Prof Patrick Johnston of Queen’s University Belfast & Almac Diagnostic Services honored by President McAleese

May 31, 2007

Belfast based Cancer specialist receives top award from Irish President at NYC ceremony

Prof. Patrick Johnston, Professor of Oncology at Queen’s University, Belfast, and one of the founders of Almac Diagnostic Services has been honored by President Mary McAleese at the Fifth Annual BioLink Conference and Life Science Awards in New York.  The conference honored Prof. Johnston for his leadership, and his contributions and personal commitment to the global life science community.

“The contributions of Irish and Irish Americans to the life sciences industry have reached new heights,” said BioLink USA-Ireland President Denis Headon.

“BioLink’s annual conference reflects the Irish American community’s strong influence and impact on the life sciences in industry and academia.  We are proud that our expanding global network of life sciences professionals facilitates collaborations that are vital to the development of the life sciences in Ireland,” he added.

Prof Johnston is Director, Center for Cancer Research and Cell Biology and Professor of Oncology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast. He is also a founder of Almac Diagnostic Services, the Northern Ireland based biotech which recently expanded to North America.

His research focuses on potential therapies for colorectal cancer and has resulted in a number of prestigious landmark publications and research grant income of over £6 million pounds in the last 3 years.

“It is a huge honor to receive this award and I would like to pay tribute to the work of BioLink.  Their work is vital to foster the relationships that will ensure our burgeoning life sciences industry in the island of Ireland continues to flourish,” said Prof Johnson.

Sir Allen McClay, Group Chairman, Almac Group said: “I congratulate Professor Johnston on this honor. The life sciences industry is becoming more and more important in Ireland, and this honor recognizes the excellent work being carried out by Professor Johnston and the team at Almac Diagnostic Services.”

“The contributions of Irish and Irish Americans to the life sciences industry have reached new heights.  Prof. Johnston’s work exemplifies the Irish American community’s strong influence and impact on the life sciences in industry and academia.

ENDS

Contact:

Carl Whyte

Stakeholder Communications

07841 970678

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

About Prof Patrick Johnston

Prof. Johnston received his MB BCh degree in Medicine with distinction from UCD in 1982. Prof. Johnston worked at the NCI from 1987 to 1996, when he returned to Belfast where he was appointed Prof. of Oncology at QUB.

Prof. Johnston has led the development of a comprehensive Cancer Center for Northern Ireland encompassing a state-of-the-art Clinical Cancer Center which opened in March ‘06, and a £25 million Center for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s set to open in June ’07.

Prof. Johnston has also led the creation of the NCI–All Ireland Cancer Consortium which was recently renewed in 2006.  He has founded a number of biotech companies including Almac Diagnostic Services and is also the founding Chairman of the All Ireland Cancer Foundation and founder and Chair of the Society of Translational Oncology.

About Almac Diagnostic Services

Almac Diagnostic Services, a division of the Almac Group develops and delivers novel genomic research products to enable research innovation and accelerate the drug discovery pipeline from validation to market.

Using their proprietary Cancer DSA™ research tools, Almac Diagnostic Services develops clinical tests to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.

The company also provides an all-inclusive accredited micro-array-based profiling service along with bioinformatics support to academia, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as access to its own unique technology.

Almac Diagnostic Services aims to be a global leader in the provision of genomic based solutions for the advancement of patient care.

About the Almac Group

The Almac Group comprises five closely integrated divisions offering a broad range of services from R&D, diagnostic/genomic services, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and technology (IVRS/EDC), to commercial-scale manufacture.  Almac provides services to over 600 companies including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.  The company is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.  US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.

About BioLink USA – Ireland

Biolink is a volunteer-based nonprofit association of scientists, engineers, physicians, business and academic professionals of Irish descent in the life sciences industry.  The aims of BioLink USA-Ireland are connecting and fostering relations and interactions among members for mutual benefit, and providing support to the development of the Lifesciences in commercial, academic and government settings in Ireland. Established in 2003 through the offices of Enterprise Ireland, BioLink’s 900 members represent 10 cities in the United States.

Contact – info@biolinkusaireland.org

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