posted on August 26, 2015

The Office of the Vice President for Research recently announced that a record 16 start-up companies based on University research and inventions were formed in Fiscal Year 2015, which ended on June 30, 2015. This tops the previous record of 15 start-ups, set in 2014.

Several of the new start-ups are headed up by MSI Principal Investigators. These are shown below, with the MSI PIs's names in bold and linked to a description of their group's research using MSI. 

Adama Materials: Improves the properties of resin and fiber composites, such as epoxy/carbon fiber and polyester/fiberglass, at very low cost.
Faculty: Chris Macosko and Andreas Stein

ApoGen BioTech: Delivers a new class of pharmaceuticals that block a specific enzyme to slow the evolution of cancer cells and prevent them from becoming resistant to therapies.
Faculty: Reuben Harris and Dan Harki

Flora Therapeutics: Targeting gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases using bacteria as therapeutics.
Faculty: Dan Knights

PSI: A satellite image analysis algorithm to detect changes in resources, such as forests, crops, water and urbanization.
Faculty: Shyam Boriah, Vipin Kumar, and Karsten Steinhaeuser

Target Genomics: A resource database, decision support system and services to guide health care providers in the use of genomics.
Faculty: Brian Van Ness

Tychon Biosciences: A platform therapeutic focused on cancer treatment using chemical synthesis, custom nanomaterials and complex protein structures.
Faculty: Carston (Rick) Wagner

These start-ups were assisted through the Venture Center at the Office for Technology Commercialization.

A complete list of 2015 start-ups and their descriptions can be found on the OVPR Inquiry blog.

posted on August 24, 2015

Several MSI Principal Investigators were selected to receive Research Infrastructure Investment Program Awards for 2015 by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The awards are intended to facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and strengthen the University’s research infrastructure. The MSI PIs receiving awards include:

Kenneth Beckman (University of Minnesota Genomics Center - Academic Health Center)
Broadening the Base: Next-Gen Library Creation Tools
MSI partners with the UMGC in developing genomic-analysis software.

Tim Griffin (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics - College of Biological Sciences, Medical School)
A Replacement MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometer to Support Interdisciplinary Biomolecular Research
Professor Griffin uses MSI for several projects related to proteomics research using mass spectrometry. MSI is collaborating with him to develop new software and workflow tools for advanced applications in proteogenomics and metaproteomics.

Paula Ludewig (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - Medical School)
Motion Imaging Data Acquisition for Musculoskeletal Mechanistic, Diagnostic, and Guided Treatment Research
Professor Ludewig uses MSI to support research into high accurate motion analysis methods to diagnose, treat, and prevent shoulder movement abnormalities.

Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari (Pediatrics - Medical School)
3D Bioprinting/Biofabrication Facility
Professor Panoskaltsis-Mortari uses MSI to render CT scans and other stacked 3D image files into the proper format for bioprinting.

Carol Shield (Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering - College of Science and Engineering)
Hydraulic Power Supply for the Mechanical Testing of Resilient and Sustainable Structures, Pavements, Geomaterials, and Medical Devices
Professor Shield uses MSI for finite-element modeling of the effects of earthquakes on buildings.

A complete list of the 2015 awards with the descriptions of the projects can be found on the OVPR’s website.


posted on August 18, 2015

Two MSI PIs, Assistant Professor Pinar Karaca-Mandic (Health Policy and Management) and Assistant Professor Paul Ma (Accounting) were authors on a recent study that showed that manufacturers can be late submitting notices of side effects considered “serious and unexpected.” Manufacturers are supposed to notify the FDA of these adverse events within 15 days of learning about them. About ten percent of adverse events were not reported within this time limit.

The study can be found on the JAMA Internal Medicine website. It has been reported in several media outlets:


Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Medical Xpress



Fox News

Bring Me The News

Yahoo! News

Professor Karaca-Mandic is using MSI for projects that are analyzing various aspects of Medicare data. Professor Ma uses MSI resources for research into how firms decide to disclose or withhold information about the firm’s performance.

posted on August 17, 2015

The University of Minnesota today announced the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded it $500,000 to build a dedicated research and computing network enabling researchers on its Twin Cities campus to more easily collaborate and innovate with research institutions around the world in their pursuit of new knowledge.

