News » Archives » June 2012

Notre Dame Chicago Commons host for the Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Physics of Bacterial Communities

Author: Melissa Ornat

Workshop

The University of Notre Dame Chicago Commons hosted a workshop on the Physics of Bacterial Communities on June 11-12, 2012. The primary focus of the workshop was on the fundamental understanding of physical mechanisms governing microbial actions, including cellular responses to chemical and physical perturbations, interactions between cells, and coordination of these events over time and spatial scales. The goal of the workshop was to bring together some of the leading researchers in biophysics, biology, applied mathematicians, and computational science from the United States and Europe to discuss the latest developments in the field of the physics of bacterial communities, including swarming, quorum sensing, cell signaling, and biofilm formation and effects of bacterial activity on environment and health.

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$5 million gift establishes Gallagher family professorships in adult stem cell research

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Stem cell research

Alumnus Michael Gallagher and his wife, Elizabeth, have made a $5 million gift to establish the Elizabeth and Michael Gallagher Family Professorships in Adult Stem Cell Research at the University of Notre Dame.

Their gift, which will fund three new endowed professorships in adult and all forms of non-embryonic stem cell research, will strengthen Notre Dame’s leadership in the field of stem cell research and enhance the University’s effective dialogue between the biomedical research community and the Catholic Church on matters related to the use and application of stem cells and regenerative medicine.

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Notre Dame researcher’s paper examines the biology and clinical application of tumor-derived microvesicles

Author: William G. Gilroy

"Genes and Development," June 15, 2012

A new paper by Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey, professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, discusses the biology of tumor-derived microvesicles and their clinical application as circulating biomarkers. Microvesicles are membrane-bound sacs released by tumor cells and can be detected in the body fluids of cancer patients.

The new paper discusses the potential of microvesicles to present a combination of disease- and tissue-specific markers that would constitute a unique and identifiable biosignature for individual cancers.

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Jordan Scott earns American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

Author: Stephanie Healey

jordan_scott

Biochemistry graduate student, Jordan Scott, has been awarded a two-year Midwest Affiliate Predoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association, effective July 1, 2012.  Fellowships are awarded to students who conduct research broadly related to cardiovascular function and disease and stroke, or related to clinical, basic science, bioengineering or biotechnology, and public health problems.

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Franklin Tao receives Paul Holloway Young Investor Award

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Franklin Tao

Franklin Tao, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the Paul H. Holloway Young Investigator Award by the American Vacuum Society (AVS), Thin Film Division.  Tao received the award for his contributions to the understanding of surface and interfacial processes in thin film and nano-materials systems, based on the development of instrumentation for structural and electronic property characterization of surfaces under catalytically relevant conditions.

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Nanoparticles engineered at Notre Dame promise to improve blood cancer treatment

Author: Arnie Phifer

A time-lapse image showing multiple myeloma cells internalizing the engineered nanoparticles

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.

One of the difficulties doctors face in treating MM comes from the fact that cancer cells of this type start to develop resistance to the leading chemotherapeutic treatment, doxorubicin, when they adhere to tissue in bone marrow.

“The nanoparticles we have designed accomplish many things at once,” says Başar Bilgiçer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry and biochemistry, and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics (AD&T) initiative.

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Center for Math conference brings international topology and field theory leaders together

Author: Gene Stowe

center_for_math_conference_sharing_ideas

Organized by the Center for Mathematics at Notre Dame, a Focused Research Group Conference on Topology and Field Theories from June 4–8 gathered international researchers in the emerging field, concluding a four-year FRG initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The event also concluded the Thematic Program on Topology and Field Theories, which included a week of summer school for undergraduates and a week for graduate students and postdoctoral associates, many of whom stayed for the conference.

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Groundbreaking for Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility set for June 15

Author: William G. Gilroy

St. Joseph County Parks

The new research facility is a partnership between the University of Notre Dame and St. Joseph County Parks. Its goal is to build a cutting-edge environmental and research facility at St. Patrick’s County Park.

The field-based environmental research facility will allow Notre Dame scientists, graduate and undergraduate researchers, visiting scholars and other academic institutions to study the interrelationships of land, water and wetland ecologies in the face of environmental change.

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Summer school in topology and field theories brings top lecturers and diverse learners

Author: Gene Stowe

center_for_math_graduate_session

Over 50 graduate students and post-doctoral associates in mathematics from several universities gathered at Notre Dame from May 29-June 2, 2012 for “Summer School in Topology and Field Theories.” The series of lectures and discussions was part of the Center for Mathematics’ Thematic Program on Topology and Field Theories, which included a separate gathering for undergraduates and a conference.

