A landmark £1m investment boost will help to create vital cancer research posts in Northern Ireland.
The cash injection from Friends of the Cancer Centre, based at Belfast City Hospital, in partnership with Queen's University researchers, will help medical research trials involving patients over the next three years.
The charity will provide a £900,000 funding injection for research into clinical trials – medical research trials involving patients – through an annual grant of £300,000 per year.
The investment will also fund a number of posts, including a clinical research nurse, a research radiographer and data manager.
The charity's chief executive, Colleen Shaw, said: "This is a financial investment in the future of local cancer research and in the future of cancer care in Northern Ireland."
Professor David Waugh, of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, added: "Northern Ireland has become a world leader in cancer care, and the cancer centre at Belfast City Hospital provides the highest level of treatment available."
CCRCB director, Professor David Waugh, said: "It permits us to increase the capacity of specialist staff we need to implement these world-leading and life-changing clinical trials."
Professor Joe O'Sullivan, consultant clinical oncologist, added: "I have seen first-hand how a trial can impact and often improve a patient's outlook.
"This is very exciting for me as a consultant, especially when the trial is home-grown and developed in Belfast, but most importantly, this can be life-changing and indeed life-saving."