The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the winners of the 2012 Minnesota Futures grants. Both of the recipients are MSI Principal Investigators: Emad Ebbini (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Lawrence Wackett (MSI Associate Fellow; Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics). The goal of the Minnesota Futures Grant Program is to promote new cross-disciplinary collaborations by University researchers. Grants are awarded to groups that have not worked together before.


Professor Ebbini and his collaborators will investigate image-guided targeted drug delivery, with the goal of improving treatment for liver cancer. The project by Professor Wackett and his collaborators will study environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). One of the collaborators in the Wackett group is MSI PI Lynda Ellis (Associate Fellow; Laboratory Medicine and Pathology).

MSI PI Les Szabo (Plant Pathology) was interviewed on June 11 on Minnesota Public Radio's Daily Circuit program. He discussed his work with wheat rust, a common and devastating disease of wheat caused by the Puccinia graminis pathogen. Professor Szabo is using MSI to study the genomics of a variant of this pathogen, Ug99, which is highly virulent and against which most wheat does not have resistance.  


The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) has revised the rate it charges external parties for consulting services. Until now, MSI has had a single $188/hour rate for all consulting. Going forward, it will have a different rate for each of two types of consulting: technical consulting and scientific consulting.

Technical consulting includes algorithm development; code optimization; development of parallel codes; development of scripts; and assistance with applied problems, software, or software packages.

Scientific consulting includes development of research topics or the carrying out of applications in genomics, bioinformatics, proteomics, etc.

For technical consulting, MSI will continue to charge $188/hour. For scientific consulting, MSI will charge $126/hour.

More information about MSI’s consulting services can be found at the External Services webpage.


MSI PI Jonathan Foley, Director of the Institute on the Environment, has been profiled by Time magazine in an article that appears on their website. The article discusses Foley’s research into the problem of how to maintain food production while at the same time avoiding damage to the environment. Professor Foley and his research group have been using MSI in order to run computer models of the impact of land-use change in the southern Amazon region of South America.

MSI PI Martin Saar (Earth Sciences), MSI Fellow Thomas Kuehn (Mechanical Engineering), and postdoctoral fellow Jimmy Randolph have invented a process by which carbon dioxide can be used as a renewable, green power source. The process, called the CO2-plume geothermal (CPG) system, shows great promise in computer models. The U has applied for international patents; testing should begin next year. You can read more in “Clean energy from CO2?” on the UMNews website.