News

Microglia, cells thought restricted to central nervous system, are redefined in new study

Author: Jessica Sieff

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Inside the body, disease and injury can leave behind quite the mess — a scattering of cellular debris, like bits of broken glass, rubber and steel left behind in a car accident.

Inside the central nervous system (CNS), a region that includes the brain and spinal cord, it is the job of certain cells, called microglia, to clean up that cellular debris. Microglia have counterparts called macrophages that serve similar function outside the CNS in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), the region that contains most of the sensory and motor nerves.

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Biologist's indoor-outdoor laboratory will further research into intersection of wildlife and human health

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Finding solutions for worldwide shortages propels new University of Notre Dame biology professor Jason Rohr to find unique ways to research some of the most pressing issues.

Jason Rohr

These include food shortages. Energy shortages. Even “shortages” of amphibians because of disease. Rohr, the Ludmilla F., Stephen J., and Robert T. Galla College Professor of Biological Sciences, completes research in areas that span the intersection of wildlife and human health.

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Open-source application creates super-resolution images of cell development in living animals

Author: Brandi Klingerman

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A new tool may allow researchers to see more of the physiological state of living organisms at the cellular level, according to a study by the University of Notre Dame. Published in Development, the study shows how an open-source application, created by Notre Dame researchers, can utilize two different conventional microscope images obtained at low excitation powers to create one high-resolution, three-dimensional image. 

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Zhang lands DOD breast cancer research award

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

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Siyuan Zhang, the Dee Associate Professor of Biological Sciences who is also affiliated with the Harper Cancer Research Institute, landed a nearly $1.1 million Breast Cancer Research Program Breakthrough Award through the Department of Defense in August.

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The Graduate School Launches Training Program for Leaders Advancing Socially Engaged Research (LASER)

Author: Nora Kenney

Laser Broomball

This year, the Graduate School launched a new experiential training program focused on leadership skills and social responsibility. Leaders Advancing Socially Engaged Research, or LASER, is aimed at Notre Dame doctoral students in their 3rd or 4th years of study, and is intended to complement students’ individual research pursuits in their various fields. This year’s cohort consists of seventeen students completing individual LASER projects and hailing from each of the Graduate School’s four academic disciplines (engineering, humanities, social sciences, and science). 

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Scientists neutralize reactive nitrogen molecules to enhance cancer immunotherapy

Author: Jessica Sieff

Xin Lu 700

Immunotherapy — harnessing T-cells to attack cancer cells in the body — has given hope to patients who endure round after round of treatment, including chemotherapy, to little effect. For all of its promise, however, immunotherapy still benefits only a minority of patients — a reality driving research in the field for ways to improve the relatively new approach.

One method for improving efficacy is the development of bio- and activity-based markers to better predict which patients will respond to immunotherapy and identify why some don’t. In a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the University of Notre Dame studying tumors in prostate cancer models found that nitration of an amino acid can inhibit T-cell activation, thwarting the T-cell’s ability to kill cancer cells.  

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Sophomore biology student spends summer in India doing research

Author: Cliff Djajapranata

Elsa Barron

During her first year at Notre Dame, Elsa Barron was on the lookout for a summer experience that would tie together her interests in science and international affairs. A biology and peace studies double major, Barron, now a sophomore, found what she was looking for in India after becoming Notre Dame’s first undergraduate Bose Scholar.

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