Mike and Josie Harper Cancer Research Institute

Innovative Drug Discovery and DesignConnecting Research Strengths Across the State Collaborative Teams Drive Innovation Developing Imaging Tools for Cancer Detection and TreatmentEstablishing Preclinical Models for Drug TestingDeciphering Distinct Molecular Signatures of Cancer



Investigators in the Harper Cancer Research Institute (HCRI) are dedicated to conducting innovative and integrative research that confronts the complex challenges of cancer.  Our programmatic structure fosters multi-disciplinary cancer research by promoting interactions among research groups with distinct expertise and by training young scientists to work across scientific fields. Clinical partnerships provide key translational insight and strengthen the mission of discovery.


HCRI Mission Statement:

Innovative and integrative research confronting the complex challenges of cancer


Tissues with Issues: A Deeper Look at Breast Cancer

March 18, 2015 • Categories: Announcements and Homepage

Understanding the mechanisms of cancer progression is incredibly important in discovering a cure. Matthew Messana, a senior Biochemistry major at the University of Notre Dame, is dedicated to investigating the mechanisms that are relevant to breast cancer. Read more...

Enlightened Diagnosis win second place in Cardinal Challenge

March 04, 2015 • Categories: Announcements and Homepage

Enlightened Diagnosis win 2nd place in the 2015 Cardinal Challenge

Enlightened Diagnosis (EnDx), a company represented by a team of University of Notre Dame graduate students, recently earned second place in the 2015 Brown Forman Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville. The competition included 12 teams as finalists from university entrepreneurship programs around the world.

Orrin Belden: Understanding the Culture behind Cell Cultures

March 03, 2015 • Categories: Announcements and Homepage

The immune system plays an important part in the formation and progression of cancer cells. Orrin Belden, a senior science pre-professional major, has spent his past two years better understanding and contributing to the field of immunology. Orrin works for Dr. Brian Baker, a professor and researcher who's lab focuses on developing immunological therapies for cancer based on cellular immunity. Read more...


"The Neurophysiology of Biopolar Disorder: Clues from Neuroimaging"

Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:30PM - 4:30PM • Hesburgh Center Auditorium • Calendars: Homepage and HCRI Events Calendar

Stephen M. Strakowski, M.D.
Senior Vice President Strategy and Transformation, UC Health
Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Psychology
University of Cincinnati

Bipolar disorder is a leading cause of morbidity worldwide. It is strongly heritable (85%), and the symptoms and signs of bipolar disorder suggest abnormalities within brain systems that control emotional function. These prefrontal-striatal-thalamic iterative networks modulate amygdala, ‘cognitive’ regions of the prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, and other components of the limbic system. Unfortunately, there are no animal models for bipolar disorder, challenging us to identify approaches toward clarifying its neurophysiology. In the last 10-15 years, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques have permitted the in vivo exploration of the neurophysiology of bipolar disorder. Structural imaging suggests morphometric abnormalities in emotional networks that progress during adolescence and over time. Functional imaging demonstrates a disconnect in prefrontal modulation of amygdala activation, critical for healthy emotional function. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy suggests metabolic abnormalities in this network as well, particularly in the striatum. As imaging techniques continue to advance, the neurophysiology of bipolar disorder will become even better understood.

Crislyn D'Souza-Schorey, Round-table discussion with IUSM-SM Faculty

Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:00PM - 5:00PM • 101 Harper Hall Multipurpose Room • Calendars: Homepage and HCRI Events Calendar

Monday, March 30, 4 p.m. Harper Multipurpose Room. Crislyn D’Souza-Schorey, Ph.D.,  chair of Notre Dame's Department of Biological Sciences, round-table discussion with IUSM-SB faculty.…

Departmental Seminar: Michael Overholtzer

Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:00PM - 5:00PM • 283 Galvin • Calendars: Homepage and HCRI Events Calendar

Michael Overholtzer, Cell Biologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will give a seminar entitled “Inducing alternative forms of cell death” on Tuesday, March 31 at 4:00 pm in 283 Galvin.  Learn more about Dr. Overholtzer’s research by visiting his website