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2010: The Year in Review

Author: Dennis Brown

Golden Dome

Each year at Notre Dame is filled with highlights, achievements and accomplishments. Some of the significant moments from the 2010 calendar year:

  • In his five-plus years as Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., has emphasized the University’s research efforts, while maintaining its historic strength as an undergraduate university and enduring commitment to its Catholic character – to be the Catholic research university for our time. Significant evidence of Notre Dame’s progress in this regard was the nearly $119 million in external research awards for fiscal year 2010, an increase of some $40 million from the previous year and $80 million from a decade ago. In addition, the University provided a second round of $40 million of internal funding for a wide array of projects.

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Mayland Chang receives NFL Charities grant to study traumatic brain injury therapies

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Mayland_Chang

Mayland Chang, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, has received a grant from NFL Charities to design and develop therapeutics for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.

NFL Charities, the charitable foundation of the National Football League owners, has awarded more than $1.6 million in grants to support sports-related medical research at 16 organizations, including Notre Dame. Of these grants, $988,224 will go to research groups studying concussion prevention and treatment.

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New study focuses on nitrogen in waterways as cause of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere

Author: William G. Gilroy

Agricultural Stream

Jake Beaulieu, a postdoctoral researcher at the Environmental Protection Agency in Cincinnati, Ohio, who earned his doctorate at the University of Notre Dame, and Jennifer Tank, Galla Professor of Biological Sciences at the University, are lead authors of new paper demonstrating that streams and rivers receiving nitrogen inputs from urban and agricultural land uses are a significant source of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.

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New study examines immunity in emerging species of a major mosquito carrier of malaria

Author: William G. Gilroy

Nora Besansky

In notable back-to-back papers appearing in the prestigioous journal Science in October, teams of researchers, one led by Nora Besansky, a professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, provided evidence that Anopheles gambiae, which is one of the major mosquito carriers of the malaria parasite in Sub-Saharan Africa, is evolving into two separate species with different traits.

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Notre Dame Band awarded prestigious Sudler trophy

Author: Shannon Chapla

Sudler Trophy

The University of Notre Dame Band has been awarded the 2011 Sudler Trophy, recognizing “collegiate marching bands of particular excellence that have made outstanding contributions to the American way of life.” The trophy was presented Dec. 17 during the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

Dating back to 1982, the trophy, presented by the John Philip Sousa Foundation, is considered the Heisman trophy for college bands and recognizes Notre Dame’s contributions over numerous years. It is the only nationally recognized award for college marching bands, and only one trophy is awarded bi-annually.

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Physicist Mark Caprio named 2010 Cottrell Scholar

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Mark Caprio

Mark Caprio, assistant professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2010 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. The award recognizes leaders who integrate science teaching and research at leading American research universities.

Each of the 11 new 2010 Cottrell Scholars will receive a $75,000 award to further their research and teaching and career development as teacher-scholars.

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Blake recognized for contributions to computer science and technology

Author: Nina Welding

M. Brian Blake

M. Brian Blake, associate dean for research and professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and selected as one of the “50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology” by San-Francisco-based publisher eAccess Corporation.

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Cancer researcher Stack named science director for Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute

Author: William G. Gilroy

M. Sharon Stack

M. Sharon Stack, professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences and Mulligan Professor of Cancer Research at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, has been named Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Science Director of the Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute and professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame. The Harper Cancer Research Institute is a novel collaboration between the University of Notre Dame and the Indiana University School of Medicine.

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Tongi University names Kareem honorary professor

Author: Nina Welding

Ahsan Kareem

Ahsan Kareem, the Robert Moran Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, has been named an honorary professor in the Department of Bridge Engineering at Tongji University. Located in Shanghai, it is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in China. He is the first Notre Dame faculty member and only the fifth civil engineering (bridge) expert to have received this honor.

A faculty member since 1990, Kareem serves as the director of Notre Dame’s NatHaz Modeling Laboratory, where he specializes in probabilistic structural dynamics, fluid-structure interactions, structural safety, and the mitigation of natural hazards.

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Shared interest in mind-brain connection sparks collaboration

Author: Kate Cohorst

Michelle Wirth

A new initiative in the Department of Psychology is uniting faculty from across the University of Notre Dame who study various aspects of the mind’s connection to the brain.

Assistant Professors Michelle Wirth and Jessica Payne — who both joined the department last year — created the group called Conversations on Brain, Mind and Behavior as a platform for faculty to share ideas in their various areas of expertise and to inspire new research collaborations.

