Our Research

Research Portal

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

  • 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...)
  • Queen's University's 'key role' in £10M investment in academic medicine 12 Sep, 2016 The combined funding, approximately £10 million over the next five years, is from Wellcome Trust, participating universities including Queen's, the Public Health Agency’s Research and Development Division (HSC R&D) and Ireland’s Health Research Board. The funding will provide integrated clinical and research training for a total intake of eight postgraduate trainee doctors per year across Ireland, for a five-year period. Applications open in autumn 2016 for intake in July 2017. The programme application, fully supported by HSC R&D and Belfast HSC Trust and the Medical and Dental Training Agency, represents a total investment from HSC R&D Division of up to £1million. Queen's 'key role'  Welcoming the investment, Northern Ireland Health Minister, Michelle O'Niell said: “All-island collaboration o...)
  • 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...)
  • Major global study reveals new hypertension and blood pressure genes 12 Sep, 2016 The study was jointly led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and the University of Cambridge. The discoveries include DNA changes in three genes that have much larger effects on blood pressure in the population than previously seen, providing new insights into the physiology of hypertension and suggesting new targets for treatment. High blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and premature death. It is estimated to be responsible for a larger proportion of global disease burden and premature mortality than any other disease risk factor. However, there is limited knowledge on the genetics of blood pressure. The research teams investigated the genotypes of around 347,000 people and their health records to find links between their genetic make-up and cardiovascular health. The participants incl...)
  • Hamilton announces £3.6million investment in research funding 09 Sep, 2016 The Investigators Programme Partnership between Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Department for the Economy (DfE) supports collaborative projects involving universities from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (RoI) in undertaking internationally peer-reviewed, leading-edge discovery and fundamental research. The five successful projects were selected by SFI Investigators Programme competitive peer review involving international scientists and are in a range of strategically important sectors. Minister Hamilton said: “Following the tremendous success of Northern Ireland universities in SFI’s 2015 Investigators Programme, my Department will be providing almost £3.6million to Queen’s University to support five successful partnership projects. "The projects, which are in key research areas such as Ener...)
  • 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 ...)
  • 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...)