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Notre Dame research may have important implications for combating diabetes

Author: William G. Gilroy

Anthony S. Serianni

Research by University of Notre Dame biochemist Anthony S. Serianni is providing new insights that could have important implications for understanding and treating diabetes.

Serianni points out that biological compounds known as dicarbonyl sugars are produced inside the human body from the natural breakdown of the simple sugar glucose. The formation of these sugars is enhanced in diabetic patients because glucose concentrations in the blood and plasma of diabetics are significantly elevated. Read More

Researchers collaborate to seek FDA approval for drug treatment for rare disease

Author: Gene Stowe and Marissa Gebhard

Norbert Wiech with students

University of Notre Dame alumnus Norbert Wiech founded Lysomics LLC to manage the clinical development needed to bring to market a promising new treatment for people with Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. FDA support is being sought for early clinical exploration of an approved drug to fight this rare disease that has no cure or treatment.

Lysomics is based on the work of Notre Dame professors of chemistry and biochemistry Olaf Wiest and Paul Helquist, and Frederick Maxfield at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, to find treatments for NPC. NPC disease is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease that primarily strikes children before and during adolescence. Read More

Nanoparticles engineered at Notre Dame promise to improve blood cancer treatment

Author: Arnie Phifer

A time-lapse image showing multiple myeloma cells internalizing the engineered nanoparticles

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.

 

One of the difficulties doctors face in treating MM comes from the fact that cancer cells of this type start to develop resistance to the leading chemotherapeutic treatment, doxorubicin, when they adhere to tissue in bone marrow. "The nanoparticles we have designed accomplish many things at once,” says Başar Bilgiçer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry and biochemistry, and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics (AD&T) initiative. Read More

Notre Dame entomologists help discover new species of malaria-transmitting mosquito

Author: William G. Gilroy and Sarah Craig

New mosquito Photo courtesy of Jenny Stevenson, LSHTM.

University of Notre Dame entomologists are part of a team of researchers that recently discovered a potentially dangerous new malaria-transmitting mosquito. The as-yet-unnamed, and previously unreported, mosquito breeds in the western areas of Kenya and has an unknown DNA match to any of the existing malaria-transmitting species.

Although the new species has never been implicated in the transmission of malaria, new discoveries in its biting habits pose a threat because it was found to be active outdoors and prefers to bite people earlier in the evening, soon after sunset, when people are not protected by current malaria control techniques. Read More

New research could provide new insights into tuberculosis and other diseases

Author: William G. Gilroy

Champions bacteria research

Researchers Patricia A. Champion and Matthew Champion from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health have developed a method to directly detect bacterial protein secretion, which could provide new insights into a variety of diseases including tuberculosis.

The Champions demonstrated that their new method is applicable to the study of other bacterial protein export systems that could not be effectively studied under previous methods. Their method could also help in the identification of compounds that can inhibit bacterial protein secretion. Read More

Notre Dame researcher’s paper examines the biology and clinical application of tumor-derived microvesicles

Author: William G. Gilroy

"Genes and Development," June 15, 2012

A new paper by Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey, professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, discusses the biology of tumor-derived microvesicles and their clinical application as circulating biomarkers. Microvesicles are membrane-bound sacs released by tumor cells and can be detected in the body fluids of cancer patients. Read More

Nanoparticles engineered at Notre Dame promise to improve blood cancer treatment

Author: Arnie Phifer

A time-lapse image showing multiple myeloma cells internalizing the engineered nanoparticles

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have engineered nanoparticles that show great promise for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of the plasma cells in bone marrow.

One of the difficulties doctors face in treating MM comes from the fact that cancer cells of this type start to develop resistance to the leading chemotherapeutic treatment, doxorubicin, when they adhere to tissue in bone marrow.

