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80,000 Euro for "Espoir en tête"

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Published on Wednesday, 13 November 2019

For the seventh year in a row, the Espoir en tête initiative, organised by the Luxembourg Rotary Clubs, raised donations by organising exceptional screenings in Utopolis/Kinepolis cinemas. On Sunday, 31st of March 2019, more than 3,500 spectators were present and contributed again to brain research in Luxembourg.

Following the invitation by the Luxembourg Rotary Clubs, the public enjoyed an exceptional projection of the new film from Disney Studios and visionary filmmaker Tim Burton, "Dumbo". Eight euros from each entry ticket were automatically donated to research on brain diseases in Luxembourg. Additionally to the 3,640 cinema visitors, many other donors contributed, which resulted in three checks totalling 80,000 Euro. 

 

The funds raised by this initiative were awarded to three selected research projects:

  •  The first project, supported by a donation of 30,000 Euro, will study the molecular signature of memory deterioration.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and the leading cause of dementia. While clinical symptoms are relatively well defined, the molecular mechanisms that lead to brain dysfunction are still poorly characterised. As a result, there is no treatment. An interinstitutional research team from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) and Laboratoire National de Santé (LNS) will implement an ambitious study: It aims at characterising epigenetic signatures, the chemical modifications that control gene expression, specific to Alzheimer's disease in the brain of patients. Through the use of new sequencing and microscopy technologies on post mortem tissues, they will determine the epigenetic markers underlying deterioration of neuronal plasticity, neuroinflammation, and memory dysfunction.

 This project is a collaboration of Dr David Bouvier, Dr Alexander Skupin (LCSB, University of Luxembourg) and Professor Dr Michel Mittelbronn (LCSB and LNS).

 

  •  The second project is supported by a donation of 25,000 Euro and focuses on the impact of molecules produced by the microbiota.

This project explores the interactions between the gut microbiota and the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson's disease at the functional level. The goal is to highlight the impact of molecules produced by the microbiota on the human gut. Of particular interest is their impact on mucosal immunity, which provides protection against pathogens but maintains a tolerance towards non-harmful microbes in the intestine, as well as on alpha-synuclein, both of which are key elements for Parkinson's disease.

 This project is a collaboration of Associate Professor Dr Paul Wilmes (LCSB, University of Luxembourg), Professor Dr Rejko Krüger (LCSB and Centre Hospitalier du Luxembourg (CHL)) and Dr Marc Schlesser (CHL).

 

  • The third project, supported by a donation of 25,000 Euro, is dedicated to a new type of modification in the genome.

 The DNA in our cells can be chemically modified in different ways. These modifications can regulate how our genes are expressed and how our cells work. Three years ago, a new DNA modification, 6-methyladenine, was discovered in mammalian cells and last year it was shown that it also existed in humans. This modification is widespread in neuronal cells and could play an important role in the normal development and functioning of the brain. Rotary Club funding will allow the use of the latest DNA sequencing techniques to reveal the presence of 6-methyladenine in DNA samples taken from the brain of mice. This will allow the researcher to study the localisation of this new modification in the genome and to determine how it could regulate the function of nerve cells.

 This project is a collaboration of Dr Lasse Sinkkonen (Life Science Research Unit (LSRU), University of Luxembourg) and Dr Jonathan Turner (Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH)).

 

  

All Luxembourg Rotary Clubs were proud to have once again been able to contribute to brain research in Luxembourg. Including this year’s event, the project Espoir en tête has now been able to collect donations for a total of 326,000 Euro. The next edition of Espoir en tête has been already announced the for spring 2020. 

You can also support Espoir en tête by donating to the Association Luxembourgeoise des Œuvres du Rotary by mentioning ESPOIR EN TÊTE on the account IBAN LU94 0081 7737 4700 1003 (BLUXLULL).

 More information on www.espoir-en-tete.lu