03-2009 Press Releases
31/03/2009: Summer-born children face problems at school
30/03/2009: Blackbirds to nest at the Naughton Gallery
30/03/2009: 'Timely' addition to Queen's 5K on Wednesday
27/03/2009: Local companies must 'create waves' to achieve economic growth
27/03/2009: G20 summit at Queen's University
27/03/2009: Religion and violence discussed at Queen's
27/03/2009: Crabs' memory of pain confirmed by Queen's academic
26/03/2009: Local education issues on lunchtime menu at Queen's
26/03/2009: New Assembly scheme 'first of its kind'
25/03/2009: Queen's astronomers watch Earth-bound asteroid
25/03/2009: Queen's scientists find new way to battle superbugs
25/03/2009: Study links co-ordination difficulties with social disadvantage
24/03/2009: New cancer research centre will lead to improved treatments
23/03/2009: World-class construction skills critical to local economy
23/03/2009: Top UN official offers insight into Gaza
20/03/2209: Queen's Rowing face Cambridge this weekend
20/03/2009: Queen's scientists discover giant solar twists
18/03/2009: Queen's students "key to world-class future" - Gregson
13/03/2009: £2million laboratory gift will help tackle Alzheimer's
13/03/2009: News In Brief
12/03/2009: Report highlights discrimination against older people
11/03/2009: Local innovation gains national recognition
10/03/2009: British University success for 8Ball Pool Team
10/03/2009: Asidua IT scholarships awarded
10/03/2009: Queen's researchers offer free fruit and veg
09/03/2009: 'Big Bang' expert returns to Queen's
09/03/2009: Students to debate public health issues of tomorrow
06/03/2009: News In Brief
05/03/2009: Leading women in the picture at Queen's
04/03/2009: Queen's students to benefit from £2.5million in national awards
04/03/2009: Photo contest focuses on Queen's
03/03/2009: Queen's student gives twitterers 'new voice'
02/03/2009: Flavour of Psychology from Big Brother expert
BT7 1NN T
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Counting down to Queen's Race Round the River
Professor Erkko Autio
A hermit crab
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Simulated image looking from behind asteroid 2008
MRSA Biofilm with imidazolium ionic liquid structure superimpsed, from Chemical Science (RSC)
Northern Ireland's first Cancer Research UK Centre, which aims to be a world leader in developing new treatments with fewer side effects for cancer patients, has been launched at Queen's University.The Centre will focus on treating bowel, oesophagus and breast cancer by pioneering the latest techniques in radiotherapy, improving cancer diagnosis and developing new, more effective drugs.Based at Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, it’s only the third of its kind to open in the UK.It will draw together world class research and areas of medical expertise to provide the best possible results for cancer patients nationwide.The Belfast centre will collaborate with the others to identify new targets for cancer drugs, to understand how genes can help predict which treatment will be most effective and to develop specific new treatments with fewer side effects. It aims to develop treatments tailored to individual cancer patients based on understanding the biology of the disease and how that varies among patients. Cancer Research UK already supports research in Northern Ireland and is seeking to spend £2.5m a year to help develop the Centre.It brings together researchers and support from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care Research and Development Office, Cancer Research UK and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Professor Peter Gregson said: “We are delighted that a Cancer Research UK Centre has opened at Queen’s University, recognising the world-class research being carried out by our academics.“We hope to play a major role in developing cutting edge treatments to improve the prospects for cancer patients both here and across the world.” Professor Patrick Johnston, Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s University and Chair of the board of the new centre, said: “This is a very exciting development for cancer care and cancer research in Northern Ireland. It will add greatly to the options available for cancer patients and is recognition of the quality of cancer care and cancer research already taking place at Queen’s University Belfast and the Belfast Trust.”Allister Murphy, 52, has first hand experience of taking part in cancer research after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in February 2008. Following a routine visit to his GP, a biopsy, MRI and bone scan confirmed that the cancer had spread to his spine, ribs and pelvis. Hormone treatment was recommended. Dr Joe O’Sullivan is the lead for clinical research in prostate cancer at the new centre. Allister has taken part in trials to research an improved, more tailored treatment for advanced prostate cancer. Allister said: “Taking part in this clinical trial means that while my present medication is working, Dr O’Sullivan and his team are investigating whether a combination of drugs in addition to hormone treatment would be more effective and this gives hope for the future – not just for me, but others.”The IT consultant is proud that he has had no days off work in the last 34 years and that he has been able to maintain a very positive attitude to his illness. Although still receiving treatment, Allister is living life to the full and is currently in training for the Belfast Marathon. Professor Dennis McCance, director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen's University and a member the Centre's board, said: "This exciting new initiative will bolster our efforts to bring together a variety of researchers and clinicians to collaborate and