Press Room

Research News Releases—2013
 

NDSU Research Park Begins Strategic Planning Process; Additional Research Plans Underway l 12/19/2013

Fargo, N.D.-- December 4, 2013 -- The NDSU Research and Technology Park is gathering data over the next two months in the first phase of its strategic planning process. The process is in conjunction with overall efforts by the NDSU Office of Research and Creative Activity for continued development of the University’s research enterprise, adapting to changes in the national research landscape.

“NDSU has achieved significant research growth. We are working at all levels of campus to gather data and plan for future research activities,” said Dr. Kelly A. Rusch, vice president for research and creativity at NDSU.

Statistics from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for fiscal year 2012 show NDSU ranks 94th when non-medical research and development expenditures are compared in a survey of 655 U.S. research universities. NDSU reported $135.5 million in research expenditures for FY2012. In other fiscal year statistics, the NDSU Research Foundation’s licensing revenue from NDSU research discoveries reached a record of more than $2.17 million in fiscal year 2013.

NDSU ranks in the top 100 research universities in the fields of agricultural sciences, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, and social sciences in the NSF FY2012 survey.

Additional research transitions are occurring on Jan. 1, 2014. Dr. Philip Boudjouk, who most recently served as executive director of corporate research relations, has requested to rejoin faculty in the Department of Chemistry. “I have chosen to focus on continuing my research efforts on several technologies, among them, liquid silicon, that present some significant opportunities in the energy sector. I am also focusing on potential commercialization of these technologies and working closely with students on future research.”

NDSU plans to continue to enhance corporate research partnerships. “NDSU has executed more than 300 research agreements with companies over the past five- to six-years, and will continue to work to enhance collaborations with private sector partners,” said Dr. Kelly A. Rusch, vice president for research and creative activity. A search for a director of corporate research relations will begin in the coming months.

The strategic planning process for NDSU’s research enterprise continues into 2014, to connect research, innovation and economic development strategies, as research universities contribute to a diversified economy and robust workforce in the region, said Rusch.


CEO of Start-Up That Began at NDSU Technology Incubator Featured in Prairie Business Journal's '40 Under 40' l 12/4/2013

Fargo, N.D.-- December 4, 2013 -- Myriad Devices’ CEO Jake Joraanstad was recognized in Prairie Business Journal’s ‘40 Under 40’ in the magazine's December issue. Each year, the Prairie Business Journal’s ‘40 Under 40’ recognizes outstanding professionals under the age of 40 for their contributions to their organizations and to the community. At 24 years old, Joraanstad, a graduate of NDSU, was also the youngest on the list.

“It’s great to be recognized with other leaders in our community,” said Joraanstad. “We’re here to raise the profile of the area and show the nation we’re the best place to do business.”

Jake began his career while he was a student at North Dakota State University, and has since grown his mobile technology company, Myriad Devices, to nearly 25 employees in 3 years. He is also involved in Emerging Prairie, a web publication that reports on regional entrepreneurial activity. Myriad Devices, in its start-up phase, began business as a tenant in the NDSU Technology Incubator, located in the North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park.

Myriad Devices and NDSU Agriculture Communications were honored in September as a White House Champion of Change for Community Preparedness and Resilience for creating two disaster education mobile phone apps. The Winter Survival Kit and Disaster Recovery Log apps won the Innovative Use of Technology class in the Federal Emergency Management Agency Individual and Community Preparedness Awards. FEMA then forwarded the nomination to the White House for consideration, where the work was selected for the additional honor.

Myriad Devices is North Dakota’s largest mobile development company and is recognized as the premier source for mobile technology, design, strategy, and consulting. Located in Fargo, N.D., the company has grown rapidly and is considering expansion to other locations. Myriad Devices client list spans small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

Jake earned  a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from North Dakota State University and lives in Fargo, N.D.


NDSU Animal Scientist Studies Early Gestation l 12/2/2013

December 2, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – The very beginnings of life fascinate NDSU animal scientist Kim Vonnahme. Raised in west central Iowa, where her family ran a feedlot operation, the associate professor of animal sciences has become a recognized expert in understanding how animals grow and develop. Her leading research focuses on the reproductive physiology of beef cattle, dairy cows, sheep and pigs.

“I do a lot of work with nutrition and pregnancy,” Vonnahme explained. “Many faculty members at NDSU’s animal sciences department are very interested in what moms eat and how that impacts the babies. We know an animal’s growth trajectory and their ability to thrive begin very, very early.”

Vonnahme’s most recent research uses Doppler ultrasonography to study the placenta, an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall of the mother. The technology uses reflected sound waves to measure blood flow and supply.

“The placenta, to me, is the most beautiful organ because it’s a baby’s lungs and stomach. It supplies oxygen and nutrients while it takes away waste. It is the conduit between mom and baby,” said Vonnahme, who is a former co-director of the NDSU Center for Nutrition and Pregnancy. “In sheep and cattle, we’re studying how a mom’s diet affects that blood flow. We want to know how we can set up a healthy placenta earlier.”

According to Vonnahme, researchers know a great deal about nutritional needs for agriculture animals, such as how much amino acid or fat content is necessary in the diet. But, there is always more to learn.

“In the livestock industry, we want the females to be highly reproductive. On the other side of things, are we creating a healthy product? Our livestock animals can spend anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent of their lives inside the uterus, so it’s really important to feed them well before they hit the ground,” said Vonnahme, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University, master’s degree from Oklahoma State University and doctorate in reproductive biology at the University of Wyoming.

Vonnahme joined NDSU in a post-doctoral position during 2003 and became a faculty member one year later. Her vita lists 98 peer-reviewed publications, 191 abstracts, 54 proceedings, two book chapters and one patent. In 2008, she received the Earl and Dorothy Foster Excellence of Teaching Award from the NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources. The American Society of Animal Science recognized Vonnahme in 2011 with the Early Career Achievement Award. She also is a member of Gravida, an international research network of research scientists concentrating on the biology of growth and development.

When Vonnahme was an undergraduate student, taking part in a research project sparked her interest to go on to graduate school. Because of that personal impactful experience, she likes to get undergraduates involved in her research activities.

“There are things I get to see routinely that the undergraduates are just discovering for the first time. That is so special to see — and that is why I don’t think I will ever get tired of teaching,” Vonnahme said. “My graduate students are amazing, too. They come from all walks of life, but have one similar goal — to learn more about reproductive physiology. For those who want to do Extension work, I pair them with one of our Extension agents; and for those who want a career in research, they get opportunities to develop new technologies and design new projects.”

Vonnahme’s research, while technical in nature, has many practical applications and she is a regular speaker at meetings of regional livestock producers, where she often discusses what supplements can help animal pregnancies at risk. Her comments are especially requested in times of drought or when there isn’t much forage on the rangeland.

Another factor suggests her research may have an even broader impact in the years ahead.

“There is a parallel world where a lot of this research can be applied to human health,” Vonnahme said. “Sometimes our animal models, especially research in sheep, are or can be used in human medicine.”

Vonnahme’s research is funded, in part, through Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants numbers 2005-35206-15281, 2009-65203-05812 and 2009-35206-05276 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, as well as National Science Foundation grant HRD-0811239.


December Science Cafe Looks at Nostalgia l 11/29/2013

November 29, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – Nostalgia was for centuries considered a psychological disease and an unhealthy fixation that prevented people from living in the present. However, an NDSU psychologist has uncovered evidence that nostalgia can help people live healthier lives.

Clay Routledge, NDSU professor of psychology, will discuss his research at the December Science Café titled “The Power of the Past: How Nostalgia Improves Our Psychological and Social Health.”

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in Stokers Basement, Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. It’s free and open to the public.

“Nostalgia benefits us is a number of surprising ways,” Routledge said. “Nostalgia is not just a fun distraction, it is an important part of our mental lives.” Routledge’s presentation will highlight the history of nostalgia and describe new studies indicating nostalgia makes people feel happy, loved, meaningful, young at heart, energized, charitable and optimistic about the future.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


Valspar Foundation and NDSU Announce Coatings Scholarships and Student Research Program l 11/20/2013

November 20, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – The Valspar Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of paints and coatings, and North Dakota State University (NDSU) today announced two new scholarship programs to provide opportunities for students studying coatings and polymeric materials at NDSU. The Valspar Foundation will contribute $20,000 to support up to five graduate student scholarships and a new program for Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). The scholarship program is administered through the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU and coordinated through NDSU’s Development Foundation.

A selection committee consisting of NDSU professors and Valspar’s technical leaders is pleased to announce the first Valspar Graduate Scholars Program awards to Olena Kudina, Lviv, Ukraine; Casey Orgon, Bemidji, Minn., USA; Adlina Paramarta, Java, Indonesia; Andriy Popadyuk, Lviv, Ukraine; and Alison Rohly, Lino Lakes, Minn., USA. Each graduate student will receive $3,000 USD, supporting the students’ studies at NDSU’s Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials for the 2014 academic year. 

 “These scholarships will further our relationship and build our pipeline of talent by supporting students to develop insights into fundamental performance drivers of coatings and polymers and provide them an experience associated with an industrial environment,” said Dr. Cynthia Arnold, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Valspar. “Valspar and NDSU have a long history of technical collaboration. We recognize their deep technical expertise in many disciplines associated with coatings research.”

“We appreciate Valspar’s generous support and commitment to promote applied science and education in the fields of coatings and polymers,” said Dr. Dean Webster, chair of the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU. “Their contribution and engagement will allow us to provide more academic and career development opportunities for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students. It is planned that the scholars will visit Valspar during the spring semester to discuss their research projects and to find out more about Valspar and the coatings industry.”

About Valspar

The Valspar Corporation (NYSE:VAL) is a global leader in the paint and coatings industry. Since 1806, Valspar has been dedicated to bringing customers the latest innovations, the finest quality and the best customer service in the coatings industry. For more information, visit www.valsparglobal.com

About NDSU


NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” Internationally known for its excellent educational and research programs, the NDSU Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials has developed research partnerships with industry and government agencies. Established 108 years ago, the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials has earned a reputation for quality teaching, research and education and is among a handful of universities worldwide to offer programs in coatings and polymeric materials.


Bats Discover Surround Sound: Nature’s Horn in the Midst of Jungle Helps Bats Communicate l 10/16/2013

October 16, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. –  While homeowners may appreciate a decked-out media room and surround sound in their abodes, one animal may be using a natural amplifier to help it communicate from its roosting home. A new study by researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA and the Universidad de Costa Rica shows that the furled leaves of Heliconia and Calathea plants where Spix’s disc-winged bats make their home actually help to amplify and transmit the social calls of the bats. The findings of Dr. Erin Gillam of NDSU and Dr. Gloriana Chaverri appear in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The disc-winged bats (Thyroptera Tricolor) use the lush leaves as their temporary homes to roost. The leaves naturally curl into a horn-like shape, making a safe place for the bats to live. When bats are separated from their social group, they call to each other, producing what are known as inquiry and response calls.  The leaves act like a megaphone, amplifying the incoming and outgoing calls, which likely helps the animals keep better track of group members.

“Our study provides the first evidence of the potential role that a roost can play in facilitating acoustic communication in bats,” said Gillam. “Essentially, we are trying to understand if bats potentially take advantage of the places they live to maximize the likelihood that their calls get to the desired receiver.  Our study suggests that the structure of the leaf roosts used by these bats may help with this process.”

The disc-winged bats move to a new house daily to avoid predators, as the leaves of their plant homes unfurl. The bats communicate to keep track of each other and keep their constantly mobile neighborhoods intact. Researchers found that when the bats call to each other, the curled leaves act as horns or megaphones to increase the sound by one to two decibels. For bats looking for members of their groups that had already found a new leaf home, the leaves amplified their calls by up to 10 decibels.

Native to Central America, the tiny bats weigh about four grams each. While the leaves appear to help the disc-winged bats communicate, the leaves don’t necessarily provide high-fidelity sound. Study results show that the megaphone-like leaves can also distort the sound, but the effect on the bats is unclear, according to Chaverri and Gillam.

In a previous study, it had been shown that bats within the leaf cannot identify bats flying outside of the group based on their inquiry calls; the distortion of these calls by the shape of the leaf could potentially explain why bats have trouble in making this distinction. But when it came to the bats’ unique response calls, the flying bats could determine enough information to identify whether it came from a member of their group.

“This type of research helps us better understand the evolution of communication systems, which play key roles in many behaviors,” explained Gillam. “For example, finding a mate generally involves males attracting females through a combination of visual, acoustic, and/or olfactory signals.  This type of research helps us understand how natural selection has shaped these systems to their ecological and behavioral environments over evolutionary time.”  

Gillam and Chaverri are planning additional research. They plan to investigate whether the bats choose a prime piece of real estate leaf to roost because it provides maximum sound, or if they adapt their sounds to the shape of the leaf they’ve selected—maybe akin to the way humans choose the perfect place to live, versus a fixer upper they learn to live with.

News of Gillam and Chaverri’s discovery has generated worldwide interest, appearing in National Geographic, Discovery, LiveScience and Nature.

Funding for the research was partially provided by the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society, grant no. 8973-11 issued to Chaverri and by funds from the NDSU College of Science and Mathematics and the Department of Biological Sciences where Gillam serves as an assistant professor.

About NDSU

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research

About The Royal Society

The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine. The Royal Society is the national Academy of science in the UK. The Society’s fundamental purpose is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Proceedings B is the Royal Society’s flagship biological research journal, dedicated to the rapid publication and broad dissemination of high-quality research papers, reviews and comment and reply papers.

Computer Simulations Help Predict Winner in Solar Power Battle l 10/8/2013

Oct. 8, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – Researchers at North Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota are using computer simulations to determine whether quantum dots or nanowires would make better solar collectors for the development of future solar panels. The research team includes Andre Kryjevski, research assistant professor of physics and NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology; Svetlana Kilina, NDSU assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Dimitri Kilin, University of South Dakota.

The team's research results are published in the American Institute of Physics' Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4817728   The group used computational modeling to examine quantum dots, one-dimensional chains of quantum dots and a nanowire to determine their potential application for solar energy collection.

The results, Kryjevski said, show that placing amorphous quantum dots in an array or merging them into a nanowire results in what may be the most effective approach to maximizing efficiency, but he said additional research needs to be done. The Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal covering all areas of renewable and sustainable energy that apply to the physical science and engineering communities.

Read more information about the research at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131001141212.htm and http://phys.org/news/2013-10-simulations-technology-solar-collector-quantum.html.

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


Chuck Hoge Named Interim Executive Director of NDSU Research and Technology Park l 10/7/2013

Oct. 4, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – Long-time board member Chuck Hoge has been named interim executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. Hoge is succeeding previous interim executive director Brenda Wyland, who recently accepted a position as director of marketing for Appareo Systems.

“Under Brenda’s leadership, and the leadership of former Executive Director Tony Grindberg, the Research and Technology Park has achieved great success, including being named the top research park in the nation in 2006,” Hoge said. “I am passionate about seeing the park continue its success, which will only result if our clients are successful. I also look forward to helping refine the park’s strategic vision for the future growth.”

Hoge has served on the board of directors for the NDSU Research and Technology Park for most of its existence. He brings executive-level leadership experience as former president and CEO of Bobcat Company and former CEO of Otter Tail Corporation’s manufacturing platform.

“Chuck has been involved with the Research and Technology Park for many years and has spent much of his career as a business executive,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani, who also serves as president of the park’s board of directors. “He brings outstanding experience to this position, and we are glad to be able to tap into that for this arm of the university that helps commercialize NDSU research.”

The NDSU Research and Technology Park has grown to include seven facilities totaling 370,000 square feet with capital investment of nearly $70 million. Nearly 900 people are employed by Research and Technology Park tenants. Several companies, including Intelligent Insights and Pedigree Technologies, have graduated from the park and relocated to other Fargo locations.

In 2007, the NDSU Technology Incubator opened as part of the park to provide value-added services to start-up companies. Nine companies in various stages of development reside in the incubator. Bobcat serves as the anchor tenant, providing many opportunities for collaboration with NDSU staff and students.

As interim executive director, Hoge will be responsible for supporting Research and Technology Park clients by maintaining programs, especially for start-up companies in the Technology Incubator building.

In addition, the park is initiating a strategic planning process to determine its future direction. “The timing of the planning process works well as Dr. Kelly Rusch joins NDSU as the new vice president for research and creative activity,” Hoge said. “This will be an opportunity to dovetail the park’s activity with her vision for research activity at NDSU.”

The park plans to work with an experienced national consultant to prepare an assessment and make recommendations before the end of the year. This will include interviewing constituents of the Research and Technology Park. The board of directors will review the recommendations and develop the strategy early in 2014.

Once the strategic plan is developed, the search for the permanent executive director will be conducted.


University to Enhance Private Research Partnerships to Bring Technologies to Market l 10/3/2013

Oct. 3, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – North Dakota State University, in the top 108 research universities in the U.S., is launching efforts to further enhance the economic impact of research at NDSU. In a planned year-long transition, Dr. Philip Boudjouk has been named to a new role as executive director of corporate research relations at NDSU.

Boudjouk will work to enhance corporate research partnerships to bring NDSU-developed technologies to the marketplace. Since 2000, NDSU research activities advanced from $50.1 million to $134 million. “This new role represents an opportunity to focus on an area that we have been working on to expand our current research relationships with the private sector, developing pathways to bring NDSU-developed technologies to the marketplace,” said Boudjouk.

As efforts continue to develop university research, Dr. Kelly Rusch joins NDSU as vice president for research and creative activity. She will facilitate, coordinate and advance research at NDSU and foster economic development. She comes to NDSU via Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La., where she served in numerous leadership positions, and served as a Dow Chemical Distinguished Professor and a Formosa Plastics Endowed Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“I welcome the opportunity to build upon the research excellence established at NDSU. Faculty and students bring exceptional research talent to NDSU and we are working to expand opportunities that further advance research, with positive economic impact to the region,” said Rusch.

To reflect these transitions, the former title of the Office of Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer (RCATT) at NDSU is being shortened to Research and Creative Activity (RCA) as of Oct. 1.

In late 2013, additional laboratories will open in Research 1 in the NDSU Research and Technology Park, where researchers will work to develop technologies with private companies that can be transferred to the commercial marketplace.

About NDSU

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


NDSU Researchers Find a Key That May Help Combat E. coli l 10/2/2013

Fargo, N.D., October 2, 2013 – A substance linked to mood enhancement could be a key to combating bacteria that can cause a serious foodborne illness, according to a study by researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo.

The NDSU Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences researchers discovered that B-phenylethylamine, or PEA, reduced the number of cells of Escherichia coli in a beef broth. PEA is a substance found in chocolate in trace amounts. Health food stores sell it in pill form to improve people's moods.

The E. coli bacterium commonly is found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. A few strains can cause a critical and sometimes fatal illness in humans.

PEA also reduced the amount of E. coli biofilm, or thick, complex colonies of bacteria, in bacteria grown in the beef broth. In addition, PEA reduced bacterial cell numbers of the bacteria growing on the surface of meat. The goal of the research is to use bacteria nutrients such as PEA to manipulate dangerous bacteria into behaving in ways that are less harmful to people, according to associate professor and researcher Dr. Birgit Pruess, NDSU Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences.

This research is part of Pruess' ongoing work on developing techniques to prevent biofilm formation. Biofilms are a contributing factor in 60 to 80% percent of bacterial infections, according to the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NDSU researchers also used fluorescence labeling to identify genes that will become targets of biofilm prevention efforts. The genes show up as green bacteria on images a fluorescence microscope produces, says Priyankar Samanta, an NDSU doctoral student who is involved in the research.

The first target, FlhD/FlhC, is a regulator of flagella, lashlike appendages that protrude from the body of certain cells and enable bacteria to swim in favorable environments.

"The identification of the first target, as well as the first bacterial nutrient that will inhibit biofilm formation, are major breakthroughs on the path to the development of novel biofilm prevention techniques," Pruess says.

Dr. Pruess received a $358,750 grant award through National Institutes of Health grant 1R15AI089404 for this research and additional funding for the PEA research from the North Dakota Board of Agricultural Research and Education and the North Dakota Beef Commission.

The researchers have published articles about their findings in publications such as
Journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, BMC Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriology, Letters in Applied Microbiology, and Archives of Microbiology.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Researchers Create New Model to Help Western North Dakota Oil Patch Estimate Growth l 9/30/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 30, 2013 – The start of the recent oil boom in western North Dakota set off a historic period of growth for the area, complete with challenges.

A lightning-quick population explosion led to housing shortages. Increased activity in small towns and on roads led to infrastructure concerns. School class sizes tick rapidly upward.    

It’s a road seldom traveled for a state used to focusing on retention rather than expansion. Nancy Hodur, NDSU research assistant professor, and Dean Bangsund, research scientist, in agribusiness and applied economics at NDSU, are providing research as the region acclimates to such growth.

“We are attempting to provide guidance in an uncertain future with regards to rapid change,” Bangsund said. “There is a high demand for projections that are based on a good understanding of what is going on at this point. We are putting numbers to questions, so the information can be used for planning and educational efforts.”

Hodur and Bangsund have more than 30 years of combined experience producing impact assessment research. They started working two years ago on issues related to the oil boom in western North Dakota with a study commissioned by the city of Dickinson as it attempted to draw up a strategic plan for future growth.

A primary aspect of Dickinson’s plan was coming up with population estimates. Traditional methods using census data were inaccurate due to the constant influx of new workers.  

Hodur and Bangsund came up with new models, using employment and housing as a guide. The numbers were astounding.

The research showed Dickinson could reach about 64,000 residents, including temporary workers, by 2020. The 2010 census put Dickinson’s population at 17,787.

The need to understand and quickly react to the unprecedented growth in western North Dakota was evident. A wave of requests for Hodur and Bangsund to perform similar studies on other towns followed, morphing into a comprehensive look at population trends of the entire Williston basin, which includes parts of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

“We have been going 900 miles-an-hour for the last two years,” Hodur said. “This work is absolutely spot on with the mission of this land-grant university. We take the skills, knowledge and expertise of the university and make sure it gets out there, and gets to the people who need it.”

Hodur and Bangsund have done studies on employment, housing, oil-well growth, economic impact and student enrollment for communities across the Bakken oil formation and the state of North Dakota. In addition, the researchers maintain a healthy workload of projects from outside the oil and gas industry. They have completed work for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, and the biofuel, power and agriculture industries.

“It’s not just the oil and gas industry driving this growth,” Hodur said. “You’ve got a thriving agriculture industry, the unemployment rates in the state are among the nation’s leaders, you have a strong technology corridor in the eastern part of the state and North Dakota exports were at an all-time high in 2012. Many things are going well.”

Hodur and Bangsund regularly update their western North Dakota research projects. It’s important to adapt some projections often due to the fast-changing nature of circumstances in the area, Bangsund said. They are also eyeing another major project on workforce characteristics in western North Dakota to provide an even more accurate assessment of population.

The study will require a primary data collection effort that will likely include personal interviews, focus groups and a written survey of both individuals and businesses. It will be a lengthy process. However, the data could help smooth the road for many communities in the area dealing with a population explosion by shining a light on the needs and makeup of its people.

 “We have an activity in western North Dakota that is beyond historic precedent,” Bangsund said. “Not only for the people that live there, but for the rest of the state. There are very few areas in the country that could, over a short timeframe, show they have had the same rate of growth. We are enthusiastic about the chance to lend some guidance on what this means to the state. And we feel fortunate that we’ve been given the opportunity to represent NDSU in a very public manner.”


October Science Cafe to Shine Light on Asbestos in the Human Lung l 9/30/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 30, 2013 – Asbestos minerals can cause lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma and other lung diseases. And an NDSU geochemist has found those minerals might have transformational properties once inside an individual.

Scott Wood, NDSU professor of geochemistry and dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, will discuss research that suggests asbestos minerals may change into other minerals during a person’s lifetime at the October Science Café titled “A Geochemist’s perspective on the behavior of asbestos minerals in the human lung”.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. in Stokers Basement, Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. It’s free and open to the public.

“In the past, most people working in the field have focused entirely on the dissolution of asbestos as the ultimate fate of these minerals in the lungs,” Wood said. “However, our work suggests the strong possibility of transformations of asbestos minerals to other types of minerals while in the lungs, which has important implications for human health.”

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Senior Works With Researchers to Find Answers to Asthma l 9/30/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 30, 2013 – As NDSU senior TJ Peterson learns about interactions between the outside world and the lung, he’s hopeful his efforts will someday contribute to a breakthrough that will help the estimated 18.9 million Americans who suffer from asthma.

Peterson is a summer undergraduate researcher in veterinary and microbiological sciences labs of Glenn Dorsam, associate professor, and Jane Schuh, associate professor and assistant dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.

Specifically, the work relates to allergic asthma and agricultural pulmonary exposure to grain dust, chemicals and toxins. The researchers induce asthma in mice to understand the “big picture” of what happens to the animals’ lungs after exposure to the particulates. The project is funded through the National Institutes of Health.

“As the lung restructures itself, it gets harder and narrower,” Peterson explained. “Inside an enclosure, we circulate spores, mimicking human exposure to mold or grain dust. It’s a daunting task, because we have hundreds of proteins and interactions. Is it one thing that changed or a whole cascade of events that happens?”

Participating in the research alongside respected faculty is, for Peterson, another plus for choosing NDSU for an education. “To conduct research as an undergraduate is a huge thing,” he said. “I’d say the two months I’ve spent in this lab is the equivalent to three years in the classroom. It’s much more fast-paced and a lot more intricate. It’s really opened my eyes.”

Peterson, who is from Brooklyn Park, Minn., is a member of the Minnesota National Guard and the Cadet Battalion Commander for the NDSU ROTC Bison Battalion. His career goal is to be a medical doctor in the U.S. Army, leaning toward a specialty in emergency medicine.

“Because I want to be a doctor, I like to see how our research applies to humans. Whenever we are discussing the project and we’re talking about the various proteins we work with, I try to translate that to the human body. It’s interesting to see how similar, and also dissimilar, mouse physiology is to humans.”

Schuh suggests the hands-on research is a great way for undergraduate students to contribute and learn. “Being at a research university provides fantastic opportunities for our undergraduates,” she said.

As the work continued, Peterson gained an understanding of why it often takes years of dedicated research to find answers. “It’s a process; you’re wrong more times than you’re right. You have to be perseverant and try new things,” he said. “We’re not playing with laboratory toys here. Contributing to this work gives me a sense of purpose.”

He continued, “I love this opportunity – I’ve learned a ton. Dr. Schuh and Dr. Dorsam have taken many hours out of their day to train and teach me. They are so patient with all of my questions.”

The interesting, complex research may also impact Peterson’s future career choices. If he is stationed at a research hospital, his focus may change. “If I have that chance, I can definitely use what I learned in this lab during a possible career in research,” Peterson said.

Peterson’s undergraduate training is funded through a research program supported by the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R15HL117254.


