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Queen’s and University of Toronto to develop future leaders in cancer care for Northern Ireland


Queen’s University Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) has announced an innovative Clinical Doctoral Training Programme in Precision Cancer Medicine with the world renowned Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University of Toronto.

This programme will allow clinicians in training in Northern Ireland to develop specialist skills through a three year programme which will include a two year fellowship in Toronto followed by a year immersed in cancer research at the CCRCB at Queen’s.

Speaking from Toronto at the launch of the programme, Professor Mark Lawler, Dean of Education for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences (FMHLS) at Queen’s and the chief architect of the initiative said: “This is an extremely exciting initiative that will take the brightest of our trainees to a premier global cancer institution and  infuse them with the skills and experience to become the future leaders in innovative cancer care delivery that Northern Ireland needs. It also shows our commitment to the words of Senator George Mitchell when he opened our Centre in 2007 and said that, “this Centre is forging new global partnerships to relieve the human suffering from cancer.”

Professor David Waugh, Director of the CCRCB who is also in Toronto for the launch said: “I cannot over-emphaise the importance of this initiative.

"We are investing in our future, taking the best of our homegrown talent and providing them with a unique opportunity to learn from the very best.”

Professor Lillian Siu, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University of Toronto lead on this programme said: “We are very excited about this initiative. It gives us the opportunity to welcome high quality clinical trainees from Northern Ireland into our training programme, whilst also providing a mechanism to encourage research collaborations between our two institutions.”

The initiative has significant funding from the Health and Social Care (HSC) Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland.

Dr Janice Bailie, Deputy Director of the HSC Research and Development Divison said: “We see this exciting new initiative as a significant capacity builder for Northern Ireland. It identifies future leaders and provides them with the experience to lead clinical cancer care in Northern Ireland in the future.”

Professor Chris Elliott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at Queen’s said: “The launch of this initiative emphasises our commitment to providing the highest quality training for our PhD students, leveraging global partnerships to  deliver premier graduates. This initiative provides the model for a series of doctoral training programmes we are developing across the Faculty to ensure the competitiveness of our graduates locally, nationally and globally.”

Professor Lawler and Professor Waugh will also be addressing Queen’s University and Northern Ireland Alumni and highlighting this new initiative during their visit to Toronto.


Professor Lillian Siu, University of Toronto, Canada; Professor David Waugh, CCRCB Director; Professor Chris Elliott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences; Professor Mark Lawler; Dr Ruth Carroll, Programme Director, Health and Social Care (HSC) Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland; Dr Janice Baille, Deputy Director, HSC Research and Development Division.

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Professor Mark Lawler, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University Belfast

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