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Eck Institute researchers have strong presence in prestigious journal Science

Author: William G. Gilroy

Science

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A visible sign of the continuing emergence of the University of Notre Dame as a world-class research university is the increasing number of papers by its researchers that appear in prestigious science journals, such as Nature, Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A visible sign of Notre Dame’s emerging leadership role in the field of global health is the fact that in a recent month researchers from its Eck Institute for Global Health had a remarkable four studies published in Science.

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Notre Dame VectorBase project offers genomic resources

Author: Renee Hochstetler

Anopheles gambiae

Something as simple as whether a disease-carrying mosquito lives primarily inside or outside can affect whether it comes into contact with humans or is exposed to insecticides—and that has implications for disease transmission and control.

In order to get a complete picture, biologists need access to a species’ genome—its biological blueprint—and that’s where the University of Notre Dame’s VectorBase project comes in. Simply put, VectorBase is a Website that makes available genomes and related information on five vectors—insects and ticks known to transmit diseases to humans or animals.

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Center for Philosophy of Religion receives $1.3 million grant

Author: Kate Cohorst

Center for Philosophy of Religion

The University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion (CPR) has received a $1.3 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to promote research at the intersection of philosophy and theology.

The award is part of a four-year, $5.7 million initiative called “Analytic Theology: The Convergence of Philosophy and Theology.” Researchers at the University of Innsbruck in Austria and the Shalem Center in Jerusalem also are involved in the research project.

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Notre Dame rallies for peace in Sudan

Author: Shannon Chapla

Emmanuel Gore

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“I grew up eating one meal a day,” says southern Sudan native Emmanuel Gore, a graduate student in the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “I got displaced with my family to Khartoum. We left my father behind.”

Gore detailed his life story and explained the history of conflict in Sudan to hundreds of students Dec. 4 at Notre Dame’s “Stand with Sudan Peace Rally,” where the audience was asked to pray, advocate and give to promote peace in the war-torn country.

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Father Mark Poorman appointed executive VP at the University of Portland

Author: Dennis Brown

Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C.

Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., associate professor of theology and former vice president for student affairs at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed executive vice president and associate professor of theology at the University of Portland, effective July 1.

Father Poorman’s responsibilities in the newly restructured position will include general oversight of the divisions of university operations, financial affairs, university relations, and supervision of the student life division.

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ND Expert: WikiLeaks points out danger of insider threats to information security

Author: Carol Elliott

John D'Arcy

Even as WikiLeaks faces increasing public outcry over security breaches, potential prosecution of its founder and crippling cyber-attacks, there are probably more information leaks to come, says information security expert John D’Arcy, assistant professor of information technology management at the University of Notre Dame.

The reason has to do with the fact that organizations haven’t paid enough attention to their greatest security threats – their employees.

“The recent WikiLeaks incident is no fluke, and certainly points to the increasing insider threat to information security,” says D’Arcy. “Although sentiment has begun to shift, organizations have traditionally approached information security with a technological focus through investment in firewalls, network detection systems and monitoring technologies. However, these technologies are useless against the motivated insider who wants to damage the organization by leaking sensitive information.”

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Notre Dame receives TARDEC grant for next-generation batteries

Author: Nina Welding

Notre Dame Research

Faculty from the University of Notre Dame’s Colleges of Engineering and Science have been awarded more than $1.3 million from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in collaboration with research being conducted by Mississippi State University on the development of novel materials for improved battery technology.

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Researcher Bilgicer using nanotechnology to improve cancer treatment

Author: William G. Gilroy

Basar Bilgicer

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Research directed by Basar Bilgicer, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics initiative at the University of Notre Dame, could one day enable clinicians to deliver powerful chemotherapy drugs to tumors without deleterious side effects.

Although chemotherapeutic agents are poisonous to tumors, they also can kill healthy cells, leading to toxic side effects.

Bilgicer’s research involves developing drug- loaded nanoparticles to target the tumor tissue, so that the chemotherapeutic agents can be delivered specifically to the tumors rather than healthy tissue.

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South Bend-Notre Dame partnership wins gold for municipal excellence

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South Bend, Indiana

A partnership including the City of South Bend, the University of Notre Dame, Memorial Hospital and Health System, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, the South Bend Clinic, Madison Center and neighborhood residents to revitalize the Northeast Neighborhood has been singled out for excellence by the National League of Cities.

The award recognized the City’s participation in the formation of the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization (NNRO), a partnership for redevelopment efforts.

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Notre Dame astrophysicist to present Christmas Star lecture

Author: William G. Gilroy

Christmas star comet

University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Grant Mathews will give two presentations of his popular program titled “What and When was the Christmas Star?” in the Digital Visualization Theatre of Notre Dame’s Jordan Hall of Science.

