News

MSI PI Sharon Jansa, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior and the curator of mammals at the Bell Museum of Natural History, is a co-author on a recent paper that reveals that the highest concentration of unique mammals species in the world is on the Philippines island of Luzon.
MSI PI Tim Griffis, a professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, was interviewed recently by Minnesota Public Radio about how the change from a prairie landscape to crop fields has affected Minnesota weather. Crops, especially corn, “sweat” moisture into the atmosphere much more than do prairie plants. The result is more water vapor in the air, which makes it more uncomfortable when the temperature rises.
Since 2011, MSI PI Emilie Snell-Rood, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, has collected butterflies around the country. She and her lab compared butterfly traits to try to determine how nutrition affected them and their development. This study is notable for its huge number of species.
MSI PIs were featured in a recent Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) story about how designers are developing ways to construct city neighborhoods in such a way that they will not create “heat islands,” where temperatures are higher than they are in surrounding areas.
The College of Biological Sciences Connect blog features a story about MSI PI Tim Griffin (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics; Director, Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics) and the Galaxy platform hosted by MSI.
MSI PI Larry Wackett (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) recently published a paper in the Nature online journal Scientific Reports that discusses a method of using sunlight to fight clean up toxic waste. The method involves a group of bacteria that use sunlight and others that eat and degrade toxic materials.
Assistant Professor Karina Quevedo, an MSI PI in the psychiatry department, has been interviewed by the news website MinnPost about her research into ways to fight depression in adolescents. Her current study involves teaching participants to use positive memories to activate certain areas of the brain. The study involves MRI scanning.
Oxidation state is an identifier used by scientists to understand the mechanisms of oxidation-reduction reactions and catalysis. In a recent paper, published in Angewandte Chemie, by graduate student Haoyu Yu and Regents Professor Donald Truhlar, an MSI PI in the Department of Chemistry, the authors reveal the existence of oxidation state 10. Previously, oxidation states ranged from -4 through +9.
U-Spatial, one of MSI’s sibling organizations in Research Computing, recently helped researchers at the Institute on the Environment (IonE) on a project that showed the importance of water quality to people making decisions about which lake to visit. A story about this project and the work done by U-Spatial appears on the IonE website: There’s a map for that.  
MSI PI Dan Keefe, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is featured in the U’s Driven to Discover campaign: To Create 3D Space to Explore New Worlds.
On Wednesday, July 6, 2016, from 8:00am – 5:00pm CDT, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various MSI systems. July maintenance will impact the following systems: Mesabi and Itasca will be generally unavailable from 8:00am - 5:00pm CDT while MSI staff make system upgrades. Systems status is always available on our System Status page. If you have any questions, please email help@msi.umn.edu.
Professor Sarah Hobbie, an MSI PI from the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, has been named the 2016 Ada Comstock Distinguished Scholar.
Professor Georgios Giannakis (Director, Digital Technology Center; Electrical and Computer Engineering) has been awarded a McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair. This is one of the University of Minnesota’s highest faculty awards.
Four MSI PIs were among the faculty members who received grants from the 2016 Research Infrastructure Investment Program. These grants, which are awarded by the Office of the Vice President for Research, are designed to ensure that research facilities and support services are suitable for outstanding research. An article about the grant and a complete list of awardees can be found on the OVPR website: U Research Infrastructure Gets $2.4 Million Boost.
Two MSI PIs were among the U of M faculty who received Spring 2016 Mini Grants from the Institute on the Environment. The grants are awarded to interdisciplinary projects that focus on environmental themes. Besides funding, the award includes space for workshops, meetings, and conferences and some administrative support for a year. The MSI PIs who received Mini Grants are:
MSI PI Wendy Gordon, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, has been named a 2016 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. This grant, presented by the Pew Charitable Trust, “provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health.
MSI PI David Largaespada (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development; Masonic Cancer Center) is one of the co-founders of a startup that will develop better gene-editing tools that will enable more complex genome engineering techniques. The company, B-MoGen, was launched in February.
MSI PI Raymond Hozalski, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, has been working with the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to help improve the taste and smell of their drinking water. While the water was safe, conditions in the water sources were creating “off” tastes and odors.
MSI PI Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering and St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, studies river deltas as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Sustainable Deltas Project. This project seeks to understand how river deltas are changing and what can be done to protect them.
MSI Principal Investigators are among the researchers chosen to receive grants from the Institute on the Environment’s Renewable Electricity for Minnesota’s Future program. The projects are cross-disciplinary and include partners from the private sector. The following projects include MSI PIs. PI names are in bold. A complete list of the grant awardees can be found on the IonE website.