NDSU Graduate Student Researches How Chemical Compounds in Environment Affect Fish l 9/30/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 30, 2013 – As NDSU doctoral student Andrea Hanson looks over a water tank containing rainbow trout, she hopes her research will have a meaningful, lasting impact. The cellular and molecular biology student from Mahnomen, Minn., studies the fish in order to discover the effect of endocrine disruptors – chemical compounds released into the environment that potentially can influence growth, development and reproduction in vertebrate animals and humans. She studies what happens to the trout when compounds such as pesticides, plastics, flame retardant materials, household cleaners and cosmetics are introduced into the water.

“I am looking at compounds that enter the environment and once in the environment can disrupt the normal physiology of various organisms,” Hanson said. “Specifically, I look at how they affect growth at the molecular level. We develop techniques to investigate gene expression and different signaling pathways to what’s being activated or suppressed.”

Beginning as an undergraduate student and then during her five years as a graduate student, Hanson has worked in a Stevens Hall laboratory supervised by Mark Sheridan, Jordan A. Engberg Professor of biological sciences.

“Andrea has a keen, inquiring mind and will make significant contributions to science,” Sheridan said. “From quite early on as an undergraduate she asked relevant, important questions. For her graduate research she wanted to make a difference, and her project on environmental estrogens is doing just that. It is receiving global attention and, hopefully, will raise awareness about the harmful effects of these compounds on animal and human well-being and will inform policymakers about their use so as to safeguard our future.”

The research is intricate and complicated, but the findings are demonstrating the chemical compounds do affect the growth of the fish, suggesting an indirect impact on people.

“I work with rainbow trout because compounds ultimately end up in the water. Whether they enter the air or the soil first, they run off into the water,” Hanson explained. “There are consequences of technological advancement. It’s important to see what the chemical compounds do to fish and ultimately to humans.”

Hanson, who hopes to find a research position with a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company, describes her research as exciting and challenging. She urges other NDSU students to join in.

“There are a lot of ways NDSU students can get involved in research in a variety of fields. Whether as a volunteer or paid work, the opportunities for students are endless,” Hanson said. “The depth and breadth of the research interests of the professors here and the funding availability also drew me to graduate school at NDSU.”

The research is supported by grants from National Science Foundation award IOS 0920116, U.S. Geological Survey/North Dakota Water Commission and the NDSU Gerald Larson Agricultural Research Fund. Hanson is supported by fellowships from the North Dakota Water Resources Research Institute and the NDSU Graduate School.


NDSU Physics Student Makes Quantum Dots Discovery l 9/30/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 30, 2013 – It’s a liquid version of the Hatfields and McCoys.

The relationship between certain polymers and nanocrystal silicon can best be described as unstable. The duo just doesn’t like one another, separating like water and oil when drying. But NDSU physics and math undergraduate student Austin Usselman has found a way to bring some harmony to the predicament. His research could help make solar cells and other electronic devices more efficient.

“I watched a lot of my friends get short-term summer jobs,” said Usselman, who worked under the direction of NDSU physics professor Erik Hobbie. “I got one that basically started my career. I didn’t expect to be as hands on as I have been. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to do this research.”

Usselman, from Hazen, N.D., emailed a handful of professors last year hoping to find any job in a lab to gain experience. Hobbie invited Usselman to study quantum dots at NDSU’s Research and Technology Park. Quantum dots are nanocrystals discovered by scientists in the 1980s. The subject was new to Usselman, who was interested in astrophysics in high school.

“He is gaining hands-on experience doing research, which is valuable for nurturing any type of problem-solving ability,” Hobbie said. “He will get his name on a publication as an undergraduate, which will make his resume stand out.”

The subject of Usselman’s research happened by accident. Usselman was attempting another project when through microscopic projection he and Hobbie noticed the instability within the polymer and nanocrystal mixture. Silicon nanocrystals are tiny pieces of crystalline silicon that are being studied for use in the production of such things as solar cells, solid-state lighting, and biomedical imaging agents.

A coffee-ring effect occurred as the mixture dried. In addition, the nanocrystals and polymer separated. The coffee-ring effect is a term used to describe when a droplet containing small solids dries, and the solids are then deposited at the edge of the droplet.

Through a lengthy process of trial-and-error, Usselman learned he could eliminate the separation in low molecular weight solutions by applying the mixture to a glass cover slip with a specialized blade. He tried different application speeds before finding the separation could be eliminated by slowly applying the mixture, pausing every 15 micrometers before starting again. 

Hobbie said Usselman’s work could help NDSU researchers put a more homogenous coating of a silicon nanocrystal and polymer mix onto solar cells, creating a more efficient product.

“This will have an impact,” Hobbie said. “Scientifically, it will have an impact and it will have impact in terms of applications.”

The research could also have a positive impact on the efficiency of solid state LEDs and optical sensors. Usselman’s work on the project isn’t finished. He is now measuring different concentrations of polystyrene and quantum dots in the polymer-nanocrystal mixture by comparing the strength of photoluminescence during separation. He’s hoping this project can be a springboard to future research success. And it’s sparked an intense interest in quantum dots.

“It’s really comforting to have such nice people around to guide you through the first couple steps of a new experience,” Usselman said. “I believe it has given me the confidence and experience I will need to further succeed in the scientific community, and I am excited to see where I end up and what I end up accomplishing.”

North Dakota State University and Cogi® Announce Partnership Aimed at Developing Innovative New Software Applications and Creating Jobs l 9/25/2013

SANTA BARBARA, CA and FARGO, ND (September, 25, 2013) – Today Cogi® (Co’ jee) and North Dakota State University, Fargo, announced that they have signed a research and development agreement through North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence (COE) program. The COE program partners research and development hubs across the state’s university and college campuses with private companies to stimulate technology-led economic development.

The new R&D partnership between Cogi® and NDSU, Fargo, comes through the university’s State of North Dakota-funded Center of Excellence in Sensors, Communications, and Controls (COE-CSCC). The CSCC provides expertise in sensor integration, systems engineering and software applications. Companies participating in the COE program match $2 for every $1 provided by a grant through North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence program.

With 25 approved Centers of Excellence and partners such as Cogi®, the COE program has contributed $635 million in estimated economic impact to North Dakota’s economy, according a report by the state’s Department of Commerce.

“We are truly excited about what we’ve already been able to accomplish utilizing our software development resources based in Fargo and we look forward to expanding our presence in the future,” said Mark Cromack, President and co-founder of Cogi®. “Our current forecast calls for an additional 20 new jobs in the Fargo area over the next several years, but that figure could grow if we hit our stretch goals.”

"The new R&D partnership with Cogi® provides additional exciting opportunities in technology-led economic development through the state’s Centers of Excellence program. We enthusiastically welcome this California technology company to North Dakota as a research and business development partner with NDSU,” said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research at NDSU.

Cogi®’s new Android app can be found in the Google Play Store effective September 25th. “The Cogi® app allows anyone to seamlessly capture critical verbal communication – ensuring we never miss an important point raised during meetings, lectures and even day-to-day conversations,” said Cromack. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cogi.mobile

ABOUT Cogi®
Cogi® was created to solve a problem everyone shares – how to remember and act upon the important points that flow from meetings, lectures and conversations. Cogi® gives users a way to effortlessly capture, recall and track important verbal communication through the use of an intuitive smartphone app. Once captured, these verbal ‘highlights’ can be enhanced with notes, photos or tagged for easy retrieval.

Headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, Cogi® was started in March 2007 by a group of technology veterans.  For more information on Cogi® visit www.Cogi®.com.

ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
The NDSU Research and Technology Park and Technology Incubator are home to fast-paced, high-growth companies that promote technology-based economic development in North Dakota. At the 55-acre NDSU Research & Technology Park, faculty, staff and students work with private sector researchers on leading-edge projects.

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


North Dakota Leaders Promote UAS Assets in Washington, D.C. l 9/18/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 18, 2013 – North Dakota unmanned aerial systems (UAS) leaders and North Dakota State University representatives will be in Washington, D.C., on Thurs., Sept. 19 to attend the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus Science and Technology Fair to be held in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer.

During the Unmanned Systems Caucus Fair, the delegation will build awareness of North Dakota’s efforts to be chosen as one of six Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) test sites tasked to assist the FAA to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the same airspace as manned vehicles.

North Dakota’s two major research universities, including NDSU, are expected to play key roles as the state competes to become one of six Federal Aviation Administration test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles and systems to be named by the end of the year. NDSU expertise in this research area includes transportation, agriculture, electronics, coatings and computational science.

North Dakota will have the opportunity to showcase its UAS capabilities alongside other organizations including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northrup Grumman, General Atomics and NASA, based on efforts coordinated by ND Congressman Kevin Cramer.

“Being a member of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus, I was happy to ensure the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority received a table at the Caucus Fair,” said Congressman Cramer. “The Northern Plains group will do an excellent job furthering our goal to increase awareness of unmanned systems and its potential benefits to industry, government and private users.”

North Dakota has created the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority, led by its Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley. North Dakota has appropriated $5 million to pursue and develop a national UAS test sitehttp://theminotvoice.com/minot-area-news/2013/05/investing-in-uav-industry/, $4 million of which is operational funding contingent on FAA selection of a North Dakota test site.

Robert Becklund, recently appointed as the executive director of the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority, is currently overseeing the state’s UAS efforts and is the primary contact with the FAA. 

“In the past few months, we’ve taken a variety of steps to assure that the UAS decision-makers in the industry, government and academia are aware of the incredible capabilities that North Dakota can offer them,” Becklund said. Becklund’s career mirrors that of the UAS industry in the United States which has moved from military to civilian applications in just the past few years.

Becklund began his military career by enlisting in the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1982 as a Flight Simulator Technician, before eventually becoming the commander of the North Dakota Air National Guard in 2004. During his time as commander, Becklund was integral in switching the unit from manned F-16 fighters to unmanned MQ-1 Predator UASs.  

Now, Becklund has been tasked with bringing one of the UAS test sites to North Dakota.

“Here in North Dakota, we have all the elements needed to assist the FAA,” said Becklund. “We have low population density, strong UAS research through our team members at the University of North Dakota (UND) and North Dakota State University, unequalled aviation training and expertise at the UND’s Aerospace Program, and plenty of UAS expertise thanks to the local and deployed flight activity of UND and the Office of the Adjutant General.”

In addition to promoting the state’s UAS strengths, Becklund is currently preparing for test site operations, since the FAA proposal has mandated that test sites begin operations within 180 days after selection.

Preparations include identifying research projects that study key points of interest for the FAA including command and control links, and detect-and-avoid systems, identifying needed infrastructure for the site and communicating to companies the business benefits of working in North Dakota including tax incentives and research support.

“North Dakota is the right place at the right time for a thriving UAS industry,” Lt. Gov. Wrigley said. “The infrastructure and expertise already in action around North Dakota prove that we are in a prime position to advance the nation’s UAS efforts.”

The FAA, which received 25 proposals from around the nation, is scheduled to make an announcement in December.

###

North Dakota’s Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority membership includes UAS experts from the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences – University of North Dakota; the Office of Research, Creative Activities, and Technology Transfer – North Dakota State University; the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission; the North Dakota Department of Commerce; and North Dakota’s Office of the Adjutant General.


Bobcat Company Signs New $600,000 R&D Partnership Agreement With NDSU l 9/16/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 16, 2013 – Bobcat Company has pledged its continued support of research and development activities conducted in tandem with nearby North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, at NDSU’s Technology Incubator, where Bobcat is an anchor tenant.

Bobcat will match $2 for every $1 provided by a grant through North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence program, an initiative that pairs research and development hubs across the state’s university and college campuses with private companies in an effort to stimulate greater economic growth. Bobcat Company is contributing more than $400,000 toward the program, which will result in more than $200,000 in additional grants for NDSU. 

The new R&D partnership between Bobcat and NDSU comes through the university’s State of North Dakota-funded Center of Excellence in Sensors, Communications, and Control (COE-CSCC). The CSCC provides expertise in sensor integration, systems engineering and software applications. Overall, with 25 approved Centers of Excellence and supporters like Bobcat Company, the COE program has contributed $635 million in estimated economic impact to North Dakota’s economy, according to the state Department of Commerce.

Bobcat engineers, NDSU engineering students and researchers at NDSU’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering will continue to collaborate on a variety of projects — exploring new product development, component testing and material characterization — while working to improve current manufacturing processes in place across the company’s global manufacturing plants. Bobcat engineering and product testing facilities at NDSU’s Research and Technology Park include 15,000 square feet of floor space for up to 50 Bobcat employees, a working technology lab and indoor testing area. Bobcat Company began its research partnership with NDSU in 2005.

“We’re pleased to expand our partnership with North Dakota State University,” said Rich Goldsbury, Bobcat Company president. “We feel this collaboration will result in great things for both the university and Bobcat Company. Having access to the university’s research expertise will help us cost-effectively develop cutting-edge technologies for our products, and we’re very excited about the opportunities this presents for our organization.”

Bobcat’s research partnership with NDSU has particularly thrived in the areas of engineering and microelectronics.

“This extended R&D partnership, funded in part by North Dakota’s Centers of Excellence program, in conjunction with cash and in-kind match generously provided by Bobcat, is an important extension of the ongoing relationship between Bobcat and NDSU,” said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research at NDSU.

“This enhanced partnership builds upon the many R&D projects that Bobcat and various units and departments within NDSU have completed over the years,” he added. “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate through this unique and productive State of North Dakota program, and Bobcat Company’s generous support of it.”

ABOUT BOBCAT COMPANY
Bobcat Company, headquartered in West Fargo, N.D., is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and distribution of compact equipment. Bobcat compact equipment includes skid-steer, all-wheel steer and compact track loaders; compact excavators; mini-track loaders; VersaHandler® telescopic tool carriers; utility vehicles and Toolcat™ utility work machines. Bobcat is a global brand with more than 600 dealer locations in North America and the leader in compact equipment — the industry’s original innovator, beginning more than 50 years ago with the first compact machine and predecessor to the skid-steer loader. For more information on Bobcat products, visit www.bobcat.com.

ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY
NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


Doctoral Student Studies Effects of Clean Water in Remote Kenya l 9/5/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 5, 2013 – Tara Rava Zolnikov, an NDSU Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Fellow of developmental science, has witnessed up close how water can bring families closer, enrich a person’s quality of life and bring newfound economic advantages for many in some remote villages in Kenya. When the water flows, so do the opportunities.

“When you see the inequalities between the developed and the developing world, you can either turn and look the other way or help out,” said Zolnikov, a fifth-year doctoral student from Montana who came to NDSU after a stint at the Harvard School of Public Health. “I knew right away which one I was going to do.”

Zolnikov fell in love with Kenya last year while working with the Kenya Red Cross as a humanitarian research scientist. She observed and reported humanitarian issues during her first trip. But Zolnikov, who earned master’s degrees in industrial hygiene and epidemiology, exposures and risk, wanted to learn more. She decided to return to the Kenya Red Cross last June to assess the social effects of recently implemented water interventions in an isolated, sunny and semi-arid region of the country.

“This was an area in the middle of nowhere that had a little more than one rainfall a season,” Zolnikov said. “There were two extremely contaminated rivers from which people gathered water. It was a difficult situation for the people who lived there.”

The need for clean, accessible water was glaring, Zolnikov said. Some walked up to six hours a day in extreme heat to retrieve only about 25 liters of contaminated water. It was barely enough for a family to use for cooking and drinking for the day. Bathing was out of the question.

Zolnikov said her research showed drastic changes occurred almost immediately following the addition of the five clean water interventions throughout the region. A water intervention is a public health measure that addresses quality or quantity of water within a community. She conducted interviews of residents near four interventions in an area of roughly 7,000 people.

Family bonds were strengthened when mothers, who often made the long trips to retrieve the river water, had more time at home. Children went back to school with more energy and focus. People could bathe, cook and drink more water. Animals became healthier with extra water infused into their diet and the local economy began to thrive with the sale of livestock, garden vegetables, small trees and bricks for building homes.

“I never heard a negative comment,” Zolnikov said. “This changed their lives only for the better. When you think of giving people water, you think of the health component, a basic necessity. But it does so much more.”

Zolnikov said she expects to return to Kenya in a post-doctoral position with the Kenya Red Cross. She hopes next time to conduct research on the communities where the interventions didn’t have as much success to find ways to improve the outcome.

“I want to become more of a water-focused person in public health in the future,” Zolnikov said. “We really need to get people water. This research has given me a stronger purpose and focus in my career.”


September Science Café Focuses on Mysterious Honeybee Illness l 9/5/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 5, 2013 – A mysterious illness is wiping out a significant percentage of honeybee colonies in the United States. An NDSU scientist will explain why this is happening and outline the challenges of restoring colony health.

Julia Bowsher, NDSU assistant professor of biological sciences, will discuss the topic during the September Science Café “Collapse: How honeybees are dying and what we can do about it.”

The event is scheduled for Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. in Stokers Basement, Hotel Donaldson in Fargo. It’s free and open to the public.

“The pollination crisis is affecting agriculture nationwide,” Bowsher said. “And North Dakota has a central role to play.” 

Attendees must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian.


NDSU Undergraduate Research Takes Student's Love for Birds to New Heights l 9/5/2013

Fargo, N.D., September 5, 2013 – Gulls are a familiar sight during seaside strolls, but one NDSU student finds them fascinating and has made the birds the central subject of her undergraduate research.

Nicole Snyder, a junior biochemistry molecular biology and zoology major from Dell Rapids, S.D., has transformed her love for birds into a meaningful research study on Franklin’s Gulls. She also may have discovered her future career path.

Franklin’s Gulls are small, black-headed gulls of the interior North American prairies. They are a common sight for the region during the summer when they breed. During the winter, they migrate to Central America.

“I’m a big bird person,” Snyder said. “I really like studying them. I never knew this is where it would take me.”

Under the direction of Wendy Reed, associate professor and head of biological sciences at NDSU, Snyder is a member of a research team trying to determine differences present between Franklin’s Gull chicks hatched during early season and late season. Snyder’s job was to analyze immune system function and the ability of the chicks to withstand diet restrictions. To do this, she ran a comet assay on the chicks’ blood. A comet assay is a sensitive and rapid technique for quantifying and analyzing DNA damage in individual cells. She specifically looked for variances in the amount of cell damage between the two groups.

Both early and late season hatched chicks need to be fully prepared for migration in August despite their age difference. The study is looking at cell damage comparisons to see if late season chicks are giving something up in order to be ready in time.  

“I’m still working on analysis, but preliminary data showed that for a certain age period they did show a difference,” explained Snyder. “It’s really cool that we’re getting what we expected.”

In January, Snyder gave a poster presentation on her findings at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology annual conference in San Francisco. The conference allowed Snyder to share her research, but also network and learn from other science professionals from around the nation.

“There were so many different people there from all different branches of science,” Snyder said. “I learned all the different methods they were using and I was able to find people who were doing similar projects as me.”

As a student-focused institution, NDSU gives undergraduate students the opportunity to engage in cutting-edge research alongside respected authorities in their field. For Snyder, undergraduate research has been a big part of her collegiate experience.

“I have gained all sorts of work and educational experience and I get to be a part of the environment I hope to work in after college.” Snyder said of undergraduate research. “It has made me a more well-rounded student and exposed me to a lot of opportunities I would’ve never had if I hadn’t done this.”

Snyder plans to continue working on ornithology research during her undergraduate years at NDSU and hopefully conduct future avian projects as a graduate student. Overall, her experience has been a rewarding one.

“Undergraduate research has made my college experience exciting,” Snyder said. “It’s no longer ‘Oh I’ve got to go to work now’ but rather ‘I wonder what new or interesting thing will happen today?’ ”


NDSU Research Plays Role on North Dakota's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team l 8/29/2013

August 29, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – North Dakota’s two major research universities are expected to play key roles as the state competes to become one of six Federal Aviation Administration test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles and systems to be named by the end of the year.

The team for the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems includes NDSU, University of North Dakota, the North Dakota Office of the Adjutant General, North Dakota Aeronautics Commission and North Dakota Department of Commerce. Representatives from the group were among 600 exhibitors at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International conference in Washington, D.C., Aug. 12-15.

At the conference attended by some 8,000 people from 40 countries, NDSU promoted its research expertise in electronics, coatings, transportation and precision agriculture.

"Attendees were generally interested in knowing more about the research areas at NDSU that are relevant to UAVs, and specifically about how UAVs will be utilized in agriculture operations,” said Aaron Reinholz, associate director for electronic technologies at NDSU’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, who attended the conference as part of the NDSU unmanned aircraft systems team.

The state of North Dakota has identified unmanned aircraft systems as a significant thrust area for economic development in the state. Agriculture is expected to be the biggest commercial application for unmanned aerial vehicles. The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International has forecast that 590,000 unmanned aircraft systems will be purchased for agricultural applications between 2015 and 2021. A study by Frost and Sullivan produced similar statistics.

The North Dakota team attended the conference to promote the state as a go-to place for research, development and testing of unmanned aircraft systems. “We hoped to raise visibility and awareness of the opportunities in the state and more specifically, the capability that NDSU can provide to this emerging technology sector,” said Reinholz.

NDSU expertise in this research area includes transportation, agriculture, electronics, coatings and computational science. More than 63 media articles about the conference mentioned North Dakota, and of those, 73 percent of the articles mentioned North Dakota’s research institutions, according to an analysis by the North Dakota Department of Commerce.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

North Dakota and South Dakota EPSCoR awarded grant to establish DakotaBioCon l 7/25/2013

July 25, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – Four universities in North Dakota and South Dakota have been awarded a $6 million grant to establish the Dakota Bioprocessing Consortium (DakotaBioCon) and conduct collaborative research.

ND EPSCoR and SD EPSCoR

The National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR) has awarded North Dakota EPSCoR and South Dakota EPSCoR research funding for North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, South Dakota State University and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Funding will be used to establish DakotaBioCon. The Research Infrastructure and Improvement Track 2 grant spans three years.

The primary goal of DakotaBioCon is to establish a multi-state, multi-institution, multi-disciplinary research collaboration that will produce economically viable renewable replacements for existing petrochemicals.

The research collaborators will use lignin as a starting raw material. Lignin binds cellulose fibers in wood and plants. It is among the most renewable carbon sources on the planet. DakotaBioCon will focus on processing lignin into renewable chemical and polymeric alternatives to petrochemicals.

The project will build long-term research collaborations among the universities in North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as develop infrastructure to study novel paths to produce high-value lignin-derived products. Through cutting-edge research and development, DakotaBioCon aims to become a recognized leader in biomass bioprocessing.

DakotaBioCon will develop novel bioprocessing technologies for sustainable production of high-value chemicals and materials from renewable resources. Emphasis will be placed on lignin-derived products as economically viable substitutes for imported fossil-fuel-based chemicals. Lignin has a significant and largely unrealized potential as a source for the sustainable production of bulk high value chemicals.

DakotaBioCon will leverage its relationships with existing programs and centers such as UND/NDSU’s Sustainable Energy Research Initiative and Supporting Education (SUNRISE) program, the SDSU-based SunGrant Initiative, and the SDSMT/SDSU-based Center for Bioprocessing Research and Development (CBRD) to achieve its objectives.

Focus of Research

“The combined research talent at the four institutions in two states provides an opportunity to join forces to develop DakotaBioCon, maximizing research in the field of renewable replacements to existing petrochemicals,” said Dr. Philip Boudjouk, North Dakota EPSCoR co-chair.

“This project provides an important opportunity to use our research talents to create new, high-value products from agricultural waste products, thus strengthening further the largest sector of our state economy,” said Dr. Phyllis E. Johnson, North Dakota EPSCoR co-chair.

“This project builds on research infrastructure investments that both the South Dakota and North Dakota EPSCoR programs have been making for the past five years,” said Dr. James Rice, South Dakota EPSCoR director. “As a chemist, I am fascinated by the idea that we can use renewable biomaterials such as switchgrass to potentially replace petroleum-based products.”

The collaborative research group seeks to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on how to replace petrochemicals as the primary feedstock for fuels, polymers and composites. The impact of cost-effective mass production of fuels and materials from biomass has enormous implications for reduction of greenhouse gases, air and water quality and quantity, national security, climate change and the country’s long-term economic and environmental health.

Opportunities for Students

As it develops over a three-year period, DakotaBioCon will also include opportunities for undergraduate and graduate researchers and students at tribal colleges located in the two states to participate in the research. Additional plans call for outreach programs to middle school through high school students to learn more about bioprocessing and the scientific research to replace petrochemicals with renewables.

About the DakotaBioCon Partners

The NDSU Sustainable Materials Science (SMS) program focuses on materials science, including synthesis of organic materials and composites from renewable resources and novel approaches to solar energy conversion devices. DakotaBioCon member Dr. Dean Webster leads the SMS program and Dr. Mukund Sibi, Dr. Bret Chisholm and Dr. Pinjing Zhao are members of the research team at NDSU.

The UND SUNRISE program targets interdisciplinary research capabilities focused on improving heterogeneous catalysis for sustainable energy technology development. SUNRISE is a comprehensive multidisciplinary faculty-led research cluster spanning the entire process from fundamental through applied research, development and commercialization, encompassing the entire value chain from “field to product.” The research team at UND includes Dr. Alena Kubatova, Dr. Mark Hoffmann, Dr. Evguenii Kozliak, Dr. Irina Smoliakova and Dr. Wayne Seames.

The SunGrant Initiative based at SDSU is a national network of land-grant universities and national laboratories that facilitates partnerships among universities, national laboratories, federal and state governments, the private sector and public interest groups. Goals include leading the nation toward a renewable, sustainable, domestic energy and renewable chemicals industry.

The Center for Bioprocessing Research and Development brings together resources of more than 120 researchers from 12 departments at SDSMT and SDSU. The group’s goal is to reduce the dependence on imported fossil fuels and petroleum-based chemicals by developing new technologies and bioproducts to lessen the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

About ND EPSCoR

North Dakota EPSCoR is a federally- and state-funded program designed to help university researchers in low-population states compete more effectively for federal, regional and private research grants in the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Workshop Provides Tools for "Communicating Science Ninjas" l 6/27/2013

Fargo, N.D., June 27, 2013 – Give the public reasons to believe scientific research will take them where they want to go.

The message is among those presented at The National Science Foundation/Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research hands-on, interactive workshop to help researchers gain recognition of their work. The training to become “communicating science ninjas” provided tools to more than 100 researchers and graduate students attending the event “Science: Becoming the Messenger” held June 26-27 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo.

Participants from NDSU, UND and Valley City State University who attended the workshop learned ways to develop effective grant proposals, craft concise messages, use social media to promote science, forge effective presentations, and successfully navigate media interviews.

“I think it will be especially useful to take the information back to students to help them learn how to communicate science effectively,” said Wendy Reed, associate professor and head of biological sciences at NDSU.

Messages by workshop presenters included examples of how apt analogies and memorable metaphors can be used to concisely communicate science in interesting and understandable ways.

