Queen’s University Making Waves in Europe
This summer saw laurels upon laurels laid on Queen’s University Belfast, as cancer experts there received major U.S. and U.K. research awards, and researchers launched a €50 million, Europe-wide, cystic fibrosis drug treatment trial. Most recently, a £2.9 million U.S.-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Program grant was awarded to Queen’s, Dublin City University, and SUNY Buffalo to develop new treatments for pancreatic cancer. “Working in partnership with researchers in New York and Dublin will allow us to generate valuable discoveries and innovations which can move our work out of the laboratory and towards clinical trials,” said Christopher Scott (pictured above), Director of Research, Molecular Therapeutics Cluster in the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s.
The cystic fibrosis project, which was also launched in September and is expected to last five years, brings together world-leading lung specialists from across Europe, and is helmed by Queens’s Dean of the Medical School Stuart Elborn. “This work has the potential to deliver inhaled antibiotics that will improve the quality of life and survival of cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis patients,” he says. “It is the latest example of the commitment of researchers and staff at Queen’s University to advancing knowledge and changing lives by working with international experts.”
And in August, Queens’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology received the CRUK (Cancer Research UK) Accelerator Award of almost £4 million in order to continue their work identifying faulty genes and molecules in tumors. The team, led by David Waugh, director of the center, will now lead a nationwide program dedicated to expanding the application and use of digital pathology to quantify specific tumor markers.
Speaking on behalf of the university, Professor Peter Hamilton of the Digital Pathology program, said that the awards demonstrate “how Belfast has been leading in digital biotechnology research and diagnostics,” and serve as a testament to the university’s growing influence among U.K. institutions. ♦