News

Dear alumni,

            Welcome to the second installment of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s alumni newsletter. Much has transpired in the department since the launching of our inaugural newsletter, and I’m delighted to be able to bring you up to date.   It’s been a great year for us, marked by a strong cadre of 39 baccalaureate, 19 doctoral, and eight master’s degree recipients.  Our faculty corralled an abundance of awards and honors that are detailed below.  The department welcomed a new faculty member, but sadly bid farewell to Fr. Walter.  We were honored to host the family of Nicholas Angelotti (B.S., 1950), as they helped us launch an undergraduate research fund in his name.

            Please know that we here in the department are proud of our alumni and welcome opportunities to learn of your accomplishments. Simply send an email to our assistant chair, Mary Prorok and we will do our best to incorporate items of interest into future newsletters.  In the meantime, I wish you an enjoyable remainder of the summer. Stay cool and stay in touch!

New Research Addresses Complexity of Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control

Author: Sarah Craig

The University of Notre Dame’s Edwin Michael, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, is on the cutting edge of an initiative to address the sociology of disease transmission and control, by factoring in the impacts that complex transmission dynamics and social determinants play in the effective management of infectious diseases. His research was recently published in Infectious Disease of Poverty

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Rare Disease Research Symposium: ESTEEM Students Reflect

Author: Madeline Zupan and Jack Kenney

Zupan Madeline

Kenney Jack

This past weekend, the University of Notre Dame – in conjunction with the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases – hosted its annual Rare Disease Conference. This was a two-day event covering both laboratory science and benchtop research discoveries in addition to patient outreach and rare disease community-building. The unique opportunity to mix cutting edge research alongside first-hand experience from rare disease patients and their family was an incredible experience for the students, faculty, and members of the Notre Dame community.

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Senior John Huber Awarded Gates Cambridge Acholarship

Author: William G. Gilroy

This prestigious postgraduate scholarship program, which fully funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge, was established through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000; this remains the largest single donation to a U.K. university.

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Rare Disease Day Celebration highlights neglected diseases

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Ianguldner Rarediseaseday2017

Hope Kern, 6, skittered between her parents and the posters in Jordan Hall, scribbling in a small notebook as her parents, Melissa and Tim Kern, spoke with students who presented the poster on Hope’s disorder. She is one of only about 40 people in the world diagnosed with Shprintzen Goldberg Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. She, like other patients with this disorder, has various skeletal and cranial malformations and experiences trouble swallowing, among other symptoms. Researchers believe the disease is caused by novel gene mutations.

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Senior John Huber awarded Gates Cambridge scholarship

Author: William G. Gilroy

Johnhuber 250

This prestigious postgraduate scholarship program, which fully funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge, was established through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000; this remains the largest single donation to a U.K. university.

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Shirey second Notre Dame student to present at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Author: Grant Johnson

Carolynshirey 250

Biochemistry graduate student Carolyn Shirey has been selected to attend the 2017 National Graduate Student Symposium (NGSS) at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Selection in the NGSS is extraordinarily competitive as application is by invitation only. Over 1,500 students were invited to apply for the 2017 symposium of which only 42 students, including Biological Sciences grad student Josh Mason, were selected to participate. Shirey and the other selected participants will receive an all expenses paid trip to St. Jude this Spring where they will give a talk, present a poster, and meet with St. Jude scientists.

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Notre Dame researchers study potential cause of common birth defect

Author: Brandi Klingerman

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Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins are small peptides that get added on to other proteins to regulate their activity. While SUMO has many regulatory roles in cells, it is especially important for controlling gene expression during early development. Just a few years ago this connection between SUMO and gene regulation was relatively unknown, but now, Notre Dame researchers are exploring how a disruption to the SUMO protein’s ability to regulate embryo development may be linked to congenital heart defects. 

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