January 30, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 4

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: The answer in the enzyme; Marching to the beat of discovery.
  • People: Ten faculty members have been named 2019-21 McKnight Land-Grant Professors; and more.

Top News

The answer in the enzymeAlonso Guedes

Alonso Guedes is inhibiting an enzyme (soluble epoxide hydrolase) found in all mammals to advance pain management in veterinary--and eventually, human--medicine. Guedes and his team are working to understand how blocking this enzyme can help improve mammal health, starting with horses suffering from laminitis--a severely painful disease in the hoof.

Marching to the beat of discoverytwo saxophone players

This year’s University of Minnesota Driven to Discover campaign is unique. Like never before, it connects the U of M to the people of Minnesota--taking the public on a journey across our state to show how U of M discoveries affect Minnesotans, every day. Such a unique campaign calls for special music. That’s why members of the “Pride of Minnesota” U of M Marching Band were asked to create this soundtrack. Watch and listen.


Ten faculty members have been named 2019-21 McKnight Land-Grant Professors; the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics has awarded five collaborative research grants totaling nearly $5.2 million for projects that could transform the treatment of diseases that affect Minnesotans; the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy has received a $1.1 million grant from Wellcome Trust to support the development of an influenza vaccines research and development roadmap; the University of Minnesota Press received 56 awards in 2018--more than at any point in its 94-year history; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Data sharing doesn’t have to be intimidating

Sharing complete data sets with other researchers is still a relatively new practice, but it’s quickly becoming standard. In the past, researchers shared their results within the journal articles they published, but there was no widespread call to publish the raw data they had gathered. Increasingly, though, funding requirements include rules about data sharing and reuse. When it comes to interpreting those requirements, the University Libraries can serve as a campus resource.

Alumni Association launches Career Month

Throughout February, the Twin Cities U of M Alumni Association (UMAA) is rolling out a series of in-person and virtual events for its first-ever Career Month. Through webinars, workshops, Facebook Live discussions, and networking events around the world, the University community (systemwide) can gain valuable career development and grow professional networks. Learn more and see the events.

Conflict of Interest Education and Annual Report of External Professional Activities

The Conflict of Interest Program has developed a new education module titled “Conflicts of Interest (COI) and Standards Governing Relationships with Business Entities,” which can be accessed at “COI Education” on the Conflict of Interest Program webpage. In 15 minutes, you will satisfy the University’s COI training requirement for the next four years and be better prepared to complete your 2019 Report of External Professional Activities (REPA).

Center for Writing research grants

The Center for Writing has extended the deadline for Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW) research grants. Letters of Intent are due Feb. 11. ISW research grant–funded projects investigate what happens at the intersections of teaching with and learning through writing--whether within or across disciplines. Teacher-scholars use the funding for focused research projects that address educational needs or research gaps in their field or discipline. Learn more and apply.

Changes to bloodborne pathogens training requirements

On Feb. 18, University Health and Safety will replace its existing bloodborne pathogens training with two new courses. This change will affect the training requirements for all users. Visit the Biosafety and Occupational Health Department website to learn about how this change will affect you.

Watch for Form 1095-C

Watch for Form 1095-C from the University if you and your family members had health coverage with the U of M in 2018. The form lists who had coverage and shows their months of coverage. You need the information on the 1095-C form for your 2018 federal income tax return. The form will be mailed to your home by the end of January.

Research Brief: Rates of social isolation vary by rurality and demographicscountry roads

Social isolation and loneliness are increasingly being recognized as urgent public health threats, with risks as serious as those from obesity or smoking. Some researchers have cautioned that rural residents could be at greater risk for isolation. A new School of Public Health study looked at measures of isolation and loneliness among rural and urban older adults and found that, overall, people in rural areas actually reported less social isolation and more relationships than urban residents.

Research Brief: Sustainable bioenergy from native prairies on abandoned agricultural lands

In an effort to discover the ideal conditions to grow alternative biofuels, U of M scientists applied their research on native prairies in the Upper Midwest to understand marginal lands. In the 10-year study, researchers found that, compared with corn ethanol, biomass yield from the best-performing prairie grasses was moderately lower. However, researchers found that because of lower nitrogen use and larger amounts of soil carbon storage, the native prairies would result in higher overall greenhouse gas savings when converted to bioenergy.


Student profile: Jiwon Parkjiwon park

Jiwon “Peter” Park, an accounting senior from South Korea, has embraced everything the University of Minnesota Crookston has to offer. As soon as Park heard the University’s tagline, “Small Campus. Big Degree,” he knew this is where he belonged.

