Alumni Association News 2012
EMBL exports to Luxembourg
In the five years since Luxembourg became an EMBL member state, exchange of scientists and science has gathered pace.
In May last year, EMBL Team Leader Reinhard Schneider took up the post of LCSB Head of Bioinformatics Core Facility, taking with him from EMBL his bioinformatician and two PhD students. “Building up a new group in a brand new institute is an interesting challenge,” Reinhard reveals. “Given the size of Luxembourg, the effort and investments put into the life sciences –140 million Euros over a period of five years – is enormous.”
Reinhard and his group are responsible for efficient data flow between experimental, theoretical, and medical groups, and for developing new algorithms to understand and interpret data. “Exciting aspects of working in Luxembourg are the collaborative nature of research projects, the young and dynamic research climate, and the attractive research funding. One of the challenges, however, is space! Our new building is already too small, and we need to place the bioinformaticians somewhere else. Being in Luxembourg, the ‘somewhere else’ is the building of a big bank!”
EMBL-Luxembourg ties are strong thanks to an ongoing exchange of knowledge as well as people: Lars Steinmetz, EMBL Senior Scientist and Joint Head of the Genome Biology Unit, is collaborating with the LCSB to develop approaches in model systems. “The LCSB is an exciting new venture with lots of drive and energy, where basic research will have a medical impact,” adds Lars.
Other EMBL exports to Luxembourg include Evelyne Friederich, former EMBL Cell Biology and Biophysics postdoc, now head of the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU) at Luxembourg University. The LSRU has ongoing interaction with EMBL’s Advanced Light Microscopy Core Facility, including training and recruitment.
EMBL Director General Iain Mattaj will visit Luxembourg on 5 June to discuss further collaboration and exchange.
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