Dr. Subhash Basu, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry, will embark on a speaking tour of India on Tuesday to discuss his current research on potential new anti-cancer drugs. Basu will make his second appearance at the International Cancer Research Symposium on Dec. 19 in Calcutta when he gives a lecture titled “Probable New Therapeutic Drugs for Breast and Colon Cancers.” “The invitation to this symposium is very prestigious. Sixty people from all over the world are going to Calcutta,” he said. “I will tell them what our plan is for the delivery of these new anti-cancer drugs.” Basu’s lecture tour will also include an appearance at the Indian Science Congress on Jan. 4, where he will discuss the apoptotic, or cell-killing, effects of the drugs he is working with his collaborators to develop. “Our work is important, and we get an invitation every year to speak at these sorts of things,” he said. Basu said he and his research team have discovered five to six different new anti-cancer compounds that would be useful for treating colon and breast cancer patients. “These chemicals are quite toxic to biological cells and they kill cancer cells by enhancing apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in a very micro amount,” he said. Now that these cancer-killing compounds have been discovered, Basu said the main goal of his work is to determine ways to deliver the drugs into patients at the location of the cancer without harming the healthy cells around the cancerous ones. “Cancer cells normally die of necrosis – they make holes in themselves,” he said. “When apoptosis happens, the cell gets bigger and its DNA starts degrading until the cell cannot function.” Basu said about 50,000 women die of breast cancer in the United States each year, so his research could impact thousands of lives in the future. “Chemotherapy could be improved by our procedure by giving patients micro doses of drugs so they don’t kill the normal cells,” he said. “Thus, the success of these apoptotic chemicals as anti-cancer drugs depends on their proper delivery to the cancer sites.” To facilitate and fund his research in this area, Basu founded the Cancer Drug Delivery Research Foundation (CDDRF) in 2010, of which he serves as president. The foundation received its first major source of support when the University transferred all of Basu’s recoupment to CDDRF in May, he said. “All this recoupment was brought in by me from federal grants and other sources during my time at the University,” Basu said. “This foundation is tax-exempt and will help only for my research, so any patent money we get can go into the research as well.” Basu said his status as a permanently appointed emeritus professor gave him the freedom to move his lab from campus to a currently undetermined site near campus. “The University said I would have to give half of whatever I bring in to Notre Dame if I continue to work in a lab here,” he said. “It becomes cheaper for me to run my lab outside because I can use 100 percent of my money for research.” Since joining the faculty at Notre Dame in 1970, Basu has received major grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.
Fr. Denis Edwards, a professorial fellow in theology at Australian Catholic University, examined Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’, during a lecture Monday evening at Geddes Hall. In his talk, Edwards focused on the value the encyclical places on nonhuman creatures.In the past, Edwards said, it was largely believed that there should be “no ethical commitment to animals because they are there for human use.” Edwards said the encyclical contradicts this, since it places an inherent value on the life of an animal.“We must recognize that they have intrinsic value,” Edwards said. “They have value before God, their creator. They give glory to God by being what they are.”As a result, this makes our overconsumption of animals morally wrong, Edwards said.“Because of our human actions, thousands of species will no longer give glory to God by their very existence nor convey their message to us,” he saidIn order to prevent further extinctions, Edwards said, we must stop viewing animals as solely a resource for humans to exploit.“See other creatures as having their own God-given meaning and value, and so as demanding respect, protection and love from human beings,” Edwards said.Further, Edwards said we should respect animal life because the natural world, which nonhuman creatures are a part of, can reveal God.“We are called to find God in all things, to be open to discover the divine presence in all the creatures we encounter,” Edwards said.Since every creature is a part of the natural world, every unique creature is vitally important to the appearance of God in the natural world, and must be treated as such.“The manifestation of God in the natural world requires a multitude of diverse creatures. … Divine goodness necessarily transcends the limit of any one creature, and the diversity represents the fullness of God,” Edwards said.Edwards explored the idea presented in the encyclical that both human and nonhuman creatures combine to form what the encyclical calls a “sublime communion.” In this context, Edwards said sublime refers to “what is totally beyond us, to what is full of mystery, to what is incomprehensible.”Because of this, Edwards said, the sublime communion supports the idea that “the mystery of Christ is at work in a hidden manner in the natural world.”As mysterious as this work is, it must relate to the coexistence and harmony of both humans and nonhumans in the natural world, he said.“This is the basis of our conviction that, as part of the universe, called into being by one father, all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect,” he said. Tags: Denis Edwards, laudato si’
