Research Spotlights Digest

Growth Promotion in Livestock

MSI Principal Investigator Richard Isaacson (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences) is using MSI resources as part of his investigations into antibiotics that are used as growth promoters in livestock. Antibiotics have been used in this way for decades, but we don’t know...Read more

Modeling Transition Metal and Actinide Chemistry

The research group of Professor Laura Gagliardi (Chemistry) uses quantum chemistry methods to study chemical systems containing transition metals and even heavier atoms like lanthanides and actinides. Gagliardi group projects that currently use MSI include: simulations of actinide...Read more

Interview: Feilong Liu


On April 11, MSI held its 4th Annual Research Exhibition. This event included a judged poster competition for our users. The winner of this year’s competition was Feilong Liu, who submitted a poster entitled, “Numerical Modeling of Organic Semiconductor Heterostructure Devices.” Mr. Liu is a graduate student in...Read more

Creating Realistic Animations of Nature


One of the most exciting areas that researchers use MSI for is computer-generated visualizations. Avery Musbach, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, is the lead author on a paper that demonstrates the power of scientific computing to create visualizations. The paper, “Full-Wave Modeling of Light Propagation and...Read more

Modeling Hydrogen Bond Arrays


The research group of Professor Steven Kass (MSI Fellow, Chemistry) uses MSI resources in their investigations into hydrogen bond networks. The goal of this research is to understand enzyme catalysis and develop...Read more

Simulating the Brightest Supernovae

MSI PI Alexander Heger (Physics) and Ph.D. student Ke-Jung (Ken) Chen use MSI resources to study and model pulsational pair-instability supernovae. In this form of supernova, a massive star expells “shells” of matter on a time-scale of years. The shells interact and collide with each other, converting kinetic energy into...Read more

2013 Research Exhibition


MSI researchers presented posters of their work at the 2013 MSI Research Exhibition on Thursday, April 11, 1:00-3:30 p.m., on the fourth floor of Walter Library. This was the fourth year that MSI held this event.


Poseted were judged by a panel of MSI Principal Investigators and prizes were awarded. Posters competed in one of two categories, Physical Sciences and...Read more

Interview: Kylie Walters


Associate Professor Kylie Walters received her Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University. She joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 2002 and is in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics. Professor Walters recently talked with...Read more

New Chemical Reaction for Generating Benzynes


Description of figure: An example of a hexadehydro-Diels-Alder cascade (1 to 3). Simple triyne substrates like 1 cycloisomerize to reactive benzyne intermediates like 2, which are then captured by various trapping agents (in this example, an internal silylether) to produce structurally complex...Read more

Biophysics of Parkinson’s Disease


Understanding the Biophysics of Parkinson’s Disease: Modeling Interactions Between α-Synuclein and Cellular Membranes
The research group of Assistant Professor Jonathan Sachs (Biomedical Engineering) uses MSI for their study of the behavior of proteins and membranes. Mutations in...Read more

Personal Tumor Vaccines


Editor’s note: As we were preparing this article for publication, we learned of the death of Dr. John Ohlfest, who was a collaborator on the research discussed here. See the paragraph at the end of the article for more information about Dr. Ohlfest and his research.


Dr. David Largaespada...Read more

Astrophysics Simulations


Researchers in the group of Professor Tom Jones (MSI Fellow; Astronomy) are engaged in a long-term, unique, and highly successful study of the dynamics of diffuse, conducting media in astrophysical environments and their roles in mediating the acceleration and propagation of high-energy charged particles (so-called “cosmic rays”). The...Read more