News » Archives » June 2013

Notre Dame center named National Nuclear Security Administration Center of Excellence

Author: William G. Gilroy

National Nuclear Security Administration

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has selected a University of Notre Dame center as one of six new centers of excellence whose primary focus will be on the emerging field of predictive science.

The University’s Center for Shock Wave-processing of Advanced Reactive Materials (C-SWARM) was named a Single-Discipline Center by NNSA and will receive $1.6 million per year for five years under NNSA’s Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program II (PSAAP II) agreement.

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Joyce Coffee named managing director of ND-GAIN

Author: William G. Gilroy

Joyce Coffee

Joyce E. Coffee, who has extensive experience working on climate change and sustainability — particularly in the government and corporate sectors — has been named managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN).

ND-GAIN is the world’s leading index showing which countries are best prepared to deal with the droughts, superstorms and other natural disasters climate change can cause. ND-GAIN ranks countries based on how vulnerable they are to climate change, and how prepared they are to adapt to the storms, droughts and heat waves that scientists predict will increase in the coming decades. The index moved to Notre Dame from Washington, D.C., in April.

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The 'gold' standard: A rapid, cheap method of detecting dengue virus

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Malcolm Fraser Jr. and James Carter

University of Notre Dame biologists are reporting the development of an easy-to-use, low-cost method of detecting dengue virus in mosquitoes based on gold nanoparticles. Their research is published in the Virology Journal this week.

The assay they have developed is able to detect lower levels of the virus than current tests, and is easy to transport and use in remote regions.

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Notre Dame researchers put chemistry lab on paper to detect low-quality medicine

Author: Marissa Gebhard

This paper test card is inexpensive way to distinguish substitutes or diluted drugs from real medicines used to treat common bacterial infections and tuberculosis

Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, and her collaborators have recently published results that show the effectiveness of an inexpensive paper test card that could fundamentally change the balance of power between pharmaceutical buyers and sellers in the developing world.

Lieberman and her collaborators at the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College have recently published work in the journal Analytical Chemistry that shows that their inexpensive paper test cards can accurately distinguish substitutes or diluted drugs from real medicines used to treat common bacterial infections and tuberculosis.

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New study looks at unintended costs of mandated infertility coverage


Kasey Buckles

The rate of triplet or higher-order multiple births increased by 26 percent between 1996 and 2002 in seven states mandating insurance coverage for infertility treatments, costing an additional $900 million in delivery costs alone, according to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist Kasey Buckles. The study will be published in the July issue of Health Economics.

That figure likely is an underestimate of the total costs induced by the mandates, since it does not include costs associated with triplet pregnancies, with treating the immediate and later-life complications associated with triplet births or costs from quadruplet and higher-order births, according to Buckles, who specializes in family and health economics.

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New ND report on Catholic generosity finds giving stems from conscious effort

Author: Michael O. Garvey

"Steps on the Journey to Becoming a More Generous Person"

Massive catastrophes, the globally televised images of human suffering they generate, and the innate compassion of ordinary people invariably combine to unleash impressive feats of giving, but a new University of Notre Dame study suggests that generosity, at least among American Catholics, may be more complicated than that.

The study, “Steps on the Journey to Becoming a More Generous Person,” published by the Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI) of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life and co-authored by Brian Starks, CSPRI director, and Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, found that spontaneous givers were, as a group, less generous than their more systematic counterparts.

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Carter Snead, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture, to give keynote address at 2013 National Right to Life Convention

Author: Michael O. Garvey

O. Carter Snead

Carter Snead, William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture and professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, will deliver the keynote address at the 43rd annual National Right to Life Convention in Dallas.

Snead’s address, “Created Equal: Our Duty to Protect Innocent Human Life,” will open the three-day conference at 10 a.m. Thursday (June 27) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. More than a thousand leaders of pro-life organizations are expected to attend.

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Notre Dame and Trinity School partner for computer programming workshop

Author: William G. Gilroy

Craig Lent with graduate students

High school teachers and college professors from around the country are gathering at the University of Notre Dame this week (June 24-28) for a five-day workshop on teaching introductory computer programming.

