posted July 10, 2014

Several MSI Principal Investigators recently received Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellowships from the University of Minnesota Informatics Institute (UMII). This award, which is given to recently promoted associate professors, will enable the recipients to provide leadership in transdisciplinary collaborative projects at the interface of informatics and an application area.

Six Fellowships were awarded, and four of the recipients are MSI PIs. They are:

Marshall Hampton (University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Mathematics and Statistics) See a description of Professor Hampton’s work using MSI.

Adrian Hegeman (Departments of Horticulture Science and Plant Biology; Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute) See a description of Professor Hegeman’s MSI work using MSI.

Mihailo Jovanovic (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) See a description of Professor Jovanovic’s work using MSI.

Molly McCue (Department of Veterinary Population Medicine; Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute) See a description of Professor McCue’s work using MSI.

Read more about these awards on the OVPR’s Inquiry blog


posted July 9, 2014

MSI Principal Investigator Michael Travisano, an associate professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, is quoted in an article that appeared recently on the website The article poses the question, “Are Cities Evolving Into Hive Organisms?

Professor Travisano’s research group studies how microbiobial populations evolve. They have created a multicellular organism out of the single-celled yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They also study organisms such as eubacteria, alga, cyanobacteria, and multicellular fungi, and are particularly interested in the evolution of novel regulatory structures associated with novel phenotypes and development.

posted on July 8, 2014

Two MSI Principal Investigators in the Department of Chemistry, Regents Professor Donald Truhlar (MSI Fellow) and Professor Laura Gagliardi, were featured recently in the University’s Discover blog (Chemists turn key to new energy future, published June 27, 2014). Working with colleagues at the University of California Berkeley, they used computational chemistry to analyze the behavior of a catalyst that converts ethane to ethanol. The work was published in the journal Nature Chemistry in October 2012.

Regents Professor Truhlar and Professor Gagliardi are both members of a number of externally funded centers at the University, including: the Chemical Theory Center (Gagliardi - current Director; Truhlar - Founding Director); Nanoporous Materials Genome Center (NMGC) (Gagliardi - Director); SciDAC Partnership; and the newly funded Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (Gagliardi - Director).

An interview with chemistry Professor Chris Cramer (MSI Fellow), who is the director of the SciDAC Partnership, discussed the NMGC when the grant was awarded in 2012 (see Research Spotlight, MSI Supporting DOE Grants in Computational Chemistry). The announcement of the grant funding the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center was featured in an MSI News story in June 2014. The Research Spotlight series has also featured Professor Gagliardi’s work (Modeling Transition Metal and Actinide Chemistry).

posted on July 7, 2014

Rachael Grazioplene, a Ph.D. candidate in the research group of MSI PI Associate Professor Colin DeYoung (Psychology) is featured in the Winter 2014 issue of Reach, a publication of the College of Liberal Arts. The DeYoung group is studying possible biological reasons for personality traits. The use magnetic resonance images to study the brain and need MSI resources for the computationally intensive methods needed to analyze the images.

In the Reach article, Ms. Grazioplene discusses a possible common genetic factor that can cause creativity in some people and mental illness in others. You can read the entire article on the Reach website

posted on July 3, 2014

MSI PI Jian-Ping Wang, a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department, is featured in a recent article in the National Journal. The article discusses the University of Minnesota’s Office for Technology Commercialization, which is particularly effective in helping innovators at the U file patents, license those patents, and form companies. Professor Wang has filed 39 patents, has started two companies, and is in the process of forming a third company. He uses MSI for investigations into the highly magnetic material Fe16N2.

The article can be seen at the National Journal website.