News

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.
Recent research by MSI PIs Eric Seabloom (professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) and Linda Kinkel (professor, Plant Pathology) and their colleague Elizabeth Borer (professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) investigated defenses that plants have developed against pathogens and herbivores.
MSI PI Michael Kyba (professor, Pediatrics and Stem Cell Institute) and colleagues have published a study in which the researchers were able to harvest cells from a benign type of tumor called a teratoma and purify some of them so that they can rebuild skeletal muscle in mice with muscular dystrophy. This research shows promise for generating cells that can be used for research.
The Masonic Cancer Center has received an “outstanding” rating from the National Cancer Institute, an improvement over its previous rating of “excellent.” They have also received an extension to their Cancer Center Support Grant and received reconfirmation of their status as a comprehensive center.
Three MSI PIs are among the co-authors of a newly published paper that describes a 3D-printed device that could someday help repair some spinal cord injuries. A silicon guide is used as a platform for neuronal stem cells to be 3D printed on it. The guide is then implanted into a spine’s injured area, where researchers hope that it will act as a bridge between the cells above and below the injury. This might allow patients to recover some function. The paper was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials. The PIs involved in the research are:
MSI PI Jian-Ping Wang (Electrical and Computer Engineering) is the lead on a team that has been awarded a four-year, $3.1 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to create new electronics capabilities. The team will work on improving Magnetic Tunnel Junctions, nanostructured thin film devices that can improve hard drives, sensors, and other electronics.
MSI PI John Bischof has been named Director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM). Professor Bischof has been the Interim Director for the past year. He is a faculty member in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and is also a member of the Masonic Cancer Center. His current work using MSI involves the use of iron oxide and gold nanoparticles to enhance thermal therapies.
MSI PI Lauren Linderman (assistant professor, Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering) was interviewed recently about a project to monitor the I-35W bridge. The bridge, which replaced the one that collapsed 11 years ago last week, contains numerous sensors that provide data to researchers studying how the bridge is responding to stresses, with a goal of making bridges safer.
MSI PI Pinar Karaca Mandic, an associate professor in the Department of Finance, Carlson School of Management, and Academic Director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, participated in a show on Minnesota Public Radio about drug prices and the role government should take in their control.
MSI PI Jia-Liang Le, an associate professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, will begin research into a new material that may provide better protection in nuclear power plants. The material, silicon carbide matrix composite, has shown promise as a cladding material to surround fuel rods and shield them from the coolant water. Preliminary studies have shown that this material could be a better barrier than zirconium alloy, which is currently used.