Past Awards

Active Programs

The programs below represent the current funding opportunities available through Research Computing. Awards listed by the Calendar Year in which they were awarded.

DSI Seed Grants

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DSI Seed Grants

Calendar Year 2023 Seed Grant Awards

Small Seed Grants

Chang Ge

College of Science and Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering

Privacy-Preserving Data Publishing using Large Language Models

Ruihang Zhang, Kun Zhang

College of Science and Engineering, Civil Engineering; College of Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Prediction of Wall Shear Stress in Open Cavity Models: An Integrated Study using CFD models and Data-Driven Sparse Sensing

Lance Augustin

U of MN Medical School, Surgery

CITE-seq Analysis of Bacterially Delivered Anticancer Immunotherapy

Rick Jansen, Christy Henzler, Natalia Calixto Mancipe

Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

Identifying Gene Interacting Networks in PDAC Using Deconvolution and Integrative Multi-omics Analysis

Emil Lou

U of MN Medical School, Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation

Defining Patterns of Spatial Genomic Changes in Clinical Specimens Before and After Cancer Treatment

Erich Kummerfeld, Michael Bronstein, Alexander Rothman

Institute for Health Informatics; U of MN Medical School, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; College of Liberal Arts, Psychology

Experimentally Dissecting Inter-analyst Reliability in Data Science: the Roles of Vague Questions and Imprecise Interpretations

Yulong Lu

College of Science and Engineering, Mathematics

Towards Robust Deep Learning Methods for Multiscale Simulation in Heterogeneous Materials

Medium and Large Seed Grants

Jue Hou, Ju Sun, Margy McCullough-Hicks, Christopher Streib, Rui Zhang

School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Health Data Science; College of Science and Engineering; U of MN Medical School, Neurology, Computational Health Sciences

Data Science Methods to Enable Real-world Evidence for Supporting Stroke Care (DRESS)

Harrison Quick

School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Health Data Science

Creating a Synthetic Vital Statistics Data Repository for Minnesota

Ardeshir Ebtehaj, Michael Steinbach

College of Science and Engineering, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering

Advancing Data Science Foundation for Shrinking the Uncertainties in Bottom-up Estimates of Methane Emission from Arctic Lakes

Rajesh Rajamani, Robert McGovern

College of Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering; UMN Medical School, Neurosurgery

Home-Based Individualized Analysis of Postural Instability in PD Patients

Chad Myers

College of Science and Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering

Multi-task deep learning models for neurodegenerative disease risk prediction

Cara Santelli, Tianhong Cui, Chang Ge, Yao-Yi Chiang

College of Science and Engineering - Earth and Environmental Sciences Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering

Prioritizing Tribal Data Benefits and Governance in Developing and Applying Chemical Sensors for Water Quality Monitoring

Lin Zhang, Joe Koopmeiners

School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Health Data Science

Development of novel statistical imaging partitioning tools for interpretable lesion-wise cancer detection using 3D prostate imaging data

Levi Teigen, Christopher Staley

CFANS, Food Science and Nutrition; U of MN Medical School

Determination of Functional Drivers of Lewy Body Disease among the Intestinal Microbiota

Stephen Guy, Rachel Hawe

College of Education and Human Development, Computer Science and Engineering, Biomechanics and Neuromotor Control

Data-driven Metrics for Upper-Limb Motor Assessment in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Zhang Rui, Steve Johnson, Anne Blaes

U of MN Medical School, Computational Health Sciences; Institute for Health Informatics, Oncology

CancerLLM: Development of a Cancer-domain Large Language Model to Extract diagnostic information

Ju Sun, Zhaosong Lu

College of Science and Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Stochastic Optimization for Constrained Deep Learning

Steffen Ventz

School of Public Health, Biostatistics and Health Data Science

Robust Bayesian Transfer learning

DSI-MnDRIVE PhD Graduate Assistantship Program

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DSI-MnDRIVE PhD Graduate Assistantship Program

Program Year 2024 Awards

Claire Menard

Response of Crop Genomes to Environmental Stress

  • School/Department: CFANS (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Program: Agronomy and Plant Genetics, Plant and Microbial Biology

Evan Dastin-Van Rijn

Blackbox Optimization of Cognitive Control with Neuromodulation 

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Biomedical Engineering

Drew Swartz

Effectiveness and Producers Perceptions of Camera-based Technology detecting early stages of lameness in dairy cows

  • School/Department: College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Program: Veterinary Population Medicine, Veterinary Medicine

Kate Dembny

Functional Connectivity as a Biomarker for Working Memory Dysfunction in Parkinson's Disease

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Biomedical Engineering

Jack Wolf

Innovative Statistical Methods for Personalized Treatment Decisions in Cancer Clinical Trials

  • School/Department: School of Public Health, Division of Biostatistics
  • Program: Biostatistics

Leikun Yin

Sustainable Cashew Plantation Expansion in West Africa: Balancing Industry Growth, Poverty Reduction, and Conservation using Deep Learning and Geospatial Data

  • School/Department: CFANS (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Program: Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management

Chris Wojan

Can biodiversity reduce Lyme disease prevalence? A data-driven approach

  • School/Department: College of Biological Sciences
  • Program: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

