posted April 27, 2015

Regents Professor Donald Truhlar (Chemistry - College of Science and Engineering; MSI Fellow) has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS). The AAAS honors those in academia, the arts, business, and public affairs who are preeminent in their fields. You can read more about this award and Professor Truhlar’s work on the chemistry department websiteAn article also appears on the University's Discover blog.

Professor Truhlar is one of the top computational chemists in the world. He has used MSI since the 1980s for his research in many aspects of physical chemistry. His current MSI research group includes more than 30 undergrad and grad students, post-docs, and research associates. He also collaborates with several other MSI Principal Investigators and has numerous publications.


posted on April 20, 2015

MSI PI Liliya Williams, a professor at the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics (College of Science and Engineering), was part of a team that has discovered dark matter interacting with a force other than gravity. The research, published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, was led by researchers at Durham University in the UK. It is significant because it potentially disproves the theory that states that dark matter only interacts with gravity. This story has received considerable media attention, this articles quoting Professor Williams appearing on the websites below.

Professor Williams uses the MSI supercomputers to run code that produces reconstructions of galactic clusters. 

posted April 17, 2015

Professor Timothy Kehoe, an MSI Principal Investigator from the Department of Economics, has been awarded a 2015-16 Guggenheim Fellowship. These Fellowships are awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and, according to the Foundation, are presented “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise” in various fields of study. A notice about this award appears on the College of Liberal Arts website.

Professor Kehoe intends to use his Fellowship grant to study the impact of NAFTA and trade liberalization. Researchers in his group are using MSI resources to model the effects of international bailouts during the European debt crisis of 2008-2013.

posted on April 15, 2015

MSI Principal Investigator Wayne Gladfelter, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded the 2015 George W. Taylor Award of Distinguished Service by the College of Science and Engineering. The award recognizes outstanding service to the University and voluntary public service.

Professor Gladfelter’s work at MSI involves two main projects. The first involves investigations into organic dyes for dye sensitized solar cells. The computational work allows the Gladfelter group to understand the dye’s structure, orbital density, and energy levels. The second project studies the surface chemistry in atomic layer deposition.

An article about Professor Gladfelter’s long history of service can be found on the chemistry department website.

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.