Southern, Catholic and bird lover are some of the words used most frequently to describe author Flannery O’Connor, the subject of a lecture delivered Tuesday afternoon by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell, professor at Fordham University and associate director of the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies.O’Donnell touched on these three facets of O’Connor’s life in her talk, entitled “Between the House and the Chicken Yard: The Life and Legacy of Mary Flannery O’Connor.” O’Connor was born in Savannah, and her family moved to Andalusia, a rural Georgia farm, Alaimo O’Donnell said, where the author took a great delight in raising chickens.“O’Connor’s first brush with fame occurred courtesy of her bird collection — when a Pathé newsman caught word of a Georgia girl who taught a bird to walk backwards, he made his way south and filmed Mary Flannery and her trick chicken,” she said. “She had a hunger for fame after this, and from that day forward she began to collect chickens, though of course her fame would come from other things.”The author received an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop and moved to New York, actively participating in literary and intellectual circles, Alaimo O’Donnell said. However, O’Connor was forced to return permanently to Andalusia, after she was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease.“O’Connor would endure this exile gracefully and with good humor until her death on Aug. 3, 1964,” she said. “Flannery no longer belonged to Georgia, to the small-town world of Milledgeville, and her mother’s friends. Her childhood sense of herself as a freak returned, a preoccupying idea that appears in the stories she wrote. … O’Connor’s stories often feature characters who clearly do not belong, sometimes by virtue of some physical affliction or deformity, or by virtue of a radically different way of seeing the world from those around her.”O’Connor’s fiction became her lifeline, and she drew inspiration from the people and events in her Southern community, Alaimo O’Donnell said.“She wrote every morning – two hours was all she could manage, despite the painful and debilitating effects of both the disease and the medication prescribed to remedy it,” she said. “Against all odds, O’Connor would produce two novels, 32 short stories, and many essays, reviews and commentaries and hundreds of letters in her thirteen years at Andalusia.”O’Connor may not occur to many readers as a Christian writer, Alaimo O’Donnell said, for she does not appear to write from a particular religious viewpoint. However, although O’Connor’s characters are rarely Catholic, they require an experience of grace.“O’Connor’s characters, like the freak chickens she raised as a child, are grotesques of every imaginable kind. They include mass murderers, social misfits, religious zealots, moral cretins, fake bible salesmen, one-legged women with Ph.D.s,” she said. “The one thing that binds all of O’Connor’s characters together is the fact that they are all in need of conversion or radical change.”Implicit in her creation of characters in need of conversion, her use of violence as a means of grace and her mingling of the comic and tragic, is a deeply religious vision, Alaimo O’Donnell said.“Flannery sees the possibility of redemption available to humanity in all places, at all times and through the most unexpected of means,” she said.While O’Connor saw her life as utterly ordinary, Alaimo O’Donnell said O’Connor was an author who integrated her faith and art so thoroughly that they became one practice.“Her own art becomes sign and symbol of the creative force that generates and governs the world, and so her own writing becomes, both in practice and in fact, a form of sacrament,” she said.Tags: Catholic writers, Flannery O’Connnor, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts
Notre Dame undergraduate students now have the option to take a three-credit creative writing workshop in Ireland through a summer program sponsored by both the creative writing program and Notre Dame International. Running from July 17 to Aug. 7, students will spend one week in the city of Dublin and two weeks at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, County Galway, professor of English Valerie Sayers said. Catherine Owers | The Observer Students participating in a new summer study abroad program sponsored by the English department in Ireland will spend a week at Kylemore Abbey, pictured.