October 23, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 33

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: Developing new therapies to combat drug addiction; Journeying through a 17th-century apothecary.
  • People: The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement will lead a $6 million grant to improve the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students; and more.

Top News

Developing new therapies to combat drug addictionSade Spencer

There are rare opportunities for young researchers to make a big impact early in their careers. Sade Spencer found one at the U of M Medical School. Spencer, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, was drawn to Minnesota for the chance to join the University’s Medical Discovery Team on Addiction. Her story is part of Impact Medicine, a campaign featuring U of M Medical School faculty.

Journeying through a 17th-century apothecaryLouisa Botten with a manuscript

You recently acquired a cold. "No big deal," you think, "I'll grab some type of cold medicine at Walgreens." Problem: You’re in France, and the year is 1645. There is no Walgreens. No aisle of endless cold remedies. So begins an extraordinary research project by Louisa Botten, an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota.


The Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement will lead a new $6.3 million federal grant to improve the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students; a recent $1.9 million NIH grant will allow Mikael Elias to continue exploring how bacteria communicate with each other; the School of Nursing has been awarded the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award for the fourth consecutive year; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media. People >

U-Wide News

New M Health Fairview system combines best of academic and community medicine

M Health Fairview has publicly launched the new M Health Fairview brand. Following the 2018 joint clinical agreement between the University of Minnesota, U of M Physicians, and Fairview Health Services, M Health Fairview represents the best of academic and community medicine, bringing world-class medical research and advances to thousands of Minnesotans as part of one of the state’s largest healthcare networks.

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Celebrates 50 Years

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School recently kicked off a yearlong celebration to honor the department’s 50 years of advancing the practice of family medicine. The department is first in the country in total number of residency graduates—more than 2,000 to date. Of those graduates, about 70 percent choose to stay in and serve Minnesota.

Oct. 21-27 - Open Access Week

Open Access Week is an international event to raise awareness and inspire wider participation in open access publishing. U of M Libraries has tips and resources to help researchers increase the reach and impact of their research publication.

Oct. 28-Nov. 7 - Employee Health and Benefits Fairs

Benefits Open Enrollment will take place Nov. 1-Dec. 2. Employees can talk in-person to U of M benefits administrators, such as Medica or Delta Dental, at upcoming Benefits Fairs. The fairs are an opportunity to learn about benefit choices and have questions answered, with flu shots available at select locations. See Benefits Fair times and locations.

Nov. 4 - Public hearings on revisions to the Civil Service Employment Rules

The Civil Service Consultative Committee and Employment Rules Subcommittee have proposed revisions to the Civil Service Employment Rules. Two public hearings will be held in order to hear constituent feedback on the proposal. Hearings will be held at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., online via Zoom. For Zoom information and to view the proposed revisions, visit the University Senate Blog.

Call for papers: Design of Medical Devices Conference

The Design of Medical Devices 2020 Conference (Dec. 6-8) seeks original papers that demonstrate new technologies and applications in the field of medical device design. Submissions from academic and industry researchers, clinicians, and practitioners are encouraged. Papers should present an unbiased description of an experiment, product, or business method related to medical devices. The submission deadline is Nov. 7.

Call for Proposals: Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference

Registration is open and a call for session and poster proposals is now available for the systemwide Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference, Feb. 28, Humphrey School. Proposals are due Nov. 8.

BOLD Ideas Grant applications due mid-December

Colleagues from psychiatry and behavioral sciences, neurology, the Weisman Art Museum, and the Center for Learning Innovation at the University of Minnesota Rochester are working together to tackle the intersection of art, sleep, and brain functioning in adolescents. Support is funded by the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs’ BOLD Ideas Grant program, which supports collaborations that address “wicked problems” that are inhibiting the health and wellbeing of communities. The application deadline is mid-December.

Call for proposals: Public engagement conference

The University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement seeks proposals for its conference, "Partnering with Minnesota: Connecting the University with Urban, Suburban, and Rural Communities through Public Engagement." The conference (March 5, Coffman Union) will examine the role of public engagement in addressing challenging issues in Minnesota and beyond. Proposals are due Dec. 16.

Research Brief: Is health care the new “manufacturing” when it comes to good jobs?Nurse or doctor greeting patient

A new study from the University of Minnesota and Villanova University examined “good jobs” for low- and middle-skill workers across industries, with a focus on health care sector jobs, which are on the rise and female-dominated, and manufacturing jobs, which are on the decline and male-dominated. Additional recent Research Briefs include “Customized probiotics for turkeys may be an effective alternative to antibiotics.”


Student feature: Emma BlissEmma Bliss with horse

Not only did Emma Bliss pursue her dream of being a veterinarian, she decided that the University of Minnesota Crookston was the perfect place for it. Her combined passion for caring for animals and a love of science make her an ideal pre-vet student.

Loegering named Fellow of The Wildlife SocietyJohn Loegering with Darren Miller

John Loegering, professor of natural resources at the University of Minnesota Crookston, was recently recognized with The Wildlife Society Fellows Award. Fellows serve as ambassadors of The Wildlife Society and are encouraged to engage in outreach and other activities that will benefit the wildlife profession.


