Fall 2020 Newsletter
Fall 2020 Newsletter
Advancing Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavor


Robert J. Bernhard, Vice President for Research
Bob Bernhard, Vice President for Research
Greetings from the Notre Dame campus. We have reached the halfway point of our semester, which was shifted earlier than normal so that we could finish before Thanksgiving. We have had our highs and lows, like all campuses that are attempting in-person instruction have experienced this fall. There certainly is no such thing as overconfidence about projecting the course this virus will take.
In keeping with our mission to be a powerful means for doing good in this world, Notre Dame is ready to “fight” the emerging challenges that the coronavirus has brought to the fore in what is clearly a moment where so much will change. Notre Dame will be looking at the increased disparities between rich and poor that are growing as a result of our economic challenges, at the racial inequity brought to light by new social forces, at the behavior of new diseases like the coronavirus, at the scientific and political elements necessary to control a pandemic, and much more.

Featured News

Three-toed sloth
A study, co-authored by Giles E. Duffield and researchers from the National Institute of Amazonian Research, the Federal University of Pernambuco, and the Rural Federal University of Pernambuco, found that where predators are extinct and food is more accessible, the nocturnal brown-throated three-toed sloths appeared to have adapted a primarily daytime schedule. The research was conducted in a highly disturbed section of the Atlantic forest in Northeastern Brazil and is unique because it not only monitored sloths in a highly disturbed setting, but the animals' behavior — rest, travel, movement, feeding, and grooming — was observed over a complete 24-hour cycle.
Click here to learn more about Notre Dame's new Materials Science and Engineering Doctoral Program

More to Explore

Study sheds light on immune response in Mycobacterium Avium Complex infection

A study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from Jeff Schorey showed, for the first time, how RNA sensors drive response in T-cells in an associated disease, Mycobacterium avium Complex. The T-cells are crucial in driving the body’s immune response and fending off the disease.

Strong relationships in adulthood won't 'fix' effects of early childhood adversity

Research on wild baboons by Elizabeth Archie and researchers at Duke University, Princeton University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Texas at San Antonio, found that harsh conditions in early life are a fundamental cause of adult stress and that this effect is not explained by a lack of social support in adulthood. The research, supported by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation (NSF), is the first to present a comprehensive analysis of relationships between early life experiences, adult social bonds, and adult stress responses within a single biological system.

Economists conclude opioid crisis responsible for millions of children living apart from parents

A recent study by Notre Dame economists Kasey Buckles, William Evans, and Ethan Lieber is one of the first to examine the impact of the opioid crisis on the children of drug users. In their study, they show that greater exposure to the opioid crisis increases the chance that a child’s mother or father is absent from the household and increases the likelihood that he or she lives in a household headed by a grandparent.

Government health, safety regulations backfire with conservatives, study shows

Research by Vamsi Kanuri, along with researchers from the University of Miami and Utah Valley University, found conservatives — but not liberals — increased usage of mobile phones in vehicles after a law was enacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration prohibiting the activity. It also showed that after consumers were exposed to government regulations, conservatives were more likely to purchase unhealthy foods and view smoking e-cigarettes more favorably.
The Tech Ethics Lab, Powered by IBM and Notre Dame

COVID Research Updates

Researchers to create material for new antimicrobial mask

Notre Dame professors Nosang Vincent Myung and Kyle Bibby are collaborating with University of Iowa researchers to translate existing water filtration technology to create a new fabric that will not only capture viruses, like the coronavirus, but also deactivate them. The research is funded by the NSF.

Gaps in early surveillance of coronavirus led to record-breaking US trajectory

Research from Notre Dame's Alex Perkins estimates that more than 100,000 people were already infected with COVID-19 by early March — when only 1,514 cases and 39 deaths had been officially reported and before a national emergency was declared. The study, funded by the NSF, provides insight into how limited testing and gaps in surveillance during the initial phase of the epidemic resulted in so many cases going undetected.

AI could improve accuracy, efficiency of CT screening for COVID-19 diagnosis

Associate Professor Yiyu Shi is working with Jingtong Hu of the University of Pittsburgh, radiologists at Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital in China, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to develop a new technique using AI that would improve CT screenings to more quickly identify patients with the coronavirus. Funded by the NSF, the new technique will reduce the burden on radiologists tasked with screening.

ND in the News

Scientists fight disease-carrying mosquitoes by letting them feed off their blood
Andromeda galaxy's 'halo' is nudging the Milky Way
The pandemic is making women reconsider when and if to have babies
Are you overlooking this critical factor in deciding what is the ‘best place’ to retire?


Assistant Professor of Native American and Indigenous Studies

College of Arts & Letters: Department of American Studies

Faculty Position in Environment, Climate Change, and Peace

Keough School of Global Affairs: Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Tenure-track Faculty Position in Cancer Drug Discovery

College of Science: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
research.nd.edu, Advancing Research, Scholarship, and Creative Endeavor
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