work together to improve the lives of cancer patients across Northern Ireland. By building closer links between scientists and doctors we want to increase the pace of research, leading to improved treatments for patients."Northern Ireland is the third link in this exciting chain of cancer centres. We should rightly be proud of the part we’re playing in moving the latest scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside. We’ll be focusing our efforts on better diagnosis and developing new personalised treatments for patients which will include better and more effective drugs and improving radiotherapy."Professor Bernie Hannigan, Director of Research and Development for Health and Social Care, Northern Ireland said: “Cancer research must be of the highest quality if it is to lead to better diagnosis, treatment and care of patients and to the prevention of cancer. Quality is achieved only when very costly resources are available to excellent clinicians and researchers.“As a significant, long-term funder of cancer research in Belfast we are delighted with the establishment of the Cancer Research UK Centre. We look forward to great achievements as we work together for the benefit of Northern Ireland’s people.”Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "Funding these centres of excellence is one of the charity's priorities and will enable us to work towards the goals we have set to improve the treatment and survival of cancer patients. But we continue to welcome the generous donations we receive from the public to ensure we can continue to build on what we have started today."Cancer Research UK plans to launch more centres around the UK during 2009. For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. 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Lukummon Oyeldele, Course Director; David Cleland, Head of School; Peter Goodacre, RICS President; and John Davidson, RICS NI Chairman.
John Ging and George Mitchell
Queen's new rowing coach Mark Fangen Hall
Queen's honours scholarship winners
Queen's students have a key role to play in ensuring a "world-class future" for the University, Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson has said.Speaking ahead of a special ceremony to honour the first winners of the University's prestigious new scholarships programme, Professor Gregson said: "Queen’s has a responsibility not only to its current and future students but to society as a whole. “One of the most meaningful ways in which we can meet this responsibility is by attracting top-quality students. Our scholarships programme helps us to do this. It rewards exceptional performance and it helps us to ensure that a first-class academic experience is available to all eligible students." The scholarships package represents an investment of more than £200,000 by the University and includes awards of £1,000 for students gaining three As at A-level and enrolling on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects at Queen’s. It also offers awards across all Queen’s subject areas and Gold Medal Scholarships of £7,500 for the best A-level student entering each of the University’s three Faculties.Among the award-winning guests at Wednesday’s event will be medical student Kevin Cassidy from Fintona in Co. Tyrone, the top A-level entrant to Queen’s in 2008. A former pupil of Christian Brothers Grammar School in Omagh, Kevin won the Gold Medal Award for the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences, and the Sullivan, David Russell Lappin and Megaw Entrance Scholarships.The scheme has been welcomed by Employment and Learning Minister Sir Reg Empey. He said: "If our economy is to survive and prosper, we need highly-qualified graduates in the key areas of science, technology, engineering and maths. It is crucial that we continue to produce graduates with the right blend of know-how, expertise and innovation to ensure our future economic prosperity. If we don’t have that, then our economic outlook could be even bleaker than it is today.”I must commend Professor Gregson and Queen’s for their vision and commitment. This is a truly unique initiative and one which must be welcomed. It is evidence of the impact which higher education plays in our economy, both in terms of producing suitably qualified graduates, and as institutions in their own right."Professor Gregson added: "The STEM awards reward top entrance students in subjects essential for Northern Ireland’s economic growth. But Northern Ireland and the wider community also need those who will lead society through the professions, through contributing to culture and enhancing our understanding of the world in which we live. That is why our scholarships scheme includes Gold Medal and Entrance awards for students in all disciplines.“As Queen’s enters its second century as a university, we are looking towards a future in which our presence will be felt even more strongly on the world stage. “We aim to nurture a dynamic community of outstanding academics and students with the ability and imagination to match the best in the world. Our students are the leaders of tomorrow and our scholarships scheme is not only an investment in their futures but in the future of the University and of Northern Ireland." For media enquiries please contact: Anne Langford, Corporate Affairs, +44 (0)28 9097 5310, Mob: 07815 871 997, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr John King who will open laboratories named after him today (Friday)
Queen's opens £2 million pharmacy laboratory
A state-of-the-art pharmacy laboratory aimed at discovering new drugs for diseases including Alzheimer's will officially open today (Friday) at Queen's University thanks to a £2 million donation by former chief executive of Warner Chilcott Dr John King.
