Ms. Cherie Christ joined MSI as Communications Coordinator on September 25. She comes to MSI from Augsburg College, where she has been Director of Electronic Communications. We are very happy to welcome Ms. Christ aboard. She will play a central role in ramping up our communications efforts in conjunction with our new and larger institutional role.

MSI Principal Investigator Professor Arthur Erdman, Director of the Medical Devices Center, and Dr. H. Birali Runesha, MSI Director of Scientific Computing and Applications, gave a presentation about virtual reality on September 17. The talk was presented to the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). They reviewed a project for a virtual reality design system to be used for medical devices. More information about the meeting and presentation can be found at the PDMA Web site.

Donald G. Truhlar, Regents Professor in the Department of Chemistry, MSI Fellow, and former MSI Director, has received the 2009 Dudley R. Herschbach Award for Excellence in Research in Collision Dynamics. The award, named after Harvard University Emeritus Professor and Nobel Prize winner Dudley R. Herschbach, is awarded for "bold and architectural works inspiring and empowering in the field of the dynamics of molecular collisions."

MSI has created extensions for the National Cancer Institute's caGrid system. caGrid supports caBIG, the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid initiative, which links cancer researchers and their data. caGrid provides researchers at different institutions tools that allow them to share and manage this information. The MSI extensions can be found here and here.

On August 28, MSI participated in the Medical Devices Center booth in the University of Minnesota building at the 2008 Minnesota State Fair. Nancy Rowe, a Scientific Visualization Consultant on the MSI User Support staff, showed fair-goers three-dimensional visualizations of human skeletal and circulation systems and a fly-through of a human heart.

The MDC, a state-of-the-art facility for researchers designing, prototyping, and testing new medical devices, uses MSI resources to achieve its mission. The Center's Director, Professor Arthur Erdman (Department of Mechanical Engineering) is a Principal Investigator at MSI.

The University News Service has an item about the Center's Grand Opening and Open House, including a video. The video includes a clip of a simulation of a "fly-through" of a human heart, which was made using a three-dimensional virtual heart model created at MSI's Scientific Development and Visualization Laboratory. With further processing by User Support staff member Nancy Rowe, the fly-through simulation was created using software in the LCSE-MSI Visualization Laboratory (LMVL).

Researchers at the Medical Devices Center use software available at MSI and the virtual-reality environment at the LMVL. MSI also assists these researchers in turning MRI scans into three-dimensional virtual models.