New £10m cancer research centre to open in Belfast
Queen’s University will host the unit which specialises in precision medicine
Queen’s University Belfast: the new unit will be located at the university’s centre of cancer research and cell biology but it hopes to attract local and international companies to use its facilities
A new £10 million centre specialising in precision medicine, which could prove instrumental in developing ground-breaking treatments for cancer patients, is to be launched by Queen’s University in Belfast.
The centre, which will receive financial support totalling £5.8 million from Invest NI, is expected to create 17 new jobs.
The Precision Medicine Centre of Excellence will be located at Queen’s University’s centre of cancer research and cell biology but it hopes to attract both local and international companies to use its research and development facilities.
One of the key objectives of the new centre will be to develop an internationally accredited laboratory that can accurately focus on diagnostics, which can be used to predict a cancer patient’s particular response to treatment.
Prof James McElnay, acting president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s said the university was at the forefront of molecular pathology, biomarker validation and test adoption in the UK but the new centre will strengthen its lead position.
“This centre of excellence brings a unique dimension to the bridging of academia and industry, making the fabric of our biotechnology sector in NI and the UK as a whole significantly stronger,” Prof McElnay said.
According to Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI’s chief executive, although the centre will initially focus on cancer research it also has the potential to extend its scope into other areas of precision medicine.
“Northern Ireland has a strong and internationally-recognised life and health sciences sector, which boasts globally renowned leaders including Almac and Randox. The centre will contribute to the continued international recognition of Northern Ireland-based research in this field,” he said.