Thursday, 22 June 2017

NUI Galway to Host Immune Function in Psychosis (iPsychosis) Meeting

More and more research is pointing to the role the immune system plays in causing neurological disorders. Finding out how it fits with psychosis will be the focus of the annual Immune Function in Psychosis (iPsychosis) Meeting at NUI Galway on 29-30 June. The aim of this year’s conference is to link up researchers in the field, and establish a European network in the area. Topics covered will range from the genetics of immune function in psychosis to pharmacological approaches to treating inflammation in psychosis. Speaking in advance of the event Professor Gary Donohoe from the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “The iPsychosis meeting will bring together international leaders in the field of psychosis research to discuss the role of immune function in the development of schizophrenia and related disorders. Generously funded by Science Foundation Ireland, this two day meeting will be an opportunity to review current knowledge, identify gaps and plan future research in this important area.” World leaders in the field who will speak at the conference include: Professor Oliver Howes, King’s College London Dr Tina Notter, University of Zurich Professor Norbert Muller-Ludwig, Maximilians Univeristy Munich Professor Hemmo Drexhage, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam Dr Golam Khander, University of Cambridge Professor Brian Leonard, NUI Galway Dr Golum Khandaker, Clinical Lecturer in Cambridge Neuroscience at University of Cambridge, said: “Research on the immunological basis of schizophrenia is at the cutting edge of research into the causes of this highly disabling disorder. A better understanding of the immunological basis of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders may lead to new treatments.” The conference will take place on Thursday 29 June from 8:30am-5pm and Friday 30 June, from 9am-5pm in room G065 of the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For more conference details, visit: http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=499 -Ends-


News Archive

Thursday, 22 June 2017

NUI Galway to host conversation with Wall Street veteran on ‘Prospects for Growth in an Uncertain World: The United States, Ireland, and the Global Economy’ The J.E Cairnes School of Business and Economics and The Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway will host a public event on the outlook for the global economy and financial markets entitled, ‘Prospects for Growth in an Uncertain World: The United States, Ireland, and the Global Economy’. President Trump has called for an overhaul of economic policies in the United States to boost growth. Nearer to home, Brexit negotiations have opened, but a bumpy road lies ahead. Meanwhile, the European economy is at last showing signs of recovery and European businesses are optimistic. In an intimate conversation, the Whitaker Institute’s Alan Ahearne will speak with Wall Street veteran and Fulbright Specialist Dr Michael Driscoll and NUI Galway’s Professor John McHale about the outlook for the global economy, exploring opportunities for Ireland in the current climate. Will President Trump's economic plan succeed in “making America great again”? Is Trump’s honeymoon with the stock market coming to an end? Is the election of Emmanuel Macron a turning point for Europe? The panelists will provide various perspectives - political, economic and more. This will be followed by an interactive audience question and answer session. Dr Michael J Driscoll is a Clinical Professor of Finance at Willumstad School of Business, Adelphi University in New York, a Fulbright US Scholar to NUI Galway, and former Wall Street executive. Professor John McHale is Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law at NUI Galway, and former Chairman of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council. Professor Alan Ahearne is Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, and former special adviser to the Minister for Finance. Dr Driscoll has been a frequent contributor to global media outlets such as Bloomberg, CNN and Voice of America.  Commenting ahead of the event, Dr Driscoll said: “Rarely have we seen a period in recent economic history where geo-political factors have the potential to have such a profound impact on markets. A discussion of Ireland and the EU and the political situation in the US is timely and relevant. Events over the last few years could have significant beneficial opportunities for Ireland and the Irish people in the context of the global economy and specifically between the relationships between the EU and the US.” Professor John McHale at NUI Galway, said: “For as long as I can remember it has been said that we are living though unusually uncertain times. But with Brexit, Trump and worries about the post-crisis future of growth, today’s economic environment does seem truly uncertain. With his deep knowledge as practitioner and analyst of the global economic and financial system, Michael Driscoll is perfectly positioned to interpret the major forces affecting the world economy and to give us a better sense of what lies ahead.” The event will take place on Monday, 26 June in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway from 6pm-7pm. A reception with light refreshments will precede the event and begin at 5.30pm. The event is free and open to the public, and those who wish to attend must pre-register at: http://bit.ly/2sVEK4W -Ends-

