Queen’s University Belfast: All Island Cancer collaboration will be “unbeatable”

Supported by funding from the Shared Island initiative, which seeks to enhance co-operation, connections and mutual research understanding on the island of Ireland, AICRI will bring together the best thinking to address one of health’s greatest challenges.

AICRI will look at how best to achieve earlier diagnosis of cancer when it is most treatable, deliver the underpinning science to help develop innovative new therapies for greater numbers of patients, and strive to spare patients from the debilitating side effects of treatments, so that they have a better quality of life and actively reintegrate into society.

Speaking about the project, Professor Mark Lawler Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics and Professor of Digital Health at Queen’s said: “Cancer knows no borders, neither should we. Delivering the best cancer care for patients on this island can best be achieved through collaborative research. This is an unparalleled opportunity to work together to tackle a disease that will affect one in two people on this island during their lifetime.”

UCD co-lead Professor William Gallagher, Professor of Cancer Biology at UCD’s School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science, Senior Conway Fellow at the UCD Conway Institute and Deputy Director of Precision Oncology Ireland, said: “This key support from the Shared Ireland Fund under the North-South Research Programme provides a critical foundation stone for AICRI, as it endeavours to create an over-arching framework for cancer research across the island of Ireland. AICRI brings together researchers from 10 academic institutions (2 in Northern Ireland and 8 in Ireland), along with other key stakeholders, including those working in the health services and patients.”

Professor Lawler added: “Ireland and Northern Ireland now punch above their collective weight in cancer research. Working together through AICRI, we will be unbeatable. We need to compete, not against each other, but against our common enemy – cancer.”

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