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Top Queen's scientist gets UK recognition

One of Northern Ireland's leading scientists has received a top UK award, to support ground-breaking research into vascular stem cells and eye disease at Queen's University.

Professor Alan Stitt, McCauley Chair of Experimental Ophthalmology and the Scientific Director of the Centre for Vision and Vascular Science (CVVS) at Queen's, has been awarded the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. The award supports respected scientists of outstanding achievement and potential, with the aim of retaining their expertise within the UK. Only 30 of these awards are made each year to researchers in all areas of the life and physical sciences, including engineering.

On receiving the award Professor Stitt said: "This links to my research in the area of vascular stem cells and treatment of important sight-threatening eye diseases. At Queen's, we hope to continue to make significant discoveries in this field and improve the treatment of eye diseases for those with diabetes."

He added: "As an individual, it is very flattering to be recognised in this manner but this also reflects the talent and hard work of my research team. This Merit Award also underscores the excellent environment and international standard of research in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science at Queen's."

This Merit Award will support Professor Stitt's research in the area of vascular stem cells and treatment of important eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. This research is pioneering the application of "cell therapy" using a very rare population of cells that promote repair of damaged blood vessels within the retina.

The award is presented by the Royal Society and jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the UK Office of Science and Technology.


Contact: Claire O'Callaghan
Queen's University Belfast

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