Land acknowledgmenta mural

U of M Duluth has written a land acknowledgment through a collaborative process with individuals from the Department of American Indian Studies, the Campus Climate Leadership Team, and more. The acknowledgment was endorsed by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council in June. In the text, UMD recognizes that the campus “is located on the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of Indigenous people.”

Music and memoryPepper the robot

Associate Professor Arshia Khan, computer science, enlisted help from music professors Rudy Perrault and Rachel Inselman in order to design a study to understand aging brains. Study participants listen to nursery rhymes sung by Inselman and performed by a robot, Pepper, while the participants’ brain waves are monitored via EEG. The goal is ultimately to design prospective treatments for dementia care.

Oct. 30 - UMD ZombieFestZombieFest poster

Faculty from multiple disciplines will come together to talk about all things zombie during the 2019 ZombieFest. Topics range from zombie psychological symptoms to using Jujutsu to take down a zombie to building a zombie-proof house. 7-9 p.m., 90 Bohannon Hall. No charge and open to all.

At the theatreEnemy of the People poster

Theatre Professor Tom Isbell directs Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. Written in 1882, the subject remains incredibly timely. What is more important: the heath of a town’s economy or the health of its people? The show runs Nov. 7-9 and Nov. 12-16, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Dudley Experimental Theatre, Marshall Performing Arts Center.


Morris students trick or treat so others can eatStudents gather at Trick or Can event

This Halloween U of M Morris students will trick or treat so others can eat. Students will go door-to-door collecting donations for the Stevens County Food Shelf during the Office of Community Engagement’s annual Trick or Can event. Last year students gathered more than 1,600 pounds of food and personal hygiene products, as well as nearly $800 in donations. This year, they hope to do even more.


UMR and YMCA collaborate on Shared Space Project

The University of Minnesota Rochester and the Rochester Area Family YMCA are jointly exploring a proposed project that seeks a developer in downtown Rochester. The project will provide first-year student housing and learning spaces, faculty and student success staff offices and collaborative spaces, and recreational and wellbeing space. Both the shared and separate new facilities are scheduled for delivery by May 2022 to meet UMR’s growth timelines. UMR's fall 2019 enrollment numbers showed an 8.6 percent increase in the student body as compared to fall 2018.

Twin Cities

More fuel efficiency, less anxiety: research finds way to extend range of plug-in hybridshybrid car

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles represent a growing segment of the U.S. passenger vehicle market. These vehicles offer significant fuel savings, but there are tradeoffs, including uncertainty about how long the battery charge will last. In a recent project, U of M researchers joined forces with a small automotive hardware developer to explore extending the battery range of these vehicles—and in doing so, increasing both their fuel economy and appeal to consumers.

Give to the Community Fund Drive

Join this year's Community Fund Drive and in less than five minutes you can feed a hungry family, help find a cure for devastating diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer, or support a low-income student's dream of going to college. Making a donation takes just minutes, but the effects can last a lifetime.

Get a flu shot

Vaccination is the best defense against the flu this winter. Registration for flu clinics is now open. Schedule your flu shot online. It’s fast, it’s easy, and there’s no cost to eligible faculty, staff, students, retirees, and their dependents. Faculty and staff UPlan members can also earn 25 Wellbeing Program points for the flu shot.

Gov. Walz visits ICD building on first leg of public projects tour

The Institute of Child Development (ICD) recently welcomed Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, and Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans on their tour of proposed public building projects around Minnesota. One of those projects is the building that houses ICD.

Oct. 29 - Proposed Gender Expression and Identity Policy forum

A Conversations on Student Life and the Law forum will provide an opportunity for the U of M community to hear about the history and rationale of the proposed Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Names and Pronouns policy, its impact on faculty/staff/students, and legal concerns. Noon-2 p.m., Weisman Art Museum. Student Legal Service will provide a light lunch.

Nov. 1 - Performing Linear Regression with R

Take your data skills to the next level by learning how to measure relationships between variables and predict outcomes with a hands-on linear regression course. Participants will receive an introduction to simple and multiple linear regression models, then practice creating models, interpreting relationships, and calculating predictions. The daylong course is designed as a follow-up to "Introduction to Reproducible Data Science in R"; attendees should have some experience with R prior to enrolling.

Nov. 13 - Symposium: "The Great Replacement:" Conspiracy Theories and Far-Right Mass Violence in the Trump Era

Presented by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Center for Jewish Studies, and Department of History, this panel discussion with Riv-Ellen Prell, Bruno Chaouat, Joseph Gerteis, and Malinda Linquist will explore white supremacism and the so-called “great replacement” theory. 4 p.m., 1210 Heller Hall, followed by an educator workshop at 6 p.m.

UMTC Featured EventsBlack Grace dancers on beach

Oct. 25 - Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor
Oct. 28 - University Band and Maroon Campus Band
Oct. 29 - Healthcare Marketplace Disruptions
Oct. 30 - Ways of Knowing Water: The Seminar
Oct. 30 - Campus Orchestras
Nov. 3 - Fall About Dogs 5K Run/Walk at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Nov. 6 - Screening and Q&A: The Sound of Silence
Nov. 7 - Black Grace

Events Calendar >