posted on March 18, 2015

Principal Investigator Daniel Voytas (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development; Director, Center for Genome Engineering) is part of a research team that was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the ten Breakthrough Technologies of 2015. The group, a consortium of researchers from 12 laboratories in eight countries, has made the first step in creating a new species of rice that will have a greater yield while not requiring any additional water. Experts expect that, without intervention, the global rice yield will fall far short of required amounts by the year 2050.

Professor Voytas uses MSI resources to monitor mutagenesis by surveying genome sequences for alterations.

This research was written up in the OVPR’s Inquiry blog. You can also read more on the MIT Technology Review.


posted on March 16, 2015

The expertise of MSI Principal Investigator Carol Cardona, a professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (College of Veterinary Medicine), has been called on extensively during the past week in articles about the avian influenza outbreak among Minnesota turkeys. Professor Cardona is an expert in infectious disease in domestic poultry. Publications in which she is quoted include:


Professor Cardona uses MSI resources to investigate the mechanisms that underlie respiratory disease in poultry. She and her research group are profiling the microbiome of chickens and are evaluating the roles of the microbiota (virome, bacteriome, and fungome). 

posted on March 13, 2015

Several MSI PIs are serving on the newly formed Grand Challenges Research Strategies Group, which has been formed to help shape research priorities under the University’s Strategic Planning initiative.

According to a recent letter from Provost Karen Hanson, members of this group are senior faculty “deeply respected and accomplished in their own fields, but whose perspective on this strategic work would not be shaped primarily by their own scholarly interests.” Current MSI PIs who will be serving in this group are:

  • Professor James Bradeen (Head, Plant Pathology - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory - College of Science and Engineering; MSI Fellow)
  • Professor Gunda Georg (Head, Medicinal Chemistry; Director, Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development - College of Pharmacy)
  • Professor Gary Muehlbauer (Agronomy and Plant Genetics - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Professor Harry Orr (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology - Medical School)
  • Professor F. Abel Ponce de Leon (Animal Science - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Professor David Pui (Mechanical Engineering - College of Science and Engineering)
  • Professor Peter Reich (Forest Resources - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Regents Professor Steve Ruggles (Director, Minnesota Population Center - Office of the Vice President for Research)



posted on March 11, 2015

Three MSI PIs have been recognized by the U for teaching excellence.

Associate Professor Ted M. Pappenfus (Chemistry - Division of Science and Mathmatics, University of Minnesota Morris), has received a 2015 Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Educations. Professor Pappenfus uses the Cambridge Structural Database, available through MSI, to find inorganic and organic materials that can be used for applications in electronic devices and environmental sensors.

Professor Philippe Buhlmann (Chemistry - College of Science and Engineering) and Professor Shashi Shekhar (Computer Science and Engineering - College of Science and Engineering; MSI Fellow) have both received a 2015 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate and Professional Education. Professor Buhlmann uses software available through MSI for modeling electrochemical sensors. Professor Shekhar’s group uses the supercomputers to validate their algorithms for large-scale modeling of road networks.

posted March 9, 2015

Research supported by MSI resources and staff has been recognized as one of the most highly cited papers published in 2013 in the journal Cancer Research. Members of the research group of Assistant Professor Scott Dehm (Masonic Cancer Center) are working with members of MSI’s RISS group to study the Androgen Receptor (AR) in prostate cancer cells. They use molecular, biochemical, cell biology, and genetic approaches. This work was also featured in a Research Spotlight in early 2014.

The paper can be found on the Cancer Research website: Li, Yingming, Siu Chu Chan, Lucas J. Brand, Tae Hyun Hwang, Kevin A.T. Silverstein, Scott M. Dehm. 2013. Androgen Receptor Splice Variants Mediate Enzalutamide Resistance in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Cell Lines. Cancer Research 73:483, 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-3630.

Co-author Dr. Kevin Silverstein is a Scientific Lead in the RISS Group.