Mathew Fischbach

Enhancing Parkinson’s Disease risk prediction with genetic interaction-based machine learning models

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Computer Science and Engineering, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

Jiacheng Liu

Identify potentially avoidable blood draws via estimating coagulation measurements for pediatric patients treated by heparin infusion

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Computer Science and Engineering

Jingxuan Deng

Optimizing Mineral Carbon Storage through High-performance Computing and Machine Learning

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Earth Sciences

Xiangyu Zhang

Searching for new signals under high background: a novel inferential framework

  • School/Department: CLA (College of Liberal Arts)
  • Program: School of Statistics

Cooper Gray

Novel Insights into CSF Flow Alterations to Inform Future Treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Mechanical Engineering

Seiya Wakahara

Precision Nitrogen and Irrigation Management of Potatoes based on Multi-source Data Fusion using Machine Learning and Crop Growth Modeling

  • School/Department: CFANS (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
  • Program: Soil, Water, and Climate, Land and Atmospheric Science

Haoyu Yang

Personalized Disease Progression Modeling Using Privileged Information

  • School/Department: CSE (College of Science and Engineering)
  • Program: Computer Science and Engineering

Previously Offered Programs

Research Computing has offered several other programs in previous years. The programs below have since been discontinued or merged with our current offerings. Select each dropdown to see a list of recipients from previous years.

RC-MnDRIVE PhD Graduate Assistantship Program

RC-MnDRIVE PhD Graduate Assistantships (formerly the UMII-MnDRIVE PhD Graduate Assistantships) are awarded to PhD graduate students currently pursuing research at the University of Minnesota at the intersection of informatics and any of the five MnDRIVE areas: Robotics, sensors and advanced manufacturing; global food ventures; advancing industry, conserving our environment; discoveries and treatments for brain conditions; and cancer clinical trials.

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UMII MnDRIVE Fellows 2023

Sai Sanjay Balaji

  • Project title: Graph convolution network (GCN) for seizure onset zone identification from iEEG
  • MnDRIVE area: Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions

Mai Beauclaire

  • Project title: The importance of microbial signaling for communities and other microorganisms
  • MnDRIVE area: Global Food Ventures; Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment

Michael Burns

  • Project title: Developing tools to predictively assess masa quality through machine learning and computer vision
  • MnDRIVE area: Global Food Ventures

Sze Kwan Cheah

  • Project title: In-flight data-driven robust control of hypersonic vehicle for autonomous flight testing
  • MnDRIVE area: Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing

Leslie Day

  • Project title: Improving anaerobic digestion through bioinformatics-based enhancement of methanogenesis
  • MnDRIVE area: Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment

Xibai Lou

  • Project title: Object rearrangement with hetero-graph neural networks
  • MnDRIVE area: Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing

Amanda Patsis

  • Project title: Metagenome mining to inform bioremediation: Elucidating the impact of microbial metabolism on the transport fate of sulfur in Minnesota groundwater
  • MnDRIVE area: Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment

Nipun Perera

  • Project title: Optimizing TMS coil placement for targeting dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • MnDRIVE area: Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions

Angela Ricono

  • Project title: Leveraging time of day transcriptional networks with high resolution metabolomics to predict sulfur dynamics in a diverse specialty crop
  • MnDRIVE area: Global Food Ventures

Nicole Walker

  • Project title: Breaking the mold: Leveraging additive manufacturing to improve footwear options for prosthesis users
  • MnDRIVE area: Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing

Karianne Sretavan Wong

  • Project title: Developing patient-specific biophysical models of ventral capsule/ventral striatum deep brain stimulation for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • MnDRIVE area: Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions

UMII MnDRIVE Fellows 2022

  • Alexander Hayes, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
  • Yasamin Jafarian, Computer Science
  • Molly Kuhs, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
  • Emily Lecy, Neuroscience
  • Shijina Raj Manjankattil Rajan, Animal Science
  • Vinh Nguyen, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
  • Kelsey Peterson, Plant and Microbial Biology
  • Carrie Sheeler, Neuroscience
  • Dorothy Sweet, Applied Plant Sciences
  • Lambros Tassoulas, Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
  • Hanchu Wang, Chemical Engineering
  • Zengtao Wang, Pharmaceutics
  • Yufeng Yang, Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management

UMII MnDRIVE Fellows 2021

  • Hava Blair, Land and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Ali Tevfik Buyukkocak, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
  • Adriana Cushnie, Neuroscience
  • Sadman Sakib Enan, Computer Science
  • Mojgan Goftari, Biomedical Engineering
  • Amey Joshi, Mechanical Engineering
  • Chenxi Lin, Bioproducts and Biosystems Science, Engineering and Management
  • Chaochih Liu, Plant and Microbial Biology
  • Hamidreza Movahedi, Mechanical Engineering
  • Megin Nguyen, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Colin Pierce, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
  • Mathew Rynes, Biomedical Engineering
  • Ashraf Shabaneh, Precision Medicine Informatics
  • Taaresh Sanjeev Taneja, Mechanical Engineering
  • Yang Yang, Computer Science & Engineering

