This years board will consist of Nelli Bossert (Science, Chair), Anita van der Zwan (LUMC, Vice Chair and Event Coordinator), Ajeng Arainikasih (HUM, Event Coordinator), Candido da Silva (LUMC, Secretary), Julia Heuritsch (CWTS, External Affairs), Redmar Vlieg (Science, External Affairs), Ali Shobeiri (LUCAS, PR Officer), Maria Mytiliniou (Science, PR Officer)  and Sander van Rijn (Science, Treasurer and Webmaster).

All members of the board can be reached at

Nelli Bossert

My name is Nelli, and I am in the 3rd year of my PhD. I studied Biology in Würzburg, Germany, and am working now at the Department of Biophysics and the Department of Quantum Optics. In my project, I am looking into applications of fluorescent DNA-encapsulated silver nanoclusters (Ag-DNA) in living cells. As Chair of LEO, I aim to keep my board members happy and engaged, so together we can support you, bring you together with your PhD colleagues in Leiden and contribute to more fun & happiness in your PhD life. If something’s off, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will do my best to help you further. Hope to see you at one of our great LEO events!

Anita van der Zwan

My name is Anita van der Zwan and I am a PhD candidate at Leiden University Medical Center. I spent the first part of my PhD in Boston and am now back in Leiden to finish my project here. My PhD project focuses on how tolerance is established between mother and child during pregnancy. Within LEO, I will serve both as vice-chair and together with Ajeng as the event coordinator. Our objective is to bring you fun, social and from time-to time educational activities. Hope to see you at one of our events!

Ajeng Arainikasih

Hi! I am Ajeng Arainikasih, a PhD Candidate from Institute for History Faculty of Humanities. I came from Indonesia, thus my research is about the representation of Dutch colonialism within Indonesia and the Netherlands’ museums exhibitions. In LEO I am the event coordinator. I am responsible for organizing LEO’s events in 2017 and we have plenty to come, so I hope I’ll see you at our events!


Candido da Silva

I had the privilege to join an exciting group of talented PhD-students at the LUMC, at the very frontier of next-gen oncology and tumor immunology therapy research. My PhD project entails to push the patient’s own immune system to eradicate tumors by employing immunomodulatory nanoparticles. In LEO, I fulfil the role of secretary, so I take care of some administrative threads. In my private life, I enjoy meeting interesting people, and I appreciate sports, nature, music and beverages.

Julia Heuritsch

MugshotI am a researcher at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) in Leiden, which does research about research. At the moment I am studying career patterns of PhD holders. For my PhD project I am interested in focussing on “Science in transition” topics. I am the LEO External Affair Officer, which I defend the interests of Leiden PhD candidates, within the university in talks with the board of directors, as well as nationally by allying with PhD associations in other cities and PNN.


Redmar Vlieg

Hello there! I’m Redmar Vlieg, a PhD who just started his second year of research in the area of biophysics. Using microscopy, I study the optical characteristics of gold nanorods and use them to gain insight in cell-protein interactions on single-molecule level. Moving to Leiden a year ago, LEO helped me a great deal with feeling at home in this wonderful city. Now I want to help LEO in return by assisting Julia as external affairs officer. She already describes on this page what external affairs entails, so I won’t do it here. Cheers!

Ali Shobeiri

My name is Ali Shobeiri, a PhD student at Centre for the Arts in Society, LUCAS. At Leiden University, I am working on an interdisciplinary project that pivots around photographic theories, human geography, and continental philosophy, aiming to see how the three fields together account for the concept to place. I function as a PR at LEO, making sure that our activates and events are spread out speedily and efficiently.

Maria Mytiliniou

My name is Maria Mytiliniou and I’m in the second year of my PhD in the Leiden Institute of Physics, department of Biological & Soft Matter Physics. My PhD projects focuses on the transport properties of vesicles and organelles inside living cells. As a LEO board member, I am in the PR group so my task is to raise awareness among the PhD candidates about the association and promote its events and activities.

Sander van Rijn

My name is Sander van Rijn and I’m working on my PhD at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). My project is about improving optimization algorithms that are used in combination with fluid dynamics simulation software. As Treasurer of LEO I keep an eye on the finances and make sure all our money goes towards hosting great events for all PhD’s. I’m also LEO’s Webmaster, so I make sure that our website and other online tools are maintained and up to date.


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