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10-2006 Press Releases

Queen's Innovation Lecture examines 'The Private Life of the Brain’

The distinguished neuroscientist described by Harpers and Queen magazine as one of the 50 most inspirational women in the world will make a return visit to Queen's University to deliver a major lecture to the business community on Wednesday 01 November.

In a First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture entitled ‘The Private Life of the Brain’, Baroness Susan Greenfield will examine descriptions of levels and types of consciousness and interpretations of the functioning of the human brain.

Baroness Greenfield is a research scientist, an entrepreneur, a communicator of science and policy adviser. She is Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, and Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University, where she heads a multi-disciplinary research group.

Her scientific career has taken her to top institutions in France and the USA as well as the UK. She has been awarded 28 honorary degrees from universities across the UK, including Queen's. In 2000 she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. She recently led a Government task force, investigating the problem of women in science, and has been a Forum Fellow at the World Economic Conference at Davos for the last four years. In the Millennium New Year's Honours List she was awarded a CBE, and was granted a non-political Life Peerage in 2001. In 2003 she was awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur. Baroness Greenfield was installed as Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in 2006.

Sponsored by First Trust Bank and Invest NI, the Chair of Innovation initiative brings world experts in innovation to Northern Ireland to share their insights and knowledge with local business audiences.

Baroness Greenfield's innovation lecture will be held in G9, Lanyon North at 6pm on Wednesday 01 November. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Claire McGivern at Queen's University on 028 9097 1145 or e-mail c.mcgivern@qub.ac.uk.

For further information contact:

Anne Langford, Tel 028 9097 5310

Notes for editors:

Media facilities will be available at the lecture. Arrangements to interview Baroness Greenfield can be made by calling the above number.

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Healthcare Staff Under-Report Child Physical Abuse and One in Five Worry about Getting it Wrong

Sixty per cent of healthcare professionals have seen a child they suspect was being physically abused, but only 47 per cent reported it to the authorities, according to research published in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing by Dr Anne Lazenbatt, from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University Belfast.

Just under three-quarters of doctors, dentists and community nurses said they were aware of some of the mechanisms of reporting child physical abuse, but 79 per cent felt they needed further information. Over a fifth (21 per cent), said they were worried about getting it wrong. Confronting families, inexperience and fear of litigation were also common barriers to reporting.

In the United Kingdom, seven per cent of children suffer serious physical abuse by a parent or carer and two children aged under 15 years die from abuse each week. Northern Ireland has one of the youngest populations in the European Union, with almost a quarter of the population aged under 15 years. Records also suggest NI has the highest level of registered child abuse in the UK, with more children in care per head of population than England or Wales. Historically, investment, policy and legislative development in children’s issues has lagged behind that of other regions in the UK, with, until the recent appointment of a Commissioner for Children, no advocate for Children within government structures.

Explaining the aims of the study, lead researcher, Dr Anne Lazenbatt, said: “The main aims of the study were to investigate the self-reported ability of Community Nurses, General Medical Practitioners and General Dental Practitioners to report Child Physical Abuse. Importantly, we also wanted to assess the educational needs of these healthcare professionals.

“Our survey of 419 healthcare professionals showed that the ability to recognise physical abuse and willingness to report it varied between the groups, community nurses were the most likely to recognise and report physical abuse.

“It also revealed that fears, anxieties and lack of knowledge stop primary healthcare professionals from reporting abuse and that they need more education, training and support in this area.”

74 per cent were aware of the mechanisms for reporting – with community nurses showing the highest levels of awareness, followed by doctors and dentists. 99 per cent said recognising and reporting child physical abuse should be part of undergraduate and postgraduate training and 79 per cent wanted further in-service training.

Lazenbatt’s research, carried out with Professor Ruth Freeman from Queen’s School of Dentistry, drew questionnaire responses from 139 Community Nurses, 147 General Medical Practitioners and 133 General Dental Practitioners in Northern Ireland – a response rate of 43 per cent. The majority were in the 30-49 age group (71 per cent) and 43 per cent were male. They had been in practice for an average of 15 to 16 years.

Four key issues arose during the research:

  • Healthcare professional were worried about misidentifying physical abuse and unwilling to confront the family. They wanted to remain anonymous and feared hostility, damage to their relationships with families and repercussions for the child and the family. They were also concerned about possible legal action: “The barriers for me are an uncertainty about what I am looking for and not wanting to start a problem for the family” said one of the Dentists who took part.

“I would be hesitant to get involved in child protection work for fear that this would trigger a formal complaint, a disciplinary hearing or even litigation” added one of the Doctors.

  • Respondents cited lack of clear guidelines and protocols as a barrier to reporting abuse. They were also concerned about their inexperience and poor interview techniques, especially when they were faced with parents who were keen to avoid detection: “Recognising child abuse is always going to be a difficult and emotive area” said one Community Nurse. “Often parents, as carers, can give a plausible explanation for any injuries, bruising etc. Frequently this is the explanation people want to believe, as it will be less difficult to deal with by everyone concerned. What makes management of suspected cases of child abuse easier is having clear protocols and guidelines.”

 “Identifying and reporting is always more difficult when a child is seen infrequently” pointed out one Dentist.

  • Other barriers to reporting included workload pressures, red tape and hierarchy, reporting procedures and lack of sensitivity and support from social services and colleagues. Some Dentists felt that child abuse was not relevant to them as a profession and another burden in an already stressful occupation: “I understand the child’s welfare is paramount, but living in small communities it is difficult for social services to be seen to be sensitive or impartial” said one Community Nurse.

And a Doctor expressed frustration with colleagues. “In one case of suspected neglect/abuse it was reported several times and nothing was done. I eventually reported it to an on-duty social worker who dealt with it, but there was a time lapse of 12-18 months.”

  • The majority of participants wanted multidisciplinary workshops, in-service education and accessible training tools. They also highlighted perceived deficiencies in the education they had already received. “There is no more time for complacency” said one Doctor. “To do this we need knowledge and input from a wide range of professionals and agencies, all of whom should be communicating, working in partnership and educated at all levels with a multi-professional / agency framework. This should be mandatory and frequent.”

“The findings suggest that recognising child physical abuse is both a complex and difficult task for primary healthcare professionals and illustrates a substantial gap between their ability to recognise maltreatment and knowledge of the pathways for reporting it” concludes Dr Lazenbatt.

