News » Archives » April 2015

Notre Dame Research announces Internal Grants Program awards

Author: Joanne Fahey

Main Building

Thirty-two winners of the Internal Grants Program Awards, including five faculty from the College of Science, were announced today by Notre Dame Research. The grants were awarded to faculty from five colleges and schools in three categories: Faculty Research Support (Initiation), Faculty Research Support (Regular), and Equipment Restoration and Renewal.

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Notre Dame student wins science award

Author: Kimarie Merz-Bogold

Matthew Eng

Matthew Eng, a doctoral student in the laboratory of University of Notre Dame’s Professor of Biological Sciences David Severson and Director of the Eck Institute for Global Health, is the recipient of a Grants-in-aid-of-research (GIAR) given by the Sigma Xi Research Society. His grant titled, “Deciphering host factors for dengue infection in Aedes aegypti mosquito,” was funded as one of only 17% of applicants. Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in the world, with no available vaccines or drug treatments. Mosquito control remains the primary disease control mechanism.

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Toroczkai and his team provide an understanding to the degeneracy problem in network modeling

Author: Gene Stowe

Zoltan Toroczkai

In a breakthrough approach, solving this problem that was open for nearly thirty years, a team led by physics professor Zoltán Toroczkai has provided an understanding of the degeneracy problem and discovered a way to eliminate it. Their paper, “Reducing Degeneracy in Maximum Entropy Models of Networks,” was published this month in Physical Review Letters. Coauthors with Toroczkai are Szabolcs Horvát (first author) and Éva Czabarka.

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The University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health offers scholarships to Returning Peace Corps Volunteers

Author: Kimarie Merz-Bogold


The University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health is partnering with the Peace Corps to offer financial help to returned Peace Corps Volunteers. The joint program will provide an annual scholarship of $12,000 to qualifying returned Peace Corps Volunteer accepted into the Master of Science in Global Health program beginning Fall 2015.

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Woodard and Wolf receive CHEP 2015 poster award

Author: Shelly Goethals


Department of Physics graduate students Anna Woodard and Matthias Wolf received an award for their poster presentation at the 21st International Conference on Computing and High Energy Nuclear Physics (CHEP 2015) in Okinawa, Japan, April 13-17. Their poster, titled “Exploiting Volatile Opportunistic Computing Resources with Lobster,” was about a software package that they wrote together to enable high energy physicists on the CMS experiment to make use of a broader set of computing resources then they can usually access.

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Notre Dame start-up wins awards at world’s richest student business plan competition

Author: Arnie Phifer


Enlightened Diagnostics, a start-up company run by students from the University of Notre Dame, won three prizes and $19,000 at the 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition, the largest and richest competition of its kind in the world.

From among 42 teams from the U.S., Europe, and Asia invited to Rice University in Houston, Texas, Enlightened Diagnostics received awards for the quality of its presentations and the promise of the company’s novel 3D tumor imaging platform to radically improve cancer diagnostics in the future.

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Michael Dinh named 2015 Goldwater Scholar

Author: Stephanie Healey

Michael Dinh

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Foundation recently announced that Michael Dinh has been named a 2015 Goldwater Scholar.  Dinh, a junior biological sciences and psychology double major and member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, was one of 260 scholarship recipients selected from over 1,200 applications.

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Anthony Ruth receives NASA Fellowship

Author: Shelly Goethals

Anthony Ruth

Department of Physics graduate student Anthony Ruth has been selected as a recipient of the 2015 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF15). His application was titled, “Hybrid Van Der Waals materials in next-generation electronics.”

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Kevin Struhl gives Nieuwland lecture

Author: Jayme Russell

Kevin Struhl

On Monday April 20, Kevin Struhl, David Wesley Gaiser Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, gave a Nieuwland Lecture Series presentation titled, "An epigenetic switch linking inflammation to cancer and the use of metformin as an anti-cancer drug."

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New paper sheds light on harnessing the clinical potential of microvesicles released from cancer cells

Author: William G. Gilroy

Tumor cell surrounded by shed microvesicles

Over the past few years, extracellular vesicles, or membrane sacs secreted from cells, have emerged as important mediators by which cells communicate with their surroundings to regulate a diverse range of biological processes. In addition, specialized roles for extracellular vesicles are beginning to be recognized in various diseases including cancer, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Moreover, engineered extracellular vesicles are likely to have applications in drug delivery.

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Notre Dame hosts 18th annual EYH Conference

Author: Shadia Ajam



This past Saturday (Apr. 18), Notre Dame hosted the 18th annual Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) career conference for middle school girls that focused on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  The main goal of the conference is to attract more young females to STEM careers and help them realize that they have the potential to become innovative and creative thinkers ready to meet 21st century challenges.

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Detecting low-quality antimalarial drugs with a lab-on-paper

Author: William G. Gilroy


Access to high-quality medicine is a basic human right, but more than four billion people live in countries where many medications are substandard or fake. Marya Lieberman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and Abigail Weaver, a postdoctoral associate in the University’s Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Earth Sciences, took up the challenge of how people in developing countries could detect low-quality antimalarial drugs without expensive equipment and without handling dangerous chemicals.

The solution they developed involves using paper cards, embedded with reagents, that carry out 12 colorful chemical tests all at once on a solid sample. The colors show whether a medicine contains the expected ingredients and whether fillers or substitute drugs have been added.

