News

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.
MSI PI Jakub Tolar, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, has been named the new Dean of the Medical School. Professor Tolar begins his new responsibilities this week; the official appointment is subject to Board of Regents approval. The announcement appears on the Medical School website: Dr. Jakub Tolar Named Dean of the UMN Medical School.
Two MSI PIs, Assistant Professor Michael Smanski (BioTechnology Institute; Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics) and Assistant Professor William Harcombe (BioTechnology Institute; Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) are authors on a study that describes a way to keep genetically engineered organisms from interbr
MSI PI Nicholas Jordan (professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics) is the lead author on a recent paper, published in EMBO Reports, that proposes a cooperative governance network that would oversee how gene-editing technologies would be used on crops. The network would include all stakeholders – crop breeders, financers, and advocacy groups – and would have procedures that would be visible to the public.
MSI PI Eric Shook (assistant professor; Geography, Environment and Society) is featured on the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) website as part of a series about CLA faculty who use big data. You can read the article on the CLA website: Superpowered GIS.
Two MSI PIs, Professor Shashi Shekhar (Computer Science and Engineering) and Professor Anu Ramaswami (Humphrey School of Public Affairs), are leading a multi-disciplinary team to develop “smart” infrastructure sectors in cities.
Regents Professor Timothy Lodge, an MSI PI who holds dual appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has received the 2018 Paul J. Flory Polymer Education Award. This award is given by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Division of Polymer Chemistry, and will be presented at the ACS National Meeting in March 2018.
Four MSI PIs recently were awarded grants to support their research as part of the University’s Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC). The mission of the Center (from their website) is to “prevent and minimize the threats posed by terrestrial invasive plants, other weeds, pathogens, and pests in order to protect the state's prairies, forests, wetlands, and agricultural resources.” The PIs are:
Three MSI PIs are among the investigators working on a project that has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health BRAIN Initiative. The grant was awarded to the Medical School’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) for a project that will study ways to make Deep Brain Simulation (DBS) more efficient and safer. DBS is used to treat many neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s Disease. The MSI PIs are:
Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 4, 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. October maintenance will include:
A new study by MSI PI Jennifer Powers (associate professor, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) and graduate student Leland Werden provides data to help with the restoration of tropical dry forests that have been destroyed by activities such as logging or farming. In many cases, the soil of these former forests is extremely degraded. The study, published recently in the Journal of Applied Ecology, showed that traits in certain trees allowed them to survive in poor soil conditions.
MSI PI Jeannine Cavender-Bares (associate professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior) collaborated on a study that describes for the first time the evolutionary history of North American oak trees. The study describes the diversification of two lines, red oaks and white oaks, that split from a common ancestor. It was published recently in the journal New Phytologist.
MSI PI John Bischof, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been named to be Interim Director of the Institute for Engineering in Medicine (IEM). Professor Bischof has been associate director of the Institute and is also a member of the Masonic Cancer Center.
MSI PI Eric Watkins (Horticultural Science) has received a $5.4 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture. A type of grass called fine fescue needs less water and fertilizer than other grasses used for lawns, but has not gained popularity. Professor Watkins will study why homeowners don’t use fine fescues, and how new varieties can be developed that meet their needs and wants.