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Instant Replay Revisiting research collaborations featuring Notre Dame's 2021 football opponents

In 2020, the University of Notre Dame brought in a record $222.7 million in research awards. This funding helps Notre Dame researchers tackle complex problems and fosters new discoveries in several areas such as cancer, global health, environmental change, and much more. Below is a sampling of Notre Dame research that includes collaborations with the universities that will square off on the gridiron against the Irish this season.

USC Week

Researchers across the US will support NSF Major Facilities in their data lifecycle management efforts through new NSF-funded Center of Excellence

In 2018, a team of researchers from institutions across the country, including Notre Dame, Indiana University, Texas Tech University, the University of Utah, and the University of Southern California, came together to launch a pilot program aimed at creating a model for a cyberinfrastructure center of excellence for the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Major Facilities.

Now in operation, CI Compass will serve as a forum for the exchange of cyberinfrastructure knowledge across varying fields and facilities, establish best practices for different NSF Major Facilities’ cyberinfrastructure, provide expertise, and address workforce development and sustainability.

Virginia Tech Week

Study uncovers gender bias in perceptions of ride-sharing performance

Nathan Meikle, former postdoctoral research and teaching associate, and Corey Angst, professor of information technology, analytics, and operations at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, teamed up with researchers at George Mason University, and Virginia Tech to co-author a study in the Journal of Business Ethics that found that gender discrimination continues to plague "gig economy" businesses.

Gig economy businesses, including Uber and Airbnb, offer temporary positions to independent workers while relying on consumer ratings and reviews as part of their advertising and marketing strategies.

While these digital brokerages provide an efficient method for the exchange of goods and services and an improved way to provide and voice their opinions, bias and discrimination emerge as part of the review process. Because this feedback is often used as part of advertising and marketing strategies, the team recommends that these companies should — for moral and legal reasons — consider algorithmic weighting to help combat discrimination.

Cincinnati Week

Rare penile cancer requires a combination of cancer treatments

A study completed in part by lead researcher Xin Lu, the John M. and Mary Jo Boler Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and junior chair of the Boler-Parseghian Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, and published in Nature Communications found that men with penile squamous cell cancer could benefit from a combined approach to their cancer therapy.

Xin Lu

Targeted chemotherapy or immunotherapy is not effective for this rare cancer, but researchers found that the use of an FDA-approved drug for thyroid and kidney cancers in combination with immunotherapy led to the destruction of the tumor because they simultaneously reduced two types of immunosuppressive cells. Lu and Tianle Huang at Notre Dame worked with collaborators from MD Anderson; the University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Care Center, San Juan; Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center; the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston McGovern Medical School.

Wisconsin Week

Global warming is likely to increase disease risk for animals worldwide

Climate changes can increase infections disease risk in animals with a possibility that they could spread to humans. A study, conducted by researchers at the University of Notre Dame, University of South Florida, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, supports the “thermal mismatch hypothesis,” which is the idea that the risk for infectious disease in cold climate-adapted animals rises as the temperatures do, or for animals living in warm climates, rises as temperatures fall.

Jason Rohr

Collecting data from more than 7,000 surveys of different animal host-parasite systems, the study provides a diverse representation of both aquatic and terrestrial animals and their pathogens. Jason Rohr, co-author of the paper published in Science and the Ludmilla F., Stephen J. And Robert T. Galla College Professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame said, “Given that the majority of emerging infectious disease events have a wildlife origin, this is yet another reason to implement mitigation strategies to reduce climate change.

Purdue Week

Notre Dame unveils largest Mach 6 quiet hypersonic test facility in US

The University of Notre Dame completed the development of the first of three quiet hypersonic wind tunnels in 2018. It is the country’s largest quiet Mach 6 hypersonic wind tunnel. The project is funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and led by Thomas Juliano, assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Thomas Juliano

The $5.4 million wind tunnel was the first step in a partnership between Notre Dame and Purdue University to develop multiple hypersonic tunnels. Step two, the production of a Mach 8 wind tunnel on Purdue's campus, was announced in 2020. The final, most advanced hypersonic wind tunnel in the collaboration will be a Mach 10 at Notre Dame.

Florida State Week

Historically black schools pay more to issue bonds, researchers find

A study from the University of Notre Dame found that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) pay higher fees to issue tax-exempt bonds than non-HBCUs. And the evidence points to racial discrimination as the cause.

Pengjie (Paul) Gao

This was the finding of Pengjie (Paul) Gao, Viola D. Hank Associate Professor of Finance at Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, and co-authors Casey Dougal of Florida State University, William J. Mayew of Duke University, and Christopher A. Parsons of the University of Washington. The researchers published their findings in “What’s in a (School) Name? Racial Discrimination in Higher Education Bond Markets,” in the Journal of Financial Economics.

Check back again for research featuring future opponents as the season unfolds!