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FNR Awards 2017: Pranjul Shah and Paul Wilmes receive 2 awards

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Published on Friday, 03 November 2017

On Friday, 27 October, the FNR held the 9th edition of the FNR Awards, presenting 7 awards for excellence in research, innovation and science communication. In presence of the Luxembourg research community, awards endowed with a 5000 EUR prize were presented in the categories Outstanding Scientific Publication, Outstanding PhD Thesis, and Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public, and a new category: Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation. Two of those awards went jointly to two researchers of the LCSB, Associate Prof. Paul Wilmes and Dr Pranjul Shah. The awards were presented by Marc Hansen, Luxembourg’s Minister Delegate for Higher Education and Research, Véronique Hoffeld, Chair of the Board of the FNR, and Marc Schiltz, Secretary General of the FNR.

 

 

Pranjul and Paul received an Outstanding Scientific Publication award for their publication “A microfluidics-based in vitro model of the gastrointestinal human-microbe interface” published in the acclaimed multidisciplinary open access journal Nature Communications. The paper describes “HuMiX”, a unique artificial model of the human gastrointestinal tract which is helping scientists to understand the impact of the gut microbiome and diet on human health. The human microbiome has become an important area of research across the globe, because changes in the microbiome have been associated with the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. The two researchers received this award on behalf of a large team of scientists at the University of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Institute of Health and the University of Arizona in the USA.

This year, the FNR introduced the Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation Award, a new category which rewards exceptional public research that has led to valuable innovations of a commercial or social nature. Dr Shah and Prof. Wilmes received this award as well for their HuMiX technology that is relevant to researchers and the pharmaceutical, food and nutrition industries worldwide. The laboratory model and the HuMiX process behind it, developed by the two awardees and a team, is a suitable tool to portray the complex interactions taking place in the human gut which could be used by companies to screen drugs and develop products. The researchers are currently exploring the possibilities to create a HuMiX-based start-up and commercialise the technology.

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To know more about the FNR Awards 2017.