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FameLab: all about blood vessels in 180 seconds

PhD candidates in medicine, Wouter Jan Geelhoed and Nan van Geloven, are the winners of the Leiden preliminary round of FameLab. They are through to the final on 22 April.


Ten young science researchers pitched their research in the Leiden preliminary round of FameLab on 16 February, in the stately Small Auditorium in the Academy Building. They had just three minutes to persuade the jury and the public of the importance of their research. The jury - professors Christine Mummery and Jaap de Jong and knowledge broker Mike Shaw - judged the presentations on content, clarity and charisma.

Video Report (in English)

New blood vessels

Wouter Jan Geelhoed, PhD candidate in medicine, made a good impression with his simple and inexpensive method of growing new blood vessels. A plastic rod is inserted under the skin creating a channel that can lead to new blood velssels being formed. 

Statistical probability of fertility

How can couples who want to have children gain more accurate predictions about their fertility? Bio-statistician Nan van Geloven explained clearly how she is able to make up-to-date predictions using her dynamic models, so that prospective parents can make choices at an earlier stage regarding the most appropriate treatment. 

Ages-old plaque

The other participants also made an impression with their research on treatments for such conditions as tuberculosis and cancer. Even archaeological research on ages-old plaque can provide insights into how diseases evolve. One PhD candidate explained how sensors made of graphene can trace gas and an environmental scientist explained how her computer models can help combat global warming.  

Good soundbites        

But not everyone is able to make truly exciting whirlwind presentations. Jury member Christine Mummery, stem cell professor in Leiden, warned the candidates: ‘If you don't speak good English, you won't be invited to lectures and conferences.' Jaap de Jong, Professor of Journalism and Rhetoric, had a tip for the participants: Think up some good soundbites in advance and journalists are sure to use them. Biologist Anne Uilhoorn already has a snappy one at the ready: How can we use computers to play God and help the environment?


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