NUI Galway - OÉ Gaillimh / Galway University FOUNDATION
Issue 6: 31 March,

Dear Reader,

The day has finally arrived:

This week, the Prostate Cancer Institute will be officially launched

As you will know if you have been following our newsletters, Professor Frank Sullivan and Dr Sharon Glynn have been hard at work since last September. And this Friday, April 1st, their efforts will be rewarded as President Mary McAleese visits NUI Galway to launch the Prostate Cancer Institute. Please allow Professor Sullivan and Dr Glynn remind you of just what will be happening in Galway:

Professor Sullivan is one of the world’s leading medical experts in prostate cancer, Dr Glynn is a leading scientific one. Together, they have been working hard, Professor Sullivan as Institute Director and Dr Glynn as Director of Laboratory Research, to turn the aspiration of a Prostate Cancer Institute at NUI Galway, into a reality.

Galway University Foundation has committed to raising initial funding of €1 million for the Institute, and we, in the University and the Foundation, are proud of and excited about the work Professor Sullivan and his team will be doing. We are also very conscious of their depth of knowledge. And so we are delighted that they have agreed to share some of this knowledge through a series of regular email newsletters to friends of NUI Galway.

These brief emails feature video clips of Professor Sullivan and his colleagues talking about their work and their experiences. Over time, we believe that these short videos will build up into a valuable resource on prostate cancer. We would be delighted if you would share them with your friends, relatives and contacts. The videos will all be hosted on YouTube and links to them will be available here in your email and on Galway University Foundation's Facebook page.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Joyce

Chief Executive, Galway University Foundation.

We hope you will find our clips interesting and informative, but if you, or any of your friends or relatives have specific queries or worries about cancer, please contact your doctor or your regional or national cancer service.

Collaborating against Cancer

In April 2011, NUI Galway, with the support of Galway University Foundation, will officially open a new Prostate Cancer Institute. The new Institute, directed by Professor Frank Sullivan, will benefit from a close association between the clinical prostate services ongoing in University Hospital Galway and prostate research in NUI Galway.

Cancer Biology and Therapeutics is a strategic research priority at NUI Galway and over the last number of years, NUI Galway and University Hospital Galway have built a strong team of internationally recognised basic and translational cancer researchers and clinicians.  University Hospital Galway is the major academic-medical centre in the west of Ireland, and is now one of the very few hospitals in the country with the capability of providing a full comprehensive cancer service (medical, surgical and radiation oncology) on a single site. 

The Prostate Cancer Institute will draw on the expertise of clinicians and scientists from the University and Hospital in an attempt to develop effective drug therapy for patients with relapsed prostate cancer.  There is an urgent need for the development of effective drugs for use in this situation, and this is the area in which the new Prostate Cancer Institute hopes to make a serious contribution. 

Initial funding for the Institute has been provided by Galway University Foundation.  This has enabled the Institute to appoint Dr Sharon Glynn as Director of Research, and it is also in the fortunate position of being able to avail of the expertise of world renowned Professor of Cancer Therapeutics, Frank Giles, as acting scientific director. 

Dr Glynn took up her post only on September 1, but already she has been busy, applying for grant funding for specific projects, and also sourcing staff and equipment. 

Early work at the Institute will involve the storage and scientific examination of prostate tissue samples.  The aim is to see if it is possible to discover (as is already being done with breast cancer) molecular or genetic markers to predict which patients are likely to do badly with the cancer, so that they can be targeted with more than standard treatments.  In the longer term, the Institute hopes also to develop the drugs which will augment such standard treatments. 

Such work is expensive.   As referred to already, the Institute has received initial funding from Galway University Foundation.  Ultimately, the intention is to secure long-term financial aid from major national and international scientific and medical funding institutions, but in order to secure such support, the institute needs to establish itself and begin to deliver results. 

We, in NUI Galway and Galway University Foundation, sincerely believe the people are in place and the conditions are right for serious results to be delivered.  We are excited about the possibilities this venture offers, and we want, with your support, to do everything we can to help this group of committed professionals to make the breakthroughs they believe are possible in the fight against prostate cancer. 

To do this however, we need your help.  As a Foundation, we can only pass on to the Institute, funds which friends of Galway University donate to us.  We would be most grateful therefore, for any contribution you could make.  No amount is too small, and we would be delighted to accept either one-off or ongoing payments. 

Please consider making a donation to Galway University Foundation for the Prostate Cancer Institute. By helping us to help Frank Sullivan, Sharon Glynn, Frank Giles and their colleagues to make a breakthrough in the fight against prostate cancer, you could even be giving yourself, or someone near and dear to you, the most precious gift of all, the gift of life.

Please click here to support the Prostate Cancer Institute.

For more information, please email Susan Treacy or telephone +353 (0)91 495497.

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