Feb. 13 - Job and internship fair

Crookston's annual job and internship fair will feature dozens of government and business entities, ranging from Coca-Cola Bottling Company High Country to the City of Minneapolis. 1-4 p.m., Wellness Center.

‘We Are Water MN’ - traveling exhibit

The "We Are Water MN” traveling exhibit features an array of informational and interactive displays such as how groundwater is used in Minnesota. There are numerous ways to engage with the exhibit and celebrate our connections to water. The exhibit is on display until March 4, Kiehle Building. No charge and open to the public.


SEED award recipientsUMD seed award recipient

Two students from UMD’s College of Education and Human Service Professions, Dani Grutkoski and Tsion Woldeyes, received the University of Minnesota’s Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Awards. Grutkoski is majoring in integrated elementary and special education. Woldeyes is majoring in public health education. The awards honor diverse students who are doing outstanding work, both in and out of the classroom.

Feb. 2 - Art for familiespainting in Tweed exhibit

The Tweed Museum of Art is hosting Family Day, led by Professor Alison Aune and artist Wendy Lee Savage. The event will offer a variety of projects inspired by works in the current exhibit, “Intersections,” which showcases contemporary Native art from Minnesota-based artists. No charge, but registration is required. 1-3 p.m.

At the theatreplay poster

UMD Theatre professor Kate Ufema adapted and directs Shakespeare’s comedy Love’s Labor’s Lost, in which three men take an oath to study hard and to swear off women. Their plan seems foolproof--until three women come into their lives. The play runs Feb. 7-9 and 13-16, 7:30 p.m.; and Feb. 10, 2 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center.


Renaming of the Physical Education Center

As the Physical Education Center nears its 50th year, it is being renamed Cougar Sports Center to better reflect the energy and strength for which Cougar Athletics is known. The campus community will celebrate with a ribbon cutting, date to be announced.


Nontraditional student graduates and succeeds despite challenges

Michael Feakes was a plumber for several years when a debilitating shoulder injury sidelined his career. So Feakes made a difficult decision to change his life course--one that he does not regret. At 35 years old, he decided to go back to school. Feakes attended UMR and the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences for the radiography program, and now works at Mayo Clinic. Read his story on Facebook.

Twin Cities

ISSS Intercultural Workshop Series for spring 2019

Staff interested in learning how to effectively work with international students and colleagues are encouraged to register for the Intercultural Workshop Series organized by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). The series combines intercultural competency and skills development sessions with workshops discussing the unique cultures of the largest international student populations on campus.

Jan. 31 - A Feast of Words: ‘Beating Cancer at Its Own Game’

Join the University Libraries and the Campus Club for an event featuring David Odde, U of M Department of Biomedical Engineering and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Odde will discuss a promising cancer-fighting model based on his research. Tickets are required for the event and dinner. 5 p.m., Campus Club.

Feb. 5 - The Art of Disruptive Innovation: Business Survival Skills for the 21st Century

Disruptive innovation is a common dilemma for tech-based organizations: You innovate and, all the while, another company leapfrogs over its competitors to lock in ownership of future technologies before they are even feasible to build. Guest speaker Michael Lasky is a patent attorney, published author, and tireless educator devoted to helping companies learn to be the disruptor instead of the disrupted. CLE credit is available for the seminar. Register and learn more.

Feb. 6 - 2019 Legislative Preview

House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka will preview Minnesota’s 2019 legislative session and the prospects of working together. Minnesota is the only legislature in the country in which one political party does not monopolize power. Can DFL and GOP leaders work together on the state’s most pressing issues such as tax and health reform? MPR reporter Briana Bierschbach will moderate the conversation. Noon-1 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Feb. 7 - Northrop and Walker Art Center present Ate9

Choreographer Danielle Agami was born in Israel and spent several years with Batsheva Dance Company, emerging with a totally unique choreographic voice that combines visceral honesty and offbeat humor. Her company Ate9 is one of the most sought-after dance companies on the West Coast. This is her first collaboration with Wilco percussionist Glenn Kotche, who will perform his original score live. 7:30 p.m., Carlson Family Stage.

UMTC Featured EventsMan with boxes and luggage on back

Jan. 31 - Therapy Apps and Virtual Nurses: Of Meaning, Machines and the Future of Connective Labor
Feb. 1 - Baggage Claims Exhibition Preview Party
Feb. 2 - Urban Sketchers - Sketching Minneapolis
Feb. 2 - e.motion: 51st Annual Fashion Show
Feb. 5 - My Role in Equity & Diversity Work
Feb. 5 - TWW Panel: Writing for a Variety of Audiences
Feb. 7 - Alumni Webinar: Aging with Purpose
Feb. 11 - University Symphony Orchestra Concert

Events Calendar >