UMII MnDRIVE Fellows 2020

  • Robert Jose Valeris Chacin, Veterinary Medicine
  • Jessica Deere, Veterinary Medicine
  • Grigorii Drozdov, Mechanical Engineering
  • April Estrada, Comparative and Molecular Biosciences
  • Tarun Gangwar, Civil Engineering
  • Rahul Ghosh, Computer Science
  • Marie Gilberston, Veterinary Medicine
  • Nicolai Haeni, Computer Science
  • John Harwell, Computer Science
  • Gregory Johnson, Mechanical Engineering
  • Katherine (Alex) Knutson, Biostatistics
  • Tianqi Li, Biomedical Engineering
  • Natalia Calixto Mancipe, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
  • Dojin Park, Applied Economics
  • Ankit Saini, Mechanical Engineering
  • Bethany Stieve, Neuroscience
  • Sarah West, Neuroscience
  • Hongyuan Zhang, Mechanical Engineering

UMII MnDRIVE Fellows 2019

  • Kriti Agarwal, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Kevin Eschen, Mechanical Engineering
  • Leila Ghanbari, Mechanical Engineering
  • Andres Eduardo Gonzalez Vidal, Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering
  • Jungseok Hong, Computer Science & Engineering
  • Juliet Johnston, Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering
  • Jun Young Park, Biostatistics
  • Mary Sabuda, Earth Sciences
  • Sina Shirinpour, Biomedical Engineering
  • Nikolaos Stefas, Computer Science

MnDRIVE Fellows (2018 and Older)

MnDRIVE Fellows 2018

  • William Beksi, Computer Science
  • Wenbo Dong, Computer Science 
  • Brian Hart, Biostatistics
  • Xiaowei Jia, Computer Science
  • Kevin Mallery, Mechanical Engineering 
  • Bhaskar Sen, Electrical Engineering
  • Yunpeng Shi, Mathematics
  • Alexander Susko, Applied Plant Sciences
  • Angelo Yuan, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Zachary Zeidler, Neuroscience
  • Sumil Thakrar, Bioproducts and Biosystems Science
  • Jianjun Yuan, Electrical Engineering

MnDRIVE Fellows 2017

  • Gabriel Al-Ghalith, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology
  • Hannah Gray, Entomology
  • Joseph Guhlin, Plant Biology
  • Eric Kees, Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology
  • Tyler Maunu, Mathematics
  • John O'Neill, Mechanical Engineering
  • Pajau Vangay, Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology
  • Yuezhou Wang, Materials Science
  • Scott White, Chemical Engineering
  • Zhiyuan Xu, Biostatistics

MnDRIVE Fellows 2016

  • Xi Chen, Computer Science
  • Rodney Dockter, Mechanical Engineering
  • Julio Godoy, Computer Science
  • Allison Haaning, Plant Biology
  • Matthew Haas, Plant Pathology
  • Bryan Jones, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
  • Junghi Kim, Biostatistics
  • Jeffrey Moulton, Mathematics
  • Cheng Qiu, Psychology
  • Tyler Tiede, Plant Breeding
  • Dimitrios Zermas, Computer Science

Informatics Fellows 2016

Informatics Fellowships are awarded to PhD graduate students currently pursuing research in areas of informatics that focus on the development of methodologies, including, but not limited to algorithm development, mathematical foundation of data analysis, and statistical advances for big data. Informatics Fellowships were awarded during AY 15-16, but the program has since been merged into the UMII MnDRIVE PhD Graduate Assistantship Program.

  • Kejun Huang, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Anuj Karpatne, Computer Science
  • Donald Musgrove, Biostatistics
  • Tien Nguyen, Computer Science

RC Seed Grant Awards

In 2020, Research Computing merged the Updraft and On the Horizon Grant programs to form the RC Seed Grant program. RC Seed Grant funds are intended to promote, catalyze, accelerate and advance UMN-based informatics research in areas related to the MnDRIVE initiative, so that UMN faculty and staff are well prepared to compete for longer term external funding opportunities. Seed grants can be used to cover both immediate, short-term needs and mid- to long-term needs over multiple years.

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Small Seed Grant Recipients

Zhaosong Lu, Ph.D. (Industrial and Systems Engineering). Toward a novel and fast method for big convex optimization (Awarded: )

Birra Taha, M.D. (Neurosurgery). Understanding cerebral pediatric ventricular growth through magnetic resonance imaging (Awarded: )

Daniel Keefe, Ph.D. (Computer Science & Engineering). Environmental Informatics in Extended Reality (Awarded: )

Kathryn Milun, Ph.D. (Anthropology). Co-Designing Peer-Governance Dashboard Tools for Equitable Community Solar Ownership: Advancing a More Just & Sustainable Energy Transition in MN (Awarded: )

Kevin Lang, Ph.D. (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences). Molecular mechanisms of evolution in bacteria (Awarded: )

Phu Tran, Ph.D. (Pediatrics). Transcriptomic analysis of early-life iron deficiency induced gene expression changes in developing and adult male rat hippocampus (Awarded: February 2023)

Lynne Bemis, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences). Sponging up tRNA Derived RNAs (tDRs) Implicated in the Regulation of SARS-CoV-2 (Awarded: February 2023)

Craig Henke, M.D. (Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep). ChIP-Sequencing analysis of IPF mesenchymal progenitors cells to identify GPR81 nuclear binding interactions (Awarded: January 2023)

