News

Water discovered to form column of hydration at surface of DNA

Author: Deanna Csomo McCool

Steven Corcelli named ACS Fellow

Scientists have been aware since Watson and Crick first reported the double helix structure of DNA in 1953 that water had an important relationship with the biomolecule. But finally observing the spectroscopic signature of the column of water is a breakthrough with implications for cancer drugs and other biomedical research.

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Researchers work to improve nuclear waste recycling

Author: Brandi Klingerman

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Researchers within ND Energy are thinking creatively about problems surrounding nuclear materials and are searching for solutions to reduce waste, decrease the cost of nuclear energy production, and increase efficiency and safety of the entire process.

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Sarah Lum wins Young Scientist Award

Author: Cliff Djajapranata

Sarah Lum Feature 1200

Chemistry graduate student Sarah Lum recently won the Young Scientist Award at the MSB 2017 conference, a gathering of scientists in the Netherlands that focuses on microscale separations and bioanalysis. The Young Scientist Award was established to recognize researchers under the age of 35 in the field who set an outstanding example for other scientists. The award specifically recognizes Lum’s work on developing new forensics technology.

 

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Tuberculosis Research Sheds Light on Disease-related Protein

Author: Brandi Klingerman

The WHO names Tuberculosis (TB) as one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide and over 95 percent of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. To improve the global health community’s understanding of TB and provide information that could help treat it, Notre Dame researchers have developed a new strain of the bacteria along with a new method to better study this deadly disease. 

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New Faculty Member: Emily Tsui

Author: Rebecca Hicks

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We are pleased to announce that Dr. Emily Tsui will be joining the faculty at Notre Dame as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry this summer. Dr. Tsui is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington with Prof. Daniel Gamelin, studying the surface chemistry and photophysics of doped semiconductor nanocrystals. In 2014, Dr. Tsui received her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where her work focused on biomimetic multimetallic clusters, under the advisement of Prof. Theodor Agapie.…

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Sasha Padilla Awarded 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Author: Rebecca Hicks

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Biochemistry graduate student Sasha Padilla has been awarded a 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Padilla works in the laboratory of Brad Smith, Emil T. Hofman Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Her research focuses on the development of near-infrared active chemical probes to enable the improved imaging of thin and buried nerves.

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Paul Bohn Receives 2017 ACS Award in Electrochemistry

Author: Rebecca Hicks

Bohnsquare Nospecs

Paul Bohn, Arthur J. Schmitt Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, has been selected as the winner of the 2017 ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award in Electrochemistry. This prestigious award recognizes a scientist who advances the field of electrochemical analysis through conceptualization or development of unique instrumentation, elucidation of fundamental electrochemical events or processes, and/or authorship of important research papers that impact the field.

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NDnano Symposium: Nanotechnology in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders

Author: Heidi Deethardt

NDnano is hosting a one-day symposium on Thursday, ​March 30 entitled "Nanotechnology in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disorders." The keynote will be given by Kevin Tracey, M.D., President & CEO of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Students are welcome and encouraged to attend the technical session and/or present their own related research in the afternoon poster session.

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Notre Dame researchers study potential cause of common birth defect

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Dovichi

Small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins are small peptides that get added on to other proteins to regulate their activity. While SUMO has many regulatory roles in cells, it is especially important for controlling gene expression during early development. Just a few years ago this connection between SUMO and gene regulation was relatively unknown, but now, Notre Dame researchers are exploring how a disruption to the SUMO protein’s ability to regulate embryo development may be linked to congenital heart defects. 

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Baker Lab Receives $4M NIH Grant for Precision Immunotherapy Research

Author: Tammi Freehling

 

Brian Baker

Brian Baker, Rev. John A. Zahm Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, was recently awarded a $4 million, 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study how to best engineer a patient’s own T cells in their immune system to target the patient’s specific cancer.

Over the last decades, immunologists have been gaining greater understanding of the relationship between cancer and the immune system—more specifically, how the immune system defends against cancer. For example, immunologists know that patients with weakened immune systems (recipients of organ transplants, HIV patients, etc.) have greater occurrences of cancer. The question “How does cancer escape the immune system, take hold, and progress?” has been studied for many years and has led to new approaches, including successful new drug therapies like the immunotherapy treatment former President Jimmy Carter received that has rendered his metastatic melanoma in remission. Understanding the relationship between the immune system and cancer has led to these new drug therapies, which “take the brakes off” the immune system to allow a more complete and effective anti-cancer immune response.

The next frontier of immunotherapy involves custom engineering immune treatments for each patient. According to Baker, “An important class of cells in the immune system are cytotoxic T cells—killer T cells—because they attack and kill viruses, pathogens, and even tumors. What we are working toward is engineering those T cells to target a specific cancer with great efficiency and potency.”

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