coronavirus (covid-19): a priority for lih

In addition to being a primary contributor of a dedicated COVID-19 taskforce, the LIH is also involved in several independent research projects focusing on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

LIH has been collaborating closely with the Health Directorate of the Luxembourg Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and all national players in the healthcare and public research ecosystem in order to mobilise knowledge, human and material resources to help contain the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first step taken by “Research Luxembourg” — a joint initiative of the main players in Luxembourg’s public research sector — was the establishment of a dedicated COVID-19 taskforce to coordinate communication and align efforts between Luxembourg’s research institutions, ministries and hospitals. Specifically, the taskforce puts the combined expertise of the LIH, LISER, LIST, LNS, University of Luxembourg and FNR at the service of the national healthcare system, under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. 

research luxembourg taskforce

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Luxembourg, Research Luxembourg has established a taskforce to coordinate the communication and align efforts between the research institutions, ministries and hospitals in the country.  

More specifically, the missions of the Research Luxembourg COVID-19 taskforce are to: 

  • Coordinate the provision of support from the national research community to healthcare providers and the government in order to contain the current COVID-19 pandemic; 
  • Help identify and centralise a variety of priority activities, leveraging on the cross-sectoral expertise in molecular biology, epidemiology, clinical trials and fundamental research 
  • Be the point of contact between the national research ecosystem, the clinical community and the authorities 

The taskforce members were recruited under the coordination of LIH and include representatives from several Luxembourg public research institutes, namely: 

  • Ulf Nehrbass (LIH, taskforce spokesman); 
  • Paul Wilmes (University of Luxembourg, taskforce deputy spokesman) 
  • Henri-Michel Cauchie (LIST, taskforce member) 
  • Frank Glod (LIH, Head of taskforce) 
  • Jasmin Schulz (LIH, Operational oversight) 
  • Lars Geffers (LIH, IT platform, channelling of requests) 

Taskforce members oversee the different work packages identified by Research Luxembourg. Specifically, the taskforce spokespeople liaise with Coordinating Contact Points at the Ministries of Health, Higher Education and Research, and Economy, as well as at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), Hôpitaux Robert Schuman (HRS), Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (CHEM) and Centre Hospitalier du Nord (CHdN). 

In parallel, taskforce assistants have been recruited among members of the LIH and University of Luxembourg staff in order to manage workloads, communicate with partners and interface with taskforce members and the leaders of each work package (see below). They enable efficient handling of external requests and operate various platforms and communication tools. Taskforce assistants include: 

  • Snehaa Seal (LIH) 
  • Catherine Goetzinger (LIH) 
  • Maura Minelli (LIH) 
  • Cathy Leonard (LIH) 
  • Erica Grant (LIH) 
  • Dmitrii Pogorelov (LIH) 
  • Oliver Hunewald (LIH) 
  • Silvia Colucci (University of Luxembourg) 
  • Sara Fernandez (LIH) 
  • Tatjana Makovski (LIH) 
  • Aurelie Poli (LIH) 
  • Tatiana Michel (LIH) 
  • Anouk Ewen (LIH) 
  • Martyna Szpakowska (LIH) 

taskforce initiatives and projects

Based on consultations with the ministries and all relevant stakeholders, 12 work packages have been defined in order to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic from different angles in a holistic and concert manner. These are led by a dedicated work package leader and will be coordinated and supported by the taskforce over the coming weeks and months. 

The 12 Work Packages (WP) are: 

  • WP 01: Cross-sectional study on infection prevalence in Luxembourg 
  • WP 02: Predictive markers for COVID-19 severity 
  • WP 03: Interventional clinical trial with existing drugs 
  • WP 04: Diagnostic capacity and large-scale testing strategies for Luxembourg 
  • WP 05: eHealth solutions for hospitalised and ambulatory patients 
  • WP 06: Statistical pandemic projections 
  • WP 07: Gauging economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak 
  • WP 08: Mobilising volunteers for support of hospital emergency services 
  • WP 09: Mobilising and coordinating private partner initiatives 
  • WP 10: COVID-19 centred communication 
  • WP 11: Evidence-based review team in the outbreak context 
  • WP 12: Ideas for new initiatives in the pandemic context 

Visit the COVID-19 Task force website to learn more about the work packages.  