Karthik Desingh, Ph.D. (Computer Science & Engineering). Sensing and Perceiving Recyclables for Robotic Sort-Empty-Clean-Drying Tasks (Awarded: January 2023)

Jeffrey Miller, M.D. (Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation). Understanding the epigenetic modifications of exhausted NK cells (Awarded: January 2023)

Pam Skinner, Ph.D. (Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences). Identification of CWD biomarkers in whitetail deer (Awarded: July 2022)

Kim Mansky, Ph.D. (Dentistry). Chromatin Accessibility and Transcriptional Differences: Analysis of Skeletal Site Specific Monocytes by Age (Awarded: November 2022)

Kent Reed, M.S., Ph.D. (Geography, Environment & Society). De novo prediction of miRNAs in turkey muscle cells (Awarded: November 2022)

Ju Sun, Ph.D. (Computer Science & Engineering). Toward practical phase retrieval with realistic evaluation (Awarded: September 2022)

Phu Tran, Ph.D. (Pediatrics). Perinatal Iron-Deficiency Activates the Iron-Dependent TET Methylcytosine Dioxygenases to Reprogram Neural Gene Regulation (Awarded: July 2022)

Patricia Scott, Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences). Identification of differentially expressed genes in Cftr KO and wildtype mouse colon and small intestine (Awarded: August 2022)

Takako Araki, M.D. (Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism). Generating comprehensive molecular profiles of human pituitary cells and Cushing's disease (Awarded: July 2022)

Bryan Runck, Ph.D. (Geography, Environment & Society). Refactoring Aster Models for Robust Variance Estimation (Awarded: May 2022)

Rita Perlingeiro, Ph.D. (Medicine, Cardiovascular Division). Investigation of genomic changes in cGMP Master Cell Bank of iPAX7 iPS cells and derivative MyoPaxon for future clinical application in muscular dystrophies (Awarded: April 2022)

Ferenc Toth, D.V.M., Ph.D. (Veterinary Clinical Sciences). Single Cell RNA Sequencing of Chondrocytes Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells_r1 (Awarded: March 2022)

Michael Mahero, D.V.M., M.P.H. (Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine Residency). Exploring the use of Cytochrome Oxidase c subunit I barcoding to survey tick distribution in Hoima and Kasese, Uganda (Awarded: December 2021)

Andrew Venteicher, M.D., Ph.D. (Neurosurgery). Identifying novel structural variants in CNS sarcoma (Awarded: December 2021)

Vipin Kumar, Ph.D. (Computer Science and Engineering). RealSAT: AGlobal Data Set of Surface Water Bodies and their Dynamics (Awarded: October 2021)

Hubert Lim, Ph.D. (Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery). Effects of Splenic Ultrasound on Human PBMC Gene Expression in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis (Awarded: October 2021)

Christina Camell, Ph.D. (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics). Deconvolution of the inflammation associated with infection-associated mortality (Awarded: September 2021)

Justin Drake, Ph.D. (Pharmacology). PhosphoProteomics Enrichment Pipeline (Awarded: September 2021)

Erik Shook, Ph.D. (Geography, Environment & Society). University of Minnesota GIS in K-12 Collaborative (UMNGK12) (Awarded: July 2021)

Trinity Hamilton, Ph.D. (Plant and Microbial Biology). Recovering snow algae genomes from pink snow (Awarded: June 2021)

Ju Sun, Ph.D. (Computer Science and Engineering). Toward a user-friendly and scalable numerical package for nonsmooth, nonconvex, constrained optimization (Awarded: May 2021)

Sharon Murphy, Ph.D. (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics). CYP2A6 haplotypes in Native Hawaiians, Japanese and White Smokers (Awarded: May 2021)

Traian Dumitrica, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering), with collaborators Dr. Pulkit Agarwal, and Dr. Ravi Kumar. Materials Informatics Approach for Enhancing Mechanical Properties of Plasma Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD)-Produced SiO2 Films (Awarded: December 2020)

John Sartori, Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering). AmbiScribe: Collecting Patient-Provider Conversations to Train Digital Medical Assistant (Awarded: December 2020)

Fekadu Kassie, D.V.M., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Veterinary Clinical Sciences; Masonic Cancer Center). Assessing the mechanism behind the anti-lung cancer effects of iloprost and myo-inositol (Awarded: December 2020)

Medium and Large Seed Grant Recipients

Michelle Arnett, R.D.H., M.S., B.S. (Dentistry). The efficacy of endoscope-guided (EG) versus conventional SRP in posterior teeth (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Lisa Chow, M.D. (Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism). AI driven modifications of a mobile food record to enhance capture of dietary intake (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Sian Durward-Akhurst, B.V.M.S., M.S., Ph.D. (Veterinary Clinical Sciences). A robust pipeline to functionally annotate non-traditional model pangenomes (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Traian Dumitrica, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering). Digital Twin Informatics For De Novo Design of Fibrous Filtration Media (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Derric Pennington, Ph.D. (Applied Economics). SCOPE Geodesign Tool for the global design and impact assessment of land use (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Lucy Dunne, Ph.D. (Design, Housing, and Apparel). A Design for Manufacturability Framework for E-Textile Circuits and Systems (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Steven Friedenberg, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dip. ACVECC (Veterinary Clinical Sciences). Developing novel tools for sequencing and analysis of the major histocompatibility complex loci in dogs (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Ji Youn Shin, Ph.D. (Product Design). Long-Term Care Starts on Day One: Supporting Family Caregivers Through Asset-Based Technology Design (Awarded: Fall 2022)

