Blog » Archives » November 2014

Faculty Mentor: Shaun Lee, PhD

ESTEEM student James Hodgens spends his time in the laboratory of Shaun Lee, an assistant professor in Biological Sciences, looking for beneficial bacteria in mung bean sprouts. Outside the laboratory, he conducts interviews and contacts pharmaceutical companies to gauge the market for using such kinds of bacteria for food supply protection and antibiotics.…

ESTEEM Students Assist in Moving New Drug to Clinical Trials

Two ESTEEM students contributed to a large project that moved a Notre Dame research discovery into an FDA-approved clinical trial this year. A potential treatment for Niemann-Pick Type C disease, identified by longtime rare disease researchers Paul Helquist and Olaf Wiest of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry with collaborators at other universities, began a trial with three patients in September and is expected to expand. Capstone thesis projects by ESTEEM students Matthew Berg and Sean Liebscher under Helquist’s direction advanced the effort.…

Thesis Spotlight: Jonathan Schommer

Photo of student Jonathan Schommer

Last May Mr. Schommer graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a bachelor's degree in the Program of Liberal Studies. While doing his undergrad, he was heavily involved with Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns through service-learning programs and service on their student advisory board. Because of this involvement and a senior thesis project working with the group Engineering2Empower, Mr. Schommer is working to improve storm drainage systems for the city of South Bend and beyond.

ESTEEM Faculty Sunny Shah Featured on NSF Website

ESTEEM Assistant Director and Faculty, Sunny Shah, was recently featured in a Discoveries post on the National Science Foundation’s website.  As a past participant, and current advocate, for the NSF’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps), Sunny was a natural spokesperson.

Professor Sunny Shah demonstrates the Business Model Canvas

I-Corps is a program funded by NSF with the focus of helping scientists and engineers translate their research and technology to the market.  In Sunny’s case, that meant finding out that the market he thought would benefit from his product may not be the right initial market.…

Guest Lecturer Mark Hubbard Brings Experience and Wisdom to the Program

As an independent consultant with over 25 years in the broadcasting industry, Mark Hubbard brings a wealth of wisdom and experience to his role as a guest lecturer in the ESTEEM Program.  With areas of expertise ranging from business valuation, negotiating transactions, financing and restructuring, enterprise financial modeling, sales development, organizational strategy and executive on-boarding/coaching, Mark now serves as an independent consultant providing services exclusively to senior management at established companies and to entrepreneurs at start-up ventures.  He works with public and private companies, both in the U.S. and internationally. …

Faculty Mentor: Christian Poellabauer, PhD

Last year, Christian Poellabauer, an associate professor of computer science and engineering, was working with ESTEEM student Shane McQuillan on speech-analysis software that can detect a concussion with a smartphone. The project led to a startup company. Notre Dame senior John Vernon attended the research meetings and participated in the discussions, then decided to pursue another use for the technology when he was accepted into this year’s ESTEEM class.…

Thesis Spotlight: Derek Athy

Photo of student Derek Athy

Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Derek Athy from the ESTEEM program to learn more about his work on improving the treatment quality for breast cancer and colon cancer patients. Mr. Athy joined ESTEEM this last June, coming from a research coordinator position at the University of Chicago. Working with the research group of Steven Buechler, Ph.D., Sunil Badve, M.D., and Yesim Gökmen-Polar, Ph.D., Mr. Athy hopes to develop a strong foundation for this powerful technology to penetrate the market and bring better treatment to cancer patients nationwide.



Prototyping: Learning a New Language

Dustin Mix is a 2013 ESTEEM Graduate and a "Double Domer."  He has taken his Capstone Thesis Project and has - along with two Notre Dame faculty members - created a startup in Haiti.  You can read a little bit about Dustin here.

I’ve tried to learn two foreign languages in my life, the first of which was Spanish. I took three semesters of it in high school, then took a four year hiatus before I took another semester of it in graduate school. I wasn’t particularly bad at it, if getting good grades is any kind of measure. But when it came to communicating to people outside of the classroom that spoke the language fluently, it was a bit of a different story. I could order at the local Mexican taquerìa, but that was about it.