Universiteit Leiden

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This Week’s Discoveries | 7 November 2017

7 november 2017
Oort Building
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal

First lecture

In situ NMR to watch a light-harvesting complex in native thylakoid membranes

Anjali Pandit (LIC)
The solid-state NMR group of assistant professor Anjali Pandit investigates the molecular mechanisms that regulate photosynthesis and analyzes key proteins involved. Her group is supported by a NWO-VIDI and FOM projectruimte research grant.

Photosynthetic light harvesting is strongly regulated in fluctuating light and drought environments. Conformational flexibility of interacting pigment-protein complexes in a membrane network plays an important role in this process. I will present a solid-state NMR approach to investigate light-harvesting proteins in native thylakoid membranes. Proof of principle of the approach opens ways to compare protein conformational structure and dynamics under different physiological conditions to study the mechanisms of light-harvesting regulation.

Second lecture

Uncovering Offshore Finance using Network Science

Frank Takes (LIACS)
Frank is an assistant professor in the Algorithms and Software Technology research program at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). He teaches a master course on Social Network Analysis in the fall semester and a bachelor course on Business Intelligence in the spring semester. His main research interest is in Network Science. Frank is also appointed as a researcher at the University of Amsterdam.

Multinational corporations use highly complex network structures of parents and subsidiaries to organize their operations and ownership. Offshore Financial Centers (OFCs) facilitate these structures through low taxation and lenient regulation, but are increasingly under scrutiny, for instance for enabling tax avoidance. Therefore, the identification of OFC jurisdictions has become a politicized and contested issue. We introduce a novel data-driven approach for identifying OFCs based on the global corporate ownership network, in which over 100 million firms (nodes) are connected through 70 million ownership relations.

Based on: J. Garcia-Bernardo, J. Fichtner, F.W. Takes and E.M. Heemskerk - Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network, Scientific Reports 7, article 6246, 2017. (open-access)