Students receive fellowships to address diabetes, cancer, and maternal mortality

Author: Brandi Klingerman

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Three students from the University of Notre Dame have received fellowships through the Advanced Diagnostics & TherapeuticsBerry Family Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program. Since 2013, the program has sponsored young researchers during a key part of their education and acted as a springboard for future career opportunities in academic and corporate research.

“Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics is proud to have top caliber students be part of the Berry Family Foundation Fellowship Program,” said Paul W. Bohn, Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Engineering and Director of Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics. “And in terms of cancer research in particular, we are very happy again to have Notre Dame’s Harper Cancer Research Institute as a cosponsor. The work these fellows contribute to Notre Dame’s research programs is vital to advancing our understanding of today’s most pressing health challenges.”

The 2019 Berry Family Foundation Graduate Fellowship recipients are:

  • Katie Morris, graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences, is advised by Kevin Vaughan, associate professor of biological sciences, on her research project to develop a potential new treatment for cancer that puts tumor cells into a deep sleep. Morris is this year’s combined Berry Family Foundation-Harper Cancer Research Institute Graduate Fellow and her project will involve a collaboration with Richard Taylor, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, the Warren Center for Drug Discovery at Notre Dame, and the University of Southern California.
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    Vincent Paul Schmitz, graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is advised by Rebecca Whelan, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, on his public health project with application to expectant mothers in low-resource areas. Schmitz’s project is a collaboration with Marya Lieberman, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and a teaching hospital in Kenya.

  • Michael VandenBerg, graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is advised by Matthew Webber, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, on his research to support the development of a new, innovative approach to diabetes care.

The Berry Family Foundation Graduate Fellowships are awarded each year to graduate students for 12 months to investigate issues that include combating disease, promoting health, and safeguarding the environment.

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For more information, including how to apply, please visit

Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics (AD&T) is a research initiative dedicated to combating disease, promoting health, and safeguarding the environment. The initiative fosters cross-cutting exploration and integration across multiple disease areas and health challenges. By fostering a community of researchers spanning disciplines at the University of Notre Dame, AD&T aims to accelerate the research, identify and develop bold new ideas with real-world impact, and support the training of young researchers. To learn more, please visit

The Harper Cancer Research Institute is dedicated to supporting innovative and integrative research that confronts the complex challenges of cancer. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend are united in multi-disciplinary teams with a common goal: to increase the survival of all patients diagnosed with cancer. To learn more about the institute, please visit

Originally published by Brandi Klingerman at on July 23, 2019.