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Clinical Academic Testimonials

Professor Joe O'Sullivan

I joined the staff at Queens in 2004 as senior lecturer in clinical oncology having  spent the previous 4 years as a clinical  research fellow at the Royal Marsden  Hospital. Working as a clinical academic  can be challenging, however, I have found  that the culture and vision within Queen’s  University foster an environment where  it is possible to combine excellence in  patient care with academic achievement.  Within the Centre for Cancer Research  and Cell biology I have been privileged  to work with a superb team of scientists  motivated by the desire to improve  outcomes for patients with cancer.

Over the past 8 years I have established  and led a clinical research programme  in radiation and prostate cancer at the  Clinical Cancer Centre at Belfast City  Hospital supported by a team of research  radiographers, nurses and clinical research  fellows. In October 2011 I was appointed  as Professor of Radiation Oncology at  Queens and over the coming years I  will build a team of clinical academics  focussed on improving radiation therapy  through clinical research.

Dr Cecilia O'Kane

I joined the Centre for Infection and Immunity at Queen’s in 2008. I had completed my PhD investigating mechanisms of tissue destruction in tuberculosis at Imperial College in London, and having finished my clinical training, was awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship looking at the mechanisms of tissue destruction in lung disease.

Working at Queen’s has given me the opportunity to carry out my research in a richly collaborative environment – both among the members of our own Centre and the Medical School, but also beyond, engaging pharmacists, biochemists and our clinical colleagues to bring together all the specialists working in related fields to try to answer a specific question. We have a vibrant group of researchers within the Centre, with a wide range of expertise in different fields/models of lung and inflammatory disease. We have access to State-of-the-Art equipment in new purpose-built laboratories, and exceptionally strong technical and administrative support within the School. Additionally the teaching facilities within the Clinical Skills Education Centre allow for exciting and interactive hands-on teaching opportunities with Undergraduates.

At Queen’s I have the opportunity to work within a vibrant and supportive environment, with enthusiastic and highly motivated colleagues with full access to all the laboratory and clinical research facilities I need.


Professor Noemi Lois

I joined Queen’s on April 1st 2013, as a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at the Centre for Experimental Medicine (CEM), after having spent 13 years working as a NHS Consultant in Aberdeen. Following completing of my medical degree and training in Ophthalmology in Spain. I undertook research in diabetic retinopathy in USA. I furthered my training as a clinical fellow in Ocular Oncology at Wills Eye Hospital (Philadelphia) and thereafter I undertook a Medical Retina fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital (London) followed by a further fellowship in Vitreo-Retinal Surgery at St. Paul’s Eye Unit (Liverpool).

During my years in Aberdeen I managed to conduct clinical and laboratory research. I already knew about the leading research in Ophthalmology being undertaken at the CEM and about its superb multidisciplinary team and international reputation. After visiting Belfast I was impressed with the philosophy and leadership of Queen’s, with its inspiring view of the future. I was left with little doubt: this was the place where I would be able to fulfil my dream of advancing knowledge on retinal diseases in the search for new and better options for patients. I feel now truly privileged to be part of Queen’s.

Professor Richard Kennedy

I am a Consultant Medical Oncologist with a background in Molecular Biology. Before joining Queen’s I worked in Harvard Medical School at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as an Instructor in Medicine and then spent four years in an International Biotechnology Company as the Head of Research. I moved to Queen’s in June 2011 to set up a group focused on the development of predictive tests to guide patient therapy. Since joining Queen’s, my experiences have all been very positive. The research programme has flourished and should result in some good publications this year. The research laboratories are very well equipped and the administrative staff are all extremely helpful. There are strong links between researchers and clinicians, formalized as “Disease focus groups” from which a lot of great ideas arise and are developed. The clinical input makes it really easy to test novel ideas in patient tumour material, which I see as a huge competitive advantage in cancer research. I have found that my Queen’s colleagues are very willing to share their expertise and have been really supportive, especially in pulling together research grant proposals. Overall the right career move for me!


