News » Archives » March 2015

Campus courtyard is home to Lucier Memorial

Author: Stephanie Healey

Spring flowers

Have you ever spent time in the courtyard between Hayes-Healy Center and Hurley Hall? When warmer weather and sunny skies finally return to Notre Dame, you’ll often find friends eating lunch, students studying, or even little ducklings running around.  The courtyard is enjoyed by many around campus, but few know the history behind this treasured space.

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National Science Foundation renews funding for JINA

Author: William G. Gilroy


The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced Monday (March 30) that it is renewing funding for a University of Notre Dame-led institute dedicated to the of study the broad range of nuclear processes in the universe that control stellar evolution, trigger supernova events and lead to thermonuclear explosions observed as novae and X-ray and Y-ray bursts.

The Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) was established and funded in 2003 as a NSF Physics Frontier Center between Notre Dame, Michigan State University, the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory to address critical questions about the origin of heavy elements in nature or nuclear processes on compact stellar objects.

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New computational model will aid in study of blood clots, biofilms

Author: Gene Stowe

Mark Alber

University of Notre Dame applied mathematician Mark Alber and environmental biotechnologist Robert Nerenberg have developed a new computational model that effectively simulates the mechanical behavior of biofilms. Their model may lead to new strategies for studying a range of issues from blood clots to waste treatment systems.

“Blood clotting is a leading cause of death in the United States at this point,” said Alber, who is The Vincent J. Duncan Family Professor of Applied Mathematics in the College of Science and an adjunct professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, South Bend. “We can now use a very fast and biologically relevant computational model to study deforming structures of the clots growing in blood flow.”

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Notre Dame alumnus launches health and wellness start-up

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Chris Freise

Chris Freise, a 2012 entrepreneurship master's (ESTEEM) alumnus, has formed a startup with three partners to develop a novel application to promote wellness by tracking activities, making recommendations, and rewarding good behavior. After working at Epic, a healthcare software company based in Madison, Wis., Freise formed  UpDown Technologies Inc., in January. UpDown plans beta testing and case studies this summer, and expects to enter the market by early 2016.

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Math For Everyone explores the historical connection with math and poetry during the Italian Renaissance

Author: Shadia Ajam

Math for Everyone -- March 2015

This past Thursday (Mar. 19) at the Math for Everyone lecture series, Arielle Saiber, associate professor of romance languages at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., gave a presentation titled “Mathy Words in the Italian Renaissance: Niccolò Tartaglia's Poetic Solution to the Cubic Equation.” The presentation looked at the motives behind Tartaglia’s “poetic solution” and what it says about the close relationship between ‘poesis’ and ‘mathesis’ in this period of mathematics’ history.

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ESTEEM student to compete in Global Venture Labs Investment Competition

Author: Gene Stowe

Enlightened Diagnosis win 2nd place in the 2015 Cardinal Challenge

Christopher Cali, an entrepreneurship master’s (ESTEEM) student and a 2014 science-business alumnus, is part of a team that will compete in the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition in Austin, Tex. in May. The group, Enlightened Diagnostics, Inc. (EnDx), qualified at a regional competition in February at the University of Louisville’s Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge.  EnDx is developing a three-dimensional molecular imaging device to provide abundant data for breast cancer diagnosis and research, with potential application to colon, prostate, and other cancers.

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Lynch Lecture Series features Nobel-laureate physicist

Author: Julia Murray

DJ Wineland, Lynch Lecture speaker

Nobel-laureate physicist David J. Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Time and Frequency Division in Boulder, Colo., gave a presentation to a full house on Mar. 18 (Wednesday) at the Carey Auditorium in the Hesburgh Library. The lecture entitled, “Quantum Computers and Raising Schrödinger’s Cat,” discussed quantum computers, their history, mechanics, and future in the world.

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Fifth annual Commercialization Award event coming soon

Author: Joanne Fahey

Matthew Leevy, 2014 winner of the 1st Source Bank Commercialization Award

The University of Notre Dame will host the fifth annual 1st Source Bank Commercialization Award Dinner on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at the Gillespie Conference Center in South Bend.

