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Doctoral Training Unit


Ageing is the most important risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), and linked to a progressive decline of molecular, organellar and cellular homeostasis quality control mechanisms. As for other incurable neurodegenerative diseases, mutations in genes responsible for monogenic forms of PD have been identified, that directly interfere with quality control mechanisms that affect (i) molecular quality control, e.g., via protein misfolding and aggregation or (ii) key instances of organellar quality control, e.g., via impaired mitochondrial clearance, and (iii) cellular quality control for selective elimination of damaged cells. To define the missing link between these functional networks, we will dissect mechanisms of quality control surveillance using a unique panel of advanced cellular and animal models of PD and applying novel computational modelling strategies for the identification of complex regulatory networks underlying dysfunctional quality control mechanisms. Based on these novel experimental approaches and advanced screening platforms for in vitroand in vivomodels, we will use pharmacological and genetic interventions to develop novel therapeutic approaches. Our interdisciplinary approach directly synergises with current national research programmes on PD and is envisaged to translate into novel diagnostic and treatment options for neurodegenerative diseases.

PARK-QC - Molecular, Organellar and Cellular Quality Control in Parkinson's disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases - is an interdisciplinary doctoral training unit, involving the LCSB, the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU), the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) and the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL), funded under the PRIDE scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).


MICROH, which stands for “Microbiomes in One Health”, is a competitive, interdisciplinary PhD training programme, supported by the PRIDE doctoral research funding scheme of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). MICROH aims to study interactions within and between microbiomes in relation to two major healthcare challenges of our time, i.e. the spread of antimicrobial resistance genes and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. MICROH bridges microbiology and big data analytics in a structured doctoral training environment.


Catastrophic events occur in various fields and at various levels. Examples include earthquakes, stock market crashes and, for individuals, the onset of diseases such as cancer. If we could understand the critical transitions (CTs) that induce catastrophes, we would be better equipped to prevent them arising or at least to mitigate their effects. Yet, despite much multidisciplinary endeavour, current tools often lack rigorous theoretical foundation and sometimes exhibit poor predictive power.