Paddy Johnston, a professor of oncology who is currently director of the world-renowned Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s, is to become Dean of Queen’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in September.
His mission will be to transform medical education and research in Northern Ireland, bringing together world-class strengths in medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences at Queen’s.
An international review group will make recommendations on the future shape of medical education and research at Queen’s, identifying how it can build on existing strengths to meet the needs of the next 30 years.
Professor Johnston said: ‘Northern Ireland can be a global player in medical research and education, and I believe Queen’s will be the catalyst which helps transform its health services.
‘Queen’s is already a global player in cancer and we can build centres of world excellence in other areas of medicine too. We have a track record in delivering, and my job – along with my colleagues – is to create an internationally leading school with the aim of becoming a world player in healthcare.
‘Devolution and the new arrangements for managing the National Health Service in Northern Ireland have created opportunities to establish new partnerships, allowing Queen’s and the five new hospital trusts to respond imaginatively to the 21st century’s challenges.
‘I want Northern Ireland to be recognised internationally as providing the highest quality care to our community, and to be seen as a leader in patient care, research, and education and training. Patients will have access to the latest treatments and innovations, and the international community will look to Queen’s for leadership in this area.’
Queen’s vice-chancellor, Professor Peter Gregson, said: ‘This is an important milestone for Queen’s and the local health service. Professor Paddy Johnston is an outstanding leader and has the combination of skills to develop and deliver a vision for medical research fit for the 21st century.
‘Medicine and dentistry at Queen’s is being transformed. The University is currently investing more than £45 million in new buildings and equipment for medicine, dentistry and the biomedical sciences. Through world-class research, we are providing the technologies and treatments of tomorrow.’