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A Queen’s University project which speeds up the production of a diagnostic kit for infectious diseases has won a major national award.
The University won the Knowledge Transfer Partnership Northern Ireland Regional Award for its work with local biotech company Fusion Antibodies, based in Dunmurry.
KTP Associate Dr Henry Kwok’s work in developing the partnership between Fusion and the School of Pharmacy began in 2004. Dr Kwok’s work enabled Fusion to produce protein from a target DNA sequence within a third of the usual time. The process will be used in a range of applications in basic research, diagnostics and therapeutics.
Research leader Dr Chris Scott, from the School of Pharmacy, welcomed the award: “The project was an excellent opportunity to work collaborating with Fusion Antibodies. This has led to further growth and expansion of the company.
“These proteins can be used in the battle against infectious diseases and the development of cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Plans are under way to produce the kit commercially.
“This is an excellent example of the way in which Queen’s can help to produce jobs and revenue in Northern Ireland.”
Dr Kwok said: “KTP offered me a unique chance to develop my scientific career by working in both industrial and academic environments which gave me a chance to learn valuable managerial and technical experience.”
Dr Shane Olwill, of Fusion Antibodies, said: “The KTP programme allowed us to overcome bottle necks in our production capabilities. Our partners at Queen’s introduced some key improvements allowing scale-up of protein production in a cost-effective manner.”
The Head of the Knowledge Transfer Centre at Queen’s, Dr Mary Flynn, said: “Our work provides opportunities for academic staff to reach out to local industry, gather real material for research papers and grants and case study material for teaching, final year and MSC projects.”
The partnership contributed to curriculum development in the School of Pharmacy on aspects of biotechnology and drug development.
For media enquiries please contact: Eugene McCusker, Press & PR Unit, on +44 (0)28 9097 2576,
Celebrating Northern Ireland is a collaborative exhibition between the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s and Royal Mail, featuring a new set of Northern Ireland stamps and landscapes from the University collection.
On display will be original artwork by Clare Melinsky, commissioned by Royal Mail for a new stamp featuring St Patrick. This is one of a series of new stamps celebrating landmarks of Northern Ireland, such as Carrickfergus Castle, the Giant’s Causeway and the Thanksgiving Beacon on Queen’s Bridge.
Michael Kennedy, General Manager of Royal Mail in Northern Ireland, said: “This new set of stamps is the third in a series of collectable miniature stamp sheets which Royal Mail is issuing in celebration of each of the regions of the UK. Each of the sets feature the patron saint surrounded by well-known and loved landmarks.”
This exhibition will also feature work from the University collection by John Luke and Daniel O’Neill and landscapes by Norman Wilkinson, who was commissioned to produce six paintings depicting typical Ulster landscapes for the University’s then new Institute of Medical Science which opened in 1954.
This exhibition marks the beginning of an ongoing relationship between the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s and Royal Mail which will see an exciting new exhibition of artists’ postcards later this year.
Celebrating Northern Ireland will run until Saturday 19 April 2008.
The stamps can be purchased or ordered at Post Office branches across Northern Ireland and can be bought online at www.royalmail.com. Miniature sheets cost £2.24 and the presentation pack costs £2.75. A special pictorial Downpatrick postmark is also available at main Post Office branches.
For further information on the exhibition, please visit www.naughtongallery.org
contact the Naughton Gallery at Queen’s, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, University Road, Belfast, on telephone 028 9097 3580, email email@example.com
or drop in between 11am-4pm, Monday to Saturday.
For further information, please contact Anna Patrick, Exhibitions Assistant, Naughton Gallery at Queens, on telephone 028 9097 3580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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An Olympic rower has told Queen’s University Sports Bursaries recipients that the Olympics are a realistic aim for the future.
Irish Olympic and World Championship rower Richard Archibald was guest speaker at a bursary awards event in Queen’s Physical Education Centre where future local stars gained recognition. The top three awards went to Belfast student David Hamilton (PhD Molecular Virology), Great Britain Volleyball; Newtownards student Debee Steel (Law) Great Britain Paralympic basketball and Derry student Victoria Mallet (Medicine), World University Games Ladies Soccer.
Last week Queen’s was announced as one of the training centres included in the Pre-Games Training Camp Guide for the 2012 Olympics, which is being distributed at the Beijing Games.
Richard Archibald, a former Queen’s student and Sports Bursary recipient himself said: “Olympic participation is something that every athlete aspires to and while it requires great dedication to compete at this level, it is something that is in the reach of some of the current batch of Sports Bursary students.”
