U named Udall Center of Excellence

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The University of Minnesota has been named a Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research, joining eight other centers around the country and with that distinction was awarded a National Institutes of Health-funded grant totaling $9.07 million over the next five years to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease. A team of University researchers and physicians, led by Jerrold Vitek, professor and chair of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Neurology, seek to better understand the changes in brain circuitry that occur in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Vitek and his team will leverage this understanding to improve deep brain stimulation and other therapies to treat Parkinson’s.

Gunnar appointed to Gov. Dayton’s Early Learning Council

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Institute on Child Development director Megan Gunnar has been appointed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s Early Learning Council, which aims to ensure that all children are school-ready by 2020. Council members “make recommendations to the governor and legislature on how to create a high-quality early childhood system in Minnesota that will help improve educational outcomes for all children.” Gunnar’s term runs to April 7, 2019.

James Litsheim receives honor from the Society of Prometheans

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

James Litsheim, senior architect and project manager in Capital Management on the Twin Cities campus is a recipient of honor from the Society of Prometheans. This society, integral to the University of Duluth's Department of Fine Arts, makes note of University alumni, faculty, and staff who with excellence contribute to the arts and their meaning in the community. Litsheim, who has been instrumental in the historical restoration and preservation of renowned architect Clarence Johnson’s buildings of the University of Minnesota, received acclamation for his historic study and work on the UMD Glensheen Historic Estate. Northrop, and Walter Library.

U in the News

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Restrictions on the type of food stamp purchases can help fight obesity, according to a study led by Lisa Harnack as reported in the NY Times; Ted Labuza answer’s WCCO’s Good question: Why are we seeing more food recalls?; Lauren Martin is quoted in MinnPost on a U study showing a dramatic shift in public perception of sex trafficking; Kathy Brown, Karen Hanson, and Jerry Cohen comment in the Pioneer Press on the ruling that U of M faculty can form a single union; Katrien Vanpee comments in the Southwest Journal on teaching Arabic in schools; Faye Sleeper is quoted in the Star Tribune on a report that finds a new pollutant--tiny bits of plastics and fiber--building up in the Mississippi.

Francis named 3M Chair in Experiential Learning

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering announced that Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Professor Lorraine Francis has been named the 3M Chair in Experiential Learning. In her part-time role as 3M Chair in Experiential Learning, Francis will develop and direct experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students that teach the fundamentals of open-ended problem solving, teamwork, ethics, innovation, active learning, and design. Francis will also establish strong working relationships with the faculty in each department, beginning with the directors of undergraduate studies.

Ngo and Lee receive $1.75 million to increase opportunities for Asian American students

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bic Ngo in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, along with Josephine Lee of the College of Liberal Arts, successfully received a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase services for Asian American students at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) campus. The $1.75 million grant is specifically aimed at providing “assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals,” according to the award letter.

Gao receives NIH grant to study exergaming play among preschool children

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Zan Gao, director of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Lab, has received a one-year, $370,000 research grant from the National Institutes of Health to study exergaming play among preschool children. The project, “Trial of Exergaming Activities on Cognition and Health in Preschoolers – Project TEACH,” is designed to examine the impact of a child-led and instructor-supervised exergaming intervention in promoting preschool children’s physical activity levels, fitness, movement skills, and cognition, compared to a traditional usual care control program at four schools in Minnesota. 

Kendeou receives grant to improve undergraduate STEM education

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Panayiota Kendeou is part of a team of researchers awarded a three-year, $498,485 grant funded through the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education program in the National Science Foundation. The project, “Optimizing Testing Feedback for Improved Student Learning,” examines the role of testing feedback to promote and support learning in general chemistry

U in the News

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dan Voytas is featured in Science magazine; Brad Holschuh and Lucy Dunne are quoted in Circa about wearable technology; Dave Golden and Tanya Bailey comment in the MN Daily on Woodstock the therapy chicken’s passing; a U study by Doug Hartmann and Penny Edgell show that Muslims are the most disapproved of group in the U.S., as reported by MSN; Peter Moe and Marla Spivak comment at KARE 11 on the U of M Landscape Arboretum’s new bee center; Julie Ponder comments at Live Science on whether all owls are actually night owls; Sarah Gollust writes in the New York Times that the public doesn’t need to see candidates’ health records.

Baby Connectome Project grant

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Researchers, led by co-principal investigator Jed Elison (ICD), at the U of M and at the University of North Carolina have been awarded a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to launch the Baby Connectome Project (BCP). The BCP aims to provide scientists with unprecedented information about how the human brain develops from birth through early childhood and will uncover factors contributing to healthy brain development.