“Although the consequences of failing to identify child physical abuse can be catastrophic, it is also essential that professionals are educated to recognise conditions that might be inadvertently be mistaken as abuse so that unnecessary distress can be avoided.

“Child abuse is an important global problem and primary healthcare professionals can play an essential role in recognising and reporting abuse, but only if they receive the education and support they need to make informed decisions.

“Developing clear policies and co-ordinated local responses that involve all those concerned with the welfare and protection of children is also essential.”

Further information on the Journal of Advanced Nursing can be found at www.journalofadvancednursing.com

Notes to the Editor

The School of Nursing and Midwifery is the foremost provider of Nursing and Midwifery education in Northern Ireland with approximately 3,500 students. The School was established in 1991 and provides a range of innovative courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level which prepares nurses, midwives and health visitors for leadership roles in clinical care, teaching, management and research. Queen's has one of the most extensive portfolios of post registration programmes of any nursing school in Ireland or the UK. The School was judged as "excellent" in teaching by the Quality Assurance Agency and commended, in particular, for support and guidance given to students. The School’s Nursing and Midwifery Research Unit which focuses on Health Services Research draws on multi-disciplinary links across the University. The School has a vibrant research culture with international research links and international students undertaking PhD studies.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572.

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Queen's University Researchers Pioneer Food Safety Testing
Professor Chris Elliott, Head of the Food Safety Research Group at Queen's

With international demand amongst consumers and regulators for improved food safety never greater, a research project at Queen's University Belfast, led by Professor Chris Elliott, and using the latest techniques in Nanotechnology, has resulted in the development of a new biosensor test kit capable of detecting an entire family of toxic drugs in foods.

The drug group, known as Nitroimidazoles, was once widely used in veterinary medicine to treat animal disease such as anaerobic bacterial and parasitic infections, but concerns over the safety of the drugs led to them being banned for use in animal production. However, due to their effectiveness in the treatment of certain diseases and the difficultly in detecting the misuse of the drugs, it has been alleged that widespread use of these drugs in some parts of the world still persists. The presence or absence of such drug residues in food commodities has major implications in respect to both food safety and international trade.

Funded by the Invest Northern Ireland 'Proof of Concept' programme, Professor Elliott, Head of the Food Safety Research Group at Queen's, has now used the latest techniques in Nanotechnology to provide an innovative food-testing kit for such residues that is exceptionally rapid and reliable in comparison to the complex, costly and time-consuming monitoring systems currently available.

Many or even most of the food ingredients eaten every day contain nanoscale particles and naturally occurring nanoscale ingredients and the value of nanotechnology to the food industry has been estimated at £220 million in 2006. That figure is expected to grow to over £3 billion by 2012.

Having developed the reagents involved and optimised an analytical procedure using an optical biosensor to detect the presence of the drugs in foods, Professor Elliott and his team then sent a prototype test kit to regulatory laboratories around the world. The results of this multi-national validation exercise proved the kit could actually detect the compounds involved to the low parts per billion (ppb) levels required. This in turn, generated high levels of interest from the major regulatory bodies involved and several commercial entities, before Xenosense Ltd, a Northern Ireland based biosensor kit manufacturer agreed to commercialise the product.

Speaking about the revolutionary new kit and the commercialisation process, Professor Elliott said: “It is projects like this that illustrate the importance of the viable research being performed at Queen’s Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use, in addressing current food safety issues and in being able to transfer that knowledge through to the advantage of local industry.

“To have a company such as Xenosense Ltd, a Northern Ireland based biosensor kit manufacturer and one of our spin out companies from Queen’s through the QUBIS operation, agree to commercialise the method and offer the product to both the global market of regulatory laboratories and the Agri-Food Industry, is proof positive of the value of our work.

“The official launch of the new product is planned for later this year and we are delighted that with the help of Invest NI, we have taken a locally funded research programme and converted it into a commercially viable end product which will make a real difference to people’s lives.”

John Thompson, Director of Innovation, Research and Technology at Invest NI added: “Proof of Concept has proven itself to be a vital source of assistance for innovative research projects undertaken at both Queen’s University and the University of Ulster.

“By supporting the pre-commercialisation of leading-edge technologies emerging from Northern Ireland’s universities, Proof of Concept can support researchers as they bring inventions and ideas into the global marketplace – adding wealth to our economy and further reinforcing Northern Ireland as a world class research and development hub.”

Further information on the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen’s University can be found by visiting www.qub.ac.uk/schools/Agri-FoodLandUse

Notes to Editor

1. Professor Elliott will be participating in a national media background briefing on the topic of ‘From the Lab to the Plate: Nanotechnology and Food’, at the Science Media Centre in London on Tuesday, 24 October, 2006 at 10.30am. Interview opportunities are available.

2. The term nanotechnology encompasses a huge range of activities. Nano is used in the world of Science to mean one billionth e.g. a nanometre is a billionth of a metre. Generally Nanotechnology is used to mean technology at the nanometre level. Nanotechnology attempts to achieve something useful through the manipulation of matter at this level. The characteristics of materials such as their colour, strength, conductivity and reactivity, can differ substantially between the nanoscale and the macro.

3. The Food Safety Research Group (FSRG) headed by Professor Chris Elliott is situated in the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen’s University. It is a new and highly specialist unit delivering internationally competitive research and first-class teaching to ensure Northern Ireland's agri-food and land industries remain innovative and sustainable in the global marketplace, and to address food-related health issues. The FSRG is divided into three main areas, drugs, toxins and microbiology. All three research themes are linked by the development and application of new and emerging technologies aimed at detecting the presence of harmful contaminants present in food. The drive to deliver such highly innovative technologies is being led by Professor Chris Elliott in a multi-million pound research project sponsored by the European Commission. See www.Biocop.org for further details.

4. XenoSense Limited, a subsidiary of Biacore International AB (SSE:BCOR), develop and manufacture innovative in vitro diagnostic reagents exclusively for Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) Biosensors and sensor chip technology. The company focus is on applications in food safety and quality assurance. Currently based at the Innovation Centre in the Northern Ireland Science Park at Queen’s Island, Belfast, XenoSense has a growing reputation within the global Agri-Food Industry for the provision of quality diagnostic reagents and Qflex® test kits.

