Neuroscientist Anne Grünewald has been appointed Full Professor at the University of Luxembourg’s LCSB as of 1 January 2021. Prof Dr Grünewald came to Luxembourg in 2016 with an FNR ATTRACT Fellowship, in the framework of which she set up the Molecular & Functional Neurobiology Group at the LCSB at the University of Luxembourg.
Parkinson’s disease from a cell’s perspective
The Molecular and Functional Neurobiology Group employs molecular, ‘omics’ and single-cell approaches to decipher the genetic and non-genetic origins of Parkinson’s disease (PD). With her team, Prof Dr Grünewald explores the role of the mitochondrial genome in Parkinson’s disease, aiming to identify novel cellular pathways which may be the targets for therapeutic intervention in the future. In terms of genetic Parkinson’s disease, the group targets cellular factors that determine the likelihood that an individual carrying a certain gene variant also develops the disease (PD). These biomarkers may either serve to indicate advanced disease progression and/or also provide insight about to cellular processes that can be modulated by drugs to delay the onset of PD.
On her appointment and the impact of the ATTRACT Fellowship, Prof Dr Grünewald commented:
“This happens to be my first permanent position after 16 years in science! Given that my husband is also a researcher, we are really happy to have achieved this degree of stability for our little family.
“I don’t think I would have been able to get where I am now without the ATTRACT fellowship. Female full professors are rare. But my impression is that those who make it simply by moving up the career leader the ‘old-fashioned way’ are even rarer. This is to say that major career development grants like the ATTRACT fellowship may be even more important for women than men to succeed in science.”
The FNR’s ATTRACT programme is designed for researchers not yet established in Luxembourg, who demonstrate the potential to become leaders in their field of research. The scheme offers promising junior researchers the opportunity to set up their own research team within one of the country’s research institutions. The financial contribution by the FNR can be up to 1.5 MEUR for Starting Investigators (Postdoc & Junior Researcher level) or 2 MEUR for Consolidating Investigators (Established Researcher level).
Find out more about ATTRACT