The workshop will employ MATLAB, a programming language widely used in engineering and science. Craig Lent, Notre Dame’s Frank M. Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering, will lead the workshop, which is based on an approach to teaching first-time programmers that was developed in collaboration with South Bend’s Trinity School at Greenlawn.

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Father Hesburgh celebrates 70 years he would do all over again

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Father Hesburgh in his office (Nov 2011)

On Friday afternoon, in his office on the 13th floor of the library named after him, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame, was enjoying an after-luncheon cigar and trying to solve an arithmetical problem in his head.

“If I’ve said Mass every day of the week for 70 years, that’s, let’s see. What’s 70 times 365? I don’t know, more than 25,000 Masses, anyway.” On June 24 (Monday), Father Hesburgh would mark the 70th anniversary of his ordination, which took place in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, whose spire, along with Notre Dame’s iconic Golden Dome, is splendidly visible from the window behind his desk.

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Notre Dame and Harper researchers developing novel method to test for HPV and oral cancers

Author: William G. Gilroy


Research being carried out at the University of Notre Dame and its affiliated Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) may lead to the development of a rapid, cost-effective means of screening for oral cancers and the human papillomavirus.

M. Sharon Stack, Ann F. Dunne and Elizabeth Riley Director of the HCRI and professor of chemistry and biochemistry, points out that oral cancers are a significant global health problem.

Stack and Hsueh-Chia Chang, Bayer Professor of Engineering and director of Notre Dame’s Center for Microfluidics and Medical Diagnostics, are attempting to prescreen for oral cancer and HPV by examining the micro-RNAs of tumor cells. They are working on developing a microfluidic sensor to help detect the presence of tumor cells.

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ND Expert: Brazilian authorities’ blunders fuel protests


Guillermo Trejo

By agreeing to increase public transportation fares just two weeks before hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup, coupled with the repressive reaction to protesters by military police in Sao Paulo, Brazilian authorities have transformed a struggle for free transportation into a major wave of protest against political corruption and inequality, according to Guillermo Trejo, University of Notre Dame political scientist and fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

“The repressive reaction of the military police — a remnant of Brazil’s dictatorial past — triggered popular indignation and facilitated the transformation of a single protest event into a wave of national mobilization,” says Trejo, who specializes in collective action, social protest and Latin America.

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Ken Hackett, Notre Dame Laetare medalist, nominated U.S. ambassador to the Holy See

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ken Hackett

The White House announced last week that President Barack Obama will nominate University of Notre Dame Laetare Medalist Ken Hackett as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

Hackett, former president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), received the Laetare Medal, Notre Dame’s highest honor and regarded as the most prestigious honor awarded to American Catholics, in 2012. He had also received an honorary degree from Notre Dame in 2007. At present, he is a consultant for Notre Dame’s Initiative for Global Development.

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Dean to bike more than 3,000 miles in fourth annual Road to Discovery ride

Author: Stephanie Healey

Road to Discovery

Gregory Crawford, dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame, will be embarking on his fourth annual bicycle ride on June 27 (Thursday) to raise funds for research to find a cure or treatments for Niemann-Pick Type C (NPC) disease. He will be biking 3,476 miles from Los Angeles to Baltimore and will arrive on Aug. 2. By the end of this year’s journey, he will have biked more than 11,200 miles to raise awareness for the rare genetic disease.

NPC is a cholesterol-storage disorder that primarily affects children before or during adolescence. The disease causes cholesterol to accumulate in the body’s cells and eventually leads to neurodegenerative problems that are always fatal. Legendary Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian lost three of his grandchildren to the devastating disease.

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New paper offers insights into how cancer cells avoid cell death

Author: William G. Gilroy

cancer cell

A new study by a team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame provides an important new insight into how cancer cells are able to avoid the cell death process. The findings may reveal a novel chemotherapeutic approach to prevent the spread of cancers.

