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Luxembourg and Japan strengthen cooperation in biomedical research

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Publié le mardi 24 octobre 2017

A Luxembourg delegation, including several researchers from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg, accompanied Minister of Health Lydia Mutsch on a three-day official trip to Japan in early October to strengthen and promote scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Minister of Health Lydia Mutsch met with the Deputy Minister of Health, Mrs. Mizuho Onuma, to discuss different topics where the two countries have common interests, such as chronic illnesses, healthcare for the patients suffering from those diseases, as well as solutions to deal with an aging population and dementia.

A collaboration agreement on Parkinson’s disease

In addition, the Luxembourg Minister was able to attend the signing of a collaboration agreement between the University of Juntendo and the LCSB focusing on research on Parkinson’s disease and creating strong links with the National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s disease (NCER-PD) funded by the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR). Minister Mutsch also joined a seminar launching The TregBar project, a joint research project between the RIKEN Centre for Integrative Medical Sciences (IMS), the Luxembourg Institute of Health and the LCSB in the field of immunology. This project, also funded by the FNR, study how certain immune cells behave during inflammation and disease flares at barrier interfaces and how we can make use of them to better control diseases in the future. The investigations focus on autoimmune and allergic diseases of the skin and gut. Furthermore, RIKEN and LIH / LCSB already signalled that they aim to establish further cooperation beyond these first projects.

The collaboration agreement was signed by Professor Hajime Arai, President of the Juntendo University and FNR PEARL Chair Professor Rejko Krüger from the LCSB, and witnessed by the Luxembourgish Minister of Health Lydia Mutsch and Neurology Chair Professor Nobutaka Hattori from Juntendo University.

Sustained scientific cooperation

This collaboration between RIKEN (Japan) and the two Luxembourg institutions (LIH and LCSB) started in 2015 with an agreement signed by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) and RIKEN. Through this visit, Luxembourg reaffirmed its interest in sustained cooperation not only at the political level, but also at the scientific level. Indeed, during numerous meetings and discussions, the members of the Luxembourg delegation, made up of representatives of LCSB, LIH and FNR, had the opportunity to exchange views with their Japanese colleagues at length.

The emerging links between Luxembourg public research institutions and Japanese institutions have been strengthened more specifically in the biomedical field, where Luxembourg has, with the LCSB and LIH, two centres with recognised international expertise in both neurodegenerative diseases (e. g. Parkinson’ s) and immunology.

Read the communiqué from the Ministry of Health. (in French)