Tributes pour in for QUB Vice-Chancellor Patrick Johnston, who died suddenly over the weekend

Professor Patrick Johnston has been described as a great mind that helped save lives

QUB's Vice-Chancellor has died, a man who's former students speak the highest of.  He had been instrumental in improving cancer treatment within Northern Ireland, with MP Alasdair McDonnell tweeting "Devastated to hear of the sudden passing of my dear friend Paddy Johnston VC QUB, a powerful figure in working to find a cure for Cancer RIP."

Born in the Waterside area of Derry, he attended St Columb's College in the city and graduated from University College Dublin in 1982.

He was also a founder of respected firm Almac Diagnostics, which is based in Craigavon.

A friend of Professor Johnston and his family, Professor Hugh McKenna, Dean of Medical School Development at Ulster University, said: "At one time Northern Ireland would not have been seen as a great place for ground-breaking research, but Paddy attracted wonderful researchers to the cancer centre here, and the benefit of that can be seen in the reduced mortality rates which have occurred since the opening of the cancer centre.

I hope that his wonderful legacy in science will be passed on to future generations".

In 2012, he received a Diamond Jubilee Queen's Anniversary Prize from Queen Elizabeth II for the QUB-led reorganisation of cancer care in Northern Ireland.

His vision guiding Queen's University further helped to establish Queen's as a world-class institution supporting ground-breaking research. Prof. Johnston cleverly marketed the expertise of the student and staff bodies in both research and learning, ensuring that Queen's University was much more than just a hub of culture, learning and free speech. Prof. Johnston was determined to improve the standing of Queen's in the world of academia and transform its role just as he had achieved the transforming of the reputation of cancer treatment here.

There is a Book of Condolence open for signature in the Council Chamber, Lanyon Building  of  Queen's, and will be open daily from 9am to 7pm, until Friday, 9 June 2017.

Our thoughts go out to Patrick's family, friends and colleagues.

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