Research Portal

Research Portal profiles world leading research excellence
at the Queen's University of Belfast

Publications
  • Queen’s scientist to help find new options to treat aggressive breast cancers 29 Jul, 2014 A Queen’s University scientist has been awarded a grant worth around £100,000 by research charity Breast Cancer Campaign to investigate if the protein ‘PIN1’ could be used to provide new options to treat patients with more aggressive forms of breast cancer. 50,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year on average and 12,000 women sadly die from the disease each year on average. Around 15 per cent of breast cancers are found to be ‘triple-negative’- a type of breast cancer that tends to be more aggressive and has limited treatment options.  In some cases of triple-negative breast cancer (and the related ‘basal-like’ breast cancer), a protein called BRCA1 does not work normally. Dr Niamh O’Brien, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’...)
  • Bats use polarised light to navigate 23 Jul, 2014 Queen’s University scientists have discovered that greater mouse-eared bats use polarisation patterns in the sky to navigate, making it the first mammal that is known to do this. The bats use the way the sun’s light is scattered in the atmosphere at sunset to calibrate their internal magnetic compass, which helps them to fly in the right direction, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Despite this breakthrough, researchers have no idea how they manage to detect polarised light. Dr Richard Holland, from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, co-author of the study, said: “We know that other animals use polarisation patterns in the sky, and we have at least some idea how they do it: bees have specially-adapted photoreceptors in their eyes, and birds, fish, amphibians and ...)
  • Bowel cancer breakthrough may benefit thousands of patients 17 Jul, 2014 Researchers at Queen’s University have made a significant breakthrough that may benefit patients with bowel cancer. Dr Sandra van Schaeybroeck and her team have discovered how two genes cause bowel cancer cells to become resistant to treatments used against the disease. The research, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, was published this month in the prestigious international journal Cell Reports. The activity of the two genes, called MEK and MET, was uncovered when the researchers looked at all the different pathways and interactions taking place in bowel cancer cells. Dr van Schaeybroeck and her group found that these bowel cancers switch on a survival mechanism when they are treated with drugs that target faulty MEK genes. But when the researchers added drugs that also block the MET gene, the bowel cancer cells died. The team...)
  • Emmy nomination for Hillsborough documentary 11 Jul, 2014 A documentary based on long-term research by a Queen’s University Professor has been nominated for an Emmy. Short-listed for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Film-making, the two-hour ESPN/BBC documentary, Hillsborough, is derived from Professor Phil Scraton’s research previously published in two influential reports on the disaster and his book Hillsborough: The Truth. Professor Scraton led the research for the Hillsborough Independent Panel and was primary author of its report that led to new inquests into the deaths of the 96 men, women and children, the ongoing Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation, and a full criminal inquiry into all the authorities involved. The documentary reflects Professor Scraton’s in depth work into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the disaster, using archival mater...)
  • Queen’s scientists exhibit the ‘designer liquids’ turning industry green 02 Jul, 2014 A groundbreaking process for removing toxic mercury from natural gas – using a new class of fluids called ionic liquids - is just one of the exciting new pieces of research to be showcased by Queen’s University Belfast at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. Researchers from QUILL – the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories – will display their latest, award-winning findings into making the chemical industry more environmentally friendly at the exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow, July 1, at Royal Society headquarters in central London. On average 12,000 members of the public, including families and school-groups, visit the exhibition every year. This year’s show runs from July 1-6, and admission is free. QUILL is the only exhibitor from Northern Ireland at this year...)
  • Queen’s scientist makes major cystic fibrosis breakthrough 02 Jul, 2014 A Queen’s University doctor has played a key role in a major breakthrough to change the lives of cystic fibrosis sufferers. Queen’s University’s Professor Stuart Elborn, an international authority in respiratory medicine, with colleagues from the United States and Australia have led pivotal studies of a new treatment for people with Cystic Fibrosis. The combination therapy, developed by Vertex (a Boston, USA company), improves lung function and reduces hospitalisations for patients with the most common type of cystic fibrosis. Two Phase 3 studies of the drugs ivacaftor and lumacaftor, which included over 1,100 patients worldwide, built on previous studies of ivacaftor in patients with G551D and other related mutations.  Ivacaftor is the first drug to treat the underlying causes of cystic fibrosis rather than just it...)
  • Queen’s scientists exhibit the ‘designer liquids’ turning industry green 30 Jun, 2014 A groundbreaking process for removing toxic mercury from natural gas – using a new class of fluids called ionic liquids - is just one of the exciting new pieces of research to be showcased by Queen’s University Belfast at the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition. Researchers from QUILL – the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories – will display their latest, award-winning findings into making the chemical industry more environmentally friendly at the exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow, July 1, at Royal Society headquarters in central London. On average 12,000 members of the public, including families and school-groups, visit the exhibition every year. This year’s show runs from July 1-6, and admission is free. QUILL is the only exhibitor from Northern Ireland at this year...)
  • Queen’s scientist makes major cystic fibrosis breakthrough 25 Jun, 2014 A Queen’s University doctor has played a key role in a major breakthrough to change the lives of cystic fibrosis sufferers. Queen’s University’s Professor Stuart Elborn, an international authority in respiratory medicine, with colleagues from the United States and Australia have led pivotal studies of a new treatment for people with Cystic Fibrosis. The combination therapy, developed by Vertex (a Boston, USA company), improves lung function and reduces hospitalisations for patients with the most common type of cystic fibrosis. Two Phase 3 studies of the drugs ivacaftor and lumacaftor, which included over 1,100 patients worldwide, built on previous studies of ivacaftor in patients with G551D and other related mutations.  Ivacaftor is the first drug to treat the underlying causes of cystic fibrosis rather than just it...)
  • Queen’s seeks volunteers wanting to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean 24 Jun, 2014 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are calling for volunteers to take part in a new study to find out how best to support people in adopting a Mediterranean-style diet and thereby changing their eating habits. Scientists at Queen’s Centre for Public Health are looking for 75 people to take part in the one-year study. Participants must be aged 40 or over and be overweight, but generally in good health with no history of diabetes or heart disease. The TEAM-MED (Trial to Encourage Adoption and Maintenance of a Mediterranean Diet) study aims to determine whether different ways of giving dietary advice and support have an impact on people’s ability to change their eating habits. Professor Jayne Woodside from Queen’s Centre for Public Health said: “As we all know, changing our diet is easier said than done. ...)
  • Ireland’s smallest mammals under threat from white-toothed invaders 23 Jun, 2014 An invading species of shrew first discovered in Ireland in the pellets of barn owls and kestrels in 2007 by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast is spreading across the landscape at a rate of more than five kilometres a year, according to findings published (today, 23 June 2014) in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. Scientists from Queen’s and University College Dublin believe that the invading species, the greater white-toothed shrew could colonize field boundaries and abandoned farmland across the entire island by 2050 and this could lead to the disappearance of the pygmy shrew  which has been on the island for thousands of years.  Dr Allan McDevitt, University College Dublin, the lead author of the paper, says that ‘the invading population of the greater white-toothed shrew currently covers an area of 7,...)