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Top graduate awarded new PhD studentship

Recent graduate Harmony Black is making preparations to start a PhD at the University’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology after winning a new, and poignant, funding award.

Harmony graduated with a first class honours degree in Biomedical Science earlier this summer, shortly after finding out that she was the recipient of the inaugural Alison Williamson/Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI PhD studentship. Alison Williamson died last year from cancer at only 31 years old, survived by her husband and two young children.

In her memory, her husband Barry Williamson climbed the four highest mountains in the UK in 48 hours, raising over £55,000 to fund research into blood cancers including leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI used the funding to set up the Alison Williamson PhD studentship to drive vital research in this area.

Harmony applied for the PhD studentship to carry out research into repair mechanisms for blood cancers. Commenting on the award, she said: "I feel incredibly grateful to have received this award, not only because it allows me to continue working in the lab and doing research in the field of blood cancers, which I am very passionate about, but it’s also a very personal award, as I am continuing research to find a cure in memory of Alison Williamson and for many others like her.

"I’m looking forward to continuing my education at Queen’s and I’m determined to honour Alison’s memory to make a difference to those suffering from blood cancers.”

We wish Harmony the very best of luck as she progresses in her research.