Genomics Research Unit


Main axes of research

The Genomics Research Unit actively collaborates with many national and foreign institutions to advance genomics research in areas as diverse as health, food tracing and environmental issues. Equipped with a wide range of state-of-the-art technology platforms, the facility aims to provide comprehensive, quality and reliable services for academic and private sector scientists alike. The Centre offers expertise and know-how in molecular and cell biology, biostatistics and bioinformatics.

Current research projects

The Genomics Research Unit participates in 16 projects and carries out research in genomics and bioinformatics.

Alternative splicing (AS) in lung cancer project: AS of gene transcripts is a process which generates multiple functional variants from individual genes. In cancers, AS is significantly altered, and there is indication that alternative and aberrant splice variants may have an impact on major aspects of tumour biology, such as proliferation, invasion, motility and metastasis. The project aims to identify and characterise lung cancer-specific transcript variants as putative biomarkers and targets for diagnostic, prognostic, and treatment purposes. The project focuses on the alterations in gene expression which take place following the interaction of tumour cells with their microenvironment.

Actinome project: We designed a thematic microarray called Actichip, a tool to profile the expression level of about 2.000 genes coding for key proteins from the actin cytoskeleton and associated regulatory pathways. We analysed the transcriptome of various human normal and tumour specimens and cell lines, and identified groups of genes with significant expression patterns which are characteristic of each of the sample types. We were able to discriminate normal and tumour samples and to classify them into distinct histopathological subgroups. We built a large gene expression database by retrieving, re-annotating, filtering and normalising data available in public repositories.

Resources and collaborations


  • Affymetrix GeneChip and Agilent microarray platforms
  • Microarray fluorescence scanners (Genepix 4000 B and Agilent)
  • Microarrayer Microgrid II (production of microarrays through printing of cDNA, oligonucleotides or proteins on microscopy slides
  • Tissue microarrayer (3D Histech)
  • 2100 Bioanalyser from Agilent Technologies (microfluidics-based platform for the automated analysis of nucleic acids and proteins )
  • Nanodrop ND-1000 Spectrophotometer (for highly accurate analyses of extremely small samples (as low as 1 µL) with high reproducibility)
  • Liquid handling robot Microlab Star for the automation of sample picking and dilutions and microplate reformatting
  • Several specialised and high performance software (Genepix Pro, MAIA, Acuity, Partek Genomics Suite, Ingenuity pathway analysis)
  • R and Bioconductor tools for bioinformatics and computational biology
  • A home made program for the design of oligonucleotide probes

Products and services

  • Genome-wide studies (DNA, mRNA or miRNA profiling), tissue microarrays, sample preparation and quality control, hybridisation and scanning, biostatistics and bioinformatics microarray data processing and mining)
  • Conception and production of custom microarrays (DNA-, oligonuceotide- or protein-based)
  • Training of end users

Major partnerships and collaborations

National: LIH: Laboratory of Experimental Hemato-Oncology (Dr. G. Berchem), Norlux Neuro-Oncology Laboratory (Dr. S. Niclou), Laboratory of Immunogenetics and Allergology (Dr. F. Hentges), Laboratory of Retrovirology (Dr.JC. Schmit), Department of Immunology (Prof.CP Muller); IBBL; LIST (Dr. L. Hoffmann); University of Luxembourg: Life sciences RU

International: Institut de génétique et de biologie moléculaire et cellulaire (IGBMC), Strasbourg (FR); Institut de la vision, Paris (FR); Institut de génétique moléculaire, Montpellier (FR); Institut de Génétique humaine, Montpellier (FR); UMR CNRS 6237 MEDyC, Reims (FR); Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif (FR); Cancéropôle du Grand Est, Strasbourg (FR); Institute of Oncology, University of Umea (SE); Translational Genomics Institute (TGen) (USA)

Additional information

  • The Genomics Research Unit coordinates and takes part in projects based, in all or partly, on microarray technology
  • Open to academic and industrial research laboratories and collaborates with many Luxembourg or foreign institutions
  • Even if the research themes undertaken by the Genomics Research Unit are diverse, the bulk of the projects that it leads are mainly linked with oncology

Human resources

  • 6 Researchers (Prof., ass. Prof., Post-docs, PhD)
  • 0 Doctoral students and students
  • 0 Engineers
  • 1 Technicians
  • 0 Other

Business sector(s)

  • Life Sciences, health and biotechnology


Genomics Research Unit
84, Val Fleuri, L-1526 Luxembourg
Phone: +352 26 97 02 81
Fax: +352 26 97 03 90

R&D Contact

Dr. VALLAR Laurent
Head of Research Unit
Phone: +352 26 97 02 81

  • Updated 29-06-2015