“One thing we want all our students to think about is not just their place in American literature, but also their place in world literature, and where better to start than Ireland?” Sayers said. Valerie Sayers said the course was the brainchild of Barry McCrea, professor of Irish studies, English and Romance languages, and Lisa Caulfield, director of the Notre Dame academic center at Kylemore Abbey. Sayers and Joyelle McSweeney, director of the creative program within the department of English, will teach the course. Guest authors Alice McDermott and Kevin Barry will also participate in the course. Sayers said she and McSweeney will collaborate on the classes and teach two separate sections of the class. “Students in both sections will have the opportunity to work on whatever genre interests them. We know we’ll be doing prose, and a lot of it, because that’s where the majority of interest lies,” she said. “We’re also both open to and will create some opportunities for people to think about the overlap between fiction and nonfiction, between prose and poetry, and even, if people are interested, drama, which is the great Irish genre. “I think we’re both excited to teach that way, too,” Sayers said. “In the program here, though we encourage a lot of inter-genre work in the graduate program, just for practical reasons the undergraduate curriculum is set up as prose or poetry. And this is one of these rare opportunities to mix it up.” Sayers said writers of all levels of experience are invited to enroll in the course. The course will fulfill the University and College of Arts and Letters fine arts requirement, and for English majors it will count as a standard major elective and will also fulfill one of the four required courses for the Creative Writing concentration.“Non-English majors are more than welcome. In fact, they always provide a great contrast and complement to English majors,” she said. “One thing we like about the design of this course is that it is open to all levels. … There’s maybe an initial shyness from people who have never written before, but it dissipates so quickly when you realize that every time you write, you are a beginner because you are learning how to create a new manuscript. Every single time is a beginning time — that is one of the things I’m most excited about.”Sayers said the dual locations of the course will make for a “richer experience, particularly for students who are going to Ireland for the first time and have not had a chance to experience the rest of Ireland.”For the first week in Dublin, Sayers said, students will have the chance to absorb the literary traditions of the city, as well as see theatre productions and hear live music.“Dublin is one of my favorite cities in the world, and the literary vibe there is intense and infectious,” she said. “I think by contrast, the time at Kylemore, which by its nature will be very contemplative and very meditative, will make for a really rich, full experience, both of writing and of culture.”The course will be designed to provide a multitude of stimuli for students while giving them the opportunity to pursue their own projects. Both in Dublin and at Kylemore, Sayers said, the course will link “the practice of walking and the kind of opening up of the language centers that walking provides.”“We’re going to be doing lots of exercises around place, both architectural space and Kylemore Abbey itself will be a fabulous architectural space to explore, but absolutely once we’re in Connemara, we’ll be thinking about nature,” she said. “We’re still working on course texts and things like that, but we’re trying to include some writing that thinks about both nature and ecology, and our moment in climate time.” Sayers said the program is designed for accommodate 20 Notre Dame students and 10 Irish university students. “Because this is the first year, those would be ideal target numbers for the life of the program, but it’s entirely likely that we’ll be a smaller group going over the first time,” she said. More information regarding the course and the potential to apply for financial aid will be available to students at an information session Wednesday at 11 a.m. in 320 Malloy Hall. Applications for the course are due Feb. 26. Tags: creative writing program, English Department, Ireland, Notre Dame International
Over the weekend, Saint Mary’s Residence Hall Association (RHA) hosted Little Siblings Weekend — an opportunity for the younger siblings of Saint Mary’s students to participate in activities and to become more integrated in the Saint Mary’s community.The weekend included an array of Olympics themed events, both on and off campus. Beginning with an Opening Ceremony on Friday, attendees took pictures in a photo booth and participated in Olympics-themed games and crafts. On Saturday, students were able to take their siblings off campus to Strikes & Spares, a local bowling alley that also has facilities for mini golf, bumper cars and arcade games. As other options, attendees could skate at the Compton Ice Arena and throughout the weekend, RHA hosted crafts, games and movies on campus.Bridget McKinnon, who served as a co-chair of the event, said the annual event helps bring students’ families into the College community.