posted June 26, 2012

The new head of the Department of Plant Biology, Gary Muehlbauer (Associate Fellow), is highlighted in an article on the College of Biological Sciences website. Professor Muehlbauer uses MSI resources to study the genomes of barley, wheat, soybeans, and maize. One project, for example, involves studying the gene-expression profiles of grains during infection with Fusarium graminearum, the pathogen that causes head blight, a virulent disease of grain worldwide. Learning about the genomes of important grains may allow researchers to develop varieties with higher yields and better disease resistance.


The Active Archive Alliance has released a case study about MSI’s Spectra Logic file archive system. The case study can be found on the linked page under the "University of Minnesota" header. 


The Active Archive Alliance is a collaborative industry association dedicated to educating users about options for online data archives. You can also read the press release announcing publication of the case study on their website.



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.