News

Biology major, Alexis Doyle, named Rhodes Scholar

Author: William G. Gilroy

Alexis Doyle 300x

Doyle, of Los Altos, California, and Watkins, a native of Blacksburg, Virginia, are two of 32 Rhodes Scholars selected from a pool of 882 candidates who had been endorsed by their colleges and universities. They are Notre Dame’s 18th and 19th Rhodes Scholars and will commence their studies at Oxford University in October.

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Channeling Our Inner Darwin: Adventures in the Galapagos Islands

Author: Anna Chang

Anna

During fall break, I traveled with thirteen other Notre Dame undergraduate students to the Galápagos Islands as part of a new science course, Practicum in Field Environmental Biology. Under the direction of Biological Science Professors, Gary Lamberti and Malcolm Fraser, we explored the islands and investigated individual research projects, which focused on observation of unique species in the islands.

Throughout the week, our tour guide, Luis, offered insight into the amazing characteristics of the islands and explained how each island’s environment is conducive to the success of unique species. I have never been in a place quite like it, where you have to compete with sea lions for a space to sit on the boardwalk, or where iguanas will walk right in front of you and completely disregard your presence. The Galapagos Islands are the perfect example of nature existing with no fear of humans, and the protection of them and respect for the environment there was unquestionable.

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Identifying DNA and Developing Data

Author: Brandi Klingerman

2015 Genomics 4 1

When it comes to battling disease and maintaining healthy environments, DNA sequencing can be imperative to success. At the University of Notre Dame, the Genomics and Bioinformatics Core Facility (GBCF) supports research in many areas that increasingly rely on DNA sequencing, including cancer biology, vector-borne diseases, the development of drug and antibiotic resistance, monitoring invasive species, and much more.

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Students share Galapagos Islands diversity with area children

Author: Gene Stowe

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Days before their Fall Break trip to the Galapagos Islands as part of a course in the Department of Biological Sciences, 14 Notre Dame undergraduates introduced the Darwin-inspiring islands to youngsters at the Robinson Community Learning Center who will be “virtual explorers” with them through the adventure.

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Shogren wins EPA graduate fellowship

Author: Chontel Syfox

Arial Shogren

Biological sciences doctoral candidate, Arial Shogren, has been awarded the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Shogren received the $132,000 grant for her project, “Modeling the Transport of Environmental DNA (eDNA)” in the EPA’s Emerging Environmental Approaches and Challenges Innovation program.

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Dr. Hyde and team awarded $1.9 million from NIH as part of the effort to reverse blindness

Author: Tiffanie Sammons

David R. Hyde, Ph.D.

Dr. David Hyde and his team have been awarded over $1.9 million from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to lead one of six projects planned to identify biological factors that influence neural regeneration in the retina.

The projects are part of the National Eye Institute (NEI) Audacious Goals Initiative (AGI), a targeted effort to restore vision by regenerating neurons and their connections in the eye and visual system. These six projects will receive a total of $12.4 million over three years, pending availability of funds.…

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Researchers to pursue novel Zika solution

Author: William G. Gilroy

Aedesaegypti

A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health (EIGH) has received a grant from the USAID to pursue a novel solution to the Zika outbreak. The team, led by Molly Duman Scheel, an associate professor of medical and molecular genetics at the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB), associate adjunct professor of biological sciences at Notre Dame and member of EIGH, is developing an insecticide to destroy Aedes aegypti larvae before the mosquitoes are able to hatch and transmit Zika.

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Uncovering a new pathway to halting metastasis

Author: William G. Gilroy

Zachary Schafer

Metastasis, the process by which cancer cells leave the primary tumor and spread to other sites in the body, is responsible for more than 90 percent of cancer deaths. Thus, there is a significant need to improve the therapeutic options for patients who suffer from metastatic disease. New research from the laboratory of Zachary T. Schafer, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Coleman Foundation Collegiate Chair of Cancer Biology and researcher in the Harper Cancer Research Institute, could lead to these new therapies.

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Reinterpreting the fossil record on jaws

Author: William G. Gilroy

Matt Ravosa

Scientists use the fossil record to make judgments on the physiology and behavior of species. But are those interpretations correct? New research from a team of researchers led by Matthew Ravosa, professor of biology and concurrent professor of both aerospace and mechanical engineering and anthropology, puts into question how we interpret the behavior of extinct organisms from their fossil remains, and the greater role of plasticity — or the adaptive fine-tuning of the link between anatomy and behavior — in determining evolution diversity.

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Holding the Key to Affordable Biotherapeutics

Author: Brandi Klingerman

 

Mac Fraser

Malcolm Fraser Jr., the University of Notre Dame’s Rev. Julius A. Nieuwland, C.S.C., Professor of Biological Sciences, is conducting research that utilizes the silkworm caterpillar’s silk gland to conduct mammalian-like protein production with the end goal of producing cost-effective biotherapeutic products, or therapeutic materials created utilizing recombinant DNA technology, that can be used to treat life-threatening and chronic diseases.

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How being sick impacts a person’s behavior

Author: Sarah Craig

 

Alex Perkins

Alex Perkins, Ph.D., Eck Family Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, recently published a study looking at behavior of patients with one of the most common symptoms of disease: fever.  Surprisingly, the impact of this common disease symptom on the mobility and contact patterns of an infected person is rarely studied and “seldom accounted for in mathematical models of transmission dynamics.”

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Entomologist Nicole L. Achee helps write gene drives report

Author: William G. Gilroy

Nicole Achee

University of Notre Dame medical entomologist Nicole L. Achee is a member of committee convened to summarize the scientific discoveries related to gene drives and considerations for their responsible use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to convene the committee.

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Notre Dame Research to showcase Commercialization Opportunities at BIO 2016

Author: Brandi Klingerman

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The University of Notre Dame will attend the 2016 BIO International Convention, which is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) from June 6 - 9, 2016 in San Francisco. Represented Notre Dame Research groups at the event include the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI), the Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), as well as Technology Transfer.

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Notre Dame Biology student recognized for outstanding contributions to science

Author: Sarah Craig

Diane Choi 250

Graduating Biology major, Diane Choi, is being honored with multiple academic achievement awards as the Class of 2016 prepares for graduation. Choi is the recipient of three major undergraduate awards for her work while a science student at Notre Dame.  

The awards include the Outstanding Biology Student Leader Award from the Department of Biological Sciences recognizing “a senior Biology major who has made outstanding contributions, through leadership and service, to advance the interests of other students in the department;”

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