“The reason we have Little Sibs Weekend is so that all of our younger siblings or family friends are given the chance to experience what Saint Mary’s is like,” she said. “It’s a great chance to show off our campus and have a great time with our sibs while doing so.”First year Molly O’Neill said she enjoyed spending time with her two younger cousins in kindergarten, Mara and Fiona. “I loved everything they had planned for us, especially the bus that went to the bowling alley and the ice skating rink,” O’Neill said. “It was nice to see how my cousins would get excited over the smallest things, especially staying in the dorm and eating in the cafeteria. They loved every second and repeatedly said how happy they were, and how they couldn’t wait to tell their friends.“Even though they’re young, I hope they can appreciate this beautiful campus and maybe become a part of it when they’re older.”Julia Veome, also a first year, spent time with her younger sister during Little Siblings weekend. “I’m the oldest so my siblings haven’t been around the college scene too much,” Veome said. “My sister stayed with me and she loved it because she got to feel grown up and hang out with some of my friends. Sleeping in the dorms seemed cool to her and was fun for me.”For the past four years, senior Bridget Enright’s younger siblings have participated in Little Siblings Weekend.“It’s always been a lot of fun sharing Saint Mary’s with them and letting them get a glimpse of the college experience,” Enright said. “I have six younger siblings, so it’s always a blast when we’re all together. It’s my favorite weekend of the school year.”Tags: Little Siblings Weekend, Residence Hall Association, saint mary’s, SMC
The Notre Dame chapter of Engineers Without Borders contributed to budding engineering developments abroad in a winter break trip to Ecuador this year.The social service organization is currently in the middle of a five-year partnership with the San Pedro de Suma community in Ecuador. With the assistance of its parent organization, Engineers Without Borders USA, and the mentorship of two engineering professionals, the club has developed a sustainable project in terms of assessment, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Cristina Interiano | The Observer President of Engineers Without Borders at Notre Dame senior Madelyn Wesoloski believes the personal relationship the club establishes with the community is essential to the success of the project. “There were two projects over winter break that we implemented,” Wesloski said. “We did chlorination at the two schools there and the town really liked it. Because the town was excited about chlorination, it will now be community-wide, which will be another assessment trip. We can extend our commitment with the community a bit, but we try to fit what we can in there. We travel there at least once a year, because if not, they can lose faith in you and you won’t seem invested.”The club started planning for this implementation trip last year. As part of the preparation process, club members did alternative analyses work for the water chlorinator and the wall they built around the schools to prevent animals from getting in (and students from leaving). During the fall, students prepared designs and calculations for the projects.Project lead and senior Jen Lies emphasized that Engineers Without Borders is focused on improving the health and welfare of those in the community. After the club’s assessment trip last year, they determined the water chlorinator was not just something the community wanted, but a pressing need and a project that the club could feasibly do.“Water chlorination is important because there is E. coli in the water. Wastewater treatment there is poor,” Lies said. “The chlorinator hasn’t gone live yet, but we are looking to increase health and general well-being of the community through the quality of water. We got to see designs we had been working on for entire year come into reality, which was awesome. We couldn’t have done it without the strength of partners who are volunteers and community contractors. It was great to see teamwork despite the bumps in the road.”Prior to the winter break implementation trip to Ecuador, members of the club created pamphlets about water chlorination in Spanish for the community to address the stigma associated with water chlorination. They also wrote maintenance and operation manuals so that town members could effectively use the systems. Wesoloski said the San Pedro de Suma community having a hands-on role in the project will ultimately lead to the successful implementation and effective use of the water chlorinator.“One cool thing is that last year the community was unsure about chlorine and water treatment system. Now, they’re asking if we can do it on a community-wide scale. They bought into water treatment as a whole,” Wesoloski said. “The wall was built by local contractors and labor was from the community. That’s another part of this. We don’t go in and do isolated things, but we involve local people and the economy with the projects. They have a lot of local knowledge that makes projects more effective.”Looking towards the future, Engineers Without Borders is expanding their work to projects in South Bend and increasing fundraising to accommodate the growing club. “We want to make sure people are comfortable and have access to the resources they need,” sophomore and treasurer Mike Marino said. “We hope our students learn a lot about the engineering process. Not just how it feels to interact with the community, but also what it feels [like] to make an impact. It is such a fun process with a lot of cooperation, and we know our work has an impact. We do the numbers, help communities with discernment and figure out what it means to be an engineer.”Engineers Without Borders meets Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Duncan Student Center. Tags: Engineers Without Borders, San Pedro de suma