The John A. King Medicinal Chemistry Research Laboratories at the School of Pharmacy, on the University’s health sciences campus, have been funded by Dr King, who began his career in medicinal chemistry research as a lecturer at Queen’s in the 1970s after graduating with first class honours and PhD degrees in pharmacy from the University.
Head of the School of Pharmacy at Queen's Professor David Woolfson said the donation had also funded opportunities for young researchers to be trained to doctoral level.
He continued: “With this generous gift, the School is establishing an international team of leading researchers in the vital area of drug discovery.
“The new facility will make a key contribution to our research programmes in the fundamental aspects of drug target identification and drug discovery.
“It represents the latest phase in the growth of a dynamic School that is now one of the leading academic centres for pharmaceutical science research in the UK and Ireland.”
Dr King has enjoyed remarkable success in the pharmaceutical industry and in 2004 he led the sale of Warner Chilcott to private equity partners for £1.6 billion. He retired from his position as executive chairman in 2005 and is now non-executive director of the company.
Dr King said: “As a former student, former lecturer and honorary graduate of Queen’s, I have a long-standing relationship with the University, and I am delighted to give support to the development of medicinal chemistry within the School of Pharmacy.
“I am pleased to support cutting-edge research into important areas including drug discovery for age-related diseases. I hope these facilities will further enhance the reputation of Queen’s pharmacy as a world-class research institute.”
A multi-national team has been recruited to work in the new lab including Dr Andrea Guiotto, who joined the School of Pharmacy from Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry of the Italian National Research Council and Dr Michael Decker, who moved to the School from Harvard Medical School in the USA and Jena University, Germany.
Dr Decker said that the ultimate aim of their research was to find novel compounds to help in the treatment and diagnosis of dementias.
He added: "Andrea Guiotto and I will be focusing on the discovery of new drug treatments for age-related diseases, including those that impair memory, for example, devastating conditions such as Alzheimer's.
“We are following a number of exciting lead compounds derived from both synthetic and natural sources. Our aim is to establish a Centre of Excellence for medicinal chemistry research into neurodegenerative diseases in the School of Pharmacy at Queen's.”
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Queen's University student Cliona Hagan has reached the final of the All-Ireland Talent Show on RTE
A Queen's University music student has sung a step closer to winning 50,000 euro after gaining a place in RTÉ’s All-Ireland Talent Show final.
Cliona Hagan, from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, (19), wowed the judges with her rendition of Ave Maria during the semi-final of the competition on Sunday [March 8].
The opera singer secured joint-top marks from the judges and went on to earn the most public telephone votes. She stormed straight through to become one of the final contestants.
The public will decide who is crowned winner of the show by voting during the live final which is being screened on Sunday March 15 at 6.30pm on RTÉ One.
Culture, comedy and craic in students' St Patrick's Day Festival
Top Northern Ireland comedian Kevin McAleer is to headline at the 4th Universities St Patrick's Day Festival, which will run from 15 to 17 March.
The Festival, jointly hosted by Queen's University and the University of Ulster, features a wide-ranging programme of music, sports, film, visual art and spiritual events, as well as - for the first time - an Ulster-Scots concert.
Devised and directed by students at both universities, the three-day programme aims to celebrate the life of St Patrick and to bring together students and the community in south Belfast.
Programme details are available online at www.stpatricksfestivalbelfast.org
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320,
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A report from the Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP) reveals that Northern Ireland is out of line with other countries in terms of laws protecting older people.
Northern Ireland does not have a law to protect older people against discrimination when they are accessing goods, facilities and services.
The research, by Ms Lisa Glennon and Professor Brice Dickson from the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast, recommends that the law should be amended to operate in a similar way to laws regarding discrimination on the basis of gender or race. As it stands, the absence of legal protection for older people who are discriminated against on the basis of their age means they are not entitled to make a claim in a county court, access legal aid (if financially eligible), or demand compensation.
The report suggests that, in the field of health and social care, exceptions should be based only on clinical and welfare need, not age. For example, a decision on whether to provide a patient with medical treatment should not be based on the patient’s age, but on whether their health is good enough to withstand the treatment.
Similarly, with regard to insurance, exceptions should be based on facts or statistical evidence which are publicly available. For example, the cost of motor insurance should not go up just because the applicant is of a certain age. Rather, it should depend on whether there is hard evidence to show that people of that age are more accident prone.
Brice Dickson, Director of the Human Rights Centre at the School of Law at Queen’s, said: "We recommend that the law of Northern Ireland should be reformed in a way that makes it fairer and more respectful of older people’s right to be treated with dignity. Any exceptions allowing discrimination against older people will have to be very specifically worded and fully justified."