Voytas receives Hackett Fund for Genome Engineering

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Hackett Fund for Genome Engineering, launched this summer, was awarded to Dan Voytas, a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (GCD), and longtime director of the University’s Center for Genome Engineering. Voytas received the award in recognition of his leadership both at the University and within the broader field of genome engineering. The award will provide ongoing support for activities and initiatives within the Center for Genome Engineering. Perry Hackett launched the fund using royalties from a $100-million licensing deal with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, which is using his Sleeping Beauty Transposon technology to develop new cancer treatments.

CHS Foundation grant to transform agriculture education

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The CHS Foundation, funded by charitable gifts from CHS Inc., the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative, announced a $3.44 million grant to the University of Minnesota intended to transform agriculture education from kindergarten through higher education. The gift is the largest ever awarded by the CHS Foundation and will support a comprehensive approach to impacting agriculture education and rural communities across the country.

Barnes awarded role in new national child health research program

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Department of Pediatrics Assistant Professor Andrew Barnes will represent the University's Clinical and Translational Science Institute as part of a new multi-site, multidisciplinary child health research program within the Clinical and Translational Science Award network. 

U in the News

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

In light of Hillary Clinton's pneumonia diagnosis, Mark Schleiss comments on this common but potentially serious illness in MinnPost; Doug Chapin comments in the Star Tribune on the U’s launch of a first-of-its-kind program for elections officials; Uzma Samadani and Steven Miles provide perspectives on the risks of football in the Southwest Journal; Thomas Fisher authors a piece in The Conversation on defeating terrorism through design; Steven Kells commenst at KSTP on the soon-to-open U of M Bee Research Laboratory; Jay Austin comments at MPR on the near record breaking temp of Lake Superior this year; Jane Kirtley is quoted in The Guardian on the Facebook censorship photo dispute.

U awarded grant for physics-based approach to cancer

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Minnesota an $8.2 million Physical Sciences in Oncology Center (PS-OC) grant over the next five years to develop a cell migration simulator that will predict how cancer cells spread in the body leading to invasion and metastasis. Researchers involved are from the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering, Academic Health Center, and Masonic Cancer Center, with partners at Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic.

Two U startups named among "Best University Startups"

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Two University of Minnesota startups have been named among the "Best University Startups 2016" by the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer, an association of university startup officers. Innotronics LLC and Minnepura Technologies Inc., two companies launched by the University's Venture Center, were among the 35 Best University Startups selected from 200 submissions from universities across the U.S. Innotronics is based on scientific discoveries by Rajesh Rajamani, professor of mechanical engineering with the College of Science and Engineering. Minnepura Technologies is based on scientific discoveries by researchers Alptekin Aksan and Larry Wackett.

U in the News

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ragui Assaad comments in The Washington Post on whether a crisis of youth is brewing in the Muslim world; Dennis McKenna is featured in The New Yorker on the drug of choice in the age of kale; Paul Morin talked with National Geographic about his work mapping Alaska as precisely as Mars; Corjena Cheung comments in the Star Tribune on a U study looking at yoga's ability to offset Parkinson's symptoms; Jason Varin answers WCCO's Good Question: What's the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?; Katy Kozhimannil comments at Duluth News Tribune on the rising evidence of the value of doulas birthing centers; research by Robert Zink is highlighted in the Los Angeles Times on the endangered gnatcatcher.

Aaron Sojourner appointed to U.S. President’s Council of Economic Advisers

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Carlson School of Management Assistant Professor Aaron Sojourner has been appointed as a senior economist on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. Sojourner’s duties will include helping to prepare briefings for the president on labor market and education topics, and contributing to the annual Economic Report of the President.

Jakub Tolar named executive vice dean of Medical School

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Jakub Tolar has accepted the role of executive vice dean for the Medical School. Tolar brings 24 years of commitment, having served in roles as varied as student, resident, fellow, faculty, physician, administrator, and mentor. As executive vice dean, Tolar will work closely with departments on recruiting and retaining faculty and increasing research and scholarship activity, and will work with centers and institutes to maximize productivity and impact.

Moe named director of Landscape Arboretum

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Current interim director Peter Moe has been named director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Moe has been interim director since January. He started working at the Arboretum as an undergraduate student gardener in 1973, later becoming a research plot technician, landscape maintenance supervisor, and in 1991, director of operations and research. Along with his role at the Arboretum, Moe has been an instructor in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota, where is also an alumnus. 

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