Description Official Opening of Molecular Pathology Laboratory


The new Molecular Pathology Laboratory at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (Queen’s University Belfast) was officially opened on Wednesday 9 January 2013. The new facility is a partnership between Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.


This facility, the first integrated laboratory of its kind in the UK and Ireland, is to revolutionise cancer research and diagnosis for thousands of patients across Northern Ireland.

The opening of the Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Lab (NI-MPL) and Northern Ireland Biobank (NIB), means oncologists are now better placed to decide on the best treatment for their patients thanks to improved diagnoses.

New era of personalised medicine in Northern Ireland

The improved diagnoses are as a result of solid tumour samples being examined at a molecular level. This new level of testing helps oncologists tailor individual treatments to individual patients, offering a new era of personalised medicine in Northern Ireland. It will also advance meaningful research in new cancer diagnostics and new cancer treatments.

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, Professor of Molecular Pathology at Queen’s and lead researcher within NI-MPL said: “Our distinctive combination of molecular diagnostics and research under the one roof, supported by the Biobank, makes this facility unique in these islands. We are now routinely delivering a number of diagnostic tests for the patient and along with our colleagues in the Belfast Trust, and across Northern Ireland, we are taking yet more significant steps on the journey, started by our oncologists years ago, which has seen us make significant improvements in cancer survival over the last 15 years.”

Colm Donaghy, Chief Executive, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said: “Already, over 1,000 patients in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust have had their tumours analysed by the new laboratory. The diagnostic activity of the laboratory is under the direct governance of the Trust, making sure that it meets the highest standards of quality in healthcare. Once fully operational, several thousand people with cancer of the colon, breast, lung and skin, among others, will benefit each year from the new facility. Together with Queen’s we are developing new models that may define the way medicine will be delivered in the future.”

Period10 Jan 2013

Media coverage


Media coverage

  • TitleOfficial Opening of Molecular Pathology Laboratory
    PersonsManuel Salto-Tellez