Lisa Glennon from the School of Law added: "We also recommend that exceptions should be made to permit discrimination in favour of older people whenever these are based on clearly identified goals which will benefit society as a whole. We want to maintain the lawfulness of the preferential treatment which both younger and older people receive in certain areas, such as concessionary entrance rates and free bus passes."
Bill Carson, Chair of Age Sector Platform, welcomed the launch of the research, commenting: "Our members have stated loud and clear that continuing age discrimination in 2009 is unacceptable. They have outlined the barriers they face in trying to get affordable car or travel insurance or access to health and social care that meets their needs.
“We urge the Northern Ireland Assembly to consider these research findings and to establish equality legislation which features protection for older people in Northern Ireland as an immediate action. Older people can no longer be treated like second class citizens."
Lisa Glennon and Professor Brice Dickson will present further findings and recommendations from the research at the Institute of Governance, Queen’s University on Thursday 12 March at 1.30pm.
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320,
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At the KTP awards ceremony in London (left-right) Lorraine Marks, of Queen's, Jim Kirkpatrick, from Macrete Ireland Ltd, Su Taylor, from Queen's, Lord Paul and Ken Frame, from AEA Momenta.
Queen's University Belfast is celebrating a year of outstanding achievement in innovation after winning two prestigious national awards.
Queen's partnership with Northern Ireland-based business Macrete Ireland Ltd has been awarded a UK-wide prize for engineering excellence at the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) awards in London last week.
The partnership was also named as Northern Ireland Regional winner at the event.
The successful collaboration between Queen's and Macrete has led to the development of an innovative ‘flat pack’ concrete arch system to ensure a structurally efficient bridge system. The FlexiArch System has given Macrete a major advantage in the market and the partnership has already attracted market interest from throughout Europe, the United States, India and Bangladesh.
The two-year project, part funded by Invest NI, was carried out with Macrete by KTP Associate Abhey Gupta under the supervision of Su Taylor and Professor Emeritus Adrian Long of the University’s School of Planning, Architecture and Civil Engineering.
Dr Taylor said: “I am delighted that our Knowledge Transfer Partnership has been awarded such a prestigious award. It is especially rewarding to have our work recognised so publically and we will continue to collaborate with Macrete on other projects.”
The KTP awards recognised the most successful partnerships fostered through the Technology Strategy Board’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme which supports innovation-led, three-way partnerships between business, academic institutions and graduate associates.
The award winners were congratulated by Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board; Lord Paul, Chancellor of the Universities of Westminster and Wolverhampton; Graham Spittle, Chairman of the Technology Strategy Board and IBM’s Vice President of Software for UK, Ireland and South Africa.
Commenting at the awards ceremony Graham Spittle said: “This event has provided a welcome indication that the UK economy is equipped to meet the challenging demands of a tough economic climate and increasing global competition.
“The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a great success and will continue to grow as businesses increasingly recognise the value of tapping into the skills and knowledge that exist within the UK’s academic institutions. Businesses and universities need to continue to work together to ensure that innovation blossoms throughout the UK and secures our economic future.”
For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 2576,
(l-r): Chris Canning, Paul McKay, Emmet McGuire (c), Gareth Quinn, Aedan McCotter
Five years after their first victory, Queen's Pool Team has regained the British intervarsity title at the UPC/BUCS Championships held recently in Great Yarmouth.
More than 80 teams from 34 institutions participated in the annual event, a total of over 400 students from all parts of the UK.
Following round-robin groups, Queen's edged out St Andrew's, on a play-off, in the last 16. The team then easily disposed of old rivals Essex in the quarter-finals, to set up a head-to-head against Oxford in the penultimate round.
After a titanic struggle, Queen's qualified for the final against previous winners Durham.
Queen's eventually ran out winners with a convincing 6-3 victor to lift the trophy.
The winning team was: Emmet McGuire (c), Paul McKay (earning his second gold medal), Gareth Quinn, Chris Canning and Aedan McCotter.
The Snooker and Pool Club is hoping for a unique double when its snooker team goes for a hat-trick of British titles at Leeds in the coming weeks.
Niall McAllister and Andrew Ruddell with Dr Phil Hanna, Nicola Shaw and Angela Canavan, Asidua and Dr Pat Corr.
Two Queen's University students have been awarded a scholarship with leading Belfast IT services company Asidua as it continues to invest in Northern Ireland’s future.
The £25,000 Asidua scholarship programme, which was launched in November 2008 in co-operation with Queens University and the University of Ulster, aims to attract fresh talent into the growing Northern Ireland IT sector.