In announcing the awards, Stephen Cruise of Ulster Bank said: “Ulster Bank is delighted to be sponsoring these bursary awards. This relationship underlines our commitment to the students of Queen’s University and our ongoing support of Queen’s Sport. We know that combining high levels of sporting and academic excellence is not easy and if you add money worries, it is quite a juggling act. So, we hope these bursaries will ease the burden somewhat and assist the athletes to give of their best, both on and off the sports field.”
Dr Robert Gamble from Queen’s Sport said: “Once again Queen’s raises the bar in terms of providing athlete support to our biggest ever number of athletes. Our Sports Bursary programme underpins the commitment of the University to providing High Performance support for our top athletes to help them achieve their sporting goals.”
Bursary winners receive access to the latest Sports Science support programmes delivered through the High Performance and Lifestyle Centre based at Queen’s Physical Education Centre. The programmes include Strength and Conditioning, Sports Psychology, all inclusive access to sporting facilities at the PEC and a financial bursary.
For media enquiries please contact: Eugene McCusker, Press & PR Unit, on +44 (0)28 9097 2576,
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Jonathan Porritt CBE, Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, will speak at Queen’s University Belfast this week as part of the largest planning research conference in the UK and Ireland.
As the ten year anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement approaches, Belfast’s transformed built-environment will play host to 160 of the world’s leading planning experts at the UK-Ireland Planning Research Conference; including delegates from countries as diverse as Brazil, Australia and China.
Hosted by the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s, the experts will gather from today to Thursday (18 to 20 March), to discuss all aspects of planning research, but with a special focus on Sustainability, Space and Social Justice.
Study tours of Belfast have been arranged, to include a tour facilitated by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, demonstrating the difficulties of providing social housing in a divided city.
Areas of discussion will include rural planning, the countryside and wildlife; inclusion, diversity and social justice; urban and rural design and the built heritage; planning, accessibility and transportation; governance, policy and spatial planning and urban and rural regeneration.
Jonathan Porritt will be speaking on the topic of Using Sound Science Responsibly: Are we? Founder Director of the Forum of the Future and Co-Director of The Prince of Wales’s Business and Environment Programme, he was awarded an honorary degree from Queen’s for distinction in sustainable development in 2006.
Joining Jonathan Porritt as keynote speakers will be three other distinguished academics:
Susan Owens OBE, Professor of Environment and Policy at the University of Cambridge on Planning, democracy and public policy; Professor Julian Agyeman, Tufts University, Boston on Towards Just Sustainabilities and Professor Oren Yiftachel, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel on Planning and ‘Gray Space’: policy, colonialism and urban change.
Professor David Cleland, Head of the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s said: “Queen’s is privileged to host such a prestigious event. This high profile conference underlines the value of a robust spatial planning system. Planning is about more than PPS14, gaining permission for porches or mediating local development disputes. The whole area has the potential to help shape the future and develop a more sustainable, prosperous and just society for everyone.”
Organiser of the conference, Dr Geraint Ellis, Senior Lecturer in the School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering at Queen’s added: “The arrival of this conference in Northern Ireland is particularly timely. Ten years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Belfast has been reborn but we are now challenged with healing the scars still perceptible in the city’s built environment and deprived communities. These issues have posed considerable challenges for spatial planning, and the topic has never been far away from the headlines in recent months.
“We are also aware of the key challenges we face as a global community, particularly climate change. Sustainable development offers the key solution for tackling this, but we must think beyond just environmental concerns and also address social injustice concerns.”
Further information on the conference can be found at www.qub.ac.uk/prc2008belfast/index.html
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Addressing issues such as shame and self-loathing felt by sufferers of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) can be beneficial if dealt with at an early stage in treatment, according to Queen’s graduate, Dr Kevin Dyer.
The suggestion comes as a result of work by Dr Dyer which has seen him announced as the 2008 Praxis Prize winner for his research in the area of PTSD. The Praxis Prize is awarded annually to the postgraduate student who has completed the best project relevant to the field of mental health and social care, from Queen’s University’s School of Psychology.
From Dunmurry, Dr Dyer’s research examined the relationship between symptoms of complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and outcomes of anger, aggression and self-harm. By comparing those with PTSD and C-PTSD, Dr Dyer found that people with Complex-PTSD had significantly higher levels of physical aggression and self-harm, than those with PTSD.
