MSI PI Jian-Ping Wang (professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering) is a co-leader, with Professor Maxim Cheeran (Veterinary Population Medicine), of a multidisciplinary team that is developing a portable device that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19. Professor Wang has been developing this technology, which is based on magnetic particle spectroscopy, for the past ten years. Stories about the project can be found on the following websites:
One of the methods used to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is tracking individuals who come in contact with someone who has the disease. MSI PI Shashi Shekhar (professor, Computer Science and Engineering) thinks we can use GPS data from cell phones to perform this tracking and to evaluate how effective responses to the disease have been. This technology would be faster and more efficient than the current manual method of contact tracing.
The University of Minnesota recently announced new awardees to the McKnight Presidential Fellows Program. Three MSI PIs are included in the 2020 class. The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program is a three-year award given to exceptional faculty who have just achieved tenure and promotion to associate professor, to recognize their accomplishments and support their ongoing research and scholarship. The MSI PIs on the list are:
Four MSI PIs have been named Distinguished McKnight University Professors. This program recognizes outstanding faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status. The MSI PIs on the list are:
In order to control the invasive species buckthorn, land managers have turned to using goats. The notoriously voracious browsers eat large quantities of buckthorn, but there is a concern that buckthorn seeds might be spread through the goats’ feces.
MSI PIs are involved in the development of a new alternative mask to N95 masks, which are used to protect the wearer against viruses such as the novel coronavirus. The new masks are created out of filtration material typically used in diesel engines. They don’t require sewing, instead being formed by folding and heat-sealing the material. Tests show that they can filter out 95% of air particles, even as small as viruses.
MSI has introduced a new service, Dedicated Computing. This service allows researchers to purchase dedicated access to computing if groups have computational needs beyond what they can get through the regular MSI allocation process.
MSI PI Eva Enns (associate professor, Health Policy and Management) was featured on Kerri Miller’s daily show on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) on April 8. The guests discussed how models work and how they can be used.
MSI PI Sylia Wilson (assistant professor, Institute of Child Development) has received the 2020 Susan Nolen-Hoeksema Early Career Research Award.
MSI PI Kathleen Thomas (professor, Institute for Child Development) has been named to be the next director of the Institute. She will assume this new post on July 1, 2020. An article appears on the ICD website: Thomas named new ICD director.
MSI PI Eva Enns (associate professor, Health Policy and Management) was one of the leaders, along with Shalini Kulasingam (associate professor, Epidemiology), of the modeling team that provided information to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and state leadership in their decision to enact a “stay at home” order. News stories about this model:
Researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic are developing tests that can be used to determine whether someone has been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that caused COVID-19. Having this test would help determine whether the population has achieved herd immunity.
MSI PI Fang Li (associate professor, Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) led a team that has published a study in the journal Nature that shows how mutations in the structure of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, allow it to attach more securely to human cells than the SARS coronavirus that appeared in 2002-03. The mutations allow the novel coronavirus to spread more quickly between humans.