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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Researchers at the University of Notre Dame are leveraging the university’s membership in the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute and one of its key programs, “All IN for Health,” to launch the Indiana COVID-19 Registry. Notre Dame says the registry is an effort to track the spread and impact of the coronavirus and better inform decision making at the state and local levels.

The university says the registry is built to work with state and county dashboards, and will measure economic and health impacts and anticipate healthcare needs. The registry will include an online dashboard with information about symptoms and testing, mental health impacts, and exposures, among others.

“Understanding how COVID-19 is affecting the health and well-being — physical, mental and economic — of Indiana residents is critical to our battle against this formidable foe,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, lead scientist on the registry and the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost at Notre Dame.

The registry, which is open to anyone 18 or older, also involves introductory and follow-up surveys. The introductory survey asks about background and medical history, mental health, hand-washing habits, and household size, among others. The university says follow-up surveys are shorter and will ask similar questions, which Notre Dame says allows the registry to track changes in impacts and behavior over time.

“The Indiana CTSI is in a unique position to connect with people across the state, which will help us get more perspective about this unprecedented pandemic,” said Dr. Sarah Wiehe, co-director of the Indiana CTSI. “By understanding the needs of our communities now, as well as over time, we will be better prepared to improve health through research in the future.”

The dashboard will be made public once adequate data are available.

Notre Dame says data from the registry will be stored in a highly-secure system built and maintained by the Center for Research Computing at Notre Dame. Results will be published and updated online, excluding confidential patient information.

The university says the registry is modeled on the COVID-19 Registry at Rice University, where Miranda served as professor of statistics from 2015 to 2020.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The University of Notre Dame is preparing to allow a reduced number of spectators at its home football games this fall. The university says it has been working with the St. Joseph County Health Department on a plan that would safely accommodate students, as well as some faculty and staff, in the event it can play football next month.

Notre Dame says it will reduce its seating capacity by more than 80% in an effort to minimize the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

“I want to thank county officials, especially Dr. Mark Fox of the St. Joseph County Health Department, for helping us achieve this partial use of Notre Dame Stadium in a way that safeguards our campus as well as the local community,” said Rev. John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame.

Under its plan, the university says all spectators will required to wear masks and be appropriately distanced throughout the game. Additionally, tailgating will not be allowed on campus and at other Notre Dame property.

“We strive to deliver the best education possible to our students, while being a good citizen in our community,” said Jenkins. “We regret that our inability to welcome the customary visitors for football weekends and other events on campus involves hardship for many local businesses, but our shared commitment to the health and safety of every member of this community must come first.”

Notre Dame says its community contributes approximately $2.4 billion to the regional economy annually and $185 million of that is generated by football weekends alone. About 660,000 visitors stream into the South Bend area every football season.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business earlier this month, Visit South Bend Mishawaka Executive Director Rob DeCleene discussed the economic impact and said if the football season is postponed, it would be “impactful.”

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded the University of Notre Dame’s Pulte Institute for Global Development $40 million in grant funding. The university says the funding will help it lead a five-year program that aims to strengthen education systems in developing countries.

The program is called HELIX SHARE, and the university says it intends to bring local scholars and higher education institutions together to address challenges and opportunities in low- and middle-income countries. The university’s team will work with partners across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia to implement the program.

“This program embraces Notre Dame’s vision of development as accompaniment, where a deep appreciation of local capacity and ownership is viewed as the cornerstone of effective development practice,” said Ray Offenheiser, director of the Pulte Institute. “By gathering, translating and using research more effectively, we hope to meaningfully impact global education policy and practice.”

Notre Dame says the funding, which was awarded together with the Institute for Educational Initiatives and its Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child, is one of the largest federal grants the university has ever received.

Notre Dame says the program’s first year will address learning agenda questions around education in crises and conflict and foundational learning skills, as well as youth and workforce development and higher education. Additionally, the program will offer a series of capacity-building projects such as trainings, workshops, mentorship and close accompaniment. The university says it is an effort to ensure that individuals and institutions are equipped to work together to advance education interests.

“Everything about the award is exciting, not least the success in building a remarkable global coalition of experts in overcoming the significant obstacles to delivering quality education to underprivileged populations,” said Scott Appleby, dean of the Keough School at the University of Notre Dame. “The bottom line, however, is the opportunity a generation of children, youth and young adults in low- and middle-income countries will now have to gain knowledge and develop skills enabling them to contribute to the private-sector workforce, civil society and government. This program is what we mean by development that is responsive to the demands of human dignity.”

The Pulte Institute, which is part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, is leading management and administration of the program. Notre Dame says program team is being led by Tom Purekal, director of the Pulte Institute’s Innovation and Practice division, alongside a full-time team of four.

