£32m Queen's medical centre announced

Published Thursday, 01 November 2012
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Queen's University has announced it has secured £32m to establish a world-leading centre for experimental medicine in Belfast.

£32m Queen's medical centre announced
The new centre is expected to open in 2016. (© UTV)

The new centre will specialise in scientific research into eye disease and diabetes and will provide for the development of a global programme into understanding the genetics of complex chronic diseases.

"Queen's University is well advanced in creating an internationally recognised Institute of Health Sciences that will become a global leader in medical research and education," Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson said.

"This will be further enhanced through the creation of the Centre for Experimental Medicine, a Centre that will transform healthcare in Northern Ireland and beyond."

Queen's is celebrating this announcement today, but so too should the citizens of Northern Ireland as they will be the real winners from improved diagnosis and treatments of debilitating diseases.

Vice Chancellor Peter Gregson

The Centre is being funded through a series of grants and philanthropic donations. The university received its biggest donation towards the project, £15m, from The Atlantic Philanthropies.

Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Professor Patrick Johnston said the university's Institute of Health Sciences is delivering cutting edge research to help improve quality of life by creating new therapies and diagnostic approaches.

"The Centre for Experimental Medicine will allow the expansion of the Vision Sciences programme and the establishment of two new programmes in Diabetes and Genomics," he explained.

"It will also stimulate additional investment, lead to further global collaborations and create more opportunities for new health and biotech companies. Five new bio-tech companies, employing more than 200 people in Northern Ireland, have already been set-up by investigators within the Institute of Health Sciences at Queen's."

He continued:"To achieve this vision over £90m has already been invested with a further £85m expenditure anticipated over the next five years in academic leadership, research, buildings, equipment and facilities.

"Today's announcement will take us further along this journey and help provide a synergy between clinicians and scientists ensuring that laboratory discoveries translate into advances in patient diagnosis and treatment."

The new Centre will build on established research quality in vision science by bringing it alongside new programmes in diabetes and genomics and will open in 2016.

© UTV News
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