His findings have implications for clinical practice as they suggest that addressing alterations of self-perception (such as shame and self-loathing) among people with Complex PTSD at an early phase in treatment will be beneficial.
Course Director at Queen’s for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, Dr Chris McCusker, said: “Kevin’s research adds to the knowledge base of cognitive processes and features associated with PTSD and will be of interest to the scientific and clinical communities alike. He conducted his research with the academic flair and insight that characterised his clinical training”.
Sonia Mawhinney, Senior Research Officer with Praxis Care said: “Praxis Care is delighted to award the Maria McConnell Memorial Prize to Dr Kevin Dyer. Kevin’s research investigated the role of anger, aggression and self harm on Complex PTSD. The research was conducted to a high standard with a sophisticated analysis of results. This is a disorder which affects many users of mental health services and Kevin’s research findings will no doubt lead to further research in this field”.
Kevin will receive a trophy and a cheque for £250. His name will be added to a perpetual plaque, which is in the School of Psychology at Queen’s.
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World-leading management guru Costas Markides will deliver a unique insight into the innovation process when he visits Queen’s University on Wednesday (19 March).
In a Queen’s Innovation Lecture entitled “Beyond the Aha! Moment: how innovation really happens”, Professor Markides will use real examples from the business world to show that innovation is about much more than the generation of good ideas.
Costas Markides is Professor of Strategic and International Management and Chairman of the Strategy Department at the London Business School. He is a member of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society, and a Fellow of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
With a research background in strategic innovation, corporate restructuring, refocusing and international acquisitions, Professor Markides is the author of a number of publications on economic performance. His current research interests include the use of innovation and creativity to achieve strategic breakthroughs.
Queen’s Chair of Innovation initiative brings world experts to Northern Ireland to share their insights and knowledge with local business audiences.
Professor Markides’s lecture will be held on Wednesday 19 March in the Council Chamber, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University, starting at 6pm.
Anyone wishing to register for the Lecture should contact Claire McGivern on 028 9097 2575.
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Two members of Queen’s staff have been honoured at the Northern Ireland Healthcare Awards for their work in developing a system to improve services for cancer patients.
Dr Lisa Ranaghan, a cancer information consultant, and Giulio Napolitano, information and technology officer, from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, won the Innovations in Oncology Award 2007 for creating an electronic system to record the decisions cancer teams make on patients’ diagnosis and treatment.
The Registry aims to provide accurate information on cancer cases in Northern Ireland for research, planning and education.
The award winners have worked for over three years on the project developed in partnership with the Northern Ireland Cancer Network (NICaN) and local cancer specialists.
The electronic multidisciplinary team management system was set up to increase the quality of information collected, to improve communication among professionals and to reduce waiting time for patients. The system also helps monitor patients’ care and improves cancer staging information.
The work was part-sponsored by the Service Delivery Unit of Department of Health and Social Services and has provided the basis for a regional cancer information system currently being developed with the Directorate of Information systems (DIS).
The judges said: “This is a truly innovative project potentially improving multidisciplinary management of all cancer patients in Northern Ireland.
“Already used in ten such meetings, funding and development is underway for a province wide web-based integrated system.
“This will enhance documentation of cancer diagnosis and stage and will facilitate onward management. Prospects for research and new therapy trials will also be enhanced.”
Dr Anna Gavin, Director of the Cancer Registry, said: "This system will improve patient care by helping all members of the clinical care team to easily work together to implement best practice and improve clinical decision making.”
Dr Dean Fennell, from Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, was a finalist in the awards.
The awards, organised by the Northern Ireland Medical Review, were attended by First Minister Dr Ian Paisley, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey, Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and Chief Nursing Officer Martin Bradley.
Also at the event Mr McGimpsey presented a lifetime achievement award to Professor Jennifer Adgey for her pioneering work in the field of cardiology. A consultant cardiologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital until last year, she holds an Honorary Professorial title at both Queen’s and the University of Ulster.
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The risk of asteroid impact will be just one of the topics discussed in Belfast next month when Queen's welcomes 650 of the world's leading space scientists and astronomers.
The scientists will be attending the largest ever Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting (NAM), which runs from Monday, 31 March to Friday, 4 April.
Members of the public can find out more about the Hubble Space Telescope, asteroids and the way in which science influences popular science fiction, in a series of free public lectures.
