News » Archives » December 2013

Faculty hiring initiative supports Notre Dame’s ongoing investments in research

Author: William G. Gilroy

Main Building

Building on the momentum of its recent Strategic Research Investment initiative — which committed $80 million in internal resources to 14 research projects — the University of Notre Dame has announced the winning proposals in a new strategic hiring initiative. The initiative, which is a key component in the University’s Advancing Our Vision program, will create approximately 80 faculty positions in 10 key areas of research across campus, drawing on $10 million in annual funds that have been reallocated from lower-priority expenditures to this academic priority.

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Notre Dame International Funds Global Research Collaborations

Author: NDI-News

Main Building

Notre Dame International (NDI) has awarded nine grants through its new Global Collaboration Initiative (GCI) program to Notre Dame faculty engaged in research with colleagues at partner institutions around the world. Two of the grants were awarded to faculty in the College of Science.


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Hesburgh Libraries launch Center for Digital Scholarship

Author: Tara O'Leary

Hesburgh Library

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The University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Libraries have officially launched the Center for Digital Scholarship, located in the northeast corner on the first floor of its flagship Hesburgh Library building. This launch marks a transformational leap into the future for the Hesburgh Libraries and helps to meet the growing demand for advanced research expertise and digital library services at Notre Dame.

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The end of a comet’s journey

Author: Shadia Ajam

Comet ISON

This past Thursday, Keith Davis, Ph.D., director of the Digital Visualization Theater, gave a public presentation about comets and the solar system. His presentation focused on Comet ISON, which has recently been given major media coverage and dubbed as the possible “comet of the century.”

Davis explained how a disruption in ISON’s original orbit millions of years ago sent it along a path that led it to the inner solar system. When scientists mapped out ISON’s new orbit, they learned that it would graze the sun, making it a “sun diving comet.”

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Global Adaptation Index founder to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Rachel Novick

Kenneth Hersh

Kenneth Hersch, Co-Founder and CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management and founder of the Global Adaptation Index, will be speaking in the Atrium of the Mendoza College of Business on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 PM.

The Global Adaptation Index — the world’s leading Index showing which countries are best prepared to deal with the droughts, super-storms and other natural disasters that climate change can cause — moved to Notre Dame in the Spring 2013 and is now called ND-GAIN.

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Knots in math, science, and everyday life

Author: Shadia Ajam

Math for Everyone Series

This past Thursday (Dec. 5) at the last Math for Everyone lecture of the semester, Lisa Traynor, Professor of Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College, delivered a presentation titled, “All Tied up in Knots.” Traynor explained how a mathematician thinks about knots, how knot theory can be applied scientifically when modeling DNA-enzyme interactions, and how particular knots have interesting images that we encounter in our everyday lives.

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Smith named associate editor of Bioconjugate Chemistry

Author: Stephanie Healey

Brad Smith

Brad Smith, the Emil T. Hofman Professor of Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been named associate editor of Bioconjugate Chemistry, a journal published by the American Chemical Society. The journal focuses on research relevant to all aspects of conjugation chemistry and biochemistry, including the preparation, characterization, and properties of molecular conjugates. His term as associate editor will begin January 1, 2014.

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Reilly Center Releases 2014 List of Emerging Ethical Dilemmas and Policy Issues in Science and Technology

Author: Jessica Baron


The University of Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values has just released its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for 2014.

This year, the issues range from DIY cyborgs to property rights in space and highlight issues in robotics, neuroscience, and economics. The list was created with the help of Reilly fellows, other Notre Dame experts, and friends of the center.

The goal of the annual list is to present items for scientists, policy makers, journalists, and laypeople alike to consider in the coming months and years as new technologies develop. The Reilly Center will feature one of these issues on its website each month in 2014, giving readers more information, including questions to ask and resources to consult.

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December is Vampire Energy Month

Author: Robert Coly


It is easy to get lost in finals preparation or in the winter weather and to forget about the little things. This is why December’s Dorm Energy Championship theme is vampire energy.

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Breast cancer research seeks to understand critical gene functions

Author: Michael Rodio

Tracy Vargo-Gogola

Cancer’s origin point—a human gene gone haywire—is, in many cases, also its weak spot. If you could block the abnormal function of a gene that is important for metastasis, the theory goes, then maybe you can stop cancer from spreading.

But there’s a catch—hit the weak spot with too much force, and you could trigger a cascade of side effects that may be as bad as the original cancer.

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