Physical activity in Luxembourg: how active are we?
On January 27th, the Global Observatory for Physical Activity (GoPA!) released its second round of physical activity country profiles, presenting detailed information on physical activity research, policy and surveillance in 162 countries across the world. The Physical Activity, Sport and Health research group of the LIH Department of Population Health (DoPH) was the point of contact for the 2020 Country Card for Luxembourg, contributing with the data and information generated through past population studies in order to give an overview of the country’s performance in this domain.
Training the next generation of translational scientists
On February 1st, the new i2TRON (Integrating immune strategies for Translational Research in Oncology and Neurology) research and training programme for PhD candidates officially started. Its overarching goal is to develop the ability of doctoral candidates to successfully translate fundamental research findings into innovative pre-clinical and clinical applications, thereby contributing to shaping the next generation of translational researchers and to developing advanced medicine and care.
Targeted proteomics for personalised medicine at LIH
The field of proteomics, i.e. the characterisation of the complete pool of proteins produced by a cell, is acquiring increasing importance in understanding the onset of various diseases and devising new personalised treatments. At LIH, this area is being explored by Prof Gunnar Dittmar and his team at the Proteomics of Cellular Signaling research group of the Quantitative Biology Unit (QBU). His work has resulted in the publication of his 100th scientific paper in the January 2021 issue of the prestigious international journal “Analytical Chemistry”. In this interview, Prof Dittmar discusses his expertise and research focus.
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.