Past Awards: 2013

The following are brief descriptions of the projects selected for Research Infrastructure Investment awards in 2013. These awards are designed to facilitate interdisciplinary partnerships and strengthen the University’s research infrastructure. One-to-one matching funds from the collaborating colleges, institutes, and/or centers are required for funding eligibility.

Establishing Mass Cytometry at the University of Minnesota

Edgar Arriaga, College of Science and Engineering (CSE)
Co-Investigator: Dan Kaufman, Medical School
Matching Funds: CSE, CSE-Chemistry and Medical School

To acquire a mass cytometer to be housed in the Department of Chemistry’s Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. Mass cytometry is becoming widely used in biotechnology and biomedical research at leading institutions across the nation. Mass cytometry provides the ability to analyze complex sets of proteins or genes in mixtures of cells or in cells as they change status during maturation, differentiation or degradation. Because it can be done at extremely high speeds (1000 cells/sec), it provides a tool to monitor specific protein dynamics and cell populations in many tissues. Currently there are 12 installed mass cytometers in the U.S., and other institutions are in the process of acquiring similar capabilities.

Single-Cell Genomics Instrumentation

Kenneth Beckman, University of Minnesota Genomics Center (UMGC)
Co-Investigators: Jakub Tolar, Stem Cell Institute; Doug Yee, Masonic Cancer Institute; Walter Low, Neurosurgery; Dale Gregerson, Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences; Dan Kaufman, Stem Cell Institute; Tom Hays, College of Biological Sciences (CBS); Mike Sadowsky, Biotechnology Institute/CBS; Mike O'Connor, Genetics, Cell Biology and Development; David Bernlohr, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
Matching Funds: UMGC

To acquire single-cell genomics instrumentation for the advancement of single-cell biology at the UMN. Until now, it has been overwhelmingly difficult to perform molecular genetic studies on single cells, due to the difficulty of extracting and processing picograms of nucleic acids from one cell without losing the material. In the past year or two, however, advances in microfluidic technology – the manufacture of microscopic fluid circuits for rapid, high-throughput manipulation of cells – have resulted in tools for doing just that. 

Dedicated University of Minnesota Research Resource at the Minnesota State Fair 

Ellen Demerath, School of Public Health (SPH)
Co-Investigators: Logan Spector, Medical School; Heather Nelson, SPH; Mindy Kurzer, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS)
Matching Funds: SPH, Medical School and CFANS

To dedicate a building at the Minnesota State Fair for the purpose of conducting and highlighting University of Minnesota research (including social science and opinion research). The Fair is among the largest and most popular state fairs in the United States. Several cross-sectional studies and the longitudinal pilot Gopher Kids Study have demonstrated Fairgoers’ willingness to participate in research. This facility will allow opportunities to reach outstate, agriculturally-focused residents, to engage student volunteers, and will provide faculty with opportunities for a wide range of research activities.

Institute for Children’s Mental Health and Development

Abigail Gewirtz, College of Education and Human Development (CEHD)
Co-Investigators: Dante Cicchetti, Institute of Child Development; Frank Symons, Educational Psychology; Gerald August, Psychiatry
Matching Funds: CEHD

To establish an Institute for Children’s Mental Health and Development (IMCHD). The goal of the IMCHD is to support transdisciplinary research in children’s mental health, providing links between basic research and efficacy trials, translational research, and evidence-based treatments in clinical settings across the state.

A High Resolution Mass Spectrometry System for Interdisciplinary Metabolomics Research

Tim Griffin, College of Biological Sciences (CBS)
Co-Investigators: Christine Wendt, Medical School; Larry Wackett, Biotechnology Institute/CBS; Jim Ervasti, Medical School; Gary Nelsestuen, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB); David Bernlohr, BMBB 
Matching Funds: CBS, AHC/Medical School and Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics

To acquire a Q-Exactive mass spectrometry (MS) system to be located in the Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics (CMSP). This instrument offers unsurpassed mass resolution, accuracy and sensitivity for metabolomics studies in complex biological samples. It will accommodate the needs of a growing number of UMN investigators who are seeking out MS-based metabolomics studies via CMSP, in areas ranging from environmental biochemistry to clinical diagnostics.

