MSI PI Jerrold Vitek (Head, Department of Neurology) recently led a surgical team that implanted a newly approved treatment device that fights the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The device is an improved version of a treatment called Deep Brain Stimulation. The University of Minnesota was also involved in the clinical trial for the device, called Vercise. Articles describing the new device and the medical procedure can be found at the following media outlets:
In Fall 2017, a group of researchers began a project to understand how the reintroduction of large predators will affect an ecosystem. Wolves have been found at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, a biological field station of the College of Biological Sciences.
MSI PI Mikael Elias (assistant professor, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) has recently published research that describes using engineered enzymes to break down organophosphorous (OP) compounds, which are used as fertilizers. Although they are excellent at helping farmers improve crop yields, they are also implicated in forms of cancer and some neurological problems. Professor Elias’s enzyme can break down OPs into harmless substances.
MSI MSI PI Apostolos Georgopoulos, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Director of the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System, has been honored by the American Legion with their Distinguished Service Medal. The award recognizes Professor Georgopoulos’s research into Gulf War Illness and traumatic brain injuries in veterans.
MSI PI Michael McAlpine (associate professor, Mechanical Engineering) is the lead researcher on a recent project to use 3D printing technology to create artificial models of organs. These models can be used by surgeons to plan and practice for surgery. The paper can be read on the website of the journal Advanced Materials Technologies: 3D Printed Organ Models With Physical Properties of Tissue and Integrated Sensors.
Three MSI PIs from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering have been named Fellows of the IEEE. They are:
Several MSI users are participating in a multidisciplinary project to create maps that show key traits in plants, such as leaf nitrogen concentration, leaf phosphorus concentration, and specific leaf area. The high-resolution maps show a great deal of local variability in plant traits. This information will be extremely useful as input to algorithms that are used to model carbon cycles.
MSI is sorry to note that MSI Principal Investigator Barney Klamecki, a professor in the mechanical engineering department, passed away on December 5 at the age of 74. Professor Klamecki, an expert in manufacturing processes, has been using MSI resources for computer modeling of arteries as part of a study to determine how arterial tissue structure and properties change during angioplasty and atherectomy. This research provides insight into better designs for medical devices and improved treatments.
MSI PI Bill Arnold (Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering) was interviewed on Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) recently about a study that discovered that antibiotics can be found in the sediment in Minnesota lakes. Researchers tested sediment in Lake Pepin, Lake Winona, and Duluth harbor, and found that the sediment contained several different antibiotics. All of the test sites receive water from wastewater treatment plants. These results have implications for researchers fighting antibiotic resistance in microbes.
On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, 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. December maintenance will include: Mesabi OS upgrade Itasca OS upgrade Upgrade to job scheduler on Itasca Windows updates Systems status is always available on our Status page. If you have any questions, please email
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers have found that plant respiration causes more carbon emissions than was previously thought. As the climate warms, this could reduce the ability of the earth’s surface to absorb carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
MSI PI Ned Patterson (Veterinary Clinical Sciences) is featured in the Fall 2017 issue of the U of M Foundation’s Legacy magazine. The article describes Professor Patterson’s research into epilepsy in humans and dogs that isn’t controllable by conventional methods. The article can be read on the Legacy website: Sit, stay, seizures.
Five MSI PIs have been named as 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellows. Two of the PIs are have been recognized by the AAAS Section of Engineering and three by the Section of Biology: Section of Biology: David A. Bernlohr (Head, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics)
MSI PI Pinar Karaca-Mandic, an associate professor in the Carlson School of Management, has received a $1.6 million grant to lead a multidisciplinary team that will study how physicians make the decision to stop using treatment procedures when information comes out showing that they are unsafe or ineffective. The team is made up of researchers from the U of M School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, and Yale University, plus subject-matter experts in several fields.
MSI PI Laura Gagliardi (Chemistry) is part of a new National Nuclear Security Administration Actinide Center of Excellence. The Center, which is led by the University of Notre Dame and includes scientists from several universities including the University of Minnesota, will conduct research supporting nuclear weapons security and operations.
MSI PI Tim Griffis (Soil, Water, and Climate) is a co-author on research recently published in the prestigious journal Science that describes a new method of measuring photosynthesis. A NASA satellite measures a process that takes place only during the photosynthesis process; these measurements have been validated using measurements taken by University of Minnesota researchers, including Professor Griffis. The research has uses for agriculture and climate studies.
Air pollution in urban environments causes many premature deaths each year, and that number will grow as urban populations increase. MSI PI Anu Ramaswamy (Humphrey School of Public Affairs) led an international research team that recently published a study showing that using the heat generated from industrial processes for heating and cooling other buildings in a city. This re-use would result in fewer pollutants being generated by cities.
On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 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. November maintenance will include: Mesabi OS upgrade Itasca OS upgrade Windows updates NoMachine Upgrade     Please upgrade your NoMachine clients to version 5 Systems status is always available on our Status page.
The second phase of the Grand Challenges Awards, part of the University’s Driving Tomorrow strategic plan, have been awarded, and several MSI PIs are among the faculty members leading projects. The interdisciplinary projects funded this year focus on two categories of the Grand Challenges Research initiative, “Fostering Just and Equitable Communities” and “Assuring Clean Water and Sustainable Ecosystems.” Two projects address the intersection of those categories.
MSI PI Miguel Fiol, an associate professor in the Department of Neurology, is leading a team of doctors who will provide assistance to some of the communities that are still suffering after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Professor Fiol is a native of Puerto Rico and was visiting there when Maria hit. After returning to Minnesota, he organized a group that raised funds and collected medical supplies.