News » Archives » October 2011

New technology helps ER doctors make critical decisions

Author: William G. Gilroy

Emergency room

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Keck Center for Transgene Research and trauma physicians at South Bend’s Memorial Hospital are joining forces to use a new medical technology to help save the lives of trauma patients.

Researchers at the Keck Center investigate how the genes involved in blood clotting processes function in inflammatory diseases like sepsis, atherosclerosis and asthma. In particular, the Center’s Thromboelastographic Study Group focuses on the coagulopathy (clotting disorder or bleeding disorder) of trauma.

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Indigenous language experts—many themselves indigenous—to gather at Notre Dame

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

2011 Symposium on Teaching and Learning Indigenous Languages of Latin America (STILLA)

A major international conference to be held at the University of Notre Dame next week (Oct. 30 to Nov. 2) promises to put the University on the map for scholarly research on Latin American indigenous languages and cultures. The conference will showcase Latin American and especially indigenous scholars, a rare occurrence in U.S. academic circles.

More than 50 indigenous language experts from 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean will join some 60 others from the United States, Europe, and Canada to share pedagogy and research aimed at fostering and disseminating indigenous languages and traditions and making a tangible difference in the lives of indigenous peoples.

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Notre Dame researchers lead collaborative team to study bacteria movement

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Mark Alber

An interdisciplinary collaboration of six researchers, including four from Notre Dame, have received a three-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to study the interplay of motility mechanisms during swarming of the bacterium Myxococcus xanthus. Their study is essential to understanding how millions of bacteria function in real environments.

Mark Alber, the Vincent J. Duncan Family Professor of Applied Mathematics and director of the Center for Study of Biocomplexity at the University of Notre Dame, is principal investigator of the team.

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Notre Dame establishes Declan Drumm Sullivan scholarship

Author: Dennis Brown

Declan Sullivan

The University of Notre Dame has established an endowed scholarship in memory of Declan Sullivan, the Notre Dame junior who died a year ago Thursday (Oct. 27) when the aerial lift on which he was videotaping football practice fell in high winds.

In conjunction with the anniversary, Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., is writing to members of the Notre Dame family, inviting them to contribute to the scholarship fund and/or to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund that has been established by his family.

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Notre Dame cancer researcher named V Scholar

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Zachary Schafer

Zachary Schafer, the Coleman Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology in the Department of Biological Sciences and a member of the Harper Cancer Research Institute at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2011 V Scholar by one of the nation’s leading cancer research fundraising organizations, the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Seventeen physician/scientists will share the $3.4 million in funding given through the V Scholar program to bring science closer to finding a cure for cancer.

Through a very competitive process, Schafer was chosen from nominees at National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers and prominent universities involved in critical cancer research.

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$15 million gift to fund Morris Inn renovation

Author: William G. Gilroy

Rendering of Morris Inn renovation

A $15 million gift by longtime University of Notre Dame supporter Ernestine Raclin, The Carmichael Foundation, and her family to the “Spirit of Notre Dame” campaign will fund a major renovation and expansion of the Morris Inn, the full-service, on-campus hotel that was constructed nearly 60 years ago with a gift from her parents, the late Ernest M. and Ella L. Morris.

The Morris Inn was dedicated in May 1952. The renovation and expansion project is expected to begin in late summer 2012, with most of the construction intended to be completed by fall 2013.

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Alumni conference in NYC to explore “Investing Like A Champion”

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Wall Street

The world needs strong, ethical business leaders now more than ever. In today’s turbulent economic times, corporate executives and institutional investors are faced not only with daunting challenges, but also with golden opportunities to impact the global business climate for the better.

To explore the multitude of issues facing the global capital markets today, some 600 Notre Dame alumni in the money management business have been invited to converge on Wall Street for the first Notre Dame Investments Conference, to be held Nov. 1 (Tuesday) at the Hilton New York.

