NCER is a new multiannual programme funded by the FNR that aims to establish Luxembourg internationally as a centre of excellence in a particular research field.
The first such programme, NCER-PD (National Centre of Excellence in Research on Parkinson’s disease), was approved for launch in 2015 and will focus on improving the early-stage diagnosis on Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the stratification of PD patients, two of the most important scientific and clinical challenges in this field.
All major stakeholders of biomedical research in Luxembourg are involved in the NCER-PD programme: the University of Luxembourg with the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) as the coordinator, the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH), the Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg (IBBL) and the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg (CHL).
One long-term objective of the NCER-PD programme is to recruit and analyse a cohort of PD patients from Luxembourg and clinical centres in neighbouring countries to help identify predictive and progressive biomarkers of the disease. In addition, several shorter exploratory projects will accompany the programme, notably the development of a platform together with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US to host and analyse whole genome sequencing data from several international PD cohorts.
This is a major novelty for Luxembourg, since it’s the first time that the FNR launches such a Centre of Excellence programme with unprecedented budgetary means. It is further an opportunity to promote Luxembourg’s expertise in systems biology on an internationally competitive level and build a translational clinical research centre for Parkinson’s disease (PD) with a direct return to Luxembourg’s society.
More information on the clinical study will be communicated at the World Parkinson Day event of the Parkinson Luxembourg a.s.b.l. on 17 April 2015 and thereafter via the website www.parkinson.lu.