The new network, called the Gopher Science Network (GSN), will link the University’s world-class physical and intellectual resources to state, regional, national and global research and education partners. The network will support efforts to advance the University’s strategic plan, which calls for the institution to harness its research breadth and depth to address society’s most complex and consequential problems.

“As scientific data sets become larger, powerful networking infrastructure is crucial to providing researchers with the resources they need to advance knowledge and innovation in their fields,” said Brian Herman, Ph.D., vice president for research, University of Minnesota.

Dr. Herman also added, “The Gopher Science Network will further strengthen the University’s ability to conduct world-class research. We are excited to accelerate research within the university community and to create new possibilities for collaboration with partner institutions around the world.”

The GSN ensures researchers have access to the high-quality, state-of-the-art systems and capabilities needed to support data-intensive research.

“This is an excellent example of how the University is strategically implementing technology to advance  its mission of research and discovery,” said Scott Studham, vice president and chief information officer, University of Minnesota.

Gopher Science Network to benefit multiple University programs, partnerships

The University has made strategic investments to address a number of important challenges associated with collecting, storing, analyzing, managing, sharing and securing large and small digital data sets.

The GSN will have high-speed links to regional optical networks to address both capacity and capability requirements of two NSF-funded centers located on the U of M’s Twin Cities campus - the Polar Geospatial Center and the Minnesota Population Center - several core campus research facilities, and advanced research in dynamic networks and high-performance computing.

Specifically, the GSN will have an immediate and lasting impact on seven campus research and service groups linked to the following research areas: genomics, proteomics, advanced networking, high resolution, satellite imagery, demographics, magnetic resonance and advanced computational research and infrastructures. These impacts will immediately lower barriers to creating end-to-end workflows between core instrumentation facilities and centralized computing and data storage. Longer term, the GSN will serve as a platform for network research, advance cyberinfrastructure developments, and encourage novel research and education uses in all disciplines.

On a national scale, the GSN will not only benefit NSF-funded research, but it also will strengthen existing partnerships with other agencies, including NASA, National Institutes of Health, United States Department of Energy, United States Department of Defense and the United States Geological Survey. In addition, the network will serve universities nationwide through access to facilities, data and intellectual resources.

The University of Minnesota supports over 150 graduate degree programs and is the second-largest institution of higher education in the Midwest. In 2014, the University competed successfully for $741 million in externally-sponsored research and ranks among the top-10 public universities in its investment in research and development.

The University of Minnesota hosts a number of internally- and externally-funded Institutes, Centers, Programs and Laboratories that play a critical role in advancing the University’s research mission shaping activities on a regional, national and global scale. The initial areas impacted by the GSN include the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, Polar Geospatial Center, Minnesota Population Center, the OpenCDN project run by Zhi-Li Zhang (Computer Science and Engineering), Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, University of Minnesota Genomics Center, and the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research.

About Information Technology at the University of Minnesota

Information Technology at the University of Minnesota comprises more than 1,300 technologists and others across the University system who work collaboratively to provide academic and administrative technology services and support to nearly 100,000 students, faculty and staff. Visit IT@UMN to learn more.

About the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute provides resources and support for all aspects of high-performance computing to researchers and scholars in all fields at the University of Minnesota and at other post-secondary educational institutions in Minnesota. For more information, visit

posted on August 14, 2015

A study using data from the global research project Nutrient Network (NutNet), which was founded by MSI PI Eric Seabloom and Elizabeth Borer (both associate professors in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior), shows that higher levels of nutrients tend to favor the proliferation of exotic species in an environment. However, if there are populations of herbivores present, the animals’ grazing patterns allow the native species better conditions to thrive.

The study, which was co-authored by Professors Seabloom and Borer and their colleagues throughout the world, was published in July in the publication Nature Communications. It can be found on the journal’s website: E.W. Seabloom, E.T. Borer, Y.M. Buckley, E.E. Cleland, K.F. Davies, et al. 2015. Plant species’ origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands. Nature Communications 6:7710. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8710.

Other articles about this research:

College of Biological Sciences Connect Blog

MPR News


Professor Seabloom uses MSI to host the NutNet database and conduct data analysis. Previous publications about NutNet were featured in an MSI Research Spotlight in April 2014.