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ND Expert: A response to the Vatican’s call for a global economic authority

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Rev. Oliver Williams, C.S.C.

Yesterday (Oct. 24), the Vatican issued a document calling for the gradual creation of an international political authority empowered to regulate financial markets and address the “inequalities and distortions of capitalist development.” The document argues that the current global economic crisis illustrates the urgency of establishing such an authority.

According to Rev. Oliver Williams, C.S.C., “many people will not find this a good idea, given the poor record of United Nations countries in human rights, for example, but the document stresses that we begin thinking about this matter, not that it be done overnight.”

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Carter Snead appointed director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture

Author: Dennis Brown

O. Carter Snead

O. Carter Snead, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed the W.P. and H.B. White Director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture (CEC) by John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

A member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 2005, Snead will succeed W. David Solomon, associate professor of philosophy, effective July 1.

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Controlling gene expression to halt cancer growth

Author: Laura Gouin

Olaf Wiest

NUT midline carcinoma (NMC) is a cancer without a cure, and one that affects all age groups. NMC is a rapid-growth disease with an average survival time of four and a half months after diagnosis, making the development of clinical trials for potential therapies or cures for this cancer difficult, to say the least.

But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and Olaf Wiest, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, is one of a group of collaborators studying the effects of a specific molecule (JQ1) on the trigger that controls the growth of this form of cancer.

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ND Expert: Let’s not become as dehumanized as Gaddafi

Author: Shannon Chapla

Rashied Omar

As the people of Libya celebrate their liberation from four decades of dictatorship, oppression and killings at the hands of Muammar Gaddafi, Rashied Omar, research scholar of Islamic studies and peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, advises, “Let us not become as dehumanized as Gaddafi.”

“It is understandable that four decades of oppression and the killings of innocents have generated mass rage and hatred for Gaddafi, but there is a clear Islamic ethic of dealing with one’s enemies,” Omar says. “The Qur’an teaches us that we should not allow our enmity or hatred for others to make us swerve away from justice."

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Father Jenkins elected to commission on presidential debates

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has been elected to the board of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the non-partisan, non-profit organization that has sponsored and produced all U.S. presidential and vice presidential debates since 1988.

“Father Jenkins is a respected voice in higher education, and we are very pleased he will join the CPD’s board as we launch plans for the 2012 debates,” said Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, co-chairmen of the commission. “He has demonstrated, through his words and actions, a serious and sustained commitment to civil discourse in society, which is consistent with the commission’s commitment to respectful and informed political dialogue.”

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Perry, Cardinal Mahony to address ethics of a world without nuclear weapons

Author: Renée LaReau

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

While the dangers of nuclear holocaust have diminished since the end of the Cold War, the threat of proliferation and the risk of nuclear weapons use have increased.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, will address the ethical challenges posed by nuclear policy at 4:15 p.m., October 25 (Tuesday), at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies. This event is free and open to the public.

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Notre Dame to host college town panel discussion

Author: Paul Murphy

Dome and Clouds

The University of Notre Dame will host a panel discussion on the economic impact and social responsibilities of academic institutions on their communities on Oct. 24 (Monday) at 8 a.m. in the auditorium of McKenna Hall on campus.

Titled “Redefining the College Town,” the discussion will be presented in conjunction with the 72nd annual conference of the Indiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (IACRAO), being held at Notre Dame the same day.

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Scott Malpass elected to TIFF board

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Scott Malpass

Scott C. Malpass, vice president and chief investment officer at the University of Notre Dame, is one of three distinguished investment professionals recently elected to the board of The Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF).

TIFF seeks to enhance the investment returns of U.S. non-profits and currently manages more than $9.5 billion for more than 750 endowed charities. Malpass will serve on the board of directors of TIFF Advisory Services Inc. (TAS), the regulated investment advisor that, along with its affiliates, administers vehicles bearing the TIFF name.

