Meet five phd.s

Meet five PhDs

Below you can read about five different research talents and the issues they investigated in their doctoral studies. In 2013 they all received the Aarhus University Research Foundation doctoral award.

New ways of talking about war

A literary historian has examined how literature, directly and indirectly, describes war. Results call for a broader understanding of the concept of war literature.

Kasper Green Krejberg seeks in his thesis to base literary analysis more in historical reality than is currently done. This means at the same time that he argues in favour of broadening the concept of what war literature is. ‘I hope to open people’s eyes to the fact that the literature we read  is related  to real historical conflicts. And even though a novel does not happen to look like a war novel, it can also deal with war.’

Since February, Kasper Green Krejberg has had a three-year postdoc position at AU where – with support from The Free Research Council – Culture and Communication – he is studying ‘conceptions of crisis in the literary history of the welfare state after 1990’.



Tricky algorithmic method revealed to be a dead-end

Thomas Dueholm has demonstrated that a classic programming problem cannot be resolved in the way people assumed. Computer scientists the world over can now look elsewhere for a solution. 

‘Can a randomised implementation of the simplex algorithm solve linear programs in polynomial time?’ Hardly a question that makes sense to others than people with a good grasp of theoretical computer science. But if one asks it of an international researcher who has his finger on the pulse of developments within linear programming, the name of Thomas Dueholm Hansen will probably crop up. For he has demonstrated that the answer is ‘No’.

With a two-year postdoc grant from The Free Research Council – Nature and Universe – he is now continuing his basic research, first in Tel Aviv and subsequently Stanford in California.



When white blood cells run riot

Anne Stidsholt Roug has investigated a particular protein in leukemia-affected cells. With the aid of the protein, she is able to make a sure diagnosis and predict a relapse at an early stage.

Every year, 200-250 adult Danes are affected by acute myeolid leukemia (AML). The disease can be difficult to diagnose, and the great majority of patients unfortunately suffer a relapse after completed treatment. This sorry state of affairs is something Anne Stidsholt Roug’s research is trying to do something about.

‘We discovered that the protein hMICL is also to be found in the stem cells of patients, but not in those of healthy individuals. This means that with the aid of the protein we can monitor how patients are responding to treatment, and we can find small traces of residual disease,’ Anne Stidsholt Roug says.



Cell cultivation in 3D creates hope for cartilage patients

For more than twenty years now, there has been intense research into the regeneration of articular cartilage – but so far no one has come up with anything. At first glance a proper no-win area, but coming from Casper Bindzus Foldager, the statement is part of the explanation why he changed  his speciality from bone-healing to cartilage-healing.

This says something about the ambition level of the 29-year-old assistant professor and doctor who, as a former top-level athlete has a natural interest in sports injuries. Through his research, he has contributed to the development of a new form of treatment which, in the long run, may lead to a breakthrough in the treatment of both cartilage injuries and osteoarthritis.

Casper Bindzus Foldager was also among the recipients of an EliteForsk travel grant from The Free Research Council in 2010, and the Young Elite Researcher Prize in 2012.



A new basis for taking good care of motivation

As something completely new, Anne Mette Kjeldsen has followed motivation levels among the country’s physiotherapists and social workers through time. Via questionnaires and interviews she has analysed their ‘public service motivation’ from when they were in their final year of study until they were in their first job.

‘My results show a large drop in motivation when the newly qualified service provider enters the labour market. The drop is largest in the private sector, and the explanation is that in the public sector people are better at supporting the motivation of the provider by helping him or her get the hang of things,’ Anne Mette Kjeldsen explains.

‘My research provides hints for bosses about what they ought to give priority to in order to avoid a drop in staff motivation, and how they can help employees to live out their motivation within the given framework.’