News

Associate Professor Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) is featured in the U’s Fall 2018 Driven to Discover campaign. Professor McAlpine’s research group uses MSI resources to support research into 3D printing of functional materials and devices, which requires the use of software for simulation, computer-aided engineering, data visualization, and image processing.
A study just published in the prestigious journal Nature shows that tree growth in northern Minnesota’s forests will slow down as the climate warms. This reduced growth is due to less-frequent (although heavier) rain, which will cause the soil to be drier. The study looked at 11 different tree species in northern Minnesota and was led by MSI PI Peter Reich (Regents Professor, Forest Resources).
Professor Maria Gini (Computer Science and Engineering) is featured in the U’s Fall 2018 Driven to Discover campaign. Professor Gini’s research group studies a variety of problems in artificial intelligence and multi-agent systems. The problems can require machine learning methods, optimization algorithms, search algorithms that work in very large search spaces, image processing, distributed computations, and more.
University President Eric Kaler announced today that Professor Chris Cramer (Chemistry) will take over as Vice President for Research beginning November 12, 2018 and serving until November 12, 2020.
Professor Perry Hackett (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) is featured in the U’s Fall 2018 Driven to Discover campaign. The Hackett group uses MSI resources, especially Galaxy, for research concerning applications of Sleeping Beauty transposons. See the story: Sleeping Beauty, Sleeping Giant: A breakthrough treatment in the fight against cancer.    
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed funding for the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR), home to long-term ecological experiments. The funding renewal extends NSF’s support by another six years; they have provided funding to CCESR since 1982. MSI PIs Eric Seabloom and Sarah Hobbie, both of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, are the project co-leaders.
On Wednesday, October 3, 2018, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 5:00 am on October 3. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 am on October 3 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. October maintenance will include:
The University of Minnesota has received a four-year, $5.3 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study ways to improve electronic circuit design. MSI PI Sachin Sapatnekar (professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering) will lead the team at the U. This grant fall under DARPA’s new Intelligent Design of Electronic Assets program.
Research by MSI PI David Redish (professor, Neuroscience) was featured recently on the Office of the Vice President for Research’s Inquiry blog: No Simple Decisions.
Regents Professor Donald Truhlar, a long-time MSI PI in the Department of Chemistry, has received the 2019 American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry. Professor Truhlar is one of the top theoretical chemists in the world, with many contributions that have advanced chemistry. The award will be presented at the ACS National Meeting in Orlando, Florida, in April 2019.
MSI PI Logan Spector (professor, Pediatrics; Masonic Cancer Center) is leading a new project that will study the health families over time. The researchers want sign up 10,000 families; these families will commit to having two members of two different generations fill out questionnaires and provide periodic samples. The goal is to study the development of various diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
MSI PI Matthew Rouse (adjunct associate professor, Plant Pathology; USDA Agricultural Research Service) was named the 2018 winner of the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. The World Food Prize Foundation announced the award at the Sustainable Development Goals Conference in the Netherlands last month.
The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) was created to address the issues created by an increasing number of invasive plant and animal species threatening Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. MSI PI Nicholas Phelps (Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology) is the MAISRC Director. He uses MSI resources for his work developing eradication tools for invasive species. Work by the MAISRC has been featured recently by several news outlets:
The University of Minnesota has been awarded a $1.43 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop machine-learning techniques that can be used to better monitor global agricultural and climate change. A team of researchers from the College of Science and Engineering, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Sciences, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute will be working on this project.
MSI PI Doug Arnold (professor, Mathematics) is part of an international collaboration to study the basic science behind waves. The collaboration, which will receive $8 million in funding over four years from the Simons Foundation, is headquartered at the University of Minnesota and includes members from France, the UK, MIT, and UC Santa Barbara. This research seeks a deeper understanding of a wave phenomenon called localization. Eventually, it could have impacts on the design of structures and electronic devices.
Four MSI PIs have published a paper in the journal Nature Materials in which they describe a new material that may improve computer processing and memory capabilities. The PIs are Jian-Ping Wang (professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering); Mo Li (associate professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering); K.
MSI PI Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) and colleagues recently published a study that showed how to use 3D printing technology to print an array of light receptors on a curved surface. This breakthrough helps pave the way for an artificial eye. The team used a custom-built 3D printer that was able to print on the hemispherical surface with the material running down the surface.
The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota has announced that it is forming a team to study microbes in the gut and their influence on the development and treatment of cancer. This team is the first project funded by a Chainbreaker Breakthrough Cancer Research Grant; the funds for this grant were raised by the first Chainbreaker bike ride, which was held in 2017. The 2018 Chainbreaker ride was held on August.
Research by MSI PI Marla Spivak (Entomology) is featured in the Summer 2018 issue of Legacy, the University of Minnesota Foundation’s quarterly magazine. Professor Spivak directs the Bee Lab, which performs research into both honeybees, which are not native to North America, and native bees. She uses MSI resources for bee research involving RNA-seq data.
Research by MSI PI James Anderson (professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics) is featured in a recent article on Wired.com. Professor Anderson is doing genetic research to find varieties of wheat that are resistance to Fusarium head blight and other diseases. This work uses mapping and genotyping software available through MSI. The Anderson group’s work was featured on the MSI website in June 2016: Identifying Rust Resistance Genes in Wheat.