On December 9th, the Personalised Medicine Consortium (PMC) announced this year’s winners of its Pump Prime Fund in the premises of the Laboratoire National de Santé. The three selected research projects are meant to solve unmet medical needs in the fields of inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and therapy-driven resistance. As one of the member institutes, IBBL (Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg) is pleased to be involved in these initiatives.
The Pump Prime Fund idea was coined in 2014 by the founding members of the PMC in an effort to help researchers over the first hurdle of getting an innovative project off the ground before seeking external funding. Every year, up to three winners are selected based on the scientific and technical excellence, as well as the clinical and economic impact of their projects. Priority is given to the projects that foster new synergies between clinicians and researchers from Luxembourg. Successful applicants are granted a maximum of €50,000 funding, financed by the member institutes: IBBL, LCSB (Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine) and LIH (Luxembourg Institute of Health).
The winners of this year’s edition are:
- The project “Die-IBD” will target inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that is difficult to treat. Together with his team, Dr Desai will strive to shed light on the role of a fibre-deprived diet in the development of IBD and hope to help design new dietary therapeutic treatments.
- Led by Dr Turner, the project “ESPoiRe” will investigate the role of DNA methylation as a diagnostical biomarker of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic disease affecting up to 1% of the population in developed countries.
- Last but not least, the project “SCellOmics” will aim to understand the therapy-driven resistance in glioblastoma under the supervision of Prof Niclou. Glioblastoma is a malignant brain tumour that presents a high genetic heterogeneity and rapidly develops resistance to anti-cancer treatment.
IBBL will contribute to the success of the projects, by handling and ensuring optimal conditions for the storage of the patients’ samples, and by performing rRNA sequencing to characterise the intestinal microbial populations.
The next call for proposals is likely to be launched in the last quarter of 2017. For full details about the call, the conditions of eligibility and application process, visit our website.
 “Die-IBD” is based on a collaboration between LIH, CHL and IBBL.
 “ESPoiRe” is based on a collaboration between LIH, LCSB, ZithaKlinik, LIMIDRA asbl and IBBL.
 “SCellOmics” is based on a collaboration between LIH, LCSB and IBBL.