Development & Alumni Relations Office 


02 December 2016

Some of the University’s many supporters of medical research gathered on Thursday 01 December to hear about the impact of their gifts and the importance of their continued support at the annual Medical ‘Thank You’ reception at Queen’s.  

With musical entertainment provided by the Ensemble Quartet (appropriately from SMDBS – the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences), over 70 donors and their guests joined medical and Development Office staff in a packed Canada Room for traditional mince pies and shortbread.

Welcomed by Norma Sinte, Director of Development and Alumni Relations and Helen Surgenor, Head of Medical Fundraising, the evening also included a number of presentations from frontline medical research staff.

Before handing over to Professor Graham McGeown, Norma Sinte welcomed patients and family and friends of patients who are supporting specific diseases, many of whom she said were making their first ever visit to Queen’s.

Professor McGeown, Deputy Head of SMDBS outlined how important philanthropic support was in speeding up process of taking new lab discoveries and translating them into new treatments for patients, impacting outcomes for patients locally and beyond.

“Philanthropy provides seed funding for new projects, supports more than 8 PhD students, along with a number of MSc, travel and entrance scholarships for students from low income backgrounds and the Hardship Fund within the School,” he said.

Continuing, Professor McGeown added: “Many people present are making unrestricted donations to specific diseases such as breast and ovarian cancer, bowel cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer or to diabetes, eye disease, dementia/Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Innovative research is ongoing at Queen’s in all of these areas.”

Dr Denise Fitzgerald, who earlier in the evening had been presented with cheques from a number of groups and individuals who support her particular research group, outlined some of her current research at Queen’s in MS.  

Explaining how MS attacks the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord Dr Fitzgerald said that Queen’s researchers hope to find out how myelin, the insulating layer that surrounds those nerves, can be repaired.

To find out more about supporting medical research at Queen's, visit the Development Office website or contact Helen Surgenor (Head of Medical Fundraising) on 028 9097 1568.

Media inquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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