Main axes of research
The LCSB’s main focus lies in gaining a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying disease, with an emphasis on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. New targets for prevention and intervention of neurodegenerative disease and disease pathogenesis will be analysed in the context of complex biological network composition and behaviour and interpreted as perturbations in the homeostasis of physiological networks. Mathematical descriptions of such networks will be generated and used for the modelling and simulation of how diseases develop and how they are influenced by genetic predisposition or by external environmental parameters, such as drugs, nutrition and life style.
A core area of the research is dedicated to Parkinson’s disease. Within a systems approach, genetic, molecular and cellular analysis will lead to direct clinical translation, enabled through collaboration with hospitals in Luxembourg and abroad. The detailed examination of pathways involved in Parkinson-related neurodegeneration, whole genome sequencing of families suffering from Parkinson disease, identification of anti-neuroinflammatory targets and the analysis of functional dynamics will offer new insights in the pathogenesis of the disease.
In our research programme, the experimental analysis of biological systems across different scales is fully integrated with the development of new technologies, i.e. in the area of high- throughput screening devices, single-cell analysis and in the field of mathematical and computational tools such as electronic patient records. The LCSB aims at a highly interdisciplinary environment at the interface of biology, medicine, mathematics and physics, combining biological experimentation with theoretical modelling.
Current research projects
Projects in partnership with the Institute for Systems Biology/Seattle:
- Genome Sequencing Project: this project includes the whole genome sequencing of a minimum of one hundred subjects and development of new methods for understanding the role of genetic variations in disease, leading to new insights into diagnosis, prevention and therapy.
- Protein Blood Fingerprint and Cell Analysis Project: this project consists of the development of integrated systems proteomics, RNA and cell analysis methodology and tools based on protein blood "fingerprints" and single-cell characteristics that can report on the physiological state of the body's 50 major organs. The goal is the development of early diagnostic approaches to not only treat but also predict disease and the ability to monitor the effects of existing drugs, including effective responses or adverse reactions.
Resources and collaborations
The LCSB is an interdisciplinary team-based research centre on campus Belval, where the following infrastructure is available:
- Lab environment responsive to present needs and capable to accommodate future demands
- Environment to foster interaction and team-based research
- Settings with appropriate balance between open and closed / wet and dry labs
- High content cell culture screening and imaging facility
- A neuropathology platform that provides in vivo murine model development and assessment for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases
- Metabolimics and fluxomics platforms
- The LCSB bioinformatics core facility, which offers access to high performance computing and large data storage
- A zebrafish platform for gene-function analysis and in vivo screening of small molecules
- A mouse facility to study gene-disease relationships in vivo
- A yeast platform for functional genomics studies
- Induced pluripotent stem cell facility for studies on patient-derived cell cultures
Products and services
The LCSB moved into its new building on Campus-Belval in September 2011 in the House of Biohealth, and in 2014 into Biotech II. The infrastructure of the buildings include an administrative floor, experimental molecular and cellular biology laboratories, bioinformatics and computational biology offices and a datacenter.
Major partnerships and collaborations
Close collaboration with clinicians and patients are of utmost importance to the LCSB. Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease and description of diseases as networks are at the focus of the LCSB’s research. It aims to contribute to earlier diagnosis and personalised treatment, for instance through its coordinating role in the recently established National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s Disease.
The LCSB also hosts the Luxembourgish node of ELIXIR, the European infrastructure for life science information. ELIXIR-LU focuses on long-term sustainability of tools and data for Translational Medicine.
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 accelerates the translation of fundamental research results into (clinical) applications
- 100 Researchers (Prof., ass. Prof., Post-docs, PhD)
- 54 Doctoral students and students
- 0 Engineers
- 26 Technicians
- 50 Other
- Life Sciences, health and biotechnology
Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB)
University of Luxembourg, Campus Belval, 7, avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux, L-4362 Esch-sur-Alzette
Phone: +352 46 66 44 64 23
Fax: +352 46 66 44 69 49
Dr MOSCH Sabine
Head of Communications
Phone: +352 46 66 44 64 23