5. Invest Northern Ireland is Northern Ireland’s main economic development organisation. Launched by Invest NI as a pilot project in December 2003 with a project fund of £5 million over three years, Proof of Concept aims to increase the number of new high tech business spinouts and licence agreements emerging from local university research.

For further information please contact Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 028 9097 5384 or m0781 44 22 572.

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Queen's take top innovation Prizes
Rewop's Winning Team of Colm Scott, Liam Mulholland, David Lamb, Gareth McLoughlin, Garret Kavanagh receive their award from Stephen Kingon of PWC
Rewop's Winning Team of Colm Scott, Liam Mulholland, David Lamb, Gareth McLoughlin, Garret Kavanagh receive their award from Stephen Kingon of PWC

A prestigious competition which demands technical and management skills to make the bridge between technology and the market place has awarded top prizes to Queen's University students.

A team of five undergraduates from the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science took the top prize of £10,000 designing a device to locate faults in overhead power lines. The students set up a company called REWOP to design a product they called the ARC. It utilises Digital Signal Processing to detect emissions given off by High Voltage Faults. It then uses the GSM system to pass the fault information to the electricity distributor so that repairs can be carried out quickly. NIE has shown substantial interest in ARC and the new company will use NIE overhead lines during the prototyping phase of their product development.

First runner-up in the £25K Awards was another Queen's innovation. Sengenia Ltd has been created as a technologically-driven ‘spin-out’ company from Queen's, specialising in advanced sensor solutions for the construction industry. Student researchers developed tailored fibre optic sensors to determine strain, temperature and moisture to provide early warning of deterioration in the fabric of bridges and substantial buildings. Sengenia took a £2,500 prize.

Undergraduate Award went to Quidne for development of a revolutionary new concept for footwear. Quidne developed Acti-Heat © and Acti-Cool ©, two unique systems that can be incorporated into high performance boots and sports shoes to heat or cool the feet as necessary. The technology is fully contained, maintenance free and sealed for life within the sole of the footwear. The Undergraduate prize also had a value of £2,500.

Queen's School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science also received the award for Best School and were awarded a prize of £2,500. The judging panel comprised experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and legal professionals. A total of ten teams were short listed from 138 who applied last autumn and the successful teams were then presented with their prizes at a Gala Dinner in Belfast City Hall.

Commenting on the success of the Awards, Brendan Mullan, Chief Executive of Investment Belfast said: “The high standard of entrants this year reaffirms the importance of our universities and colleges in encouraging entrepreneurship. Since its inception, seven years ago, these awards have produced eight new companies and prompted more students to consider new product development and starting their own business.”

For more information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office Tel: 028 9097 5320 or Claire Mc Givern, Research and Regional Services Tel: 028 9097 1145 – for details of individual winners and how to enter 2007 competition.

 

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Queen's Students' Union Says SSHH!

Queen's Students’ Union will today launch a new SSHH! Campaign aimed at encouraging students to reduce late night noise levels. Standing for Silent Students Happy Homes, The Honourable Lord Mayor of Belfast, Pat McCarthy, will be on hand to help unveil the campaign which is being supported by the Get Home Safe Partnership.

The latest in a series of initiatives aimed at promoting good relations in the University area of Belfast by Queen's Students’ Union, Queen’s University and Belfast City Council, the Campaign will see a team of ‘Professional SSHHers’ promoting the key messages of: Keep Noise Levels Down at Night; Meet, Greet and Respect Your Community and Keep Your Street Litter Free.

Sporting instantly recognisable SSHH! t-shirts, the SSHHers will be embarking on a series of novel promotional activities aimed at encouraging students to get on board with the campaign including a photographic ‘Strike a SSHH! Pose’ competition at the forthcoming Halloween Ball in the Students’ Union, the distribution of lollipops at the end of each evening’s entertainment and SSHH! Door Hangers.

Explaining the rationale behind the SSHH! campaign, Colin Caughey, Vice-President of Welfare at Queen's Students’ Union said: “The decision to run the SSHH! Campaign followed a research programme carried out by Queen's Students’ Union into the success of similar campaigns at other city-based universities in England.

“SSHH! has been designed to raise awareness amongst students of noise disturbances alongside an increased understanding of the community in which they live. Often all it takes to make people think about how noisy they’re being is to inform them that they are being a disturbance, and asking them to take more consideration in the future.

“By sending out the SSHH! message we hope that our members will consider their fellow students and long-term residents when walking home after a great night out, resulting in a positive outcome for everyone involved.”

Further explaining how SSHH! will work, Michael Forde, Vice-President, Education, at Queen's Students’ Union said: “The SSHH! Campaign is fun with a serious message. SSHH! campaigns piloted successfully at other universities in England have shown how simple steps such as giving students lollipops at the end of an evening have successfully reduced noise levels from students on their journey home.

“We will also be offering our fellow students simple steps on how to help reduce noise late at night such as walking in smaller groups, rather than one large group and encouraging them to say their goodbyes when their friends are beside them, not after they have walked away, when everyone else can hear too.

“Students in Belfast are a vital part of the economy and SSHH! will be encouraging them to enjoy their time as a student, while at the same time integrating fully in to their community.”

Commending Queen's Students’ Union on the launch of the SSHH! Campaign, The Honourable Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat McCarthy said: “Promoting Good Relations is a key objective of Belfast City Council and therefore I congratulate Queen’s Students’ Union and the Get Home Safe partnership on the launch of the SSHH! Campaign.

“Both Get Home Safe and Queen's Students’ Union are endeavouring to develop a vibrant, safe and attractive night time environment in Belfast. The Students’ Union at Queen's is to be commended on taking the initiative to ensure that while looking after their members, they are simultaneously ensuring they make the smallest possible disturbance late at night to the local residential community. I have seen how student volunteering makes an important input to community life in Belfast and I am sure this new undertaking will be yet another positive contribution.”

Further information on the SSHH! Campaign can be found by going to www.qubsu.org and clicking on the SSHH! logo.

Notes to Editor

The SSHH! Campaign will be launched by The Honourable Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat McCarthy, at Queen's Students’ Union at 11.00am today. Media opportunities are available from 10.30am in front of the Students’ Union building, University Road.