Saonli Basu, Ph.D. (Biostatistics). University of Minnesota Genomic Data Commons (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Erin Holker, Ph.D., LP, ABPP-CN (Rehabilitation Medicine), Douglas Whiteside, Ph.D, ABPP-CN (Rehabilitation Medicine), Eric Waldron, Ph.D., LP, ABPP-CN (Rehabilitation Medicine), James Porter, Ph.D., LP, ABPP-CN (Rehabilitation Medicine), and Courtney Eskridge, Ph.D. (Rehabilitation Medicine). University of Minnesota Adult Neuropsychology Database (UMAND) (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Jude Mikal, Ph.D. (Public Health, Health Policy and Management Division), and Michael Conway, Ph.D. (University of Melbourne). Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning tools to identify prodromal cognitive impairment in longitudinal social media data (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Qizhi He, Ph.D. (Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering), and Ju Sun, Ph.D (Computer Science and Engineering). Multiphysics Data Assimilation Framework Based on Process-Aware Neural Operator for Failure Prediction in Additive Manufacturing (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Peter Kang, M.D. (Neurology), Christine Bruels, Ph.D. (Neurology). Foundations of Structural Variation in the Human Genome (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Ryan Caverly, Ph.D (Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics), and Andrew Lamperski, Ph.D. (Electrical and Computer Engineering). Control of Autonomous Aerial Vehicles: A Data-Driven Approach to Bridge the Gap Between Theory and Practice (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Martin Michalowski, Ph.D. (Nursing), and Serguei Pakhomov, Ph.D. (Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems). A Multi-Modal Data Integration Approach to Improve Health Care Management (Awarded: Spring 2022)

Jose Debes, M.D., Ph.D., M.S. (Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine). Doppler Ultrasound Analysis by Artificial Intelligence to Detect Liver Cancer (Awarded: Fall 2021)

Zhenong Jin, Ph.D. (Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering), Hui Kong, Ph.D. (Urban and Regional Planning), and Len Kne, GISP (U-Spatial). Planet Imagery - Data as an Asset (Awarded: Spring 2021)

Monica Luciana, Ph.D. (Psychology), Damien Fair, P.A.-C., Ph.D. (Institute for Child Development), Scott Vrieze, Ph.D. (Psychology), and Kelvin Lim, M.D. (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences). A Collaborative Neuroimaging and Genetic Data Resources Initiative (NGDR) (Awarded: Spring 2021)

Dean Peterson, Ph.D. and Will Bartsch (Natural Resources Research Institute), and Len Kne, GISP (U-Spatial). Assembling Minnesota (Awarded: Spring 2021)

2014-2020 On the Horizon Awards

In 2020, the On the Horizon program was merged with the Updraft program to form the UMII Seed Grant program. The awards listed below are On the Horizon recipients awarded prior to the program merge. 

The On the Horizon Awards prepare teams of researchers for upcoming funding opportunities. This award meets OVPR's vision of Enhancing Research Excellence through promoting targeted initiatives where the University can demonstrate global prominence.

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On the Horizon Awards Recipients

Ali Joglekar, Ph.D. (Applied Economics) Unlocking the Agricultural Data Revolution Workshop. Collaborators: Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR); Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC); OpenTEAM; Purdue OATS; alongside the hosts, the Institute for Research in Statistics and its Applications (IRSA), GEMS, and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) at the University of Minnesota. (Awarded: July 2020)

Ce Yang, Ph.D. (Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) Crop Stress Detection and Nutrition Management Decision Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imaging and Spectroscopy. Collaborators: Forrest Izuno, Southern Research and Outreach Center; Ford Denison, Southern Research and Outreach Center; Gregg Johnson, Southern Research and Outreach Center; Randy Gettle, Farm Nutrients, INC.; Alexandra Hummel, Farm Nutrients, Inc. (Awarded: April 2016)

Chengyan Yue, Ph.D. (Horticultural Science) Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water: Reclaiming Wastewater from Local Food Industries to Produce Energy and High-value Urban Crops. Collaborators: Mary ROgers, Horticultural Science; Alptekin Aksan, Mechanical Engineering; Neil Anderson, Horticultural Science; Bill Arnold, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering; Julie Grossman, Horticultural Science; William Northrop, Mechanical Engineering; Paige Novak, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering. (Awarded: April 2016)

Angus MacDonald III, Ph.D. (Psychology) Human Connectome Project (HCP) Hosting at the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute (MSI). Collaborators: Gowtham Atluri, Computer Science & Engineering; Vipin Kumar, Computer Science & Engineering; Bob Krueger, Department of Psychology; Nathaniel E. Helwig, Departments of Psychology and Statistics; Steve Malone, Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research (MCTFR); Katie Cullen, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Kelvin Lim, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine; Jazmin Camchong, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine. (Awarded: December 2015)

