A scientist holding a model of a virus

20 Years of Collaborative Virology Research

VP Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV). That’s 20 years of improving health both locally and globally through scientific discovery of viral disease, conveying the impact of viruses and their diseases on society through public outreach, and maintaining Minnesota’s international reputation of excellence in virology research.

Since its inception, the IMV has harnessed collective expertise across our health sciences by breaking down barriers that exist in traditional academic siloes. This bold vision led the IMV to foster new scientific interactions among our faculty and students whose research interests ranged from virus epidemiology to structural virology, and all topics in between. These regular collegial interactions laid the foundation for creating the IMV’s internationally recognized training environment. This resulted in our first dedicated NIH T32 training program in virology, which has trained students who have gone on to assume independent research and other research-leadership positions. The IMV has further fostered new scientific interactions through longstanding relationships with both the Mayo Clinic and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The COVID-19 pandemic provided direct evidence for how viruses can not only create a global health crisis, but also economic and societal havoc. This experience inspired us all to learn some virus biology and acquire an appreciation for the importance of viruses and their impact on health and wellbeing. Outreach efforts by the IMV on building vaccine confidence helped to guide care delivery.

The pandemic inspired key IMV investigators to lead the charge in winning a $76 million dollar NIH grant for the Midwest Antiviral Drug Discovery Center, which is focused on developing antiviral therapeutics for pandemic-level viruses. On many levels, the IMV provides an important added value to the health sciences and, more broadly, advances the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of viral diseases to help prepare and shepherd us through future pandemics.

Driving Innovation & Discovery

Mentorship in action

Unlock Your Mentoring Potential: Transform Health Research at UMN with Mentor Training
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute offers a Mentor Training program to enhance faculty mentorship skills in health research. This free, evidence-based program includes an online module and interactive sessions, focusing on core competencies such as communications and professional development.

A crowd of people at a conference

DMD 2024: Call for Papers
The 2024 Design of Medical Devices Conference is accepting papers on innovative medical device designs, with opportunities for presentation and publication. Top submissions may participate in a pitch competition, and all accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings with potential for fast-track review in the ASME Journal of Medical Devices.


Boost Your Science Talk Game: Join the R.E.D. Seminar Series
The R.E.D. Seminar Series at the Center for Immunology offers scientists training in oral communication. This collaborative initiative provides seminars on effective presentation skills, including individual feedback and in-depth topic exploration. Held monthly, it's open to all interested in improving their science communication abilities.

Advancing Interprofessional Education & Training

First aid symbol under a magnifying glass

Understanding Medicare, Medicaid, & Hospice Benefits for Providers
The Minnesota Northstar Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Program offers the Understanding Medicare, Medicaid, & Hospice Benefits for Providers toolkit, which includes three video presentations and a student and facilitator guide. The toolkit was designed for health professional students to learn about these programs’ structures and appreciate the perspectives of patients, providers, and payers receiving these CMS services.

Partnering with Communities

Ann Bussey

Inaugural Project REACH Cohort Member Recognized for Rural Health Work
Ann Bussey, a member of the inaugural cohort of our Project REACH (Rural Experts Advancing Community Health) program, recently received the 2023 Minnesota Rural Health Hero Policy Award. Project REACH provides community leaders in rural Minnesota with health policy and leadership training. Bussey, a retired health care leader, was recognized for her significant contributions to policy and community initiatives, focusing on connectivity and wellbeing for the aging population in rural areas. Notably, her work has been integrated into state-wide health policy and community initiatives.

U-Wide Events and Opportunities

Fresh produce

Dive into Culinary Nutrition with this CE Course
The "Food Matters for Health Professionals" Continuing Education Course blends applied nutrition and culinary skills in an evidence-based, experiential learning format. It's designed for health professionals across disciplines, emphasizing the role of food in health and disease management.


University of Minnesota at the Minnesota State Fair

Reserve Your Research Space NOW for the 2024 MN State Fair
Be part of the Great Minnesota Get Together! Recruit hundreds of participants within days at the Driven to Discover Research Facility at the Minnesota State Fair. D2D provides turnkey research space for any U of M faculty, staff, or student investigator wishing to recruit and collect data from among the fair's two million annual visitors. A brief online application is due Jan. 16.

Dec. 8: Justice in Public Health: Is the US Opioid Epidemic a White Problem?
Learn about the drug overdose epidemic’s impact on communities of color, and the access to addiction treatment in Minnesota’s Black community.

Dec. 8: Register for Overdose Response Training
Learn how to recognize signs of an opioid overdose, what naloxone is and how it works to reverse an opioid overdose.

Other News

Group of older adults smiling for a picture
Our community of leaders in aging science, practice, and policy are advancing initiatives that enhance the quality of life for older adults.
An adult man with a backpack on his shoulder admires the sunset on the sea standing with his back to the viewer
With the success of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment, more people with HIV are living longer.
 Kandeija Bagurusi and Connor Oetzmann
Kandeija Bagurusi and Connor Oetzmann are working to enhance access to quality health care.