For further information please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office. Tel: 0781 44 22 572 or Brendan Heaney, 028 9097 5320

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Queen's University cutting own costs and carbon emissions with green electricity

Queen's University has announced that its environmental management system has cut the organisation's carbon dioxide emissions by almost 60% in the last two years but it wants to do more. It will hold its own Energy Awareness Day aimed at staff and students on Tuesday (24) as part of Energy Saving Week.

The University's Energy Manager Tony Schmidt said: “Energy is an issue that affects us all, as climate change and soaring energy prices are constantly in the headlines. As a major employer and educator, Queen's have been working to reduce the carbon footprint of our 18,000 students and 3,500 staff through an energy management program. That programme is now delivering significant benefits.” The University reports that it has seen energy prices increase 150% in the last five years and its own energy bill for last year approaching £4 million.

“Through audits and impact assessments we have changed the way we manage our energy needs and its delivery. Introducing energy suppliers who can provide the majority of our electricity using renewable technology such as wind turbines has cut our CO2 emissions by 40%. Switching to natural gas has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by a further 16%,” the Energy Manager explained.”

The University Estates Department have organised a special Energy Awareness Day in an initiative to encourage staff and students to be more responsible as to how they use energy and to get into the habit of switching off equipment when not in use.


Tony Schmidt said:”Queen's are fully supporting the Energy Awareness Week as we have already identified a significant amount of energy is being needlessly wasted where the majority of our electricity is actually being used outside of normal working hours. We need people to switch off lights and equipment at the end of the day and that is our main message on Tuesday.

” We intend to get consumption and costs down to further reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by raising awareness and encouraging action by staff and students. Electricity comprises 34% of our total energy consumption, but accounts for 59% of our current carbon emissions and 72% of our total energy costs.”

At Tuesday's Awareness Day (24) the Estates Department staff will be joined in the Black and White Hall of Queen’s by several utilities and energy efficiency companies to encourage a new culture of ‘switching off’. Among those attending will be representatives from Energia, Airtricity, Phoenix Gas, NIE, the Carbon Trust, Energy Saving Trust, the Institute of Energy and Action Renewables.

Energy saving tips will not be restricted to computers, laboratories and lecture theatres but will provide opportunities on how to reduce home energy bills, find out more about renewable technologies, grants for business and the home.

Staff and students will also be able to enter an online ‘Energy Quiz’ to test how energy aware they are and win a range of prizes including: a Laptop; I Pod and Digital Camera provided by Phoenix, Energia and NIE as some of the organisations and exhibitors working with Queen's to raise energy awareness.

“We are not interested here in aspiration, but action on the part of all staff and students to get rid of bad energy habits. The majority of the energy in the university today is now generated from renewable energy sources and the ’switch it off’ campaign will contribute to even better energy efficiency as an important contribution to our environment,” the Queen’s Energy Manager said.

For further information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office Tel: 028 9097 5320 or Tony Schmidt, Energy Manager Tel: 028 9097 1098.

Notes for Editors:

Queen’s University use of renewable technologies in new-build are expected to further reduce CO2 emissions during its £170 million current building and refurbishment program.

The introduction of a combined Heat and Power Plant to Queen's newly refurbished Physical Education Centre is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 250 tonnes in 2006/07.

Sustainable Ireland Magazine presented Queen's University Belfast its ‘Best Waste Recycling Manager Award’ in Ireland for 2006.

This month Queen's Institute for a Sustainable World was launched by NIO Minister Paul Goggins who highlighted the importance of sustainable development and the need for carbon reduction, cleaner renewable sources of energy, procurement and capital investment policy to embed sustainability.

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Queen's spin-out acquired by major multi-national

Queen's University spin-out company Avalon Instruments Ltd has been acquired by global technology leader PerkinElmer in a deal which will open up new world markets for the Belfast-based firm.

Avalon Instruments emanated from Andor Technology Ltd and Queen's School of Chemistry expertise in Raman spectroscopy – a laser technique which identifies and characterises the composition of both organic and inorganic materials. The product range developed can be used in a wide range of applications, including pharmaceuticals, forensics and academia.

The firm was set up in 2000 with start-up funding from the University Challenge Fund (NI) and Queen's seed capital company QUBIS Ltd. It subsequently attracted follow-on investment from Crescent Capital and Invest Northern Ireland.

PerkinElmer, Inc. is a global technology leader driving growth and innovation in health sciences and photonics markets (which include sensors and specialty lighting) to improve the quality of life. The company, which reported revenues of $1.5 billion in 2005, has 8,000 employees serving customers in more than 125 countries.

QUBIS Chief Executive Panos Lioulias described the news as “an excellent result”. He said: “This acquisition by a major multi-national company is a very positive development for Avalon and for Northern Ireland as a whole. It reflects the value of the technology developed by Avalon and will ensure a global marketplace for the cutting-edge products developed by this small company.”

The news was also welcomed by Dr Andrew Dennis, Managing Director and Founder of Avalon Instruments, who said: “We are excited to join PerkinElmer and to contribute to their innovative approach to product development and continuous improvement, along with becoming part of a global leader in customer service and support.”

Avalon's products sell into markets across the world, including the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, the Japanese material science market and the oil industry and diamond trade in the Middle East.

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310.

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Major employers target Queen's students

Major employers will be at Queen’s University this week to detail their graduate employment and placement opportunities for students across a wide range of subject disciplines. Over 100 local and national companies interested in recruiting graduates and placement students have registered for the Autumn Careers Fair (17-19 October).

Belfast City Council, FG Wilson, NI Civil Service, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quinn Group, and Unilever are among the large employer groups promoting opportunities in the world of Administration, Finance and Management on Tuesday at the Whitla Hall.

Engineering, Science and Information Technology companies will take their place on Wednesday. These include: BT; Citigroup-Corporate and Investment Banking; DuPont(UK); Ericsson Ireland; Farrans (Construction) Ltd; Kainos Software; Lagan Technologies; Microsoft; Northbrook Technology; Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Ireland; Seagate Technologies; Siemens; United Utilities and Viridian Group-NIE.

Twenty two Universities from across the UK and Ireland including Queen’s, will be represented on Thursday to inform final year students of postgraduate opportunities and explain funding arrangements to allow them to continue with their studies to achieve postgraduate and doctorate qualifications before deciding to enter the world of work.

Jean Stirrup, Director of Queen’s Career Service said: “The Careers Service aims to support students to prepare and position themselves for a successful transition from university to employment. We offer a comprehensive range of information on employment sectors and the Top 100 Companies seeking to recruit locally.

“The Autumn Careers Fairs provide an excellent opportunity to meet face to face with leading companies. This enables students to consider the employment options available and make informed decisions about their future career as they approach graduation.

“There is a continuous demand for well qualified graduates in the local economy as many companies now compete on a global basis for the talent of the future. The Careers Fairs therefore provide a mutual benefit to the students and their prospective employers in the information exchange that they provide,” the Queen’s Director of Careers said.

For further information, please contact: Brendan Heaney, 028 9097 5320.

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Queen's new £10 million Institute to tackle "global challenge"
Chair of Queen's University's Sustainability Forum Professor Tom Millar and Professor Bob Kalin examine laboratory-scale reedbeds used to clean up reedbeds at a landfill site near Garvagh. This work is part of the environmental engineering research programme which will be a major theme of the University's new Institute for a Sustainable World.
Chair of Queen's University's Sustainability Forum Professor Tom Millar and Professor Bob Kalin examine laboratory-scale reedbeds used to clean up reedbeds at a landfill site near Garvagh. This work is part of the environmental engineering research programme which will be a major theme of the University's new Institute for a Sustainable World.

Queen's University today announced the launch of a world-leading new £10 million Institute for a Sustainable World – an initiative designed to tackle one of the major global challenges of the 21st century.

Described by Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson as the University's response to “perhaps the greatest issue facing civilisation today”, the Institute will build on Queen's research and teaching strengths in science, engineering, law, governance and the social sciences.

The Vice-Chancellor said: “Queen's Institute for a Sustainable World is one of the most exciting and far-reaching initiatives ever launched by the University. It will further enhance the University's world-leading capabilities in key areas and provide the opportunity for new interdisciplinary themes to emerge.

“We recognise that universities have a unique role to play in leading social change, and we are committed to respond to this global challenge.”

The Institute, part of Queen’s £259 million investment in staff, students and facilities, will be a university-wide initiative. It will carry out research under five major themes – energy and climate change; water for life; justice and governance; sustainable communities; and sustainable industry, economics, and innovation.

In particular, it will build on the University's track record in areas such as environmental engineering and environmental science, and research centres such as QUILL, (Queen’s University Ionic Liquids Laboratories) which was selected to represent the United Kingdom in the Carnegie Green Chemistry network, a major G8 initiative.

Chair of the University’s Sustainability Forum Professor Tom Millar said: “Sustainable development requires fundamental social, economic and environmental change. The new Institute will carry out research which will address each of these issues with the clear aim of providing future generations with the tools and understanding necessary to sustain humanity.

“Our research will focus on areas such as environmental engineering which helps to clean up pollution in water and on land, green chemistry which seeks to identify a pollution-free approach to chemical processing, renewable sources of energy such as wind, wave, biomass and energy from waste and the development of renewable technologies. We will also be examining the economic and governance implications of securing the objectives of sustainable development, particularly in ‘divided’ societies.

“And we are linking our research programmes in sustainability to our teaching curriculum to ensure that our graduates can make a major contribution to this field in the future.”

Queen’s already works closely with national bodies such as the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Sustainable Development Commission to ensure that its research programme is aligned to society's needs.

In July, the University's commitment to sustainable development received high praise from two of the United Kingdom's most high-profile environmental campaigners, on whom the University conferred honorary degrees.

Sara Parkin and Jonathon Porritt, co-founders (with Paul Ekins) of the UK's leading educational charity and think tank, Forum for the Future, were both awarded Doctorates of the University for distinction in sustainable development.

Speaking at the ceremony, they commended Queen's for its foresight in launching a Leadership for Sustainable Development Masters degree at the University’s Gibson Institute for Land, Food and Environment.

They said: “Queen's is one of the few universities to take seriously the sort of education that will equip graduates with good enough knowledge about sustainability, sound leadership skills and real-life experience in different sectors.”

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford, 028 9097 5310

Note for Editors:

Queen's Institute for a Sustainable World will be launched in the Canada Room/Council Chamber at Queen’s University on Monday 16 October at 3.00pm. Media facilities will be available.

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World-Leading Technology to be Demonstrated at Queen's £40M ECIT Institute

Some of the world's most leading-edge technology will be demonstrated in Northern Ireland this Friday, when the £40M Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology at Queen's University, in co-operation with Invest NI, will host its first Open Day and Seminar Programme since opening in May of last year.

The Institute's work in the areas of Emerging Security Technologies and Wireless Communications Systems will be presented to dozens of local and international experts in the Institute's flagship centre in the Northern Ireland Science Park. The event follows a dinner for delegates and key stakeholders which was hosted by Invest Northern Ireland in the Great Hall at Queen’s University.

Among those areas expected to attract the most interest will be the fields of audio/video analytics in which ECIT’s work will see future CCTV systems able to automatically identify alarming events such as someone stealing a car, aggressive behaviour or someone abandoning a bag, to the areas of speech recognition hardware design and systems capable of providing adequate security for emerging and future communication technologies.

ECIT is one of 18 Research Technology and Development Centres of Excellence which have been established in Northern Ireland with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Designed to act as a hub for high-technology research and enterprise in the Titanic Quarter area of Belfast and to stimulate major opportunities for economic growth, research already undertaken by teams at ECIT has led to job creation and important advances in areas such as electronic security, video-on-demand and high speed image processing. An additional fifty staff and students have been employed at ECIT since May 2003 and some of the research in disruptive technologies is already likely to lead to at least two spin-out companies in the near future.

Speaking about the Institute’s first major industrial event, ECIT Director, Professor John McCanny, a world recognised expert in the design of complex silicon chips for electronics and video communications applications said: “ ECIT strives to seek a healthy balance between vital ‘blue skies’ research and the strategic research required by Industry. Interest in ECIT’s work comes from across the globe and we hope that this event will play an important part in our aim of attracting inward investment to Northern Ireland.

“From the latest developments in audio/video analytics that will enable more effective CCTV systems to aid our security, to an innovative piece of speech recognition hardware design that may eventually mean we can dictate emails while in the car or verbally instruct our PDAs to book a meeting with several different people, we hope the Open Day programme will help demonstrate just why ECIT holds such a strong global position in the fields of information technology and electronic communications.”

