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News » Archives » August 2016

Researchers to pursue novel Zika solution

Author: William G. Gilroy

Aedes aegypti mosquito

A team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health (EIGH) has received a grant from the USAID to pursue a novel solution to the Zika outbreak. The team, led by Molly Duman Scheel, an associate professor of medical and molecular genetics at the Indiana University School of Medicine-South Bend (IUSM-SB), associate adjunct professor of biological sciences at Notre Dame and member of EIGH, is developing an insecticide to destroy Aedes aegypti larvae before the mosquitoes are able to hatch and transmit Zika. Read More

Blue-sky biomedical projects launched by new funding

Author: Arnie Phifer

Innovative research includes efforts to treat Parkinson’s disease, understand heart disease and strokes, tackle bacterial drug resistance




Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics (AD&T), a strategic research initiative at the University of Notre Dame, has announced the recipients of its Discovery Fund awards for 2016. Each year, these awards are given to scientists and engineers who propose novel technologies that can improve human and environmental health.

“We fund researchers who have exciting, sometimes risky ideas but need assistance to kick-start their investigations and collect preliminary data,” explained Paul Bohn, AD&T’s director. “There’s also a focus on selecting projects that have a recognizable path to becoming high-impact, marketable products.” Read More

Notre Dame students on the front lines of medical research

Author: Arnie Phifer

New fellowships enable summer research at New York’s largest health system



Two Notre Dame undergraduate students—Anne Grisoli and Richard Felli—and two graduate students—Katelyn Ludwig and Steve Marczak—spent the summer of 2016 conducting laboratory and clinical research at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York. All four are recipients of the inaugural Precision Medicine Research Fellowships, which enable highly qualified Notre Dame students to live and work at one of the premier clinical research facilities on the East Coast.


The Feinstein Institute, which is part of the 22-hospital Northwell Health System, enrolls over 15,000 patients in more than 2,000 clinical studies each year. Through this new competitive program, students from Notre Dame who are interested in biomedical research have an unparalleled opportunity to experience such research first-hand and contribute to finding real solutions to pressing medical problems, ranging from lupus to sepsis to cardiac arrest. Read More

Uncovering a new pathway to halting metastasis

Author: William G. Gilroy

Zachary Schafer

Metastasis, the process by which cancer cells leave the primary tumor and spread to other sites in the body, is responsible for more than 90 percent of cancer deaths. Thus, there is a significant need to improve the therapeutic options for patients who suffer from metastatic disease. New research from the laboratory of Zachary T. Schafer, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Coleman Foundation Collegiate Chair of Cancer Biology and researcher in the Harper Cancer Research Institute, could lead to these new therapies. Read More

Katherine Ward finds niche in the convergence of science and business

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Katieward Lecture

Katherine Ward enrolled as a graduate student at Notre Dame with her sights set on academia and work that would help people like her father, who had long suffered from serious back pain.

She had watched for many years as his diagnosis would change, but the pain wouldn’t go away. With a love of science — and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry — already ingrained, Ward set herself on a path toward a Notre Dame doctorate in biochemistry and a career in a laboratory where she hoped to uncover methods for treating degenerative diseases.

But Ward didn’t know what she didn’t know. Specifically, the picture in her head of being a scientist was the only one she really had. And when she got to Notre Dame, she found a place where paths fork and other come together in ways she had never imagined. Read More

Identifying Effective Treatments for Colon Cancer

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Notre Dame researcher uses tumor cells to evaluate the effectiveness of current medications

HummonheadshotAmanda Hummon, Huisking Foundation, Inc. Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

In recent years researchers have begun to understand that the development of colon cancer, which is the second most common cancer in the United States, can impact the genome and cause protein changes within cancer cells. This knowledge has brought new medications and targeted therapies to the marketplace and now a Notre Dame researcher is evaluating the effectiveness of these treatments. Read More

Preventing Infections in Prosthetic Hip Joint Replacements

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Notre Dame researcher explores bacteria beyond the ability of typical hospital setting 

Gailweaver Cbbi HeadshotGail Weaver, post-doctoral research associate

Each year 332,000 total hip replacements are performed in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Out of those, nearly one percent of patients will get an infection and require the removal of their prosthetic replacement. Even though a small overall percentage, still more than 3,000 people are likely to get an infection that, if left untreated, could result in amputation.

Gail Weaver, post-doctoral research associate of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences (CEEES) who works with works with Joshua Shrout, associate professor of CEEES, received a Post-Doctoral Training Award from the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI). The award supports an on-going collaboration with Mark Klaassen, an orthopedic surgeon at Elkhart General Hospital, to collect bacterial samples from prosthetic hip joints that have become infected. The goal is to culture or grow the collected bacteria and develop laboratory best practices for studying multiple species infections. Read More

A Personal Vendetta against Cancer

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Cancer survivor builds tissue bank for Harper Cancer Research Institute

Page Mulberry SmToni Page-Mayberry, tissue bank consent coordinator at the Harper Cancer Research Institute

These days, Page-Mayberry funnels that passion into her job as the tissue bank consent coordinator for the Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute at Notre Dame. Her mission is to get as many patients as possible to sign a consent form to share their leftover tumor samples with Harper so that the cancer specialists there can do breakthrough research that leads to a cure. Read More