All of us, executive and non-executive, at Catalyst Inc, are shocked and devastated at the sudden and untimely death of Professor Patrick Johnston and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.
Professor Johnston, who was a non-executive Director of the NI Science Park Foundation, was an inspirational leader not only as Vice Chancellor at Queens University, Belfast, but in developing the globally recognised Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, which he founded. He believed that the highest quality of academic medical research could only be achieved close to patients and intimate with the health providers’ supply chain. Professor Johnston put Belfast on the research map, changed the cancer outcomes for our people and built the beginnings of a local economy bringing these benefits to the world at large.
Professor Johnston was very supportive of Catalyst Inc and our efforts to grow the Knowledge Economy and has been a great source of encouragement as we have developed more ambitious plans.
He had so much more to offer in developing a better Northern Ireland for everybody, and especially our young people. He was ambitious not for himself but for his university, for Catalyst Inc and for our region; it behoves those of us left behind to remain true to his dream.