LIH is the coordinating institution for NextImmune, the doctoral research and training programme in next-generation immunosciences supported by the PRIDE funding scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). The first scientific retreat gathering all NextImmune PhD candidates and their supervisors as well as cooperation partners, external scientific advisors and special guests took place in Hotel-Résidence “Am Klouschter” in Mondorf-les-Bains on 2nd and 3rd November 2017.
The Doctoral Training Unit “NextImmune - Advanced concepts for deciphering acute and chronic inflammation” addresses key research and innovation challenges associated with initiation, diagnosis and treatment of inflammatory diseases. The programme launched in January 2017 and comprising 17 PhD positions, aims to bridge classical immunology and systems biology in a single doctoral training environment to understand the mechanisms of acute and chronic inflammation in autoimmune, allergic and infectious diseases. PhD candidates carry out their research projects at either LIH’s Department of Infection and Immunity, the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU) or the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg and are affiliated with the University of Luxembourg or the University of Southern Denmark.
The NextImmune retreat was the first occasion for all members and stakeholders of NextImmune to meet and to network. The event was opened by Prof Markus Ollert, NextImmune coordinator and Director of LIH’s Department of Infection and Immunity. Next there were speeches by Dr Ulf Nehrbass, LIH’s new CEO, Dr Nadine Martin, Vice-President of LIH’s Board of Directors, and Dr Marie-Claude Marx, Programme Manager for PRIDE at the FNR.
The PhD candidates had the opportunity to present their PhD projects and results during oral and poster presentations. The programme also included several keynote lectures given by eminent scientists, such as by Prof Carsten Schmidt-Weber, Director of the Centre for Allergy Research at the Technical University Munich, Germany, and by Prof Rudi Balling, Director of LCSB at the University of Luxembourg.
‘The scientific and social programme of the retreat was highly appreciated by all the participants’, stresses Prof Ollert. ‘It was a great opportunity to bring the local research community working in systems biology, inflammation, infection and molecular immunology together and discuss with our collaboration partners from the University of Southern Denmark and advisory board members.’
Prof Markus Ollert, NextImmune coordinator and Director of LIH’s Department of Infection and Immunity
Dr Ulf Nehrbass, CEO of LIH