Queen’s University Belfast has announced the “untimely and sudden” death of Patrick Johnston, its vice-chancellor.
Professor Johnston, 58, had led the Northern Irish institution since March 2014.
James O’Kane, registrar and chief operating officer at Queen’s, said in a statement issued “with a deep sense of shock and loss” that Professor Johnston had died earlier on 4 June.
“We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Iseult, his wife, and their four boys, Seamus, Eoghan, Niall and Ruairi, and the wider family circle at this desperately sad time,” Mr O’Kane said.
Prior to becoming vice-chancellor, Professor Johnston had been dean of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s, and was a leading cancer researcher.
He served on the board of the Medical Research Council and was appointed chair of the organisation’s translational research group in 2012.
Professor Johnston, a native of Londonderry, had been the first person to be appointed vice-chancellor of Queen’s from within its staff since 1976.