Belfast Telegraph

Harmony now eyeing PhD and cancer mission

A Queen's student who graduates today will be back at the Belfast university soon, determined to find a cancer cure in memory of Alison Williamson.

Harmony Black graduates with a first class honours degree in Biomedical Science.

But it won’t be long before she’s starting a PhD at the university’s Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology after being awarded the Alison Williamson Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI PhD studentship.

Alison died last year from cancer at only 31. She is survived by her husband and two young children. In her memory, husband Barry climbed the four highest mountains in the UK in 48 hours, raising more than £54,000 to fund research into blood cancers. 

Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI used the funding to set up the Alison Williamson PhD studentship to drive vital research. During her final year at Queen’s, Harmony successfully applied for the funding to carry out research into repair mechanisms for blood cancers. On receiving the studentship, she said: “I feel incredibly grateful to have received this award, not only because it allows me to continue working in the lab and doing research in the field of blood cancers, which I am very passionate about, but it’s also a very personal award, as I am continuing research to find a cure in memory of Alison Williamson and for many others like her. 

“I’m looking forward to continuing my education at Queen’s and I’m determined to honour Alison’s memory to make a difference to those suffering from blood cancers.”

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