posted on March 7, 2014

Long-time MSI Principal Investigator and Fellow Professor David Thomas (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) has been elected to the Academic Health Center’s Academy for Excellence in Health Research. This is the highest honor given to faculty by AHC.

Professor Thomas has used MSI resources for over two decades. He and his research group, the Minnesota Muscle Laboratory, specialize in muscle processes. They use MSI for computational simulations that connect models with experimental results. A member of the lab, Dr. Bengt Svensson, was recently profiled in a Research Spotlight on the MSI website.

posted on March 6, 2014

Professor John Lipscomb (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) has received the American Chemical Society’s 2014 Repligen Award in Chemistry and Biological Processes.This award recognizes outstanding research that contributes to the understanding of the structure, function, and mechanism of biological processes.

Professor Lipscomb’s research group uses MSI resources to study the structure and mechanism of oxygenase enzymes. They are currently involved in two projects, one that studies a series of dioxygenases enzymes and one involving methane monooxygenase. More information about these research projects can be found on the Lipscomb group’s abstract page on the MSI website. 

posted on March 4, 2014

MSI PI Tian He, an associate professor in the computer science and engineering department, is among the researchers named a 2014 Resident Fellow of the Institute on the Environment (IonE). IonE Fellows conduct interdisciplinary research that seeks to understand and address environmental problems. Professor He will be working on a project to conduct environmental crowd-sensing data in a Chinese metropolitan area using sensors on taxicabs. This project is related to his group’s research using MSI resources, which uses traffic data from multi-modal online feeds to study and optimize urban transit systems. The huge amount of data now available allows transportation experts to build systems that can deal with changes in the urban environment. 

posted on March 3, 2014

On Wednesday, March 5, from 04:00 - 15:00, MSI staff will perform scheduled maintenance and upgrades to the network and various systems.

During this maintenance period, we will be performing the following updates:
• Networking upgrades will be implemented resulting in a downtime of up to 30 minutes for core MSI systems.
• Cascade will be offline for hardware updates.
• One of Itasca’s login nodes will be unavailable (this shouldn’t impact most users).
• The NX remote desktop service,, will be upgraded from 4.0 to version 4.1. At maintenance time, all existing NX sessions will be cancelled. MSI will retire client version 3.5 connections (users should upgrade to the latest NX client).
• Portions of the lab queue will be upgraded.
• One of the MSI login hosts will be unavailable for updates (this shouldn’t impact most users).
• The remaining project shares on the MSI storage resource "buzzard" will be unshared.

Systems status is always available on our Status page.

If you have any questions, please email

posted February 25, 2014

A recent story in the University of Minnesota’s Discover series highlights the work of Professor Joseph Metzger, head of the Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology and MSI Principal Investigator. Professor Metzger and his colleagues are developing “patches” - formally known as poloxamers - that can be used to repair leaky cells in the heart. In these cells, the enclosing cell membranes have tears that allow proteins within the cell to escape, thus damaging the ability of the heart to function correctly. This is a condition found in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, or who have had heart attacks or other heart problems.

Professor Metzger uses MSI resources for research into heart cells. Most recently, this research has included creating molecular dynamics simulations of troponin molecules.