National recognition for Queen’s University’s public health research

Research from Queen’s University will feature in an exciting new online programme, ‘Improve and Protect.’ The programme will explore some of the UK’s major public health challenges and the work being carried out to address these issues by various organisations including the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland, based at Queen’s University.

‘Improve and Protect’ provides a unique platform to raise awareness and debate around some of the threats to the public’s health and will highlight the need to educate and empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health.

This new programme features the research at Queen’s University being carried out by Dr Mark Tully and Dr Ruth Hunter on the Physical Activity and the Rejuvenation of the Connswater (PARC) study, a successful partnership with Connswater Community Greenway to evaluate the development of a 9km linear park with the aim of improving the environment, enabling physical activity with new pathways and cycle ways and connecting local communities.

The documentary also features Dr Aisling Gough and Dr Gary McKeown from Queen’s University, who are working in partnership with Cancer Focus NI and the Public Health Agency to test the effectiveness of using social media to communicate public health messages. This novel project investigates how Twitter can be used to spread messages about skin cancer prevention within the adult population in Northern Ireland.

Professor Frank Kee, Director of the UKCRC Centre of Excellence at Queen’s University said: “This programme highlights how the world class research being undertaken at Queen’s University is advancing knowledge and changing lives. 

 “It is important that all of the research that we do is relevant to the needs of end users, for this is key to having an impact on policy and practice, and the two examples showcased in this documentary highlight how it is possible to partner with communities and practitioners to have a real impact on their needs.”

The current affairs style programme, which was launched at the Royal Society for Public Health Annual conference and Awards Ceremony in London, will combine news-style reports highlighting what some of the leading organisations aims are to improve the public’s health.

You can access the programme on UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland.

To view the film click here


Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke (Mon-Wed) or Michelle Cassidy (Thur-Fri) at Queen’s University Communications Office. Tel: +(0)4428 9097 5310 Email:

Notes to editors:

The programme is introduced by national news reader Natasha Kaplinsky and the ‘Improve and Protect’ film was produced by the Royal Society for Public Health and ITN Productions.

Centre of Excellence for Public Health Northern Ireland is one of five Centres of Excellence in Public Health Research funded through the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC.) The UKCRC brings together the NHS, research funders, industry, regulatory bodies, Royal Colleges, patient groups and academia in a UK-wide environment that facilitates and promotes high quality clinical research for the benefit of patients.

RSPH: The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is an independent health education charity, dedicated to protecting and promoting the public’s health and wellbeing. We are the world’s longest-established public health body with over 6000 members drawn from the public health community both in the UK and internationally. Our operations include an Ofqual recognised awarding organisation, a training and development arm and health and wellbeing accreditation.

We also produce a wide-variety of public health conferences; our publishing division includes the internationally renowned journal Public Health; and we are developing policy and campaigns to promote better health and wellbeing. For more information:; twitter: @R_S_P_H

ITN Productions: ITN Productions is ITN’s bespoke production hub producing creative and commercially valuable content for the corporate, commercial, broadcast and digital sectors. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news programme format, including interviews, news-style items and sponsored editorial profiles.

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