A petition has recently been circulating among members of the Notre Dame community online as a Google Doc. The petition, which is titled “Notre Dame Petition for an Online Semester and Student Safety,” calls on the University administration to take specific steps to ensure greater student safety and to allow students the option to, if they choose, return home and continue the remainder of the semester online. The petition, which has over 1,000 signatories, states that it is a collaborative effort of Notre Dame students, faculty, staff and alumni. “Students are being required to continue to live under the same unsafe conditions that endangered their lives and health in the first place,” the petition states. “If students are willing to take that risk, they can, but only if immediate steps are taken to make their lives safer. However, no student who does not wish to take that risk should be forced to do so.”The petition calls on the administration to mandate that all classes will remain available online, and give any student who wants permission to study online — including students who were previously denied accommodations to do so. The petition also calls on the University to, “begin systematic COVID-19 testing of the entire student population as part of a safe, staggered move-out process for students who elect to leave campus to study remotely.” The petition says that students should be able to return home once reliably testing negative for the coronavirus and that they should not be required to return for the rest of the semester. Finally, the petition calls on the University to make sure that all students are, “physically safe and financially able to withstand the dangers and burdens of this epidemic at Notre Dame.”Sierra Stinson, a sophomore who signed the petition, said she learned of it through a group chat she is a part of, and she added her name to the petition for various reasons.“I don’t want to put Notre Dame’s administration down at all, that’s not my intention,” Stinson said. “But I have seen a lot of unpreparedness from the administration with testing and how they’re handling it. I feel like the safety of the students has been compromised because of the motivations to stay open and I think the University has a moral obligation to go fully online for the South Bend community and their students.”However, Stinson said it is also important that the petition also stipulated that students should be able to choose to stay on campus and attend online instruction there if they wished.“There are a lot of students here who have bad family circumstances or they get more resources here than they do at home,” she said. “So I think it is important to allow the option for kids to remain on campus.”Stinson said she would have liked to see more testing in the first weeks of the semester, and would like to see more testing, especially surveillance testing, going forward.“First, I think everyone should have been tested when we first got here,” she said. “There definitely should have been surveillance testing like one to two times a week for every student.”Other schools around the country, such as Princeton or University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have outlined testing protocols which include required testing twice a week for on-campus undergraduates.Another student and signatory of the petition, junior Alexander Clay, said he would have liked to see the semester begin online from the start.“What I would have liked to see is them not opening at all and having the entire semester virtually and providing those kids who may not have had a very good environment the resources they needed to have a successful semester,” Clay said. “I thought that bringing us back in any capacity would be a big mistake.”One thing both Stinson and Clay mentioned was the lack of transparency and clear communication between students and the administration.“Of course I hoped it would work out, but in order for it to work out it would have needed to have transparency from the beginning between the student body and the administration and we didn’t have that when we needed it,” Stinson said. “Student government has been trying very hard to create that transparency, but I feel like it’s already too late.”Not all the signatories of the petition are Notre Dame students — signatures include those of staff, parents, community members and faculty. Sarah McKibben, an associate professor for Notre Dame’s department of Irish language and literature, is one such signatory. She said she learned of the petition early on through its authors. “I am friends with the main authors of the petition and I was invited to contribute to help edit and write it, though it was mostly done by the time I saw it,” McKibben