In the beginning of June, the internationally renowned expert on Parkinson’s disease Prof. Dr. Rejko Krüger is starting his research in Luxembourg. Backed by a PEARL Grant from the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR), Rejko Krüger will be working at both the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg and the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL).
"For me, these are optimum conditions for conducting medically oriented basic research for the benefit of Parkinson’s disease patients," Rejko Krüger says: "I am really happy to be moving to Luxembourg." As a neurologist and neuroscientist, Krüger has until now been teaching at the University of Tübingen while also researching at the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and offering Parkinson’s patients the latest therapeutic methods such as deep brain stimulation at the University Hospital.
Parkinson’s disease has become an important focus of clinical and biomedical research in Luxembourg in recent years. "Along with the appointment of Prof. Krüger, we are establishing a treatment centre for neurodegenerative diseases," says CHL Director, Dr. Romain Nati. "Here, we will offer our Parkinson’s patients even better options for therapy in future, where the latest insights from basic research will be directly applied."
The researchers at LCSB have been conducting basic research on Parkinson’s for close to five years. LCSB Director, Prof. Dr. Rudi Balling, stresses how important it is to create a link between the clinic and basic research: "Clinicians know exactly what the patients need for good treatment and what the pertinent questions are, which we as researchers at LCSB can help to answer." Rejko Krüger shall now create a living bridge between the two domains. "This will yet again boost our capacity in Luxembourg quite substantially," Rudi Balling says with delight.
Rejko Krüger has set up a comprehensive clinical and basic scientific programme in Luxembourg, to which he will dedicate himself fully. "Rejko Krüger’s scientific excellence and his ambitious goals have impressed us, as a national research funding organisation," explains FNR Secretary General, Dr. Marc Schiltz: "With the PEARL Grant, he now has five million euros at his disposal over five years to realize his projects under optimum working conditions."
These projects include, for example, looking deep into the molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease from a researching clinician’s perspective. "The conditions at LCSB are outstanding for this, because here I can find a unique, interdisciplinary research culture in which biologists, medical practitioners, mathematicians and computer scientists work hand in hand," Krüger enthuses. He will also be directly available for patients at CHL: "I will be offering consultations at CHL for Parkinson’s patients, so that patients can receive individual advice on options for treatment and, in the scope of trials, can actively contribute to the research of their disease."
Krüger intends to convey this knowledge to the laboratories of LCSB, where he, his team and other research groups can work on translating this knowledge into new approaches for diagnosis, prevention and therapy – for the benefit of patients in Luxembourg and around the world.