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The focus of this group's research is to collect, purify, and apply unused rare isotopes from the NSCL and FRIB. The concept of making use of excess radionuclides is known in the isotope production community as “isotope harvesting.” Isotope harvesting from FRIB is widely recognized as one of the most promising methods for providing rare isotopes to applied and basic science projects.

Isotope harvesting draws upon a wide range of concepts from multiple academic fields. The main elements are nuclear reactions (nuclear physics), high-power targetry (nuclear engineering), large-scale chemical processing (chemical engineering), chemical purifications and spectroscopy (analytical chemistry), and radiochemical applications (e.g. medicine). Accessing expertise in all of these fields is only possible at a large university like MSU, in an academic research setting. This fits well with the training and education mission of MSU because it provides student researchers exposure to many different areas of study, and promotes interconnectedness between departments and colleges.