IBBL turns 10 among partners and colleagues!

IBBL is proud to have welcomed very distinguished guests for its anniversary on Friday afternoon, including representatives from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Higher Education and Research, the French Ambassador in Luxembourg Mr Perdu, the Mayor of Dudelange Mr Biancalana, as well as leading clinicans and researchers from Luxembourg’s medical and research landscape.

The event kicked off with an introductory video illustrating IBBL’s evolution and achievements since its creation, as narrated by its key asset…the staff! The video was followed by official speeches from Josiane Entringer from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and Xavier Poos from the Ministry of Health, elucidating Luxembourg’s strategy for healthcare and biomedical research and IBBL’s role in the country’s positioning as a centre of excellence in personalised medicine. The ensuing interventions from Dr Gregor Baertz – president of the Board of Directors – and Dr Ulf Nehrbass – CEO of the Luxembourg Institute of Health – alternated with videos depicting the collaboration between IBBL and local partners on research projects on Parkinson’s Disease (NCER-PD) and colorectal cancer (SOCS). An additional video on the work done to support the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was also shown to illustrate the European reach of IBBL’s activities. The first part of the event was concluded by Dr Catherine Larue’s speech, stressing the importance of the support received from the Luxembourgish government, volunteer donors and IBBL’s staff in the biobank’s success. As a symbolic gesture, Dr Larue offered Mrs Entringer an olive tree to depict IBBL’s growth from the ‘seeds’ planted by the Ministries.

A panel session on the evolving role of research infrastructures in personalised medicine animated the second part of the event. The session, moderated by the talented Lisa Burke, provided the opportunity for the panellists – namely Dr Catherine Larue (IBBL), Erik Steinfelder (BBMRI-ERIC), Prof Laetitia Huiart (Luxembourg Institute of Health), Dr Emilia Tantar (PriceWaterhouse Coopers Luxembourg) and Dr Philippe Aftimos (Institut Jules Bordet) – to discuss a variety of topics including Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, biobanking, clinical trials, translational medicine and research platforms.

The panel session was followed by a guided tour of IBBL’s cutting-edge laboratories and by a cocktail reception, which provided a relaxed and agreeable setting for participants to exchange on the discussions of the day.

“We could not have been more satisfied with the outcome of the event”, says Dr. Catherine Larue, IBBL’s CEO. “We had the pleasure of welcoming all our partners, colleagues and supporters and to celebrate our achievements with those that are, by now, dear friends. I am particularly grateful to our distinguished speakers for taking the time to share their invaluable knowledge and expertise with the audience and for contributing to the discussions around the vision for next-generation research infrastructures”.