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posted on May 21, 2015
MSI Principal Investigator Reuben Harris, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, has been selected to be a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. His five-year term will begin in September. HHMI will provide financial support for Professor Harris’s research, which investigates enzymes called “APOBECs.” A story about this award appears in the University’s Discover blog.
Professor Harris uses MSI resources to conduct genomic investigations of APOBEC proteins and to study their role in cancer. He is also associate director of the Institute for Molecular Virology and a member of the Masonic Cancer Center.
posted on May 18, 2015
A new study has linked the use of antibiotics in infants to diseases in adults. The study includes a new model that could help measure healthy development of gut bacteria in children. MSI PI Dan Knights, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is a co-author on the paper, which was published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe. The research may have implications for how doctors prescribe antibiotics to children.
Professor Knights uses MSI to assist research into the functional characterization of complex host-microbe interactions in host diseases and behavior. He is also a member of the BioTechnology Institute. He was a co-author on a paper that was featured in a recent MSI Research Spotlight that studied intestinal fungal communities in infants.
posted on May 14, 2015
MSI PIs were on five of the six teams recently awarded research grants by the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The grants were awarded based on competitive applications and are intended to provide a means for innovative research projects to get started.
The Minnesota Partnership is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and the state of Minnesota. Each research team includes members from the University and Mayo.
The five PIs who received grants are:
A complete list, with descriptions, of the Minnesota Partnership grants can be found in the news release on the Health Sciences website.
posted on May 11, 2015
MSI PIs Dan Knights (Computer Science and Engineering - College of Science and Engineering) and Michael Sadowsky (Soil, Water, and Climate - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences), are co-authors on a recent study supporting the value of fecal transplantation for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infections. C. difficile infection is a growing problem worldwide. Treatment with antibiotics can disrupt “good” intestinal bacteria, a side effect that this new treatment avoids. The study was published in the journal Microbiome. The study’s authors also included other University of Minnesota researchers and colleagues at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Professor Sadowsky is the Director of the BioTechnology Institute (College of Science and Engineering and College of Biological Sciences). He uses MSI resources for deep DNA sequencing to study the metagenome of the human intestinal tracts. He is also leading a study of the metagenome of the Mississippi River.
Assistant Professor Knights is a member of the BioTechnology Institute. He uses MSI to assist research into the functional characterization of complex host-microbe interactions in host diseases and behavior.
posted on May 7, 2015
A new study in the prestigious journal Science examined 28 years of data collected from the University’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR) and showed that biological diversity may be the key to keeping ecosystems stable. Co-authors on the study include three MSI Principal Investigators: Regents Professor David Tilman (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior); Associate Professor Eric Seabloom (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior); and Regents Professor Peter Reich (Forest Resources). The study’s lead investigator was Yann Hautier, a Marie Curie Fellow associated with the College of Biological Sciences and the University of Oxford, U.K.
MSI works with the CCESR to manage the huge datasets that have been collected for decades at the site. These data and metadata are made available to researchers and the general public through the CCESR website.