Meuschke receives Artist Initiative Grant

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Frank Meuschke, U of M Landscape Arboretum adult education specialist and 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, has been awarded a $10,000 Artist Initiative Grant by the Minnesota State Arts Board. Meuschke will use the grant to edit and print photographs of the interaction of scientists and the land at Cedar Creek.

U in the News

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Troy Goodnough is quoted in Alexandra Echo Press about what to do to control road salt pollution; volunteer scientists play important role in wildlife research project, reports the Brainerd Dispatch with comments by Forest Isbell; Heidi Kitrosser is interviewed by The Atlantic for the story, “The Most Remarkable Thing About Trump's Proposed National Emergency”; Leigh Turner is quoted in Vox about FDA investigations into stem cell clinics that peddle unproven treatments; Tetyana Shippee is quoted in HealthDay about what makes a good nursing home; Rachel Hardeman is quoted in Mpls./St. Paul Magazine regarding the success of a north Minneapolis birth center; Steven Ruggles is quoted in Science Magazine about researcher criticism of a new census data privacy measure; research by Kyla Wahlstrom on school start times is cited in The Guardian; president Eric Kaler is quoted in the Twin Cities Business magazine about his last funding pitch to the legislature; Craig Hedberg is quoted in a WebMD story about the government shutdown’s impact on the ability of the FDA to monitor food safety.

Phase 3 Grand Challenges research awards

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Grand Challenges Research Interdisciplinary Team Awards, totaling $1.95 million in support over two years, have been awarded to six interdisciplinary projects encompassing more than 157 faculty and external partners. This third phase of the initiative focuses on three of the University's five Grand Challenges focus areas: Advancing Health through Tailored Solutions, Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity for the Changing World, and Feeding the World Sustainably, or on an integration of one of these three with any of the other four Grand Challenges. These Driving Tomorrow awards allocate $1.95 million over two years to support six interdisciplinary team projects--engaging more than 157 faculty and external partners. More information about the funded projects is here.

University honors excellence in commitment to equity and diversity

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The University of Minnesota has honored faculty, staff, and students across the system for their commitment to issues of equity, diversity, and social justice inside and outside the classroom and the workplace. See the complete list of 2018 award winners.

National Endowment for the Humanities grant recipients

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced $14.8 million in grants to support 253 humanities projects in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. An additional $47.5 million was awarded to fund 55 state humanities council partners.

U of M NEH grant recipients:

Josephine Lee, $60,000 
Project Title: Blackface and Yellowface: American Theater and Racial Performance 

Project Description: Research and writing of a book-length study on the relationship between yellowface and blackface acting and representation in nineteenth-and twentieth-century American theater.

J. B. Shank and Benjamin Wiggins, $95,220
Project Title: Building a Digital Portal for Exploring Bernard and Picart’s Religious Ceremonies and Customs of the World

Project Description: The development of an online, open-access portal bringing together the multiple editions of The Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World, an important Enlightenment volume about world religions and customs.

Travis Wilds, $60,000
Project Title: Empire of Exactitude: Life, Literature and the Physical Sciences in Post-Enlightenment Paris

Project Description: Writing leading to the publication of an intellectual history of how the sciences triumphed over the humanities in the Paris academy (1780 to 1815).

U in the News

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Heather Zierhut was interviewed about genetic screening for newborns at NBC News; Jane Kirtley was interviewed about a finding that politically extreme consumers of news are also the most biased readers at Southern California Public Radio (segment starts at 6:50); Rachel Hardeman and Timothy Beebe are quoted in Twin Cities Business about how Minnesota universities are accelerating change in health care education; Marc Hillmyer is quoted in the Houston Chronicle about whether the sputtering recycling market can find a second life; Ben Winchester is featured in the St. Cloud Times (PDF) story “Meet the St. Cloud scholar full of hope for rural Minnesota, rural America”; Ray Christensen is quoted in a Duluth News Tribune story about what’s to come in health care in 2019; Stacy Remke is quoted in the Pioneer Press (PDF) story, “Changing how we die: Hospice care surges in Minnesota”; Caitlin Potter is quoted in an MPR News story about the U of M research project, Eyes on the Wild; Gabriel Chan is quoted in a Star Tribune story about the complicated economics of community solar gardens; Lucia Levers is quoted in the National Geographic story, “The West Coast’s biggest bird oasis is dying. Will it be saved?”; Irina Stepanov is interviewed by WCCO on the now epidemic levels of vaping among teens.

