posted on March 24, 2015

Associate Professor Mohamed Mokbel (Computer Science and Engineering - College of Science and Engineering) has created a platform that handles very large sets of spatial data on Apache Hadoop. This platform, an open-source project, has been distributed online. Professor Mokbel’s group uses MSI resources to experiment with the platform for various operations.

The Eclipse Foundation, an organization supported by software industry leaders, is now funding this project under the name GeoJinni. This will allow Professor Mokbel’s team to expand and develop the program even more.

The OVPR Inquiry blog recently published an article about SpatialHadoop and the Eclipse Foundation.


posted on March 20, 2015

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) has published a list of patents that have been awarded to University researchers during the past few months. Several MSI Principal Investigators, shown below, are on this list. The complete list can be found on the OVPR's Inquiry blog post, "Patent roll call, spring 2015." 

The PIs' group pages are linked from their names. Clicking on the Project Title on the PI page will take you to an abstract of the researchers' project(s) at MSI.

David Norris, Sang Eon Han, Aditya Bhan (Chemical Engineering and Materials Science), Prashant Nagpal, Nathan Lindquist, and Sang-Hyun Oh (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Replication of patterned thin-film structures for use in plasmonics and metamaterials

Georgios Giannakis (Director, Digital Technology Center; Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Zhengdao Wang:
Wireless communication systems having linear encoder

Daniel O’Sullivan (Food Science and Nutrition) and Ju-Hoon Lee
Lantibiotics and uses thereof

Efrosini Kokkoli, Brett Waybrant, Srinand Sreevastan (Veterinary Population Medicine), and Ping Wang
Fractalkine binding polynucleotides and methods of use

Shyam Boriah, Ankush Khandelwal, Vipin Kumar (Computer Science and Engineering), Varul Mithal, and Karsten Steinhaeuser
Automated mapping of land cover using sequences of aerial imagery


posted on March 18, 2015

Principal Investigator Daniel Voytas (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development; Director, Center for Genome Engineering) is part of a research team that was recognized by MIT Technology Review as one of the ten Breakthrough Technologies of 2015. The group, a consortium of researchers from 12 laboratories in eight countries, has made the first step in creating a new species of rice that will have a greater yield while not requiring any additional water. Experts expect that, without intervention, the global rice yield will fall far short of required amounts by the year 2050.

Professor Voytas uses MSI resources to monitor mutagenesis by surveying genome sequences for alterations.

This research was written up in the OVPR’s Inquiry blog. You can also read more on the MIT Technology Review.


posted on March 16, 2015

The expertise of MSI Principal Investigator Carol Cardona, a professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (College of Veterinary Medicine), has been called on extensively during the past week in articles about the avian influenza outbreak among Minnesota turkeys. Professor Cardona is an expert in infectious disease in domestic poultry. Publications in which she is quoted include:


Professor Cardona uses MSI resources to investigate the mechanisms that underlie respiratory disease in poultry. She and her research group are profiling the microbiome of chickens and are evaluating the roles of the microbiota (virome, bacteriome, and fungome). 

posted on March 13, 2015

Several MSI PIs are serving on the newly formed Grand Challenges Research Strategies Group, which has been formed to help shape research priorities under the University’s Strategic Planning initiative.

According to a recent letter from Provost Karen Hanson, members of this group are senior faculty “deeply respected and accomplished in their own fields, but whose perspective on this strategic work would not be shaped primarily by their own scholarly interests.” Current MSI PIs who will be serving in this group are:

  • Professor James Bradeen (Head, Plant Pathology - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory - College of Science and Engineering; MSI Fellow)
  • Professor Gunda Georg (Head, Medicinal Chemistry; Director, Institute for Therapeutics Discovery and Development - College of Pharmacy)
  • Professor Gary Muehlbauer (Agronomy and Plant Genetics - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Professor Harry Orr (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology - Medical School)
  • Professor F. Abel Ponce de Leon (Animal Science - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Professor David Pui (Mechanical Engineering - College of Science and Engineering)
  • Professor Peter Reich (Forest Resources - College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Regents Professor Steve Ruggles (Director, Minnesota Population Center - Office of the Vice President for Research)