National media experts at the event included: Dan Agan, media strategist and communications counselor; Chris Mooney, best-selling science author and journalist; and Joe Schreiber, Emmy-Award-winning TV producer and filmmaker.

Other participants at the workshop found additional benefits in the sessions. “It’s been good training because you get trained to think as a scientist, but you also need to think about how the public is going to perceive your research,” said Kimberly Vonnahme, associate professor in animal sciences at NDSU. “One thing I’m going to do as a result of the training will be to pump up my presentations with impact so that people remember my message.”

Follow #NSFMessenger on Twitter to see discussion from the workshop.

A select group of North Dakota researchers received additional one-on-one training at a second day of the workshop to build on the fundamentals they learned.

The workshop was provided free of charge by ND EPSCoR www.ndepscor.nodak.eduNorth Dakota EPSCoR is a federally- and state-funded program designed to improve the ability of university researchers to compete more effectively for federal, regional and private research grants in sciences, engineering and mathematics.


Dr. Kelly Rusch Named Vice President for Research and Creative Activities at NDSU l 6/12/2013

Fargo, N.D., June 12, 2013 – Kelly A. Rusch, Ph.D., professor, researcher and former administrator at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, has been hired as vice president for research and creative activities at North Dakota State University, Fargo. In her role, she will facilitate, coordinate and advance research at NDSU and foster economic development.

“Dr. Rusch has been involved in broad and ongoing research activities that match the direction and priorities of NDSU as a student-focused, land-grant, research university,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani. “We are thrilled to bring such an exceptionally talented scholar and researcher to this major leadership role.”

Dr. Rusch joined the Louisiana State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty in 1993, where she has spent the majority of her career focused on microorganism system design, development and modeling, and engineering education. She currently leads a research group focused on microalgae-cyanobacteria consortia for biofuels and bioproducts production. This work was recognized in 2008 by the Aquacultural Engineering Society Superior Paper Award and through two pending patents. She has secured more than $15 million in research grant funding as a principal or co-principal investigator.

She has served in numerous leadership positions, including associate dean of the College of Engineering, interim chair of the Department of Construction Management and Industrial Engineering, co-chair of Louisiana State’s Commission on the Status of Women and founder and director of the Institute for Ecological Infrastructure Engineering. Dr. Rusch has been a technical consultant on topics including aquacultural engineering, microalgae and zooplankton system design and operation since 1997. She is a registered professional engineer in Louisiana.

Dr. Rusch is a member of the board of directors and past president of the Aquacultural Engineering Society, an international professional organization that supports the advancement of the global aquaculture community. She is a founding member of the Women in Engineering Leadership Institute, which was formed to support the advancement of women faculty into leadership positions. Dr. Rusch has more than 120 refereed articles and technical papers and reports. She has presented more than 165 conference and invited talks and lectures on scientific and educational topics.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, and her master’s degree and doctorate in civil engineering with emphasis on environmental engineering at Louisiana State University.

“Dr. Rusch brings an exceptional combination of research experiences, energy and a comprehensive vision that will take NDSU to the next level,” said NDSU Provost Bruce Rafert.

Dr. Rusch will begin work at NDSU in late September. She will succeed Philip Boudjouk, who has held the position since March 2000 when it was first established. Dr. Boudjouk will continue to work on projects, enhancing public and private research partnerships to bring NDSU-developed technologies to the marketplace.

“I am truly honored to have been selected as the next vice president for research and creative activities at NDSU,” Rusch said. “The excellent foundation built by Vice President Boudjouk, the growing research, innovation and creative activity portfolio of NDSU and the vibrant North Dakota economy make this a very exciting time to be joining NDSU. I look forward to developing and implementing a shared vision that allows all constituents of the innovation enterprise to reach the next level of excellence.”

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Study Coaxes Clays to Make Human Bone l 5/30/2013

May 30, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – Confounding clays of the Red River Valley that cause structures to shift and buckle could actually hold the key to building better bones in humans, according to a North Dakota State University research team.

Whether damaged by injury, disease or age, your body can’t create new bone, but maybe science can. Researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, are making strides in tissue engineering, designing scaffolds that may lead to ways to regenerate bone. Published in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, the research of Dr. Kalpana Katti, Dr. Dinesh Katti and doctoral student Avinash Ambre includes a novel method that uses nanosized clays to make scaffolds to mineralize bone minerals such as hydroxyapatite.

The NDSU research team’s 3-D mesh scaffold is comprised of degradable materials that are compatible to human tissue. Over time, the cells generate bone and the scaffold deteriorates. As indicated in the NDSU team’s published scientific research from 2008 to 2013, the nanoclays enhance the mechanical properties of the scaffold by enabling scaffold to bear load while bone generates. An interesting finding by the Katti group shows that the nanoclays also impart useful biological properties to the scaffold.

“The biomineralized nanoclays also impart osteogenic or bone-forming abilities to the scaffold to enable birth of bone,” said Dr. Kalpana Katti, Distinguished Professor of civil engineering at NDSU. “Although it would have been exciting to say that this finding had a ‘Eureka moment,’ this discovery was a methodical exploration of simulations and modeling, indicating that amino acid modified nanoclays are viable new nanomaterials,” said Katti. The work was initially published in the Journal of Biomacromolecules in 2005. The current research findings in 2013 point toward the potential use of nanoclays for broader applications in medicine.

The NDSU’s group most recent study in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A reports that nanoclays mediate human cell differentiation into bone cells and grow bone. The Katti research group uses amino acids, the building blocks of life, to modify clay structures and the modified nanoclays coax new bone growth. “Our current research studies underway involve the use of bioreactors that mimic fluid/blood flow in the human body during bone tissue regeneration,” said Dr. Kalpana Katti.

There is some irony that the clay so prevalent in the Red River Valley could be integral to building bone in humans. Clay likes to swell and clay likes to shrink, challenging engineers to build structures on the equivalent of shifting sands. Such clays can cause billions of dollars in damage to infrastructure worldwide, causing bridges and roads to buckle or buildings that shift or sink. But at the nanoscale level, substances exhibit very different properties. When it comes to serving as a component in bone scaffolding, nanoclays are a different story.

The Katti group at NDSU has pioneered the use of nanoclays in bone regeneration since 2008, with research results appearing in Biomedical Materials, ASME Journal of Nanotechnology for Engineering and Medicine, Materials Science and Engineering C, along with the February 2013 publication in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A.

Bone tissue engineering represents important promise for regenerative medicine, according to Dr. Kalpana Katti. National Institutes of Health information shows that more than one million Americans have a hip or knee replaced each year. An aging population, in addition to orthopedic injuries of military veterans, and diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis mean that the promise of scientific research to generate human bone could have far-reaching implications in the future.

Key publications of the Katti group at NDSU in use of nanoclays to generate bone are:
1.    Nanoclays mediate stem cell differentiation and mineralized ECM formation on biopolymer scaffolds
Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 
Avinash H. Ambre, Dinesh R. Katti and Kalpana S. Katti Article first published online : 15 FEB 2013, DOI: 10.1002/jbm.a.34561

A. H. Ambre, K.S. Katti, D. R Katti, (2011) In situ Mineralized Hydroxyapatite with Amino Acid Modified Nanoclays as Novel Bone Biomaterials Materials Science and Engineering C 31(5) 1017-1029.

A. H. Ambre, K.S. Katti, D. R Katti, (2010) Nanoclay Based Composite Scaffolds For Bone Tissue Engineering Applications, ASME Journal of Nanotechnology for Engineering and Medicine. 1, 031013.

K. S. Katti, D. R. Katti, R. Dash, (2008), Synthesis and characterization of a novel chitosan/montmorillonite/hydroxyapatite nanocomposite for bone tissue engineering, Biomedical Materials, 3, 034122.

D. R. Katti, P. Ghosh, S. Schmidt and K.S. Katti, (2005) Mechanical properties of sodium montmorillonite interlayer intercalcated with amino acids, Biomacromolecules, 6, 3276-3282

About NDSU

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


NDSU Professors Receive National Science Foundation CAREER Awards l 5/14/2013

May 14, 2013 – Fargo, N.D. – Two major national awards received by North Dakota State University professors will bring a combined $1.6 million to biochemistry and to plant pathology research programs at NDSU, Fargo, and provide additional research opportunities for students.

Stuart Haring, Ph.D., assistant professor in biochemistry, and Robert Brueggeman, Ph.D., assistant professor in plant pathology at NDSU, will each receive five-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Living cells are the focus of Dr. Haring’s research, for which he is receiving a five-year award of $992,429 from NSF. It is the largest single CAREER award received at NDSU since 1996. Dr. Haring’s research examines how cells recognize and repair damaged DNA, before the DNA is permanently mutated. The research, titled “Replication Protein A Modification - Dependent Function in Mitosis and Meiosis,” will also provide opportunities to NDSU students in molecular and cellular biology. Much of the current research into cellular dysfunction centers on how to fix cells after they have been broken, due to genetic mutation. Dr. Haring’s research involves understanding molecular mechanisms of DNA metabolism, which are important in preventing mutations from occurring. This is analogous to performing preventive maintenance, instead of only fixing things after they are broken.

“This award will allow us to probe into how Replication Protein A (RPA) modifications affect its cellular function, especially in response to DNA damage,” said Dr. Haring. “The research will also provide insight into the molecular mechanisms by which modification of RPA directs its many functions, which is currently undetermined. Ultimately, a better understanding of these basic DNA maintenance mechanisms will potentially allow for the development of methods to prevent cellular defects by preventing mutation.”

In plant sciences research, Dr. Robert Brueggeman, assistant professor in plant pathology at NDSU, is being awarded $623,363 as a five-year CAREER award for research that examines mechanisms of disease resistance in cereal crops. Titled “Rapid stem rust resistance responses in barley; non host resistance,” Dr. Brueggeman’s research will fill gaps in knowledge of the interactions that occur between important pathogens and the cereal hosts that they attack. This includes how the plants mount defensive mechanisms to arrest the pathogen and how environmental factors, including high temperatures, can subvert plant defense against pathogens.

“This research is significant because the understanding of how disease resistance operates against important cereal crop pathogens will allow the maintenance of food security and keep the production of diverse crops an economically viable option for producers,” said Dr. Brueggeman. “We also need to understand why some important resistance mechanisms don’t work in different environmental conditions, including temperature fluctuation.”

Dr. Brueggeman’s research targets fundamental questions about the function of plant immunity and how to breed or engineer resistance mechanisms that are more resilient to changing biotic and environmental stimuli. “This information will allow breeders an understanding of the different mechanisms of disease resistance in barley and other cereal crops, including wheat, which will allow for a more informed deployment of different defense mechanisms to achieve durable genetic resistance,” he said.

Efforts will also focus on recruiting underrepresented groups to participate in Dr. Brueggeman’s research. Students participating in the Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research and Education (NATURE) program have opportunities through a summer research session and a science academy to engage in plant pathology research in Dr. Brueggeman’s lab. As a member of the Kutenai tribe, Dr. Brueggeman notes that similar science opportunities through tribal agencies were instrumental in creating his own interest in plant sciences and genetics. NATURE is an educational outreach program sponsored by the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR).

Dr. Brueggeman received his Ph.D., in crop sciences from Washington State University, Pullman, Wash. Dr. Haring earned his Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Since 1996, eighteen faculty members at NDSU have received prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards.  “NDSU researchers continue a standard of excellence that reflect the institution’s ability to attract the best and the brightest among new faculty researchers,” said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer.

Overall, National Science Foundation CAREER awardees at NDSU have received more than $8.7 million in grants to conduct research in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, civil and electrical engineering, computer science, pharmaceutical sciences, plant sciences, and coatings and polymeric materials. NSF career awardees currently at NDSU include faculty members Gregory Cook, Stuart Haring, Seth Rasmussen, Wenfang Sun, Sivaguru Jayaraman and Uwe Burghaus in chemistry and biochemistry, Sanku Mallik in pharmaceutical sciences, Magdy Abdelrahman, Xuefeng Chu, Kalpana Katti and Eakalak Khan in civil engineering, Kendra Greenlee in biological sciences, Hyunsook Do in computer science, and Robert Brueggeman in plant sciences.

The National Science Foundation CAREER program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of scholars who are likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. Recipients are chosen on the basis of creative career development plans that integrate research and education within the context of their university’s mission.

About NDSU

NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


NDSU Researchers to Present at RFID Conference l 4/19/2013

Fargo, N.D., April 19, 2013 — Three NDSU researchers will be presenting at two international Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) conferences from April 30 to May 2 in Orlando, Fla.  Dr. Val Marinov, Cherish Bauer-Reich, and Layne Berge will present research at RFID Journal LIVE! and at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on RFID, to highlight NDSU technology breakthroughs.

Bauer-Reich, research engineer at NDSU’s Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE), will present an invited talk titled “The Object is the Antenna: Use of Ferrites in On-Metal RFID Tags.” As part of the IEEE International Conference on RFID, Bauer-Reich will discuss research at CNSE to develop on-metal RFID tags that use the structure of the tagged object as the antenna.  This research has been featured in publications such as RFID Journal, R&D Magazine and Gizmag. Her talk will be part of a workshop on Enhancing Near-Metal Performance of RFID.  The workshop also features speakers from MIT, University of Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, and University of Tampere in Finland.

Layne Berge, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at NDSU, will present a paper titled “A UHF RFID Antenna for a Wireless Sensor Platform with a Near-Isotropic Radiation Pattern,” as part of the IEEE conference. 

