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Volunteering Matters
National University of Ireland Galway

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Grant to Volunteering Matters 23 Mar 2015

The men go forth to Battle, the women wait and knit

Amount: £9,800
Funder: The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: North East
District: County Durham

Grant awarded to Community Service Volunteers (Training and Enterprise NE) (Tyne & Wear) 10 Mar 2009

To provide support and mentoring to people with mental health problems to help them volunteer in Newcastle.

Grant awarded to Community Service Volunteers (Training and Enterprise NE) (Tyne & Wear) 13 Jul 2004

To provide daycare services to older people living in high rise flats in Newcastle.

Positive Futures London 18 Nov 2015

This project, based on a established youth-led volunteering model is expanding as a result of self-referrals and is being delivered in Hackney, Haringey and Tower Hamlets. It will support young people aged 13 to 25 to deliver volunteering and social action projects which they have identified to be of benefit to the local community. The aim of project is that all of the young people who are participating in it will develop key skills and have positive experiences that will shape their personal development.

Amount: £387,576
Funder: The Big Lottery Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: London
District: Hackney London Boro

An investigation of how saliva and salivary proteins may interact with polyphenol-rich beverages to alter their available antioxidant capacity 31 May 2018

Polyphenols are a diverse group of phytochemicals found in plant-derived foods and beverages. A plethora of studies have demonstrated potential health benefits of polyphenols and of polyphenol-rich foods and beverages, and there are indications that they may have potential for use as medicinal agents and as dietary supplements. However, many of the studies have been performed in animals and in vitro cell systems, and although there is some evidence for their beneficial effects in humans, more studies in human systems are necessary. The bioavailability of these agents is currently under scrutiny, and it is crucial to develop understanding of how these polyphenols can function within physiological systems. In this study, saliva will be used as a physiological medium in which to study the antioxidant capacity of some polyphenol-rich beverages. Previous studies have shown that saliva may modulate antioxidant capacity of polyphenol-rich dietary agents, possibly due to interactions of polyphenols with salivary proteins. This study aims to further investigate the interactions between polyphenols and saliva by measuring the antioxidant capacity of hawthorn juice, cranberry juice, blueberry juice, pomegranate juice and green tea in saliva under varying experimental conditions. The interactions between these beverages and specific salivary proteins will also be investigated.

Use of ɣ-H2AX as an indicator of DNA repair capacity in breast cancer cell lines 31 May 2018

H2AX is an abundant histone variant and a key component of the DNA damage response. H2AX is phosphorylated at Ser-139 in response to DNA damage and this protein, known as gamma-H2AX, is involved in the recruitment and retention of repair factors to ensure that DNA damage is efficiently repaired. Over recent years there has been an increase in the use of gamma-H2AX, as a marker of the activation of the DNA damage response, in tumour samples to try to understand more about the treatment and progression of the disease The abundance and distribution of H2AX is expected to impact on genome stability and we are therefore interested to investigate this protein in cancer cells. In particular, the potential role of this protein in breast cancer progression and the impact of varying expression levels on treatment options are being investigated. The aims of this project are twofold; firstly to investigate the use of gamma-H2AX in clinical tumour samples which will be done primarily by literature searching and also through discussions with pathologists working at University College Hospital Galway, and secondly to investigate the levels of DNA damage as measured by gamma-H2AX in several breast cancer cell lines.

Primary cilia and cellular senescence 05 Sep 2017

Somatic cells undergo senescence after a finite number of divisions, indefinitely arresting their proliferation. The mechanisms of cellular senescence are not well understood, although DNA damage signalling is one major cause. We have found that senescent human fibroblasts have increased frequency and length of primary cilia, antenna-like structures that sense and transduce various extracellular signals, notably Hedgehog. Here we propose to test the hypothesis that primary ciliation contributes to cellular senescence. We will use genome editing in primary cells to ablate CEP164, which is required for primary ciliogenesis, and then follow the kinetics of cellular senescence in the knockout population. We also propose to examine cilium-controlled signalling pathways to determine how they are affected during the initiation of senescence programmes. We will perform competitive co-culture experiments between ciliated and non-ciliated populations to define how ciliation capacity directs senescence in mixed populations. Together, the proposed experiments will test a novel cellular mechanism of senescence, a process of great significance in human health and the normal aging process.

