Our Research

Research Portal

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

  • 20,000 people helping to discover new tests and treatments for diabetic kidney disease 02 Jun, 2016 The five-year research project is part of a new £3.7M US-Ireland research partnership which is aiming to explain why some people with diabetes are at higher risk than others of developing kidney failure – vital information that could enable personalised preventative care for those whose genetic profile puts them at risk of developing kidney complications. The grants have been awarded under the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Programme. This initiative brings together world-leading experts in diabetes and genetics research at Queen’s University, University College Dublin, University of Helsinki in Finland and the Broad Institute, Boston, USA. Globally, diabetes is a huge public health problem, affecting one in 12 of the world’s population. The rapid upsurge in diabetes is fuelling an increase in the n...)
  • Queen's scientists develop first perfume which smells better the more you sweat 01 Apr, 2014   Researchers in the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre have developed a unique new perfume delivery system which releases more of its aroma when it comes into contact with moisture, meaning a person smells nicer when their sweat levels increase. This innovative perfume system has been created by tagging a raw fragrance onto an ionic liquid (salt in the form of liquid) which has no smell. The ‘perfumed ionic liquid’ releases its aroma when it comes into contact with water, allowing more of the perfume’s scent to be released onto a person’s skin. In addition, the perfume system also has the ability to remove the bad odours that come from sweat.  The ‘thiol’ compounds that are responsible for the malodour of sweat are attracted to the ionic liquid, attachi...)
  • Queen's astronomers’ starring role in first movie of the Universe 20 May, 2016 The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is currently being built in the Chilean Andes. The 3.2 billion pixels telescope will be used by an international team of astronomers to take images of the sky that each cover over 40 times the area of the moon, building up a survey of the entire visible sky in just three nights. Billions of galaxies, stars and solar system objects will be seen for the first time and monitored over ten years in what will be the first motion picture of our Universe, being dubbed the ‘greatest movie ever made’. The Science and Technology Facilities Council today (Thursday 19 May) confirmed that Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre will play a leading role in the UK’s participation in the LSST project. Professor Stephen Smartt, Director of Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre, said: ...)
  • Queen’s invites stargazers to watch Mercury move across the Sun 05 May, 2016 At 12:15pm on Monday, Mercury will pass in front of the sun for the first time in almost a decade, but the rare event can only be viewed safely using special telescopes. Experts from Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre, together with the Irish Astronomical Association, are offering observers the chance to use such telescopes at the front of the University’s landmark Lanyon Building from 12.00-19.30 on Monday. If the weather is overcast, Mercury’s journey across the sun will be live streamed, with links available from Professor Stephen Smartt, said: “At 12:15 on Monday, Mercury will pass in front of the sun for the first time in almost a decade. Venus and Mercury are the only planets between us and the sun, meaning they are the only two we have the chance of seeing in transit. “Tra...)
  • Food safety expert appointed to lead Queen’s Institute for Global Food Security 05 May, 2016 Welcoming Professor Scollan to Queen’s, Professor Chris Elliott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, said: “Professor Scollan has a strong track record in agricultural and food research and knowledge exchange. I look forward to working with him as we seek to build on the Institute’s international reputation for excellence in food security research and teaching. “Food security is a global challenge that permeates human health, sustainable economic development, environment and trade. Under Nigel’s leadership, the Institute’s cutting-edge research will continue to play a valuable role in developing solutions to the complex problem of delivering safe, nutritious, sustainable and authentic food supplies to the world’s rapidly growing population.” Professor Sc...)
  • Queen’s University in bid to increase European cancer survival to 70 per cent by 2035 04 Feb, 2016 Led by Professor Mark Lawler, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President European Cancer Concord (ECC), the initiative is in collaboration with the European Cancer Patient Coalition and other European partners.  Speaking ahead of the launch, Professor Lawler said: "Vision 70:35 emphasises the scale of our ambition to improve cancer survival rates by an additional 20% over the next 20 years.  We believe that this target is achievable, provided we share best practice and promote innovation and research across European nations and regions.  It is further evidence of Queen’s University’s commitment to advancing knowledge and changing lives. We are actively addressing issues such as early diagnosis, equal access and the role of precision cancer med...)
  • Queen's researchers discover potential new way to better tailor treatments for early breast tumours 08 Apr, 2016 Dr Niamh Buckley – a Breast Cancer Now Scientific Fellow – and her team set out to find a way to predict the likelihood that a woman diagnosed with non-invasive breast cancer (DCIS) had also developed an initially undetected invasive form of the disease, or that they would go on to develop invasive cancer in the future – information that could enable doctors to personalise their treatment accordingly. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer, occurs when cancer cells have developed within the milk ducts but not yet broken out and spread into the surrounding breast tissue. About 5,000 cases of DCIS are diagnosed every year in the UK, with 130 in Northern Ireland alone. It has been estimated that about half of DCIS tumours will progress into invasive breast cancer, but it...)
  • Queen’s researchers discover simple solution to worrying levels of arsenic in our rice 23 Jul, 2015 After many laboratory experiments, they have discovered that a simple, shop-bought coffee percolator is the best method for removing the carcinogen, inorganic arsenic, from all types of rice, including white and wholegrain. The results are published in the PLOS ONE journal today. Rice is the only major crop grown under flooded conditions. It is this flooding that releases inorganic arsenic, normally locked up in soil minerals, which is then absorbed by the plant. Too much arsenic is associated with a range of health problems including, at worst, bladder and lung cancer. Rice has, typically, ten times more inorganic arsenic than other foods and according to the European Food Standards Authority, people who eat a lot of rice, as is the case in many parts of the developing world, are exposed to worrying concentrations. Children and infants a...)
  • Royal recognition for Queen’s University in its fight to strengthen cyber security 11 Nov, 2015 The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s – a major hub for research and innovation in cyber security - is being awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. The award comes two days after the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced plans to double funding to fight cybercrime in the effort to protect the UK from online attacks. Based at the Northern Ireland Science Park, in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, CSIT, with 90 people, is one of the UK’s largest university cyber security research centres. It has developed breakthrough innovations, including novel technology which will be integrated into Apps to improve security for online financial transactions; anti-counterfeit technology to prevent internet fraud; and new processors to deliver filtered internet to homes and b...)
  • Goodbye to sunburn thanks to Queen’s sunburn indicator 25 Mar, 2015 Researchers at Queen’s have developed a strip of plastic, containing ‘smart’ ink, which turns colourless from an initial blue colour just before exposure to too much ultraviolet light from the sun,  prompting you to move into the shade before you burn. The plastic strip, worn as a bracelet, changes colour at a speed that depends on the wearer’s skin type and can be worn at the same time as sun lotion, allowing users to enjoy the sun while avoiding unnecessary risks. It is just one of a number of novel products based on ‘photocatalysis’, including antibacterial plastic films and water purifying bags, which has received a national award . The technology was developed by Dr David Hazafy from Queen’s University’s School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, who has been awarded a Royal Aca...)