Annelien Zweemer Discoverer of the Year 2014


At the New Year’s reception of the Faculty of Science on 6 January, it was announced that Annelien Zweemer, Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research, has been awarded the ‘Discoverer of the Year 2014’ prize. Matteo Brogi, Leiden Observatory, wrote the best dissertation in 2014 and Dennis Claessen, Institute of Biology Leiden, has been declared ‘best teacher of 2014’.

From left to right: Simone Buitendijk (Vice Rector Magnificus College van Bestuur), Geert de Snoo (Dean of the Faculty of Science), Laura Heitman on behalf of Annelien Zweemer (‘Discoverer of the year’), Matteo Brogi (best Thesis of the Year), Anne Hommelberg (assessor of the Faculty Board) and Dennis Claessen (Teacher of the Year).

Annelien Zweemer won the award for her research on how small molecules affect receptors. The CCR2 receptor is a transmembrane protein that plays an important role in many immune-related diseases. Annelien Zweemer studied how small molecules can alter the functioning of this receptor, thus paving the way for pharmaceutical interventions. She made an important discovery: some molecules affect the receptor from the inside of the cell.

More about research on the CCR2 receptor

Staff and students cast their votes for their favorite researcher of the year. Annelien received 23% of the votes. Sven Askes came second with 19% of the votes and Marcel Schaaf took third place with 16% of the votes.

Nominees: Annelien Zweemer (Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research), Sven Askes (Leiden Institute of Chemistry), Simon Portegies Zwart (Leiden Observatory), Alexey Boyarski (Leiden Institute of Physics), Charlene Kalle (Matematical Institute), Katy Wolstencroft (Leiden Institute for Advanced Computer Science ), Marcel Schaaf (Institute of Biology Leiden) and Esther van der Voet (Institute of Environmental Sciences).