Office of Research

U of I faculty receive grants for collaborative research projects with Mexico

Published February 22, 2011

Five projects were awarded grants through the University of Illinois's College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) partnership with the Mexican government through CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología). Funds for this program are contributed equally by CONACYT and ACES Office of Research, and they are administered by ACES Office of International Programs.

The following U of I ACES faculty members will each receive $8,000 to work on projects with Mexican colleagues over the next year:

Kathy Baylis (U of I ACES Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics) and Isabel Ramírez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) will study the effect of various instruments in conserving Monarch butterfly habitat. They will compare the effect of regulatory changes, payments for environmental services, and forest management as tools in changing community behavior toward forest preservation.

Elvira de Mejia (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Ana Paulina Barba de la Rosa (Institute for Scientific and Technological Research in San Luis Potosí) will work to increase understanding of the potential health benefits of amaranth proteins, which can be found in amaranth (a native plant of Mexico), on the management of diabetes.

Karen Chapman-Novakofski (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Eugenia Garay (University of Guanajuato) will expand their research on the relationship between dietary-advanced glycation end products and indicators of diabetes severity in Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites by using a case-control design. The implications of this work include food science and manufacturing advances, food marketing, and medical nutrition therapy.

MargaritaTeran-Garcia (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Celia Aradillas García (Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí) will take a closer look at DNA sequence variants (in genes encoding fat and lipid/lipoprotein/vitamin A metabolism) and population-specific environmental factors that may confer risk or protection for developing obesity and cardiovascular disease.

James Pettigrew (U of I ACES Department of Animal Sciences) and Jose A. Cuaron (Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias) will reinvigorate a longstanding association between the U of I and INIFAP in Mexico, merging the power of these two organizations to address dietary energy measurement in swine production.

U of I's relationship with CONACYT began in 2005. This connection provides grants to encourage collaborative research projects in the areas of food and agricultural biotechnology while fostering Mexican Ph.D. students to receive advanced degree training at the U of I. The partnership also hopes to increase the quality and quantity of collaborative research and stimulate the creation of multidisciplinary research projects that will mutually benefit the state of Illinois and the country of Mexico.