The success of the Queen's-led bid was a result of partnerships with the Institute of Public Health in Ireland.
The organisation's Chief Executive, Dr Jane Wilde CBE, said: "The opening of the Centre of Excellence confirms Northern Ireland's place on the international public health map.
"From molecules to people the Centre's research programme offers the opportunity to further understand and improve the public health of Northern Ireland. By linking public health research to public policy this creative collaboration will enable others to learn from us."
Essential to the success of the bid was the support of an important group of key stakeholders, including the Office of the Chief Medical Officer, the Community Development and Health Network, the DHSSPSNI Research and Development Office, the Health Promotion Agency NI, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and the Discovery Centre W5, who will help disseminate the research to the public.
Barbary Cook, Chair of the Community Development and Health Network, said: "We are delighted to be involved with the Centre of Excellence and look forward to seeing communities fully connected to the research and practice development of the Centre."
A partnership of funders, under the umbrella of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration (UKCRC) provided the 20 million investment needed to establish the five Centres of Excellence. The funding group is lead by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Funding partners are the Health and Social Care Research and Development Office for Northern Ireland, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, Wales Office of Research and Development - Welsh Assembly Government and the Wellcome Trust.
|Contact: Andrea Clements|
Queen's University Belfast