Malcolm Fraser

Malcolm Fraser

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Rev. Julius A. Nieuwland, C.S.C., Professor of Biological Sciences

Office: 214 Galvin Life Science
Phone: 574-631-6209

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Areas of Expertise

Molecular biology and genetics of viruses

Fraser has discovered and patented a movable piece of genetic material called “piggyBac.” PiggyBac is a piece of DNA known as a transposon that can insert itself into the genetic machinery of a cell. In a new technique, Canadian and Scottish scientists used piggyBac to coax skin cells of mice and humans into a state that appears biologically identical to embryonic stem cells. Fraser’s studies in Notre Dame’s Laboratory of Molecular Virology merge research into molecular virology and transgenic engineering with the goal of advancing applications that favorably impact the human condition. A major thrust of his research is the use of molecular approaches to understanding and manipulating virus genetics in ways that permit beneficial transgenic alternation of the hosts to resist a given virus. He is currently exploring novel ribozyme approaches for thje suppression of Dengue virus in transgenic mosquitoes and for combating chronic human virus infections such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Fraser is the recipient of a $2.5 million grant from the Global Challenges in Global Health Initiative for a program to develop a new approach to controlling Dengue fever.


Notre Dame Research: Transgenic Silkworms Spin Artificial Spider Silk

Notre Dame Press Conference: Silkworms Produce Artificial Spider Silk


Dengue fever outbreak


The ‘gold’ standard: A rapid, cheap method of detecting dengue virus
Hybrid silkworms spin stronger spider silk
Malcolm Fraser elected fellow of American Academy of Microbiology
Notre Dame and University of Wyoming scientists genetically engineer silkworms to produce artificial spider silk
Notre Dame announces second round funding for $80-million Strategic Research Investments process
Entomologist Fraser selected as ESA fellow
Working to eradicate dengue fever
Notre Dame research plays prominent role in alternative stem cell method
Biologist Fraser selected as AAAS fellow
Researcher receives $2.5 million Grand Challenges grant to combat dengue fever


Wired UK — Mutant silkworms spin fluorescent silk in three colours
Crain’s Detroit — Spin control: Investors hang hopes on duo’s spider-boosted silkworm threads
The Atlantic — Super-Silk for Artificial Limbs
ScienceDaily — Hybrid Silkworms Spin Stronger Spider Silk
Associated Press — Researchers: Silkworms make artificial spider silk
Popular Science — How Modified Worms and Goats Can Mass-Produce Nature’s Toughest Fiber