Oakes named associate vice president for research

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Professor Michael Oakes of the School of Public Health (SPH) has been appointed as associate vice president for research. Oakes will join the rest of the OVPR executive leadership team on Jan. 2, 2019 as part of the restructuring of the Academic Health Center. Oakes is a past director of the SPH’s graduate program in epidemiology, served as a longtime member and leader of the U of M’s Institutional Review Board, and was co-chair of and legislative liaison for the Faculty Consultative Committee. He is the recipient of awards for teaching and advising students, and was a McKnight Presidential Fellow from 2007-10. His research focuses on the social determinants of health, and he has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on several long-term grants from the National Institutes of Health. He currently directs the Interdisciplinary Research Leaders (IRL), a nationwide program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, led by the U of M.

U in the News

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Paul Iaizzo is featured in a National Geographic story about how ancient remedies are changing modern medicine; Joanne Slavin is quoted in Quartz about the scientific case for eating bread; Tom Gable and Joseph Bump are quoted in a New York Times (PDF) story about the first video evidence showing wolves hunting fish in Voyageurs National Park; Daniel Cariveau is quoted in a National Geographic story about the 660 species of bees that live in the newly shrunk Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; Timothy Wilt is quoted in a Wall Street Journal (PDF) story about the positive outcomes of prostate cancer surgery; Kyla Wahlstrom is quoted in the Washington Post (PDF) about the positive outcomes of later school start times in Seattle; Kathleen Vohs writes about the science of giving gifts your loved ones won’t want to return in the Washington Post (PDF); Yibin Deng and Gail Dennison are quoted an Austin Daily Herald report on a $2 million prostate cancer research grant for the Hormel Institute; Kirsten Delegard, William Lindeke, and others are quoted in a MN Daily story about how U of M faculty research guided the Minneapolis 2040 plan; Lucy Dunne is quoted in a CBS Minnesota story about the search for the perfect winter coat.

Bates named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Regents Professor Frank Bates an NAI Fellow. Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Bates is a world-renown polymer scientist who is known best for his contributions to the fundamental understanding of the phase behavior of polymer blends and to the physics of microphase-separated block copolymers.

Two faculty named AAAS fellows

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) named two researchers from the University of Minnesota as AAAS Fellows. Election as a fellow is bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Among the 416 members honored this year by AAAS because of their distinguished efforts to advance science and its applications are:

Carol Ishimaru, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology within CFANS. Ishimaru has been named an AAAS Fellow for her distinguished contributions to the field of plant bacteriology, particularly in characterization and genomics of coryneform pathogens and developing a biological control for fire-blight disease.

Natalia Tretyakova, a Distinguished McKnight professor with the Department of Medicinal Chemistry within the College of Pharmacy. She has been named an AAAS Fellow for her significant contributions to the areas of chemical carcinogenesis, epigenetics, systems toxicology and analytical chemistry to identify DNA damage and modifications.

Ecolab commits $5 million to support sustainability research and education

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ecolab has committed a $5 million gift from the Ecolab Foundation to the University-wide Driven campaign, in support of environmental sustainability research and education. A cornerstone of the Ecolab Foundation gift is $2 million to establish an endowed chair for the Institute on the Environment. The Ecolab Foundation will also invest more than $1 million in undergraduate scholarships in science, engineering and related environmental and sustainability-focused majors and minors, providing renewable awards of $7,500 for diverse and talented students beginning in their sophomore year. Through the Institute on the Environment, the gift also will support immersive student experiences with global and local partners focused on energy, water quality and supply, sustainable development and public health.

U of M to lead $2.25 million grant for developing next-generation quantum computer

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The University of Minnesota will lead a $2.25 million grant over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science for developing materials and device knowledge necessary for creating the next-generation of computing—the quantum computer. Vlad Pribiag, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy, is the lead researcher on the new grant. Quantum computing is based on the fact that, in the microscopic world, things don't have to be as clear-cut as we'd expect from our macroscopic experience. In fact, tiny particles, such as electrons or photons, can simultaneously take on states that we would normally deem mutually exclusive. This creates endless possibilities for solutions, especially in the area of information processing.

