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Making a difference in healthcare

Our world-leading researchers focus on the development and treatment of new avenues for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of major public health problems that affect millions of people globally.

These medical problems include eye disease, diabetic complications, cardiovascular disease, antibiotic resistance and common lung illnesses such as asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.

Our inter-disciplinary research delivers innovative and translational science research, alongside insightful health services discoveries, leading to real-world impact in health and healthcare, beyond the lab.


Vision and Vascular Medicine

Respiratory Medicine

Anti-microbial resistant infections

Molecular pathology and radiotherapy for cancers

Global health and healthcare delivery

Patient care and translational medicine

Nanomedicine and Biotherapeutics

Healthcare technologies and biomedical engineering

Maternal and Child Health

Chronic Illness and Palliative Care

Cancer Epidemiology

Public Health Nutrition


Our research integrates the full translational and innovation spectrum, spanning from fundamental discovery science, leveraging molecular/cellular/human models, to co-design and evaluation of health and healthcare solutions with end-users and developing innovative solutions and therapeutics to benefit industry and healthcare.

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Working in partnership across the sector and globally for improved outcomes

Our Research is funded by UKRI, NIHR, UK charities and many EU funders. Our Research partnerships with UKRI, NIHR, Wellcome Trust and other high-quality funding.

Our Research partnerships with Industry and Health and Social Care Trusts have led to increased translation of research into practice and 9 spin out companies.

Involving patients as part of our research has ensured our work is grounded in the reality of clinical conditions and their debilitating effects on individuals. We have pioneered the interaction with patient groups as an integral part of our research, such as in our Cancer Caring Coping initiative, an online intervention to support carers which is integrated into the health services of all five healthcare trusts in Northern Ireland.

International Collaborations

The University, in conjunction with China Medical University in Shenyang, China, has established the China Medical University–Queen’s University Belfast Joint College (CQC) which provides undergraduate programmes in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, degrees developed by the School of Pharmacy. 

A further educational collaboration with the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine in Dubai is now leading to promising research links in data science, child health and infectious diseases, and Queen’s hosts PhD students from the University.

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Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation Research and Impact (CESI)

Through CESI we further our interdisciplinary research to produce robust research evidence to help improve the lives of children, families and communities.

Materials and Advanced Technologies for Healthcare (MATCH)

Through MATCH we collaborate with colleagues from Schools of Pharmacy, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and others to address the global need for smarter materials and advanced technologies to improve health outcomes in an orthopaedic setting.


  • Inhaled Antibiotics in Bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis (iABC)

    The inhaled antibiotics in bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis (iABC) programme is developing new inhaled antibiotic treatments for patients with these conditions and investigating novel methods to improve clinical trials of treatment. (EU IMI-funded).

  • BREATH (Border & Regions Airways Training Hub) Project

    BREATH (Border & Regions Airways Training Hub) Project is increasing our understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) across the themes of epithelial, neuronal and smooth muscle cell biology and physiology, as well as inflammation to identify new targets for intervention and novel biomarkers to enable earlier diagnosis and management of the disease. (EU-funded).

  • Passion HF

    The Passion HF study is developing personalised digital technologies for patients living with chronic heart failure to self-manage their day-to-day care (EU funded).

  • Antimicrobial Resistance

    A programme between Pharmacy, WWIEM and Chemical Engineering is bridging the gap between the Engineering and Physical Sciences and Biomedical disciplines to tackle antimicrobial resistance. This has focused on developing new materials to prevent bacterial colonization, design new systems for antibiotic delivery systems, and establish new therapeutics based on boosting the immune system. (EPSRC-funded)

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Engagement and Impact

Our staff work collaboratively with healthcare partners to change public health practice, such as in directly leading key screening services, engaging with and acting as key advisors to government departments and working with local public health agencies to co-produce and design research trials, as well as helping to shape the agendas of global health organisations such as the WHO.

We have strong relationships with the NHS and industry in which we share knowledge and facilities, helping us turn our discoveries into effective new therapies.

Our researchers work is designed to ensure maximum impact on policy, on society and on patient outcomes:

  • Use of linked data from the Agricultural Census and the main Population Census, to gain a better understanding of the health, welfare and educational issues affecting farming communities in NI
  • Demonstrated the potential impact on public health of community greenway development
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Support and Development

There is a vibrant and highly supportive research culture across the University.

Our dedicated Postdoctoral Development Centre supports training and development of all post-doctoral fellows.  We have an expanding group of postdoctoral researchers from a variety of applied health discipline backgrounds who contribute to a diversity of multidisciplinary research.

The Queen’s Fellowship Academy provides professional and career development for research fellows in the early-stage of their careers with research interests that align with current research strengths at Queen’s. 

Our Graduate School is a vibrant hub for intellectual development, exchange and collaboration, supporting postgraduates to be thinkers, communicators, innovators and leaders who are future ready.

Wellcome-Wolffson building
Research Infrastructure and Facilities

We invest millions in the development of our research facilities to ensure that our staff, students and collaborators have the very best equipment to help them in their work.

Through the new state-of-the-art KN Cheung SK Chin InterSim Centre, we will deliver world class interdisciplinary simulation based clinical education and professional development activities to hundreds of students each year. It will bring the challenging realities of modern day clinical practice to life such as acute and emergency care, chronic illness, paediatrics, mental health and maternity services, and simulate a range of environments from a hospital ward, to a resuscitation suite, outpatient department, and importantly, a patient’s home environment.

Our £32M Wellcome-Wolfson Institute for Experimental Medicine is a state-of-the-art research facility containing a large suite of open-plan multipurpose research laboratories including numerous tissue culture, molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology laboratories.

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Promoting Equality and Diversity

Our success in Athena SWAN awards including a new Gold award and renewal of two Silver Awards, recognises our commitment to addressing gender equality, representation, progression and success for all our staff.


Queen’s is a key partner in the Belfast Region City Deal, a £1 billion investment, bringing regional government, industry and universities together to develop Northern Ireland’s economy and society.  Included within this investment are the Research Innovation projects including the Global Innovation Institute (GII; data security, informatics, analytics), the Institute for Research Excellence in Advanced Clinical Healthcare (iREACH) and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (AMIC), all of which will present significant opportunities.

UN Sustainable Development Goals
Supporting Sustainable Development Goals for Health

We are co-leading a global research programme devoted to vision and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Queen’s has long been committed to enriching society both locally and globally, and has been involved in proactively and holistically addressing the global challenges we face. 

Poor vision, the world’s largest unmet disability, affects 2.2 billion people. We are co-leading a Research programme, 'ENGINE', which will examine how an affordable, effective and widely available treatment, glasses, can help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals across the life course.

We aim to drive lasting policy change, achieve improved quality of life for people in low and middle-income countries, and help achieve the SDGs across the world.

More on our work on Sustainable Development Goals


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