Live Animal Ultra High-frequency Sonography Platform for Research and Discovery in Metabolism, Cancer and Cardiovascular Biomedical Sciences

Joseph Metzger, Medical School
Co-Investigators: JHarry Orr, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology; Frank Bates, Chemical Engineering/Material Science; Bob Elde, CBS 
Matching Funds: AHC/Medical School and CSE

To acquire high resolution digital imaging platforms for real-time in vivo quantitative short-term and longitudinal studies. In the past few years, there has been a revolution in technological advances directed at live animal imaging featuring non-invasive high fidelity ultrasound imaging modalities. Whereas the UMN research community has ready access to world-class optical and MRI imaging platforms, there has been a major technological deficit on campus for in vivo live animal imaging via sonograghy. High-resolution digital imaging platforms for real-time in vivo quantitative short-term and longitudinal studies represent a significant opportunity for a large and growing UMN faculty with a focus in the vital biomedical pillars of our institution including heart, vascular biology, neuroscience, metabolism and cancer research.

A Bio-repository to Support Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Minnesota

Timothy Schacker, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) 
Co-Investigators: Alex Rothman, College of Liberal Arts (CLA); Douglas Yee, Masonic Cancer Center; Wes Miller, Medicine; Connie Delaney, Biomedical Health Informatics and School of Nursing; Selwyn Vickers, Surgery; Tim Church, SPH; Allen Levine, CFANS; Arthur Erdman, CSE; David Bernlohr, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics; Monica Luciana, Psychology; Bobbi Daniels, UMN Physicians; Carolyn Wilson, UMN Medical Center 
Matching Funds: CTSI

To establish a state-of-the-art, centralized facility for collecting, linking, processing, storing and distributing bio-specimens and associated electronic clinical data. This will be a highly standardized and automated one-stop location through the office of Clinical Translational Research Services (CTRS) in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). The goal is to provide investigators across the university a centralized facility to access and assess large prospective subject populations for current and future research endeavors.

Essential Infrastructure Improvements for Food Animal Research

Montserrat Torremorell, College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM)
Co-Investigators: Gerald Shurson, CFANS; Peter Davies, Center for Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS)/CVM; James Collins, CVM; Hinh Ly, CVM; Maria Pieters, CVM; Scott Wells, CAHFS/CVM; Sally Noll, CFANS; Scott O'Grady, CFANS
Matching Funds: CVM, CFANS and Agricultural Experiment Station

To enhance research infrastructure on the third floor of the Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine Building (St. Paul Campus) to create a food-centric corridor with integrated cutting-edge research capability. The research also focuses on translational research and problem solving with direct impact to the university, industry and the communities where food is produced. This model of partnering laboratories and resources effectively integrates and supports intercollegiate research and has the added benefit of positioning UMN researchers in St. Paul to support industry partners in the community. This approach is central to the university’s mission to produce a safe, secure and sustainable food supply.

Advanced Pre-Clinical Imaging Laboratory X-ray System for Translational Research

Robert Wilson, Lillehei Heart Institute
Co-Investigators: Daniel Garry, Medicine; Emad Ebini, Mechanical Engineering; Robert Tranquillo, Biomedical Engineering; Afshin Divani, Neurology; Demetri Yannopoulos, Cardiology; Andrew Graves, Neurology; Richard Bianco, Experimental Surgical Services; Jafar Golzarian, Radiology; Fotis Sotiropoulos, Civil Engineering; Charles Dietz, Radiology; Matthew Johnson, Biomedical Engineering; Steven Santilli, Surgery; Arthur Erdman, Mechanical Engineering
Matching Funds: Cardiovascular Division, Medicine

To establish an advanced pre-clinical angiography facility that will serve as the core translational, large animal research laboratory for the AHC (divisions of Cardiology, Cardiovascular and Vascular Surgery, Experimental Surgery, Interventional Radiology, and Interventional Neurology), and for medical device development in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering. This facility requires a sophisticated radiographic imaging unit and associated software for analysis, which is critical to testing therapeutic devices in a large animal model.

A Fast, Accurate and Automated Solution for Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy

Wei Zhang, Institute for Molecular Virology
Co-Investigators: Louis M. Mansky, Dentistry; Joachim Mueller, Physics and Astronomy
Matching Funds: Characterization Facility, CSE, School of Dentistry, Medical School, CVM, CFANS and CBS

To acquire one major piece of equipment and one sample preparation unit to be used in conjunction with the Technai TEM, which is a part of the CharFac. The equipment, iCorr, is a fully integrated, LED-based, wide-field fluorescence microscope located at the standard sample position on the TEM. The sample preparation unit, EM AFS2, is an automatic freeze substitution system, used for preparing the specimen necessary for retaining the fluorescence signal in the embedded tissue and cells.