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25th Jan 2013

New University Lab Will Revolutionise Cancer Treatment




A NEW cancer facility has been officially opened at Queen's University Belfast.

The first integrated laboratory of its kind in the UK and Ireland, is to revolutionise cancer research and diagnosis for thousands of patients across Northern Ireland.

The new facility is a partnership between Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

The opening of the Northern Ireland Molecular Pathology Lab (NI-MPL) and Northern Ireland Biobank (NIB), means oncologists are now better placed to decide on the best treatment for their patients thanks to improved diagnoses.

The improved diagnoses are as a result of solid tumour samples being examined at a molecular level. This new level of testing helps oncologists tailor individual treatments to individual patients, offering a new era of personalised medicine in Northern Ireland. It will also advance meaningful research in new cancer diagnostics and new cancer treatments.

Professor Manuel Salto-Tellez, Professor of Molecular Pathology at Queen’s and Clinical Consultant Pathologist, BHSCT said: “Each cancer is unique in its genetic make-up. Testing at the molecular level allows us to identify changes in the cancer’s genome that are associated with better outcomes, and better lives, for the patients who suffer from certain types of cancer.”

“Our distinctive combination of molecular diagnostics and research under the one roof, supported by the Biobank, makes this facility unique in these islands. We are now routinely delivering a number of diagnostic tests for the patient and along with our colleagues in the Belfast Trust, and across Northern Ireland, we are taking yet more significant steps on the journey, started by our oncologists years ago, which has seen us make significant improvements in cancer survival over the last 15 years.”

Explaining the difference the new facility will make to patients, Professor Joe O’Sullivan, Professor of Radiation Oncology, said: “This new molecular pathology facility at Queen’s will improve outcomes for patients by providing more detailed information to doctors about a particular cancer and facilitating the delivery of more individualised cancer treatment.”

Queen’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Peter Gregson added: “The opening of this facility is yet another important illustration of how the research programme within Queen’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology is benefiting patient care in Northern Ireland. Along with our partners in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Queen’s is committed to ensuring that the advances made in our laboratories can continue to revolutionise patient care and bring new hope to people everywhere.”

The University of Ulster

THE University of Ulster is holding a free Graduate Bootcamp next month to help graduates boost their employability skills and increase their chances of finding work.

It’s being delivered by the Career Development Centre (CDC) in association with recruitment specialists from Google Ireland and the Royal Navy.

Participants will learn how to enhance their potential in the increasingly competitive graduate labour market.

They will also be given the opportunity to gain greater knowledge in areas such as skills development, career branding, writing CVs — and how to shine at interviews.

The two-day event — taking place at the Belfast campus on February 14 and 15, from 10am until 3.30pm – is designed to be both informative and interactive and individual career coaching will also be available.

Shauna McCloy, career development manager at the University of Ulster said: “Although the graduate labour market is slowly improving it is still very competitive in many sectors.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for graduates to receive guidance about how to enter the job market, to talk to careers professionals and to meet other graduates in a similar situation.”

The university is offering 40 places and booking is now available at This event is open to applicants who have not yet secured themselves a graduate level position.

University of Ulster graduates can access career development services for up to three years after graduation. Services include opportunities to meet employers and professional bodies at fairs and events throughout the year; access to graduate vacancies for permanent employment, placement and vacation and part-time work; careers workshops, focusing on job search, CVs and job applications, interview skills and other relevant topics.


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