Metastasis, the spread of cancer from one organ to other parts of the body, relies on cancer cells’ ability to evade a cell death process called anoikis, according to Zachary T. Schafer, Coleman Assistant Professor of Cancer Biology at Notre Dame. Metastasizing cancer cells are able to block anoikis, which normally results from detachment from the extracellular matrix. However, Schafer notes that the molecular mechanisms that cancer cells detached from the extracellular matrix use to survive have not been well understood.

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Center for Social Concerns institute helps faculty integrate community engagement into scholarly portfolio

Author: John Guimond

Center for Social Concerns Community Engagement Faculty Institute

The second annual Center for Social Concerns Community Engagement Faculty Institute, held May 29 through May 31 (Wednesday through Friday) at the University of Notre Dame, was designed to help faculty deepen their understanding of the theory and practice of academic community engagement. Eighteen faculty and graduate students from numerous University organizations participated in the Faculty Institute. More than 40 campus and community experts presented over the three-day institute, augmenting daily readings on the scholarship of engagement, service learning, the pedagogy of reflective writing and community-based research.

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ND Glee Club makes pilgrimage in Spain

Author: Brittany Collins

The Glee Club performs in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain

University of Notre Dame Glee Club members will likely always remember making the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain — an 87-mile trip. On foot.

On May 20, about 50 undergraduate students flew to Madrid to begin a two-week tour of Spain. The Glee Club takes an international tour every two years, and this year Daniel Stowe, the group’s director, organized a trip to Spain.

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CEO retreat brings Ireland's 'top business minds' to Notre Dame

Author: Michael O. Garvey

One hundred and ten Irish business entrepreneurs visited campus for three days as part of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year CEO retreat

It has been billed as “the ultimate trade mission for Ireland’s top business minds,” so it seems appropriate that three days of the weeklong Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year CEO Retreat were spent on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

The 110 Irish business entrepreneurs had visited Chicago and would be on their way to New York City soon, but on Friday afternoon they were guests of the University, having lunch in the Notre Dame Stadium press box, a dramatically empty and sunlit arena to the east and the campus icons of the Basilica spire and shining Golden Dome to the northwest.

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Notre Dame ranks 35th in survey of best places to work in IT

Author: Katie Rose

OIT staff

The University of Notre Dame ranks No. 35, the highest-ranking university, in IDG’s Computerworld 2013 Best Places to Work in Information Technology (IT) survey, a ranking of the top 100 organizations that challenge their IT staffs while providing great benefits and compensation. Organizations will be featured in the June 17 issue of Computerworld along with results from the 20th annual survey.

“Over the last several years, we have focused on our people. We have extraordinary staff and we continuously strive to help them develop and find challenging opportunities on campus,” said Ron Kraemer, chief information and digital officer for Notre Dame. “I am extremely proud of our teams and that Notre Dame is committed to embrace and advance a great work environment.”

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Disease-carrying mosquitos pack twice the punch

Author: Sarah Craig

Anopheles mosquito

An international team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health and Imperial College London has recently published its work on a malaria-filaria co-transmission model, where the same mosquito transmits both diseases together. Found in large areas of sub-Saharan Africa, one mosquito genus, Anopheles, carries both the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and the microfilarial worm Wuchereria bancrofti, which causes lymphatic filariasis, which can develop into elephantiasis.

According to lead researcher Edwin Michael, professor of biological sciences specializing in epidemiology at the University of Notre Dame, “This has major implications for the transmission of each disease in endemic settings, and, of course, for developing better control interventions that ensure that removal of one disease does not have a profound (a worse health impact) outcome for diseases caused by the other pathogen.”

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University to host seventh annual Arthropod Genomics Symposium

Author: Sarah Craig and Marissa Gebhard

arthropod genomics

The Eck Institute for Global Health is hosting the 2013 Arthropod Genomics Symposium and VectorBase Workshop Wednesday-Saturday (June 12-15) at McKenna Hall at the University of Notre Dame.

More than 225 researchers from around the globe will gather to discuss current and future research. The researchers who are presenting are at the forefront of genomic approaches to arthropods, both model organisms and those of agricultural or health relevance. Some will share methods for developing tools for genomic analysis. The symposium will be broken into sessions including emerging genomes, epigenomics, systems biology/population genomics and ecological genomics/metagenomics. The event includes a vendor fair and two poster sessions where more than 125 posters will be presented.

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Researchers share progress and discoveries at Parseghian scientific conference

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Researcher Frederick Maxfield leads a presentation at the 2012 NPC research conference

Thirty-two researchers from universities and institutions around the world will present their latest research findings at the 2013 Michael, Marcia and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C Research on June 13-15 (Thursday-Saturday) in the Jordan Hall of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

The three-day conference is split into seven sessions with international representatives from the Netherlands, Germany, France, New Zealand, Chile, Hungary and Switzerland, as well as researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Scripps Research Institute, the National Institutes of Health and many other universities and institutes.

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Graduate nonprofit program offering free two-day conference

Author: Carol Elliott

University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business

The University of Notre Dame’s nonprofit graduate program is offering a two-day conference for nonprofit leaders who want to learn how to better measure the impact their efforts are having on their targeted community.

Global Conference on Social Impact: A Pracademic Symposium” will take place June 17-18 (Monday-Tuesday) at the Mendoza College of Business. The conference, which is free of charge, is open to anyone interested in learning about what having a “social impact” really means.

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Notre Dame joins Say Yes to Education program

Author: Michael O. Garvey


The University of Notre Dame has joined Say Yes to Education, a scholarship program that assists and supports students in elementary and secondary schools and provides scholarships in more than 100 colleges and universities nationwide.

Say Yes announced on Monday (June 10) that Notre Dame is joining the program, along with Harvard College and Northwestern, Duke and Georgetown universities.

Founded in 1987 by George Weiss, a money manager in Hartford, Conn., Say Yes to Education Inc. is a national nonprofit organization committed to increasing high school and college graduation rates of young people in the nation’s inner cities.

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Rising senior Alex Coccia named Truman Scholar

Author: Kate Garry

Student Body President Alex Coccia

Alex Coccia, an Africana studies and peace studies major in the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been named a 2013 Truman Scholar.

Established in 1975 as a “living memorial” to President Harry S. Truman, the prestigious scholarship includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.

Nationwide, just 60 to 65 college juniors are selected as Truman scholars each year, based on leadership potential, intellectual ability and likelihood of “making a difference.”

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Varieties of Democracy Project engages policy audience

Author: Elizabeth Rankin


At a May 30 event in Washington, D.C., University of Notre Dame Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow Michael Coppedge and collaborator Staffan I. Lindberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, demonstrated how their new democracy data set will make new kinds of democracy research and policy assessment possible for the first time.

More than 80 people from a range of government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations and foundations attended the event, which was held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace center.

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Astronomers discover light echo from supernova

Author: Marissa Gebhard

The NGC 1015 galaxy that hosted supernova 2009ig An image of the NGC 1015 galaxy that hosted supernova 2009ig

Astronomers have discovered light echoing off material surrounding a recent supernova explosion, SN 2009ig. The dust and gas that are reflecting the light are so close to the eruption center that it is likely related to the progenitor star. This discovery supports the theory that exploding white dwarfs become unstable from matter donated by large, non-degenerate stars.

The light echo seen from SN 2009ig is only the sixth discovered from a type Ia supernova, and it is the most luminous of the echoes.

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ND Expert: SCOTUS DNA ruling 'goes to the heart of the Fourth Amendment'

Author: Shannon Chapla

Richard W

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced, in Maryland v. King, that the Fourth Amendment allows law-enforcement officers to take DNA samples from arrestees as part of the booking process.

According to University of Notre Dame Professor of Law Richard W. Garnett, who teaches criminal and constitutional law, “the decision and the voting lineup of the justices serve as a reminder that constitutional questions are often more complicated and more interesting than the overused ‘liberals v. conservatives’ narrative suggests.”

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