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Patron Saint's Day 2017: honouring stubborn rebels with a cause

Patron Saint's Day 2017: honouring stubborn rebels with a cause

15 February 2017 - “Each year, our honorary doctorates bring a little academic warmth in the middle of winter,” said Rector Rik Torfs in his Patron Saint's Day speech. An early burst of spring even added some extra warmth to the 2017 edition. This didn’t go unnoticed by this year’s honourees, who received an honorary doctorate for their important insights and for their stubborn efforts to disseminate and defend them.

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Patron Saint's Day 2017: interviews with the new honorary doctors

Patron Saint's Day 2017: interviews with the new honorary doctors

On the occasion of its Patron Saint's Day, KU Leuven will once again award a number of honorary doctorates. This year, the celebrations will take place on Wednesday 15 February 2016. We are happy to present our new honorary doctors in the interviews below.

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Galileo satellite signals will become more difficult to falsify

Galileo satellite signals will become more difficult to falsify

13 February 2017 - The European Union activated its Galileo satellite navigation system in December 2016. The EU is dedicated to setting this system apart from other navigation systems such as GPS – the US counterpart of Galileo. Researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering at KU Leuven have now risen to this challenge as well: they designed authentication features that will make it even more difficult to send out false Galileo signals.

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Potential new target in the fight against early onset Parkinson’s

Potential new target in the fight against early onset Parkinson’s

13 February 2017 - An international team led by Patrik Verstreken has identified one of the mechanisms underlying early onset Parkinson’s disease. By blocking a specific protein, the researchers were able to change the composition of the mitochondria or 'energy factories' of the nerve cells. This reduced the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

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Guided tours and Dutch for beginners: Leuven welcomes new international students

Guided tours and Dutch for beginners: Leuven welcomes new international students

Thousands of international students come to Leuven each year. With initiatives including Orientation Days and the Buddy Programme, KU Leuven ensures that these students receive a warm welcome.

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Transporter of thyroid hormones is crucial for embryonal development of the brain

6 February 2017 - Thyroid hormones are very important for the development of the brain. And when the transporters of these hormones are not functioning properly, the consequences for the development of the cerebellum or ‘the little brain’ are very serious. These are the findings of a study by researchers from KU Leuven and King’s College London.

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World first: surgical robot performs precision-injection in patient with retinal vein occlusion

World first: surgical robot performs precision-injection in patient with retinal vein occlusion

26 January 2017 - Eye surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have been the first to use a surgical robot to operate on a patient with retinal vein occlusion. The robot uses a needle of barely 0.03 millimetre to inject a thrombolytic drug into the patient’s retinal vein. KU Leuven developed the robot and needle specifically for this procedure.

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Cancer immunologists James P. Allison and Carl H. June: “Soon, we’ll be able to beat many cancers”

For over thirty years, American immunologists James Allison (68) and Carl June (63) were met with disbelief and even ridicule. But in the past years they have cured cancer patients in such a miraculous way that there’s no denying it anymore: they have revolutionized the fight against the disease. “Never underestimate the power of our own immune system.”

Cancer immunologists James P. Allison and Carl H. June: “Soon, we’ll be able to beat many cancers” - Read More…

Ecumenist Theodor Dieter, 500 years after Luther: have we bridged the gap?

Five hundred years ago, there were rumblings in religious Europe – which, at the time, meant more or less the same as political Europe. The fuse of the powder keg was lit by the work of Maarten Luther, an Augustinian friar and young professor at a university – not even a famous one – somewhere in what is now the eastern part of Germany. In Catholic Europe, he became the devil incarnate in a matter of years, but for what would end up to be hundreds of millions of believers, he ‘reformed’ religion into what it was supposed to be. Honorary doctor Theodor – Theo – Dieter has been studying Luther his entire life.

