Deanna Csomo McCool | July 15, 2019
Robert A. Schulz, Notre Dame Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame, died Saturday (July 6). He was 64.
Schulz joined the Notre Dame faculty in 2007, and before that rose through academic ranks at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 1985 to 2007.
His research focused on blood formation and immunity in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. Because fruit flies and humans share 60 percent of their genes, Schulz’s work provided a better understanding of how the processes of blood formation and immunity occur in people. His work led to advancements in the understanding of congenital heart defects, leukemias and cancer stem cells. He was affiliated with the Harper Cancer Research Institute and the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.
“He used state-of-the art genetic approaches to answer fundamental questions about how the immune system develops in the fruit fly,” said David Hyde, biological sciences professor and the Kenna Director of the Zebrafish Research Center at Notre Dame. “He was still actively pursuing his research, for which he was well respected in the Drosophila community worldwide.”
Schulz, who earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina in 1976 and his doctoral degree in biochemistry from Georgetown University, created a developmental biology course for undergraduates at Notre Dame.
“Notre Dame was lucky to recruit Dr. Schulz from the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Research Center, where he established a strong research program,” said Kevin Vaughan, associate professor of biological sciences. “Dr. Schulz quickly positioned himself as a leader in biological sciences at Notre Dame, and he improved the visibility of Notre Dame research at the national level through his outreach.”
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