President and Vice-Chancellor


President and Vice-Chancellor

Professor Patrick G Johnston

Leading the institution as its 12th President and Vice-Chancellor.

Vice Chancellor's Responsibilities

As Chair of University Executive Board, the Vice-Chancellor has responsibility for:

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University Vice-Chancellor

Born in 1958, Professor Patrick Johnston was educated at St. Columb’s College, Derry and University College, Dublin, where he gained his MB BCh degree in Medicine in 1982.

In 1987 he obtained a Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda, Maryland, where he began further clinical training in medical oncology. He was promoted senior investigator in 1991.

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Professor of Oncology

He joined Queen’s University in 1996 as Professor of Oncology, later leading the establishment of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.

Since then CCRCB has revolutionised cancer treatment in Northern Ireland and further afield. It now has 250 researchers from all over the world and was designated a Cancer Research UK Centre in 2009.

Until taking up the post of President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s in March 2014, Professor Johnston was Dean of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences where he led the foundation of a new international Medical School and Institute of Health Sciences to develop excellence in teaching and sustainable high quality biomedical research programmes which would lead to global improvements in healthcare research and quality care.

His own research focus over 25 years has been on the understanding of mechanisms of drug resistance to therapeutic agents. This has resulted in a number of prestigious landmark publications, more than 20 patents and the award of grants of £95m from research and philanthropic bodies including Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, Atlantic Philanthropies, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the National Institute of Health.

In 2012 he received a Diamond Jubilee Queen’s Anniversary Prize from Her Majesty The Queen for the University-led reorganisation of cancer care in Northern Ireland where there has been a reduction in cancer mortality rates.
Also in 2012 he was elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in 2013 he was named winner of the international Bob Pinedo Cancer Care Prize, recognising his work in translating discovery science for the benefit of cancer patients.

Among other influential roles, he serves on the Board of the Medical Research Council and was appointed Chair of the MRC Translational Research Group in 2012. He is the founder of the Society for Translational Oncology, headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, and is a founder of Almac Diagnostics, the biotechnology company based in Northern Ireland and the US.

Professor Johnston, a native of Derry/Londonderry, is married with four grown-up sons. He is the first person to be appointed President and Vice-Chancellor from within the staff of Queen’s since the appointment of Sir Peter Froggatt in 1976.


Vice-Chancellor's Office,
Queen's University,
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Vice-Chancellor's Administrator
Ms Roisin Smith (0)28 9097 5134

Vice-Chancellor's Vision

Vision 2020