News » Archives » 2012

Mathematics alumnus receives NSF International Research Fellowship

Author: Gene Stowe

Chris Porter

Christopher Porter, who recently completed his Ph.D. in the joint program in mathematics and philosophy, has received an International Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation to conduct mathematics research for two years with Laurent Bienvenu at Université Paris Diderot. Porter's project, “Randomness Preservation and Randomness Extraction,” is in the field of algorithmic randomness, a discipline lying at the intersection of computability theory, probability, and information theory.

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Woodard receives NSF graduate research fellowship

Author: Gene Stowe

woodward_square

Anna Woodard, a third-year graduate student in the Department of Physics, has received a three-year Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Woodard, who is doing research in high energy physics, collaborates with other Notre Dame students and faculty on the Compact Muon Spectrometer (CMS) team at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, a particle accelerator in Switzerland.

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Gooyit receives Baxter Young Investigator Award

Author: Gene Stowe

Major Gooyit

Major Gooyit, a graduate student in the laboratories of Shahriar Mobashery and Mayland Chang, has won a Baxter Young Investigator Award from Baxter International Inc., a global healthcare company involved in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The award focuses on researchers whose work can be applied to critical care therapies. Gooyit, who earned a degree in chemistry at the University of the Philippines and came to Notre Dame in 2007, works on the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of gelatinase-dependent diseases such as neurological diseases and diabetic wounds. 

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New accelerator helps Notre Dame scientists understand workings of the universe

Author: William G. Gilroy

The accelerator is lowered through the roof of Nieuwland Hall

University of Notre Dame physics professor Michael Wiescher is interested in the origin of the elements in the chemical evolution of the universe, and a new particle accelerator in Nieuwland Hall of Science is helping advance that research.

“We try to simulate the reactions that take place in stars,” Wiescher said.

He points out that our bodies are 70 percent hydrogen — 50 percent of which was formed 12 to 13 billion years ago in the Big Bang and the rest in subsequent generations of stars.

“You have a direct personal connection,” he said. “Half of the atoms in your body have been part of supernova explosions of stars."

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Serianni named American Chemical Society Fellow

Author: Rachel Fellman

Anthony Serianni

Anthony S. Serianni, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2012 Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS).  He is one of 96 researchers selected nationwide and announced in the July 23 issue of Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly magazine of the ACS.

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Underground accelerator laboratory funding obtained

Author: Shelly Goethals

DIANA

The nuclear physics research group at Notre Dame has been successful in obtaining funding for the continuation of the development project for an underground accelerator laboratory in the United States.

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ACMS host for Midwest Conference on Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing

Author: Melissa Ornat

The Main Building

The Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS) at the University of Notre Dame hosted the “Midwest Numerical Analysis Days 2012 on May 12 – 13, 2012. This two-day conference was organized to provide an opportunity for faculty, postdocs and graduate students in numerical analysis, scientific computing and modeling with applications to science and engineering to exchange ideas and promote new collaborations. The conference highlighted various active numerical analysis and scientific computing research programs in the Midwest and presented a broad spectrum of talks on current research and future prospects for applied and computational mathematics approaches and their applications.

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Notre Dame REU program hosts annual intercollegiate Physics Olympics

Author: Stephanie Healey

physics_olympics_paperclips

On July 9,  the Department of Physics and Notre Dame’s Physics Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program hosted the annual Physics Olympics in the Jordan Hall of Science. REU students from Michigan State, Purdue and Notre Dame participated in the events.

This year’s Physics Olympics included three group events designed to draw upon the students’ knowledge of basic physics principles.  Each event was timed and utilized everyday household items that needed to be used to complete a task.

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Kerry Bauer receives Indiana CTSI Predoctorial Trainee Award

Author: Stephanie Healey

kerry_bauer

Biochemistry graduate student Kerry Bauer recently received an Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) Predoctorial Trainee Award.  The award includes an annual stipend, partial tuition for coursework relevant to her research, and travel support to attend a national meeting for similar trainees from 40 other medical schools and research institutions around the country.

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Harper Cancer Research Institute hosts inaugural IIEECC workshop

Author: Angela Cavalieri

Harper Cancer Research Institute

Researchers and clinicians focused on ovarian cancer participated in the inaugural Indiana-Illinois End Epithelial Cancer Coalition Workshop on June 10-11 at the University of Notre Dame. The attendees at this intensive workshop included basic and clinical researchers and trainees from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University School of Medicine (Bloomington, Indianapolis, South Bend), University of Chicago, University of Illinois (Chicago and Urbana-Champaign), Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, and Rush University.

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Notre Dame researchers are participants in hunt for the Higgs boson

Author: William G. Gilroy

A candidate event for the Higgs boson decaying to two photons (thick red lines) detected by the CMS detector

Scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest atom smasher, are expected to announce Wednesday (July 4) that they have evidence that the elusive Higgs boson particle exists.

Notre Dame researchers have long been involved in the search for the Higgs boson, the final piece of a model proposed four decades ago laying out the basic building blocks of matter in the universe.

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Mosquitoes — how we smell is why they bite, research shows

Author: William G. Gilroy

Culex mosquito

Now that the summer season is in full swing, many of us will be hosting picnics and barbecues and socializing outside. Chances are, we’ll also have some unwanted guests in the form of mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes seem to have an uncanny ability to locate us, and Zainulabeuddin Syed, a mosquito biologist with the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has gone a long way toward to determining how they do it.

In short, it’s because of the way we smell.

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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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