Harper Institute allows professors, students to conduct cancer research, promote awareness

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Jess Hatfield The Harper Cancer Research Institute facilitates collaboration between students and faculty. The Harper Society is an organization affiliated with the institute that aims to engage students and promote cancer awareness.Siyuan Zhang, an associate professor for cancer research, began his lab in 2012, making him one of the first researchers at the institute. Zhang said his lab centers around the study of breast cancer, particularly its response to drug treatments and its spread to other organs of the body. “The problem with cancer in general is when some tumors metastasize, which means to disseminate to different parts of the body, … they become a new tumor in a different organ and then at that point the surgeon cannot remove them and it’s very difficult to treat,” Zhang said. The close proximity of the HCRI allows students to explore and gain experience in cancer research. This semester, Zhang has enlisted two postdoctoral students, five graduate students and a handful of undergraduates to assist him in his research.Zhang also teaches a course in the department of biological sciences at Notre Dame, allowing him to work with undergraduates both in the lab and in the classroom. Zhang describes his current position in academia as his dream job.“Through teaching the classes and interacting with the students, both graduate [and] undergraduate, you can literally see that what you do every day is really making a mark on their career trajectory and interests,” Zhang said. In an effort to connect more students with the HCRI, the Harper Society was founded. The society is a student-led club that seeks to promote cancer awareness and bridge the gap between professors in the field of cancer research and Notre Dame students. Junior Alex Thomas, president of the Harper Society, spoke to the club’s professional relationship with HCRI researchers. “This isn’t a direct goal of our club, but a lot of students are able to do research at Harper through the Harper Society,” Thomas said. “It’s not something that we directly advertise, but it’s a great way for students to get connected with the institute, and being in the society, they’re able to meet with different researchers at the institute and then be research assistants or apprentices for semesters.”Thomas hopes the society can continue to help students interested in research feel less anxiety when searching for opportunities.“Research is one thing students are always super intimidated to start, so we try to make that process a little bit easier and give people the courage to send an email to a principal investigator that they’ve never heard of because you never know what’s gonna happen,” Thomas said. Although a large aspect of the society is getting involved in cancer research, Thomas explained that the club is open to all regardless of academic interests. He said he would encourage any student looking for a community to join. “Most people know someone [who] is affected by cancer. So, along with raising awareness about the institute and the research component of it, … we also want to be a club where people are able to come together and unite in the fight against cancer,” Thomas said. Senior Jess Hatfield, vice president of the Harper Society, was inspired to join the club after he witnessed his godmother struggle with breast cancer. “I feel like everyone has their own story where cancer has been there,” Hatfield said. To promote cancer awareness, the Harper Society holds numerous events around campus. Hatfield said his favorite event the society has hosted so far was a research roundtable where cancer researchers shared their work with students. “We brought in five professors that had research labs, either in Harper or on campus, and we invited the society members to come and just talk with these professors and ask about their research,” Hatfield said. “We had about 40 students come and be engaged, which was really cool to see.”In addition to speakers from the cancer research field, the society hosted a talk with Paqui Kelly — a breast cancer survivor and wife of Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. Thomas explained how Kelly’s story and influence aligns with the society’s overarching goals. “She shared a couple of stories with us about when she was a patient, and then also how she’s used that as motivation to help promote the Kelly Cares Foundation, … highlighting the positive aspect of how she’s been able to do a lot of cancer awareness,” Thomas said. This semester the club is tentatively planning to sponsor a variety of events including blood drives, a charity run, spiritual events, another research roundtable and an activity for students to participate in for cancer awareness day, Hatfield said. Thomas said he realized the importance of the club’s support system during a reflective event at the Grotto. “Last semester we had a ‘Light the Night’ spiritual event at the Grotto where everyone offered candles. Then, we let members offer up intentions, and it was really amazing to see,” Thomas said. “[We had] about six to 10 students speak up about family members and friends who had been affected by some sort of cancer, and they were able to offer up their intentions and they felt comfortable with doing that which was awesome.”Tags: Cancer research, harper cancer research, harper society At the corner of Angela Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue lies a building unknown to many Notre Dame students: the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI). Established in 2011 as a division of Notre Dame Research, the institute serves as a hub of collaboration between cancer researchers, professors and students. last_img read more

Heisler: In Clippers’ biggest achievement, they’re no longer the local laughingstock