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College of Science students and alumni earn NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Author: Stephanie Healey

University of Notre Dame

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently announced the awardees of the 2015 Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP). Eight College of Science students and two alumni received awards. In addition, several students and alumni received honorable mentions. There were over 16,000 applications for this year's GRFP with 2,000 awardees nationwide.

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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Climate change is affecting disease-carrying mosquitoes and other insects

Author: Sarah Craig


Insect-borne diseases — such as malaria, dengue, West Nile and the newly emerging chikungunya — infect a billion people every year; more than a million die each year and many more are disabled. The effects of climate change, according to Edwin Michael, professor of biological sciences and member of the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, mean these deadly diseases are no longer reserved for the developing world.

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2015 Research Like a Champion winners

Author: Jenna Bilinski

Breast cancer research

Congratulations to the 2015 Research Like a Champion awardees!  The winning proposals received $12,500  in support summer student stipends, research supplies, and travel throughout the upcoming academic year and summer.

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Researchers identify molecular mechanism responsible for making malaria parasites drug-resistant

Author: Stephanie Healey

Red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite P. falciparum at the "ring" stage, either sensitive or resistant to artemisinins

University of Notre Dame researchers led an international team to identify a molecular mechanism responsible for making malaria parasites resistant to artemisinins, the leading class of antimalarial drugs.

According to the World Health Organization’s 2014 World Malaria Report, there are an estimated 198 million cases of malaria worldwide with 3.3 billion people at risk for contracting the infection. Although the impact of malaria is still significant, the statistics reflect a considerable reduction in the global malaria burden. Since 2010, disease transmission has been reduced by 30 percent and mortality due to malaria has decreased by almost half.

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Notre Dame Day 2015, a global celebration of the University, will launch April 26

Author: Andrea Bullock

Notre Dame Day

The University of Notre Dame family will come together on campus and around the globe on April 26-27 (Sunday-Monday) to celebrate Our Lady’s University during the second annual Notre Dame Day.

The celebration will launch at 18:42 (6:42 p.m. EDT), referencing the University’s founding year, on April 26 and end at midnight on April 27. The 29-hour live broadcast from LaFortune Student Center will share compelling Notre Dame stories from around the world, live interviews, celebrity guests, musical performances and much more. It also provides the Notre Dame family the opportunity to give back to specific areas of the University they love most through an online fundraising competition.

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ACE for Science tennis tournament raises money for local schools

Author: Catherine Ake

Ace for Science

On Saturday April 25, the College of Science and the South Bend Alumni Association will host the 2nd annual Ace for Science tennis tournament at Notre Dame's Eck Tennis Pavilion. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are invited to join the three-flight doubles tournament raising money for K-12 science programs in the South Bend Community School Corporation.

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Notre Dame expands particle physics partnerships in Chile

Author: Stephanie Healey

PUC Masterclass, February 2015

In January 2015, the Notre Dame QuarkNet Center received its second Luksic grant from Notre Dame International to enhance the Masterclass Institutes Collaborating in the Americas (MICA), a collaboration between Pontifica Universidad Católica (PUC) in Santiago, Chile, and the University of Notre Dame particle physics education and outreach programs.

Adam Martin, assistant professor of physics, and Trinity School physics teacher Patrick Mooney ’78, ’86 Ph.D., lead teacher at QuarkNet, traveled to Santiago, Chile in February to host a two-day Masterclass for Chilean high school teachers.

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Researchers report first nanoscopic mapping of energy transfer between single plasmonic particles and semiconductor substrates

Author: Rebecca Hicks

NanoLett paper image

A group of researchers, led by Jon Camden, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has reported the first nanoscale mapping of the flow of energy between light-harvesting plasmonic nanoparticles and semiconductor substrates. This work demonstrates an exciting new method for researchers to use in probing competing energy transfer mechanisms in nanoparticle on semiconductor systems.

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Monetizing a patent portfolio

Author: Catherine Kennedy

Karen Deak

Karen Deak, PhD., director of the Master of Science in Patent Law, recently wrote an article for the Global Success Club.

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Talk Science showcases CMS research and odysseys in pharmaceutical medicine

Author: Shadia Ajam

Talk Science

The students from Scientia, the undergraduate journal of scientific research, host a monthly seminar series called Talk Science that highlights the work of undergraduate and faculty researchers at the University. This semester, Talk Science events focus on research that can be applied in innovative ways. This month’s presenters were senior physics major Christopher Barnes and Michael Flavin, Ph.D., managing director of Flavin Ventures LLC and CEO of Shamrock Structures.

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Preventing invasive species in streams and rivers with eDNA

Author: Jennifer Tank, University of Notre Dame

Jennifer Tank

Each year, aquatic invasive species cost the United States economy billions of dollars. It is imperative to quickly identify new invasions and respond accordingly. In 2034, the threat from invasive species will be greater than today due to increasing domestic and international trade. This will be a significant concern since the arrival and establishment of invasive species can compromise ecosystem structure and function.


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Undergraduate Library Research Award (ULRA): Final Call for Submissions

Author: Jessica Trobaugh Temple

Hesburgh Library in the Spring

Whether you know your way around the Hesburgh Libraries, or need to get to know them better, undergrads can show off or shore up their research skills for the sixth Undergraduate LibraryResearch Award (ULRA) competition. The event, featuring a top prize of $1000, is sponsored by the Hesburgh Libraries and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE).

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