Amount: £51,168
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

Disease-specific quality of life in children with suppurative otitis media, including children with Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder 27 Apr 2017

Acute otitis media (AOM) is a bacterial or viral infection of the middle ear which may accompany an upper respiratory tract infection. AOM can occur at any age, however, it is most common between 3 months and 3 years old. At this age, the Eustachian tube is structurally and functionally immature. Diagnosis of AOM is made by clinical and physical examination with an otoscope. Otoscopic examination can show a bulging, erythematous tympanic membrane with indistinct landmarks and displacement of the light reflex. The treatment for AOM are analgesics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen and many cases resolve spontaneously. Antibiotics are frequently given. Antibiotics relieve symptoms quicker and may reduce the chance of residual hearing loss and labyrinthine or intracranial sequelae. With the emergence of antibiotic resistant organisms, it is recommended that a round of antibiotics be administered only for children at highest risk or for those with recurrent acute otitis media(RAOM). RAOM is defined as four or more episodes of AOM in a 6 month period. The aim of this project is to investigate the impact on the quality of life of children that present with recurrent acute otitis media(RAOM).

Effect of Cholinergic Neurotransmission Challenge on Emotion-Related Attention in Bipolar Disorder 27 Apr 2017

A low dose of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, physostigmine will be used to challenge the cholinergic system while performing a functional MRI task of emotion inhibition in psychiatrically healthy participants and euthymic subjects with bipolar disorder. Prior to and immediately following the infusion of physostigmine, subjects will perform behavioural tasks of attention as well as rate their mood using the profile of mood states (POMS) and visual analogue scale (VAS) rating scales. The proposed project will assess an effect of cholinergic system challenge on mood and cognition and will compare effects between control and bipolar groups as well as across the cholinergic muscarinic type-2 receptor genotype (CHRM2 rs324650). We hypothesize that 1) the dose involved will not demonstrate measurable effects on mood, 2) will have detectable effects on performance of the task of emotion inhibition, and 3) the latter effect will be more pronounced in those of the genotype (TT) associated with reduced autoreceptor (M2) concentrations (the brakes on cholinergic neurotransmission). The findings of the project will feed into a larger analysis of the activation patterns associated with attention and performance of the task of emotion inhibition and their changes following challenge of the cholinergic system.

Assessment of Biomarkers of Reperfusion Injury Relating to Effectiveness of Stroke Treatments 27 Apr 2017

The research aims to quantitatively assess biomarkers of reperfusion injury after induction of focal cerebral ischaemia in rats by occluding the middle cerebral artery, subsequently reperfusing it for 2 or 4 hours. The brain sections of the rats are then analysed to look at the extent of haemorrhage with the dysfunction of the blood brain barrier which causes biomarkers to be released. The results can then be used to measure which biomarker indicate greater reperfusion injury as well as the effectiveness of different reperfusion strategies in stroke.

Debating Science Issues (DSI) 30 Nov 2011

Not available

Amount: £30,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

Biomedical Vacation Scholarship 22 Jun 2015

Not available

Amount: £48,000
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

Identifying Interventions to Prevent and Manage Chronic Kidney Disease 18 May 2016

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects almost 500million people worldwide is increasingly prevalent, associated with morbidity and mortality, and interventions (dialysis or transplant) are expensive and unavailable in some regions. Developing programs to reduce CKD burden requires a better understanding of global CKD epidemiology and risk factors to optimally implement interventions. First, I will explore methodological issues in clinical trials and gain essential experience in large streamlined trials by working with global leaders in nephrology (Dr Walsh & Prof Baigent). This work will include the ACHIEVE trial – a 2x2 factorial trial testing if spironolactone/placebo and Theranova dialyzer/usual high flux dialyzer reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in haemodialysis patients. Second I will further expand my skillset in clinical trials by leading a funded Phase II clinical trial testing if a dietician delivered, behavioural intervention to reduce dietary sodium intake (to a target of