Scientists will also present new research in many aspects of astronomy and space science, including black holes, the vision for space exploration, the early history of the Universe, planets around other stars and the impact of ‘space weather’ on the Earth.
The event is being organised by staff from the Astrophysics Research Centre and the Centre for Theoretical Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics within the School of Mathematics and Physics.
Professor Stephen Smartt, from the Astrophysics Research Centre in the School of Maths and Physics in Queen’s said: ”Scientific discoveries by physicists, astronomers and space scientists influence our understanding of the universe, technology, mathematics, physics and social development in general.
“Astronomers at Queen’s have a proud history of making exciting discoveries. The identification of three new planets outside our own solar system last year by Queen’s astronomers was listed as one of the top ten scientific discoveries by Time magazine. During NAM 2008, we will unveil yet more discoveries to our peers and open up the world of astronomy to the wider public. It is a tremendous honour for the School of Mathematics and Physics to host this event, which is the largest ever NAM.”
Michael Rowan-Robinson, RAS President said: "I look forward to welcoming the astronomy, space science and planetary science communities to NAM2008 at Queen's University Belfast. The National Astronomy Meeting has developed into a major part of the UK astronomy calendar and it is important as a show-case for all the bright young talent in the field and as a major opportunity to review our science."
The three public lectures are:
Admission to the lectures is free but registration is essential. To register please call 028 9097 3541 or email email@example.com.
Further information on the event can be found at http://nam2008.qub.ac.uk
A Queen’s engineering student has been recognised as one of the top engineering students in the UK.
Newry born King Yit Law received the Sir William Siemens Medal at a ceremony in the Siemens Corporation’s headquarters in Surrey. The medal was launched in 1993 to celebrate the engineering company’s 150th anniversary, with the aim of raising the profile of science and technology within schools and universities.
The first Sir William Siemen’s medal was awarded back in 1883 by London University’s Imperial College. The new medals are struck using the die of the original medal by the Royal Mint.
After completing his degree King Yit wants to become a Chartered Engineer. King Yit added: "The course in Queen’s provides me with an insight into lots of different areas of engineering. It’s a challenging course, both practically and theoretically, although personally I prefer the theoretical side of engineering.
"I believe it is better to have a firm grasp of the theory, as it gives you a better understanding when carrying out any experiments. As an engineer, I would recommend electrical and electronic engineering as a career.”
The criteria set for the award required an excellent academic record and significant involvement in industry.
King Yit was nominated for his award by Dr John Morrow, lecturer in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queen’s. Dr Morrow said: “King Yit is an exceptionally talented student. He has already received a Power Academy Scholarship from EON Central Networks, worth over £22,000.and worked with Latens in Belfast to provide software solutions for Pay TV operators.“
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Two hundred Queen’s University students who gained a range of work-related skills in companies around the world will take part in a special ceremony on Wednesday (12 March).
The students will receive City & Guilds Senior Awards at Licentiateship level for skills and competencies gained during work placements in Northern Ireland, France, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland and the United States.
The awards are administered by the University’s Senior Awards Office at the School of Education. Head of the School, Professor Tony Gallagher, said: “Queen’s was one of the first universities in the UK to become involved in the City & Guilds scheme, and it is an investment that has yielded rich returns for our students.
“The scheme recognises competence and achievement through a combination of education, training and work-based experience. It provides our students with excellent opportunities to acquire a host of skills which will stand them in good stead in the increasingly competitive graduate job market.”
The undergraduates will receive their Licentiateship (LCGI) Awards in Aeronautical Engineering; Agricultural Technology; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Environmental and Civil Engineering; Finance and Accounting; Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition; Information Technology; Management; Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering; and Structural Engineering with Architecture. A number will also receive Professional Development Awards (PDA) in Management.
“Lecturers into Industry” programme
Six academic staff from further and education colleges in Northern Ireland will also receive awards under the Learning and Skills Development Agency's ‘Lecturers into Industry’ initiative.
This scheme offers lecturers the opportunity to review current workplace practices and to embed new ideas and integrate business skills into the higher education curriculum. It is funded by the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).
Receiving awards will be Ruby Donaghy, South West College; Geraldine Campbell, North West Regional College; Mura Casey, Belfast Metropolitan College; Catherine Dinsmore and Irene McCourt, Southern Regional College; and Michael McNicholl, Northern Regional College.
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A Queen’s Executive MBA graduate has won two prizes for her research into the internationalisation of SMEs.