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New book traces growth of peace research

Author: Renée LaReau

Peter Wallensteen

A new book by Peter Wallensteen traces the development of peace research over the past six decades as it has become established as a credible academic enterprise that is also relevant to policymakers.

“Peace is now ‘researchable’ in the same way that economic growth, health and democracy are researchable,” says Wallensteen, who has been engaged in peace research for more than 40 years. “Its first concern is finding ways to prevent the onset of war and identifying ways to solve disputes peacefully.”

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ND athletes and ACE sports initiative bring the “Irish Experience” to local youth

Author: Bill Schmitt

Play Like a Champion Today®

A new collaboration between the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) and Athletics Department is bringing a new experience to young people in the South Bend area, combining the excitement of Fighting Irish football and the development of life skills that can convey inspiration and success.

The new collaboration, called the Irish Experience League initiative, brings together ACE’s Play Like a Champion Today® (PLC) educational program and the Youth and Community Programs office within Notre Dame Athletics.

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Paul Farmer and Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez to take part in campus dialogue

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Paul Gustavo and Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, OP

When Paul Farmer came to campus in April to accept the Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity on behalf of the global health organization he cofounded 25 years ago, he was profoundly moved by the opportunity to talk to a member of the Notre Dame community who has deeply inspired his mission to bring high-quality health care to the very poor.

Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., the John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology and a Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, is known around the world as the founder of liberation theology.

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Students help Notre Dame archaeologist unearth ancient artifacts in Albania

Author: Mark Shuman

Discovery of the goddess figurine

On the final day of his latest six-week excavation season in historic Butrint, Albania, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor David Hernández says “the face of a goddess appeared.”

The four assistants who had a hand in the discovery?

Suzanna Pratt, Patrick Conry, Matt Wieck and Wesley Wood—all undergraduates in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.

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Notre Dame astrophysicist invited to Nobel Prize award ceremony

Author: Marissa Gebhard and Gene Stowe

Peter Garnavich

Notre Dame astrophysicist Peter Garnavich has been invited to the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden on Dec. 10 when Nobel Laureates Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter will receive the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae.

Garnavich, who wrote the team’s first paper that included supernovae data from the Hubble telescope, was a part of the High-Z Supernova Search Team led by Schmidt.

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In memoriam: Robert W. Galvin, former Notre Dame fellow and trustee

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Robert W. Galvin

Robert W. Galvin, former fellow and trustee of the University of Notre Dame, died Tuesday (Oct. 11) in Chicago. He was 89 years old.

Galvin, the former chief executive and chairman of Motorola Inc., was graduated from Notre Dame in 1944, going to work for Motorola, a company which had been founded by his father, Paul. He succeeded his father in 1959 and remained chairman until his retirement in 1990, overseeing Motorola’s subsequent expansion from a national to a global company and an increase in annual sales from $290 million to $10.8 billion.

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Undergraduate students publish their clinical research in major scientific journal

Author: William G. Gilroy

Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases

A novel course offering in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Science has enabled a group of undergraduate students to have their research on a rare disease published in a leading scientific journal.

Sixty-four students registered for a class titled “Developing Health Networks in Rare and Neglected Diseases” published their research in the journal PLoS One. Published by the non-profit organization Public Library of Science (PLoS), the journal is an international peer-reviewed, open access online publication.

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In Memoriam: Xavier Murphy

Author: Dennis Brown

In Memoriam

Xavier Murphy, a 2011 University of Notre Dame graduate who was on campus this semester completing one course and working as an intern with the football program, died Oct. 11 of complications from leukemia.

“Our prayers and condolences go out to Xavier’s family and friends,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “By all accounts he was an exceptional and greatly loved young man who will be deeply missed.”…

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Cardinal Mahony and a new imagination of human dignity

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Cardinal Roger Mahony

Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, is urgently concerned with the reform of the nation’s immigration policy, and he wants Catholic college and university students to be as concerned as he is.

