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PhD Graduation Ceremony 2021

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Published on Monday, 20 December 2021

In the academic year 2020/2021, more than 1850 students graduated from the University of Luxembourg, including over 150 doctoral candidates. To congratulate the graduates and wish them all the best on their future paths, the university has just organised the traditional Graduation Week. It was the occasion to hand over the diplomas, celebrate their achievements and to mark this important milestone.

Congratulations to the LCSB graduates!

In 2021, six PhD students defended their thesis at the LCSB, joining the almost 100 doctoral candidates who completed their PhDs since the creation of the centre. In no particular order, congratulations to Dr Alfonso De Falco, Dr Susan Ghaderi, Dr Susana Martinez Arbas, Dr Oihane Uriarte Huarte, Dr Kobi Wasner, Dr Menglin Zheng and their supervisors. Their doctoral work covered a broad range of topics, from research on Parkinson’s disease to the study of the microbiome, from computational biology to neuropathology. As they enter the next part of their professional career, the LCSB team wishes them all the best for the future.

The ceremony took place on 17 December from 14.00 to 16.00. You can re-watch the live stream in the video below.


Excellent Thesis Award for LCSB doctoral candidate

During the ceremony, the university honoured 17 doctoral graduates with “Excellent Thesis Awards” recognising the outstanding quality of their doctoral theses. These are awarded to the top 10% of the university’s doctorates and celebrate cutting-edge research. Dr Susana Martinez Arbas who was a PhD student in the Systems Ecology group is among the 11 awardees from the Doctoral School in Science and Engineering.

During her PhD at the LCSB, her research work focused on the dynamics of microbiomes, more specifically the different microorganisms found in biological wastewater treatment plants. The goal of her project was to understand what shapes the composition of these microbial communities and what factors could influence the performance of wastewater treatment, one of the most widely used biotechnological process on the planet. She studied the so-called CRISPR-Cas system, originally a part of the bacterial immune system allowing bacteria to disarm viruses and to integrate parts of their genetic material into the bacteria’s own genomes. The results obtained during Susana’s doctorate highlighted that this defence mechanism plays a key role in promoting adaptation and diversity within microbiomes, and is involved in the spread of antimicrobial resistance genes. The jury members praised her excellent work and called it “an important step forward in research”.

After defending her thesis entitled “Integrated multi-omic analyses of mobile genetic elements within a mixed microbial community”, Dr Martinez Arbas is now continuing her scientific career as a postdoctoral researcher in the same research group. Once again, congratulations!