Day 23 (Sunday, August 15): Hermann to Maryland Heights, MO: More Rollers and Evening with the St. Louis ND Club.

Crossing the Missouri River again

We left Hermann, Missouri bright and early, and rode right through the heart of grape country, so the rolling hills continued for most of the day. It was déjà vu from yesterday, with steep hills slowing us down to 5 mph and downhill slopes flying us at 40 mph or more (or, in Renate’s case, a steady 25 mph). It started to flatten out a bit when we closed in on St. Louis. The temperatures were again below 100°F and the cloud cover protected us for most of the day from the sun. Overall it was a great biking day! Tomorrow we will start our final week of biking and we are so excited to get back home to the Dome. The aches and pains are adding up, but we are still in pretty good shape. Once we start that final week tomorrow, we will be fired up again!

Fr. Gregory presiding over the mass at St. Anselm's

The St. Louis Club event opened with a mass this evening. The mass was held at St. Anselm’s, with Father Gregory presiding. The church had a unique circular design and was very beautiful. About 50 club members came to the mass, and afterwards we all went to the local pub. We are very thankful to Jack, the club president, and Tim for organizing the mass and social event. It was great to meet the club members; so many of them were interested in the ride for the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. We also enjoyed seeing Dave, Science Advisory Council member, his wife Kathey and their kids at the event.

Dave & Kathey with Greg & Renate

Some future domers showed up, and some even practiced their Latin on the van!

The van gets a Latin inscription!

Our van continues to attract attention—the St. Louis club just loved it.

The van was very popular after the mass

Club president Jack signing the van

Thank you, St. Louis—it was a wonderful event. We appreciate the opportunity to attend mass with you all, and we thank Father Gregory for presiding. We had a lot of fun speaking to you about the ride. Jack and Tim, thanks so much for a wonderful evening, we are very grateful for your time and effort in making it a special event.

Younger members of the St. Louis ND Club, future domers!

St. Louis ND Club

The club members had a lot of interest in drug discovery and a lot of questions regarding our efforts at Notre Dame. One of our major research initiatives in the college is the Chemical Genomics and Drug Discovery Group (CGDDG) that run highly productive programs, supported by outside grant money, focused on discovering and developing new therapeutic leads to treat cancer, stroke, infectious diseases, and rare diseases such as Niemann-Pick. The program provides valuable resources for the biomedically-focused research centers at Notre Dame, and its members are active researchers within the Harper Cancer Research Institute, the Eck Institute for Global Health , and the Center for Rare and Neglected Disease. This group also seeks collaborations with other groups, both in the academy and in industry. It has already developed an exciting portfolio of intellectual property and patented technologies, and several startup companies are on the drawing board to translate its biomedical research efforts.

In recent months, members of the group have received significant funding from the National Institutes of Health to support their ground-breaking research in infectious disease and cancer. Marvin Miller, the Clark Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry, received $1.9 million to assist in the development of new agents to combat tuberculosis. Professor Miller has successfully exploited iron sequestration pathways in microorganisms to develop “Trojan Horse”-based treatments. Dr. Mayland Chang and Professor Shahriar Mobashery of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have received a five-year, $5.5 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to conduct translational research aimed at the discovery and development of drugs to fight serious gram-positive bacterial infections, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA, already a serious threat to people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, is spreading to other groups, such as college and high school athletes. These are just a few examples of our areas of strength in research for Notre Dame Science.

3 Comments so far

  1.    Jack Dwyer on August 16th, 2010

    Greg and Renate,
    It was great seeing you and thank you for spending so much time with club members. I am happy to announce that we accepted the Cedar Rapids challenge and with another donation after the event are up to $1,844 raised from St. Louis. I’m sure the big crowd in the Windy City should be able to beat that, but I’m glad to offer the challenge anyway. Thanks again and stay safe.
    Jack Dwyer
    Notre Dame Club of St. Louis

  2.    Katerina Lichtenwalter on August 17th, 2010

    I completely agree with Renate’s capping the downhill speed at 25 mph. As the Russian saying goes: The calmer you ride, the farther you’ll get!

    We’re very excited to see you guys back here on campus next Monday!

    Happy riding,

  3.    John Casko on August 18th, 2010

    Way to go ND Club of St. Louis!