News » Archives » 2014

Notre Dame researcher joins international consortium

Author: Sarah Craig


The University of Notre Dame’s Edwin Michael, professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, is part of a select group of individuals invited to form a new consortium to use mathematical modeling to project the spread and control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The University of Warwick, UK, has been awarded an $8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish and support the work of the consortium. The new consortium will be the center of a global effort to reduce the burden of infectious diseases amongst the poorest billion in the world.

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2014: Year in Review

Author: Notre Dame News

Campus Crossroads Project

The calendar year 2014 was filled with many notable moments of accomplishment, celebration and reflection at the University of Notre Dame. Here are some of them.

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Morten Eskildsen named a Fellow for the American Physical Society

Author: Stephanie Healey

Morten Eskildsen

The American Physical Society (APS) recently announced that Morten Eskildsen, professor of physics, was elected as a Fellow for the society’s Division of Condensed Matter Physics. Eskildsen is one of 32 condensed matter physicists elected as Fellows this year and was selected from more than 6,000 physicists studying the field in the United States.  He was nominated for his insightful studies of the vortex lattice in conventional and unconventional type-II superconductors.

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New Notre Dame-IUSM study examines important Ebola protein

Author: William G. Gilroy

Rob Stahelin

A new study by Robert Stahelin, an adjunct associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend, as well as a member of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, investigates how the most abundant protein that composes the Ebola virus, VP40, mediates replication of a new viral particle.

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Notre Dame brings Masterclass to John Adams High School

Author: Gene Stowe

John Adams High School

A Masterclass collaboration between the Department of Physics and John Adams High School in South Bend has accelerated student interest in physics – nearly 50 students signed up for astronomy teacher Daniel Walsh’s class this year, up from 11 in last year’s class when the program first started at John Adams.


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Notre Dame’s Reilly Center releases 2015 List of Emerging Ethical Dilemmas and Policy Issues in Science and Technology

Author: Jessica Baron

Reilly Center

The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame has released its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for 2015.

The Reilly Center explores conceptual, ethical and policy issues where science and technology intersect with society from different disciplinary perspectives. Its goal is to promote the advancement of science and technology for the common good.

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Notre Dame hosts European Nuclear Science and Society Symposium in London

Author: Stephanie Healey

Notre Dame London Global Gateway

The Department of Physics at the University of Notre Dame recently hosted the first annual Notre Dame Europe Symposium on Nuclear Science and Society on October 27-29 at the Notre Dame London Global Gateway.  Sponsored by Notre Dame International and organized by physics professors Ani Aprahamian, Umesh Garg, and Michael Wiescher, the symposium attracted more than 50 scientists representing more than 20 institutions across Europe. Over the three day symposium, the talks focused on the applications of nuclear science in the healthcare and energy, especially the research work currently underway in the United Kingdom.

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Notre Dame sponsors first annual Soft Polymer Materials Symposium

Author: Provided by NDnano


On November 4, Notre Dame hosted the inaugural Soft Polymer Materials Symposium at McKenna Hall. Twelve Notre Dame faculty and postdocs presented their current research in the areas of general synthesis, application, and characterization of soft polymer materials.

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Environmental Change Initiative’s Peter Annin to brief congressional staffers on Great Lakes Compact

Author: William G. Gilroy

Peter Annin

Peter Annin, managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), will provide a briefing on the Great Lakes Compact to Congressional staff members in Washington, D.C., on Friday (Dec. 5).

The briefing was organized by the nonprofit, bipartisan Northeast-Midwest Institute. Honorary sponsors of the briefing are Senate Great Lakes Task Force co-chairs Sens. Carl Levin and Mark Kirk, Senate vice-chairs Debbie Stabenow and Rob Portman, and House Great Lakes Task Force Chairs Candice Miller, John Dingell, Sean Duffy and Louise Slaughter.

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Notre Dame physicists educate and inspire using CERN data

Author: Marissa Gebhard


Researchers and educators around the world now have access to data that CERN has recently made public from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiment — considered to be one of the largest international scientific collaborations in history. Two programs managed at the University of Notre Dame, QuarkNet and I2U2, have played important roles in developing tools and programs for the early use of this data that could address some of the most fundamental questions about the origin and composition of the universe.

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Notre Dame to renovate Hesburgh Library

Author: Tara O'Leary

Hesburgh Library

In the wake of the 50th anniversary of the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library, the University will begin an interior renovation of the iconic building later this month.

Named in honor of President Emeritus Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., the Hesburgh Library is the flagship for Notre Dame’s library system, collectively called the Hesburgh Libraries. Grand in both vision and scale, the building is more than 440,000 square feet, stands 14 stories tall and is believed to have been the largest collegiate library of its day.

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Talk Science discusses stem cell and population ecology research

Author: Casey O'Donnell

Talk Science

From stem cells to population ecology, the research topics studied by both students and professors at Notre Dame is exceedingly diverse. Talk Science, a monthly event hosted by Scientia, the student-run journal of undergraduate scientific research at Notre Dame, aims to highlight research opportunities on campus for interested undergraduates to explore.

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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


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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