Milestones in MSU Research and Creative Activity
You can read more about the history of Michigan State University in three volumes published by MSU Press:
- Michigan Agricultural College: The Evolution of a Land-Grant Philosophy 1855-1925
- Michigan State College: John Hannah and the Creation of a World University, 1926-1969
- Michigan State University: The Rise of a Research University and the New Millennium, 1970-2005
2015 – Terrie Taylor, University Distinguished Professor, Tropical Medicine,
Department of Osteopathic Medical Specialties and her team publish their discovery about what causes children to die of cerebral malaria.
2012 – The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, a new Zaha Hadid-designed contemporary art museum, open following a public dedication ceremony.
2011 – Michigan State University partners with Cardinal Health to open a radio-pharmacy on campus, a move that streamlines access to nuclear imaging agents created at an MSU medical cyclotron and used in procedures such as PET scans.
2008 – The U.S. Department of Energy selects Michigan State University to design and establish the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a $730 million facility that will advance understanding of rare nuclear isotopes and the evolution of the cosmos.
2008 – Anil Jain, Michigan State University Distinguished Professor of computer science and engineering, creates an automatic image retrieval system that enables law enforcement agencies to match scars, marks, and tattoos to identify suspects and victims.
2004 – Herbert Ross, associate professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University, and Mitchell T. Copeland DO, who had a Fellowship in arthroscopy, sports medicine, and joint reconstruction at Michigan State University, patent a device that improves suture placement in shoulder surgery.
2000 – The Michigan State University Symphony, Chorale and Children’s Choir perform the world premiere of Symphony No. 4, “The Gardens,” written in 1999 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.
1999 – Michigan State University Distinguished Professor Kris Berglund patents his salt substitute made from lysine, which is fermented from corn starch.
1999 – Three independent survey research projects merge to form the Afrobarometer, which would become a nonpartisan, long-term study of African citizens’ attitudes on democracy and governance, the economy, civil society, and other topics.
1988 – Richard Lenski, John A. Hannah Distinguished Professor of microbial ecology, begins an experiment with 12 populations of E. coli—all started from the same ancestral strain and all living in identical environments—to see how similarly or differently they would evolve.
1987 – Robert Hubbard, professor of materials science and mechanics, patents a safety device known as the Head and Neck Support device, or HANS, which he developed with race car driver Jim Downing – Hubbard’s brother-in-law. The device is credited with saving the lives of countless race car drivers and earned Hubbard a place in the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame in 2014.
1985 – Michigan State University educational researchers Glenda Lappan, Elizabeth Phillips, William Fitzgerald, and Mary Winter, with support from National Science Foundation (NSF) professional development grants, develop an innovative new curriculum known as Middle Grades Mathematics Project (MGMP) materials. Today the curriculum is still known as the Connected Math Project or CMP.
1981 – The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory launches the K-500— one of the world’s first superconducting cyclotrons.
1979 – MSU and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation broke ground on the Robert Hancock Turfgrass Research Center in East Lansing, which continues as the home for leading-edge turfgrass science.
1974 – MSU establishes the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH) in response to an unprecedented number of cattle deaths on farms throughout Michigan, to assist the state in the management of toxic polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), a fire-retardant chemical that had been inadvertently mixed with cattle feed.
1961 – The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funds construction of the K50 cyclotron at Michigan State University, which became the world’s first high-resolution, isochronous cyclotron.
1960s – Chemistry professor Barnett Rosenberg and colleagues Loretta VanCamp and Thomas Krigas observe that certain platinum compounds inhibited cell division, and by 1969 demonstrate that these compounds cured solid tumors.
1950 – Though popcorn has been available in Central and South America for centuries, Michigan State University Professor Stephen T. Dexter researched – and then patented – a method of preserving unpopped popcorn at optimum moisture content.
1929 – Michigan State University dairy industry pioneer G. Malcolm Trout made significant progress in milk production methods, but he did not invent the processes of pasteurization nor homogenization.
1916 – Michigan State University (MSU) plant breeder F.A. Spragg created a new variety of barley fittingly called “Spartan.”
1916 – Both the engineering building and the mechanical building at the Michigan Agricultural College are destroyed by fire; from this devastation, MSU faculty go on to develop a nationally renowned program in Structural Fire Engineering.
1900 – The Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics officially began as the Department of Bacteriology and Farm Hygiene during the 1900-1901 academic year.
1888 – The Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station – now MSU AgBioResearch – is created after the passage of the 1887 Hatch Act, which called for a nationwide network of agricultural experiment stations.
1887 – Professors Rolla C. Carpenter (1852-1919) and William J. Beal layout “Collegeville,” the first neighborhood in what later became the city of East Lansing, Mich. The area they platted is now bounded by Michigan Avenue, Harrison Avenue, Oak, and Beal streets.
1879 –Botany professor W.J. Beal buries 20 bottles, each with 1,050 seeds from 21 species, instructing that one be dug up periodically and that the seeds be planted to determine the length of time the seeds of some of the most common plants would remain dormant in the soil, yet germinate when exposed to favorable conditions.
1873 – Botany professor W. J. Beal becomes one of the pioneers in the development of hybrid corn, and doubled the yield of corn plantings at the time.
1873 – Botany professor W. J. Beal establishes gardens for teaching and research that are among the oldest continuously operated botanical gardens in America, but not the oldest.
1863 – Robert C. Kedzie, M.D., begins making and recording weather observations, eight years before the U.S. Government established the Weather Bureau.
1855 – Michigan State University is founded and is considered one of the first institutions in the United States to teach scientific agriculture, though not the oldest.