Announcing the 2012 Minnesota Futures award recipients

June 11, 2012

Faculty & Staff, People


The University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Minnesota Futures grants:

Emad Ebbini

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dual-mode Ultrasound Array System for Noninvasive, Image-guided Targeted Drug Delivery In Vivo

The goal of this new collaboration is to establish the feasibility of image-guided targeted drug delivery (IGTDD) in vitro and in vivo small-animal model. Members of Ebbini’s team are at the leading edge in their respective research areas related to IGTDD, from clinical practice to molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of liver cancer.

The project brings together two cutting-edge, enabling technologies to establish a new paradigm in IGTDD that could offer the highest possible level of safety and efficacy to liver cancer treatments.

Efie Kokkoli, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Erik Cressman, Radiology
Raj Aravalli, Radiology

Lawrence Wackett

Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
Defining and Mitigating Against Environmental Impacts of Oil and Gas Fracking

Wackett’s team will comprehensively study the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Fracking is a method of gas and oil extraction from shale layers — and it’s among the most important energy and environmental issues facing society today.

Six scholars from different disciplines will study the fate of, and risk from, fracking chemicals and develop new bioremediation technologies for cleaning the polluted waters.

Alptekin Aksan, Mechanical Engineering
Jeffrey Bielicki, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Lynda Ellis, Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
Steve Heilman, Biotechnology Institute
Elizabeth Wattenberg, Environmental Health Sciences

Bold ideas with a bright future

Modeled after the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, the Minnesota Futures program supports extraordinary research by nurturing interdisciplinary ideas. The goal is to develop new ideas to a point where they are competitive for external funding. The award covers expenses of up to $250,000 over two years and is supported by technology commercialization revenue.

Since 2008, the grant has supported research by faculty who go on to win substantial grants and whose innovations reach the market to potentially improve the lives of millions. Just a few success stories of past recipients include:

Learn more

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