said. “So I just heard about it because I’m part of a large group composed of faculty, staff, graduate students and undergraduates who are kind of broadly interconnected by our shared concern over the University’s decision.”McKibben said she and other faculty members shared concerns about transparency on data and decision making from the administration. “The lack of transparency has been really terribly unfortunate. If you look into public health matters, people will tell you that one of the rules for public health is it has got to be transparent,” she said. “People don’t trust you if you’re not being transparent and if they can poke holes in what you say then they’re going to be filled with skepticism and the whole thing just falls apart.”McKibben said the faculty and staff have, by and large, been under-consulted by the administration regarding the plans and protocols for reopening for an in-person semester. “The faculty were not told of that ahead of time and at no point was the entire faculty or all employees consulted or surveyed to see what we felt, what we wanted, what we thought we were capable of, what we thought was safe,” McKibben said.McKibben also expressed she felt the University has failed to approach this problem collaboratively and failed to center-science and effectively utilize experts with relevant experience and their advice in the administration’s decision making process. “We all really earnestly hope that all the students and employees will be ok even if they do get COVID-19, but the disastrous fiasco with testing and contact tracing and quarantine was preceded by real problems with communication and consultation and the lack of a collaborative decision making process,” she said. “My experience of the University’s decision making is that it has been top-down, it has not been inclusive, and it has not been collaborative. I think that the appropriate thing to do is to default to let people teach online.”Notre Dame’s spokesman said the University has been listening to critiques from the public.“The University has acknowledged some missteps in the early going and worked quickly to improve the process,” University Spokesmen Dennis Brown said on the petition. “We also have listened to the many suggestions that have been offered and implemented several, such as additions to the daily dashboard. The suggestions in this petition will likewise be considered.”Tags: COVID-19, petition, testing transparency
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN ImageJAMESTOWN – The National Weather Service in Buffalo issued a High Wind Watch for Chautauqua County effective from Monday morning to Monday evening.Forecasters say winds will blow from the Southwest at 25 to 35 m.p.h. with gusts up to 60 m.p.h. possible.Officials warn that damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines.Widespread power outages are possible, and travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. For updates, download the WNYNewsNow Mobile App on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.Viewers can submit weather photos and videos via email (NewsDesk@WNYNewsNow.com) or on social media.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Image by Storm Hartmann / WNY News Now.JAMESTOWN – Police in Jamestown are once again warning the community about a suspicious incident where two men approached students walking to school.Jamestown Police say the men approached, then followed, students who were walking to Lincoln Elementary School along Front Street on Thursday.The men, police say, also tried to engage in conversation with the students.When the kids got to school, they immediately notified the principal. This is the second incident in the last week where students were approached by men in the Jamestown area.Police say last Friday two men in a white van approached students at Ring Elementary School on Jamestown’s northside.Anyone who may have information on either incident, or know the identity of the men, is asked to contact the Jamestown Police Department at 483-7537.The Jamestown Public School Administration and the Jamestown Police encourage parents and guardians to talk to their children about the importance of not talking to strangers, or if any stranger approaches them, to report it immediately to a trusted adult.
As previously reported, the 2014 Tony Awards will broadcast live on CBS from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 8, hosted by Hugh Jackman. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. Broadway productions must officially open by April 24 to be considered eligible for a 2014 Tony Award nomination. Tony nominee Jonathan Groff and Emmy nominee Lucy Liu will co-host the Tony Award nominations announcement on April 29 at the Diamond Horseshoe at the Paramount Hotel. The nominations will be aired live at 8:30AM ET on CBS This Morning and in their entirety at TonyAwards.com. Star Files View Comments Also attending with Looking and Frozen star Groff and Elementary star Liu, will be William Ivey Long, Chairman of the American Theatre Wing, Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, Nick Scandalios, Chairman of The Broadway League and Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of the Broadway League. Jonathan Groff