Our Research

Research Portal

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

  • Queen's Professor launches new vision to save lives and improve cancer outcomes across Europe 12 Jan, 2017 A 60-strong coalition of patient advocates, healthcare professionals and scientists from 20 European countries have come together to publish a blueprint for increasing cancer survival to 70 per cent by 2035 and achieve better quality of life for cancer survivors across Europe. All of the group are members of the European Cancer Concord (ECC) - an equal partnership between patients and cancer experts - which launched the European Cancer Patient’s Bill of Rights (BoR) on World Cancer Day in 2014. Professor Mark Lawler, from the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast and Vice President ECC, was the lead architect of the BoR and is first author of the current publication. This is the ECC’s first-ever paper on ‘Vision 70:35’, a European-wide Initiative which aims to tackle the gl...)
  • Queen’s-led study to benefit children living with the trauma of abuse 20 Dec, 2016 Queen’s has received £264,000 from the NSPCC and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to deliver the project. The study will see Queen’s and Extern train ten social workers to screen children aged 10-18 for PTSD and assess the benefits of an intervention known as ‘Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behaviour Therapy’ for those living with PTSD as a result of maltreatment. The therapy is known to help young people and their families overcome the emotional effects of a traumatic experience, but this study will be the first high-quality trial of the therapy among maltreated children in the UK. The study will also help fill the gap in evidence on the cost-effectiveness of screening abused or neglected children for PTSD following their referral to family support services. Lifelong impact of abuse and neglect Dr Jo...)
  • Last chance for men over 50 to take part in Queen’s health survey 15 Dec, 2016 Men across all areas of Northern Ireland received the survey in September, and reminders are now being sent in the post asking them to complete the questionnaire. It is part of the ‘Life after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis’ (LAPCD) study – the world’s largest ethically approved study to find out what life is like for men with prostate cancer. As part of this research, 2,000 men who had been treated for prostate cancer were surveyed in July 2016 to find out what life is like for them now. In follow-up to this, HSC Business Services Organisation, on behalf of Queen’s, is now surveying men who have not had prostate cancer, so that researchers can find out how their experiences differ. Dr Anna Gavin, Director of Queen’s University’s Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, said:  “This survey will he...)
  • Superbugs under the microscope as international experts gather at Queen’s 06 Sep, 2016 They will join researchers from Queen’s who are pioneering a new approach in the ‘arms race’ against antibiotic resistant infections. Queen’s scientists are working towards the development of new therapies to boost the body’s own defenses against infection, rather than trying to beat the bugs by attacking them directly with antibiotics. The approach is called ‘host directed therapeutics’ and it focusses on identifying the ‘achilles heel’ within the immune system that allows infection-causing microbes to take hold. It is one of the approaches that will be discussed during the two-day event, hosted by Professor Jose Bengoechea, Director of Centre for Experimental Medicine at Queen’s. Professor Bengoechea’s research into combatting the multidrug-resistant microbe Klebsiella ...)
  • Predictor of pre-eclampsia discovered by Queen’s University researchers 14 Sep, 2016 The Belfast Researchers discovered that a protein called FABP4 (fatty acid binding protein 4) predicts pre-eclampsia in women with type 1 diabetes, and may be a potential biomarker for pre-eclampsia prediction in pregnant women. What is pre-eclampsia? Pre-eclampsia is a condition in pregnancy characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine and can lead to serious complications for the mother. As the only treatment is delivery of the baby, pre-eclampsia can lead to pre-term birth. All women have their blood pressure and urine checked throughout pregnancy and while certain groups who are known to be at risk are monitored closely, to date there is no effective screening programme to predict which women will develop pre-eclampsia. FABP4 protein and pre-eclampsia The study, which was funded by The Wellcome Trust and the Departm...)
  • Global survey urges people to help explore if dogs are helping save lives of people with epilepsy 05 Sep, 2016 The research is directed at those with epilepsy who are either dog owners or not, and is being undertaken by researchers in the School of Psychology at Queen's, including PhD student Neil Powell from Cobh, Co. Cork, and Professor Peter Hepper. As well as examining whether dogs have the ability to predict epileptic seizures, and if so how they might do this, the survey also focuses on the general physical and psychological impact seizures have on people with epilepsy. This study is set to continue for the next four months and anyone with epilepsy who has not already contributed is invited to participate by clicking on The anonymised questionnaire has been supported by international and national epilepsy charities and organisations across the world, and, to date, people with epilepsy from Australia, S...)
  • New Breast Scanner First For Northern Ireland 01 Dec, 2016 Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Northern Ireland and of the 1,200 diagnosed each year approximately 75 women will choose to undergo breast reconstruction following, or as part of, their treatment.  The new 3D breast imaging system, which has been 100% funded by Friends of the Cancer Centre, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland available to oncology patients and the particular model is the first of its kind anywhere in the world.  The equipment is part of the medical illustration department at Belfast City Hospital and will play a vital role in the patient pathway by providing the surgical team optimal pre-operative assessment and surgical planning for women considering reconstructive surgery after undergoing a mastectomy.   The new imaging system is made up of 12 cameras which take multiple...)
  • New research project designed and co-produced by people with dementia 30 Nov, 2016 The project will seek to inform and influence decisions made about the Dementia NI service. The project is one of the first to be awarded funding from the DRILL (Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning) programme, a five year scheme led by disabled people and funded by Big Lottery Fund. The project will be coproduced with people with dementia who will be working alongside academics and policy makers. Paul Best from Queen’s School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work said: “The research team at Queen's are looking forward to working with Dementia NI on this DRILL funded project. We hope this collaboration will lead to a new understanding of 'empowerment' in relation to services for those diagnosed with Dementia.” Alan Sheeran, Chair of the DRILL Northern Ireland National Advisory Group, 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...)
  • 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...)