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Celebrating 20 Years of Hard Work at the Cardiovascular Research Unit

13 July 2023 3minutes

2023 marks a momentous occasion as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Cardiovascular Research Unit (CVRU) at the LIH, created by Dr Daniel Wagner and currently led by Dr Yvan Devaux. Over the past two decades, the CVRU has been at the forefront of ground-breaking research, dedicated to unravelling the intricate role of RNAs in heart and brain diseases.

With its mission to advance personalized healthcare, the CVRU has pursued a goal of developing RNA-based biomarkers and therapeutic approaches. By focusing on heart failure, cardiac arrest, and Parkinson’s disease, the unit has delved into the complexities of these conditions, seeking to better understand their mechanisms and uncover innovative solutions.

Leveraging cutting-edge high-throughput transcriptomics tools, the CVRU’s team has made significant strides in identifying RNA-based diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for cardiovascular and brain diseases. Their research has honed in on non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and circular RNAs, shedding light on their pivotal roles in disease progression and in the interactions between the brain and the heart.

With strategic goals aimed at combating the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide, the CVRU has consistently strived to realise unmet medical needs. Through extensive collaborations with international partners and private entities, the unit has bridged the gap between scientific discoveries and clinical application, propelling translational research and personalized medicine forward.

The CVRU’s recent notable endeavours include the successful implementation of CardioRNA, a pan-European and multidisciplinary network of more than 200 partners funded by the H2020 Framework programme of the European Union that fostered collaborations between diverse stakeholders, accelerating the deciphering of RNA functions and their interactions in a cardiovascular disease context. This venture helped to further our understanding of the transcriptome’s role in cardiovascular disease and promote personalized medicine to address current public health challenges.

Moreover, the CVRU also spearheaded COVIRNA, a research and innovation project funded by the European Union focused on the development of a diagnostic tool to identify COVID-19 patients at risk of developing poor clinical outcomes. As the first Horizon 2020 Innovation Action coordinated by an LIH team, COVIRNA demonstrated the CVRU’s unwavering commitment to addressing pressing health concerns.

In addition to their research achievements, the CVRU has actively disseminated knowledge to the public via various publications. Their 2021 brochure on hypertension and book on Epigenetics in Cardiovascular Disease have served both the public and the scientific community.

As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Cardiovascular Research Unit, we acknowledge their unwavering dedication to scientific excellence and their contributions to cardiovascular and brain disease research. The CVRU’s profound impact on personalized healthcare continues to shape the future, offering hope to patients worldwide.

The CVRU team wishes to dedicate this article to its esteemed and missed founder, Dr Daniel Wagner.

The CVRU’s research is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe research and innovation programmes, the National Research Fund, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and the Heart Foundation-Daniel Wagner of Luxembourg.

Scientific Contact


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