Swackhamer named finalist for MIT's Disobedience Award

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

U of M professor emerita and former director of the Water Resources Center Deb Swackhamer was named a finalist for Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Disobedience Award for her support of scientific integrity and its use in decision making. In May of 2017, prior to testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee Subcommittee on Environment, Swackhamer was pressured by the EPA chief of staff to alter her comments. She refused. Later that year, she was dismissed from her role as chair of the EPA's Board of Scientific Counselors.

U in the News

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Clark Chen, Charles Dietz, and Alexander McKinney, are interviewed in a KARE 11 feature on the first-in-the-world cancer surgical suite, being built at the U of M; Ed Usset is quoted in AgriNews about the U.S. soybean market entering crisis mode in the tariff dispute; Jean Abraham comments on the Star Tribune dramatic rise in telemedicine in Minnesota; Steven Ruggles is quoted in the New York Times (PDF) about census data becoming less accurate in order to reduce privacy risks; Sheilagh Maguiness is interviewed by WCCO about whether a person can overuse lip balm; Carrie Henning-Smith is quoted in a Wall Street Journal (PDF) story about elder care in rural areas; Emily Wilmes is quoted in The Bemidji Pioneer about Minnesota farmers learning to detect depression and embrace self-care; Heather Zierhut is interviewed in the St. Cloud Times about the fun—and risks—of at-home DNA kits; Hye-Young Kim is quoted in a Pioneer Press (PDF) story about Hy-Vee grocery stores rescuing downtrodden retail sites; Paula Pentel is cited in the Slate story, “Minneapolis Just Passed the Most Important Housing Reform in America.”

$1 million gift to support graduate students

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

An anonymous faculty member and spouse have committed $1 million to support graduate students at the College of Design. The donation, a future commitment, is one of the largest received through the Driven by Design campaign and will support graphic design and apparel design graduate students who work closely with faculty through an assistantship in one of those areas. Wishing to remain anonymous, the donors hope that this gesture will encourage the habit of charitable giving among alumni, staff, and fellow faculty.

21 U of M researchers named in 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A number of University of Minnesota faculty are among the most influential researchers across the globe. Twenty-one current U of M researchers are named in the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list, published by insight and analytics firm Clarivate Analytics. The international list, now in its fifth year, recognizes researchers whose citation records place them in the top 1 percent of citation counts for their field over the course of a decade. Citations are one way to measure how published research helps to inform further research in a field and inspires new lines of scientific inquiry.

U of M startup Vascudyne to commercialize biologic engineered tissue

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

University of Minnesota Technology Commercialization announced the formal launch of Vascudyne Inc., a startup company based in Stillwater, MN, focused on the development of biologically engineered tissue for medical device and therapeutics applications. The technology offers a regenerative capacity unavailable until now in materials and devices used for medical treatment. Vascudyne’s technology is based on discoveries by University researcher Robert Tranquillo, professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Materials Science in the College of Science and Engineering, and researchers in his lab, Zeeshan Syedain, senior research associate, and Lee Meier, staff scientist and present MD/Ph.D. student.

U in the News

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Traci LaLiberte is quoted in the Star Tribune about how the opioid epidemic is driving thousands of Minnesota children into foster care; James Gerber is quoted in the Minnesota Daily about the recent U.S. climate report and the environmental problems facing the Midwest; Alan Benson comments at CBS Minnesota about whether you should discuss salaries with coworkers; Joanne Slavin is quoted in Outside Online about probiotics and why fiber might be a better choice; Dianne Neumark-Sztainer talks with CBS Minnesota about her recent study showing that unhealthy weight control efforts start in childhood and persist into adulthood; Alexander Khoruts is quoted in MPR News about Minnesota’s challenges in halting a deadly colon infection's spread; Amy Krentzman spoke with WTIP North Shore Community Radio about how practicing gratitude may improve your wellbeing; Anatoly Liberman is quoted in an MPR News story about people’s ideas for the 2018 word of the year; Tom Fisher is quoted in a CBS Minnesota story on the origin of why so many malls in Minnesota are called (Blank)-dale.

Autonomous weed control research

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The West Central Research and Outreach Center is leading a new collaboration with the University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE), and The Toro Company (Toro) to develop autonomous vehicles for controlling weeds in pastures and row crops. The project has been recently funded through a $750,000 grant from the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Page receives Medal of Freedom

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

U of M alumnus Alan Page was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a special ceremony at the White House. Page is one of just a few Minnesotans to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, a short list that includes former Vice President Walter Mondale, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, and legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.

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