Skip to Search Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content
Sombrilla Mast


The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Research Without Borders

International Scholars: An already strong research partnership with Mexico is expected to strengthen

As a Ph.D. student in Mexico, Rubén Mendoza studies bimetallic nanoparticles and how their atoms mix, research that is important for applications in biomedicine, electronics, and sensors, to name just a few.

Needing advanced electron microscopes to further his exploration, Mendoza came to UTSA as a visiting scholar through a mixed scholarship program at Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology, also known as CONACYT. Now, he’s utilizing the Kleberg Advanced Microscopy Center for the year that he’s here.

“I got the scholarship for economic support for the stay, the trip, and the medical insurance,” Mendoza says. “Thanks to the Ph.D. program in materials science and engineering at [the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México] and CONACYT—as well as the support of UTSA and Dr. Miguel Yacamán—it was possible for me to make this research trip and develop knowledge and skills to contribute to science.”

UTSA has a long history of a binational partnership with Mexico. And a University of Texas System memorandum with CONACYT is expected to develop even more research partnerships. According to Yacamán, who is chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the agreement is modeled after one the foundation has with the University of California System. A Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair, Yacamán has also worked as deputy director for scientific research for CONACYT.

Through the agreement, Yacamán expects an increased number of Mexico’s Ph.D. students to engage in research at UTSA. Undergraduates will benefit as well, he adds. “When they are here,” he explains, “they connect with students and act as role models or mentors to those who don’t see many Hispanic scientists.”

Mendoza is one of 14 graduate students from eight Mexican universities who the mixed scholarship program helped bring to the International Center for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials—a collaboration between UTSA and CONACYT—in 2015 alone.

Also in 2015, the partnership sponsored six professors on sabbatical, two postdoctoral students, and an inaugural undergraduate research program as well as hosting technical visits. Overall, research productivity in ICNAM translates into about 22 publications per year, according to the center.

There have been joint research projects on early breast cancer and HIV detection, drug-resistant bacteria, and infrared cameras.

CONACYT also has agreements at UTSA with the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Education and Human Development.


Please keep all comments constructive and relevant to the articles you're commenting on. Sombrilla reserves the right to delete or edit messages.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Current Issue: Spring 2016 | Table of Contents