posted on September 12, 2014

MSI Principal Investigator Larry Wackett (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) and several of his colleagues in the BioTechnology Institute have recently received a MnDRIVE Transdisciplinary Research Program award. The researchers are interested in how chemicals entering the environment can be degraded quickly and safely.

Professor Wackett’s research group has recently shown that a bacterial enzyme that degrades the chemical compound naphthalene can also act on other chemicals. The MnDRIVE award will be used to start a database of bacterial enzymes that have known actions, then will computationally predict the other chemicals that enzyme will work on. An article about this award and the research it will be used to fund can be found on the College of Biological Science’s Connect blog.

Professor Wackett uses computing to answer important biological questions. His lab is involved in several projects that involve MSI’s computational resources. One of the co-investigators on the MnDRIVE project is MSI PI Professor Carrie Wilmot (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics), who uses MSI to study the synthesis and function of novel organic, organometallic, and metal ion cofactors in proteins.

posted on September 8, 2014

Regents Professor Donald Truhlar, MSI Fellow and former MSI Director, will be honored at a symposium to be held at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver, Colorado, in March 2015. The symposium is called "Computational chemical dynamics: Advancing our understanding of chemical processes in gas-phase, biomolecular, and condensed-phase systems." Professor Truhlar is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Science and Engineering. Another MSI Fellow from the chemistry department, Professor Jiali Gao, is helping to organize the symposium.

Professor Truhlar is an internationally renowned expert in computational chemistry with numerous publications. He was MSI’s Director during 1988 - 2006. He and Professor Gao are also members of the chemistry department’s Chemical Theory Center.


posted on September 4, 2014

MSI Principal Investigator Bin He, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (College of Science and Engineering) and Director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine, leads a group of University researchers who have received a National Science Foundation grant as part of President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. This program is intended to support new technologies that will help us understand how the brain works. Professor He and his research team will explore new multimodal neuroimaging technology for extremely high-resolution brain sensing and imaging. An article about this award is on the College of Science and Engineering website.

Professor He uses MSI to develop computer simulations to study how electromagnetic fields behave in biological tissue, in support of research into different kinds of medical imaging. This research requires a great deal of memory, multi-core processors, and high-capability software. 

posted on September 2, 2014

MSI Principal Investigator Robert Tranquillo, Professor and Head, Department of Biomedical Engineering (College of Science and Engineering), is one of four researchers awarded a grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC). Professor Tranquillo’s project is entitled “Preclinical Demonstration of Growth Capacity of a Tissue-Engineering RVOT Graft.” He is using MSI for a project developing a computational model that will allow evaluation of flow through tissues in engineered microvessels.

This grant is part of the Pediatric Medical Device Translational Grant Program; this is the program’s first year. An article with a program description and complete list of grant awardees can be found on the CTSI webpage.


posted on August 29, 2014

Three graduate student researchers at MSI have received fellowships for research under the MnDRIVE program area of Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions. MnDRIVE is a partnership between the University and the state of Minnesota that is intended to advance research and innovation in four key areas. Besides brain conditions, the other three areas are Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing; Global Food Ventures; and Advancing Industry, Conserving our Environment.

The newly named Fellows are pursuing research and training in the emerging, trandisciplinary field of neuromodulation. The MSI researchers who are among the new Fellows are:

Bryan S. Baxter, Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering
MSI PI: Professor Bin He; Biomedical Engineering and Director, Institute for Engineering in Medicine (College of Science and Engineering)

Abbey Holt, Ph.D. student in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience
MSI PI: Associate Professor Tay Netoff; Biomedical Engineering (College of Science and Engineering)

Scott G. Warren, M.D./Ph.D student in the Graduate Program in Neuroscience
MSI PI: Associate Professor Geoffrey Ghose; Neuroscience (Medical School)

A complete list of Neuromodulation Fellows and descriptions of their projects can be found on the MnDRIVE website.