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Hsu: MSU’s Challenge is to Invest in Research with Greatest Impact

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Michigan State University’s Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies Stephen Hsu doesn’t think there’s any mystery to what the world’s future problems will be.

In a recent interview with Kevin Lavery, WKAR radio, Hsu noted that the world has a rapidly growing population, many countries have an aging population, and everyone will have to confront climate change and global warming.

“It is very easy to forecast the problems we need to solve for humanity,” he said. “What is harder to do is to forecast the specific areas of research that are going to pay off in the next ten or twenty years.”

However, Hsu noted that Michigan State University had already identified some areas of research – developed from nearly 90 proposals submitted by MSU faculty members – where it could have the most impact on these global challenges. Recently the MSU Board of Trustees set aside $17.5 million for the recruitment of 100 new faculty members as part of a newly launched Global Impact Initiative to invest in these promising areas of research.

According to Hsu, the new investment in research will be focused in areas of traditional strengths for MSU, such as plant science, engineering, physical science and STEM education, as well as areas that offer opportunities for expansion, such as genomics, cybersecurity, computational science and precision medicine.

“The Global Impact Initiative will give us the resources to recruit new researchers from all over the world to focus on the most challenging problems facing human civilization,” he said.

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