first_imgIf a gap remains between the local teams, it’s not the vast chasm it was seven seasons ago before the Clippers became the best team in town.Since then it’s been all Clippers and it hasn’t been close.The Clippers have finished ahead of the Lakers in all seven seasons.RELATED: Lakers sticking with family, but Kobe isn’t riding to the rescueOverall, the Clippers went 373-201 to the Lakers’ 198-376, finishing 75 games ahead, an average of more than 10 per season. It was fun while it lasted … for one team in town, anyway.In an irony we should be getting used to by now, it was the Clippers who had all the fun in the 2018-19 season, likely as it is to end Wednesday against the Warriors, whom few ever doubted were massively superior.The now-defunct Lakers’ experience ceased being fun months ago, becoming disappointing and finally getting a lot worse than that.Try shocked, dismayed and overwhelmed after Magic Johnson bolted, showing how leaderless they had been … and continue to be with no Lakers official having appeared in public in 14 days since … with owner Jeanie Buss yet to even confirm what everyone knows, that Rob Pelinka is remaining to run the basketball operation. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Luka Doncic injured, Kawhi Leonard dominant; Social Media reacts after Clippers 130-122 victory over Mavs Minnesota wins NBA draft lottery, Golden State gets No. 2 pick Portland star Damian Lillard (knee) to miss Game 5 vs. Lakers Kawhi Leonard’s playmaking is more than a passing fancy for Clippers “It very definitely can change but we have to create our own fans, OK?” says West, the Laker-turned-Clipper.“To me, I like competition. My whole life has been about competition.“Do I feel like we can compete with them? Absolutely, I do. … It’s like David versus Goliath. That’s what makes it fun.”If it’s still a Lakers town, we don’t have to imagine what it would look like if things began to turn around.We just witnessed it. Let the teams keep going the way they are and see what happens.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. He writes a weekly NBA column for the Southern California News Group that regularly appears in Sunday print editions. Head-to-head, the Clippers went 23-5.The Lakers had been local darlings far beyond the Dodgers, Rams, Raiders, Kings, Ducks, et al. since Jerry Buss in 1979 bought the team which would win 10 titles and become the glitzy, movie-star-spangled embodiment of all that Southern California fans see themselves as.The Clippers were orphans, dragged into local eclipse from San Diego in 1984 at the behest of no one except owner Donald Sterling, a laughingstock until making racist comments that got him banned for life in 2014.New owner Steve Ballmer’s six seasons coincide with the Clippers’ zenith but despite averaging more than 50 wins and playing to more than 90 percent of capacity in Staples Center – even getting $1,000 more than the Lakers per courtside seat for much of that time – support has never run deep.Clippers TV ratings remained a fraction of Lakers ratings, even at the Lakers’ low point. The commonly-seen sight of Clippers fans arriving in groups suggests many tickets are parceled off at discounts.Coach Doc Rivers tacitly conceded their fragile support before Game 3, noting that opposing teams’ fans often show up at Staples in numbers that erase his team’s home-court advantage, a day-and-night difference from his days in gung-ho Boston.“I have found being here – it’s amazing coming from Boston to here, because of that,” Rivers said.“My guess, honestly, the fact that we lost Game 1 (in Oakland) by what we lost, there were probably a lot of tickets available (in Staples) and the Golden State fans probably swiped them, got ’em all. So my guess is there are gonna be a lot of Golden State fans.“What I’ve learned in those situations here, if you play well, you hear the Clipper fans and they can drown them (opposing teams fans) out. If you don’t, then that’s up to us.”Nevertheless, the Clippers have made important changes, even as their nucleus unraveled with Chris Paul’s decision to leave leading to the trade of Blake Griffin and the departure of DeAndre Jordan in free agency.The Lakers, meanwhile, have become the local laughingstock, or would be if their fans were laughing.The Laker changeover came two seasons ago when Jeanie Buss fired her brother – no loss – but axed veteran GM Mitch Kupchak, too, who had been obliged to work closely with Jim.Jeanie then brought in Magic, who proved to be uninterested in the day-to-day operation and temperamentally unsuited to taking the heat. Pelinka arrived because Kobe Bryant suggested him while turning down an offer to join the front office.Related Articlescenter_img Video highlights, social media reaction after Clippers’ 118-110 victory over Mavericks On Mamba Night, the Lakers make short work of Blazers to take 3-1 series lead Pelinka is now being condemned as untrustworthy and set upon by people he angered as an agent in a way no sitting GM has ever been.“I just don’t see how they do anything going forward with Rob in place,” an unnamed agent told The Los Angeles Times’ Brad Turner. “No one trusts him.”Meanwhile, Ballmer and his people were building in the infrastructure the Lakers didn’t have, starting with the decision to strip Rivers of personnel duties, replacing him upstairs with assistant coach Lawrence Frank.In a major upset, Ballmer passed up the chance to scapegoat his highly-paid coach last spring, retaining Doc, who then had one of the best seasons of his coaching career … while hiring Jerry West as a consultant after the Lakers failed to offer the hoped-for invitation to return home … building out the front office with highly-regarded young executives like Michael Winger and Trent Redden, whom opposing teams have asked permission to contact for jobs atop their organizations.The Lakers continue to live in a past in which the Clippers exist as figures of scorn. In documents unearthed in a court fight over the proposed arena in Inglewood, Jeanie Buss, herself, was discovered asking, “Didn’t Ballz see what we did to my brother?”In fact, the Lakers have minimized their chance at bringing in elite help this summer while the Clippers have maximized theirs.Not that that means the Clippers are close to pulling even with the Lakers, yet.Related Articles For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Morning Wrap: Full coverage from Lakers-Clippers thriller; Angels, Dodgers going in different directions; Whicker pays tribute to legendary Mike Gillespie Video: What LeBron James said about Jacob Blake … ‘Black people in America are scared’ Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and other NBA stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant last_img read more