The programs, which are free and open to the public, will take place Dec. 3 (Friday) at 7 p.m. and Dec. 5 (Sunday) at 3 p.m.

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New book examines how mediation leads to peace

Author: Renée LaReau

svensson_wallensteen_go_between_300

Over the last 20 years, more wars have ended through mediation than in the previous 200. How can international mediators be even more successful?

A new book co-authored by peace scholars Isak Svensson and Peter Wallensteen, a professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, considers the art of mediation and offers lessons for mediators and researchers alike.

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Notre Dame to play and rally Dec. 4 for peace in Sudan

Author: Notre Dame News

Playing For Peace

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The University of Notre Dame is uniting to rally for sustainable, just peace in Sudan in preparation for a referendum there that could end in violence on a scale that “would make Rwanda or Darfur look manageable,” according to Dan Griffin of Catholic Relief Services.

On Saturday (Dec. 4), the University is hosting an all-day “Playing for Peace” 3-on-3 basketball tournament and Stand with Sudan Peace Rally. The rally, which begins at noon in the Joyce Center Field House, is free and open to the public.

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Chorale and Chamber Orchestra to present Handel’s “Messiah”

Author: Notre Dame News

messiah_2009

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The University of Notre Dame Chorale and Chamber Orchestra will present George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” Dec. 3 and 4 (Friday and Saturday) at 8 p.m., in the Leighton Concert Hall of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

The annual presentation of this masterwork has become a Notre Dame tradition, with sold-out houses standing to cheer the famous “Hallelujah Chorus” that ends the performance.

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New research shows sleep helps brain sift memories

Author:

Jessica Payne

Watch Video Video

Most adults say they can’t remember things as well as they used to. But what they really mean is that they can’t remember anything for very long — and poor sleep may be the cause.

New research from the University of Notre Dame reveals that adequate sleep not only boosts or consolidates memories, making them easier to retrieve, but it actually goes beyond that to reorganize and restructure memories so that people retain the most salient of those, which often are the most emotional parts of a memory, according to Jessica Payne, assistant professor of psychology who specializes in how sleep impacts memory, creativity and the ability to process new ideas.

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Notre Dame selected to host national student affairs conference

Author: Notre Dame News

Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities

The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame has been chosen to host the 2012 national conference for the Association for Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU).

Scheduled for July 24 to 27, 2012, the conference will bring together student life administrators at Catholic universities from across the U.S.

The purpose of the annual ASACCU conference is to promote an understanding of the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and its relevance for student affairs professionals.

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New studies target childhood obesity, child maltreatment

Author: Renee Hochstetler

Center for Children and Families

With the new Family Lifestyles and Heart to Heart projects, researchers at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Children and Families are taking direct aim at two major obstacles to healthy child development: childhood obesity and child maltreatment.

The Center for Children and Families, established in 2001 by Professors John Borkowski and Mark Cummings, works to improve the well-being of children and families through research and intervention.

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Who needs music? Notre Dame student group dances to its own beat

Author: Meg Morrison

First Class Steppers

What do you think of when you hear “stepping” or “step-dancing”? If Irish dancing comes to mind, think again. Notre Dame First Class Steppers President junior Brittany Suggs explains what stepping really is.

“Stepping, or step-dancing, is a form of percussive dance in which the participant’s entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps,” Suggs said. “With roots in both South Africa and pre-Civil War America, stepping has a rich history.”

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ND Expert: No need to panic over N. Korea uranium enrichment

Author: Shannon Chapla

David Cortright

As diplomats meet in Asia to discuss new revelations surrounding North Korea’s uranium enrichment program, nuclear weapons policy expert David Cortright, director of policy studies for the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, says there is no need to panic.

“The new revelations are troubling but do not significantly alter the security calculus for the United States,” Cortright says. “The North’s program and the new enrichment program are violations of UN Security Council sanctions, but they do not pose an immediate danger of further nuclear weapons production.”

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Notre Dame hosts Indiana CTSI retreat on healthcare innovation

Author: Marissa Gebhard

ICTSI Student

The University of Notre Dame will host the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) informational retreat Nov. 23 (Tuesday) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Eck Visitors Center. Presenters will discuss the acceleration of the rate of health care innovation in Indiana and beyond through collaborations among the member universities as well as public and private partnerships.

Speakers will include Robert Bernhard, Notre Dame’s vice president for research; Anantha Shekhar, director of the Indiana CTSI; and Scott Denne, associate director of the Indiana CTSI. Participants also will hear about advances in medical science from Indiana CTSI investigators, who will discuss their research. Additional activities include a lunchtime poster session and afternoon breakout sessions.

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