The paper is a result of Berge’s research for his master’s thesis and was co-written with his advisor Dr. Michael Reich, senior engineer at NDSU CNSE.  The research focuses on developing spherical sensor platforms that can communicate using RFID protocols, regardless of orientation.  This is useful for sensors that cannot be deployed with a guaranteed orientation, such as those dropped from aircraft.

Dr. Val Marinov, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at NDSU, was invited to present at RFID Journal LIVE! on May 2 to discuss a “New Method for Embedding RFID in Paper that Could Reduce Counterfeiting.” Researchers at NDSU have developed a method for embedding ultrathin passive RFID chips on paper or other flexible substrates. The embedding method involves chips thinner than most commercial RFID chips on the market today. RFID-enabled paper could be used to dramatically reduce counterfeiting, as well as to improve the tracking of paper documents of all kinds. In addition, this method could enable the production of paper-based RFID tags at a cost lower than that of today's conventional RFID tags. The research has been featured in RFID Journal, as well as in numerous scientific publications.

The IEEE conference attracts international participation from researchers in industry and academia. It is held in conjunction with RFID Journal LIVE! 2013, the world's premier conference and exhibition focused on RFID and its many business applications. Approximately 2,500 people attend the annual event.


Small, With Power-Packed Potential: New Process to Make Nanospheres Developed at NDSU l 3/26/2013

March 26, Fargo, N.D. – A patent-pending technology to produce nanospheres developed by a research team at North Dakota State University, Fargo, could enable advances across multiple industries, including electronics, manufacturing, and biomedical sectors.

The environmentally-friendly process produces polymer-based nanospheres (tiny microscopic particles) that are uniform in size and shape, while being low-cost and easily reproducible. The process developed at NDSU allows scale-up of operation to high production levels, without requiring specialized manufacturing equipment.

A 3a.m. Eureka! Moment

Dr. Victoria Gelling, associate professor in the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials at NDSU, had a “Eureka!” moment when she woke early one morning – 3 a.m., to be precise, an hour when most of us are still sleeping. Gelling used early morning creativity to imagine a new way to oxidize monomers, which are relatively small and simple molecules, into polymers, which are larger, more complex molecules that can be used to create synthetic materials. Dr. Gelling hypothesized that oxidizing ozone in water might accomplish this task.

Later that day in the lab, Dr. Gelling and her team tested the hypothesis. On the first try, they created a suspension of nearly perfectly rounded, uniformly-sized nanospheres, ranging from 70 to 400 nanometers in diameter. In addition to their uniform size, the nanospheres stay suspended in the solution, and are easily removed using a centrifuge.

“The synthesis of the nanospheres is rather simple, with no other chemicals required other than water, ozone, and the small molecules which will become the polymers,” said Gelling. “We also have tight control of the size, as they are beautiful, perfect marbles.”

Given their uniform size and shape, the nanospheres could have uses across multiple industries. According to Dr. Gelling, such nanospheres could be used to:

-Produce high-performance electronic devices and energy-efficient digital displays
-Create materials with high conductivity and smaller parts for consumer electronics
-Deliver medicine directly to diseased cells in the body
-Provide antibacterial coating on dressing for wounds
-Develop nanosensors to aid in early disease detection
-Create coatings that provide increased protection against corrosion and abrasion

The process to develop nanospheres discovered at NDSU’s Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials was developed with support under Grant Number W911NF-09-2-0014, awarded by the U. S. Army Research Office.

NDSU’s research team for this technology includes Dr. Victoria Gelling, graduate research assistant Abhijit Jagnnath Suryawanshi, Omerga, MS, India; Chris Vetter, MS ’11, Moorhead, Minn., and Jessica Lamb, Fargo, N.D., now a graduate student at Cornell University.

The patent pending nanospheres technology is available for licensing/partnering through the NDSU Research Foundation. Contact 701-231-8173 or  jtolstedt@ndsurf.org

A brief video describing the NDSU-developed nanospheres is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndK-NzULfAk

Additional information about this technology and other NDSU innovations available for licensing are available at  http://www.ndsuresearchfoundation.org/rft351

About the NDSU Research Foundation
The NDSU Research Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization that supports NDSU in its teaching, research and public service missions. The Foundation manages the intellectual properties developed by faculty, staff and students doing research at NDSU and facilitates commercialization of these technologies. By commercializing intellectual property, the Foundation is able to create resources that are returned to the individual inventors and to the University to promote continued research. www.ndsuresearchfoundation.org

About NDSU
NDSU
, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.” As a student-focused, land grant, research institution, NDSU is listed in the Top 100 research universities in the U.S. for R&D in computer science, chemistry, physical sciences, psychology, social sciences, and agricultural sciences, based on research expenditures reported to the National Science Foundation. www.ndsu.edu/research


NSF-Career Proposal Workshop Fosters Tools for Grant Success l 4/19/2013

Fargo, N.D., April 19, 2013 — More than 30 NDSU researchers participated in "Preparing Your NSF-CAREER Proposal" held on April 18 in the Memorial Union. The all-day workshop was designed to assist faculty and postdoctoral students who are or will be potential applicants for the NSF-CAREER grants program.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a highly competitive program that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. CAREER grant awards provide five years of funding support. New proposals are accepted annually in the last week of July.

The workshop was sponsored by the ND EPSCoR and the NDSU Office of Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer, with presentations by The Implementation Group (TIG), a consulting firm from Washington, D.C.

In addition to reviewing criteria and processes for the NSF CAREER program, the workshop included a panel of successful NSF CAREER recipients at NDSU.  Since 1996, eighteen faculty members at NDSU have received prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER awards.

“NDSU researchers continue a standard of excellence that reflect the institution’s ability to attract the best and the brightest among new faculty researchers,” said Philip Boudjouk, vice president for research, creative activities and technology transfer. “Providing workshop tools and support can enhance continuing success for researchers pursuing this competitive grant award opportunity.”


NDSU Science Café to Examine Potential of Designer Genes l 3/5/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 5, 2013 — Imagine washing down a prescription pill with some orange juice at breakfast. By lunchtime, a fleet of designer genes is released into the blood stream, targets diseased cells and infiltrates them. By the afternoon, the genes have completed their interrogation of the billions of DNA sequences in diseased cells to bind and fix, with 100 percent accuracy, the mutated gene causing a disease.

“By the time you drift off to Jay Leno, your genetic disease is cured,” said Glenn Dorsam, assistant professor in NDSU’s Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Science.

The vision may be closer to reality than some think. Dorsam will discuss the developing field of designer genes in “Finally, Designer Genes That Won’t Make You Look Fat and May Save Your Life” on Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m. in Stoker’s Basement, Hotel Donaldson.

“I would like to convey the history of scientists using this technology—mistakes, breakthroughs and disease intervention,” Dorsam said. “Also, I’ll talk about some fun facts about DNA and how our cells work.”

Through new techniques, scientists are able to replace diseased DNA sequences with healthy DNA sequences in order to combat disease, including HIV.

“The take-home message is that it’s extraordinary to be able to manipulate the blueprint that makes our bodies,” Dorsam said. “We can do that in real time after we’re born by correcting genetic mutations and genetic errors.” 

The presentation is part of the NDSU College of Science and Mathematics’ Science Café series. Each month, a scientist presents on a different topic and time is allowed for discussion with the scientist and other attendees. Attendees must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation’s top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


Test for Heparin Contaminants Wins NDSU Innovation Challenge '13 l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Erin Nyren-Erickson, a graduate student in pharmaceutical sciences at North Dakota State University, took top honors in Innovation Challenge ’13, the second annual student innovation competition sponsored by NDSU and the NDSU Research and Technology Park. The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on Feb. 28.

The competition was part of the fourth annual Innovation Week, Feb. 26-28, to showcase and encourage student ingenuity at NDSU. It included three tracks: tangible innovations, intangible innovations such as services, processes or methods, and corn-based innovations.

“In just two short years, NDSU students have taken the Innovation Challenge competition to a new level,” said Brenda Wyland, interim executive director of the NDSU Research and Technology Park. “The innovation taking place on campus is astounding, and we can’t wait to see these new ideas in the marketplace.”

Nyren-Erickson, one of 22 finalists, won the $5,000 tangible innovations track and the $5,000 best in show prize for a new kind of test for contaminants in heparin, a blood-thinning drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires to be screened. Nyren-Erickson is from Fargo. Her innovation adviser is Sanku Mallik, professor in pharmaceutical sciences.

Team Improving Osteointegration won the $5,000 intangible innovations track for their method of determining the ideal pore size for growing cells that will allow a novel dental implant, also being developed by NDSU students, to integrate into a patient’s jaw bone.

Team members are:
-Emily Steil, a senior majoring in zoology from St. Cloud, Minn.
-Shelby Schields, a junior majoring in zoology from Beulah, N.D.
-Sarah Lindblom, a junior majoring in zoology from Fergus Falls, Minn.
-Hannah Green, a junior majoring in music from Iowa City, Iowa
Their adviser is David Wells, professor in industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Team Corn Oncologists won the $5,000 corn-based innovations track sponsored by the North Dakota Corn Council. Their project is corn resistant starch nanoparticles as encapsulation material for colon cancer drug delivery. The encapsulation material has the potential to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly to the colon while minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy.

Team members are:
-Dusan Petrovic, a senior majoring in chemistry from Smederevo, Serbia
-Nilushni Sivapragasam, a graduate student in chemistry from Colombo, Sri Lanka
-Darshika Amarakoon, a Dec. 2012 cereal science graduate from Gampaha, Sri Lanka
-Su Hyeon Hwang, a junior majoring in food science and technology from Seoul, South Korea
Their innovation adviser is Pushparajah Thavarajah, assistant professor in the School of Food Systems.

Team Midwest Best won the $1,000 People’s Choice Award for their software program that uses cameras to record video to help determine fault when car accidents occur. The video also can help identify perpetrators when a vehicle is broken into.

Team members are:
-Bryce Heustis, a sophomore majoring in finance from Devils Lake, N.D.
-Drew Spooner, a sophomore majoring in marketing and management from Fargo
-Anna Haugen, a sophomore majoring in accounting from West Fargo
Their innovation adviser is Kay Hopkins, academic adviser in the College of Business.

“This week wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of our sponsors,” Wyland said. “Their willingness to champion Innovation Week demonstrates the commitment they have to our future leaders and their ability to diversify the economy through innovation.”

NDSU is a student-focused, land-grant, research university listed among the top 108 research universities in the nation by the Carnegie Foundation. 

The NDSU Research and Technology Park and Technology Incubator are home to fast-paced, high-growth companies that promote technology-based economic development in North Dakota. The companies compete globally or have the potential to. To operate within the park or Technology Incubator, a company needs to be involved in the advancement and development of new technology and be willing to establish a working relationship with NDSU. The companies work in the fields of material sciences, biosciences and life science technology, information technology, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing and sensors/micro-electronics.


Bayesian Data Analysis Colloquium Scheduled l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — The Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience and the NDSU Department of Psychology will hold a two-day workshop on Bayesian data analysis, presented by John K. Kruschke, professor of psychological and brain sciences and adjunct professor of statistics at Indiana University. The workshop is set for Thursday and Friday, March 21-22 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Reimer’s Room at the McGovern Alumni Center.
 
The two-day event begins with “Bayesian Estimation Supersedes the T Test,” an introductory talk about the benefits of Bayesian data analysis and how it compares to 20th century null-hypothesis significance testing. Kruschke also will discuss how Bayesian analysis software functions. The talk is scheduled for Thursday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Memorial Union Century Theater. 

Following the colloquium, Kruschke will hold a hands-on workshop on how to do Bayesian data analysis with R and JAGS free software. This workshop is considered ideal for researchers who want a ground-floor introduction to Bayesian data analysis. No specific mathematical or statistical expertise is presumed. 

Kruschke is a seven-time winner of Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards from Indiana University. His research interests include the science of moral judgment, applications of Bayesian methods to teaching and learning, and models of attention in learning, which he has developed in both connectionist and Bayesian formalisms. He has written an introductory textbook on Bayesian data analysis. 

The workshop is free of charge. Space is limited to the first 75 people who register. 

For more information or to register, visit www.indiana.edu/~jkkteach/WorkshopNDSU2013.html or contact Mark Nawrot at mark.nawrot@ndsu.edu

The workshop and colloquium are made possible by the support of the Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, College of Science and Mathematics, NDSU Graduate School, Distance and Continuing Education, Human Development and Family Science and the Office of the Provost. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Researcher Publishes Paper on Pancreatic Cancer l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at NDSU, co-wrote the article, “Neurotransmitter substance P mediates pancreatic cancer perineural invasion via NK-1R in cancer cells,” which was published by Molecular Cancer Research, an American Association for Cancer Research journal.
 
According to the authors, pancreatic cancer significantly affects the quality of life due to the severe abdominal pain. However, the underlying mechanism is not clear. This study aimed to determine the relationship between substance P and pancreatic cancer perineural invasion, as well as mechanism of substance P mediating pancreatic cancer perineural invasion which cause pain in patients with pancreatic cancer. 

The authors showed that substance P is not only widely distributed in the neurite outgrowth from newborn rat dorsal root ganglions but also expressed in pancreatic cells. NK-1R is found to be overexpressed in the pancreatic cancer cell lines tested. Substance P induces cancer cell proliferation and invasion and the expression of MMP-2 in pancreatic cancer cells; and NK-1R antagonists inhibit these effects. Furthermore, substance P is also able to promote neurite outgrowth and the migration of pancreatic cancer cell cluster to the dorsal root ganglions, which is blocked by NK-1R antagonists in the co-culture model. 

