MSI PI Walter Low (Neurosurgery; Masonic Cancer Center) is researching how the zika virus might be able to fight cancer cells. Zika does devastating damage to an embryo’s developing brain, so Professor Low and his colleagues thought it might also target brain-cancer cells. Preliminary research confirmed this, and the work continues to find a zika-based treatment that could fight brain cancer.
MSI PI Jeannine Cavender-Bares (associate professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) is featured in a new Research Brief on the University’s News website. Professor Cavender-Bares was the lead author on a recently published project that that helps explain how oak trees became so diverse - there are 91 species in North America - and also so dominant.
MSI PI Catherine French (professor, Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering) has been named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the highest honor given by that group. A story about this award appears on the CEGE website: Professor Catherine French, ASCE Distinguished Member.
MSI PI Jian-Ping Wang (Distinguished McKnight Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering) is featured in the Spring 2018 issue of the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Legacy magazine. Professor Wang is studying how spintronics could be used in new devices for magnetic brain stimulations that treat brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
MSI PI Christine Salomon (associate professor, Center for Drug Design) and colleagues have published a study of microbes living on wood structures built by Antarctic explorers in the early 20th century. The research team analyzed the microbes with the hope that they might produce compounds that could prove useful for medicines. The researchers discovered some compounds that were previously unknown.
Research at the University of Minnesota is driving greatly expanded needs for data storage. To meet those needs, the University has created the University Storage Council (USC), composed of representatives from throughout the U, that is charged with making data storage for researchers efficient and cost-effective. Director of Research Computing Claudia Neuhauser is a member of USC.
MSI PI Lauren Linderman (assistant professor, Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering) has been awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). These grants are awarded to early-career faculty in order to build a foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.
In order to meet the high-capacity storage needs of its users, MSI has deployed an OpenStack-based cloud platform called Stratus. Stratus is designed so that users can store and analyze protected data, such as dbGaP (database of Genomes and Phenotypes).
MSI PI Peter Reich (Regents Professor, Forest Resources; Fellow, Institute on the Environment) has been named to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS). This is one of the highest honors a scientist can receive. Membership is awarded based on outstanding contributions to scientific research.                                                                                                                          
Research by MSI PI Gunda Georg and her colleagues may have made the goal of reversible male contraceptives a bit closer. In the cover article of the March 8, 2018 issue of Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, the researchers reveal that modified ouabain, a poison found in African plants, can temporarily paralyze sperm, so that they are not able to fertilize an egg.
MSI PI Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) led a group of researchers who successfully used a 3D printer to print electronics on the back of a real human hand. This research could be used by soldiers, who could get temporary sensors to detect biological or chemical agents or solar cells to charge electronic equipment. The researchers were also able to print cells directly onto a skin wound, which could lead to new treatments for wounds and the ability to create skin grafts.
On Wednesday, May 2, 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 6am on May 2. Jobs that cannot be completed before 6am on May 2 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. May maintenance will include: