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Think Pink Lux ‘Marian Aldred Award’ awarded to LIH researchers

16 March 2022 3minutes

On March 8th 2022, Takouhie Mgrditchian, postdoctoral researcher within the Cytoskeleton and Cancer Progression (CCP) group of the LIH Department of Cancer Research (DOCR), and Dr Clément Thomas, Leader of the research group, were awarded the ‘Marian Aldred Award’ by Think Pink Lux (TPL). The symbolic EUR 25,000 cheque was handed over to the two awardees during a ceremony that took place at the LIH premises in Strassen, in the presence of Kathy Liebl and Laurent Vanot from the Think Pink Lux committee.

The generous donation will support the group’s research on tumour immune escape mechanisms. Immunotherapy aims to reactivate or boost the immune system against cancer. Although it is one of the most promising anti-cancer therapies, it fails to elicit an effective and durable response in many patients. It is urgent to understand the causes of such failure.

Cytotoxic lymphocytes are key anti-tumour immune cells that physically interact with prospective target cells through a highly specialized cell-to-cell interface termed the immunological synapse. The immunological synapse is indispensable for recognition and killing of tumour cells. The CCP group recently established that tumour cells can alter the morphology and molecular composition of the immunological synapse and thereby escape from cytotoxic lymphocyte-mediated killing. Thanks to the Marian Aldred Award, the two researchers will evaluate several potential molecular targets to prevent alteration of the immunological synapse by tumour cells. The identification of such a target would open new avenues for the development of therapeutic approaches aimed to restore an effective antitumor immune response in patients and improve the efficacy of immunotherapy.

We are very grateful to Think Pink Lux for their generosity and for being active supporters of the translational research we perform within our group and at LIH in general. The donation will help us better understand of how tumours escape immunity and resist to immunotherapy

explain the two awardees.

We are delighted once again to be able to support young and dynamic researchers in Luxembourg under the guidance of Dr Clément Thomas.  We are very grateful to all our sponsors, donors and supporters whose generosity allows us to do this.

Cancer remains not only a significant burden on healthcare systems, but also a condition about which we need constantly to enlarge our medical knowledge.  So the the continuation of research is extremely important, not only to extend the scope of effective treatments, but also to enable those with cancer to adapt and live with it

states Freda Deed, Treasurer from TPL

Think Pink Lux is a Luxembourg non-profit association started in 2009 by a group of volunteers, with the goal of supporting women living in Luxembourg with the day to day reality of cancer. Think Pink Lux aims to raise awareness of cancers affecting women and to support women and their families living in Luxembourg with cancer. To this end, the ‘Marian Aldred Award’ was instigated in 2012 following the untimely death of Marian Aldred, one of the Think Pink Lux committee’s founding members, due to ovarian cancer. The award provides funding to young scientists in support of their cancer research projects.

Since its inception, ThinkPink Lux has funded a PhD student at Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Cancer (Hôpital Kirchberg) with EUR 63,000 and has already financed several students at the LIH Department of Cancer Research under Dr Clément Thomas through the Marian Aldred award, for a total financial commitment amounting to EUR 141,000.

Scientific Contact

  • Clément
    Thomas
    Group Leader, CCP

    Contact

  • Takouhie
    Mgrditchian
    Postdoctoral Fellow, CCP

    Contact

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