MSI PI Montse Torremorell (professor and Interim Chair, Veterinary Population Medicine) has received the Outstanding Swine Academic of the Year award, presented by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV). This is the first year this award has been made. It recognizes an AASV member in academia for excellence in teaching, research, and service to the swine veterinary profession.
A recent story in the University of Minnesota Research Brief series highlights research led MSI PI Dr. Alexis Grinde (Natural Resources Research Institute). The team’s study, published in the journal Ecological Applications, found that black ash wetlands are being irreversibly changed by the infestation of emerald ash borer. Black ash wetlands are a critical habitat for wildlife and are ecologically significant in Minnesota.
Three MSI PIs have been named Distinguished McKnight University Professors. This program recognizes outstanding mid-career faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status. The MSI PIs on the list are:
Pumas, while widespread across the U.S., are solitary animals, and there is little known about how diseases can move through a population. MSI PI Meggan Craft (associate professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) led a recent study that investigated the transmission of a common virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, using DNA analysis. The 10-year study examined populations in two regions, one where hunting had been reinstated after a being banned for five years, and one where there was less hunting.
The University of Minnesota annually recognizes a select group of faculty members for their outstanding contributions to graduate and/or professional education. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by their colleges in their quest to identify excellence in graduate and/or professional education.  Two MSI PIs have received awards for 2021-22.
Research by MSI PI Bethanie Stadler (professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering) was featured recently in a story by Technology Commercialization. Professor Stadler has invented magnetic nanowires that could someday be used to thaw cryogenically preserved organs in such a way that the organs aren’t damaged by thawing.
Four MSI PIs are among the ten faculty members who have been named as the 2022-24 McKnight Land-Grant Professors. Recipients hold the designation “McKnight Land-Grant Professor” for two years. The goal of the program is to advance the careers of assistant professors at a crucial point in their professional lives. The MSI PIs who have been honored with this award are:
Research by MSI PI Jeannine Cavender-Bares (professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) is the lead author on a study that describes using remote sensing techniques to determine underground plant and soil processes based on their aboveground traits. This has important implications for understanding how biogeochemical cycles work.
MSI PI Christina Pacak (assistant professor, Neurology) has received a new $1.8M grant to develop an efficient manufacturing process of a gene therapy for Cockayne Syndrome, a rare accelerated aging disorder that currently has no treatment. Professor Pacak is the PI on this project along with Dr. George Aslanidi of the Hormel Institute - University of Minnesota, Medical Research Center. The grant was awarded by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the U.S.