Research Centers & Initiatives
Our researchers participate in a number of multi-disciplinary, collaborative research centers and initiatives. Many are funded by the Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, and National Science Foundation. These centers are at the forefront of leading research aimed at solving some of society's most important health, energy, and environmental issues.
The Center for BioInorganic Chemistry (CBIC) brings together faculty and students from multiple departments at the University who share research interests focused on the catalytic role of metal ions in metalloproteins and synthetic model complexes. The design and use of metal complexes as biological probes and diagnostic agents is a related area of interest.
The NSF Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology is a multi-institutional partnership devoted to investigating the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which nanoparticles interact with biological systems. Its goal is to use fundamental chemistry to enable the development of nanotechnology in a sustainable manner, for societal benefit. Funding for the CSN comes from the National Science Foundation Division of Chemistry through the Centers for Chemical Innovation Program. Check out its blog.
The mission of the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP) is working to transform how plastics are made and unmade through innovative research, engaging education, and diverse partnerships that together foster environmental stewardship. CSP participants aim to design, prepare, and implement polymers derived from renewable resources for a wide range of advanced applications, and to promote future economic development, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability in the emergent area of bio-based products.
The Chemical Biology Initiative (CBI) is designed to stimulate and encourage interdisciplinary biomedical/biotechnology research, technological development, and education at the cross roads of chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering at the University of Minnesota. Its central goal is to enable the development of a deeper understanding of biology that can be applied to the improvement of health.
The Chemical Biology Interface Training Grant allows first-rate students to grow into accomplished professionals both in their primary area of interest (e.g., synthetic/mechanistic organic and inorganic chemistry, molecular biology, mechanistic enzymology, medicinal chemistry) and in a complementary field by cross-discipline research interactions and experiences. Pre-doctoral trainees for this training grant program are selected from a pool of graduate students who have been recruited by the Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics (BMBB), and Medicinal Chemistry departments.
The Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center (ICDC) is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the United States Department of Energy. The ICDC is devoted to computationally-guided discovery of a new class of energy-science-relevant catalytic materials and the underlying structure-function relationships that will guide further catalyst discovery. The catalysts determined in the ICDC are intended to be used for natural gas conversion from alkanes to alcohols.
Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPRIME) accommodates various levels of corporate participation, ranging from technical planning to hands-on collaborative research with university faculty and students. This cooperative venture provides an ideal environment for training the next generation of scientists and engineers while strengthening research in both the academic and industrial sectors.
Mass Cytometry is a powerful technology for the high-throughput analysis of single cells and represents the next generation of flow cytometry. This technique can measure up to 34 molecular targets (proteins) per cell, which makes it possible to identify different cell subtypes, changes in status during maturation, differentiation, cellular senescence, or degradation as well as different response to drug treatments. Additional information is available on the Mass Cytometry Initiative website.
The University's NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) enables important areas of future technology, ranging from biomedicine, separations, and plastic electronics to security, renewable energy, and information technology. It manages an extensive program in education and career development. Center research activities are integrated with educational programs, providing interdisciplinary training of students and postdocs.
The Medical Devices Center (MDC) is an interdisciplinary program that sits within the Institute for Engineering in Medicine and combines basic research, applied and translational research, education and training, and outreach and public engagement all related to medical devices.
The Nanoporous Materials Genome Center (NMGC) discovers and explores microporous and mesoporous materials, including metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), zeolites, and porous polymer networks (PPNs). These materials find use as separation media and catalysts in many energy-relevant processes and their next generation computational design offers a high-payoff opportunity. Toward that end, the NMGC develops state-of-the-art predictive modeling tools and employs them to increase the pace of materials discovery. The NMGC provides a repository of experimental and predicted structures and associated properties for the rapidly growing scientific communities that are interested in using these materials in energy-relevant technologies.