News

MSI PI Sophia Yohe (associate professor, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology) is a co-investigator on a clinical trial that aims to reduce disparities in cervical-cancer screening in Somali American women. The team, which includes researchers from the U of M and the University of Washington, was awarded $2.9M from the National Cancer Institute. The researchers are investigating whether offering HPV self-sampling will increase cancer screening rates.
MSI PIs Fang Li  (professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) and Marc Jenkins (Regents Professor, Microbiology and Immunology) and their colleagues have developed a novel vaccine that might be effective against COVID-19 and its variants. The vaccine combines the advantages of virus-based and protein-based vaccines.
Research by MSI PIs Donald Wyse (professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics) and David Marks (professor, Plant and Microbial Biology) is featured in a recent story on the Office of the Vice President for Research Inquiry blog. Professors Wyse and Marks are developing the plant pennycress for use as a cover crop.
Mastitis, an infection of mammary tissue, is a serious problem in dairy cows, requiring the use of antibiotics. There is increasing pressure on the dairy industry to reduce antibiotic use, and researchers are studying alternatives to treat mastitis.
Research by MSI PI Phu Tran (assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics) and others is featured in a recent story in Minnesota Alumni magazine. University of Minnesota researchers are studying how the fetal brain develops and how iron deficiency in the mother can cause neurocognitive conditions. Professor Tran has found that iron deficiency in pregnancy can cause changes to DNA that affect how the brain is able to learn. He uses MSI resources as part of this research.
MSI PIs were among the researchers who have developed a possible drug that can both prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections in animals. The drug comes from a nanobody - a tiny antibody - found in llamas. It is cost-effective to manufacture, and it could possibly be used in humans, as well. The researchers have published their findings in the journal eLife: The Development of Nanosota-1 as Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Nanobody Drug Candidates.
MSI’s Research Computing partner, the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute (UMII), has opened the application period for the MnDRIVE Graduate Assistantship program. This program supports UMN PhD candidates pursuing research at the intersection of informatics and any of the five MnDRIVE areas: Robotics, Sensors and Advanced Manufacturing; Global Food Ventures; Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment; Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions; and Cancer Clinical Trials. 
MSI PIs Paul Dauenhauer and Prodromos Daoutidis, both professors in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, are part of a project to develop new ways to generate ammonia from renewable energy sources. The project has received funding from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy (ARPA-E), and several industry partners are participating in the project.
On Wednesday, August 4, 2021, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Mangi will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on August 4. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on August 4 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. Systems status is always available on our Status page.
As announced last month, MSI will be retiring its old disk storage hardware that was serving as the global scratch space on Wednesday, August 4. For the last 3+ weeks, this file system has been reachable at /scratch.old in a Read-Only state. You may still access these files before August 4, so you have a small amount of time to copy those files elsewhere if needed.
A treatment for Parkinson’s disease involves the placement of electric leads into specific parts of the brain, a treatment known as deep brain stimulation (DBS). Electric impulses through these leads can result in reduction or elimination of the tremors associated with Parkinson’s.
Three MSI PIs in the College of Biological Sciences are leading a new project to develop a bioreactor that can capture CO2 emissions and convert them to formate, a safely storable and transportable liquid that can be used to create other materials.
A project that developed a technology that improves the fuel efficiency of delivery vehicles has won the 2021 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award. MSI PI William Northrop (associate professor, Mechanical Engineering) is the PI of this project, and MSI PI Shashi Shekhar (professor, Computer Science and Engineering) is a co-investigator. The U of M team worked with colleagues from UPS, Workhorse Group, and JKV Engineering.
A recent study by the University of Washington showed a correlation between consumption of sugary drinks and colorectal cancer in young women. MSI PI Emil Lou (associate professor, Medicine; Masonic Cancer Center) was interviewed on tv station KSTP recently about this finding.
The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has awarded 2021 Minnesota Futures Grants to two projects. This program offers funding each year to promote research that incorporates new, cross-disciplinary ideas.
In a recent paper published in the journal Nature Physics, three MSI PIs from the School of Physics and Astronomy and their colleagues have published findings about the superconductor niobium diselenide (NbSe2). Researchers from the University of Minnesota led the study team, which also included researchers from several other institutions. The study shows that 2D NbSe2, which is only a few molecules thick, is a more resilient superconductor than thicker sheets of the material.
Five MSI PIs have received awards from the 2021 Research Infrastructure Investment Program. This Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) program is designed to support transdisciplinary research and collaboration across the U of M. OVPR made ten awards this year. Below are the MSI PIs who received awards:
On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Mangi will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 a.m. on July 7. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 a.m. on July 7 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. July maintenance will include:
MSI PI George Karypis (professor, Computer Science and Engineering) received the Distinguished Contributions Award during the 2021 Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD). The PAKDD is one of the longest-established and leading conferences in the areas of data mining and knowledge discovery. The award recognizes Professor Karypis’s outstanding contributions to those fields.
A recent story on tv station KARE-11 featured MSI PI Chris Hogan (professor, Mechanical Engineering) talking about how upgrades to building ventilation systems can help inhibit the spread of COVID-19. Upgraded ventilation systems, as well as inexpensive methods such as opening windows and changing filters, can keep the coronavirus from spreading in aerosol drops.

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