News

Fighting Mosquito-borne Diseases

Author: Provided

Achee Grieco

“In general, cases of Zika have definitely decreased in most of Central and South America, but the virus is not gone. The mosquitoes carrying Zika and other diseases are still there, and the risk for another infection outbreak is still quite prevalent,” says Elitza Theel, director of the Infectious Diseases Serology Laboratory and co-director of the Vector-Borne Diseases Service Line at Mayo Clinic.

Though Zika virus was identified in 1947, the World Health Organization (WHO) says it was largely localized for 60 years. In 2007, the first recognized outbreak of Zika affected 5,000 people on Yap Island in the Federated States of Micronesia. From there, it moved to French Polynesia and then in 2015 to Brazil, where an outbreak quickly devastated South America.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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ND-LEEF to debut new “In-Nest” Eagle Cam

Author: Alex Gumm

In Nest Cam Eagle Head Feature

The Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF) will debut its new “in-nest” livestreaming camera, mounted above the bald eagle nest located at St. Patrick’s County Park during the 5th Annual Science Sunday event Oct. 22.

While the previous camera was popular, with 100,000 live feed views, its low angle prevented viewers from seeing eagles when in the nest and made it hard to see them when leaves were present in summer.

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Notre Dame Research Shows Promising Results for Improving Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Author: Brandi Klingerman

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New Notre Dame research has been used to support the Orphan Drug designation for IT-139, a compound that when used in combination with chemotherapy has proved to be significantly more effective in treating pancreatic cancer than the current standard of care. The Orphan Drug program is administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and identifies promising drugs that are intended for the treatment of rare diseases, which impact fewer than 200,000 Americans at any time, or affect more than 200,000 people but are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment drug. Currently, pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest cancer survival rates, with one-year and five-year rates of 20 and 7 percent, respectfully. 

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Researchers Receive $1.5 Million NSF Award to Study Sustainability of Recreational Fisheries

Author: Alex Gumm

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Recreational fishing is a longstanding American outdoor tradition, generating $25 billion annually. Whether fishing on lakes, rivers or streams; from shorelines, boats or embankments; freshwater fishing remains the most popular form of fishing, attracting more than 37 million participants last year.

While recreational fisheries are culturally and economically valuable, freshwater ecosystems are vulnerable to degradation and collapse.

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New NIH-funded research to solve problem of drug-resistant malaria

Author: Tammi Freehling

Michael Ferdig 250

University of Notre Dame biologist Michael Ferdig, Ph.D., is leading a new $11.5 million program project (P01) grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Ferdig and his team at Notre Dame are partnering with researchers at the Center for Infectious Disease Research (CID Research) in Seattle and Texas Biomedical Research Institute (TBRI) to better understand the genes in the malaria parasite that are responsible for drug resistance and virulence in order to reduce and ultimately eliminate the often deadly disease.

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In memoriam: Robert McIntosh, professor emeritus of biological sciences

Author: Provided

Memoriam250

Robert P. McIntosh, a renowned ecologist and historian of ecology and wonderful husband, father and grandfather, died at 3:45 pm July 7, 2017.

He was born Sept. 24, 1920, in Milwaukee, Wis., and was a football star there at East Side High School.

He attended Lawrence College (now university) where he also played football and graduated in 1942 with a Bachelor in Science degree. He spent a summer collecting plants for Albert Fuller, Curator of Botany at the Milwaukee Public Museum.…

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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.

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Notre Dame Grad Student Chosen to Present Work at 2017 Future Fellow Research Conference

Author: Jenna Bilinski

Alyssa Lesko 250

Alyssa Lesko, fourth-year Biology graduate student, was recently selected to present her work at the 2017 Future Fellow Research Conference (FFRC) at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Lesko will present her work on how the loss of tumor suppressor Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) and subsequently how its normal functions leads to tumorigenesis. Read more.

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