A record 19 startup companies launched in FY '19

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The University of Minnesota launched a record 19 startup companies over the past year based on discoveries and inventions by its researchers. The Venture Center, part of U of M Technology Commercialization, forms new companies to bring cutting-edge research beyond the lab and into the marketplace. The new startups, 11 of which are based in Minnesota, will help fuel the economy and contribute to the public good, both in-state and in regions across the globe. Since its founding in 2006, the Venture Center has launched a total of 154 startups, 78 percent of which are currently active. The majority of the startups, 75 percent, are based in Minnesota. The companies have generated more than $400 million in outside investment.

Rosenberg awarded $1.1 million grant for virtual reality research

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Evan Rosenberg (PI), Victoria Interrante (co-PI), and Thomas Stoffregen (co-PI) have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for the prediction, early detection, and mitigation of cybersickness. The interdisciplinary grant is a cross-college collaboration between the U of M’s College of Science and Engineering (Rosenberg and Interrante) and CEHD (Stoffregen).

U in the News

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Clem Pryke and Nathan Precup are taking a telescope to the South Pole to explore the history of the Universe, as reported by Fox 9; Jakub Tolar is quoted in the Duluth News Tribune about the high cost of prescription drugs; David Bedford and Jim Luby are mentioned in a Mpls./St. Paul Business Journal (PDF) story about the expansion of sales of the new First Kiss apple; Bob McMaster is quoted in a MinnPost story about the stark racial disparities in education in Minnesota; Steve Polasky is quoted in the PBS NewsHour story, “What is an endangered species worth? Trump rule sparks debate”; Larry Jacobs comments in The Economist on the shifting allegiances of Minnesota’s rural voters; Myron Orfield is quoted in the New York Times (PDF) about who to blame when algorithms discriminate; Moin Syed is quoted in Science about why some professors welcome new lab members with clear expectations—in writing; Robert Kudrle comments in the Star Tribune about the trade war’s impact on the typical consumer; David Weerts is quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education about why Universities often raise more money than ever after scandals.

International effort to build synthetic cells led by U of M-based collaboration

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A University of Minnesota-based research collaboration received a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to accelerate efforts to develop synthetic cells. Kate Adamala, an assistant professor in the U of M College of Biological Sciences’ Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, is the lead investigator for the Build-a-Cell Research Coordination Network, an international collaborative of researchers from 11 countries working together across disciplines to develop working cells from man-made components.

2019 Award for Global Engagement

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The 2019 Award for Global Engagement has been awarded to Venugopal Mukku, Department of Math, Science, and Technology, Crookston; Katharine Pelican, College of Veterinary Medicine, Twin Cities; and Luis Ramos-Garcia, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities. The award is given to faculty and staff members in recognition of outstanding contributions to global education and international programs at the University or in their field or discipline. An award ceremony will be held in November in conjunction with International Education Week.

Kendeou, colleagues awarded new IES grant to study reading comprehension

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Panayiota Kendeou, Guy Bond Chair in Reading Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology's psychological foundations of education program, is part of a team of researchers who were recently awarded a four-year, $1.4 million grant through the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The project, “iSTART-Early: Interactive Strategy Training for Active Reading and Thinking for Young Developing Readers,” aims to develop and test an intelligent tutoring system that provides automated reading comprehension support to students in grades 3 and 4. Read more.

Steffenson named 2019 Malone International Leadership Award recipient

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced that Brian Steffenson, Professor and Lieberman-Okinow Endowed Chair of Cereal Disease Research at the University of Minnesota, is the 2019 recipient of the Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award. Steffenson is receiving the award for his renowned international agriculture research as well as his career-long commitment to helping put his research into practice across the globe.

Tonks receives DOE Early Career Award

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

University of Minnesota Chemistry Associate Professor Ian Tonks in the College of Science and Engineering has received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Research Program award. This highly competitive national award provides support to exceptional researchers. Tonks is among just 73 researchers nationwide and only 46 from universities selected to receive the award from the DOE’s Office of Science. The program, now in its 10th year, is designed to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. Tonks’ research for the DOE is aimed at coupling new, biorenewable chemical feedstocks into traditional petroleum-derived plastic syntheses.

Kinesiology's Human Sensorimotor Control Lab receives $250,000 award

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Jürgen Konczak, professor in the School of Kinesiology and lab director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL), is the principal investigator on a grant from the National Science Foundation as part of its Program for Innovation. This program promotes the translation of technology developed in university laboratories to a marketable product. The HSCL lab team will use the award to further develop Wristbot technology and to implement changes desired by rehabilitation hospitals that use such technology to enhance the physical therapy used for people with stroke, traumatic brain or spinal cord injury.

U of M recognized for achievements in the field of microbiology

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The University of Minnesota was recognized as a “Milestones in Microbiology” site by the American Society for Microbiology for its remarkable achievements in the microbial sciences and lasting impact on the field. The microbiology research at the U of M is distinguished by its groundbreaking discoveries about a broad range of microorganisms and their interactions with animal and plant hosts.

