News 2010

Inaugural lecture Ton Dietz: Africa is on the rise

Economically, Africa is on the rise, as appears from both research carried out among African people and the analysis of statistical data. Prof. Ton Dietz addresses the issue in his inaugural lecture of 14 January, ‘Silverlining Africa’.


Wheat with safe gluten on the horizon

Is it possible to make wheat gluten safe for patients with gluten intolerance? According to the researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Plant Research International Wageningen, it is. They published their findings in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.


Custom-made pharmacology for seriously ill children

Medicines for adults are generally administered according to body weight. This approach is not suitable for premature babies, young children or people suffering from obesity. These patient groups require a more individually tailored approach. This was the theme of Catherijne Knibbes' inaugural lecture 'Predictable variation' on 3 December. Knibbe has been appointed Professor by Special Appointment in the Foundations of Individual Pharmacology.


Hope for relationship between India and Pakistan

India and Pakistan are rivals. The chance that they might one day together form a security community, like the European Union and others, is widely thought to be small. Muhammed Shoaib Pervez, however, is not so pessimistic. In the thesis he defended on 20 December he presented a model to serve as a basis.


Enough sleep makes you more attractive

After a good night’s sleep  of around 8 hours, you look more attractive, healthier and fitter than after a less restful night. These findings by Eus van Someren of the LUMC and the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition , together with researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, were published on 15 December in the authoritative British Medical Journal.


Prestigious Fellowship for Ingrid Tieken

Professor Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade has been awarded a fellowship at Clare College at the University of Cambridge from February to August 2011. She will use the opportunity to pursue her research on the relationship between the history of grammar writing and actual usage.


Asian and European ministers visit Leiden

European and Asian ministers of social affairs and employment were the guests of Leiden University from 12 to 14 December for an ASEM conference. The host, Rector Magnificus Paul van der Heijden, who is also Professor of International Employment Law, also addressed the students who participated in the Youth ASEM.


Dancing for your dissertation

Baroque flautist Jed Wentz followed two years of dancing classes in order to develop the right feeling for the gestures required for the Baroque French opera genre ‘tragédie en musique’. On 9 December Wentz defended his PhD thesis on the subject, and on 8 December he gave a concert in the context of his research.


Children who read do better socially

Children and young people who read a lot end up higher on the social ladder. This is the conclusion made by PhD candidate Suzanne Mol on the basis of 146 international, academic studies. More than 10,000 children and students aged between 2 and 22 participated in the studies. Mol obtained her doctorate on Tuesday 7 December at Leiden University.


Veni winner Lee Seymour studies leadership in civil wars

Civil wars are often conducted between groups that may have been together for a long time, but are equally likely to fall apart. What is the reason for this? Veni winner Lee Seymour travels to war zones in Somalia and South Sudan to investigate the role leadership plays.


Performance rituals as PhD research

Stefan Belderbos was the first visual artist to undertake PhD research in the arts at Leiden University. His doctoral defence is on 2 December. Not only will he defend his dissertation on the integration of performance art in liturgy, he will also exhibit the material results of his research in the Scheltema Complex.


The Bishop's Grammar

In her new book published this month, The Bishop’s Grammar: Robert Lowth and the Rise of Prescriptivism, Ingrid Tieken–Boon van Ostade examines the life and work, as well as the language, of Robert Lowth (1710–1787), reputed founder of the grammatical prescriptivism so deprecated by modern linguists and educational theorists.


Child abuse in Kenya, Zambia and the Netherlands

Catherine Mbagaya examined the frequency and types of child abuse in Kenya, Zambia and the Netherlands. In her research, she also included the relationship between different forms of child abuse and consequent problems in young adulthood. Mbagaya obtained her doctorate on 1 December, 2010.


Honorary doctorates for Peter van Straaten and Ian Hodder

Cartoonist and writer Peter van Straaten and archaeologist Ian Hodder from Stanford University are to receive honorary doctorates from Leiden University. The new honorary doctorates will be conferred on 8 February 2011, the 436th anniversary of the University’s foundation.


Veni winner Berna Güroğlu studies the adolescent brain

What happens in the brain of an adolescent when he responds to a peer? This is what development psychologist Berna Güroğlu is interested in finding out. She is using her VENI grant for young researchers to fund a three-year study on the interaction between adolescents.


New programme for master’s students develops talent for leadership

In September 2011, Leiden University is launching a new extra-curricular programme for excellent master’s students. Growing in leadership will help students develop the knowledge and skills which are indispensable for leadership roles. The programme is made possible thanks to the collaboration of 15 social partners and a subsidy from the Sirius Programme. The latter was officially awarded on 18 November by the State Secretary of Education, Halbe Zijlstra.