Congratulations to Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) researchers and GLIOTRAIN PIs, Prof Dr Simone Niclou (Director of the Department of Oncology and group leader of the NORLUX Neuro-Oncology Laboratory) and Dr Anna Golebiewska (group leader of the NORLUX Neuro-Oncology Laboratory), who received the highly prestigious Outstanding Scientific Achievement award at the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) awards, 2021.
On Thursday 21st of October 2021 the FNR Awards took place in an annual ceremony that was first introduced in 2009. Awards were presented for different categories, each to recognise the outstanding efforts of researchers and science communicators. The judging panel appraised the Outstanding Scientific Achievement award category according to the impact of the research on society and the corresponding contribution to the advancement of the respective scientific field. Among numerous applications and noteworthy projects, it was an immense accomplishment when this year, in the presence of the Luxembourg research community, the award for ‘Outstanding Scientific Achievement’ was presented to Dr Golebiewska and Prof Dr Niclou for their ground-breaking translational research in neuro-oncology. You can see the acceptance video, which includes information on the research being undertaken in the NORLUX lab, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U915ry5bH1U&t=43s .
In close cooperation with the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL) and the major research institutes in Luxembourg, notably with the Laboratoire National de Santé, and the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg, the NORLUX Neuro-Oncology Laboratory team has established a ‘living’ biobank of brain tumours collected from patients undergoing brain surgery in Luxembourg. From the biobank, the team have developed preclinical research models, so-called 3D tumour organoids as well as patient-derived xenografts that are able to faithfully reproduce the biological and molecular features of the original patient tumours. In addition to providing invaluable insights in brain tumour biology, these ‘patient avatars’ have a unique value in precision oncology as a drug-screening platform for preclinical and co-clinical studies. The team hopes to use them to perform large-scale personalized drug efficacy studies, thus increasing the chances of success of clinical trials and paving the way towards improved clinical outcomes for patients.
The NORLUX group has always concentrated on research with a translational potential that could actively contribute to the development of innovative therapies and effective tools for personalised medicine. The creation of these ‘patient avatars’ addresses a current unmet need for accurate and comprehensive models in the preclinical setting, and, in addition to leading to the Outstanding Scientific Achievement award, is also continuously supporting breakthroughs in personalised cancer therapy. Indeed, the NORLUX group have been able to increase the availability and use of these invaluable resources at the global levels by sharing their data and models in several initiatives. These include the EurOPDX consortium (Homepage - EuroPDX), which aims to establish standards for preclinical cancer research using patient-derived models, leading international partners such as GLASS and GLIOTRAIN consortia, as well as biotech and pharmaceutical companies
Please also visit the LIH website for this story: https://www.lih.lu/blog/our-news-1/post/fnr-awards-2021-lih-researchers-shine-at-centre-stage-437#blog_content and the FNR Awards 2021 page: https://www.fnr.lu/fnr-awards-2021-discover-the-winners/