U in the News

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Carrie Henning-Smith is quoted in a National Public Radio story about a program to ease the isolation of rural life by bringing together the young and old; Jason Hill is quoted in a Good Morning America feature on how altering global diets and food systems could help combat climate change; Erika Lee is cited in a feature in The Atlantic about the origins of Trump’s “invasion” rhetoric; David Darrow is quoted in Scientific American about how a revolutionary technique got people with spinal-cord injuries back on their feet; David Redish is quoted Quanta Magazine story about work revealing a new property to look out for in the hunt for the biomarkers of learning; Greg Lindsey is quoted in a Streetsblog USA story about a study showing that drivers behave more dangerously around women cyclists; Sujaya Rao is quoted in a New York Times (PDF) story about who or what to blame when bumblebee carcasses pile up; Jessica Hellmann is quoted in a BBC story about the animals that will survive climate change; Nathan Kuncel is quoted in a Gizmodo story about the woman who turned psychological testing into a science.

Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Three University of Minnesota Twin Cities faculty have received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Established in 1996, the PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy coordinates the PECASE with participating government departments and agencies.

Melena Bellin, Pediatrics, Medical School: Department of Health and Human Services

Bharat Jalan, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, College of Science and Engineering: Department of Defense

Dominik Schillinger, Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering, College of Science and Engineering: National Science Foundation

Vavrus named to MacArthur Foundation's 'Wise Head Panel'

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Frances Vavrus, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, has been named to the "Wise Head Panel," judges of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant competition, which will grant $100 million to one proposal aimed at tackling a significant global problem.

Westerhaus honored as Macy Faculty Scholar

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Michael Westerhaus, faculty member in the Medical School’s Department of Medicine and Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, was recently selected as a 2019 Macy Faculty Scholar by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. The Macy Faculty Scholars Program is designed to identify and nurture the careers of promising educational innovators in medicine and nursing. Awardees are given a stipend over two years to implement a project that initiates educational change in their institution. A key element of Westerhaus’ work is implementing and evaluating curricula that aims to elevate the critical consciousness of health professionals to understand and respond to the social and structural determination of health. Specifically, he works to integrate lessons from the social sciences into medical education and practice in a cohesive and comprehensive way.

Open Textbook Network receives national grant to further its mission

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The CEHD-based Open Textbook Network (OTN) will now be able to help more faculty create their own open textbooks thanks to a National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant will support a collaboration project led by OTN in partnership with the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation.

U in the News

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Nichole Morris comments at Mpls.St. Paul Magazine on how much safer the new hands-free law makes Minnesota’s roads; Ryan Allen and Ed Goetz are cited in a Los Angeles Times story about how public housing is suffering from a lack of funding, not an overflow of immigrants; Brittany Lewis is quoted in a Politico story about how Minneapolis freed itself from the stranglehold of single-family homes; Jeffrey Gralnick is quoted in the New York Times (PDF) story “Wired Bacteria Form Nature’s Power Grid: ‘We Have an Electric Planet’”; Matthew Clark and Drew Horton are mentioned in a SWNewsMedia.com story about U of M research into cold-hardy wine grapes; Michael McAlpine is quoted in The Scientist Magazine story, “How 3D Printing Could Help Shape Surgery“; Mary Jo Kane is quoted in the New York Times (PDF) story, “The Sports Bra Seen Round the World Has New Meaning 20 Years Later”; Craig Packer is quoted in National Geographic about which lion would be running the pride in a real-life Lion-King scenario; Phyllis Moen comments at the CBS Minnesota story, “When Do Americans Retire?”; Lee Frelich is quoted in Mpls.St.Paul Magazine about how climate change will impact Minnesota; Colin Planalp is quoted in a Minnesota Public Radio story about progress in the opioid fight.

Three new Regents Professors named

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents has given three faculty members the distinction of Regents Professor: Ned Mohan as Regents Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; David Pui as Regents Professor of Mechanical Engineering; and Marlene Zuk as Regents Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. The designation, granted this month, is the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the University. See current Regents Professors.

Albert named Pew Biomedical Scholar

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Frank Albert, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences, is one of 22 early-career researchers selected to join the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences. As a 2019 Pew Scholar in Biomedical Sciences, Albert will receive four years of funding to undertake exploratory research with the potential to address pressing questions related to human health. Albert will investigate how genetic variations translate into the differences that make each individual unique.

OVPR awards $2.7 Million for research

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Office of the Vice President for Research has awarded more than $2.7 million in funding through its 2019 Minnesota Futures and Research Infrastructure Investment programs. Nearly $500,000 was awarded to two recipients of the Minnesota Futures Grant Program, which provides seed funding for interdisciplinary research with strong potential for future external funding. Over $2.2 million was awarded to 15 research projects through the Research Infrastructure Investment Program, which helps to facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and strengthen the University’s research infrastructure systemwide.

Molgaard named interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Associate Professor Laura Molgaard will serve as interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. She will begin Aug. 5, as Dean Trevor Ames takes up a new University leadership role as associate vice president for academic health sciences. A faculty member in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine since 1997, Molgaard is the college’s senior associate dean for academic affairs and has been a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine leadership team for 18 years. The dean search will be launched early in the fall semester, with the aim of having the next dean in place by the end of the next academic year.

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