Larry Wackett, Ph.D. (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics) MnDRIVE-Related Informatics for Industrial Production and Remediation of Chemicals. Collaborators: Alptekin Aksan, Mechanical Engineering; Carrie Wilmot, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics; Mikael Elias, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics; Dan Knights, Computer Science & Engineering. (Awarded: June 2015)

Rajesh Rajamani, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering) Development of Wearable Instrument for Unobtrusive Monitoring of Calorie Intake. Collaborators: Shalamar Sibley, Endocrinology, Department of Medicine; Vassilis Moreallas, Computer Science & Engineering; Nikolaos Papanikopoulos, Computer Science & Engineering. (Awarded: June 2015)

Steven Manson, Ph.D. (Geography) Desert in the Deluge: Gaps in the Big Data of Food, Energy, and Water. Collaborators: J. Gerber, B. Keeler, S. Ruggles, S. Shekar, V. Interrante, J. Srivastava, P. West, D. Ray, K. Brauman, S. Polasky. (Awarded: June 2015)

Sripriya Rajamani, Ph.D., (Division of Health Policy and Management) Immunization Data Integration across Clinical Care and Public Health Spectrums (Awarded: September 2014)

Rui Zhang, Ph.D. (Institute for Health Informatics and Department of Surgery) Professor Zhang is leading a group of researchers to generate preliminary results for a proposal to develop a large-scale discovery of drug-supplements interactions (DSIs) from the biomedical literature. (Awarded: July 2014)

Dan Knights, Ph.D. (Computer Science & Engineering): Professor Knights is an assistant professor who is leading a large group of faculty, students, and staff interested in metagenomics. The University has much strength in this new research area, and researchers are distributed among numerous colleges and schools. This highly interdisciplinary group is preparing grant applications to the National Science Foundation. (Awarded: May 2014)

2014-2020 Updraft Awards

In 2020, the Updraft program was merged with the On the Horizon program to form the UMII Seed Grant program. The awards listed below are Updraft recipients awarded prior to the program merge.

The Updraft awards provide support to faculty and their labs or research groups to increase their skill levels in informatics. Examples of support include participation in workshops or hiring an undergraduate student to perform some preliminary data analysis to enhance the informatics capability of a research group. This award meets OVPR's vision of Accelerating Transfer of knowledge for the Public Good through increasing informatics capabilities. 

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Updraft Awards Recipients

Vipin Kumar, Ph.D. (Computer Science and Engineering) Monitoring Global Change using Machine Learning and Earth Observation Data (Award Extended: October 2020)

Craig Henke, M.D. (Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) IPF MPC ATAC-Seq Bioinformatics Analysis (Awarded: October 2020)

Douglas Mashek, Ph.D. (BMBB and Medicine) Bioinformatic analysis of RNA sequencing data sets related to dietary and genetic interventions that promote longevity (Awarded: October 2020)

Peter Morrell, Ph.D. (Agronomy and Plant Genetics) Making DNA sequence analysis software performant for high performance computing (Awarded: August 2020)

Christopher Faulk, Ph.D. (Animal Science) Nanopore Minion and computer for adaptive DNA/RNA sequencing in Faulk Lab (Awarded: August 2020)

Amy Anne Lassig, M.D. (Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery) The effect of Vitamin C on Wound Healing in Mandibular Fracture Patients: A double blind,placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial (Awarded: August 2020)

Li Ou, Ph.D. (Pediatrics) Assess Genotoxicity of PS Gene Editing through Deep Sequencing (Awarded: July 2020)

Claudia Castell-Miller, Ph.D. (Plant Pathology), Jennifer Kimball, Ph.D. (Agronomy and Plant Genetics) and Deborah Samac, Ph.D. (Plant Pathology) Parallel analysis of the transcriptomes of Northern wild rice and Bipolaris oryzae (Awarded: May 2020)

Timothy Church, Ph.D. (Division of Environmental Health Sciences) Creation of a Parkinson Disease Registry and Initial Studies to Address Its Causes and Genetic Susceptibility (PEDAL) (Awarded: April 2020)

Xavier Revelo, Ph.D. (Integrative Biology and Physiology) Single-cell sequencing of the intestinal immune system during obesity and food allergy (Awarded: April 2020)

Sripriya Rajamani, Ph.D. (Computer Science and Engineering), Robin Austin, Ph.D. (Population Health and Systems Cooperative), and Karen Monsen, Ph.D. (Population Health and Systems Cooperative) Toward Understanding Social Determinants of Health and Resilience for Minnesotans (Awarded: March 2020)

Alon Herschhorn, Ph.D. (Medicine, Infectious Disease and International Medicine), Ashley Haase, M.D. (Microbiology and Immunology), and Courtney Aldrich, Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry) Travel of graduate students and postdoctoral associates to HIV Vaccine 2020 meeting in Keystone, Colorado (Awarded: January 2020)

Ju Sun, Ph.D., (Computer Science and Engineering) Toward a Larger Brain Tumor Dataset for Robust Medical Analysis (Awarded: December 2019)

Xavier Revelo, Ph.D., (Integrative Biology and Physiology) and Jop van Berlo, M.D., Ph.D., (Medicine, Cardiovascular Division) Characterization of the Immune Cell Landscape in Cardiac Hypertrophy (Awarded: November 2019)

