The CriTICS DTU research programme comprises ten research groups distributed over five partner institutions: the University of Luxembourg (UL); Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH); Institute for Systems Biology (ISB); Wageningen UR; and Saarland University. Within the UL, there are four interdisciplinary institutes and departments: the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB); the Life Sciences Research Unit (LSRU); the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC); and the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF). They comprise the building blocks in the foundation of the programme, in terms of both infrastructure and research environment.
In addition, the CriTiCS Doctoral Training Unit of the University of Luxembourg collaborates with the Critics Innovative Training Network, an European research consortium made up of eight European partners and coordinated by Imperial College London.
Interdisciplinary institutes and departments within the University of Luxembourg (UL):
Luxembourg Centre for System Biomedicine (LCSB) is a UL interdisciplinary research centre that bridges gaps between systems biology and medical research. Biologists, computer scientists, medical doctors, mathematicians, and physicists come together under the same roof to tackle questions arising in complex systems such as cells, organisms and organs. LCSB offers an excellent environment and infrastructure for the project. The competences of the groups complement each other. Despite the fact that LCSB is a young institute, founded in 2009, it has already established the legacy of being a contributor in large-scale projects; examples of such are within the domain of neurodegenerative diseases. Since clinical research groups are involved in the programme, it will be assured that clinical and ethical aspects are addressed. The centre also organises conferences, where distinguished researchers come together.
Life Science Research Unit (LSRU) is a UL research unit. A focus is on the identification of biological processes in human diseases. Insights gained are then used in biomedical applications. Research projects often involve the combination of wet lab procedures and bioinformatics analysis: the research unit offers access to both.
Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication (FSTC) is a UL faculty focusing on informatics, mathematics, engineering, physics, life sciences, and material science. This range of research topics provides many possibilities for knowledge infusion into the programme. Within the Physics and Materials Science Research Unit (PHYMS), Esposito’s group focuses on non-equilibrium statistical physics and thermodynamics: opportunities for in-depth studies within this area are offered. Apart from the broad knowledge base, the FSTC also offers public conferences and scientific workshops.
Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) is a UL faculty. The faculty is juxtaposed to a vibrant financial sector, containing large players – banks and financial institutes – as well as smaller burgeoning businesses. This proximity offers excellent partnership possibilities, with many already established. Besides cooperation with the financial sector, the FDEF offers financial expertise. A bilingual (French, English) academic programme is offered by 51 professors of 17 nationalities. The faculty results from a merger of the former departments of law and economics and thus offers an interdisciplinary profile. The finance department of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance is the Luxembourg School of Finance (LSF).
External partner institutions in Luxembourg:
Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) is a newly formed institute (formerly CRP-SANTÉ). It has three large departments: Infection and Immunity, Oncology and Public Health. There are also several competence centres: the Clinical and Epidemiological Investigation Centres, Luxembourg Biomedical Research Resources, and Methodology and Statistics. In addition, the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL) is incorporated under the LIH umbrella. As a biobank infrastructure, IBBL deals with biological specimens (though collection, analysis, processing, and storage) and possesses large quantities of digital data from several clinical research projects. Feng He’s group conducts research within the Department of Infection and Immunity, with a full set of competence in translational, basic and clinic immunology available. The institute offer students a foundation for career development.
Partner Institutions abroad:
Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) (Seattle, USA) offers a cross-disciplinary, collaborative, way of conducting research on large complex systems. It provides great opportunities for visiting PhD students. The ISB participates in knowledge exchange with society through the formation of companies and strategic partnerships with industry. The ISB is involved in several ambitious projects. Advanced courses are offered as part of the research environment.
Wageningen UR (University and Research centre) focuses on three core areas: (a) food and food production; (b) living environment; and (c) health, lifestyle and livelihood. With a staff of 6,500, Wageningen is a key player in these areas, and provides a great collaboration partner. The focus of Professor Marten Scheffer and his group is on stability and change of complex systems. Scheffers’s group will, in Wageningen UR, have the necessary means to succeed and the programme will contribute to the expansion of the group’s area of research.
Saarland University is located in Saarbrücken and Homburg, the latter being the location of the faculty of medicine. The university was established in 1948 and hosts 18 500 students. It is renowned, not only in the area of medicine – where Dr. Linz provides an excellent collaboration partner – but also within such areas as computer science. Apart from this reputation, its closeness to Luxembourg makes it a good collaboration partner.