Can the “dark side” of the genome help fight cardiovascular disease?
Understanding whether specific types of RNA molecules can provide insight into the development of cardiovascular diseases is “at the heart” of the research performed by the EU-funded CardioRNA project partners. Through a recently released educational video, the consortium explains its activities and goals.
Characterising cardiometabolic health through inflammation and micronutrients
Researchers from the LIH Department of Population Health (DoPH) recently investigated whether the concentration of micronutrients/secondary plant compounds, markers of oxidative stress/inflammation, as well as socioeconomic indicators can be associated with the risk of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Their study, which was published in the January 2021 issue of the international journal Nutrients, is part of the FNR-funded CORE project “Micronutrients, Pollutants and Cardiometabolic Health in Luxembourg” (IMPACT.lu). IMPACT.lu builds on data from the European Health Examination Survey in Luxembourg (EHES-LUX), a population-based survey conducted between February 2013 and January 2015 in the Grand Duchy. In this interview, Dr. Maria Ruiz-Castell, Scientist within the Public Health Research Unit and leader of IMPACT-LUX and EHES-LUX, and Dr. Torsten Bohn, Group Leader of the Nutrition and Health Research Group, share their findings.
2020 - A full and rewarding year
The year 2020, despite its challenges, brought about a string of successes for the institute and its staff. From the cross-departmental efforts in setting up and coordinating flagship COVID-19 projects, to the Department of Infection and Immunity’s (DII) advances in the fields of autoimmunity and pain relief, to the Department of Oncology’s (DONC) breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy and characterisation, through to the Department of Population Health’s (DoPH) findings in terms of public health, this year has been one to remember.
Télévie researchers go “back to the lab”!
On January 13, the « Rentrée des chercheurs » took place in the form of a series of video clips. This event promoted by Télévie symbolically marks the start of the new research projects funded by the charitable organisation and by the Belgian « Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique » (FNRS). As one of the scientists supported by Télévie, Dr Bassam Janji, Group leader of the Tumor Immunotherapy and Microenvironment (TIME) at the Department of Oncology of the Luxembourg Institute of Health, was featured in this original initiative, which provided the opportunity to discuss the work of his research group.
LIH and Luxembourg hospitals contribute to assessing the safety of potential COVID-19 treatments
The Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL), and specifically its National Infectious Disease Department (Service National des Maladies Infectieuses – SNMI) and Intensive Care Unit, the Hôpitaux Robert Schuman (HRS), and the Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centre (CIEC) of the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) contributed to the results of the European clinical trial “DisCoVeRy”. Although the findings, which were published in December 2020 in “New England Journal of Medicine”, do not support the use of the investigated drugs for the treatment of more severe forms of COVID-19, they represent a step forward in the understanding of the disease and in ensuring patient safety. These results feed into the broader international trial “Solidarity”, supporting its outcomes.
Strengthening the Digital Health and Artificial Intelligence axis at LIH
Dr Guy Fagherazzi, Group Leader of the Deep Digital Phenotyping Research Unit at the LIH Department Population Health (DoPH), will ensure the leadership of DoPH effective January 1st 2021. His appointment will further deepen the integration of digital data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the department’s and the institute’s research activities.
Translating research into clinical applications
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that conducting strong translational research is key to combating the coronavirus. By leveraging cutting edge laboratory techniques to study patient samples, translational research quickly pivots laboratory discoveries into new therapies for patients, in a process known as the bench-to-bedside approach. Luxembourg has established excellent transversal and translational research, spanning several research topics and disease areas and integrating the results to provide holistic and meaningful insights that can tangibly improve clinical outcomes for patients.
International prize “Prix du Fonds Léon et Henri Fredericq” awarded to LIH researcher
Dr Andy Chevigné, Group Leader of the Immuno-Pharmacology and Interactomics research group at the LIH Department of Infection and Immunity (DII), was rewarded for his outstanding contribution to the fields of allergology and molecular pharmacology through the bestowal of the “Prix du Fonds Léon et Henri Fredericq” by the Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium.
[Press release] New insights into Glioblastoma invasiveness
Researchers from the NORLUX Neuro-Oncology Laboratory at the LIH Department of Oncology (DONC) explored the molecular mechanisms responsible for the ability of Glioblastoma (GBM) to infiltrate and spread to healthy brain tissue. They brought forward the novel role of protein ZFAND3 in promoting the transcription of several genes that stimulate the invasion of GBM cells in the surrounding parenchyma, the functional tissue in the brain. The findings, which carry significant implications for the development of novel therapeutic strategies against GBM, were published in the international journal Nature Communications.