posted on April 13, 2015

The OVPR’s Inquiry blog recently featured work headed by MSI PI Larry Wackett (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics; BioTechnology Institute). Professor Wackett is the lead researcher on a MnDRIVE project that is creating computer models that will predict how bacteria and chemicals interact. The goal is to be able to identify a chemical and then find out what bacteria would be able to break it down. This has huge implications for the field of bioremediation. The story can be read on the Inquiry blog website.

Professor Wackett uses MSI resources for a number of projects that strive to answer important biological questions using computational power. These include data mining of genomes for new functionalities, modeling protein ability for biodegradation, and identification of mechanistic pathways that lead to or prevent catalysis.

MSI PI Carrie Wilmot, who is also a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics and a member of the BioTechnology Institute, is also mentioned in the article. She and her group use X-ray crystallography to study the structure and function of bacterial enzymes used to break down chemicals. They use MSI resources to help with their crystallographic studies.

posted on April 10, 2015

Principal Investigator Professor William Pomerantz (Chemistry - College of Science and Engineering) recently received a Kimmel Scholar Award from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research. These awards are given to scientists in the early stages of their research careers who are involved in cancer research. You can read more on the chemistry department website.

Professor Pomerantz uses MSI resources to assist with peptide and protein binding analysis. This primarily involves analyzing protein-ligand interactions, assessing ligand stability, and designing new ligands with increased stability.


posted on April 8, 2015

MSI Principal Investigator Professor Jakub Tolar (Pediatrics - Medical School) has been named a Distinguished McKnight University Professor. This award recognizes outstanding faculty members who recently achieved full professor status. The announcement appears on the Scholars Walk website.

Professor Tolar studies a rare skin disorder called epidermolysis bullosa (EB). This painful, disfiguring disease causes very fragile skin that blisters or breaks easily. Professor Tolar uses MSI resources for his research into EB, especially the mechanisms of the pain and itching associated with it.

posted on March 31, 2015

On Wednesday, April 1, from 04:00 - 15:00, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems.

During this maintenance period, we will be performing the following updates:
• MSI will be upgrading some license managers: FlexNet license manager and the ANSOFT/ANSYS license manager. Other licensed software may be affected.
• Labq nodes will be down for panfs and kernel updates.
• Xen/Citrix system will be unavailable for updates.
• Cascade will be unavailable for CUDA 7 installs.
• Core infrastructure systems (OpenStack) will be briefly unavailable for hardware maintenance.
• Elmod will be down for security updates.

Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email


posted on March 24, 2015

Associate Professor Mohamed Mokbel (Computer Science and Engineering - College of Science and Engineering) has created a platform that handles very large sets of spatial data on Apache Hadoop. This platform, an open-source project, has been distributed online. Professor Mokbel’s group uses MSI resources to experiment with the platform for various operations.

The Eclipse Foundation, an organization supported by software industry leaders, is now funding this project under the name GeoJinni. This will allow Professor Mokbel’s team to expand and develop the program even more.

The OVPR Inquiry blog recently published an article about SpatialHadoop and the Eclipse Foundation.