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University researchers honoured at FNR Awards 2017

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Published on Tuesday, 31 October 2017

At the ninth edition of the FNR Awards, several researchers of the University of Luxembourg won prizes in two categories for their work on a model of the human intestine and socially assistive robots, respectively.

Outstanding Scientific Publications category

Pranjul Shah and Paul Wilmes from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg won one of the two prizes that were awarded in the category "Outstanding Scientific Publications". They were honoured for their paper “A microfluidics-based in vitro model of the gastrointestinal human-microbe interface” that was published in the scientific journal "Nature Communications". In their research, they developed a technology to mimic the conditions in the human intestine.

Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation category

Their model of the human gut also struck gold in a second category. For the first time, the FNR awarded a prize for "Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation" rewarding research that led to valuable commercial or social innovations. Based on their research, Pranjul Shah and Paul Wilmes developed a device called "HuMiX" that could be used by pharmaceutical and nutrition companies to test drugs or to develop products for personalised diets.

 

 

The second award in this category also went to a University member. Working at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT), Pouyan Ziafati developed the technology for the socially assistive robot "QT". The socially engaging robot is being used for emotional therapy of children with autism, post-stroke rehabilitation and elderly cognitive and physical therapy. In order to make the robot widely available, Pouyan Ziafati founded the Luxembourg-based Start-Up LuxAI.

 

 

In the award ceremony on Friday, 27 October, the FNR gave out seven awards for excellence in research, innovation and science communication. The awards endowed with a 5,000 EUR prize were presented in the categories Outstanding Scientific Publication, Outstanding Ph.D. Thesis, and Outstanding Promotion of Science to the Public, and Outstanding Research-Driven Innovation.

FNR Awards 2017

From left: Véronique Hoffeld, Will Reiter, Guy Putz, Pouyan Ziafati, Esther Breithoff, Marc Hansen, Paul Wilmes, Pranjul Shah, Mahesh Desai, Christian Penny, Marc Schiltz, © O. Minaire / FNR