Sharing our knowledge with society
The Laboratoire national de santé (LNS) is committed to sharing its knowledge with society through a variety of outreach activities. These include promoting LNS activities, imparting knowledge and expertise to professionals and the general public, and providing an insight into science and health professions within a laboratory setting in order to inspire vocations.
Promoting LNS activities through on-site events
LNS is involved in a number of initiatives to raise the visibility of its scientific and research activities. Virginie Delle Lechevalier, communication officer, explains: “The Communication Service plays a key role in organising moments for sharing knowledge in our laboratories with our stakeholders, whether the scientific public or the general public.”
Every two years, for example, LNS opens its doors to the public, allowing visitors to discover the laboratory’s activities. This is a unique opportunity for the people of Luxembourg, from children to adults, to meet and talk to experts from our six scientific departments and learn more about their missions, roles and day-to-day work in an interactive, educational but also fun way.
LNS also organises laboratory visits on request, mainly for schools and associations wishing to discover the world of a laboratory and its different professions. In 2022, around twenty such visits took place, giving pupils the opportunity to discover the laboratory environment under real conditions and to talk openly with LNS scientific experts.
LNS, a key player in Luxembourg’s medical education system
An important pillar of LNS’s outreach activities is its collaboration with universities in Luxembourg and abroad, enabling the transfer and sharing of knowledge with future generations of healthcare professionals. Five of our six scientific departments are involved in the University of Luxembourg’s medical education programme. This involvement can take several forms: teaching, coordinating or defining the curriculum in an area of expertise. “By playing an active role in university teaching, LNS is demonstrating its commitment to the healthcare system, beyond diagnosis and research, thanks to the invaluable contribution of its passionate doctors who give courses and seminars to medical students,” comments Virginie Delle Lechevalier. After theory comes practice. Students have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt at university by doing internships in our laboratories. This is an important step in the training of tomorrow’s doctors and technicians.
In Luxembourg, a number of annual initiatives are aimed at students to introduce them to activities and careers in science, health and research. On 24 September 2022, LNS took part in the Dag vum Lëtzebuerger Gesondheetssystem event organised by the Association Luxembourgeoise des Etudiants en Médecine (ALEM) at the Rehazenter in Kirchberg. Prof. Michel Mittelbronn, head of National Center of Pathology (NCP) and Dr Thorsten Schwark, ad interim head of Forensic Medicine Department, led a workshop exploring the fascinating fields of forensic medicine and pathology for Luxembourg medical students. For several years, including 2022, LNS has been taking part in the “Researchers at School” initiative, organised by the Fonds national de recherche (FNR).
Conferences to showcase the LNS expertise in Luxembourg and abroad
LNS actively participates in conferences where it presents its activities and research endeavors to general public and professionals of health sector (non-exhaustive list):
- Dr Sc. Stefania Oliverio, toxicologist in the LNS Forensic Toxicology Service, received the Young Scientists Best Oral Award for the year 2020* by TIAFT, the international association of forensic toxicologists, for her presentation “Total Blood Carbon Monoxide (TBCO) as alternative biomarker for CO poisoning diagnosis: application in clinical and forensic settings” given on the opening day of the congress.
- Dr Guillaume Jouret from the LNS National Center of Genetics presented an international collaborative research project coordinated entirely from LNS at the 11th edition of the Assises de Génétique held in Rennes, France, from 1-4 February 2022.
- Catarina Martins, technical manager of the LNS Food Microbiology laboratory, discussed its role in hygiene control within the food sector at the “La Sécurité dans mon assiette” conference organised by the Luxembourg Government Commissioner for Quality, Fraud, and Food Safety on June 9th 2022.
- Dr Matteo Creta, technical manager of the LNS Environmental Health and Biomonitoring Service, presented his poster entitled “Bringing the indoor exposome to its full potential: multi-residue analysis in dust” on the occasion of the 17th edition of IndoorAir2022 that took place from June 12 to 16, 2022, in Kuopio, Finland. He was rewarded for the best poster award.
- Dr Sc. Justine Pincemaille, technical manager of the LNS Food Monitoring Service, attended the European Pesticide Residu Workshop (EPRW) in Bologna, Italy, from September 19 to 23, 2022, representing LNS as the Luxembourg’s reference laboratory for pesticides. Her poster on her current research into pesticide contamination in beeswax, entitled ‘Pesticides contamination in beeswax’ was awarded among 170 other presentations.
* Due to the tense health situation, the annual TIAFT congress could not take place in 2021 and it was decided to postpone it. It was finally held in a virtual format from 1st to 3th February 2022.
En tant que l'une des principales institutions de soins de santé du Luxembourg, le LNS s'efforce de créer un impact positif sur les patients, les partenaires, les étudiants et la communauté scientifique et médicale en stimulant le partage des connaissances ainsi qu'un dialogue ouvert.
Virginie Delle Lechevalier