March 27, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 12

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Government and Community Relations update.
  • Features: Gut check on cancer; Taking the guesswork out of aneurysms; Just the right note.
  • People: The University will lead a $9.7 million NIH BRAIN Initiative grant to improve hearing restoration; and more.

Top News

Government and Community Relations update

On March 22, Gov. Walz released his revised budget recommendations for FY2020-21, following a smaller projected budget surplus that was announced in late February. The governor’s proposal includes an $11.8 million increase for the University of Minnesota in addition to his initial recommendation of $39.2 million. On March 25, the House DFL majority released its budget targets. The Senate GOP majority will release its budget targets later this week. Join in advocating for the U of M during Support the U Day at the State Capitol on Apr. 3, or engage with the governor and local legislators through UMN Advocates.

Gut check on cancermicrobiome drawing

Cracking the mysteries of the human microbiome—those teeming communities of bacteria, fungi, and viruses that live on and within each of us—remains one of medicine’s most exciting frontiers. At the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, a new series of studies delves deeper into the mystery, looking at the connection between the gut microbiome and cancer.

Taking the guesswork out of aneurysmstwo u of m researchers

To operate or not? When it comes to brain aneurysms, the answer isn’t always clear. A team of researchers from across the University, including radiologists and engineers, is using 3D modeling to better understand how aneurysms work.

Just the right notemusical instruments for kids

A good song can change a mood, bring back memories, and brighten a day. And while music can feel therapeutic in this way, it can provide far more than just a feel good moment. At the Masonic Children’s Hospital, music therapy helps hospitalized kids feel better, inside and out. Learn more and see some of the hospital’s instruments for kids.


The University will lead a $9.7 million NIH BRAIN Initiative grant to improve hearing restoration; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media. People >

U-Wide News

Sign the online guest book for President and Mrs. Kaler

The University community is invited to view a slideshow of memorable moments during the Kaler administration and to sign an online guestbook for President and Mrs. Kaler.

Talking opioid crisis trends with UMN

The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the School of Public Health recently released a report on the evolving opioid crisis across the United States. Colin Planalp with SHADAC answers questions about opioid overdose death trends, how these trends are expected to evolve over time, and how Minnesota compares to the rest of the country.

BioTechnology Institute and Takeda Pharmaceutical announce training partnership

The BioTechnology Institute (BTI), in conjunction with the College of Biological Sciences and Tokyo-based Takeda Pharmaceutical, have entered into an advanced workforce training partnership. Over the next three years, BTI will provide advanced biopharmaceutical training for up to 125 Takeda employees working at its biologics manufacturing facility in Brooklyn Park, MN.

Apr. 3 - Biohacking and Cyborg Rights: Coping with Promise and Peril

DIY biologists set up home labs or use community lab spaces to play with plasmids, yeast, and tools like CRISPR. Some insert magnets, lasers, and genes into their bodies, seeking to enhance human capacity and, in some cases, redefine themselves as cyborgs. Professor Lisa Ikemoto will examine how DIY biology could serve as a laboratory for building a new relationship between science and society, one that is less about capitalism and more about knowledge creation, equality, and justice. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union and live online via webcast.

Apr. 25 - LawSeq: Building a Legal Foundation for Translating Genomics into Clinical Application

Genomic and precision medicine are increasingly important, but the law underlying them is unclear, poorly understood, and contested. This conference will present the efforts of the NIH-funded LawSeq project to shape the law of genomics. It brings together top legal and scientific experts who have been analyzing U.S. federal and state laws and regulations. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School and live online via webcast.

May 20-June 7 - Public Health Institute

The Summer Public Health Institute, hosted by the School of Public Health, offers courses for everyone practicing or studying public health and related fields. Most courses span one week and provide participants with applied research and practice that can be used right away. Courses can be taken for academic graduate credit or continuing education hours.

Research Brief: Diet generally improves as adolescents age

Understanding how diet changes over time, particularly during the period from adolescence to young adulthood, when individuals often gain independence, is crucial to supporting healthier dietary practices. A study by the School of Public Health measured adherence to the USDA’s MyPlate dietary guidelines and dietary changes from adolescence to young adulthood to help provide a basis for implementing policies and practices to improve nutrition.

Research Brief: Developing a blood test to screen for ovarian cancervial of blood

Ovarian cancer is often called the "silent killer" because the symptoms are so vague that women are often not diagnosed until the disease has progressed to advanced stages. Currently, no blood test exists that is sensitive or specific enough to be used to screen women in the general population. Professor Amy Skubitz and her team at the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection Program have been using a new technology developed by a Swedish company in which a patient's blood can be tested for the presence of 92 proteins at once.


Crookston to initiate test-optional admissions practice

An in-depth analysis of graduation rates for students at the University of Minnesota Crookston has shown high school grades as a strong predictor of student success. As part of a new holistic admissions review, Crookston will place significantly greater emphasis on high school grades and the rigor of high school coursework when making admissions decisions.

Koisti receives NCTGA scholarshipBen Koisti

University of Minnesota Crookston senior Ben Koisti was recently named the recipient of the 2019 North Central Turf Grass Association (NCTGA) scholarship.


March 29-30 - Opera at Weber Music Hallmoonlight

The Opera Studio and the Department of Music will present The Turn of the Screw, directed by voice/opera instructor Alice Pierce, on March 29 and 30. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall. The opera, written by Benjamin Britten, is based on the novella by Henry James. Tickets are available online.

