Luxembourgish National Node

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Luxemburg is represented in EPTRI by the “Luxembourg Institute of Health” and the “European Patients Forum”.

On the 3rd of March 2020, the “Luxembourg Institute of Health” signed the official letter of political and financial support recognising the relevance of the initiative for the research community in Luxembourg and sustaining the EPTRI application to the ESFRI Roadmap 2021.

The “Luxembourg Institute of Health”, “Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg” and the “University of Luxembourg on behalf of its Luxembourg Center for System Biomedicine” signed the Memorandum of Understanding declaring their support to develop the EPTRI Infrastructure with the aim to organise the main research institutes into a National Node (the Luxembourg Hub).

The Luxembourg Hub (EPTRI-LU) will be constituted by the following Institutes:

  • Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg: Its physicians and researchers work in haematology, ophthalmology, cardiology, nephrology, genetic, oncology, pulmonary and respiratory diseases, gastroenterology, gynaecology, musculoskeletal diseases, neurology, infectious diseases, endocrinology and dermatology. The researchers study the paediatric development mechanisms in oncology (e.g. neuroblastoma) and in neurology and, at the Department of Paediatrics, they investigate the Blau Syndrome and its effects on children, especially the ocular and articular diseases. Indeed, physicians and researchers work to identify specific biomarkers to recognise uveitis, arthritis, dermatitis, kidney diseases and other inflammation associated. They are also engaged on paediatric sarcoidosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis studying the possible treatments on animal models (e.g. rat). In genetic field, they study Noonan Syndrome discovering a missense mutation that is associated with mediastinal and retroperitoneal neuroblastic tumours. Moreover, the researchers perform also translational research as the association of the microbiome and type 1 diabetes. In oncology, the researches study breast cancer focusing on BRCA genes, lung cancer, leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Recently, they evaluated a new experimental treatment against lung cancer, compared to traditional chemotherapy treatments.
  • University of Luxembourg on behalf of its Luxembourg Center for Systems Biomedicine: The center is pioneering the way for a predictive, preventive and personalised medicine. It develops and applies systems-level approaches to gain insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of human diseases. Experimental and computational approaches are combined to analyse the complexity of biological systems underlying disease pathogenesis. Neurodegenerative diseases are major targets within research activities, but they also deal with immunology, metabolism and enzymology, bioinformatics, translational research, neuroscience, genetics and genomics. The researchers work on neurodevelopment aspects, developing 3D brain organoids which help them to understand the cellular and molecular processes linked to neurodegenerative diseases. They are also focused to exploit genomic and post-genomic data to discover new enzyme functions, to reduce the number of orphan enzymes, and to fill gaps in metabolic networks that are important in many metabolic diseases. In the genetic field, the researchers use next generation sequencing and comparative genomics tools to understand the physiological functions, to predicted (in silico) gene, gene functions and gene expression, and to investigate the immune system. They perform in vitro and in vivo studies and use in vitro models to gain a comprehensive picture of infection and inflammation in cancer. They also study stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, in particular using neuronal stem cell and pluripotent stem cell for their studies.
  • Luxembourg Institute of Health: It is a public research organisation at the forefront of biomedical sciences. They are focused on cancer, immunological disorders, neurodegenerative medicine and preventive medicine. In the oncological field, the researchers are focused on glioblastoma, brain metastases, haematological malignancies and
    gastro-intestinal cancer, to understand the immunological aspects of the onset and progression of these diseases as well as advance immuno-oncology from the prediction of responses to immune therapies and to the development of novel immunotherapy targets. In immunology, the researchers are engaged to elucidate predisposition and development of immunological disorders and auto-immune diseases in children as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. In collaboration with the Luxembourg Center for Systems Biomedicine, they are very active on neurodegenerative diseases and neuroinflammation. Several research projects are carried on identifying new targets and new treatments. At the Laboratory of Retrovirology, the researchers investigate on HIV antiretroviral treatment in humanised mice. They also perform study on stem cell biology using haematopoietic stem cell.
  • European Patients Forum: It is an umbrella organisation that works with patients’ groups in public health and health advocacy across Europe. Their members represent specific chronic disease groups at European level and national coalitions of patients. Its mission is to be the collective influential patient voice in European health and related policies and a driving force to advance patient empowerment and equitable patient access to care in Europe. Its goal is health literacy, healthcare access and quality, patient involvement, patient empowerment, sustainable patients’ organisations, and non-discrimination. They will co-lead the communication, dissemination, outreach and engagement activities in the preparatory phase of EPTRI.