Notre Dame students receive fellowships to conduct cutting-edge clinical research

Author: Arnie Phifer

Two graduate students and two undergraduates from the University of Notre Dame have received Precision Medicine Research Fellowships from the Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics initiative to spend the summer of 2017 conducting research at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

The Feinstein Institute is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest hospital system in New York. The institute enrolls over 15,000 patients in more than 2,000 clinical studies each year.

Under the guidance of Feinstein investigators, this year’s fellows--Christopher Ebsch, JuYoung Kim, Esther Lee, and James Shuttleworth--will work toward discoveries in areas such as cardiac arrest, neurological disease, and bioelectric medicine. For the undergraduates, the fellowships are also about discovery as it relates to their future careers.

“I am currently thinking about pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. after I graduate,” says Shuttleworth, a sophomore majoring in both Biochemistry and Greek and Roman Civilizations. “Through this program, I hope to build and solidify a passion for basic science research to aid in my career discernment and begin the journey of caring for others.”

For the graduate students, the focus is more on adding new skills and insights to the work they are already engaged in at Notre Dame. Ebsch, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, explains, “Gaining experience in a laboratory and with clinical research is vital to my development as a researcher. I hope that I can better learn what experimentalists and clinicians want from models, and what data they can generate to better inform models.”

“I expect that this internship will keep me on track to becoming a well-rounded neuroscientist,” he adds.

The fellowships that send Notre Dame students to work at the Feinstein Institute were first awarded in 2016. In addition to student training, faculty from both institutions are currently collaborating on an effort to understand how magnetoelectric nanoparticles could be used for minimally invasive deep brain stimulation in those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

“Our growing partnership with the Feinstein Institute has been a real benefit for us,” says Paul Bohn, Schmitt Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Director of AD&T. “We are particularly happy for our students, who can use the fellowships to access research experiences they couldn’t get in a purely academic setting.”

Contact: Paul Bohn, (574) 631-1849,

The University of Notre Dame is a private research and teaching university inspired by its Catholic mission. Notre Dame faculty, students, and staff engage in research, scholarship, education, and creative endeavor in order to advance human understanding.