In the Centre for Medical Education at Queen’s University Belfast our main responsibility is the development, management and delivery of the undergraduate medical degree programme. We are committed to excellence in the training of the next generation of competent and compassionate doctors.

As an academic I undertake a number of roles and duties, including teaching delivery, pedagogical research, leadership responsibilities and pastoral care of our students.

As the only medical school in the region, the Centre for Medical Education is supported by a large cohort of loyal clinical teachers within the community and hospital sectors. A Sub-deanery structure in the regional hospital Trusts facilitates the delivery of excellent teaching in these clinical environments. With recent structural developments in the medical school, students also have access to modern teaching facilities, including a state of the art Clinical Skills Education Centre and simulation suite. The e-learning and media services team also enables me to develop e-learning teaching materials in order to deliver the curriculum in a blended and modern approach and I work closely with colleagues in Biomedical Sciences, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy who assist with Inter-professional Education.
The Centre for Medical Education has dedicated and committed administrative staff as well as dynamic curriculum and assessment management teams working together to strive for excellence.

I have had connections with Queen’s since 1973 when I was a dental “fresher”.  Following graduation I worked in House Officer posts in the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Belfast City Hospital where there were strong links to the Dental School based on the Royal site.  I spent a few years in General Dental Practice before completing a five year clinical training in Restorative Dentistry in Belfast with a year’s secondment to the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.  My research interests at that time were driven by the advances in adhesive dentistry and particularly the development of composite resin materials and their use in the challenging clinical oral environment.  I completed my PhD in the area of Resin Bonded Bridgework and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to present my work in journals and presentations at national and international meetings.

I have always had a passion for clinical teaching from the basic introduction of a new student facing the manual challenges of working with dental handpieces to the clinical demands of carrying out non-reversible dental interventions on patients.  It is a privilege for our students to have access to a cohort of willing patients and I believe that we have a duty to ensure that this is a positive experience for all concerned.  Modern clinical resources are critical to the delivery of state-of-the-art dentistry and the current refurbishment of the clinics in the School of Dentistry will enable our students to train in the best possible conditions. 


Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez

The commitment to excellence which characterises the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology was the deciding factor in persuading Manuel Salto-Tellez, the University’s new Professor of Molecular Pathology, to take up his post.

He said: “The striking difference between the CCRCB and other research centres which I was considering was its positive attitude towards the future role of science, and the key role of CCRCB to be a main player in it. It was clear from talking to the researchers and to Professors Paddy Johnston and Dennis McCance that Queen’s and CCRCB have a very ambitious and forward-looking approach to the future.

“I was very impressed by their willingness to excel, and by their drive to do so. They are transforming the way in which medical and biomedical sciences research is carried out.  This is very important to me, as the focus of my research is to try to understand diseases from two different perspectives – the traditional laboratory-based morphological approach and the molecular approach. This is an exciting field, and at Queen’s we are laying the groundwork for a number of new initiatives, the first of which is developing a molecular pathology research programme.”

Over the last 25 years, Professor Salto-Tellez’s medical and research pursuits have taken him from his native Spain to different parts of the world. He started his medical education at the Universities of Oviedo (Spain), Aachen (Germany) and Leiden (Netherlands), and went on to train as a histopathologist in the UK, and a molecular pathologist in UPENN.

For the last 10 years, he was an Associate Professor of Pathology, consultant pathologist and research scientist at the National University of Singapore and its hospital. Since 2001, Professor Salto-Tellez’s main activity in science and diagnostics has been the integration of the phenotypic and genotypic dimensions of disease, primarily cancer. He believes that it is essential to integrate morphological and molecular research to gain the best possible outcomes for patients.

He said: “I came to pathology because I was curious not only about diagnosis of disease but also the reasons why disease occurs, and molecular pathology was a natural fit.

“I am proud to be joining the scientific and pathology communities of Northern Ireland, and I look forward to working on morpho-molecular integration in all aspects of science, diagnostics and therapeutics here at Queen’s. I hope that this approach will contribute to advancing the Centre’s research reputation and will help to make a difference to healthcare not only in the region but internationally.”