A major Northern Ireland company is to help the University of Ulster establish a Chair in Pharmaceutical Science with a £1 million donation.
The move will see the creation of the Norbrook Laboratories Professorship in the new Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the university's Coleraine campus.
Officials said it will contribute to the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute which the university said was recently ranked in the top two in the UK.
The university hailed the potential of its partnership with the Newry-based pharmaceuticals firm, founded by Lord Ballyedmond.
Professor Tony Bjourson, director of the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, said: "We are very honoured to have received such a generous donation and that Norbrook Laboratories are supporting the University's activities in Biomedical Sciences, and, in particular, pharmaceutical science research.
"We are extremely excited about the impact of this important partnership with such a highly successful global company. The donation will directly fund a prestigious Norbrook Chair in Pharmaceutical Science.
"We are now actively seeking to recruit a high-calibre pharmaceutical professor with an established outstanding international track record in research who will further enhance our research team.
"Developing any drug for a particular disease is an important first step, but understanding how a drug is formulated, how stable it is, and the actual way to deliver that drug, is just as critical for the pharmaceutical industry and the end-user."
He added: "A key focus in Biomedical Sciences is the translation of our research into useful products and services that positively impact on economic development and are of societal benefit and this donation strongly supports that ethos.
"We look forward to the prestigious appointment of the Norbrook Chair in Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Ulster, and promotion of this important academic-industry partnership."