Susan Glenn, from Ballymena, was named best student by the Chartered Management Institute and was judged to have completed the best dissertation by the Ulster Bank.
Susan, who works for McMullan Architectural Systems in Moira as a finance manager, completed the part-time executive MBA through Queen’s University Management School.
Her dissertation researched 10 SMEs in Northern Ireland which had started to export their goods or services and studied the approach they had taken.
“I found that the more resources they had the less likely they were to follow the small incremental steps of the process model approach,” she said.
Stanley Wallace, Regional Manager of the Chartered Institute of Management, said: “The Institute supports the MBA project because it develops the talent of senior managers. This is demonstrated through Susan’s project in internationalising the entrepreneurial talent in Northern Ireland.”
Stephen Cruise, Ulster Bank’s Regional Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “We are very proud to be associated with these awards, recognising the outstanding ability and achievements of MBA graduates. Ongoing development is an important aspect of any manager’s role and the Queen's University Executive MBA programme provides an excellent platform for managers to improve their effectiveness. The dissertation is a challenging element of the programme and I congratulate Susan on her exceptional achievement."
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74 per cent of people in Northern Ireland welcome the fact other EU citizens can live and work in the region, but many are also worried about the additional strain this places on service provision.
The figures come from the 2006 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, undertaken by ARK, a joint research initiative between Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Ulster.
Tomorrow, (Tuesday, 11 March), Dr Chris Gilligan from Aston University, Birmingham will examine the survey’s findings, which reveal people in Northern Ireland have mixed feelings about the rights of Eastern European migrants to live here, the contribution they make to society, and the strain they place on public services.
While almost three quarters of people (74 per cent) welcomed the fact other European Union (EU) citizens are free to live and work here, a similar proportion (73 per cent), felt the government should have placed restrictions on immigration from those Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.
Many people thought the growth in numbers of migrant workers had put a strain on public services. 44 per cent thought the needs of migrant workers were putting a strain on schools. A majority (51 per cent) thought the number of migrant workers was leading to a shortage of local housing and a higher proportion (60 per cent) thought a strain was being put on the Health Service.
The mixed feelings were evident in the fact many people also recognised the positive contribution migrant workers make to Northern Ireland. Over eight in ten (83 per cent) thought it was good migrant workers come to Northern Ireland to work as doctors and nurses when there is a shortage of medical staff. Two-thirds (67 per cent) thought migrant workers make Northern Ireland open to new ideas and cultures.
Dr Gilligan said: “The figures provide a very mixed picture of attitudes towards migrant workers. Clearly there are concerns about a strain being put on public services. The mixed responses to questions, however, means it is not so clear whether people in Northern Ireland blame the government or migrant workers for the strain on services.
“The fact that a significant majority of people think migrant workers make Northern Ireland more open to new ideas and cultures suggests that government might be better to shift the emphasis of policy away from cultural diversity awareness training and instead focus on the question of service provision.”
Ambivalence towards migrant workers is also evident on questions regarding jobs. Almost half (48 per cent) thought migrant workers take jobs away from people who were born in Northern Ireland. But more (80 per cent) thought migrant workers mostly take up jobs Northern Irish workers don’t want. And even more (85 per cent) thought employers take on migrant workers because they are prepared to work for lower wages than local workers.
Professor Robert Miller from Queen’s, Deputy Director of ARK, said: “These findings are being published as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science 2008, a week of public events taking place throughout the UK to display the breadth of social science research. This is the only ESRC Festival event to take place in Northern Ireland, and it fits well with the ARK Project’s outreach work. The research report will be published in English, Polish, Lithuanian, Cantonese and Portuguese to make them as accessible as possible to the migrant population.”
Full results of all the questions from the 2006 Life and Times Survey are available on the website on www.ark.ac.uk/nilt as is the Migration and Migrant Workers in Northern Ireland report, at www.ark.ac.uk/publications.
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320, +44 (0)7814 415451
Queen’s University School of Law will host the first ever northern final of the Denny All-Ireland Schools Debating Competition on Monday 10 March.
Students from schools across Northern Ireland will exercise their vocal chords in Queen’s Great Hall as they battle it out for a place in the all-Ireland final later this year.
Professor Colin Harvey, Head of the School of Law, said: “The students who enter this competition are all skilled public speakers. They have an excellent ability to analyse, understand and communicate complex ideas. These skills are valuable in many walks of life, not least the legal profession.