Vipin Kumar, Ph.D., (Computer Science and Engineering) Monitoring Global Change using Machine Learning and Earth Observation Data (Awarded: October 2019)

Jannell Bazurto, Ph.D., (Plant and Microbial Biology) Exploring the multiple uses of a single-carbon utilizer with a multitude of barcodes (Awarded: October 2019)

Molly McCue, Ph.D. (Veterinary Population Medicine) Undergraduate Informatics Research Support (Awarded: March 2016)

Christine Clouser, Ph.D., (Institute for Molecular Virology) Investigation of decitabine-induced mutagenesis (Awarded: March 2016)

Praveensingh Hajeri, Ph.D., (Surgery) Novel Methods for Amplification and Library Preparation Using Pico-quantities of Total RNA (Awarded: June 2016)

Terrence Adam, Ph.D. (Department of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems) Medication Therapy Management Ontology for Clinical Quality and Outcome Assessment (Awarded: December 2015)

York Marahrens, Ph.D. (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development) Alu and LINE-1 Transposon Abundance Modulate Human Gene Expression (Awarded: December 2015)

Nicolas Phelps (College of Veterinary Medicine) and Luis Escobar, Ph.D. (College of Veterinary Medicine) Disease Modeling in Aquatic Ecosystems (Awarded: December 2015)

Michael McCartney, Ph.D. (Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center) Bioinformatics support for de novo assembly of a draft genome sequence for the invasive zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha (Awarded: December 2015)

Matthew Russell, Ph.D. (Department of Forest Resources) The Forest Carbon Xplorer: integrating forest carbon attributes in the face of climate change challenges (Awarded: December 2015)

David Largaespada, Ph.D. (Masonic Cancer Center) and Rebecca LaRue, Ph.D. (Masonic Cancer Center) Attendance at Statistical Methods for Functional Genomics at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (Awarded: March 2015)

Daniel Bond, Ph.D., and Jon Badalamenti Ph.D. (Biotechnology Institute and Microbiology) Attendance at JGI Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics Workshop (Awarded: March 2015)

Larry Wackett, Ph.D. (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics) Travel to Informatics Workshop Focused on Predicting Biodegradation Enzymes (Awarded: December 2014)

Daniel Bond, Ph.D., and Jon Badalamenti Ph.D. (Biotechnology Institute and Microbiology) (MnDRIVE): Participation in one-day user group meeting hosted by Pacific Biosciences to learn about new approaches to bacterial community analysis and shotgun metagenomics sequencing. (Awarded: June 2014)

Vladimir Cherkassky, Ph.D. (Electrical & Computer Engineering): Support for preliminary data analysis for collaborative work with Mayo on “Detecting periodicity in short time series for synchronization of treatment delivery in cancer patients. (Awarded: March 2014)

Genevieve Melton-Meaux (Institute for Health Informatics and Department of Surgery) and Rubina Rizvi (Health Informatics): 4- day Training Course at Chicago Usability Meeting: user interface development for electronic health records. (Awarded: March 2014)

David Odde (Biomedical Engineering) (MnDRIVE): Adding bioinformatics expertise to his lab through supporting a junior scientist on a project that identifies gene expression changes in glioma cells. (Awarded: March 2014)

UMII Informatics Graduate Summer Fellowships in Critical Data Studies

This fellowship is awarded to graduate students currently pursuing research at the University of Minnesota in Critical Data Studies: Where is the Human in the Data? Awardees presented their research at a Fall workshop in September 2016. This event was co-sponsored by the Institute for Advanced Study. Big Data are ubiquitous. Experts from different fields apply sophisticated algorithms to extract insights from data sets, and expectations are high that these insights will aid decision making in areas such as health, food, energy, education, environment and social policy. The use of quantitative data for decision-making has nineteenth century roots, but in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, new technology has enabled more complex collection and application of large datasets. When collecting and processing large datasets, the assumptions, individuals, and human relationships are acted upon and, when represented by the numbers, they can be obscured to researchers and end users. Yet Big Data is used to explain, predict, and direct human behavior and define research agendas. This shift has had, and will continue to have, significant humanistic dimensions.

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UMII Informatics Graduate Summer Fellowship Recipients

  • Emma Bedor, Communication Studies: (En)coding Inclusiveness in Smartphone Applications for Mentally Disordered Users
  • Deniz Coral, Anthropology: Markets with Many Faces: The Role of Screens in the Financial Imagination
  • Alexander Fink, Social Work: Locating Human Possibility and Aspirations in Social Service Mass Data Collection Systems
  • Amelia Hassoun, Anthropology: Big Data, Big Futures: Imagining the Singaporean Smart Nation
  • Katelin Krieg, English: Victorian Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Alicia Lazzarini, Geography: Critically Expanding ‘Data’: Methods for Examining a Southern African Sugar Success
  • Lars MacKenzie, Gender, Women, and Sexuality: Accounting for Change: Big Data, Gender Transition and Financial Surveillance of Identity
  • Stephen Savignano, Anthropology: Interaction / Machination: Thinking Machines through Interactive Computation
  • Link Swanson, Philosophy: User interfaces and the epistemology of the new computational cognitive revolution
  • Madison Van Oort, Sociology: Well-Dressed Data: Workplace Surveillance in the World’s Top Retailers

Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellows

The Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellows awards award recently promoted associate professors to provide leadership in transdisciplinary collaborative projects at the interface of informatics and an application area. With the help of their college/campus, fellowship recipients will build a network of researchers and scholars across University of Minnesota academic units and connect to Minnesota industry or organizations. Fellows will leverage this network for research/funding opportunities that address societal challenges and leverage Minnesota’s competitive advantage. This award meets the goal of growing award winning faculty, which is one of the supporting goals of the Vision & Cornerstones of the strategic plan of the Office of the Vice President for Research.