At a recent award ceremony, held at Asidua head offices in Belfast, three students from Queen’s and UU were awarded scholarships, including Niall McAllister & Andrew Ruddell from Queen’s and Sean Carlin from UU.
Welcoming the three new scholars to Asidua, Chief Operations Officer Angela Canavan said, “As a recognised Employer of Choice, Asidua are proud to invest in the future economic success of Northern Ireland through our dedicated scholarship programme aimed at students from local universities. As such we are delighted to welcome Niall, Andrew and Sean to Asidua and look forward to working with them in the coming months”
The scholarship scheme, which is open to local IT and software engineering university students, provides scholars with a generous annual bursary and also a permanent position with Asidua on graduation.
Speaking during the event, scholarship award winner Andrew Ruddell said: “I am very thankful for the Asidua scholarship and I am looking forward to working with Asidua in the summer and beyond.” A view shared by fellow award winner Niall McAllister: “This opportunity from Asidua provides me with a great chance to further my knowledge in the computing sector.”
Both local universities, who were also in attendance, went on to extend their congratulations to Asidua and the scholarship winners.
Dr Patrick Corr from Queen’s School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science said: "Queen's is delighted that Asidua has selected both Niall and Andrew to receive these prestigious, and lucrative, scholarships. In these troubled economic times, these scholarships send out a strong message that as an innovative and forward looking IT company, Asidua is nurturing and investing in talent for the future."
Claire McEvoy, study dietician, Dr Michelle McKinley, study lead investigator and Dr Ian Wallace, study doctor from Queen's University Belfast
Researchers at Queen's are offering volunteers the chance to have free fruit and vegetables delivered straight to their doorstep.
The university, working in collaboration with physicians from the Regional Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Royal Victoria Hospital, has been awarded a contract of £910,000 by The Food Standards Agency to carry out much needed research on diet and risk of heart disease and diabetes.
As part of the study, free fruit and vegetables will be delivered to volunteers to examine the link between eating fruit and vegetables and insulin action in the body.
Previous research has shown that when the body doesn’t respond well to insulin (insulin resistance) there is an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
There is some evidence that a high intake of fruit and vegetables can reduce insulin resistance, so the Fruit, vegetable and Insulin Resistance Study (FIRST) wants to recruit volunteers who are healthy and normally eat less than two portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
Volunteers who meet the criteria to be included in the study will be asked to consume between two and seven portions of fruit and vegetables every day for 12 weeks.
The volunteers will then have a number of tests performed at the Royal Victoria Hospital assessing their bone health, blood pressure, insulin resistance, eye health and a number of vitamin levels in the blood.
Dr Michelle McKinley, lecturer in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science at Queen’s and lead investigator on the study, said: “Heart disease and strokes cause more deaths in Northern Ireland than any other illness. To our knowledge, this study at Queen’s is one of the few studies in the world that will examine the potential health benefits of fruit and vegetables in such a comprehensive way. The results of this research will be important for members of the public as well as health professionals and policy makers.
“We are delighted to have received the funding for this study. It adds to the portfolio of fruit and vegetable studies that are already underway within the Nutrition and Metabolism group at the University.”
The information gathered from the study will be used by health professionals to provide messages about healthy diet and lifestyle practices.
Dr Ian Wallace, Study Doctor said: "As part of our study, we offer participants dietary advice as well as the assessment of risk for diabetes and heart disease, blood pressure, body fat composition, bone health and eye health. This is an opportunity for anyone who is interested in improving their health to have a whole body MOT."
Claire McEvoy, Study Dietician said: “We are really looking forward to getting this project underway. This research will help us to understand exactly how fruit and vegetables may reduce people's risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. “
For further information on the study contact Claire McEvoy or Ian Wallace, Nutrition and Metabolism group, Queen’s University Belfast on (028) 9063 2557, 07967 237 802, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 2576,
Dr Stephen Myers, Queen's graduate and Director for Accelerators and for Technology at CERN
A Belfast-born doctor will give the public an insight into the world’s most ambitious scientific experiment, the ‘new big bang’, at the University on Wednesday.
As part of a public lecture for National Science Week, Dr Stephen Myers, a Queen’s graduate, will discuss his work on the most powerful and costly physics experiment ever built, known as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Described as the equivalent of a moon-landing for physicists, the experiment aimed to re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang in an attempt to answer fundamental questions of science and the universe itself.
The Collider was built by The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Dr Myers is their Director for Accelerators and Technology.