Apr. 9 - Art and design lecture with Chris Monroe and Melanie WalbyMelanie Walby

Chris Monroe and Melanie Walby will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. Monroe is a Duluth-based artist, cartoonist, children’s book author, and illustrator. Walby is the design director of Pollen Midwest and the communications manager at Juxtaposition Arts, both in Minneapolis. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.

May 11 - Anne Tsui at commencement 2019anne tsui

Anne Tsui will speak at UMD’s two commencement ceremonies in AMSOIL Arena at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Tsui is currently Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Motorola Professor Emerita of International Management at the Arizona State University, and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Peking University and Fudan University, China. She is an alumna of both U of M Duluth ’73 and U of M Twin Cities ‘75.


Apr. 5 - U of M Morris Jazz Festivaljazz performers on stage

Join the U of M Morris jazz program as it celebrates one of America’s first musical art forms—the blues—at the 2019 Jazz Festival. Guest artists include Matt Leder (trumpet), Scott Agster (trombone), Ryan Frane (piano), Pete James Johnson (drums), Joey Pettit (bass), the West Central All-Stars Big Band, and the Morris Alumni Jazzers Big Band. 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium, Student Center. Get more information and tickets.


Lt. Gov. Flanagan visits RochesterPeggy Flanagan

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan recently visited Rochester’s campus (see her Twitter post) as part of an education tour. Flanagan met with students, faculty, and staff to learn more about the campus and discuss the Walz administration’s “One Minnesota” budget.

Artwork dedicated at UMRNancy Brubaker and chancellor

For Chancellor Carrell’s inauguration as UMR’s second chancellor in September 2018, artist Richard Brubaker created an interactive piece encouraging attendees to write the name of someone who made a difference in their lives on the backs of individual pieces. Last week, the piece was dedicated to UMR by the artist’s wife, Nancy Brubaker.

Twin Cities

March 29 - The Real Promise of AI: How to Get AI-Human Collaboration to Work?

While many celebrated efforts in artificial intelligence (AI) aim at exceeding human performance, the real promise of AI in real-world domains, such as healthcare and law, hinges on developing systems that can successfully support human experts. In this talk, Ece Kamar, senior researcher, Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group, Microsoft, will share several directions of research that her group is pursuing toward effective human-AI partnership. 1 p.m., 240 Northrop.

March 30 - Humanity in War: An International Humanitarian Law Workshop

The Human Rights Center at the Law School is co-hosting an International Humanitarian Workshop (register to attend). The course is designed to train field and headquarters personnel of the Red Cross to recognize and understand situations where international humanitarian law might be applicable. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 50 Mondale Hall.

Apr. 1 - The Apprehension of Fraud: Policing Deception in Modern America

Swindlers and salesmen have long been viewed as close cousins in the U.S., some going as far to suggest con artistry and economic innovation are two sides of the same coin. In this lecture, Professor Susanna Blumenthal traverses the borderland between capitalism and crime, providing a corrective as she reconsiders regulatory paths lawyers pursued to redress social harms resulting from misplaced trust. 4 p.m., 25 Mondale Hall.

Apr. 1 - 2019 Ohanessian Chair Lecture

Armen T. Marsoobian, professor of philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, will deliver the 2019 Ohanessian Chair Lecture: "Presencing an Absence: Accountability and Memory in the Aftermath of the Armenian Genocide.” He will present his ongoing project memorializing the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. 7 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. No charge, but RSVP to attend.

Apr. 2-4 - Cops and Coffee

Join the University of Minnesota Police Department for its spring Cops and Coffee series. Events begin at 8 a.m. and last until the coffee and doughnuts run out. Locations: West Bank Plaza, Apr. 2; Keller Hall Plaza, Apr. 3; and St. Paul Student Center, Apr. 4.

Apr. 9 - The Annual David Noble Lecture

The Annual David Noble Lecture, hosted by the Department of American Studies, will feature speaker Gaye Theresa Johnson presenting "The Future of Radical History: Democracy, Love and the Metaphor of Two Worlds." Johnson writes and teaches on race and racism, cultural history, spatial politics, and political economy at the University of California, Los Angeles. 7 p.m., 402 Walter Library.

Apr. 10 - North Minneapolis Business Summit

The Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center's Northside Job Creation Team (NJCT) will host a first-ever business summit, “Northside Assets and Overcoming Workforce Barriers,” focused on employee hiring and retention in North Minneapolis. The summit will include presentations by business owners who have overcome recruitment and retention barriers by working with members of the NJCT. 8-10 a.m., 2001 Plymouth Ave. N., Minneapolis.

May 10 - U of M Day at Target Field

Get out to the ballpark with fellow alumni and friends at the annual U of M Day at Target Field, featuring the Minnesota Twins vs. the Detroit Tigers. The package includes a game ticket, a limited edition Maroon and Gold Twins cap, and pregame festivities. The Minnesota Twins donate a portion of each ticket to the U of M Alumni Association.

UMTC Featured Eventsguitar

March 28 - College Readiness & Achievement Gaps (CRAG) Talks
March 29 - Mid-America Guitar Ensemble Festival Opening Concert
March 31 - Keeping Our Faculty VIII
Apr. 2 - American Ballet Theatre
Apr. 3 - Petri Dish: Extinction: When is it Time to Say Goodbye?
Apr. 3 - Provost's Conversation Series: Francisco Cantú
Apr. 4 - Fionnuala Ní Aoláin: Protecting Human Rights in the Age of Counterterrorism
Apr. 4 - Makers Workshop - Letterpress Print Studio

Events Calendar >