Amount: £202,149
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

'Problem Patients': Experience of and attitudes towards patients with substance misuse problems' 01 Apr 2016

My research intends to examine levels of empathy and compassion shown by undergraduate medical students in NUIG, with a particular regard on problem drug users, and to assess need for supplementary skills training in these areas. This will be accomplised by establishing patterns of empathy among undergraduate years in medicine and identifiying factors associated with either higher or lower levels of empathy, exploring perceptions and attitudes towards problem drug users and how they change during medical training, and also analysing the desire of students to have more educational opportunities to practice communication skills showing empathy and compassion. Specific objectives include establishing: Current understanding of empathy and its importance in clinical practice among medical students Current patterns of empathy fluctuation in undergraduate medicine Attitudes of students towards substance misuse and problem drug users, and the factors influencing these attitudes If additional education in empathy and compassion be welcomed by students or considered unnecessary Frequency of interactions with patients

Characterisation of the pharmacology of leelamine, and isolation and characterisation of related endogenous ligands. 22 Jun 2011

Leelamine, a novel diterpene, exhibits potent cannabinoid-like behavioural effects in mice, however its mechanism of action is currently unknown. We would like to characterise a leelamine receptor or binding site using [3H]leelamine in a radioligand binding assay in CB1 receptor knockout mice. This assay will then be used to screen for endogenous leelamine-like compounds in brain. Brain fractions will be separated using low and medium pressure, and normal phase and reverse phase, column chromat ography. The structure of active constituents will be identified using HPLC-MS and NMR. Any leelamine-like compound(s) will be assessed for its activity in the cannabinoid tetrad tests of hypomotility, antinociception, catalepsy, and hypothermia using mice. Overall, we would like to characterise a potentially new neurotransmitter receptor system in the brain, which may lead to new therapeutically useful targets, and the development of new drugs.

Amount: £328,471
Funder: The Wellcome Trust
Recipient: National University of Ireland Galway

Biomedical Vacation Scholarships 20 May 2011

Not available

Early Irish female medical graduates, 1872-1922 27 May 2008

The primary aim of my project is to illuminate the history of the first women to qualify in medicine in Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The first female medical graduates in Ireland qualified with medical licences in 1877 from the King's and Queen's College of Physicians of Ireland, with the first 'lady' medical students matriculating at an Irish university (Queen's College Belfast) in 1889. I have chosen to begin the project in the early 1870s in order to examine the attitudes of the medical profession towards women entering the medical profession and analyse the discussions that led up to the opening of medical examinations to Irish women.

Community Healthy Living Advisor Volunteers 22 Jun 2006

The Manchester branch of Community Service Volunteers runs a range of projects that encourage people to take up learning via its Media Clubhouse. With this award it will deliver workshops, led by a qualified nutritionist, aimed at individuals who want to become volunteer healthy living advisors. The volunteers will be recruited from groups with multiple disadvantages as well as minority groups based in and around the City Centre.

Amount: £5,000
Funder: The Big Lottery Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: North West
District: Manchester District

Country Parks for All 09 Feb 2007

A project to take a group of young people on a residential weekend in the countryside by this group in Birmingham.

Amount: £3,227
Funder: The Big Lottery Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: West Midlands
District: Birmingham District

Older people volunteering at primary schools 11 Jan 2005

The project will empower older people to take an active part in their communities by giving them the opportunity to take the lead in designing and delivering voluntary services to support the development of children in Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Older volunteers will work in primary schools to provide support for pupils, especially those for whom English is an additional language.

Amount: £43,840
Funder: The Big Lottery Fund
Recipient: Volunteering Matters
Region: London
District: Islington London Boro