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Queen's honours former Vice-Chancellor in renaming ground-breaking Cancer Centre

On Tuesday 21 January, Queen's welcomed guests to a special evening event renaming its flagship Cancer Research facility to The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research.

Formerly known as the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB), The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research honours the far-reaching influence and impact of the University's previous President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick G Johnston.

The event provided a chance for the Queen's community and University partners to join Professor Johnston's family and celebrate a friend and colleague who attracted renewed focus on Queen's as a world-class international university. The evening also offered a unique opportunity to come together and reflect on some of Professor Johnston's key achievements.

Speaking at the event, Queen's President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, commented:

"This is a very special occasion. Today we pay tribute to Paddy and recognise him as a person who had an unparalleled profound impact, not just on this University, but on the lives of so many people here in Northern Ireland and across the world.

"This Centre was Paddy's vision and we as the Queen's family are proud to bear his name to honour his lifelong dedication in tackling the deadly disease."

Professor Johnston was a world-leading pioneer and advocate for Cancer Research and public health. He led the modernisation of cancer services across Northern Ireland, including the development of a state-of-the-art Clinical Cancer Centre and the previously known Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at the University, which opened in 2007.

Professor Johnston put the centre on the map, developing key international collaborations such as the National Cancer Institute – All Ireland Cancer Consortium, which focused on cancer prevention, public health, cancer treatment and clinical trials on a global scale.

Among other highlights, Queen's advances in cancer research under Professor Johnston's leadership were recognised with a coveted Queen's Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Award in 2012. This was based on Professor Johnston's leadership of the NI Comprehensive Cancer Services programme, which led to a marked reduction in cancer mortality rates locally.

Professor Chris Scott, Interim Director of the new Centre, commented:

"With the dedication of this building in his honour, we re-dedicate ourselves to his original vision, to address the needs of our patients through clinically informed research and to be the central hub of cancer research and education in Northern Ireland with a global impact."