“Our results suggest that substance P plays an important role in the development of pancreatic cancer metastasis and perineural invasion, and blocking the substance P /NK-1R signaling system is a novel strategy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer,” Wu said, noting the paper was co-written with Qingyong Ma lab at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. “Collaborating with Dr. Ma, we together would like to find better cancer therapeutics and elucidate the mechanisms of the targeted therapy for pancreatic cancer,” Wu said. 

Wu’s research interests include tumor therapeutic targets, drug discovery and biomarkers. For more information about Wu’s lab, visit www.ndsu.edu/pharmsci/faculty_staff/erxi_wu

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


Human Development and Education Faculty Present, Publish l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Several College of Human Development and Education faculty at NDSU gave presentations and had research published.

Dean Aakre, Extension specialist, presented “Generations in the Workplace” as one of the professional development workshops at the University of Missouri Extension Program Conference, “Positioning for the Future,” in Columbia, Mo.

Kara Wolfe, hospitality leadership director at Bradley University and former NDSU faculty member, along with WooMi Jo Phillips and Amelia Asperin, both assistant professors in NDSU’s apparel, design and hospitality management department, had their manuscript, “Examining Social Networking Sites as a Data Collection Channel in Hospitality and Tourism Research,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality and Tourism. The article is scheduled to be published in 2014.

Abby Gold, assistant professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences, and colleagues Vani Chopra and Marla Reicks published a paper in the fall 2012 issue of The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues titled, “Barriers to Healthful Eating Among Midlife Women During Eating Occasions Focused on Nurturing Family.”

Jane Strommen, assistant professor of human development and family science and Extension gerontology specialist, and Greg Sanders, associate dean and professor in the College of Human Development and Education, presented a poster at the 65th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America San Diego in November. Their presentation was titled “Growing Old in Place: The Experiences of Rural Elderly.”

Kristen Benson, assistant professor of human development and family science, coordinated a pre-conference meeting in Charlotte, N.C., prior to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy on visioning for the future of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Affirmative Caucus, a group that conducts affirmative research and advocates for inclusive clinical practice.

Benson also presented at the National Council on Family Relations annual conference in Phoenix. The first presentation was with Susan Johnson, a recent graduate of NDSU’s human development and family science couple and family therapy master’s program. Their presentation was titled “Parental Perceptions of Raising a Gender Nonconforming Child: Therapy Implications.” She gave a second presentation with Brad van Eeden‐Moorefield, associate professor at Montclair State University, titled “A Conditional Process Model Explaining the Perceived Stability of Gay Couples.” Benson also was an invited speaker at the West Fargo school counselors December meeting where she presented on gender identity and children in schools.

Dani Kvanvig-Bohnsack, academic adviser, has published a review of the book “Thriving in Transitions: A Research Based Approach to College Student Success” in the National Academic Advising Association’s Journal. The review is available at www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Journal/View- Articles/articleType/ArticleView/ArticleID/1219/Thriving-in-Transition-A-Re- search-Based-Approach-to-College-Student-Success.aspx.

Erika Beseler Thompson, a first-year student in the Institutional Analysis option area, had an article accepted for publication with her colleagues Frank Heley, Laura Oster-Aaland, Elizabeth Crisp Crawford and Sherri Nordstrom Stastny. Their article, “The impact of a student-driven social marketing campaign on college student alcohol-related beliefs and behaviors,” will be published in Social Marketing Quarterly.

Jodi Burrer, a graduate of NDSU’s Master’s of Athletic Training Professional Program, along with health, nutrition and exercise faculty members Pamela Hansen, associate professor; Kevin Miller, assistant professor; and Bryan Christensen, associate pro- fessor, had a manuscript accepted in the International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training. Their manuscript, “Fracture blisters following a posterior elbow dislocation: A case study,” describes the unusual occurrence of fluid-filled blisters forming over an athlete’s elbow following acute elbow dislocation. These blisters are rare and usually only occur following especially traumatic events, such as car accidents. However, in this athlete, no fractures occurred and the case was resolved with conservative treatment. The article will be published this year.

Jarett Peikert, a graduate of the Advanced Athletic Training Master’s Degree Program; Kevin Miller, assistant professor of health, nutrition and exercise sciences; Jay Albrecht; Jim Deal, professor of human development and family sciences and Jared Tucker, a former faculty member, had a manuscript accepted in the Journal of Athletic Training. Their study, “Pre-exercise ingestion of pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or water does not affect aerobic performance or thermoregulation,” examined whether drinking salty drinks impacts exercise time to exhaustion or the body’s ability to dissipate heat. The authors observed drinking the salty drinks did not improve time to exhaustion or increase core body temperature. The article will be published this year.

Denise Lajimodiere, assistant professor in the School of Education, along with Kelly Sassi, assistant professor in the School of Education and English education; Katherine Bertolini; and Gerald Kettering had their article, “Reading the White Space in a Multi-cultural Field Experience” accepted in Multicultural Education. Lajimodiere also had the article, “American Indian Females and Stereotypes: Warriors, Leaders, Healers, Feminists; Not Drudges, Princesses, Prostitutes,” accepted to Multicultural Perspectives.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Faculty Published in Journal of Animal Science l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Two faculty members of the Department of Animal Sciences were published in the December 2012 issue of the Journal of Animal Science. 

Carl Dahlen, Extension Service beef cattle specialist and assistant professor of animal sciences, co-wrote the article “Use of embryo transfer seven days after artificial insemination or transferring identical demi-embryos to increase twinning in beef cattle.” 

The writers’ objectives were to determine pregnancy rate, fetal loss and number of calves born in beef cattle after a fixed-time transfer of an embryo seven days after a fixed-time artificial insemination of cows and after the transfer of two demi-embryos into a single heifer recipient. Other co-writers were from the University of Minnesota, Advanced Reproductive Associates LLC and the North Florida Research and Education Center at the University of Florida. 

Larry Reynolds, University Distinguished Professor at NDSU, co-wrote a letter to the editor of the Journal of Animal Science. The writers urge the directors of the National Institutes of Health and USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture to continue the Dual Purpose with Dual Benefit: Research in Biomedicine and Agriculture Using Agriculturally Important Domestic Species program. 

Both items can be found at www.journalofanimalscience.org

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


Researchers Unite to Unearth Clues on Potato Disease l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — In 2007, a disease found elsewhere in the world began cropping up in potato plants in the United States. Named after the dark stripes it creates on cooked potatoes, zebra chip pathogen spreads by potato psyllid insects. From tablestock to chipping potatoes, it affects all market classes of potato plants causing them to die four to six weeks after infection.

To fight the invasive disease and develop disease management strategies for the $3.5 billion U. S. potato industry, researchers from across the country came together to offer their expertise.

That team, named the Zebra Chip Leadership Team, includes NDSU University Distinguished Professor of plant pathology, Neil Gudmestad. He and four other members were recently presented the Partnership Award by Texas A&M AgriLife for their outstanding collaboration. The honor recognizes individuals or teams that develop and participate in partnership efforts with communities, industry, agency, university and/or associations that advance the mission of Texas A&M AgriLife to serve Texans and the world.

“I am just one member of this research team, but I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time,” Gudmestad said, noting they have published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts since they formed in 2009 after receiving a five-year $10.2 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture-Specialty Crop Research Initiative.

Gudmestad serves as a co-director along with John Trumble from University of California-Riverside and Charlie Rush from Texas A&M. Each leads a different aspect of the research.

Gudmestad oversees a team of pathologists studying the bacterium’s variability, detection and biology. Specifically, his group is working to sequence a new biotype dominant in the United States. Through working with another research group in New Zealand, where the disease also is economically damaging, they hope to learn what competitive advantages the new strain has gained and how it differs from the strain it replaced. The subgroup also is working to develop molecular technology for pathogen detection to improve disease control and provide more powerful tools to study pathogen epidemiology.

Rush is responsible for the epidemiology and risk assessment team, while Trumble, an entomologist, leads a team working with the insect vector that transmits the zebra chip bacterium.

Other team leaders include James Supak and J. Creighton Miller. Supak, a retired Texas A&M administrator, serves as a liaison between the research team and the “Texas Initiative,” a consortium of the Texas Department of Agriculture, potato processors and potato growers who contribute approximately $1 million annually to zebra chip research. Miller, a potato breeder in the horticultural sciences department at Texas A&M, leads research searching for genetic resistance to zebra chip.

Gudmestad said zebra chip is a primitive unculturable bacterium with four biotypes, two of which affect potato production in the United States. Zebra chip doesn’t harm the consumer. It is aesthetically unpleasing and when cooked it creates an unpleasant bitter taste due to over-caramelized sugars in the affected areas.

His experience with the disease started almost 20 years ago, when Gudmestad and Gary Secor, NDSU plant pathology professor, first observed the pathogen in 1994 in the León region of Mexico. Later reported in Texas, it has since spread to New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.

“It went from a minor disease to a major disease of potato in the United States and New Zealand within a decade. It’s what invasive pathogens do when they get into a country and there is no natural resistance in a plant species such as a potato,” Gudmestad said, noting the economic losses due to zebra chip in New Zealand are calculated to be more than $100 million annually. He said the most recent agriculture economist figures indicate the cost of controlling zebra chip in the Unites State exceeded $15 million in 2012.

He and Secor first began studying zebra chip at NDSU in 2005. Although the disease isn’t in North Dakota, it’s of interest because several growers affected by the disease are headquartered in the state.

“It is difficult to work on a disease that is 1,500 to 2,000 miles away,” Gudmestad said. “I immediately started collaborations with a Texas A&M colleague I knew, Dr. Charlie Rush, a very experienced epidemiologist.”

The collaboration evolved over time. Today, more than 30 scientists representing seven universities and U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers from seven states contribute to zebra chip research to improve growers’ outcomes.

The Zebra Chip Leadership Team has received two major accolades for their work.

The Partnership Award is a Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence, the highest employee award given by Texas A&M AgriLife, which has teaching, research, extension education, laboratory and forestry facilities throughout Texas. It was presented Jan. 8 at Texas A&M University, College Station.

They also received the second highest honor from the Entomological Society of America – the Team IPM Award.
Gudmestad said the Texas A&M recognition is especially rewarding. “It is a great honor for the entire team,” he said. “But it is particularly rewarding to be honored by another university.”

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Marketing Assistant Professor Publishes Paper l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Michael Krush, assistant professor of marketing at NDSU, co-wrote the paper, “Enhancing market-sensing capabilities: An examination of the interactive effects of sales capabilities and marketing dashboards,” which will be published in Industrial Marketing Management.
 
Industrial Marketing Management provides theoretical, empirical and case-based research geared to the needs of marketing scholars and practitioners researching and working in industrial and business-to-business markets. 
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Student Receives Awards l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Sathish K.R. Padi, a graduate student in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, received a Graduate Student Travel Award to the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics annual meeting at the Experimental Biology 2013 Conference in Boston.
 
Padi also received a Young Investigator Award from the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine to present research at the same conference. He will discuss his research on the epigenetic mechanisms of vitamin D in colon cancer. Padi is from India and has been a graduate student at NDSU since 2008. He works with Bin Guo, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences. The awards will be presented during the conference April 20-24 in Boston. 
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Assistant Professor Publishes Paper on Pedagogical Approaches l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Kelly Sassi, assistant professor with a joint appointment in English and education at NDSU, had her research paper, “A Review of the Literature on Pedagogical Approaches to Native American/American Indian Literatures,” published in Applied Social Sciences: Education Sciences by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Sassi’s research addresses the achievement gap between Native American students and majority white students in the United States and teaching strategies to diminish the gap. 
|
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publish Research l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Pharmacy practice faculty have written papers accepted for publication.
Jeanne Frenzel, associate professor of pharmacy practice; Elizabeth Skoy, assistant professor of pharmacy practice; and Heidi Eukel, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, co-wrote "Viewing Student Produced Videos to Increase Knowledge of Self-Care Topics and Nonprescription Medications" that has been accepted for publication in the Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.

Skoy, Eukel and Frenzel also co-wrote the paper, "A Cross-Over Comparison of Two Forms of Simulation to Train and Assess Pharmacy Students' Injection Technique." It has been accepted for the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

David Scott, professor of pharmacy practice; and Mark Dewey, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, co-wrote "What Types of Nursing Homes are More Likely to Adopt a Pharmacist's Medication Review Recommendations?” that was accepted for publication in The Consultant Pharmacist.

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


Research Scientist Joins NDSU CCAST l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Khang Hoang has joined the NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology as a research scientist.
 
At the center, Hoang’s research includes computational studies of materials for rechargeable alkali-ion battery electrodes and solid electrolytes, hydrogen storage, thermoelectrics and photovoltaics. Applications of such research include electrical energy storage for hybrid and electric vehicles, storing hydrogen for subsequent use in vehicles, directly converting waste heat into electricity, and direct solar-to-electric energy conversion. 
Hoang’s expertise includes condensed-matter theory and computational materials science, with major interests in theory and modeling of advanced materials for energy-related applications, using first-principles density-functional theory calculations and Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations. 

He received a doctorate in theoretical condensed-matter physics from Michigan State University. Hoang served as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California-Santa Barbara in the materials department. He later was contracted as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Computational Materials Science of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory through George Mason University. 

Hoang is a member of the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society and the author or co-author of 23 peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals including Angewandte Chemie, Physical Review Letters and Chemistry of Materials. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Researchers to Publish Paper Linking Stress and Pancreatic Cancer l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease with increased incidences in the recent years. According to NDSU researchers, epidemiological data show chronic stress in a negative social and psychological state such as depression might serve as a risk factor for cancer development and progression. However, the underlying biological mechanisms are not well understood.
 