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Transdisciplinary Faculty Fellows

Marshall Hampton, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Hampton is the bioinformatics expert in collaborative teams across diverse applications, including mammalian hibernation, the blood-brain barrier, and nectar production in plants. This research contributes to important medical and industrial applications: nectar production is important in many commercial crops; the mechanisms of metabolic change in hibernation can lead to new therapies for human obesity; and a molecular understanding of the blood-brain barrier can be useful in drug development. The support provided to Dr. Hampton will benefit the ongoing efforts of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering to advance their informatics initiative.

Adrian Hegeman, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Horticulture and Plant Biology; Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute

Dr. Hegeman’s work on plant metabolism combines plant analytical chemistry with informatics and mathematical modeling to advance research in two MnDRIVE areas, Global Food Ventures and Advancing Industry, Conserving our Environment. His work leads to the identification of compounds in plants that have scientific or commercial value, and contributes to crop plant breeding, plant disease control, and development of plant-based preservatives. The support provided to Dr. Hegeman will benefit the larger research community through making tools for metabolomics and protein turnover publicly available.

Volkan Isler, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Institute on the Environment

Dr. Isler’s collaborative research on creative applications of robotics in precision agriculture and tracking of invasive fish are in the emerging and highly promising area of robotic sensor networks, a focus of the MnDRIVE area on Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing. His fundamental theoretical contributions to robotic sensor networks will allow field scientists to monitor the environment in real time, food industry to automate quality inspection, or emergency response teams to gain immediate situational awareness in a disaster site. This support provided to Dr. Isler will benefit the College of Science and Engineering’s MnDRIVE initiative on Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Mihailo Jovanovic, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Jovanovic’s research on fluid flows has broad applications, ranging from wind turbines, airfoil dynamics, to chemical reactor mixing. He has made seminal contributions to modeling and control of such systems, which has led to novel insights into understanding conditions that lead to turbulence. These insights have wide-ranging implications from biotechnology applications at the nano-scale to design of surfaces of wind turbine blades to reduce friction. The support provided to Dr. Jovanovic will also benefit the College of Science and Engineering’s MnDRIVE initiative on Robotics, Sensors, and Advanced Manufacturing.

Molly McCue, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine; Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute

Dr. McCue’s research on metabolic and neuromuscular diseases in horses spans from applied clinical research to molecular genetics. She has developed genomics approaches that transfer to other organisms, and has collaborated across animal and plant sciences to leverage methodologies across scientific fields. Her goal of bringing together researchers using genomics and proteomics approaches to study comparative animal models will address the limitations faced by researchers who study non-human animal models. The support provided to Dr. McCue will also benefit the College of Veterinary Medicine’s commitment to bioinformatics through the development of core resources and educational modules for faculty and students.

Pete Willemsen, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Duluth, Department of Computer Science

Dr. Willemsen’s research on visualization and virtual reality environments brings insights into cognitive issues on perception in virtual reality environments. Through collaborations with researchers in cognitive and brain research, he will develop and test methods to help children diagnosed with brain disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder. His research contributes to MnDRIVE efforts in Discoveries and Treatments of Brain Conditions. The support provided to Dr. Willemsen will also benefit the ongoing efforts of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering to advance their informatics initiative.

Faculty in Industry Awards

The Industry Fellowships support faculty engagements with industry on collaborative projects at the interface of informatics and an application or in core informatics areas. UMII facilitates collaborations with industry by working directly with companies to solicit projects. Industry collaborations can also be directly initiated by faculty. This award meets OVPR's vision of Advancing Transdisciplinary Partnerships through providing funding and shared resources to implement partnerships and through re-engineering public-private partnerships. It also meets the vision of Accelerating Transfer of Knowledge for the Public Good through expanding economic development and external engagement.

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Faculty in Industry Award Recipients

Vladimir Cherkassky, Ph.D. (Electrical & Computer Engineering): Professor Cherkassky’s first project on Forecasting and Detection of Epileptic Seizures from EEG Signals is a collaboration with Mayo Clinic's Electrophysiology Laboratory, located in Rochester MN, and addresses the MnDRIVE area of Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions. The second project on Machine Learning Methods for Data-Driven Donor Matching is collaboration with the National Marrow Donor Program, which is located in the Twin Cities

Matteo Convertino, Ph.D. (School of Public Health): Professor Convertino is an assistant professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and a MnDRIVE Global Food Scholar. His collaboration with HealthPartners to investigate how food system factors are influenced by socio-behavioral, economic, and environmental determinants in relation to obesity addresses the MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures challenge