Highlights from a year of excellence in research

Collage of Annual Report story images

Last month, the University of Minnesota’s annual State of Research report highlighted a research enterprise that continues to grow, driven by greater diversification of funding sources and enhanced public-private partnership.

The report, produced by the Office of the Vice President for Research, also highlighted several ongoing research projects that are advancing knowledge across a wide variety of fields. These efforts are shedding light on youth brain function, boosting computing technology, exploring new mining processes and improving transportation systems.

Below, Inquiry explores each of these projects and their potential to benefit society. Continue reading

Expanding the window for life-saving medical treatment

Rear view of paramedic's jacket

After a traumatic injury, every second counts. Whether wounded on the battlefield or hurt in a car crash, someone who has been severely injured needs to reach a hospital as soon as possible. But the farther away they are from one, the harder it is for first responders to get them there within the “golden hour” — the short window of time when life-saving medical treatments are most likely to succeed.

A drug therapy developed by three University of Minnesota researchers could extend this window, giving patients more time to reach the emergency room. The treatment, called BHB/M, is designed to be delivered by IV into the veins of someone suffering from hemorrhagic shock — when the body loses a severe and potentially fatal amount of blood — to help stop their organs from shutting down. Each year, between 300,000 and 400,000 people in the U.S. suffer from hemorrhagic shock. Greg Beilman, M.D., professor of surgery with the U of M Medical School and one of the BHB/M researchers, estimates that 45,000 to 60,000 of those people die from their severe blood loss.

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Working against the margins

Where is the Work

By George Hoagland

Today’s humanities professor isn’t the tweed-patched, undersocialized, clumsy technophobe we imagined scurrying around campus. Nor is she the zany free-spirited instructor who came later; you know, the teacher who just wants her class to feel the subject matter, to experience it on some kind of spiritual level.

Instead, today’s humanities professor networks in several disciplines (many of which fall outside traditional disciplinary boundaries), uses social media platforms as teaching and research tools, writes successful grants for a variety of projects, collaborates with colleagues and industry professionals, and runs apps like nobody’s business. On top of all that, today’s humanities professor doesn’t look like the stereotype either (check out the Twitter hashtag #ILookLikeAProfessor started by historian Sara Pritchard and literary scholar Adeline Koh).

The ivory tower—that image of an isolated, bucolic garden of privilege—no longer represents contemporary university life. Faculty in all disciplines shoulder increasing burdens of dollar-driven scholarship, often measured in the creation of career-ready graduates.

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