Universiteit Leiden

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This Week’s Discoveries | 12 February 2019

Tuesday 12 February 2019
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal

First Lecture

Targeting immune cell aging in cardiovascular disease

Amanda Foks (LACDR) Amanda is a post-doc at the department of BioTherapeutics at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research and investigates restoration of immune homeostasis in atherosclerosis. Funded by the Netherlands Heart Foundation, she is focusing on how aging of the immune system contributes to atherosclerosis.

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of mortality worldwide and are often triggered by rupture of an atherosclerotic lesion. Atherosclerosis is characterized by the progressive narrowing of medium and large-sized arteries by formation of lesions, which are caused by the combination of lipid accumulation and immune processes in the arterial wall. Current treatment consisting of statins and lifestyle advice is not personalized and inadequate to induce regression of atherosclerosis, indicating an urgent need for new therapeutic strategies to inhibit atherosclerosis. Aging is the most dominant driver of CVD and is a complex process that involves gradual functional decline of many cells and organs, causing impaired responsiveness to stress and maintenance of homeostasis. Up to date, there is virtually no information available on age-associated (dysfunctional) immunity during atherosclerosis. I therefore aim to enhance our understanding of the molecular and cellular processes of aging during atherosclerosis and explore whether therapeutic strategies that inhibit or reverse aging of the immune system can prevent or delay the onset of CVD.

Second Lecture

Astrophysical Recipes: the art of AMUSE

Simon Portegies Zwart (Leiden Observatory) Simon is professor of Numerical star dynamics at Leiden Observatory. His research interests lie with Computational Gravitational Dynamics, Stellar and Binary Evolution, Galaxy Dynamics, Modeling Dense Stellar Systems, Supermassive Black Holes, Binary Population Synthesis and High-performance Computing.

Scientific software is like a prototype in a laboratory experiment; it must stimulate experimentation. The eventual code is a description of concepts and their relationships, which are imperative for reproducibility and validating the results. But how can we continue producing high quality science in the future, when computers stop following Moore's law, and software becomes too complicated to be

develop by a graduate student? Will the next generation scientific simulation software be written by large commercial companies?

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