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

An international team of US, Canadian, Italian, Finnish, French and Irish-based researchers, led by Professor Colin O’Dowd from NUI Galway’s School of Physics and Ryan Institute’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, have conclusively shown that surfactants can significantly enhance cloud formation, ultimately increasing the cooling effect of clouds.  It is the first time a team of researchers have confirmed this hypothesis under natural environmental conditions, and encapsulated it in a robust theoretical framework. The study was published this week in the globally prestigious scientific journal Nature. Clouds and greenhouse gases act in tandem to balance the Earth’s energy budget thereby controlling climate. While greenhouse gases keep the heat within the earth system, whereby leading to warming, clouds reduce the amount of incoming energy into the system leading to cooling. An increase in availability of cloud nuclei (typically in the form of airborne haze particles) leads to more droplets in the cloud, making it more reflective and longer-lived, thus increasing its cooling effect.   Such enhancement in cloud nuclei abundance can occur through an increase in either their absolute profusion, or, their efficiency at forming droplets at lower water vapour humidities in the air. The most common and generally most efficient form of cloud nuclei found are water soluble inorganic salts (such as sea salt and sulphates)  however, if those were mixed or entirely made of organic compounds they would possess low water solubility and suppress the nuclei activity. The game changes, however, if surfactants are present in the organic mix. Surfactants are 'wetting agents' that lower the surface tension of water. They are also called surface-active agents, a substance such as a detergent that, when added to a liquid, reduces its surface tension. Although the role of surfactants in promoting cloud droplet formation was proposed two decades ago, it has been disputed for almost as long, with one camp promoting a significant effect and the other camp claiming that the surface tension effect is cancelled by the simultaneous reduction in the solute, or Raoult, effect which is driven by the dissolution of the salt ions in the solution. Current theories simply find that these two effects counteract each other so suppression of droplet formation by less-soluble organics dominates.   The international team pushed the experimental and theoretical boundaries of atmospheric science research to elucidate this phenomenon using state-of-the-art aerosol mass spectrometer in conjunction with the most advanced thermodynamic droplet model. In  simulating the cloud droplet activation process using mixed organic-inorganic nuclei, they revealed that surface tension can be lowered without triggering changes in the Raoult (solute) effect through a process known as liquid-liquid phase separation (essentially an organic-rich layer on the drop’s surface keeps the surfactants separated from the internal aqueous solution occupying the core of the droplet). The model was able to explain the tenfold increases in cloud droplet number concentration observed. They concluded that this phenomenon could be detected in many diverse environments throughout the world, reinforcing its role in cloud brightening and global climate cooling. Dr Jurgita Ovadnevaite, scientist at the School of Physics at NUI Galway and lead author of the paper, said: “This study represents a major breakthrough in our understanding of cloud droplet formation from both an experimental and theoretical perspective. The next challenge is to scale up this nanometer scale finding to the global level through the incorporation of the surface tension effect into global climate models.” Dr Darius Ceburnis, Mace Head Operations Manager at NUI Galway, added: “These advanced breakthroughs are only achievable through investment in continuous, realtime, and state-of-the-art measurements of Essential Climate Variables and Air Pollution at stations such as Mace Head, which is endorsed by the World Meteorological Organisation’s Global Atmosphere Watch programme, and is one of the most advanced stations of its kind in the world. Mace Head is strategically located in a remote area to monitor how dirty the cleanest air has become. The publication in the most prestigious journal globally, Nature, is a reward for such an investment and is the second one in as many years.” The study was funded by the European Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency and the research was hosted at NUI Galway’s Climate and Air Pollution Research Facility at Mace Head in Carna, Co Galway, on the Galway-Atlantic coastline. To read the full study in Nature visit http://www.nature.com/nature.  For more information on Mace Head, visit: www.macehead.org. -Ends-

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Ahead of the Leaving Certificate Change of Mind deadline on 1 July, NUI Galway will gather experts from across campus to help prospective students and their parents with their final CAO decision. NUI Galway is one of the first universities to provide this interactive platform of support to students and parents in making their final CAO choices.   The interactive broadcast will be streamed live on NUI Galway’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/nuigalway on Wednesday, 28 June, at 3pm. A panel of experts from across campus will assemble in the Aula to help students and parents with any outstanding questions on points, course choices, the registration process, accommodation options and support services.   Speaking about the CAO deadline, Mary Liddy, Deputy Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, “The final week before the 1st of July CAO Change of Mind deadline, is an important time for students to reflect and ensure they have made the right decisions in their CAO application. I will be joining The Big Decision panel to answer your questions on the application process and what is important to remember at this final stage of the application journey.”  The panel will be made up of representatives from all fives Colleges across the campus to answer questions about courses in Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies, Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Business, Public Policy & Law, Engineering & Informatics or Science. Additionally the event will also feature representatives from Admissions, Accommodation and Support Service teams to provide essential information on all aspects of the application process and student supports.  With the final CAO deadline approaching, the decision process may seem overwhelming for both students and parents. Emer Casey, Student Counsellor at NUI Galway said “As a counsellor, I am very aware that students can get anxious when making big life decisions like this. I will be sharing some top tips in relation to the decision-making process and how to manage the anxiety that can be present at this time. These are useful tips that can help with any decision, especially one that seems daunting.”  Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions students will ever make. NUI Galway is one of Ireland's top universities for graduate employability. 96% of undergraduate students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. NUI Galway has risen in the QS World University Rankings for the fifth consecutive year, the only Irish University to achieve this distinction, now positioned in the Top 1% globally, according to QS. University rankings are designed to help prospective students make informed comparisons between leading universities around the world.  Join NUI Galway on Facebook live on 28 June at 3pm. Leaving Certificate students and parents will have the opportunity to post questions via Facebook comments to the panel during the stream. If you would like to pose questions in advance please email visit@nuigalway.ie.  -Ends-


Events Calendar

Upcoming Events Time / Date Location
Bathroom 11:00 Monday,
17 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway
Bathroom 11:00 Tuesday,
18 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway
Bathroom 11:00 Wednesday,
19 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway
Bathroom 11.00 Thursday,
20 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway
Bathroom 11.00 Friday,
21 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway
Bathroom 11.00 Saturday,
22 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway
Driftwood 20:00 Saturday,
22 July 2017
Bailey Allen Hall
Bathroom 11.00 Sunday,
23 July 2017
Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway

Facebook stream

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

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