Research Portal

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

  • Leading Queen’s cancer specialist lands top role 20 Aug, 2015 A leading cancer expert from Queen’s University who is pioneering improved approaches for treating cancer with radiotherapy is set to become the next Vice-President of an international research society. Professor Kevin Prise, Deputy Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s, has been chosen as Vice-President-Elect of the US Radiation Research Society. He was elected via a ballot of all Society Members. Professor of Radiation Biology, Kevin leads the Radiation Biology Group at CCRCB which is working on improved approaches for treating cancer with radiotherapy.  Professor Prise, in collaboration with Professor Joe O’Sullivan, Clinical Director, and Professor Alan Hounsell, Clinical Physics Research Lead, plays a major role in the Prostate-Cancer UK Movember Centre of Excellence at ...)
  • Sitting is as bad for health as smoking, claim Queen’s University researchers 18 Aug, 2015 Prolonged sitting is just as dangerous to your health as smoking, according to researchers at Queen’s. It is now believed that sitting for long periods of time is linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even early death, and could be just as big a threat to public health, if not more so, than smoking. The Queen’s researchers are part of a European consortium which has received a €4.5 million European Commission grant to help develop innovative ways to tackle sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity in older people. Working with researchers in Spain, Denmark, Germany, France and Scotland, the four-year study will see the Queen’s team develop new ways of helping adults over 65 years of age to sit less and become more active, before testing them on 1,300 people in four European coun...)
  • Badger persecution does not reduce bovine TB risk in cattle 17 Aug, 2015 Illegal persecution of badgers does not reduce infection risk of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle and may play a role in maintaining epidemic hotspots according to researchers at Queen’s University Belfast. The Institute for Global Food Security collaborating with the University of Glasgow and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, found that illegal disturbance of badger social groups contributed significantly to new bovine TB breakdowns in nearby cattle herds. The study, funded by the Wellcome Trust, and published in Natural Scientific Reports, found that about 5% of badger setts in Northern Ireland had recent signs of illegal interference or persecution. For example, recent digging indicative of badger baiting, sett entrances being blocked with soil, boulders and branches or being pumped full of slurry, setts being ploughed o...)
  • Queen’s University offers advice for A-level results students 12 Aug, 2015 Queen’s University has issued advice to students who will receive their A-level results today (Thursday 13 August 2015). Jennifer Dwyer, Head of Queen’s Admissions and Access Service, said: “This can be an anxious time of year for students and we understand how important the decision to choose a university and the right course is, that is why it is essential that students and their families have as much information as possible at this time so they can make the right decisions for them. "The University receives A-level and AS-level results directly from UCAS and candidates do not need to communicate their results to the University. Students will be contacted if any results appear to be missing. Those who did not take an examination listed on their application should let the University know without delay.” Decisions ...)
  • National award for Queen’s cancer researchers 11 Aug, 2015 Cancer experts from Queen’s University Belfast have received a major award exceeding £3.6M from Cancer Research UK aimed at developing a national digital pathology programme to assist and accelerate the delivery of Precision Medicine in the UK. The CRUK Accelerator Award brings together a consortium of cancer pathologists, biologists and immunologists from the Belfast Cancer Research UK Centre, who will work in partnership with researchers from the Universities of Southampton, Manchester and Newcastle, University College London and the Institute of Cancer Research. Already recognised as experts in identifying faulty genes and molecules in tumours, the Belfast team will now lead this nationwide research programme dedicated to expanding the application and use of digital pathology to quantify specific tumour markers. The programm...)
  • Queen’s University research to help improve ex-military personnel’s transition to civilian life 10 Aug, 2015 Queen’s University Belfast has been awarded more than £96,000 to explore the experiences of military personnel involved in counter-insurgency operations and ultimately aid their transition back to civilian life. The two-year study, funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), will be led by Queen’s University’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, which aims to support the pursuit of peace and social justice through world-class research. While previous research has investigated the experiences of armed forces who have taken part in ‘conventional’ forms of armed conflict, this will be amongst the first to focus solely on those involved in counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. It is intended that the research findings will be used to help influence policy makers and service ...)
  • Queen’s University researchers play ‘tag’ with cheetahs 07 Aug, 2015 A team of international researchers, including Dr Michael Scantlebury, from the School of Biological Sciences, Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, have conducted research revealing techniques used by predators and prey – with some surprising results. The study, published this month in the journal eLife examines what determines the outcomes of predator-prey interactions in wild animals and how both predators and prey can best increase their chances of success. The study was a joint collaboration with zoologist Professor Rory Wilson and sports science expert Dr Iwan Griffiths from Swansea University, and South African researchers Dr Johnny Wilson and Dr Gus Mills, looking first at how mass should affect an animal’s speed and cornering ability.   Although it is recognised that larger anima...)
  • Queen’s helps discover Earth’s closest ever transiting planet 31 Jul, 2015 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have helped discover the nearest rocky planet outside our solar system, larger than Earth and a potential gold mine of science data. A team from the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s have helped find HD 219134b, a planet in a 3-day orbit that transits, or crosses, in front of its star. Located in the Cassiopeia star constellation, which is visible year-round near the North Star, HD 219134b is just 21 light-years away from Earth. This makes it by far the closest transiting planet and ideal for follow-up studies. HD 219134b is also the nearest rocky planet confirmed outside our solar system. Its host star, HD 219134, is visible to the unaided eye from dark skies, meaning anyone with a good star map can see this record-breaking system. Dr Chris Watson, from the Astrophysics Research...)
  • Queen’s researchers develop technology to reduce cost of purifying natural gas 28 Jul, 2015 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have developed a cutting-edge method of reducing the carbon dioxide content of natural gas, a process of major economic and environmental importance in the oil and gas industry. A team of researchers in the Queen’s University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre has developed an innovative technology that uses a mixture of water and ionic liquids (salts which are liquid under ambient conditions) to remove carbon dioxide from raw natural gas extracted from natural reservoirs under the sea. The new process is aimed at reducing the global environmental and economic costs of purifying natural gas, which is by far the cleanest burning fuel available in large amounts. In comparison to current conventional ‘amine’ purifying systems, which use volatile and corrosi...)
  • Queen’s researchers discover simple solution to worrying levels of arsenic in our rice 23 Jul, 2015 Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have made a breakthrough in discovering how to lower worrying levels of arsenic in rice that is eaten all over the world. 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 Fo...)