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.
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.
Tiny proteins found in the genomes of some types of bacteria are effective weapons against a wide range of other bacteria, opening the door for the development of new therapies in the age of antibiotic resistance, according to new research at the University of Notre Dame.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.