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 spokesmen 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 packages

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:

Guy Berchem
Interview

Ulf Nehrbass
 

Chantal Snoek
Interview 

Dirk Brenner
Interview

Markus Ollert
Interview

Laetitia Huiart
 

Manon Gantenbein
Interview 

Claude Mueller
Interview

Fay Betsou
 

Rejko Krüger
Interview 

Odoo CMS - a big picture

Contacts

Communication:

Taskforce: Didier Goossens
didier.goossens@fnr.lu 

LIH: Arnaud d’Agostini
arnaud.dagostini@lih.lu