Research Spotlights Digest

photo of Wen Wang Interview: Wen Wang

Wen Wang is a graduate student who is a member of the MSI research group of Professor Vipin Kumar (MSI Fellow and Head, Department of Computer Science and Engineering). Assistant Professor...Read more

Studying Legume Genomics

Understanding the genetic makeup of food crops is critical if we want to develop sustainable ways of protecting those crops against disease. To this end, researchers are using genomics to study plants and their characteristics. Distinguished McKnight Professor Nevin Young (Plant...Read more

Interview: Jin Woo Jung


Jin Woo Jung is a computer science graduate student who is doing research at the Minnesota Dental Research Center for Biomaterials and Biomechanics (MDRCBB), led by Professor Alex Fok (Restorative Sciences), in the...Read more

Investigating Highly Frustrated Quantum Magnets


In the past few decades, researchers specializing in condensed matter physics have been intensely interested in studying the properties of strongly correlated quantum many-body systems, which are systems on the microscopic scale that include more than two particles that interact with each other. Researchers especially want to be able to explain how the macroscopic behavior of...Read more

Modeling Forest Biotic Dynamics

As the earth’s climate changes, scientists are concerned about the effects these changes will have on the earth’s ecosystems. Regents Professor Peter B. Reich (Forest Resources, Institute on the Environment) and post-doctoral researcher...Read more

Protecting the Food Supply


In 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), headquartered at the University of Minnesota. This research consortium, which includes researchers from over 30 other universities, addresses the vulnerability of the nation’s food supply to...Read more

Modeling Polymer Structures and Dynamics


Polymers, which many people think refer only to plastic, are actually a large group of natural and man-made materials. They have many uses in industry and as consumer products. Some of these include the super-absorbant polymers used in disposable diapers, the heat-stable materials used for non-stick cookware, and the fiber spandex, used for stretchy clothing like athletic wear and...Read more

Investigating the Maize Transcriptome


In the course of the history of agriculture, humans have tried to change the properties of the crops they raise. Maize (corn) is a very valuable and widely grown crop, and researchers are able to trace how modern maize has been developed from its wild ancestor, a plant called teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis).

Three MSI Principal Investigators – Assistant...Read more

Investigating Proteins With Crystallography

The research group of Professor Carrie Wilmot in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics concentrates on understanding the synthesis and function of novel organic, organometallic, and metal-ion cofactors in proteins. (A cofactor is a chemically reactive...Read more

Interview: Lazarina Gyoneva


Lazarina Gyoneva is a graduate student in the research group of Professor Victor Barocas (MSI Fellow; Biomedical Engineering). She came to the University of Minnesota as a grad student in 2010 and started using MSI resources...Read more

Crystal Structures of Coronaviruses

With the recent appearance of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), coronaviruses are once again in the news. These viruses are found worldwide and some of them can create serious illness in humans. SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which is caused by a coronavirus, killed hundreds of people in 2002-2003.

Assistant Professor ...Read more

Interview: Makenzie Provorse

Makenzie Provorse is a graduate student in Professor Jiali Gao’s (MSI Fellow) group in the Department of Chemistry. She entered the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2009 and joined the Gao group in January 2010. She’s been using MSI...Read more