The CRND Honors Rare Disease Day 2011


February 28, 2011. (Above) Kasturi Haldar (UND-faculty, Biological Sciences), Director, Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases welcomes over 80 students, researchers, and faculty to the CRND Rare Diseases Day dinner at Sorin's. (Photos: Will Wall, 2011)

This year's CRND Rare Disease Day dinner at Sorin's welcomed speakers from a number of UND labs who are pursuing research into rare diseases. Speakers briefly shared their projects with the assembled company and labs had an opportunity to network with others around common investigative threads. Featured speakers included: Mary Claire Sullivan (1st year MBA student, working on a rare disease social venture); Dr. Guillermina Estiu (working with Dr. Olaf Wiest and the CRND on protein and structural modeling with NP-C); Aaron Patzwahl (a Junior ND science student, currently taking BIOS40450, the clinical research class focused on Niemann Pick Type-C and development of a clinical score); Nina Farivari (a Senior ND science student and previous BIOS40450 student who interned at the NIH during the summer based on research performed in the class); Mary Cloutier (a Biology graduate student in Dr. Haldar's Lab developing an NP-C score in animal models and to support drug discovery); Casey Cosner (a Chemistry graduate student in Dr. Paul Helquist's Lab investigating the synthesis and evaluation of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of Niemann-Pick type C disease); Kathryn Byrd (a Chemistry graduate student in the Helquist Lab who is developing probes for studying NP-C1/NP-C2); Emmanual Adu-Gyamfi (a Biology graduate student in Dr. Robert Stahelin's Lab exploring proteins and lipids involved in viral budding of ebola); Joe Krivda (a Biology graduate student in Dr. D'Souza-Shorey's Lab studying protein trafficking for Huntington’s Disease and NP-C); and Michael Handlogten (an Engineering graduate student in Dr. Bilgicer's Lab working on nanoparticles for developing rare disease therapies).

Mary Claire Sullivan (Mendoza College of Business)

Kathryn Byrd (Helquist Lab)


Aaron Patzwahl (BIOS40450)
Matt Champion (UND-faculty, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Mass Spectrometry & Proteomics Core) and Rob Stahelin (UND-faculty, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Indiana School of Medicine)


Guillermina Estiu (UND-faculty, CRND, Chemistry & Biochemistry)
Paul Helquist (UND-faculty, Chemistry & Biochemistry), Aaron Forbes (Helquist Lab), and Holly Goodson (UND-faculty, Chemistry & Biochemistry)


Mary Cloutier (Haldar Lab)
Emmanuel AduGyamfi (Stahelin Lab)



Kevin Moser and Mairaj Uddin (BIOS40450)
Michael Handlogten (Bilgicer Lab)


Nina Farivari (BIOS40450 graduate)
Kasturi Haldar (CRND), Basar Bilgicer (UND-faculty, Chemistry & BioEngineering) and Michael Handlogten (Bilgicer Lab)



Haldar Lab, undergraduate members, Martha McGraw, Michelle Yanik, Mary Cloutier (grad student), Annie Osterling, and Stephanie Maciuba working on an NP-C scoring project.
Chris Fagan (D'Souza-Schorey Lab)



Kasturi Haldar and Katrina Epperson (CRND)

Pam Tamez (Haldar Lab), Matt Champion, Sebastian Fernandez-Pol (Haldar Lab)





For more information on Rare Diseases Day events & partners, please visit

The National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD)