News » Archives » April 2014

Senior awarded meritorious honor at AACR meeting

Author: Shadia Ajam

Nicholas Pagani

Senior biological sciences major Nicholas Pagani attended the 105th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held April 5-9, 2014, in San Diego, California. The meeting drew over 18,000 researchers, patient advocates, and other professionals in the cancer field from around the world. The theme for this year’s meeting was “Harnessing Breakthroughs – Targeting Cures,” which reflected on the translation of basic science into clinical advances for the benefit of cancer patients, a process that is occurring at an increasing pace.

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Targeting cancer

Author: Michael Rodio

Basar Bilgicer

In the fight against cancer, chemotherapy is a race against time. While chemotherapy kills the tumor, it also kills healthy tissue. So chemotherapy must do its job—eliminate cancerous growth—before the drugs become too toxic for a patient to tolerate or do too much damage to a patient’s liver, kidneys and other organs. It’s a harsh battle, one that cancer patients and their families face all too often.  But if chemotherapy could be focused on only cancerous cells, leaving healthy cells largely untouched, chemotherapy treatments would deliver a significantly improved patient outcome.

Z. Başar Bilgiçer, a researcher at the Harper Cancer Research Institute, has found a way to do just that.

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Bridging the gaps between the clinic and the laboratory

Author: Angela Cavalieri

Dennis Lee, Siyuan Zhang

Approximately 90% of cancer deaths can be attributed due to metastasis, the spreading of primary tumor cells to distant organs. Siyuan Zhang’s lab works to further our understanding of the early stages of metastasis and in turn, how to treat it more effectively. Under the guidance of Zhang, undergraduates like Dennis Lee are using genetic editing tools to create lineage reporter cell lines and investigate the evolution of metastasis through intravital two photon imaging.

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Jacqueline Stoneburner to be second author on upcoming research paper

Author: Stephanie Healey

Jacqueline Stoneburner

Jacqueline Stoneburner spent last summer working on a research project with Christine Petti, M.D., F.A.C.S., medical director of the Palos Verdes Plastic Surgery Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif., and will be the second author on an upcoming paper about their research. The project, “Laser-Assisted Body Contouring with a Novel Fiber for Targeted Energy Delivery: A New Modality for Simultaneous Treatment of and Skin and Adipose Tissue,” was also recently presented by Dr. Petti at the 34th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery in Phoenix, Ariz.

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Law student observes cataclysmic variable with Krizmanich Telescope

Author: Stephanie Healey

Krizmanich Telescope

Colin Littlefield, a third-year law student at Notre Dame, has been one of several researchers testing the University’s brand new Sarah L. Krizmanich Telescope, an 0.8 meter telescope that was installed on the rooftop of Jordan Hall of Science in September 2013. Throughout the testing, he has observed an object known as CSS 081231:071126+440405. “Despite its awkward name, it's one of the more interesting astronomical objects visible from South Bend because it appears to vanish for several minutes every two hours,” he explained.

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Geek Week kicks off this Tuesday

Author: Shadia Ajam

Geek Week 2014

Interested in math debates, astronomy presentations, and all things geek? Notre Dame’s annual Geek Week, hosted by the Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics (ACMS), Math, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology Clubs, in collaboration with the College of Science, will be kicking off this Tuesday, April 22. All math and science lovers, regardless of your major, are welcome to attend any of the Geek Week events.

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Astronomers discover Earth-sized planet in habitable zone

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Kepler 186f artist concept

Watch video Video

University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Justin R. Crepp and researchers from NASA working with the Kepler space mission have detected an Earth-like planet orbiting the habitable zone of a cool star. The planet, which was found using the Kepler Space Telescope, has been identified as Kepler-186f and is 1.11 times the radius of the Earth. Their research, titled “An Earth-sized Planet in the Habitable Zone of a Cool Star,” will be published in the journal Science on Thursday (April 17).

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Notre Dame students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Author: Stephanie Healey

Main Building

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the recipients of this year’s Graduate Research Program Fellowships (GRPF). Seven College of Science students and one alumnus received awards. In addition, five science students received honorable mentions.

The fellowship provides three years of support for the graduate education of students who have demonstrated the potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research.  Past NSF Fellows include individuals who have made significant breakthroughs in science and engineering research, as well as some who have been honored as Nobel laureates.

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LoSecco named 2014 Fermi Scholar

Author: Shelly Goethals


Professor John LoSecco has recently been named a 2014 Fermi Scholar. The goal of the Fermi Scholar Program is to include university based researchers into research and development roles at Fermilab. Professor LoSecco will use the award to work on the design of the lab's next generation neutrino beam.

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Ebola outbreak in Africa has local impact

Author: Eck Institute for Global Health


The Ebola virus outbreak this week is challenging World Health Organization (WHO) officials around the world. On Wednesday, 67 WHO disease professionals have been mobilized to prevent further spread of Ebola and address the infection in hopes of stopping the outbreak in new areas of West Africa.

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Cancer detection test takes grand prize in Notre Dame business plan competition

Author: Carol Elliott

NanDio team for McCloskey Business Competition

A team with a business plan for a simple test that detects oral cancer took the grand prize of $25,000 Friday (April 11) in the Mendoza College of Business’ 15th McCloskey Business Plan Competition at the University of Notre Dame. NanDio competed against five other teams in the final round of the competition, which was sponsored by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at Mendoza. The competition awarded $300,000 in cash and prizes.

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Notre Dame hosts Midwest Women in Mathematics symposium

Author: Shadia Ajam


This past Saturday (Apr. 5), the Department of Mathematics hosted the Midwest Women in Math Symposium in the Jordan Hall of Science The purpose of the symposium is to strengthen the network of female mathematicians in the Midwest and encourage collaborations and mentoring relationships.

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Charles Cong Xu accepted to prestigious international graduate program

Author: Stephanie Healey

Charles Cong Xu

Senior environmental sciences major and Chinese minor Charles Cong Xu was recently accepted to the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME).  MEME is a highly selective two-year research-oriented master’s program for students interested in studying evolution.  He has also been nominated to receive a scholarship from the European Union to attend MEME and will hear the results in early May.

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Notre Dame students named Goldwater Scholars

Author: Stephanie Healey

Main Building in the Spring

The College of Science is pleased to announce that Jacob Haley and Ellie Norby have been named Goldwater Scholars. They were selected from thousands of applicants nationwide to receive the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year. In addition, Samantha Piekos has earned an honorable mention.

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Undergraduate Library Research Award competition is accepting applications until Apr. 10

Author: Gene Stowe

Hesburgh Library in the Spring

The fifth Undergraduate Library Research Award competition, with a top prize of $1,000, is accepting applications until April 10. The award is sponsored by the Hesburgh Libraries and The Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE). Last year’s top winner was Brianna Kunycky of Environmental Sciences, and other College of Science winners have come from Biochemistry and Biological Sciences.

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Physics researchers provide new insights into quantum dynamics and quantum chaos

Author: William G. Gilroy

Boldizsár Jankó (square)

A team of researchers led by University of Notre Dame physicist Boldizsar Janko has announced analytical prediction and numerical verification of novel quantum rotor states in nanostructured superconductors.

The international collaborative team points out that the classical rotor, a macroscopic particle of mass confined to a ring, is one of the most studied systems in classical mechanics.

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