“Queen’s School of Law is keen to encourage debating amongst its current and prospective students. On behalf of the School of Law, I am delighted to welcome all these young people here today, and I wish them luck in the competition. I hope that they will gain a great sense of achievement, confidence and, most importantly, enjoyment from taking part.”
This is the first time the Denny All-Ireland Schools Debating Competition has been brought to Northern Ireland by competition organisers, the Literary and Historical Society in University College Dublin and the College Historical Society in Trinity College, Dublin.
For more information on the competition please contact Queen’s School of Law on 028 9097 3451.
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320,
Queen’s Centre for Vision Science (CVS) has been boosted by grants of over £500,000 from three charities to investigate the two leading causes of blindness in the UK.
Recognised as a centre of excellence for ophthalmic research, its researchers, led by director Professor Alan Stitt, will carry out studies of sight-threatening conditions affecting diabetics and the elderly over the next three years. The team, part of the School of Biomedical Sciences, is based in the Royal Victoria Hospital.
The largest grant has come from the New-York based Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which has awarded Professor Stitt over £250,000 for research into diabetic retinopathy - a disease that causes about 40 per cent of new adult blindness in the UK. After 20 years, almost everyone with type 1 diabetes will develop some form of retinopathy.
Sight can be saved by laser therapy if the condition is detected early enough, but the cost of treating just one person is around £237,000. Professor Stitt and his team will investigate the nature of chemical modifications in the retina and their role in the condition. They will study the effects that oxygen deficiency and high blood glucose can have on the build up of glucose residue in blood vessels in the retina.
Professor Stitt has also been awarded two other grants to research into age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the leading cause of sight loss in people over 50 in the western world. Around two million people in UK are affected, with numbers set to rise dramatically as our population ages.
Over £170,000 has been granted by the charity Action Medical Research to try to find important information about the molecular and cellular processes that damage the retina, and cause vision loss in AMD.
The charity Fight for Sight has given over £90,000 for the team to understand the role of chemical modifications and the way they interact with a receptor in causing the condition. It is thought that the receptor for AGEs, known as RAGE, may be responsible for inflammation in the retina and, in particular, within cells known as the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). These interactions could predispose the patient to AMD.
Prof Stitt, who is internationally renowned for his work, said: “We are delighted with these very prestigious awards.
“Queen’s is a centre of excellence for ophthalmic research in the UK, especially in the study of diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.
“These grants reflect our international standing and I am convinced that they will make a telling contribution as we seek to understand the underlying causes of major retinal diseases and, importantly, develop new, effective therapeutic interventions”.
More information about the work of the CVS can be found at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforVisionSciences/
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Queen’s Camerata orchestra will be joined by Ruth Bebb from the Ulster Orchestra as she swaps her viola for a violin to perform in a lunchtime recital at Queen’s School of Music on Monday 10 March.
The public recital will include performances of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and a rare Vivaldi concerto for two oboes and clarinets, and will be conducted by Colin Stark, Director of Queen’s Camerata.
The performance will begin at 1.10pm in the Harty Room at the School of Music and admission is free.
A second recital on 28 April will feature Bartok Rumanian Dances, a new commission from Queen's graduate Marc Tweedie and Mozart's Symphony No.28
Queen’s Camerata is a flexible chamber orchestra whose auditioned membership is drawn from throughout the University and the local community.
These performances are the latest in a series of collaborations between Queen’s School of Music and the Ulster Orchestra. For more information on the lunchtime recitals please contact Queen’s School of Music on 028 9097 5337 or visit www.mu.qub.ac.uk
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Eighteen Iraqi MPs are in Northern Ireland to look at how peace-building lessons learnt here can be applied in Iraq.
The politicians’ visit has been organised by the Institute of Governance at Queen’s University and Stratagem, on behalf of the United Nations Office for Project Services.
All the MPs are members of the Iraqi Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee.
The group is meeting the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and has also met with Junior Minister, The Rt Hon Jeffrey Donaldson MP, MLA; the British Council; representatives from the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland and the Human Rights Commission.
Today the group visited Drumcree to meet members of the Orange Order and Garvaghy Road residents, and last night they were guests of Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay, at a dinner in Parliament Buildings.
The group is due to meet with the Police Ombudsman, representatives from the NI Policing Board, PSNI, NICVA, the Independent Monitoring Commission and the Parades Commission.
Also on the itinerary are Belfast’s Islamic Centre and a tour of North Belfast, where they will have a discussion at NICVA with community representatives.
