Day 24 (Monday, August 16): Maryland Heights, Missouri to Carlinville, Illinois—We are in the 4th Quarter!
We made it to Illinois today; we are getting closer and closer to the Dome! As Coach Parseghian would put it, we are in the 4th quarter. We were so excited to see signs for Chicago today. It was a beautiful sunny day, and temperatures were reasonable (finally). A bit of a headwind accompanied us for most of the day, but otherwise it was perfect for riding. We crossed the Mississippi River today as we crossed the Missouri-Illinois boarder. We were very excited to see the “Welcome to Illinois” sign, because now we know we are close! Apart from a great riding day, the only thing to report is that there was a lot of corn in Illinois (miles and miles of it). Tomorrow we head to Springfield where we have a Notre Dame club gathering.
I wish to follow up on my yesterday’s comments about drug discovery research. The exiting drug discovery and therapeutics development in the College of Science draw significant support from several state-of-the-art core facilities on campus, including the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics Facility, ND Integrated Imaging Facility, and the Genomics and Bioinformatics facilities. The Chemical Genomics and Drug Discovery team is currently planning a Chemical Synthesis Facility that will provide much-needed chemical support services to the University’s biomedical researchers and their external academic and industry collaborators.
The overarching vision is that the Chemical Synthesis Facility staff will provide the synthesis of small molecules for use in hit verification, lead development, and scale-up. In addition, the facility will provide expertise in the preparation of biological probes, active pharmaceutical agents as experimental controls, and small chemical libraries for structure-activity relationships and optimization of pharmacological properties. This shared user research core will also house a suite of instruments and equipment necessary to organize the products of past, current, and future chemical synthesis to create the Notre Dame Chemical Compound Collection and promote cross-disciplinary collaboration. Beyond small molecule medicinal chemistry, the new facility will be a valuable resource for collaborative research across many fields, including nanotechnology and sustainable energy research, such as materials chemistry and catalysis development.