Notre Dame biologist to study the role of woody vines in tropical forests

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

David Medgivy 1200

Tropical forests absorb more carbon than any other system, and therefore help regulate the earth’s climate. Lianas — woody vines — that surround trees in these forests have been shown to slow rates of tree growth, but their role hasn’t been fully studied.Tarzan may find lianas in the jungle useful, but David Medvigy, associate professor in the department of biological sciences, intends to find out what they add or take away from these ecosystems.

Read More

Can we feed 11 billion people while preventing the spread of infectious disease?

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Jason Rohr

Within the next 80 years, global food demand is expected to increase sharply to meet the needs of a projected world population topping 11 billion. The increase in agriculture will likely influence human infectious diseases, which in turn may affect food production and distribution, according to a review paper by University of Notre Dame biologist Jason Rohr and collaborators.

Read More

China's 2014 unprecedented dengue outbreak caused by a "perfect storm" of factors, study shows

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Alexperkins 1200

A major outbreak of dengue fever in southern China in 2014 may have been caused by more than just high temperatures, numbers of mosquitoes, or imported cases from Southeast Asia. Despite previous studies that point to these specific reasons for the outbreak that affected almost 40,000 people, a new study from the University of Notre Dame shows there likely were other factors involved as well.

Read More

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

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Jason Rohr

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. 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.

Read More

Zhang lands DOD breast cancer research award

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

8

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.

Read More

Undergraduate research highlighted at 12th annual COS-JAM

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Cos Jam Students In Jordan Hall 1200

From poster sessions to presentations, the College of Science Joint Annual Meeting (COS-JAM) on May 4, 2018, showcased the depth of undergraduate research completed by students within the fields of science and engineering.   Eighty-nine students presented posters and 23 gave oral presentations during sessions held in the Jordan Hall of Science. Hundreds of students, professors and others met with the presenters to learn more about their work. Presenting to peers at COS-JAM is a low-stakes way for students to develop experience sharing their research. It is a skill they will use as they advance to graduate school and the workplace. “Scientific communication, like presentations at COS-JAM, is an integral part of research,” said Xuemin Lu, undergraduate research director for the College of Science and assistant teaching professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.  

Read More

Two College of Science professors in Michiana's 2018 "Forty under 40" class

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Screen Shot 2018 05 21 At 3

A blend of dedication to the community and a joyful work ethic landed two science professors in the spotlight as they were inducted into the 2018 Michiana Forty under 40 class. The inductees from the College of Science were Nancy Michael, assistant teaching professor and director of undergraduate studies, Neuroscience and Behavior; and Jenifer Prosperi, adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame and member of Harper Cancer Research Institute, as well as assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Indiana University School of Medicine–South Bend. A third inductee from Notre Dame was Regan Jones, the University’s director for military and veterans affairs.

Read More

Researchers discover novel mechanism linking changes in mitochondria to cancer cell death

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Zach Schafer And Mark Hawk 1200 Feature

To stop the spread of cancer, cancer cells must die. Unfortunately, many types of cancer cells seem to use innate mechanisms that block cancer cell death, therefore allowing the cancer to metastasize. While seeking to further understand cancer cell death, researchers at the University of Notre Dame discovered that the activation of a specific enzyme may help suppress the spread of tumors. The findings, published in Nature Cell Biology, demonstrate that the enzyme RIPK1 decreases the number of mitochondria in a cell. This loss of mitochondria leads to oxidative stress that can potentially kill cancer cells, though researchers speculate the cancer cells could find ways to shut down this effect.

Read More

Top researchers and graduate students come together during first Life Sciences Symposium

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Biology Symposium

Notre Dame’s first Life Sciences Symposium brought together leading biomedical researchers for a day of lectures and poster presentations, drawing about 200 students and scientists from across the area. The event, “Bridging the Gap from Bench to Bedside,” was held Oct. 11, 2017, at the Morris Inn and was organized and hosted by students in the Department of Biological Sciences graduate program. Attendees came from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio to hear researchers present topics from stem cells in cancer to neurobiology and regeneration.

Read More

Undergraduate students spend summer conducting cancer research at MD Anderson

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Colin Sheehan

Research took precedence over relaxation for several College of Science students this summer who spent 10 weeks completing undergraduate research projects at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Two students from biological sciences, Colin Sheehan and Shane Davitt, were among the participants.   The University of Notre Dame Summer Undergraduate Research Program at MD Anderson is a competitive program designed for outstanding and highly motivated undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in cancer research. Students participated in various types of research in different labs, attended lectures and presentations, and collaborated with others as they fostered their interest in a research career path.

Read More

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship students thankful for new experiences

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Gabrielle Mungcal

From studying Fragile X Syndrome to understanding algorithms for artificial intelligence, 47 students participated in a summer’s worth of research, thanks to the College of Science Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF).   The program is made possible through donors and in collaboration with the Center of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, Indiana University School of Medicine–South Bend, and the Glynn Family Honors program.  

Read More

Biological Sciences faculty win awards for teaching and advising

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Veselik Champion

David J. Veselik, director of undergraduate studies and associate teaching professor in the department of biological sciences, was one of three recipients of the Dockweiler Awards for the 2016–2017 academic year. Veselik is the coordinator for the cell biology laboratory, as well as the biology club advisor. He has taught upper level cell biology labs and lectures. With his guidance, students have participated in several initiatives, including networking with the career center, vertical peer mentoring, lab shadowing and alumni mentoring.

Read More