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Foyer Group supports Uni.lu research with a donation of 100000 €

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Published on Tuesday, 03 November 2020

In a context marked by the COVID-19 crisis, Foyer Group made several donations totalling €100,000 to the holders of four research projects at the University of Luxembourg. Due to exceptional health circumstances, the traditional cheque handover reception could not take place, but the Foyer management and the University representatives promised to keep in touch, in the hope that the research would continue to advance in the fight against the coronavirus.

Research on Parkinson's disease

Foyer first wished to renew its support for the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University, and in particular for the ambitious work of Prof. Anne Grünewald and her team on the molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease. This patient-centred work, focusing on promising technologies, has already led to improved care and quality of life for Parkinson's disease patients in Luxembourg, while placing the University of Luxembourg at the forefront of international research in this field.

Contacts between Foyer and Prof. Grünewald's research team, initiated in 2018 by Mrs Claudie Stein-Lambert, a member of the Group's family shareholders, have remained intense and regular. With a new donation of 50,000 euros, Foyer S.A. confirms its support to this research team for the continuation of its work, which is of great interest in international Parkinson's disease research. This donation will also be doubled via the "Donation Matching Program" of the National Research Fund (FNR).

Project “Short, mid-term & exit strategy predictions of the COVID-19 epidemic in Luxembourg”

Led by Prof. Jorge Goncalvez, also from the LCSB, this research project born out of the COVID-19 crisis aims to develop mathematical models and predictions on the coronavirus epidemic in Luxembourg. In a very concrete way, the research team's assessments are regularly transmitted to the COVID-19 Task Force, which provides assistance and advice to the Luxembourg Government on the short and medium-term exit strategy from the crisis.

The Foyer's management has shown a particular interest in this subject, which concerns both the resolution of the current health crisis and actuarial techniques close to the insurance business. The Group wished to support Prof. Goncalvez' project with a donation of €25,000.

The “COVID-Kids project”

The "COVID-Kids project" was initiated in the midst of the coronavirus crisis in the Faculty of Human Sciences, Education and Social Sciences by Prof. Claudine Kirsch and her team and has received official support from WHO and UNICEF. A highly topical subject, it analyses the influence of social isolation and the closure of schools on the well-being and education of children and adolescents. The idea is to better prepare children, parents and educators to deal with a health crisis such as we are currently experiencing or any new pandemic.

In view of the importance of this human and educational project at such a time, Foyer donated 12,500 euros to Prof. Kirsch and his team to finance the production of a film promoting this educational message.

Support for research interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis

Finally, aware of the impact of the health crisis on many aspects of education and basic research, Foyer wanted to support a researcher whose work was interrupted by the health crisis. In this context, the pandemic has considerably complicated the work of Mr Martin Nurmik, doctoral student in cancerology at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine, whose thesis is entitled "Effects of environmental stress factors on colon cancer and its microenvironment". Mr. Nurmik works in the group on the molecular mechanisms of diseases, led by Prof. Serge Haan and co-directed by Dr. Elisabeth Letellier.

In order to enable him to cope with the delays linked to the COVID crisis, particularly in the context of his experimental work, Foyer wished to participate in the financing of Mr Nurmik's work with a financial support of 12,500 euros.

For nearly one hundred years, Foyer has supported numerous projects of general interest and solidarity. In this particularly troubled and difficult year 2020 for everyone, the Group reaffirms this commitment to corporate social responsibility by contributing to the collective effort in favour of education and research. These four promising projects, all carried out locally by researchers from the University of Luxembourg and focusing on fundamental research, science or education, offer great hope during this health crisis and good prospects for the post-COVID era.

1st row: Martin Nurmik, Laurent Mombaerts, Jorge Goncalves
2nd row: Elisabeth Letellier, Sandro Pereira
3rd row: Cyril Wealer, Anne Grünewald, Claudine Kirsch

 

François Tesch, Chairman of the Board of Foyer Foyer S.A.:

In the spring, when we became aware of the various projects carried out by the University, I was struck by the not only significant, but also sometimes unexpected impacts of this COVID crisis and the lock-down on the research teams. What tenacity and courage it took for these researchers to find the resources to continue, even in slow motion!

While we wanted to renew our support for the LCSB in Parkinson's disease research, we were enthusiastic about three projects related to the health crisis, projects that we have decided to support as well. Together, these four projects fit in perfectly with Foyer's values and our desire to encourage social and human projects.

Prof. Dr. Stéphane Pallage, Rector of the University of Luxembourg:

“It is with great gratitude that the University accepts this donation. The Foyer Group is a long-standing partner that has supported the LCSB's biomedical research for several years. Today, its support also advances research related to the impact of COVID-19 and supports a talented young researcher.”