Ecumenist Theodor Dieter, 500 years after Luther: have we bridged the gap? - Read More…

Food and agriculture expert Louise Fresco: “We feel nostalgia for a non-existent past”  

Small-scale agriculture: appealing though it may sound, it’s not going to feed the world. The Dutch professor and author Louise O. Fresco does not fight shy of speaking the – sometimes counterintuitive – truth. She is all too aware that food is about emotion, but facts are still facts. “Generalising moral statements such as ‘sugar is bad’: scientists should steer clear of them.”

Food and agriculture expert Louise Fresco: “We feel nostalgia for a non-existent past”   - Read More…

World's largest banana genebank celebrates 30th anniversary

World's largest banana genebank celebrates 30th anniversary

23 January 2016 - For 30 years now, KU Leuven has been home to an impressive collection of bananas that already contains over 1,500 samples and is the biggest in its kind. The technology used to preserve this collection may be applied to various other crops as well.

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New dental implant with built-in reservoir reduces risk of infections

New dental implant with built-in reservoir reduces risk of infections

18 January 2016 - A multidisciplinary team of researchers at KU Leuven has developed a dental implant that gradually releases drugs from a built-in reservoir. This helps prevent and fight infections.

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Honorary doctorate for Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Europe is each and every one of us”

Honorary doctorate for Chancellor Angela Merkel: “Europe is each and every one of us”

12 January 2017 - “At the university, you will not only get to know Europe, but also shape it: with your curiosity, dedication and drive, and by exchanging ideas.” With a warm appeal to the current generation of students, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a joint honorary doctorate from KU Leuven and Ghent University.

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Does Tinder lead to more casual sex?

Does Tinder lead to more casual sex?

6 January 2017 - Do people have more casual sex because of Tinder? Doctoral student Elisabeth Timmermans set out to find the answer: “One in two users already met one of their Tinder matches in real life. In a third of these cases, this led to sex.”

Does Tinder lead to more casual sex? - Read More…

Most Popular Stories of 2016

Most Popular Stories of 2016

22 December 2016 - Scientific breakthroughs, exciting events, and a little bit of folly: that is 2016 in a nutshell. To celebrate another wonderful year at KU Leuven, we compiled a list of the most popular stories published in 2016. Discover them in this interactive image or scroll down for this year's top 10. Happy News Year!

Most Popular Stories of 2016 - Read More…

“A slice of lemon in my drink? No thanks!”

“A slice of lemon in my drink? No thanks!”

22 December 2016 - Toxicologist and pharmacologist Jan Tytgat examines the harmful effects of various substances on human beings, food, and the environment. And he takes this knowledge with him when he enters a bar or a restaurant. “I’ll never make a scene about it, but I always frown if I get a drink with a slice of lemon in it.”

“A slice of lemon in my drink? No thanks!” - Read More…

Treating breast cancer before it spreads: study reveals longer potential treatment window

Treating breast cancer before it spreads: study reveals longer potential treatment window

20 December 2016 - Breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body relatively late, new research shows. This leaves more time than expected to treat the cancer before it spreads. These late-to-spread cells are also genetically similar to the cells of the diagnosed tumour in the breast, which may help choose the most effective treatment.

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Patron Saint's Day 2017: KU Leuven to award four honorary doctorates 

19 December 2016 - As part of its Patron Saint’s Day celebrations, KU Leuven traditionally confers a number of honorary doctorates in recognition of extraordinary scientific, social, or cultural achievements. On 15 February 2017, the university will award honorary doctorates to five people who excel in their domain.

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KU Leuven and UGent to confer joint honorary doctorate on Angela Merkel

On Thursday 12 January 2017 Rector Rik Torfs (KU Leuven) and Rector Anne De Paepe (UGent) will confer a joint honorary doctorate on German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel. She will receive the honorary doctorate for her diplomatic and political efforts to develop the political strength of Europe, and to defend the values that allow our continent to find unity in diversity.

KU Leuven and UGent to confer joint honorary doctorate on Angela Merkel - Read More…

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