Professor Steven Ruggles, Minnesota Population Center and a Principal Investigator at MSI, has been elected a University of Minnesota Regents Professor, the University's highest rank. Professor Ruggles specializes in the history of populations, known as historical demography, and he has done considerable research on the American family. He uses MSI core resources to aid in his analyses of population data. More information can be found at the University News site.

Ms. Cherie Christ joined MSI as Communications Coordinator on September 25. She comes to MSI from Augsburg College, where she has been Director of Electronic Communications. We are very happy to welcome Ms. Christ aboard. She will play a central role in ramping up our communications efforts in conjunction with our new and larger institutional role.

MSI Principal Investigator Professor Arthur Erdman, Director of the Medical Devices Center, and Dr. H. Birali Runesha, MSI Director of Scientific Computing and Applications, gave a presentation about virtual reality on September 17. The talk was presented to the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA). They reviewed a project for a virtual reality design system to be used for medical devices. More information about the meeting and presentation can be found at the PDMA Web site.

Donald G. Truhlar, Regents Professor in the Department of Chemistry, MSI Fellow, and former MSI Director, has received the 2009 Dudley R. Herschbach Award for Excellence in Research in Collision Dynamics. The award, named after Harvard University Emeritus Professor and Nobel Prize winner Dudley R. Herschbach, is awarded for "bold and architectural works inspiring and empowering in the field of the dynamics of molecular collisions."

MSI has created extensions for the National Cancer Institute's caGrid system. caGrid supports caBIG, the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid initiative, which links cancer researchers and their data. caGrid provides researchers at different institutions tools that allow them to share and manage this information. The MSI extensions can be found here and here.