Also visiting Belfast for the event will be Professor Andy Hopper, Professor of Computer Technology and Head of Department at The Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge. A member of the recently announced Advisory Board to ECIT, he acknowledged ECIT’s success saying: “ECIT is a world-class venture which has been very successful in drawing academic and industrial attention to Queen’s and Northern Ireland”.

The ECIT Open Day and Seminar Programme takes place at ECIT, Northern Ireland Science Park, Queen’s Island from 10.00am on Friday, 13 October. Further information on the work of ECIT can be found by visiting www.ecit.qub.ac.uk

Notes to Editor

The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) is a £40M world-class centre with a unique focus on blue skies, strategic and industrial research projects. ECIT brings together, in one building, internationally renowned research groups from Queen’s University specialising in key areas of advanced digital and communications technology.

The Institute extends the significant links Queen’s has already developed with major industrial partners and research centres throughout the world. In addition, it provides hot-housing and incubation facilities and supports the establishment and development of new companies and jobs. The RTD Centres of Excellence Programme is delivered by Invest Northern Ireland.

It is principally funded by the European Union Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland (PEACE II), managed by the Special EU Programmes Body in partnership with the Department of Employment and Learning.

For further information, please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384 or Brian Arlow 078 60 289143

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£1.25 Million Donation Launches New Cancer Charity In Northern Ireland

The launch of Northern Ireland's newest charity - Friends of the Cancer Centre - will be officially marked today by one of the biggest single charitable gifts in local history: the donation of £1.25 million towards providing patients access to the latest technological developments in cancer treatment.

The £1.25 million project announced by the charity, is to fund the 'The Friends of the Cancer Centre Chair in Radiation Oncology,' which will be based at Queen's University Belfast. This generous donation by 'Friends' will enable the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre and Queen's to avail of a world-class academic leader and drive forward research and innovation in Radiation Oncology.

The new charity formerly known as Friends of Montgomery House, Belvoir Park Hospital is situated in the heart of the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre at the Belfast City Hospital.

Speaking at the launch, 'Friends' Chairman, Raymond McMillen said: "Friends of the Cancer Centre is clearly demonstrating today that it is a forward thinking, innovative and well supported Northern Ireland charity and not just among other cancer charities but across the voluntary sector as a whole.

"It is well positioned at the heart of the Cancer Centre, with a dedicated group of Trustees drawn from many walks of life and parts of Northern Ireland and a wide-spread team of volunteers and supporters to continue helping cancer patients and their families for many years to come.

"This charity is a unique one and one of only a small number out of the thousands of charities that exist across Britain and Ireland, in that 95% of people's donations to 'Friends' go directly into projects and services benefiting patients and their families."

The £1.25 million donation carries on the aims of the Friends: to help make available the latest advances in imaging and treatment of cancer for patients from throughout Northern Ireland. The Consultant Oncologists see this as a significant boost for the International Standng of the Cancer Centre and a truly exciting opportunity to avail of treatment techniques which are simply not accessible anywhere else in Britain and Ireland.

Accepting the donation on behalf of Queen's University, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson said: "The importance of this very generous gift by the Friends of the Cancer Centre can hardly be over-stated. The creation of a Chair in Radiation Oncology will play a major role in advancing the international cancer research programme linking Belfast with centres of excellence around the globe and bringing tangible benefits to patients in Northern Ireland and further afield.

"It will drive forward research and innovation in this increasingly important area of cancer research and it will allow Northern Ireland patients access to the very latest technological developments in Radiation Oncology."

The charity will be launched today by two cancer patients who have a long association with the 'Friends', Barbara Johnston from Larne and Belfast man Tom McElhinney. Both diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago, they have witnessed at first hand the benefits provided by the charity and are keen supporters of the continuation of the 'Friends' within the Cancer Centre.

Speaking at the launch Barbara Johnston said: "The care and compassion shown to my family and me by the 'Friends' was wonderful. A lot of essential equipment and patient services would not be available today if it wasn't for the 'Friends'. It is this support that enables families like mine to have the chance of a better future."

Media enquiries to Fundraising Manager, Colleen Shaw telephone 028 9069 9393 / 07891 081537

Notes to Editors

The £1.25 million project to fund the 'The Friends of the Cancer Centre Chair in Radiation Oncology,' will be based at Queen's University Belfast. The funding will also support a Senior Lecturer to assist in advancing a cutting-edge research agenda.

The appointment will be made in the spring of next year and the post-holder, in conjunction with the new Queen's University Chair of Radiation Science and other colleagues, will lead the establishment of a dynamic research base in radiation oncology in Belfast. This is a vital area of research in the ongoing fight against cancer and one which will underpin advances in patient treatment and care.

Fundraising for the Chair and other key projects including the upgrading of patient accomodation within the Cancer Centre, and a bladder scanner is well underway. Consultant Oncologist, Dr Seamus McAleer is just back from Spain where he raised over £55,000 in a sponsored cycle ride and fundraising manager for the charity, Colleen Shaw has just raised £15,000 with a sponsored abseil down the Europa Hotel.

The charity formerly known as Friends of Montgomery House raised over £5 million and was headed by Christine Lynch who has taken up a new role in the Friends of the Cancer Centre as Honorary President.

If you would like to make a donation or help the charity in any other way then please contact Colleen Shaw on 028 9069 9393 / 07891 081537 or email fcc@bch.n-i.nhs.uk You can also visit the website at www.friendsofthecancercentre.com

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Queen's Celebrates Somerville and Ross Literary Partnership in New Exhibition
Pictured with some of the material in the new Somerville and Ross exhibition by Queen's University are Dr Eamonn Hughes, Deputy Director of Irish Studies at Queen's University (L) and Dr Anne Jamison (R) creator of a new digital database of correspondence between Edith Somerville and Dame Ethel Smyth.
Pictured with some of the material in the new Somerville and Ross exhibition by Queen's University are Dr Eamonn Hughes, Deputy Director of Irish Studies at Queen's University (L) and Dr Anne Jamison (R) creator of a new digital database of correspondence between Edith Somerville and Dame Ethel Smyth.

