Retrospective 2015: LIH’s achievements and major events

2015 was an eventful and scientifically active year for LIH. In its aim to excel in biomedical research and to improve health and healthcare, the institution underwent major structural changes during the past year to redefine the organisation and strategy of its research departments.

It started with the merger of the former CRP-Santé and the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL). Since then, this union has created numerous synergies both on the scientific and the administrative level. Following the restructuration achieved in June, LIH is now composed of three thematic research departments: Infection and Immunity, Oncology, and Population Health.

In 2015, LIH issued a total of 236 publications, including book chapters and PhD theses. Eleven publications were of outstanding scientific quality and appeared in international peer-reviewed journals with an impact factor above 10. LIH managed to attract substantial national and international competitive funding, importantly two EUROSTARS grants from the European Union involving collaborations with industry.

A number of researchers got awarded for their exceptional scientific achievements. Among them was Prof Rolf Bjerkvig, Head of the Department of Oncology and at the same time Head of the K. G. Jebsen Centre for Brain Tumour Research in Bergen. He received a prestigious distinction by being awarded the « King Olav V Cancer Research Prize » by His Majesty King Harald V of Norway.

Numerous events were organised by LIH throughout the year. Among these was an international conference on “Precision Medicine for Cancer”, co-organised with the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR). A high quality lecture series in Infection & Immunity with ten invited speakers from abroad was held by the Department of Infection and Immunity. The highlight of this series was the venue of Prof. Tak W. Mak from the University of Toronto, well known for his discovery of the T cell receptor and further pioneering work in immunology.

Finally, the broad public could also get an insight into the institute’s activities during an Open Day offering a visit of its new laboratories at the House of BioHealth in Esch-sur-Alzette and during the Medical Research Day, an information day with conferences and workshops co-organised with Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg attracting more than 200 people.