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Holding the Key to Affordable Biotherapeutics

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Notre Dame researcher explores the potential of producing mammalian-like proteins with silkworm moths

Mac FraserProfessor Malcolm Fraser Jr.

The availability of medicines in many low- and middle-income countries is undermined by poor medicine supply, insufficient health facilities, and the high cost of medicine, according to the World Health Organization. This includes the production or financial capability for establishing biotherapeutic production processes to treat a variety of common illnesses and diseases. However, what if these countries could utilize the millennia-old, household practice of farming silk from silkworm moth caterpillars to produce affordable, in-demand biology-based therapeutics?

Malcolm Fraser Jr., the University of Notre Dame’s Rev. Julius A. Nieuwland, C.S.C., Professor of Biological Sciences and Eck Institute for Global Health affiliated faculty member, is conducting research that utilizes the silkworm caterpillar’s silk gland to conduct mammalian-like protein production with the end goal of producing cost-effective biotherapeutic products, or therapeutic materials created utilizing recombinant DNA technology, that can be used to treat life-threatening and chronic diseases. Read More

Network physicist sheds light on Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia

Author: Gene Stowe

Long-tailed macaque

Researchers comparing mouse and macaque brains have found evidence of an evolutionary universal brain structure in mammals that enables comparisons of cortical networks between species. A new study from a researcher at the University of Notre Dame could provide insights into brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. Read More

How Being Sick impacts a Person’s Behavior

Author: Sarah Craig

Alex Perkins, Ph.D., Eck Family Assistant Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health, recently published a study looking at behavior of patients with one of the most common symptoms of disease: fever.  Surprisingly, the impact of this common disease symptom on the mobility and contact patterns of an infected person is rarely studied and “seldom accounted for in mathematical models of transmission dynamics.”

As the leader of this study, Perkins and colleagues examined the mobility of two groups of residents, those with and those without dengue fever, in the Amazonian city of Iquitos, Peru.  The study’s results are published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Perkins Alex Read More

Women in Science Regional Conference to be held at Notre Dame

Author: Tiffanie Sammons

Women in Science Regional Conference

Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, 2016

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) at Notre Dame is hosting the first ever Women in Science Regional Conference on Sep. 30th – Oct 1st. Graduate students will have the opportunity to network with high profile professionals from across the US, attend career development workshops and participate in research presentations. For more information on the conference, please see

The Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine is offering a limited number of scholarships to students in the stem cell field who are interested in attending. To apply for a scholarship to cover the registration fee, please submit by August 15: 1) a cover letter requesting the scholarship and describing why your attendance will enhance your career goals and 2) your cv. Please e-mail both documents to and include Women in Science Regional Conference registration request in the subject line.

Originally published by Tiffanie Sammons at on July 08, 2016. Read More

Taking Multiple Myeloma Down for the Count

Author: Nina Welding

When battling cancer, everything is on the table. Radiation therapy. Surgery. Chemo. Advances in nanotechnology have enabled researchers, like Associate Professor Z. Basar Bilgicer, Research Assistant Professor Tanyel Kiziltepe, and their team in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, to encapsulate cancer-fighting/cancer-killing drugs into nanoparticles that can deliver therapeutic drugs directly to the site of a tumor, effectively avoiding healthy tissue and minimizing adverse reactions.


July’s Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Shows Liposomal Formulations For Single Drug–loaded Nanoparticles Of Doxorubicin And Carfilzomib And The Carfilzomib And Doxorubicin Dual-loaded Combination Nanoparticle Read More

Sharon Stack and Matt Ravosa, an academic couple: Researching cancer biology and evolution

Author: Carol Bradley

Stack Ravosa

Sharon Stack and Matt Ravosa joined the University of Notre Dame in 2011, coming from positions at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri. Stack is the Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) and the Kleiderer-Pezold Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Ravosa is a professor of biology with concurrent appointments in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Anthropology. Read More

Experimental in Nature

Author: Jason Kelly '95

Notre Dame’s Harper Cancer Research Institute is trying a different strategy in the fight against the disease: bringing scientists from diverse fields onto a single team.

Introducing herself around campus in 2011, biochemist Sharon Stack sought faculty far outside her academic background. She wanted to get a feel for the breadth of research happening at Notre Dame. Who knew what expertise might be out there that could contribute to the new Harper Cancer Research Institute she had been recruited to direct?

From left: Sharon Stack, Amanda Hummon, Reginald Hill, Steven Buechler, Hsueh-Chia Chang and Danny Chen bring diverse expertise to the common cause of fighting cancer. photo: Matt Cashore ’94 Read More

Collecting Compounds for the Treatment of Rare Genetic Disorders

Author: Brandi Klingerman

As Richard Taylor completes a three-year term as associate vice president for research in June of this year, he will continue his research on drug discovery for rare genetic diseases, like NGLY1 deficiency, when he and other members of the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development move into the building this summer. 

Richard Taylor, Associate Vice President for ResearchRichard Taylor Read More