Queen's University is offering a rare opportunity to view some of the personal and literary papers of one of Ireland's most celebrated literary partnerships, with the opening of a new Somerville and Ross exhibition in the University's Visitors' Centre on Thursday, 12 October. The exhibition will also celebrate the launch of a new digital database of Somerville's correspondence with the English feminist composer, Dame Ethel Smyth, comprising 297 letters written by Somerville to Smyth and 470 letters and 13 postcards, written by Smyth to Somerville.

Cousins Edith Somerville and Violet Martin, the latter of whom wrote under the pen name of Martin Ross, first met in Ireland in 1886. The duo went on to co-write a series of novels, the most well-known of which was Some Experiences of an Irish R.M., the basis for the successful TV series, The Irish R.M., which featured the adventures of Major Sinclair Yeates, played by Peter Bowles.

When the partnership came to an 'official' end in 1915 with the death of Violet Martin, Edith insisted the joint pseudonym of Somerville and Ross continue to be used, as she claimed to still be receiving guidance from the spirit of her dead partner through a series of séances. Details of Somerville's occult communications with Violet Martin are just one aspect of the Somerville and Ross archive at Queen's University which reflects the lives, interests and work of the two authors and consists largely of diaries, correspondence, working papers and draft manuscripts relating to the authors' literary activities, personal interests and affairs.

Speaking about the exhibition and new digital database, Professor John Thompson, Head of the School of English at Queen's, who along with the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, is supporting the exhibition, said: "This important new exhibition aims to both showcase the most noteworthy parts of the Somerville and Ross Special Collection at Queen's and make the papers more accessible to a wider audience.

"On show to the public, many of them for the first time, will be a wonderful array of papers, further enhanced by the addition of relevant manuscript materials borrowed from the Somerville family archive in Cork. The exhibition will also include new audio-visual supplements relating to Some Experiences of an Irish R.M. and some wonderful illustrations from Somerville, who, in addition to her literary success also enjoyed a degree of success with her paintings. This unique exhibition is a wonderful and rare opportunity to view an important part of Ireland’s literary history and one not to be missed.

"In addition, the creation of the new digital database of Somerville's correspondence with Dame Ethel Smyth, by Dr Anne Jamison, marks another important milestone in Queen's efforts to engage with the global literary community and promote the work of Irish authors."

Designed and implemented in association with the Institute of Irish Studies and the Special Collections Library at Queen's, the new database of correspondence between Somerville and Smyth, is available by visiting http://www.qub.ac.uk/lib/specialcollections/sar/ and registering for an online username and password.

Dr Anne Jamison, who is now a lecturer in the School of Languages and Literature at the University of Ulster, said: "This database not only represents a wonderful opportunity to open up parts of the Somerville and Ross archive to the wider academic community, but also forms part of a much broader international and ongoing initiative to stimulate and endorse research into Irish women's writing."

The School of English at Queen's will be inviting local schoolchildren to visit the Somerville and Ross exhibition in December and attend a series of lectures based on the exhibited materials. Further information can be obtained by emailing Dr Anne Jamison at a.jamison@ulster.ac.uk.

The Somerville and Ross exhibition will run from Thursday, 12 October to 20 December from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday at the Visitors' Centre, Lanyon Building, Queen's University Belfast. Admission is free of charge. For further details please telephone 028 90 97 5252.

Notes to Editor

1. Images to accompany this release have been issued to all picture desks captioned in IPTC File Info.

2. The exhibition will be formally launched at 5.00pm on Thursday 12 October, in the Visitors' Centre at Queen's.

3. Dr Anne Jamison completed her MA and PhD at the School of English in Queen's and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies. She also worked in the Special Collections at Queen's as a Student Library Assistant and is now Editorial Assistant - History of the Irish Book, School of Languages and Literature, at the University of Ulster.

4. Established in 1849, the Library of Queen's University Belfast comprises one of the largest collections of books, periodicals and pamphlets held in Northern Ireland. One of the Library's great strengths lies in its department of Special Collections, containing approximately 50,000 volumes.

Special Collections also includes a number of archival and manuscript collections providing a valuable supplement to the book collections and the contents of a number of personal libraries either bought or deposited, in whole or in part, by the Library. These include the libraries of the author and antiquarian, Bishop Thomas Percy, 1729-1811, the Antrim Presbytery Library and books from the library of the 18th century economist and political thinker, Adam Smith, 1723-90.

For further information please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office 028 9097 5384.

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Winning student smiles
The three winners of £3,000 bursaries from the Ulster Bank prize draw were:L-R Gregory Mc Larnon, Anna Blackburn and Joseph Mc Kay.
The three winners of £3,000 bursaries from the Ulster Bank prize draw were:L-R Gregory Mc Larnon, Anna Blackburn and Joseph Mc Kay.

Three Queen’s students have come up smiling after winning a special Ulster Bank prize draw. As part of a major three-year major sponsorship of the University’s Enrolment and Registration weeks, Ulster Bank offered students opening new accounts the chance to enter themselves in a prize draw for three £3,000 bursaries - the cost of one year’s fees.

The lucky students, all on first year programmes, are Gregory Mc Larnon from Belfast studying Physiology, Anna Blackburn from Annahilt studying Chemistry, and Joseph Mc Kay from Ballymena studying Physics. Aine Gibbons, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Queen’s said: “We are delighted that Ulster Bank has chosen to make available to students such a valuable offer during the three years of this partnership.

In today’s fee-paying economy, students struggle financially, and this level of support is very welcome indeed.”

For more information please contact: Brendan Heaney, Communications Office, 028 9097 5320

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Queen's Astronomers to Study Exploding Stars and 'Killer' Asteroids
The PanSTARRS 1 telescope which is situated at 10,000ft on the island of Maui.
The PanSTARRS 1 telescope which is situated at 10,000ft on the island of Maui.

Astronomers from Queen’s University Belfast, in conjunction with several other major research institutions in Europe and America, have signed an agreement with astronomers at the University of Hawaii to use the most advanced telescope system ever built to rapidly scan the skies.

The Belfast astronomers will exploit a revolutionary new survey telescope on Haleakala on the island of Maui, known as Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1), which is expected to discover billions of new stars, galaxies and solar system objects, including potential ‘killer asteroids’ that threaten the Earth.

