The University of Minnesota announced recently that discoveries by University researchers were used to launch 12 startup companies in fiscal year 2012. This is a record number. You can read the news story describing the companies on the Office of the VP for Research (OVPR) Business blog.


Several of the researchers are MSI Principal Investigators:

  • Michael Tsapatsis (Chemical Engineering and Mechanics) – uses MSI supercomputers for computational studies of zeolite nanosheets used for gas separation, catalysis, and other applications


  • Gregory Beilman (Surgery) – uses MSI’s web- and data-hosting services to process, analyze, and display data from research concerning identification of changes in the metabolme during traumatic shock


  • Michael Sadowsky (Soil. Water, and Climate) – MSI is supporting the Minnesota Mississippi Metagenome Project, including the creation of an extensive database cataloging the biodiversity of microbial life in the Mississippi river in Minnesota using metagenomic analysis


  • Simo Sarkanen (Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) – uses MSI resources to support research into applications for lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer


  • Walter Low (Neurosurgery) – uses software available at MSI to help apply novel bioinformatic and systems-biological approaches for elucidating novel molecular pathways associated with different physiological and pathophysiological states


  • Martin Saar (Earth Sciences) – uses supercomputers to model groundwater flow for various projects, including research into using sequestered CO2 in brine as a heat-transport medium in porous rock basis to provide geothermal energy


The OVPR’s Office of Business Relations provides an interface between businesses and University research and researchers. The OVPR’s Office for Technology Commercialization oversees all technology commercialization efforts at the University.


MSI Principal Investigators Robert Patterson (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation), Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos (Computer Science and Engineering), and Ned Mohan (Electrical and Computer Engineering) were among University faculty who were awarded patents during the past quarter.


The OVPR Research Blog includes links to the patents’ details. The website of the OVPR’s Office for Technology Commercialization has instructions for reporting inventions. 


MSI researchers Professor Larry Wackett (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics) and Professor Michael Sadowsky (Soil, Water, and Climate) are two of the principal investigators on a project to develop innovative biotechnology to purify hydraulic fracturing (fracking) wastewater. The project has received a $600,000 grant under the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for Innovation (NSF-PFI) program, which creates partnerships between academic researchers and companies to produce new technologies for public benefit. This is the first NSF-PFI grant awarded in Minnesota. More information can be found at the UMNews website.


Professor Wackett’s research group uses MSI resources for research into novel biocatalysis. Professor Sadowsky’s team is producing a database cataloging the biodiversity and functions of microbial life in the Mississippi River.


MSI PI Christy Haynes (Chemistry) has been named to the Popular Science “Brilliant 10,” a list that honors young scientists with outstanding research. Professor Haynes was recognized for her work studying blood platelets. An article appears on the UMNews website. You can read Popular Science’s profile of Professor Haynes on the PopSci website


The Haynes group uses MSI resources to study the diffusion and transport of molecules using fluid dynamics methods. This research supports their investigations of the cellular-level mechanisms of the immune system.


The University included Professor Haynes in the October 19, 2012 edition of "This Week @Minnesota," which highlights STEM education.


The November 19, 2012 issue of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran a feature article about Professor Haynes.

MSI is augmenting the capabilities of Itasca with an addition of 51 Intel SandyBridge nodes. The expansion includes 39 nodes with 16 cores per node, 64 GB of memory, and a 146 GB hard drive. There are also eight nodes with 128 GB of memory and 8 nodes with 256 GB of memory. The higher-memory nodes will also include larger local disk drives of 600 GB each. The larger memory and large local disk nodes target users with greater demands of per-core of node memory and also users who need large local scratch drives. All new nodes will use Itasca's Infiniband fabric and high-performance Lustre storage system.


Users wishing to take advantage of these nodes will need to have a current Service Unit (SU) allocation or obtain an SU allocation from MSI. Please see the MSI Allocations page for more information on requesting SU allocations.