Notre Dame says HELIX SHARE is expected to launch in September.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) — University of Notre Dame announced Tuesday it will move from in-person classes to online ones for the next two weeks due to an increase of COVID-19 cases, said the Rev. John I. Jenkins, the college’s president.

The university has seen 147 confirmed positive cases since classes resumed Aug. 10. Notre Dame said 927 people have been tested and all but one case was a student.

Notre Dame also said off-campus students shouldn’t come onto campus and on-campus students should not leave campus.

All gatherings on and off campus will be restricted to 10 or less people.

Varsity sports teams will still be allowed to gather and will continued to be monitored using established coronavirus protocols.

Jenkins said in an online address to students, “We believe we can take steps short of sending students home for remote instruction, at least for the time being, while still protecting the health and safety of the campus community.”

Most cases were students living off-campus and are linked to off-campus gathering where masks weren’t worn and social distancing wasn’t observed, according to Notre Dame.

Michigan State University said Tuesday students should stay home and continue their education remotely.

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The University of Notre Dame has received a $15 million gift from Ken and Susan Meyer. The gift will name and endow the Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program through the university’s Mendoza College of Business.

Student in the program work with international humanitarian groups, multinational corporations and other organizations to create sustainable business solutions in communities around the world. Notre Dame says Mendoza will be able to expand the program’s global and domestic reach and increase the number of MBA students who participate each year.

“Ken and Susan have been longtime and extraordinarily generous supporters of Notre Dame in many ways,” said Notre Dame President John Jenkins. “We are deeply appreciative of a gift to enhance MBA courses that are among the most innovative in the country, and that reflect the mission of Notre Dame.”

Led by Viva Bartkus, associate professor of management at the Mendoza College of Business, the university says students and faculty have worked on more than 50 projects in 30 countries through an approach that combines business practices, academia, and faith.

According to the university, the program sends students across the globe, focusing on agriculture, infrastructure, and mining projects. The students have also worked on issues such as unemployment, health and sanitation, and human trafficking.

“Our world order is particularly vulnerable right now, mid-year 2020,” said Ken Meyer. “The pandemic’s impact has been particularly harsh on the less fortunate among us worldwide. The Meyer Business on the Frontlines Program will provide our students an opportunity to confront these issues first hand, work directly with the people impacted, and provide practical, affordable business solutions. What a wonderful opportunity for all of us to actually improve less fortunate peoples’ lives!”

Through the program, Mendoza aims to offer the opportunity to more than 100 MBA students annually.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The University of Notre Dame and New York-based IBM (NYSE: IBM) are launching a collaboration that intends to address ethical concerns raised by the use of advanced technologies. The university says the new Notre Dame-IBM Tech Ethics Lab is being funded with a 10-year, $20 million investment from IBM.

The lab will analyze artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing to address societal problems. Notre Dame says the collaboration will promote models for the ethical application of technology within the tech sector, business and government.

“We are grateful to IBM for its leadership in technology and business ethics and for its support of research to form ethical foundations for emerging technologies,” said Thomas Burish, provost at the University of Notre Dame. “The convening power of our organizations will allow us to bring together leading scholars and industry leaders to truly champion responsible technology development as a force for good on a global scale.”

Based at the South Bend campus, the lab will operate as a separate unit within the university’s Technology Ethics Center. Notre Dame says the lab will leverage its technology ethics resources as well as IBM’s artificial intelligence expertise and industry connections.

“AI has tremendous potential to make our world smarter, healthier and more prosperous, but the technology raises ethical issues that are broader and more complex than those of past transformative technologies,” said John Kelly III, IBM’s executive vice president. “Ethical considerations are at the heart of how IBM brings technology into the world, and we are proud to partner with Notre Dame to create the Tech Ethics Lab and elevate the role that ethics will play in the global dialogue.”

The university says the lab will serve as the convener for technology-related ethics expertise and will aim to bring together academia and industry to develop frameworks to address new and emerging technologies. Notre Dame says its work will be especially important as technology moves the world through the coronavirus pandemic.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Former South Bend mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has been named a 2020-2021 faculty fellow at the University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Buttigieg joins a group of more than 30 faculty and student fellows who will be conducting research on the nature of trust, the institute’s 2020-2021 research theme.

The university says Buttigieg will work on two research projects: one that explores how to restore trust in political institutions and another that considers the forces shaping the 2020s.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Pete to the institute and Notre Dame in the coming year. More than ever, we need scholars and public leaders working together, generating the insights that will make democratic institutions stronger and advance the common good in creative and evidence-based ways,” said Meghan Sullivan, director of the NDIAS. “We are eager to support Pete as he pursues his ambitious research projects. He is a perfect fit for our world-class Nature of Trust cohort. We’re expecting some really exciting ideas from this group.”