A primary goal of the Pan-STARRS project will be to survey nearby space for asteroids and comets that could collide with the Earth in the future, so-called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).While current searches are sensitive to asteroids a km across or larger, Pan-STARRS will be the first telescope to discover large numbers of smaller NEOs.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University will be studying these new objects to investigate what fraction are comets and what they are made of. Speaking about Queen’s involvement in the project he said: “We will be concentrating on the smallest Near-Earth Objects, as we know very little about these bodies. Yet they hit our Earth much more frequently than large asteroids and comets, so we need to know their physical and chemical make-up if we want to understand the risk posed by them.

By monitoring the whole sky every week, Pan-STARRS will also become the world's leading search for exploding stars called supernovae. A supernova is a fantastically energetic explosion at the end of the life of a very massive star. They are a billion times brighter than the sun and can be seen in the distant Universe.

Explaining further how Pan-STARRS will be used to measure the energies released in the explosions and the nature of the exploding stars themselves, Professor Stephen Smartt, a fellow member of the project team from Queen’s Astrophysics Research Centre added: "These supernovae produced the elements of oxygen, calcium, silicon, and iron which are fundamental to the evolution of the Universe and life itself.

“We were created from supernovae residue, and our aim is to understand the physics of the explosions and how the elements are produced. The Pan-STARRS project gives Queen's an opportunity to be a world leading voice in this exciting area of astrophysics".

Having achieved ‘First Light’ in June of this year, the PS1 telescope will also shortly be fitted with the world’s largest digital camera, currently under construction at the UH Institute for Astronomy in Manoa, under the leadership of John Tonry. With a resolution of 1.4 billion pixels, about 300 times as many as a typical commercial digital unit, the camera will be used to capture images generated by the telescope’s mirror which measures 1.8 meters in diameter.

Over 30 world-renowned scientists and their graduate students have committed themselves to analysing the unprecedented flood of data from PS1 over the next three and half years and Kenneth Chambers, from the University of Hawaii, who as Project Scientist is responsible for carrying out the PS1 survey said: "We decided to recruit a number of top astronomers to join us in order to make the best use of this fantastic instrument.”

Rolf Kudritzki, Director of UH's Institute for Astronomy added: "We are delighted to have assembled a powerful consortium that includes the prestigious Max Planck Society in Germany, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Las Cumbres Observatory in the USA and Queen’s University, Durham University and Edinburgh University in the United Kingdom".

Developed by astronomers at the University of Hawaii, Pan-STARRS is the first stage of the ‘Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System’ project which is the brainchild of IfA's Nick Kaiser.

The consortium will contribute about $10m to cover the cost of operating the telescope in Hawaii.

Further information on the project can be found at http://pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/, while the website for the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s can be viewed at http://star.pst.qub.ac.uk/

For further information please contact: Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office,  028 9097 5384.

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Appeal for body donations by Queen's University

The Department of Health has urged more people to consider leaving their bodies to medical science.

Many people donate kidneys, livers and other organs by joining the Organ Donor Register, yet the number of people in Northern Ireland leaving their whole bodies for medical research has fallen.

With approximately 300 new medical and dental students coming to Queen’s University each year and reduced donations, there is a shortage of bodies for education and training purposes.

Dr Glenda Mock, Principal Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The successful training of doctors and dentists each year depends on the generosity of those who offer their bodies, after their death, for medical education, training and researchidentity.

During the time the medical school holds the body, which may be up to three years, it will be used for vital training of medical students, dentists, trainee surgeons and other health professionals. Each body is made anonymous to protect identity.”

The donation of a body must be made by the person themselves, following the reading and signing of documents which ensure that donors and their relatives understand what is involved.

Dr Mock continued: “I would encourage all those people considering this worthwhile cause to write to the Anatomy department of Queen’s University Belfast, for further information.”

Dr Dave Wilson, Head of Anatomy at Queen’s University, added: “Anatomy at Queen’s has a central role in ensuring that future doctors and other health professionals serving this community understand how the human body is put together. To gain this understanding, both medical and dental students need to explore the body in detail and they need to acquire their knowledge from studying real bodies.

“It is often argued that you would not want your car repaired by a mechanic who had not worked on a car engine before. I would use this argument about someone working on my body.”

Those people interested in discussing the donation of their bodies to medical science can contact Anatomy at Queen’s by telephoning +44 (0)28 9097 2131, by emailing anatomy@qub.ac.uk or by writing to Anatomy at Queen’s, School of Medicine, Queen's University Belfast, Medical Biology Centre, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast. BT9 7BL

For further information, please contact: Anne Langford (Queen’s),  028 9097 5310 Catherine Heron (DHSSPS), Tel 028 9052 2841

Editors’ Notes: The Human Tissue Act 2004 permits, with consent, the donation of whole bodies for anatomical examination. The Human Tissue Authority has recently issued a code of practice on anatomical examination, which gives clear guidance on the regulation and licensing requirements of the legislation. It can be viewed on the Authority’s website at www.hta.gov.uk

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Plans for Queen's Gaelic Football Club Gala 75th Anniversary Banquet Well Under Way

Plans for the biggest re-union in the history of Queen's University Gaelic Football Club are well under way. The event, a gala dinner in the Armagh City Hotel on Friday 10 November will bring together hundreds of past members and friends to celebrate their illustrious past on the 75th Anniversary of the Club.

Several prominent dignitaries have already been confirmed for the event including honorary life members, President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, the new GAA President, Nickey Brennan and Queen’s University Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson. The club has emerged from rather humble beginnings to play an increasing part in the overall development of the GAA at Queen's and Ulster. While a team had been formed in the early twenties, it was moves to establish an actual club in the 1931/32 season that initiated Gaelic Games permanently at the college.

Achievements over the years have included winning seven titles in the Sigerson Cup, as well as a further seven in the Senior and Intermediate leagues and hosting the Sigerson finals on numerous occasions. A host of All-Ireland medallists and All Stars have also featured with Queen's over the generations. The occasion will allow alumni to reunite with old friends and will form part of the overall 75th celebrations that will include the hosting of Sigerson 2007 next spring.

To reserve a table or for more information, please contact John Devaney (jackdevaney@yahoo.co.uk), James Higgins (james02@mcaleer-rushe.co.uk) or Karl Oakes (k.oakes@qub.ac.uk).

For further information, please contact: Karl Oakes, Queen’s GAA Academy 028 9038 7688 or
Lisa Mitchell, Communications Office, 028 9097 5384

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