Erxi Wu, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at NDSU, and Fengfei Wang, research associate of pharmaceutical sciences, co-wrote the article, “B2-AR-HIF-1a: a Novel Regulatory Axis for Stress-Induced Pancreatic Tumor Growth and Angiogenesis,” which will be published by Current Molecular Medicine.
 
“It is noted that in Asian countries, like China, doctors usually do not tell patients they have cancer directly after a diagnosis because the doctor is concerned the stress caused by knowing they have the deadly disease may worsen the cancer status, but the scientific evidence is not known so far,” said Wu, the paper’s senior author. 
The authors created a new stress model system to determine the effects of chronic stress on pancreatic cancer progression. They show chronic stress not only results in mice gaining depression behavior due to an elevated level of epinephrine, but also induces cancer progression. They further demonstrate that the pancreatic cancer development and progression induced by chronic stress was blocked by a B2-AR inhibitor ICI118 551 or a HIF-1a inhibitor 2-Methoxyestradiol and that the chronic stress up-regulates the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, and VEGF via a HIF-1a-dependent B-AR signaling pathway.
 
“Our data suggest that B2-AR-HIF-1a axis regulates stress-induced pancreatic tumor growth and angiogenesis. This study may have a therapeutic or preventive potential for the patients with pancreatic cancer who are especially subject to psychosocial stress,” Wu said. 

The paper was co-written with Qingyong Ma lab at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China. “Collaborating with Dr. Ma, we together would like to find better cancer therapeutics and elucidate the mechanisms of the targeted therapy for pancreatic carcinoma,” Wu said. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.
.

NDSU Emergency Management Professors Publish l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — “Examining factors contributing to the development of FEMA-Approved Hazard Mitigation Plans,” was published in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The article was written by George Youngs, professor of emergency management at NDSU, D. K. Yoon, former NDSU assistant professor, and Daiko Abe, a graduate student in NDSU’s Department of Emergency Management.

The article analyzes data from multiple, nationwide data sets and examines the relative role of staff resources, financial resources and disaster experience in predicting whether local governments have FEMA-approved multi-hazard mitigation plans. 

“The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 requires local governments to secure approval from FEMA for their multi-hazard mitigation plans if the local governments wish to be eligible for mitigation funding, but a significant number of local governments still do not have approved plans,” Youngs said. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


IT Staff at NDSU Publish Paper on Data Management l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Kim Owen, advanced applications and outreach coordinator in NDSU’s Information Technology Division, and Michael Fary, enterprise data architect at the University of Chicago, co-wrote a white paper on “Developing an Institutional Research Data Management Plan Service.” 

The co-authors presented the paper at the 2012 Annual Educause Conference in Denver Nov. 8. In January, the paper was published in the Educause Library, an international repository for information concerning use and management of information technology in higher education. It also will appear in the February issue of the Educause Review Online. 
Owen and Fary, both members of the Educause Advanced Core Technologies Initiatives Data Management Working Group, co-wrote the paper to provide guidance on developing research data management planning services at higher education institutions. Their findings are based on a broad sampling of trends in these services at institutions across the United States and internationally. 

“With federal agencies now requesting specific information regarding data sharing and data management, higher ed campuses are keenly aware of the need to provide support services for research activities at all stages,” Owen said. 
At NDSU, staff members in the Libraries and Information Technology Division have formed a Research Data Working Group, which operates under the direction of Provost J. Bruce Rafert. The group aims to increase knowledge of best practices for long-term data management, raise awareness of data management resources and tools available at NDSU, and provide data management planning assistance to researchers. 

For more information about NDSU’s Research Data Working Group, go to www.ndsu.edu/research_data. To access an electronic copy of the white paper, go to www.educause.edu/library

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education
.

NDSU Assistant Prof Publishes Paper on Corporate Tax Decision-making l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Jill Zuber, NDSU assistant professor of accounting, co-wrote “The Influence of Attraction and Company Values on Aggressive Corporate Tax Decision- Making,” which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy.

Zuber wrote the article with Debbe Sanders of Washington State University, Vancouver. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Assistant Prof Receives Best Paper Award l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — Samee U. Khan, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at NDSU, and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China University of Geosciences received the Best Paper Award for their paper, “A Simulation Study on the Effect of Individuals’ Uncertain Behaviors in Indoor Evacuation.”

The paper received the award from among 161 submissions at the 12th International Conference on Scalable Computing and Communications, held in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China, Dec. 17-19. The conference was sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, USA. 

This is the second best paper award won by Khan since he joined NDSU in 2008. In 2012, he published more than 50 research artifacts, including one book. Khan is an adjunct professor in the NDSU Department of Computer Science and an adjunct professor of computer science with the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan. Khan also is visiting professor of cloud computing at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Associate Professor Named Editor of an Elsevier Journal l 3/1/2013

Fargo, N.D., March 1, 2013 — J. Sivaguru, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been named editor of Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology – A: Chemistry, an Elsevier Journal. 

Sivaguru joined the editorial team Jan. 1 and will handle all submissions from North and South America. The journal publishes results of fundamental studies on all aspects relating to chemical phenomena induced by interactions between light and molecules/ matter of all kinds. The impact factor of the journal for the past five years has been 2.925 according to Thompson Reuters. 

For more information about Sivaguru, visit http://sivagroup.chem.ndsu.nodak.edu. For more information about the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology – A: Chemistry, visit www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-photochemistry-and-photobiology-a-chemistry

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private research universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Animal Sciences Faculty, Students Published l 1/3/2013

Fargo, N.D., January 3, 2013 — Several faculty members and students in the NDSU animal sciences department co-wrote articles that were published recently. Anna Grazul-Bilska, M.L. Johnson, Pawel Borowicz, Dale Redmer and Larry Reynolds had “Placental Development During Early Pregnancy in Sheep: Effects of Embryo Origin on Fetal and Placental Growth, and Global Methylation” published in Theriogenology.

Philip Steichen, Kim Vonnahme and Marc Bauer published “Influence of Nitrogen and Sulfur Intake on Bovine Uterine pH Throughout the Luteal Phase” in the Journal of Animal Science. 

Steve Eckerman, Greg Lardy, Megan Van Emon, Bryan Neville, Paul Berg and Chris Schauer published “Effects of Increasing Dosages of Zeranol Implants on Lamb Growth, Carcass Characteristics, Blood Hormones and Nitrogen Metabolism” in the Journal of Animal Science. 

Rob Maddock published “National Beef Tenderness Survey – 2010: Warner-Bratzler Shear-force Values and Sensory Panel Ratings for Beef Steaks from United States Retail and Foodservice Establishments” in the Journal of Animal Science. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Human Development and Education Faculty Present, Publish l 1/3/2013

Fargo, N.D., January 3, 2013 — Heather Fuller-Iglesias, assistant professor of human development and family science at NDSU, presented two papers at the 65th annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America held Nov. 14-18 in San Diego. The first paper was titled “Marital Quality Among Mexican Adults: El que se casa por todo pasa.” The second paper was titled “Negativity within Mexican adults’ highly positive family relationships.”

Ardith Brunt, associate professor of dietetics, with former doctoral student Nandita Bezbaruah will give a Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior Journal Club webinar Feb. 4 called “The Influence of Cartoon Character Advertising on Fruit and Vegetable Preferences of 9- to 11-Year-Old Children.” The authors will review and discuss their research articles and students will have an opportunity to ask authors questions.

Abby Gold, assistant professor and food and nutrition specialist, and Glenn Muske from NDSU Extension Service were awarded a grant for $74,980 from a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, titled “Expanding Opportunities for Sustainable Small Farm Specialty Crop Producers: Training Educators in Feasibility Analysis/Local Foods; Marketing and Business Management; and Community Building/Food Safety.” 

Amelia Asperin and Jaeha Lee, assistant professors of apparel, design and hospitality management, had two poster presentations at the recent International Textiles and Apparel Association conference. They were “Exploring student and alumni purchase behavior of university-licensed merchandise” and “Innovative branding: The university tartan.” 
Kwangsoo Park, instructor of hospitality management, had a paper, titled “Religion and perceived travel risks,” accepted for publication in Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing. The paper was co-written with He Li and Wesley Roehl at Temple University. The paper will be published in 2013. 

Kyle Braulick, an alumnus of the Advanced Athletic Training Master’s Degree Program, adviser Kevin Miller, Jay Albrecht (former faculty member), Jim Deal, head of human development and family science, and Jared Tucker (former faculty member) had a manuscript accepted in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The study, titled “Significant and serious dehydration does not affect skeletal muscle cramp threshold frequency,” examined whether serious dehydration increases cramp risk. The results showed when fatigue is controlled, dehydration (as high as 5 percent body mass loss) does not increase the risk of cramping. The article will be published online in December and appear in print in 2013. 

Kevin Miller, assistant professor of athletic training, co-wrote a paper, titled “The importance of target tissue depth in cryotherapy application,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Athletic Enhancement. Co-written with Jeremy Hawkins of Illinois State University, the manuscript discusses how cold therapy treatments should focus on the depth of treatment rather than the amount of subcutaneous fat of patients. Treatment guidelines for cold therapy also were recommended based on the results to help guide clinical decision-making. 

Mari Borr, assistant professor of education, and Virginia Clark Johnson, dean of human development and education, and colleagues from Central Washington University, Texas Tech University, South Dakota State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln, had a feature article accepted for publication in the fall 2012 issue of the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences. The article, “The Use of Messages and Media in an Inter-institutional, Online Approach to FCS Teacher Preparation,” describes the inter-institutional master’s degree program in family and consumer sciences education offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance, and distance teaching techniques they have developed in teaching courses in the program. 

Counselor education associate professors Jill Nelson, Brenda Hall and James Korcuska and doctoral students Brynn Luger, Amber Bach-Gorman and Mary Onungwe attended the North Central Association for Counselor Education and Supervision conference in Kansas City. Hall and Nelson presented their work, “Strategies for Engaging Site Supervisors in Clinical Supervision Training.” Nelson, Korcuska, Bach-Gorman, Luger and Onungwe presented “Who’s Keeping the Gates of Professional Counseling? A Qualitative Study of Clinical Supervisors.” Luger presented “Working on the Reservation: A Resource Review and Call to Action for Counseling Practitioner Wellness.” Bach-Gorman presented her research, “Supervision Straight Talk: A Qualitative Analysis of What Masters Level Counselors-in-Training Conceptualize as the Supervisory Working Alliance and Ruptures during their Internship Experiences.” 
Linda Manikowske, associate professor of apparel, design and hospitality management, presented an innovative teaching session at the International Textile and Apparel Association meeting in Honolulu. The paper, titled “Service –Learning Supports Professional Development in a Pre-Internship Seminar Course,” was co-written by WooMi Phillips, assistant professor of apparel, design and hospitality management, and Matthew Skoy, assistant director of Service Learning and Civic Engagement, NDSU Memorial Union. 

Cali Anicha and Christine Okurut-Ibore, doctoral students in education, had a paper accepted for the 2013 AERA annual meeting to be held in San Francisco April 27-May 1. The paper is titled “An Exploratory Inquiry: What Constitutes Right-Relationship in Global South-North Educationist Collaborations?” The exploratory inquiry imagines a critical complexivist pedagogy for teacher professional development through some initial responses – from a Global Southerner and a Global Northerner – to the question, “What might genuinely collaborative and emancipatory professional development praxis among teachers engaged in transnational alliances for educational, economic, and environmental equity and justice look like?” 

In October, Liz Erichsen, assistant professor in the School of Education presented results from the report titled, “North Dakota Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant Infrastructure Baseline Evaluation,” to North Dakota’s State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup and the Department of Human Services administrators in Bismarck in the capitol building. 

Erichsen co-wrote the following four articles that have been accepted for publication and currently are in press: “Student satisfaction with blended and online courses based on personality type” in the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, “The complexity of culture: Toward a theory for understanding student culture as an emergent system” in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching “Sociotechnical systems approach: A case analysis of a blended doctoral program” in The Journal of Continuing Higher Education and “Student satisfaction with graduate supervision in doctoral programs primarily delivered in distance education settings” in Studies in Higher Education. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


NDSU Associate Professor’s Paper on Lake Superior Earns Honors l 1/3/2013

Fargo, N.D., January 3, 2013 — A paper co-written by Kenneth Lepper, associate professor of geology at NDSU, recently was named an “Editors Choice” selection by the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.

The article, “A Sault-outlet-referenced mid- to late-Holocene paleohydrograph for Lake Superior constructed from strandplains of beach ridges,” was selected for the journal’s November issue. 

According to Lepper, the paper “presents a paleohydrologic record of lake level change in Lake Superior from 4,500 years ago to the present day. This geologic data provides a baseline for understanding how Lake Superior and other large lakes may respond to changing climate.” 

Other authors included John W. Johnston of the University of Toronto Mississauga, Erin P. Argyilan of Indiana University Northwest, Todd A. Thompson of Indiana University, Steve J. Baedke of James Madison University, Douglas A. Wilcox of SUNY-The College at Brockport, and Steven L. Forman, University of Illinois at Chicago. 

The Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, published since 1963, is a monthly journal that reports current research related to such topics as climate and environmental geoscience; geoarchaeology and forensic geoscience; geochronology and geochemistry; geophysics; hydrology; mineralogy and petrology; planetary geoscience; soil sciences; and structural geology and tectonics. 

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.


International NDSU Research—A Window to the World

News Release Archives: 200820092010201120122013


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research Institution.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

RCA
Phone: 701.231.8045
Physical/delivery address:  1735 NDSU Research Park Drive/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000/Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: RCA