Established in 2008 with a $1 million gift from 1st Source Bank, the award is presented each year to faculty from Notre Dame or the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) who have successfully transitioned their technology from the lab to the marketplace.

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QuarkNet holds Masterclasses in particle physics for high school students

Author: Jayme Russell

QuarkNet Masterclass Daniel Karmgard

The Notre Dame QuarkNet Center is hosting three days of international, collaborative Masterclasses for local high school students to give them the opportunity to become particle physicists for a day. Around 210 universities and research facilities participate in these international Masterclasses, and Notre Dame is the only university in the U.S. to host more than one Masterclass.

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Tissues with issues: A deeper look at breast cancer

Author: Samaria O'Brien

Matt Massana

Understanding the mechanisms of cancer progression is incredibly important in discovering a cure. Matthew Messana, a senior biochemistry major at the University of Notre Dame, is dedicated to investigating the mechanisms that are relevant to breast cancer. Messana works in the lab of Laurie Littlepage, Campbell Assistant Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Littlepage’s research focuses specifically on the contributions of the surrounding microenvironment to both cancer progression and normal tissue development in the mammary gland and prostate.

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Vote for Dean Crawford to be named next Everyday Superhero of Biotech!

Author: Stephanie Healey

Greg Crawford

Greg Crawford, William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science, has been nominated as an Everyday Superhero of Biotech by the BIO International Convention. Nominees are selected for their dedication to heal, fuel, and feed the world through groundbreaking innovation in three categories: biotech/pharma, patient/patient group, and university/research institution.

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New paper examines social effects on the gut microbiome of wild baboons

Author: William G. Gilroy


A new study led by Elizabeth Archie, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Notre Dame, has found that social interactions have direct effects on the gut microbiome.

Archie points out that most, if not all, animals have a gut microbiome — an incredibly diverse “rainforest” of bacteria that lives in the intestine and helps animals digest food, make vitamins and fight disease.

The study revealed that baboons that had closer social bonds had more similar gut bacteria than animals with weaker social ties.

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“Rock the LHC” video contest to celebrate particle physics

Author: Stephanie Healey


The High Energy Particle Physics Group at the University of Notre Dame will host a public video contest called “Rock the LHC,” from March 23-May 31, 2015. Participants are invited to create short videos about why they are interested in the research at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The goal of the video contest is to celebrate particle physics and the U.S. contributions to the LHC.

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Early survey results indicate that LF will be eliminated in Haiti

Author: Gene Stowe

Haiti Program MDA

Preliminary testing of more than 850 schoolchildren in the Haitian town of Saut-d’Eau has shown only one child to be infected with the parasite that causes lymphatic filariasis (LF), a milestone in efforts to eradicate the debilitating disease from the island. The results, involving children from 38 schools in the community of 35,000 people 50 miles north of Port-au-Prince, mean that the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program likely will achieve its goal of eliminating LF, also known as elephantiasis, from Haiti by 2020.

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Alumna Annette Ruth wins USAID fellowship

Author: Stephanie Healey

Annette Ruth

Notre Dame alumna Annette Ruth is one of twelve Notre Dame researchers recently selected by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to receive a brand new Research and Innovation Fellowship Program grant.  Ruth will travel to Bogota, Colombia in May to work on a project entitled, “Zebrafish as an animal model to study Trypanosome cruzi motility” at La Universidad de los Andes.

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International Masterclasses open cutting-edge physics to young investigators worldwide

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Daniel Karmgard, research assistant professor of physics, instructs a student at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center

High school students will get to be particle physicists for a day by analyzing data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the University of Notre Dame, one of about 210 research institutes and universities in 42 countries around the world that will host daylong Masterclasses for local students. Masterclasses at Notre Dame will be held on March 12 (Thursday), March 13 (Friday) and March 21 (Saturday) at the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center.

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Understanding the culture behind cell cultures

Author: Jenna Bilinski

Orrin Belden

The immune system plays an important part in the formation and progression of cancer cells. Orrin Belden, a senior science preprofessional major, has spent his past two years better understanding and contributing to the field of immunology. Orrin works for Brian Baker, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, whose lab focuses on developing immunological therapies for cancer based on cellular immunity.

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