fho-Shahárach den chuid is mó. D’oibrigh sé san Eoraip, san Afraic agus sna Stáit Aontaithe agus bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir Feidhmiúcháin bunaidh ar UNAIDS agus ina Fho-Ard-Rúnaí ar na Náisiúin Aontaithe ó 1995 go dtí 2008, agus bhí sé ina Stiúrthóir Comhlach ar an gClár Domhanda ar SEIF de chuid na hEagraíochta Domhanda Sláinte. Is iomaí gradam eolaíoch agus cathartha agus bonn daonnúil atá bronnta air agus tá os cionn 600 alt eolaíochta agus 17 leabhar foilsithe aige. Alan Esslemont (Dochtúir Litríochta (DLitt)): Rugadh Ard-stiúrthóir TG4 in Albain agus d’oibrigh sé sa Fhrainc, san Eilvéis agus ar an Eilean Sgitheanach. D’oibrigh sé san ollscoil anseo, le Telegael, Teilifís na Gaeilge, agus TG4.  Bhí sé ina chomhalta boird bunaidh agus ina chisteoir ar Acadamh Scannán agus Teilifíse na hÉireann agus tugann sé an-tacaíocht do phleanáil teanga agus d'ábhar Gaeilge a chur ar fáil do TG4. Eva Bourke (Dochtúir Litríochta (DLitt)): File a bhfuil an-mheas uirthi agus údar seacht gcnuasach filíochta i mBéarla, eagarthóir trí chnuasach filíochta agus próis i mBéarla, agus aistritheoir dhá chnuasach filíochta ó Ghaeilge go Gearmáinis; duine mór le rá i litríocht chomhaimseartha na Gaeilge, ball d’Aosdána. Patricia Forde (Dochtúir sna Dána (DArts)): Céimí de chuid na hollscoile, dátheangach ó aois an-óg, chuaigh sí isteach sa Taibhdhearc agus í deich mbliana d’aois mar aisteoir agus stiúraigh sí drámaí ansin níos déanaí. Bunaitheoir Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon Babaró do Leanaí na Gaillimhe in 1996 agus duine de bhaill tosaigh Macnas. Chaith sí tréimhse ina Stiúrthóir ar Fhéile Idirnáisiúnta Ealaíon na Gaillimhe go luath sna 1990idí.  Iarchathaoirleach ar Leabhair Pháistí Éireann. Miriam Hand agus Lourda McHugh (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): Aitheanta as a dtacaíocht, a gceannaireacht agus a dtiomantas docht maidir le hairgead a chruinniú le haghaidh taighde ailse chíche trí chomhpháirtíochtaí pobail agus eagraíochtaí spóirt. Comhaltaí boird le fada an lá ar Institiúid Náisiúnta don Taighde ar Ailse Chíche ag tacú le forbairt áiseanna taighde in Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, le ceapacháin bhunaithe taighde agus acadúla, agus le scoláireachtaí iarchéime as a dtagann tionchar acadúil agus dul chun cinn taighde ailse. Neil Johnson (Dochtúir le Dlíthe (LLD)): Príomhfheidhmeannach Croí (carthanas na Gaillimhe do shláinte chardashoithíoch). Céimí de chuid Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, Comhalta Cliniciúil Oinigh i Scoil an Leighis ó 2015 agus bronnadh gradaim ‘Duine na Bliana’ Rehab agus na Gaillimhe araon air. Tá bunús, fás agus forbairt tionscadal suntasach i gcur chun cinn na sláinte cardashoithíoch feicthe ag Neil. Tá roinnt tionscnamh tiomsaithe airgid de na milliúin euro curtha i gcrích aige agus Ionad Croí agus Stróc sa Chaisleán Nua tógtha faoina stiúir. Marie Reddan (Dochtúir Oideachais (DEd)): Leabharlannaí ar scor ó Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin.  Chuir Marie go mór le saol, saibhreas agus só na Leabharlainne mar ionad barr feabhais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Bhí ról lárnach ag Marie in athfhorbairt Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin agus iad ag aistriú ón gcló go dtí an ré dhigiteach, agus i ngníomhaíochtaí cartlainne na leabharlainne. Comhbhunaitheoir IReL cuibhreannas Leabharlanna Taighde na hÉireann. Ag labhairt dó sular thosaigh na searmanais bhronnta, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Thar ceann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe, tá lúcháir orm a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt don ghrúpa daoine eisceachtúla seo, agus an gradam seo a bhronnadh orthu agus muid ag ceiliúradh chomh maith ar a bhfuil bainte amach ag breis agus 3,000 dár gcuid mac léinn i gceithre Choláiste na hOllscoile.  Tá cion fir agus cion mná déanta ag gach duine díobh ar mhaithe leis an saol poiblí, chun cur leis an tsochaí agus chun leasa an chine dhaonna, agus rinne siad a gcuid le hathrú chun feabhais a dhéanamh ar an domhan, dualgas atá orainn ar fad. “Is iontach freisin a bheith in ann éachtaí ár gcéimithe den scoth agus iad siúd a bhfuil gradam oinigh á mbronnadh orthu den chéad uair faoi ainm nua agus faoi fhéiniúlacht nua na hOllscoile a cheiliúradh. Déanaimid gach rud a seasann Ollscoil na Gaillimhe dó a cheiliúradh, idir ár luachanna, ár gcuid oibre ar son leas an phobail agus an ceangal láidir atá againn leis an áit ina bhfuilimid lonnaithe.” Tá sceideal iomlán shearmanais bhronnta an gheimhridh 2023 le fáil ag https://www.universityofgalway.ie/conferring/. Críoch