MSI PI Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) led a group of researchers who successfully used a 3D printer to print electronics on the back of a real human hand. This research could be used by soldiers, who could get temporary sensors to detect biological or chemical agents or solar cells to charge electronic equipment. The researchers were also able to print cells directly onto a skin wound, which could lead to new treatments for wounds and the ability to create skin grafts.
On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. A global system reservation will start at 6am on May 2. Jobs that cannot be completed before 6am on May 2 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. May maintenance will include:
MSI PI Peter Reich (professor, Forest Resources; Fellow, Institute on the Environment) was the lead researcher in a study, published this month in the prestigious journal Science, that showed unexpected growth performance of some types of grasses as carbon dioxide levels rise. This 20-year study investigated the response of two types of grasses, classified as C3 and C4 types, to elevated CO2 levels.
MSI PI Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) is working with the US Army Research Lab (ARL) to create soft robots inspired by invertebrates. They are using 3D printing technology to create these robots, which will have much better capabilities for working in congested and urban environments. The researchers have created a prototype of a soft actuator that has tunable parameters, and is fully 3D printed.
MSI PI Apostolos Georgopoulos (Director, Brain Sciences Center professor, Neuroscience) is a co-author on a recent study that discovered a gene allele that seems to protect a person from age-related loss of brain cells. This discovery could be the basis for development of a treatment that can mimic the allele’s effect. The study was published in March 2018 in the journal eBioMedicine.
MSI PI Monica Luciana (Chair, Psychology) studies brain development in adolescents, including how the developing brain is affected by the use of alcohol and other drugs such as marijuana. She is part of a large research group, The Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) consortium, that is following 11,500 children over at least five years. The goal of this project is to find strategies for preventing and treating substance abuse.
William Pomerantz, an MSI PI from the Department of Chemistry (College of Science and Engineering) has been named a McKnight Presidential Fellow. This program recognizes exceptional faculty who have been newly granted tenure and promotion to associate professor. The complete list of this year’s Fellows can be found on the Scholars Walk website.
Two MSI PIs from the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine have received grants from the Morris Animal Foundation (Denver, Colorado) to support their research into canine cancers:
Professor Christy Haynes, an MSI PI from the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship. Professor Haynes uses MSI resources for projects related to the study of inflammatory response and drugs to fight inflammation. Her Guggenheim project will take her to the Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia for the 2018-19 academic year.
Three MSI PIs are among the six University faculty members who have been named Distinguished McKnight University Professors. They are:
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: Patent Roll Call, Spring 2018. The PIs' MSI pages are linked from their names (PI names are in bold). Software and Information Technology
MSI has scheduled an extended downtime for all HPC systems starting Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at 6:00 pm. April's extended downtime is required in order to complete the migration of all user data onto new primary storage hardware. The extended time is needed because we will be moving data from our largest group volumes; 0, 2, 4, and 5.
MSI PI Pinar Karaca-Mandic, an associate professor in the Carlson School of Management and Director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, has received a $756,000 from the American Cancer Society to study the launch of biosimilar drugs.
Two MSI PIs are among the University faculty who recently received grants from the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The Partnership is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and the State of Minnesota that supports biotechnology and biomedical research. The projects receiving grants include researchers from the University and Mayo.
Regents Professor Peter Reich, an MSI PI in the Department of Forest Resources (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences), was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio’s Climate Cast program on March 1, 2018. Professor Reich talked about his research into forests and climate change. The program can be found on the MPR website: What’s going on in the Arctic?
On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to various MSI systems. Primary Storage, Mesabi, and Itasca will be unavailable throughout much of the day. March maintenance will include: Mesabi OS upgrade Itasca OS upgrade Switch LANG to UTF-8 on Itasca and Lab NoMachine Client Updates Windows users please update to 5.3.26 OSX and Linux users please update to 5.3.25 If you have any questions, please email
MSI PI Bernadette Gillick (assistant professor, Rehabilitation Medicine) is the lead author on a recently published pilot study of using non-invasive brain stimulation to improve the motor skills and coordination of children affected by cerebral palsy (CP). The study investigated the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation, in which low-level electrical current is positioned on the scalp to target specific areas of the brain.
Two MSI PIs have received teaching awards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to education. Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education: Professor Victor Barocas, Biomedical Engineering
A recent article in The Atlantic magazine features an article about MSI PI Marlene Zuk (Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) and her research into crickets on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The crickets’ population had been decreasing due to a parasitic fly, which located the crickets by their calls and placed their larvae on or near the crickets. The larvae then killed the crickets by burrowing into their bodies.
MSI PI Frank Albert (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) has been awarded a 2018 Sloan Research Fellowship. This award is made to early-career scientists who show potential to make substantial contributions to their field.