Personalised Medicine Consortium Meeting 2015

During this one-day meeting, around 60 researchers from the three PMC-related institutions LIH, IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) and LCSB (Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine) of the University of Luxembourg gathered to present and discuss current collaborative research projects amongst others in the field of cancer, immunology and cardio-metabolic diseases.

The PMC has developed a funding instrument, trialed successfully in 2014/2015, to kick-start new research projects: the PMC Pump Prime Fund. Successful applicants can get a research grant allowing them to generate preliminary data and demonstrate the feasibility of their project, thus enabling them to apply for further national or international funding. The applications are selected based on scientific and technical excellence and clinical and economic impact.

The PMC Pump Prime Fund for 2016, the sum of 50.000 Euros, was granted to Associate Professor Dr Paul Wilmes from LCSB for his project PerPreProBioCRC. Dr Wilmes aims at implementing a personalised screening tool for pre- and probiotic interventions in colorectal cancer patients through a partnership between LCSB, the Life Sciences Research Unit of the University of Luxembourg (Dr Elisabeth Letellier and Prof Serge Haan), IBBL (Dr Fay Betsou) and the hospital ‘Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch’ (Prof Nikolaus Zügel).

The main project objective is to understand if and how prebiotics (food ingredients) alone or in combination with probiotics (live bacterial cultures) affect colorectal cancer development and outcome and thereby identify new therapeutic strategies that can rapidly be translated into the clinical context. For this the team will use a newly developed proprietary system, called HuMiX, for co-culturing human and microbial cells under real-life conditions. The project will enable the consolidation of important interactions with national partners in the strategically important priority areas of systems biomedicine and personalised medicine in cancer therapy.

Photo: Dr Paul Wilmes of the LCSB presents the work of the PMC’s microbiome research group ©LIH