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Research Centers

Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

Artist's rendering of FRIB buildingKnown as “FRIB” (pronounced “eff rib”), the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams is a national user facility for nuclear science, funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC), Michigan State University (MSU), and the State of Michigan. Under construction on campus and operated by MSU, FRIB will provide intense beams of rare isotopes (that is, short-lived nuclei not normally found on Earth). FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries about the properties of these rare isotopes in order to better understand the physics of nuclei, nuclear astrophysics, fundamental interactions, and applications for society.


Petri dish of E. coli bacteriaBEACON is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center, headquartered at Michigan State University. The center’s approach to studying evolution is innovative, bringing together biologists, computer scientists, and engineers to study evolution as it happens. With partners at North Carolina A&T State University, University of Idaho, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Washington, BEACON researchers are engaged in harnessing the power of evolution to engineer better solutions to real problems.

Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center

MSU doctoral student Anna HerzbergerMichigan State University is a major partner in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is one of three bioenergy research centers established in 2007 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Additional member institutions include a DOE National Laboratory, universities and a biotechnology company. With more than 400 scientists, students and staff representing a wide array of disciplines from microbiology to economics and engineering, the GLBRC’s collaborative spirit illustrates how cooperation among academic, federal and private sector researchers can generate an entity that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Michigan State University AgBioResearch

a handheld device that can scan plantsMSU AgBioResearch encompasses the work of more than 300 scientists in seven colleges at Michigan State University: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Arts and Letters, Communication Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Natural Science, Social Science and Veterinary Medicine. These researchers, in on-campus laboratories and at 13 outlying research centers across the state of Michigan, investigate topics that range from agricultural production, alternative energy and biofuel production, food safety and environmental stewardship to childhood obesity, community development, and the quality of life of Michigan youth and families. Michigan citizens reap the benefits of this work in the form of new or improved foods and plants, new production methods and enriched lifestyles.

Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute

MSU Bioeconomy pilot plant reactorsThe MSU Bioeconomy Institute located in Holland, Michigan provides chemical pilot plant scale-up production and conducts sponsored research and testing for both for-profit and not-for-profit entities of all sizes. The 138,000-square-foot facility complements and extends MSU campus research that supports the emerging bioeconomy, including biofuels, bio-based specialty chemicals and biomaterials. To date, it has conducted successful production runs for four high technology start-up firms and one publicly traded corporation. It also offers business incubation opportunities and extensive laboratory space rental, as well as educational programming and training.

Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER)

iCER_door_webMichigan State University’s Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER), and the High Performance Computing Center (HPCC) headquartered within the center, deliver advanced computational resources to support cyber-enabled discovery in a variety of research areas. MSU is also working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a member of the National Science Foundation-funded Great Lakes Consortium for Petascale Computation (GLCPC).

Other MSU Research Centers

Note: The list of active centers and institutes is developed based on an annual survey conducted by the Office of the Vice President for Research & Graduate Studies. To propose a new center or institute, complete this application form. Please contact research@msu.edu for any additions or corrections to the current list.