The group hopes to learn from those who took part in the negotiations that led to the resolution of the conflict in Northern Ireland and those who are now administering power sharing.
On Monday, the group received a briefing on Conflict, Agreement and Challenges, by leading academics from Queen’s and University of Ulster.
Professor Ken Brown, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s, who welcomed the delegation to the University, said: “Queen’s academics have considerable experience in conflict transformation and the challenges of peace building.
“Queen’s is a place where such issues can be studied and explored and I welcome the Iraqi parliamentarians on their visit to do just that. It is important the University continues to share its expertise internationally.”
Professor Colin Harvey, Head of the School of Law, at Queen’s added: “I welcome this significant initiative. Staff in the School of Law have developed particular specialisms in the areas of human rights, criminology, and governance issues in processes of peace-building.
“This programme provides the basis for dialogue about the challenges facing societies during and after conflict. This is a timely and welcome opportunity to address the lessons learned from Northern Ireland and how those lessons might be used to assist others.”
On their return to Iraq it is envisaged members of the delegation will take part in a series of roundtable discussions, combined with visits to neighbouring countries, in order to use the lessons learnt from their visit to Northern Ireland.
Quintin Oliver from Stratagem, said: “While we hope Northern Ireland’s troubled times are behind us, the conflict in Iraq is still ongoing. This should intensify our commitment in Northern Ireland to offer what information and advice we can about what we have learned. The Iraqi delegation is hungry to learn and everyone they meet is eager to share. Together we can make progress.”
Further information on the Institute of Governance at Queen’s can be found at http://www.governance.qub.ac.uk/
Media inquires to Lisa Mitchell, Senior Press Officer, on + 44 (0)28 9097 5384 or M +44(0)781 44 22 572.
In the week which celebrates women’s achievements worldwide, Queen’s University’s women are taking the lead in a range of international initiatives from Brussels to Rome to Belfast.
On Friday 7 March, the eve of International Women’s Day, MLA Carmel Hanna will visit Queen’s to launch a new book by Dr Yvonne Galligan, Director of Queen’s Centre for the Advancement of Women in Politics
‘Gender Politics and Democracy in post-socialist Europe’, co-authored with Queen’s Research Fellow Sara Clavero and Professor Marina Calloni of the University of Milano-Bicocca, is the first book to compare gender politics across the 10 post-communist states of Europe. Based on studies by researchers in 12 different countries, the book examines how gender interacts with new democratic institutions and practices in post-communist states.
Ms Hanna said: “Politics is often seen as a man’s world, and this book shows how quickly new democracies can exclude women. Yet, a strong democracy thrives on the combined talents of women and men. It is interesting to see that in these post-communist, and quite conservative, countries, the voters still elect more women to their parliaments than we do in Northern Ireland.”
The book launch follows Dr Galligan’s visit to Brussels on Wednesday when she will recommend to members of the European Parliament that European election campaigns should make more of an effort to appeal to female voters. Her recommendations are based on research of the effects of gender on voting turn-out in the 2004 European elections.
Meanwhile, Newry-born artist Michelle Rogers, who painted ‘Women Emerging from the Shadows’, the 16 ft by 6 ft painting on display in the University’s Council Chamber, will speak about the work at a major conference in Rome.
Michelle, who won the University’s international art competition to celebrate the achievements of women at Queen’s, will take part in the ‘Europe Women Plurale’ event at the House of Literature in the Italian capital.
She will also exhibit the preliminary artwork she submitted for the £20,000 art commission – the brainchild of the award-winning Queen’s Gender Initiative.
Set up in 2000, Queen's Gender Initiative has attracted international attention as a role model for other universities and institutions. It has produced a stream of tangible results ranging from the establishment of a central maternity fund and enhanced childcare provision to the introduction of flexible working for clerical staff and of a mentoring scheme for academic women.
QGI Director Professor Margaret Mullett said: “We have never celebrated International Women’s Day quite so comprehensively before. And we will also mark the occasion within Queen’s next week at the unveiling of a portrait of Professor Emerita Elizabeth Meehan, former Director of the University’s Institute of Governance, and a networking event for women professors and their younger colleagues.”
Media enquiries to Anne Langford, Press and PR Unit on + 44 (0) 28 9097 5310 or email email@example.com
Hollywood actors Simon Callow and Alfie Allen will take centre stage at Queen’s University this week (Tuesday 4 March) as they deliver an acting masterclass to students.
