Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI announce further funding for vital blood cancer research at Q.U.B.

Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI operate with the main objective of improving survival rates for blood cancers by supporting the scientists and students researching these diseases in Northern Ireland. In the blood cancer research group based at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queen’s University Belfast, we have a number of teams working on projects to identify, target and eliminate the abnormalities that cause blood cancer.

The new grant of £790,000 will be issued over the next five years to support the recruitment and development of a Senior Lecturer and a Clinical Research Fellow.

The Senior Lecturer post will be the flagship package and the position will soon be advertised for application from global candidates.

Mr Richard Buchanan, Chairman of Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI, said: “It has been very exciting putting this package together with the Queen’s Foundation.  It is a fantastic opportunity and we are confident that the position will attract a real leader in the industry.  Our aim has always been to support research that will make a difference to the lives of patients here in Northern Ireland and this funding is a huge development.”

The second phase of the funding package will be dedicated to the recruitment of a Clinical Research Fellow. This will be the second time Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI have created a role for a clinical professional within the haematology team and they have found their medical input invaluable.  This phase will also provide support for established clinicians to participate in and support blood cancer research such as clinical trials

Despite being predominantly research driven, Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI has taken some steps into clinical research in the past. In January 2016 the charity donated £30,000 to part fund the drug costs for the UK clinical trial AML18, they have also worked with Myeloma UK to co fund a Clinical Trials Nurse position in Belfast City Hospital.  The recruitment of a new Clinical Research Fellow will strengthen the strong links with haematology consultant expertise and utilise the patient samples and data to make research more accurate and robust.

Professor Ken Mills, Chair of Experimental Haematology at Queen’s University, Belfast said "This is a major investment by LLNI and recognises the impact that blood cancer research is having in Belfast and globally.  There are numerous challenges in developing new therapies for some types of blood cancers and the exciting combination of laboratory and clinical research in this package will herald a new stage of research into leukaemia, myeloma or lymphoma in Belfast.” 

Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI is the only charity in Northern Ireland dedicated to funding research into the causes and cures of blood cancers. Established as the Northern Ireland Leukaemia Research Fund by the McDowell family in 1964 following the death of their daughter, the charity has now invested over £13 million pounds to life saving research.