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Researchers share discoveries and progress at Parseghian scientific conference

Author: Marissa Gebhard

marc_patterson_npc_conference_2012

The second annual Michael, Marcia, and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C Research brought together more than 100 researchers, supporters, families and children with NPC from around the world June 7-9 at the Jordan Hall of Science. Participants, representing 31 institutions and five foundations, included people from the United States, Canada, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and France. Scientific presentations included work in molecular and cell biology, developing diagnostics, approaching new treatments in patients, drug development, special attention to the promising treatments with Cyclodextrin, and pathological models of NPC.

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Notre Dame to host dialogue on the teaching of science and math

Author: Bill Schmitt

Middle school science student

A day of discussions and workshops devoted to one of the most crucial issues in education — bringing world-class aptitude in science and math to the next generation of U.S. citizens — will cap the Notre Dame Forum series on “Reimagining School” on June 12 (Tuesday).

Leading experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education from around the country will join local practitioners at a “Forum on K-20 STEM Education” to focus on recent developments in the teaching and learning of those fields. They will pay special attention to K-12 contexts while also considering the years (K-20) spanning graduate studies.

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Research shows food-trade network vulnerable to fast spread of contaminants

Author: Marissa Gebhard and Rachel Fellman

Food contamination network

Notre Dame network physicists Mária Ercsey-Ravasz and Zoltán Toroczkai of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications, in collaboration with food science experts, have recently published a rigorous analysis of the international food-trade network that shows the network’s vulnerability to the fast spread of contaminants as well as the correlation between known food poisoning outbreaks and the centrality of countries on the network.

Together with food science experts József Baranyi, from the Institute of Food Research in the U.K., and Zoltán Lakner, of Corvinus University in Budapest, Ercsey-Ravasz and Toroczkai recently published their results in the journal PLoS ONE.

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International researchers collaborate at Parseghian scientific conference

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Undergraduate Sue Yi at work on NPC in a laboratory

Thirty researchers from universities and institutions around the world are presenting at the 2012 Michael, Marcia and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C Research June 7 to 9 (Thursday to Saturday) in the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. The disease is an inherited cholesterol metabolism disorder that strikes primarily children before or during adolescence. One in every 150,000 children is affected by the disease with symptoms that include deterioration of memory and balance, lung and liver failure, delayed motor development and seizures. Through research collaboration, progress is being made on treatments for the disease.

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Over one thousand celebrate the Transit of Venus at Notre Dame

Author: Stephanie Healey

transit_of_venus_crowd

On Tuesday, June 5, members of the Notre Dame and South Bend communities came to the Jordan Hall of Science to witness the Transit of Venus, a rare astronomical event in which the Earth, Venus and the Sun align. Over one thousand visitors gathered to watch Venus transit the sun for the last time this century.

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Dovichi receives Royal Society of Chemistry Prize for Analytical Science

Author: Rachel Fellman and Marissa Gebhard

Norman Dovichi

The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced that Norman Dovichi, the Grace-Rupley Professor of Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame, will be awarded the 2012 Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science.

The biennial prize is given to the candidate whose work is of the broadest relevance to the chemical science community as a whole and whose career is defined by exceptional work, excellence and dedication. It includes a £5,000 cash award, a medal and a lecture tour of the U.K. The prize will be formally presented Nov. 9 in Birmingham, England.

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Notre Dame hosts ACA Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography

Author: Stephanie Healey

aca_crystallography_summer_couse_s3_packing_2_small

The University of Notre Dame will host the American Crystallographic Association Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography from June 18 – 27.  Students enrolled in the course include graduate students, faculty, and industry professionals who have a background in biochemistry, chemistry or physics.  Attendees are coming from all over the world including the India, Thailand, Brazil, Sweden, and the United States.

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New research leads to sensors that detect contaminants in water

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Electron hopping (Kamat laboratory)

Many organic contaminants in the air and in drinking water need to be detected at very low-level concentrations. Research published by the laboratory of Prashant V. Kamat, the John A. Zahm Professor of Science at the University of Notre Dame, could be beneficial in detecting those contaminants.

The Kamat laboratory uses Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy to make use of silver nanoparticles to increase the sensitivity limit of chemical detection. Researchers in this study have prepared a semiconductor-graphene-metal film that has distinct advantages: The absorption of organic molecules on the film’s graphene surface increases the local contaminant concentration adjacent to silver nanoparticles.

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