The LCSB is one of three interdisciplinary centres within the University of Luxembourg and was established in 2009 to accelerate biomedical research by closing the link between systems biology and medical research.
Its Vision is to:
- understand the mechanisms of complex biological systems and disease processes
- enable new ways to cure and prevent human disease
LCSB aims to generate a better understanding of diseases as complex systems through collaboration between a wide range of specialist including medical doctors, computer scientists, biologists, engineers and mathematicians. The LCSB develops and applies systems-level approaches to gain insight into the molecular and cellular mechanisms of human diseases with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases. Experimental and computational approaches are combined to analyse the complexity of biological systems underlying disease pathogenesis.
This is reflected in the research activities, platforms and services:
- Animal facilities:
- Sequencing platform -> Discover more
- Metabolomics platform -> Discover more
- Bioinformatics Platform -> Discover more
- BioImaging platform -> Discover more
- in collaboration with LIH: Disease Modelling & Screening Platform (DMSP), -> Discover more
- Parkinson’s Disease Map -> Discover more
- COVID Disease Map -> Discover more
- Digital Medicine Group -> Discover more
DATA ANALYSIS for
- Omics data integration / systems biology
- Structural bioinformatics
DATA INTERPRETATION for
- Omics data integration/system biology
- Structural bioinformatics
- Informatics methods to support clinical decisions (diagnostic, predictive tests)
- Molecular profiling (omics and others)
- Metadata (patient/sample information)
- MetaCore software
- Gene annotation
- Expression profiling with omics, microarrays, others (e.g. PCR) for RNAseq, microRNA, other RNA species, protein and metabolites
- Methylation profiling with NGS
- Data integration (“Systems biology”)
- Structural modeling
- Genetic analysis for Structural variation detection (Genome, Exome) and prediction of protein function from sequence information
- Drug target integration analysis
OMICS INTEGRATION METHODS
- Published tools – IMP
- Own scripts/software
The LCSB has 17 research groups.
The LCSB is pioneering the way for predictive, preventive and personalised medicine. Neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinson’s disease are major targets within LCSB’s research activities. The Centre has established strategic partnerships with leading biomedical laboratories worldwide and with all major biological and medical research units in Luxembourg. The LCSB fosters collaboration with industrial partners and promotes the translation of fundamental research results into (clinical) applications to develop new diagnostic tools and therapies benefiting patients.
As such, the LCSB is hosting several ambitious projects in translational medicine:
NCER-PD is a joint research effort of the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, Luxembourg Institute of Health, Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg and Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg to unite their clinical, biomedical, and computational expertise in Parkinson’s disease (PD). This research programme aims to find new ways for an earlier diagnosis and personalized treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
NCER-PD established a nation-wide and deep-phenotyped cohort of more than 1,600 participants from Luxembourg and the Greater Region, called the Luxembourg Parkinson’s Study. The study includes patients diagnosed with PD and other forms of parkinsonism and matching control subjects. This longitudinal cohort ranks amongst the 7% largest PD cohorts worldwide. Research physicians, psychologists, and study nurses routinely collect clinical and neuropsychological data, as well as biosamples such as blood, urine, stool, and saliva. These data and samples are then stored, curated, and integrated into state-of-the-art data and biobank facilities for processing within the NCER-PD programme and beyond. NCER-PD harvests the collected data and samples to explore new avenues of biomedical research aiming to translate findings into therapies for PD.
ORCHESTRA is a three-year international research project co-ordinated by the University of Verona (Italy) and funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the ERAvsCORONA Action Plan.
ORCHESTRA aims to deliver sound scientific evidence to understand the immune response to the COVID-19 vaccination over time and to analyse the prevention and treatment of infections caused by SARS-CoV-2. These aims will be achieved within ORCHESTRA Luxembourg and participants from the CON-VINCE study will be invited to join.
Further information about Orchestra Luxembourg can be found here.
CoVaLux (COVID-19, Vaccination & Long-term health consequences of COVID-19 in Luxembourg) is a comprehensive research framework study aimed at addressing key unanswered questions related to COVID-19, focusing specifically on vaccination and on the long-term health impact of COVID-19. LCSB is one of the study partners in Luxembourg.
Despite the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic entering its second year, open questions pertaining to the occurrence of new variants, ensuing new waves, vaccination effectiveness and immune responses remain to be elucidated. In addition, more than 25,000 individuals in Luxembourg are estimated to be affected by Long COVID, an emerging long-term medical condition characterised by persisting COVID-19 related symptoms. All of these factors highlight the importance of looking at the pandemic from a broader perspective. The aim is to assess whether we need to optimise current strategies for prioritising vaccination in view Long COVID, while analysing the impact of vaccination on individual and population-level outcomes.
The PDP is a programme for effective dementia prevention in a target population within Luxembourg showing mild or subjective cognitive impairment. PDP wants to support affected people by showing them new ways to stay mentally fit. Recent scientific evidence demonstrates the opportunity to prevent dementia – or at least to delay it – by acting on risk factors that can be modified (such as diabetes, physical inactivity, hearing loss, social isolation, obesity, depression, hypertension and smoking). These risk factors represent 35% of all the risk factors for developing dementia. PDP identifies people with a high risk to develop dementia via neuropsychological assessments, establishes an individual risk factor profile, and recommends a personalized and tailor-made set of different actions to prevent or at least delay the underlying neurodegenerative and/or vascular process. National partners of the PDP offer a broad spectrum of support, such as dietary advice or specific mental training.
LCSB is furthermore hosting the national node of ELIXIR, the European infrastructure for life science information, which focuses on the long-term sustainability of tools and data for translational medicine.