The project received a vast amount of global interest. In his lecture Dr Myers will discuss the media coverage of the black hole production in the LHC and how antimatter is created in a very small accelerator at (CERN).
He will also talk discuss how the possible use of such antimatter is described in Dan Brown’s best-selling book Angels and Demons, the film of which is being released later this year.
Professor Robert McCullough from Queen’s University Centre for Plasma Physics said: “We are delighted to be hosting a lecture on the LHC.
“The LHC will create conditions that we believe existed less than a million millionth of a second after the Big Bang and will be able to detect the presence of the so called ‘dark matter’ that makes up more than 80 per cent of the mass of the Universe.
“The LHC experiments will also help to explain why antimatter created at the time of the Big Bang can no longer be found under normal conditions.”
The public lecture The Large Hadron Collider, CERN, Antimatter, Black Holes, Angels and Demons will take place at The Larmor Lecture Theatre, Queens University, on Wednesday March 11 at 7.00pm. All are welcome and admission is free. For access or any other queries please contact Wendy Rutherford on 028 9097 3523 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 2576, email@example.com
Professor Frank Kee, Gillian Kane, Belfast High School, Conn McGrath, Aquinas Grammar School, and MLA Basil McCrea.
Local politicians and young people will discuss the future health of people in Northern Ireland tomorrow (Tuesday) an event in W5.
Organised by Queen's University and W5 as part of a UK-wide ESRC Festival of Social Science, A-level and AS-level students from seven local schools will take part in a special debate with the motion Do we need a nanny state or a mother nation?
Community representatives, health professionals and politicians including the Ulster Unionist Basil McCrea and Sinn Fein’s Barry McElduff will take part in the debate which will focus on the topical issues of alcohol, food choices and weight management.
It is being introduced by the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride and is designed to raise public awareness of the role of the government in promoting public health.
The event at W5 is being hosted in partnership with the UK Clinical Research Collaboration Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI), which is based at Queen’s University, and is aimed at leading significant improvements in the wellbeing and health of the UK population
In order to provide the pupils with background information and develop their thoughts and questions for the debate, representatives from Centre of Excellence for Public Health, visited the students at their schools. The visits also provided an opportunity for students to discuss career opportunities in science, medicine and public health.
Professor Frank Kee, Director of the Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI), said: “One of the key objectives of our Centre of Excellence is to engage directly with the public and to promote an understanding of the broad determinants of public health.
“This topical debate with young people will help them see more clearly the forces shaping their own and their communities’ health and it is their generation’s opinions which will shape the solutions of the future.”
The event is part of the ESRC’s Festival of Social Science, taking place across the UK during National Science and Engineering Week from 6 - 15 March.
Dr Sally Montgomery, Chief Executive of W5, added: “It is very important that young people in Northern Ireland consider public health issues. These are topics that impact on both an individual and society and debating the issues with young people can actually help us shape future policy. We would very much like to thank the ESRC for being such enthusiastic partners for this unique event.”
For media enquiries please contact: Andrea Clements, Press and PR Unit, +44 (0)28 90 97 5391, Mob 07980 013 362, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday 8 March: Cliona on song for semi-final
A Queen’s University music student is to compete in the live semi-final of RTÉ’s All-Ireland Talent Show.
Cliona Hagan, 19, from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, will represent Northern Ireland along with four other contenders.
Her appearance will be televised on RTÉ One at 6.30pm. After the performances the public can vote for their favourite contestant to represent Northern Ireland at the live final.
During the live final the public will decide the winner of the All Ireland talent show and the €50,000 prize.
Monday 9 March to Friday 13 March: Queen’s University goes red to support Comic Relief
Anyone passing Queen’s University’s will be seeing red next week as it joins in Comic Relief fun.
Red filters will be used on the landmark Lanyon Building’s floodlights to turn it red each evening in the run-up to Comic Relief Day on Friday 13 March in support of the charity.
The Lanyon will be one of several buildings in Belfast being lit up as part of the charity’s appeal to ‘Paint the Town Red’. The initiative is supporting the charity which has this year asked people to ‘Do Something Funny for Money’.
Monday 9 March: Fashion saves lives at Queen’s
The annual SWOT Fashion Show will take place in the Whitla Hall at Queen’s at 7pm. Hosted by Dr Mark Hamilton from Radio 1’s Sunday Surgery and presenter Emma-Louise Johnston, the Fashion Show features the latest clothes from top Belfast stores and local designers. Organised by fourth year Medicine and Dentistry students, the event raises money for third world medical care.
Media Opportunities: Dr Mark Hamilton, Emma-Louise Johnston and members of SWOT will be available for interview and photographs before and after the show.