Speaking with nearly 100 students and faculty members in the auditorium of Notre Dame’s Eck Hall of Law last week, Cardinal Mahony insisted that America’s 220 Catholic colleges and universities and the 800,000 students enrolled in them have a crucial role to play in immigration reform.

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Notre Dame computer vision experts develop “questionable observer detector”

Author: William G. Gilroy

Blast from an improvised explosive device

Watch Video Video

It’s become a standard plot device of television detective shows: criminals always return to the scene of the crime. And law enforcement officials believe that perpetrators of certain crimes, most notably arson, do indeed have an inclination to witness their handiwork. Similarly, U.S. military in the Middle East feel that improvised explosive device (IED) bomb makers return to see the results of their work in order to evolve their designs.

Now a team of University of Notre Dame biometrics experts is developing a crime-fighting tool that can help law enforcement officials identify suspicious individuals at crime scenes.

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Notre Dame researchers awarded millions to develop radically new computers

Author: Arnold Phifer

Nanofabrication Facility.

Reflecting its worldwide leadership in the search for new computing technologies, the University of Notre Dame has received two of 12 prestigious grants for cutting-edge nanoelectronics research that were awarded recently by the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Nanoelectronics Research Initiative (SRC-NRI) and the National Science Foundation.

“Universities were only allowed to submit two proposals each to the program,” says Peter Kilpatrick, McCloskey Dean of the College of Engineering. “The fact that both of Notre Dame’s proposals were funded is a sign of the high quality and competitiveness nationally of our research in this critical field.”

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U.S. undersecretary for Democracy and Global Affairs to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Maria Otero

Maria Otero, U.S. undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, will speak at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies on Oct. 13 (Thursday). Reporting to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Otero is one of the nation’s foremost foreign relations officials, with a portfolio that includes issues as diverse as human trafficking and global water security.

She will speak on “Democracy and Human Development” at 4:15 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies auditorium on the Notre Dame campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

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Installation of new accelerator underway

Author: William G. Gilroy

Notre Dame nuclear accelerator

The University of Notre Dame has begun installation of a new nuclear accelerator in its Nuclear Science Laboratory (NSL), located in the Nieuwland Hall of Science. A huge crane has been set up to facilitate the transport for the accelerator unit to its final position in the center of the NSL research facilities. Construction will continue on this project for the next few months.

The new National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 5 MV accelerator represents a major equipment upgrade for the University and is the first accelerator NSF has funded in nuclear physics in nearly a quarter century.

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Notre Dame physicists propose solution to constraint satisfaction problems

Author: Gene Stowe

Optimization hardness as transient chaos in an analog approach to constraint satisfaction

Maria Ercsey-Ravasz, a postdoctoral associate and Zoltan Toroczkai, professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame, have proposed an alternative approach to solving difficult constraint satisfaction problems. Their paper, “Optimization hardness as transient chaos in an analog approach to constraint satisfaction,” was published this week in the journal Nature Physics.

The approach proposed by Ercsey-Ravasz and Toroczkai involves Boolean satisfiability (k-SAT), one of the most studied optimization problems. It applies to a vast range of decision-making, scheduling and operations research problems from drawing delivery routes to the placement of circuitry elements in microchip design.

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Researchers engineer new way to inhibit allergic reactions without side effects

Author: Arnie Phifer

Backbone alignment of IgG, IgE, and IgM antibody crystal structure, including residues of the conserved nucleotide binding pocket. Credit: B. Bilgiçer

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have announced a breakthrough approach to allergy treatment that inhibits food allergies, drug allergies and asthmatic reactions without suppressing a sufferer’s entire immunological system.

The therapy centers on a special molecule the researchers designed, a heterobivalent ligand (HBL), which when introduced into a person’s bloodstream can, in essence, out-compete allergens like egg or peanut proteins in their race to attach to mast cells, a type of white blood cell that is the source of type-I hypersensitivity (that is, allergy).

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