Budding actors undertaking the Drama Studies degree at Queen’s, and some local A-level students, will take to the stage alongside the well-known stars to discuss the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of professional acting.
Simon Callow said: “As a former Queen’s student, and an honorary graduate of the University, I am delighted to be back here to share some of my experiences with these promising young performers.
“For the last ten years, Queen’s has successfully prepared students for careers in theatre and the performing arts. I am sure that many of the students here today will go on to grace stages and screens around the world.”
Jonathan Harden was one of the first graduates from Queen’s BA Drama course, and is now a drama lecturer at the University. Jonathan said: “I am delighted to welcome Simon Callow and Alfie Allen to Queen’s. This masterclass will give our students a unique insight into what it’s like to be a professional actor. It will allow them to discuss acting techniques with one of the UK’s most experienced classically trained actors, and one of Britain’s most promising new acting talents.
“I also welcome the A-level drama students from Portora Royal School, Collegiate Grammar School and Mount Lourdes Grammar School in Enniskillen. As well as picking up valuable tips from two of the best actors in the business, I hope they will get a taste of the Queen’s experience. They will be able to look around our top-class facilities, meet some of our staff and chat with current students. This is a great opportunity for them to find out what it is like to study drama at Queen’s. Hopefully, we can welcome some of them back as students in the near future.”
Simon Callow, an honorary graduate of Queen’s, has been a star of the stage and screen for many years. His roles in films including Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shakespeare in Love, and his many critically acclaimed stage performances, have earned him a reputation as one of the UK’s greatest living actors. Alfie Allen is one of Britain’s fastest rising acting stars. Most recently seen in Atonement, he is also known as the brother of pop star Lily Allen. The pair are currently starring together in Equus at the Grand Opera House.
Professor David Johnston, Head of the School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts at Queen’s said: “I would like to thank Simon Callow, who is patron of Drama Studies at Queen’s, and Alfie Allen for giving our students this rare and valuable insight into acting at the highest professional level.
“We are about to celebrate ten years of Drama Studies at Queen’s, and will mark this next week with a lecture by Anna McMullan, who is Queen’s first Chair in Drama. We will also welcome multi-award winning theatre director, Laurence Boswell, who has seen massive success with shows like Ben Elton's Popcorn.”
For more information on Drama Studies at Queen’s visit the School of Languages, Literatures and Performing Arts pages on the Queen’s website at www.qub.ac.uk, telephone 028 9097 5231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320, +44 (0)7814 415451 email@example.com.
Queen's University has been chosen as one of the training camps for Olympic athletes competing in the London Games in 2012.
Details of the University’s sporting facilities have been included in the official Pre-Games Training Camp Guide for the 2012 Olympics.
The Guide contains details of high quality, elite sporting facilities, suitable for international teams wishing to prepare and acclimatize for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Queen’s Sport has been selected as a training venue for the Olympic sports of hockey, judo, table tennis and taekwondo.
The Guide will be circulated to all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) at the Beijing Games in August.
Maureen Cusdin, Director of Queen’s Sport, said: “Queen’s Sport has achieved its vision of delivering locally but thinking globally.
“On opening our new £7 million centre at Queen’s PEC, Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes declared it a world-class facility.
“Today’s announcement from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games is further endorsement of our facilities, including our new High Performance and Lifestyle Centre. This accolade provides tremendous opportunities for building new international networks and linking with academic schools to promote research, language and other joint sport-related initiatives.”
The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is able to offer a financial award of up to £25,000 to NOCs/NPCs to help encourage teams to base themselves in the UK.
Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee, commented: “We said that we wanted the London Games to be for athletes, and the facilities listed in this Guide will really help overseas athletes prepare well. It also provides a great opportunity for towns throughout the UK to get involved in our plans.
"The process we have been through shows a great spread of high quality facilities throughout the UK that can be used by elite level athletes. The new website will continue to be an asset to keep an up-to-date log of the elite facilities we have across the UK.”
Facilities listed in the Guide range from well known major sporting hubs, universities and independent schools to sport specific clubs.
They were assessed against strict technical criteria such as the ability to offer high quality sports amenities, experience of hosting elite teams, comfortable but affordable accommodation, the ability to offer appropriate catering, good transport links, access to a good hospital, and good sports science provision.
Further information on Queen’s Sport can be found at http://www.qub.ac.uk/sport/
For further information please contact the London Organising Committee Press Office on 0203 2012 100.
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