News

MSI PIs Melania Figueroa (assistant professor, Plant Pathology) and Jim Bradeen (professor and head, Plant Pathology) are featured in a story about the University’s Oat Global program in the Fall 2018 issue of the University of Minnesota Foundation’s Legacy magazine. Professor Bradeen is the director of Oat Global.
MSI PI Forest Isbell (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) is the lead researcher on a project that has re-introduced a herd of bison into the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR). Dr. Isbell is the Associate Director of CCESR.
MSI PI Jian-Ping Wang (Electrical and Computer Engineering) will be the director of a new center that will focus on novel materials for advanced computing systems. The new Center for Spintronic Materials in Advanced Information Technologies (SMART) will be housed in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE).
On Wednesday, November 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. A global system reservation will start at 5:00am on November 7. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00am on November 7 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. November maintenance will include:
Recent research by MSI PI Dan Knights  (associate professor, Computer Science and Engineering; BioTechnology Institute) shows that the gut microbiome of southeast Asian immigrants to the US changes to become more like that of Americans. This change happens quickly, within a year. People in southeast Asia have much more diverse gut microbiomes than people in the US do. A less-diverse microbiome is linked to several health conditions, including obesity.
Two MSI PIs from the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering (CEGE), Professor Bill Arnold and Dr. Paige Novak, are part of a team that has received a grant to plan an Engineering Research Center concerned with the management and treatment of water. The planning grant of $94,000 is from the National Science Foundation’s  Engineering Research Center program.
Assistant Professor Tim Kowalewski and Associate Professor James Van de Ven, MSI PIs in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, have been awarded a $1.98M grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study 3D-printable polyurethane polymers that can be used to create soft robots that can tunnel through a variety of materials, configurations, and designs.
Associate Professor Michael McAlpine (Mechanical Engineering) is featured in the U’s Fall 2018 Driven to Discover campaign. Professor McAlpine’s research group uses MSI resources to support research into 3D printing of functional materials and devices, which requires the use of software for simulation, computer-aided engineering, data visualization, and image processing.
A study just published in the prestigious journal Nature shows that tree growth in northern Minnesota’s forests will slow down as the climate warms. This reduced growth is due to less-frequent (although heavier) rain, which will cause the soil to be drier. The study looked at 11 different tree species in northern Minnesota and was led by MSI PI Peter Reich (Regents Professor, Forest Resources).
Professor Maria Gini (Computer Science and Engineering) is featured in the U’s Fall 2018 Driven to Discover campaign. Professor Gini’s research group studies a variety of problems in artificial intelligence and multi-agent systems. The problems can require machine learning methods, optimization algorithms, search algorithms that work in very large search spaces, image processing, distributed computations, and more.
University President Eric Kaler announced today that Professor Chris Cramer (Chemistry) will take over as Vice President for Research beginning November 12, 2018 and serving until November 12, 2020.
Professor Perry Hackett (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) is featured in the U’s Fall 2018 Driven to Discover campaign. The Hackett group uses MSI resources, especially Galaxy, for research concerning applications of Sleeping Beauty transposons. See the story: Sleeping Beauty, Sleeping Giant: A breakthrough treatment in the fight against cancer.    
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has renewed funding for the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve (CCESR), home to long-term ecological experiments. The funding renewal extends NSF’s support by another six years; they have provided funding to CCESR since 1982. MSI PIs Eric Seabloom and Sarah Hobbie, both of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, are the project co-leaders.
On Wednesday, October 3, 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 5:00 am on October 3. Jobs that cannot be completed before 5:00 am on October 3 will be held until after maintenance and then started once the system returns to production status. October maintenance will include:
The University of Minnesota has received a four-year, $5.3 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to study ways to improve electronic circuit design. MSI PI Sachin Sapatnekar (professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering) will lead the team at the U. This grant fall under DARPA’s new Intelligent Design of Electronic Assets program.
Research by MSI PI David Redish (professor, Neuroscience) was featured recently on the Office of the Vice President for Research’s Inquiry blog: No Simple Decisions.
Regents Professor Donald Truhlar, a long-time MSI PI in the Department of Chemistry, has received the 2019 American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry. Professor Truhlar is one of the top theoretical chemists in the world, with many contributions that have advanced chemistry. The award will be presented at the ACS National Meeting in Orlando, Florida, in April 2019.
MSI PI Logan Spector (professor, Pediatrics; Masonic Cancer Center) is leading a new project that will study the health families over time. The researchers want sign up 10,000 families; these families will commit to having two members of two different generations fill out questionnaires and provide periodic samples. The goal is to study the development of various diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
MSI PI Matthew Rouse (adjunct associate professor, Plant Pathology; USDA Agricultural Research Service) was named the 2018 winner of the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application. The World Food Prize Foundation announced the award at the Sustainable Development Goals Conference in the Netherlands last month.
The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) was created to address the issues created by an increasing number of invasive plant and animal species threatening Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, and streams. MSI PI Nicholas Phelps (Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology) is the MAISRC Director. He uses MSI resources for his work developing eradication tools for invasive species. Work by the MAISRC has been featured recently by several news outlets: