Research Projects

The research grants awarded by the Partnership seek to provide two primary benefits:

  1. Improve healthcare for Minnesotans by the development of diagnostics and treatments for multiple high-profile diseases.
  2. Build an enhanced research and development base along with economic benefits for Minnesota through the commercialization of biomedical innovations.

The research teams are awarded the grants for a two-year period and after the teams obtain new sources of long-term funding, often from the National Institutes of Health.

The key areas of progress have been recognized by science and business sectors both nationally and globally. During the past phases of research awards, The Partnership research teams have accomplished much for the people of Minnesota and patients everywhere. The following comprehensive list includes Partnership research projects since the inaugural projects in 2004.

Minnesota Partnership Research Projects

Project Title   University of Minnesota   Mayo Clinic
Endothelial Genomics and Phenotypes in Early Atherosclerosis   Robert Hebbell   Amir Lerman
Coordinated Multi Program Utilization of Microarray Data to Generate and Validate Biomarkers for Improved Care of Patients with Prostate Cancer   Donald Connelly, MD, Ph.D.   George Klee, MD, Ph.D.
Proteomic Design of Peptide-Based Probes for the Molecular Imaging of Amyloid Plaques to Diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease Using Contrast-Enhancement Magnetic Resonance at High Field Strength (9.4T)   Michael Garwood, Ph.D.   Joseph Poduslo, Ph.D.
Non-Volitional Activity in Obesity Resistance: Role of the Brain   Catherine Kotz   James Levine
Development of Ultra-Small Sensors for Accurate Quantification of Muscle Forces in Neuromuscular Diseases   Rajesh Rajamani, Ph.D.   Kenton R. Kaufman, Ph.D.
Neuro-Oncology Genetics   David A. Largaespada, Ph.D.   Robert B. Jenkins, MD, Ph.D.
Selective, Small-Molecule Inhibitors of JNK2 as Anti-Cancer Drugs   Zigang Dong, MD, Ph.D.   Yuan-Ping Pang, Ph.D.
Medical Genomics Applied to an Ancient Disease: Real-time PCR for the Diagnosis and Direct Drug Susceptibility Testing of Tuberculosis   Dean Tsukayama, MD   Nancy Wengenack, Ph.D.
Biomarker Discovery in Autoimmunity   Timothy W. Behrens, MD (changed to Emily Gillespie as of 11.30.06)   Ann M. Reed, MD (changed to Erik Peterson, MD 6.26.06)
Combinatorial Based Chemistry and High Throughput Screening Methods to Identify Rac GTPase Inhibitors   Steven E. Patterson, Ph.D.   Daniel D. Billadeau, Ph.D.
Identifying factors influencing the survival of kidney allografts by genomic and proteomic analysis   William Oetting, Ph.D.   Fernando G. Cosio, MD
Towards a Gene Therapy for Cocaine Addiction   Marilyn E. Carroll, Ph.D.   Stephen Brimijoin, Ph.D.
Progenitor Cells as Biomarkers: Developing Diagnostic and Prognostic Profiles for Cardiovascular Disease   Doris A. Taylor, Ph.D.   Amir Lerman, MD
Development of Antibody Fragments as Contrast Agents for MR Imaging of Alzheimer’s Disease Amyloid Plaques   Michael Garwood, Ph.D.   Joseph Poduslo, Ph.D.
Validation of Magnetic Resonance Techniques as Measures of Therapeutic Efficacy for Drug Discovery in Alzheimer’s Disease   Michael Garwood, Ph.D.   Clifford R. Jack, Jr., MD
Predicting Alzheimer’s Disease   Karen Ashe, MD, Ph.D.   Ronald Petersen, MD, Ph.D.
The identification and Validation of miRNA Signature Profiles as Biomarkers for Colon Cancer Progression   Clifford J. Steer, MD   Stephen Thibodeau, Ph.D.
Minnesota Partnership for Translational Nanotechnology in Cancer   Stephen C. Ekker, Ph.D.   Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D., MS
Targeting Human LEDGF/p75 and APOBEC3G for Treatment of HIV/AIDS   Reuben Harris, Ph.D.   Eric M. Poeschla, MD
Design and Characterization of Novel Natriuretic Peptides for the Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure   Lincoln Potter, Ph.D.   John Burnett, MD
Therapeutic Targets for Atopic Dermatitis   Douglas Plager, Ph.D.   Sheila M.F. Torres, DVM, MS, Ph.D., DACVD
High Resolution Spatio-temporal Functional Neuroimaging in Epilepsy   Bin He, Ph.D.   Gregory A. Worrell, MD, Ph.D.
Virotherapy for Mesothelioma   Robert A. Kratzke, MD   Stephen J. Russell, MD, Ph.D.
Selective and Irreversible Inhibitors of Aphid Acetylcholinesterase as Human-Safe Pesticides for Controlling Soybean and Green Peach Aphids in Minnesota   David Ragsdale, Ph.D.   Yuan-Ping Pang, Ph.D.
Identification and optimization of small molecular inhibitors of histone acetyltransfease Rtt109: A novel approach to prevent fungal infection   Judith G. Berman, Ph.D.   Zhiguo Zhang, Ph.D.
Correction of Cardiomyopathy by Sleeping Beauty Mediated Transposition and In Vivo Selection   R. Scott McIvor, Ph.D.   Stephen J. Russell, MD, Ph.D.
Quantitative Vibro-Acoustography: A Novel Approach to Viscoelastic Tissue Characterization   Bojan Guzina, Ph.D.   Mostafa Fatemi, Ph.D./James Greenleaf, Ph.D.
Development of New Carbon Nanotube Wireless Sensors for Respiratory Gas Exchange Analysis in Humans   Rajesh Rajamani, Ph.D.   Bruce D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Small molecule screens for selective growth inhibitors in a yeast model of familial paraganglioma   Gunda I. Georg, Ph.D.   Jim Maher, Ph.D.
Hydrogen Sulfide: From Toxic Molecule to Therapeutic Agent   Michael Levitt, MD   Joseph H. Szurszewski, Ph.D.
New Generation Oncolytic Adenovirus for Refractory Cancers   Masato Yamamoto, M.D., Ph.D.   John C. Morris, III, M.D.
High-Resolution Nano-LAMP Microarrays to Measure the Binding Strength of Therapeutic Human Natural Auto-Antibodies on Target Cell-Surface Antigens   Sang-Hyun Oh, Ph.D.   Moses Rodriguez, MD
Towards gene therapy of Friedreich Ataxia and other mitochondrial diseases   Michael D. Koob, Ph.D.   Grazia Isaya, MD, Ph.D.
Cell Therapy of Cardiac Arrhythmias   Robert T. Tranquillo, Ph.D.   Douglas L. Packer, MD
Applying network theory to optimize cancer virotherapy   Claudia Neuhauser, Ph.D.   David Dingli, MD, Ph.D.
Early predictors of autoimmunity and opportunities for intervention   Emily Baechler Gillespie, Ph.D.   Ann M. Reed, MD
Validation of cyclophilin B as a therapeutic target in brain tumors   John R. Ohlfest, Ph.D.   Richard J. Bram, MD, Ph.D.
A Novel Cerebral Venous System Mapping and Ablation Technology to Treat Central Nervous System Disorders Including Epilepsy and Stroke   Bin He, Ph.D.   Samuel J. Asirvatham, MD
Low-cost and high-performance nano-sensors: synthetic ion sensors for biological and medical applications   Tianhong Cui, Ph.D.   Min-Hwang (Perry) Chang, Ph.D.
Development of a Novel Bio composite Artificial Cornea   Allison Hubel, Ph.D.   Sanjay Patel, MD
Novel Tissue Engineering of Patient-Specific
Islet Cells for Diabetes Therapy
  Jonathan Slack, Ph.D   Yasuhiro Ikeda, Ph.D.
Development of Antibodies for the Detection of Topoisomerase I- and Topoisomerase II-DNA Complexes   Daniel Harki, Ph.D.   Scott Kaufmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Microfluidic Neurotechnology for Neuronal Survival and Regeneration   Sang-Hyun Oh, Ph.D.   Moses Rodriguez, M.D.
Function of patient specific iPSC-derived endothelium   Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D.   Robert Simari, M.D.
Cancer Drug Target discovery from genetic interactions   Chad Meyers, Ph.D.   Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Pharmacogenomics in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): Induced Pluripotent Cells (iPSC) as a Novel Model System for Functional Genomics after Genome-wide Association Studies (GWASs)   Jonathan Slack, Ph.D. / James R. Dutton, Ph.D.   Richard Weinshilboum, MD
Myelodysplastic syndrome: Bench to Bedside   Jeffrey Miller, M.D.   Mark Litzow, M.D
Genomics of pancreatic cancer precursor lesions –
diagnostic applications
  Subbaya Subramanian, Ph.D.   Fergus J. Couch, Ph.D.
Development of Multifunctional Nanoparticles to Diagnose and Treat Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy


  Karunya K. Kandimalla, Ph.D.   Joseph F. Poduslo, Ph.D.
Diagnosis and Tailored Treatment of APOBEC-Activated Ovarian Cancer   Reuben S. Harris, Ph.D.   Scott Kaufmann, M.D., Ph.D.
Novel Therapeutic Agents for the Treatment of Glaucoma   Peter Dosa, Ph.D.   Michael P. Fautsch, Ph.D.
Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease Using Advanced MR Technology   Gulin Oz, Ph.D.   Kejal Kantarci, MD
Functional Metabolomic Approach to Eradicate Tuberculosis   Anthony Baughn, Ph.D.   Nicholas Chia, Ph.D.
Development of Novel Drugs for the Treatment of Gliomas   Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D.   Aaron J. Johnson, Ph.D.
Smart Socks for Tracking Health Status in Chronic Heart Failure   Rajesh Rajamani, Ph.D.   Bruce Johnson, Ph.D.
Developing novel microbiota-targeted therapies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome   Dan Knights, Ph.D.   Purna Kashyap, MBBS
Manipulating plasma ghrelin for stress reduction and other therapeutic goals   Marilyn Carroll, Ph.D.   Stephen Brimijoin, Ph.D.
TALEMs: Locus-specific Targeted Methylation Technology   Dan Voytas, Ph.D.   Stephen Ekker, Ph.D.
Genomic approach for targeted immunotherapy against ovarian cancer   Dan Kaufman, MD, Ph.D.   Paul Haluska, MD, Ph.D.
Improving Malaria Diagnostics using Thermal Contrast Reading of Lateral Flow Assays   John Bischof, MD   Bobbi Pritt, MD
Trans catheter Aortic Valve From Engineered Tissue   Bob Tranquillo, Ph.D.   Amir Lerman, MD
Predicting response and resistance to
proteasome inhibitors in multiple myeloma
  Brian Van Ness, Ph.D.   Shaji Kumar, MD
VSV-cDNA Library Therapy for Treatment of
Glioblastoma in Domestic Dogs
  Elizabeth Pluhar, DVM, Ph.D.   Richard Vile, Ph.D.
Development of novel sGC activators to
treat aortic valve calcification
  Michael A. Walters, Ph.D.   Jordan D. Miller, Ph.D.
Electroporation for Selective Cardiac and Extra cardiac Tissue Ablation: Novel Therapies for Disease Involving Electrically Active Tissue   Paul Iaizzo, MD   Samuel J. Asirvatham, MD
Abiraterone Acetate Pharmacogenomics   Scott Dehm, Ph.D.   Manish Kohli, MD