The NDIAS is a university-wide research institute that convenes an interdisciplinary group of faculty, graduate and undergraduate fellows each year to study questions that require a joint focus, benefit from sustained research and advance understanding of issues that affect our ability to lead valuable, meaningful lives.

“I am delighted to join this academic community to pursue research on one of the most salient issues of our time — the nature of trust. I look forward to engaging with faculty and students from various disciplines at a time in the life of our country that calls for deep and wide-ranging inquiry,” stated Buttigieg.

As an NDIAS faculty fellow, Notre Dame says Buttigieg will join weekly work-in-progress seminars and other academic programming. He will also engage the broader campus community by teaching an interdisciplinary undergraduate course on the importance of trust as understood through different fields.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Researchers at the University of Notre Dame are working to develop a new fabric for antimicrobial masks that could potentially be reusable. Funded by the National Science Foundation’s Rapid Response Research grant, the university says scientists and engineers are collaborating to create a new fabric that captures and deactivates viruses.

Notre Dame says typical masks only have a one-time use.

“Our team previously created a proprietary composite nanofiber material for water filtration that we believed could be fairly easily translated and utilized to filter air. Once the pandemic hit, we began to think more critically about how we could make an air filtration material for face masks that not only meets a critical need for health care professionals, but improves them,” said Nosang Vincent Myung, the Keating Crawford Endowed Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

Through a 10-year collaboration, Myung and David Cwiertny, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa, developed a new material that maximized water filtration performance while minimizing the cost. By using this material’s unique formula, the university says researchers aim to mimic the pathogen-capturing process for air filtration as well as include an antimicrobial function.

Patrick O’Shaughnessy, professor of occupational and environmental health at the University of Iowa, will join the team to assess the efficiency of the material’s ability for capturing airborne particles.

Additionally, Kyle Bibby, the Wanzek Collegiate Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Notre Dame, will test if it’s effective as well as how successful the material is at deactivating airborne viruses.

“The water filter materials Nosang and I developed have always been hybrids — both blocking and reacting with molecules. Now we are looking forward to applying this same concept to a product that could protect people within the health services industry and those that may be exposed to other air-compromised environments,” said Cwiertny, co-lead on the project.

Notre Dame says Myung and Bibby are affiliated with the university’s Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics initiative.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The University of Notre Dame is manufacturing intubation boxes for local healthcare providers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The university says the personal protective equipment is essential in protecting medical workers during the intubation process.

The Notre Dame Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering is designing and fabricating two versions of the boxes with specialized equipment from the Hessert Laboratory for Aerospace Research.

Intubation boxes, which are clear, open-ended cubes, are built to fit over a patient’s head while healthcare professionals insert a tube into the airway to accommodate a ventilator. The university says the PPE its making is necessary because patients are sedated during intubation and are therefore unable to control coughing or gagging, creating the potential for exposure.

The boxes are based on a prototype developed by Matt Leevy, director of the Innovation Lab at the Notre Dame IDEA Center, Dr. Phillip Schafer of Elite Emergency Physicians, and Adrian Gonzalez, a mechanical engineer and Notre Dame ESTEEM program graduate.

“We were able, in a week’s time, to evolve four prototypes, then turn that over to the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering for manufacture on a two-week lead time,” said Leevy.

The boxes will be used by two local healthcare providers: Elite Emergency Physicians will receive 26 boxes, and Saint Joseph Health System will receive 20.

In addition to the boxes, Notre Dame is completing PPE orders for over 5,000 3D-printed face shields and more than 10,000 “ear savers,” which improve the fit and comfort of face masks.

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Innovation Lab at the University of Notre Dame IDEA Center is using 3D printing technology to help meet the region’s Personal Protective Equipment needs. Led by Director Matthew Leevy, the lab says it’s able to produce as many as 250 non-disposable face shields per day.

Leevy says the effort is a cross-functional response of Notre Dame faculty and staff to produce several thousand face shields at the request of local and regional medical systems. According to Leevy, printers from throughout the South Bend campus and the local community have been relocated to the Innovation Lab. The university says it is donating all labor, materials, and equipment used to make the shields.

“We are blessed to have the resources at Notre Dame to make an immediate impact on the needs of our local medical community,” Leevy said. “Once the word spread on campus and in the community that we were prototyping a medical face shield, many colleagues stepped up to join our effort.”

More than 40 machines are on temporary loan at the Innovation Lab working on the shields, and Leevy says that the quality of the face shield model being produced at Notre Dame ensures that they can be cleaned, disinfected and re-used.

The university says each face shield will be accompanied by a custom wood coin for the recipient inscribed with the words “Notre Dame supports you” on one side and a design of Jesus with outstretched arms on the reverse. Recycled wood from Notre Dame Stadium bleachers was used to make the coins.

After completing an initial 3,000 face shields, Leevy says a continued effort will be made to make additional PPE to support other healthcare facilities.