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Michael Heneka takes up position of Director of the LCSB

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Published on Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Prof. Michael Heneka, who was appointed as Director of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) in June 2021, has taken up his position at the start of 2022. He succeeds Prof. Rudi Balling, the founding director of the LCSB since 2009.

In his New Year speech and first address to the LCSB staff, Prof. Heneka presented his vision for the LCSB: “I very much look forward to working with the LCSB team who, in little more than a decade, have established a centre of excellence at the heart of neuroscience research in Luxembourg and internationally. We will work together to strengthen the position of the LCSB in the fields of neuroscience, biomedicine and systems biology, which are important strategic avenues for the future development of the university.” The ambition for the LCSB is to become one of the leading European institutes in neuroscience over the next decade.

In addition to leading the LCSB, Michael Heneka will also lead his own research group in Neuroinflammation, conducting projects to understand the molecular mechanisms of inflammatory regulation in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. This new addition will bring the number of research groups at the LCSB up to 18 and the number of employees close to 300. It will also reinforce the focus of the LCSB on brain diseases and neurodegeneration. 

As a professor in neurosciences, Michael Heneka will support the development of medical education at the University of Luxembourg, relying on his previous experience as Director of the Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at the Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE) and Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Bonn. He also remains adjunct professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. 

The Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Luxembourg and one of the leading research institutions in the country. It is accelerating biomedical research by strengthening the links between systems biology and medicine. Neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and the description of diseases as networks are at the heart of the LCSB’s research. Biologists, medical and computer scientists, physicists, engineers and mathematicians collaborate to gain new insights into complex systems like cells, organs and organisms. This combined approach is dedicated to understanding mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, identifying therapeutic targets and developing new tools for diagnostics and treatment of neurological disorders. The LCSB has established strategic partnerships with leading biomedical laboratories worldwide and with all major biological and medical research units in Luxembourg. The LCSB also fosters collaboration with industrial partners and has founded several spin-off companies, thereby facilitating the translation of fundamental research results into clinical applications.

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