Wednesday 11 March: Talk by Belfast ‘big bang’ scientist
Belfast born Dr Stephen Myers who was involved in the "new big bang" experiment, the most complicated and ambitious experiment ever built, is to deliver a lecture at Queen's University.
As part of National Science Week, the university’s honorary graduate will discuss media coverage of black hole production in the Large Hadron Collider and how antimatter is created in a very small accelerator at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). He will also talk about Dan Brown’s book Angels and Demons.
The public lecture, “The Large Hadron Collider, CERN, Antimatter, Black Holes, Angels and Demons”, will take place on Wednesday March 11 at 7.00pm.
(A full news release will be issued on Monday)
Friday 13 March: £2m investment in Pharmacy
A state-of-the-art pharmacy laboratory aimed at discovering new drugs for diseases including Alzheimer’s will officially at Queen’s University thanks to a £2million donation by former chief executive of Warner Chilcott, Dr John King.
Media opportunities at 11.40am to noon at the School of Pharmacy.
(A news release will be issued ahead of the event)
For media enquiries please contact: Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 3091 Out of hours pager: 07699 785 209
"Women Emerging from the Shadows"
In the week which honours female achievements worldwide, Queen's University will celebrate its leading women at a special event on Friday (6 March).
To mark International Women's Day on Sunday, the University is hosting a public talk on the portraits of leading Queen's women which have pride of place in the University’s Great Hall.
They include President of Ireland Mary McAleese, a graduate and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Queen's, and noted Belfast community worker and Queen’s Senator Baroness May Blood. Distinguished political scientist Professor Elizabeth Meehan and two female medical pioneers, neuropathologist Professor Dame Ingrid Allen and renal specialist the late Professor Mollie McGeown have also been immortalised on canvas.
The event will also focus on ‘Women Emerging from the Shadows’, the 16 ft by 6 ft painting by Newry-born artist Michelle Rogers which is on display in the University’s Council Chamber.
Guests will be able to view the paintings and listen to lectures by Queen's Curator of Art Shan McAnena and Professor Lioba Theis, Director of the Institute of Art History, University of Vienna.
The event has been organised by Queen's award-winning Gender Initiative which 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 a mentoring scheme for female staff.
Anyone interested in attending should contact Queen's Gender Initiative on 028 9097 3712.
For media enquiries please contact: Anne Langford, Corporate Affairs, +44 (0)28 9097 5310, Mob: 07815 871 997, email@example.com
Queen's University has been awarded a total of 58 post-graduate studentships with a value of approximately £2.5million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The University will allocate the awards over the next five years under the new Block Grant Partnership Scheme introduced by AHRC.
The awards will be made across a wide range of subjects in the Arts and Humanities at Queen’s.
Welcoming the awards, Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Ellen Douglas-Cowie said: "The partnership agreement will enhance the international reach and reputation of the research community within Queen’s University. It will support our strategies of ensuring our graduates have the key skills and necessary knowledge for their career development and play an important role in the transfer of knowledge into our wider community."
The first allocation of awards within the New Partnership Scheme will be made in October 2009 and Queen’s will use the awards to support quality research training for Doctoral, Research Preparation Masters and Professional Preparation Masters degrees.
For media enquiries please contact: Anne-Marie Watson, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 5320, firstname.lastname@example.org , 07814 415 451.
Queen's graduates, staff and students are being invited to capture images on camera which reflect a day in the life of the University - one of the most diverse institutions in Northern Ireland.
Judges in the 'A Day in the Life of Queen's University Belfast' competition are looking for attention-grabbing images that give fresh insights into the world of Queen's, from major academic conferences to landmark buildings to staff and students at work and play.
The winning entries will appear in a new University calendar which will be on sale from June 2009 in Queen's Welcome Centre in the Lanyon Building, and in Queen's Students' Union.
Speaking about the competition, Queen's Events and Conferencing Manager Angela Haley, said: "The idea arose from the suggestion that the University should produce its own calendar. Although numerous photos of Queen’s exist, and the image of the Lanyon Building is known throughout the world, we felt it would be worthwhile to gather new, fresh photos from the Queen's family itself, and a competition seemed to be the ideal way forward.
“The University has so much to offer in terms of inspiration for budding and experienced photographers and we are really looking forward to viewing the entries."
The overall winner of the competition will receive a £250 gift voucher to be spent on photographic equipment. Each of the eleven runners up will receive a voucher for Queen's Welcome Centre.
