Development & Alumni Relations Office 


27 September 2016

Professor Mark Lawler, Chair of Translational Cancer Medicine and Dean of Education of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences at Queen’s, addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York (Friday 23 September) on the role that science can play in improving outcomes in diseases.

Professor Lawler highlighted how precision and personalised health can help contribute to the development of a healthier world for the estimated 7.4 billion people living on this planet.

Speaking in the special European Alliance for Personalised Medicine (EAPM) session entitled “Science for Development”, being held at the UN, Professor Lawler indicated the important role that science, innovation and education can play in improving outcomes in diseases such as cancer, which claims over 8 million lives worldwide each year.

He emphasised the need for a global equality agenda to ensure that all citizens, not just those in the developed world, can benefit from patient informed, precision-based preventative or therapeutic interventions.

Professor Lawler said: “Discovery science, both at individual and population levels, has yielded significant insights into how common diseases such as cancer develop, and provides us with precision tools that can help prevent, predict or treat disease.

“It is incumbent on us to ensure that personalised health is available to all, not just those who can afford to pay for it.”

Denis Horgan, CEO of the EAPM said: “We are delighted to be highlighting the role that advances in personalised and precision medicine can play in combating disease. Hosting this event at the UN allows us to develop partnerships to help embed personalised and precision medicine at a global level.”

Professor David Waugh, Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s and PMC lead for Northern Ireland said: “The recent award of a Precision Medicine Catapult (PMC) to Northern Ireland highlights how we are playing a substantial role in this important area. Personalised and precision medicine have the potential not only to deliver for our patients but also to contribute to the economic and social fabric of our society.”

Speaking about Queen’s as a global leader, Professor Chris Elliott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences said: “Personalising health links to our global health strategy, innovative approaches in human, animal and plant health can all contribute to our global well-being. Highlighting this at the UN emphasises Queen’s leadership role to a global audience.”

Professor Lawler and Mr Horgan used the occasion to announce that Belfast has been chosen as the venue for the EAPM Conference “Personalising Your Health: A Global Imperative” which will take place at the Waterfront Hall in November 2017.

Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke (Mon-Wed) or Michelle Cassidy (Thurs-Fri) at Queen’s Communications Office, tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5310.

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