Specifically, the taskforce focuses on the following areas: 

  • A prevalence study to assess the extent of the spread of the virus and the number of asymptomatic individuals; 
  • A stratification study in which researchers will attempt to identify risk factors that contribute negatively to disease progression; 
  • Statistical simulations of the evolution, impact and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide short- and medium-term projections and thus facilitate decision-making on when restrictions could be lifted. 

lih research experts involved in the different work package

A number of experts from LIH have been mobilised to lead and contribute to the different work packages, leveraging on their complementary expertise in virology, clinical trials, public health, immunology and biological sample collection. The Work Package leaders are assisted by numerous team members, from LIH, other research centres, but also volunteers, who play a key role in the implementation of the various tasks foreseen under each work package. The key Work Package leaders and contributors at LIH are: 

  • Ulf Nehrbass  
  • Guy Berchem  
  • Chantal Snoeck 
  • Dirk Brenner 
  • Markus Ollert 
  • Manon Gantenbein 
  • Claude Muller 
  • Rejko Krüger 

educational materials

Talking to children is key, especially during this COVID-19 situation. But having the right answers is not always easy, since it means adjusting the amount and detail of information to fit their age, given that they see the world very differently from adults. 

LIH is here to help from this perspective too. Indeed, one of the missions of the Institute is to find approachable and understandable ways of communicating its activities to lay audiences, making complex topics more easily comprehensible and therefore raising awareness on Luxembourg’s research efforts among the general public. 

You will find here relevant material for families and education professionals to help explain the situation to a young audience. 

For young children (from 4 to 8 years old) the LIH Communication Department created “#LIHtellmewhy”, an original series of cartoons, which provides simplified information on ongoing COVID-19 research and developments. Each cartoon addresses a specific question in a fun, entertaining and reliable way.  

For older children and teenagers, we have also gathered other pieces of information (articles, videos…) from official and reliable sources (LIH and others). 

LIH- #LIHTellMeWhy

Projects & clinical trials

Related News

support research on covid-19 in luxembourg

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, scientists from the Luxembourg Institute of Health, the University of Luxembourg, the Laboratoire National de Santé, LIST and LISER as well as laboratories and hospitals have joined forces under the umbrella of RESEARCH LUXEMBOURG to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. 

Many Luxembourg-based scientists have initiated research projects focusing on the topic of COVID-19, notably on studies to gain a better understanding on the prevalence of the disease in Luxembourg, and to identify risk factors and biomarkers associated with severe symptoms and long-term consequences of the disease. By modelling the evolution of the pandemic in Luxembourg, scientists are helping to shape informed decisions about confinement and exit strategies. 

Many of these projects are evaluated and funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). In addition, the André Losch Foundation has contributed 1.4M € to the research projects. Despite this generous funding, some of these projects did not receive the entire amount necessary and would thus benefit from additional support. Therefore, we are currently looking for donations to help us cover the costs of some of the most promising COVID-19 projects currently undertaken in Luxembourg. 

Donations towards COVID-19 research projects can be made to the following account: 

Luxembourg Institute of Health 
1ab, rue Thomas Edison 
L-1445 Strassen 

Bank name: BCEE – Banque et Caisse d´Epargne de l´Etat 
Bank address: 2, place de Metz L-2954 Luxembourg 
Account number: 1106/2926-0 
IBAN Number: LU30 0019 1106 2926 0000 
Communication: COVID-19 Research 

More information on the research work related to COVID-19 can be found on the website of Research Luxembourg


Please write to us, indicating your surname, first name and contact details or contact us by phone: Tél. (+352) 26 9701. For further information on tax deductions, please visit the following link: Impôts directs.

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