The closing date is Friday 1 May 2009. All entries to the competition must be supplied in digital format, and comply with the full set of competition rules. The competition categories are: People in Action, Concepts, Art and Architecture and The Four Seasons. Further details on the competition and application forms are available from Queen’s Welcome Centre or online at www.qub.ac.uk/welcomecentre
For media enquiries please contact: Anne Langford, Corporate Affairs, +44 (0)28 9097 5310, Mob: 07815 871 997, email@example.com
A Queen's University Belfast student has come up with a unique way of keeping track of what people across the world are up to throughout the day.
Mark McKeague, 20, from Culdaff in County Donegal, has invented a radio which tunes in to and broadcasts messages posted on social networking site, Twitter.
Various pop icons and celebrities including Lily Allen, Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Ashton Kutcher can now be heard on ‘radio stations’ such as ‘Happy Twitter’ and ‘Sad Twitter’ based on the tone of their tweets.
Mark, who is studying for his final year of BSc Music Technology in the School of Music and Sonic Arts at Queen’s, has created an interactive version that allows fans to listen to Twitter messages posted on the website in real time so they can keep up to date with friends, celebrities and even complete strangers.
Mark uses an old fashioned radio to receive the tweets. He has organised them into stations such as ‘Happy Twitter’ and ‘Sad Twitter’ based on the tone of the messages.
He said: “I came up with the idea when thinking about the amount of information that is being broadcast on the internet, through numerous social networks and personal sites. There is so much information being broadcast and most of it goes unread and unnoticed.
“I wanted to find a new way to use this information. I looked to how we tuned into broadcasts in the past, and wondered if this could be applied to today's technology. The Twitter service has millions of people registered, who are broadcasting countless messages every day.
“I found the radio when I was at home for Christmas, and I knew it was perfect with its old fashioned style and feel. I took the radio apart and added an Arduino micro-controller to pick up movement on the tuning dial of the radio.
“I also added a connection to the radio's speaker. This allowed me to connect the radio to the computer. I could then download tweets and send them to the radio which means the users can tune into spoken tweets.”
Several 2008 U.S. presidential campaigns also used Twitter as a publicity mechanism, including President Barack Obama.
Mark said: “Twitter has been growing more and more popular recently with high profile users such as Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross and this has really suited what I was trying to achieve with the project.”
Although Twitter Radio is a dream gadget for many, Mark says it isn’t ready to hit the shelves just yet.
“I don’t have any plans to commercialize yet as the radio is still very young in terms of its conception and design and at the moment is set up as an installation piece,” said Mark.
“I'm continuing work in this area of Interaction design in my portfolio module this semester, and would be interested in developing the radio further.”
For media enquiries please contact: Emma Blee, Press & PR Unit, +44 (0)28 9097 2576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Brother's Professor Geoffrey Beattie
Queen's University is offering the public a unique chance to experience a Flavour of Psychology this week.
Big Brother's Professor Geoffrey Beattie and renowned sports psychologist Professor Aidan Moran will be among the experts discussing how psychology touches on everyday life at a public event on Wednesday 4 March.
Professor Beattie will reveal how we can tell what people are really thinking by reading body language and hand movements, while sports psychologist Professor Aidan Moran from UCD will be explaining the role of concentration and psychology in creating winning sports stars.
They will be joined by Professor Peter Smith from Goldsmiths, University of London, who will give an insight into bullying and how it can be prevented and Dr. Carol Ireland from Mersey Care NHS Trust who will be discussing the role of the crisis negotiator. Professor Christine Liddel from University of Ulster will discuss why some people find it so hard to accept and tackle the problems associated with climate change, while Professor Peter Kinderman from University of Liverpool will talk about ‘Psychological Well-being: A New Ethos for Mental Health’.
The event is being organised by the Northern Ireland British Psychological Society and Queen’s. While targeted at university and A-level students, it is also open to the public and anyone with interest in the subject of Psychology.
Professor Peter Hepper, Head of School of Psychology, said: “The School of Psychology is delighted to be hosting the Flavour of Psychology event. The topics that our panel will be discussing are very interesting and because the speakers will touch on many aspects of everyday life, the event will be of great benefit to students and the public alike.”
Professor Maurice Stringer, Chair of the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Psychological Society, said the event is a great opportunity: “The Flavour of Psychology event is a unique chance for young people to hear the most up to date research in psychology. We are delighted that such well-known psychologists have agreed to speak on a range of fascinating topics.”
The event will take place on Wednesday 4 March between 9.30am-3.30pm at Stranmillis University College. There is no admission fee but anyone interested should book in advance by contacting Anne Kerr on email@example.com or 028 9097 4129.