FNR Award for Outstanding Scientific Publication for cancer researchers from LIH
On 14th October 2016, the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) held the 8th edition of the FNR Awards on Campus Belval, presenting four awards for excellence in science and research communication. Dr Jérôme Paggetti and Dr Etienne Moussay from the Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research at LIH’s Department of Oncology were awarded for an outstanding scientific publication on novel findings in cancer research that appeared in 2015 in the acclaimed medical journal “Blood”.
The publication entitled “Exosomes released by chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells induce the transition of stromal cells into cancer-associated fibroblasts”, reports a study in which Dr Paggetti, Dr Moussay and co-workers show how cancer cells in chronic lymphatic leukaemia (CLL) manipulate surroundings cells to their advantage to ensure their survival and proliferation. The leukaemia cells release small vesicles named exosomes whose molecular content is able to alter the phenotype of adjacent healthy cells in the bone marrow and lymph nodes, thus creating a favourable tumour microenvironment.
The jury of the FNR Awards selected this publication because of the high-impact potential the findings have for the field of intercellular communication in general, and particularly CLL. The results may lead to novel therapeutic strategies against CLL if it is possible to target exosome production, secretion or fusion with healthy cells.
In the presence of the Luxembourg research community, the two researchers were handed over a trophy and congratulated by Marc Hansen, Minister Delegate for Higher Education and Research, Véronique Hoffeld, Chairwoman of the Board of the FNR, and Dr Marc Schiltz, Secretary General of the FNR.
Dr Paggetti held a short speech: ‘We feel immensely honoured to receive this award. We acknowledge the FNR and the FNRS-Télévie for their financial support for our research as well as the Government for its continuous support to develop biomedical research in Luxembourg. We also thank the management of our institute for enabling excellent working conditions. We are grateful to our collaborators from France and Germany, to clinicians and patients from Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg who contributed to the study, to our colleagues from the Department of Oncology and from Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg, and of course to our family and friends.’
For Dr Moussay, this is already the second FNR Award. He was awarded in the same category in 2012 for another publication highlighting important findings in CLL. For one year now, he is leading a small research team at LIH as principal investigator. Both Dr Moussay and Dr Paggetti are members of the American Society of Hematology and of the American Society of Cancer Research since 2013.
FNR awardees Dr Jérôme Paggetti (left) and Dr Etienne Moussay (right)
Photos: Copyright Charles Caratini
All FNR awardees together with Véronique Hoffeld, Chairwoman of the Board of the FNR (third from the left), Marc Hansen, Minister Delegate for Higher Education and Research (middle), and Dr Marc Schiltz, Secretary General of the FNR (third from the right)