News » Archives » November 2014

Notre Dame biologist Nora Besansky leads international consortium in sequencing the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes

Author: William G. Gilroy

Mosquito time lapse

Nora Besansky, O’Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world.

Anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting human malaria parasites that cause an estimated 200 million cases and more than 600 thousand deaths each year. However, of the almost 500 different Anopheles species, only a few dozen can carry the parasite and only a handful of species are responsible for the vast majority of transmissions. Besansky and her fellow researchers investigated the genetic differences between the deadly parasite-transmitting species and their harmless (but still annoying) cousins.

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Rupley to lead Notre Dame ESC

Author: Nina Welding

Michael Rupley, director of ESC

Michael Rupley has joined the University of Notre Dame as director of Engineering and Science Computing (ESC). Serving the colleges of engineering and scienceand in conjunction with the University’s Office of Information Technology, ESC provides direct technical support, consulting, and problem solving to faculty, staff, and students relating to academic computing, video conferencing,  technology life cycle management, and information security.

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Mark Suckow recognized by AALAS with Griffin Award

Author: Stephanie Healey

Mark Suckow

Mark Suckow, DVM, associate vice president for research compliance and research professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, was named the recipient of the 2014 Charles A. Griffin Award from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The Griffin Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate ethical science and/or technological advancements in humane experimentation or improved animal care practices. Suckow was recognized at the association’s annual meeting in San Antonio in October 2014.

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Agrahari receives Fellowship from the Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association

Author: Deborah Donahue

Garima Agrahari

Garima Agrahari,  a biochemistry graduate student in the laboratory of Francis J. Castellino, is a recent recipient of a two year predoctoral fellowship from the Midwest Affiliate of the American Heart Association.  The title of her study is “Molecular mechanisms of antiphagocytic activity mediated by Plasminogen binding group A streptococcal M-like protein.”

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Michelle Whaley is 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year

Author: William G. Gilroy

Michelle Whaley

Michelle A. Whaley, a teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named the 2014 Indiana Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She will be announced as the award winner at a luncheon Thursday (Nov. 20) at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

“Michelle is extraordinarily dedicated, innovative, impactful and successful, and clearly among the very best teachers in the College of Science and the University of Notre Dame,” Gary A. Lamberti, professor and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences who nominated Whaley for the award, said. “She is the undisputed leader of undergraduate initiatives in our department, especially those surrounding undergraduate research. Simply put, she is the heart and soul of undergraduate scholarship in biology.”

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Notre Dame, U.S. Navy to collaborate on new tool to diagnose infectious diseases

Author: Arnie Phifer

us_navy_sm2

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame and the Naval Medical Research Center have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to collaborate on the engineering and application of a new field-deployable sensor for the detection of infectious disease pathogens, with initial focus on the detection of dengue fever.

“Our goal is to develop and evaluate a novel sensing platform that can be used to detect the RNA of infectious agents in patient samples during viral infection,” said Sunny Shah, Senior Scientist at Notre Dame and one of the project’s principal investigators. “Though the project addresses a problem of high military relevance, this research could have broad benefit for civilians as well.”

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Notre Dame graduate students win a record amount of funding through external grants and fellowships

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Main Building

In the past academic year, Notre Dame graduate students were awarded a record amount in fellowships and grants—$4.24 million—from organizations and entities around the world. The 2013-2014 cumulative award amount is $1.1 million more than the previous academic year and represents a 14% increase in the number of students applying for outside awards.

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Attacking cancer at its roots

Author: Stephanie Healey

Reggie Hill

Reginald Hill, the Archibald Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology, has published an article, “Attacking Cancer at its Roots,” on the website Science 2034.  Science 2034 is an initiative from The Science Coalition that asks scientists, policy makers, and thought leaders to share what they think science will do for individuals, society and the world 20 years from now.

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New vocational training center for LF patients opens in Leogane, Haiti

Author: Provided

Leogane vocational training program

The University of Notre Dame Haiti Program took an important “next step” in the expansion of its clinical services and morbidity management initiatives with the opening of a vocational training center in Leogane, Haiti in early September.  An initiative to further lymphatic filariasis (LF) patient empowerment, as a part of the "Mental Health Initiative," the center was dedicated in a ceremony attended by some 50 individuals on September 10, 2014.

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New paper explains methods that may lead to new insights about dark matter

Author: Stephanie Healey

Illustration of dark matter falling into a neutron star, forming a black hole and radiating out (Courtesy of NASA)

A new paper, co-authored by University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Joseph Bramante, discusses how detecting imploding pulsars may lead to insights about the properties of dark matter. The paper, “Detecting Dark Matter with Imploding Pulsars in the Galactic Center,” was recently published in Physical Review Letters, the flagship journal for the American Physical Society.

Pulsars, or pulsating stars, are rotating neutron stars that emit pulses of light visible to astronomers on Earth. Pulsars are created from the collapsing cores of supermassive stars that have exploded into supernovae. These supermassive stars, 10 to 40 times the mass of the sun, have been found at the center of the galaxy, leading astronomers to predict a certain number of pulsars should also reside there, but that predicted number of pulsars has not yet been observed.

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Notre Dame network physicists create model to predict traffic patterns

Author: Gene Stowe

Zoltán Toroczkai

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have designed a simple, yet highly accurate traffic prediction model for roadway transportation networks. They have recently published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

“Transportation networks and in particular the highway transportation network are like the body’s circulatory system for the nation,” says Zoltán Toroczkai, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, who co-authored the study with physics graduate student Yihui Ren and national and international collaborators.

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Army veteran Luis Morales honored by NSF in Washington, D.C.

Author: Stephanie Healey

Luis Morales

Physics graduate student and U.S. Army veteran Luis Morales is one of 11 military veterans who was honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with Graduate Research Fellowships on November 5, 2014 in Washington, D.C. During the official visit to the NSF headquarters, the group was recognized with a formal ceremony highlighting veterans and their contributions science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The 11 fellows will also participate in a poster session to discuss their research and personal motivations in pursuing graduate school in their field of interest.

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2014 ND-GAIN results show that Norway is most prepared for climate change

Author: William G. Gilroy

Lofoten, Norway

Norway is the best prepared country for climate change, and has been so for almost 20 years, according to data released Wednesday (Nov. 5) by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN).

ND-GAIN is the world’s leading annual index that ranks more than 175 countries based on their vulnerability to climate change and their readiness to adapt to the droughts, superstorms and natural disasters that climate change can cause.

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Elisabeth Köll, Harvard Business Historian, to present lecture on the state, market, and private enterprise in China

Author: Provided

Elizabeth Koll

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) and the University of Notre Dame Department of History are pleased to announce a jointly-sponsored public lecture by Elisabeth Köll, Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management unit at the Harvard Business School, titled “Visible and Invisible Hands in China: State, Market, and Private Enterprise in Historical Perspective.”

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Prashant Kamat named a Pravasi Fellow

Author: Stephanie Healey

Prashant Kamat

Prashant Kamat, the Rev. John A. Zahm, C.S.C. Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and concurrent professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has been elected as a Prevasi Fellow by the Indian National Science Academy. Kamat was selected for his “most pioneering contributions to the world of science.” His fellowship will begin January 1, 2015.

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