“The nanoparticles we have designed accomplish many things at once,” says Başar Bilgiçer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chemistry and biochemistry, and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics (AD&T) initiative. Read More

International researchers collaborate at Parseghian scientific conference

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Undergraduate Sue Yi at work on NPC in a laboratory

Thirty researchers from universities and institutions around the world are presenting at the 2012 Michael, Marcia and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C Research June 7 to 9 (Thursday to Saturday) in the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. The disease is an inherited cholesterol metabolism disorder that strikes primarily children before or during adolescence. One in every 150,000 children is affected by the disease with symptoms that include deterioration of memory and balance, lung and liver failure, delayed motor development and seizures. Through research collaboration, progress is being made on treatments for the disease. Read More

Dovichi receives Royal Society of Chemistry Prize for Analytical Science

Author: Rachel Fellman and Marissa Gebhard

Norman Dovichi

The Royal Society of Chemistry has announced that Norman Dovichi, the Grace-Rupley Professor of Chemistry at the University of Notre Dame, will be awarded the 2012 Robert Boyle Prize for Analytical Science.

The biennial prize is given to the candidate whose work is of the broadest relevance to the chemical science community as a whole and whose career is defined by exceptional work, excellence and dedication. It includes a £5,000 cash award, a medal and a lecture tour of the U.K. The prize will be formally presented Nov. 9 in Birmingham, England. Read More

Science dean biking 3,250 miles to bring attention to rare disease research

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Road to Discovery

Greg Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, will be cycling 3,250 miles from Boston to Pebble Beach, Calif., to raise awareness and funds for research to find a cure for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. His third cross-country ride will start May 21 (Monday) and conclude June 22 (Friday), in time for the Parseghian Classic, a golf fundraiser at Pebble Beach Resorts.

The “Road to Discovery” bicycle ride demonstrates Notre Dame’s commitment to research to find a cure or treatments for the devastating disease that took the lives of three grandchildren of former Notre Dame head football coach Ara Parseghian. Read More

Harper Cancer Research Institute plans public Research Day

Author: Gail Hinchion Mancini

Harper Cancer Research Institute

Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) Research Day on April 23 (Monday) will gather cancer researchers from the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB) in an afternoon of exchange and discussion. A keynote address by Beatrice Knudsen, M.D., Ph.D., will discuss “Tissue Banking for Genomic Research and Personalized Medicine.”

Knudsen is the medical director for Cedars-Sinai Advanced Biobank, director of translational pathology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a member of the HCRI external advisory committee. Her presentation is free and open to the public. Read More

Researchers using novel method to combat malaria drug resistance

Author: William G. Gilroy

mosquito_rel

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health have developed a “gene chip” to contribute to the identification of malaria drug resistance, an effort that will allow for real-time response in modified treatment strategies for this devastating disease.

The discovery is described in a paper appearing in the latest early online edition of the journal Science. The team of researchers includes Notre Dame’s Michael Ferdig, associate professor of biological sciences; doctoral student Becky Miller; and John Tan, managing director of the Genomics Core Facility, in collaboration with Tim Anderson of Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Francois Nosten, M.D., of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Thailand. Read More

Team of scientists wins grant to research tuberculosis diagnostics

Author: Sarah Craig

Jeff Schorey

University of Notre Dame Professor Jeff Schorey, associate director of the Eck Institute for Global Health and a member of the Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, is part of a team of researchers who received one of 10 new Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) Grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify biomarkers for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB).

TB is one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases with an estimated 9 million individuals diagnosed and 1.6 million deaths every year. This makes TB the second leading cause of death by an infectious agent, behind only HIV. Read More

Notre Dame researchers publish new findings on aging pediatric bruises

Author: Shelly Goethals

A multi-university research group which includes several University of Notre Dame faculty and graduate students, has recently published a paper detailing new work on the analysis and dating of human bruises. The research, which is funded by the Gerber Foundation, will have particular application to pediatric medicine, as bruise age is often key evidence in child abuse cases. Read More

Notre Dame researchers report fundamental malaria discovery

Author: William G. Gilroy

arabiensis_rel

A team of researchers led by Kasturi Haldar and Souvik Bhattacharjee of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases has made a fundamental discovery in understanding how malaria parasites cause deadly disease.

The researchers show how parasites target proteins to the surface of the red blood cell that enables sticking to and blocking blood vessels. Strategies that prevent this host-targeting process will block disease. Read More