CONACYT (Mexico) Joint Research Program

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

Past Recipients

2012

Dr. Patrick Brown, Department of Crop Sciences: “Comparison of Maize and Sorghum Transcriptome Responses to Drought Stress”

Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition: “Reliability and Validity of a Food Frequency Questionnaire for Assessing Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products”

Dr. Schuyler Korban, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences: “Development of a Model Polyvalent-based Candidate Vaccine against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)”

Dr. Mosbah Kushad, Department of Crop Sciences: “Extending the Market Life and Improving the Nutritional Quality of Fruits and Vegetables Grown in Illinois and Mexico Through the Use of SmartFresh”

Dr. Kathy Baylis, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics: “Journey to Safety or to Economic Opportunities? Drug-violence-driven migration flows in Mexico”

2011

Dr. Kathy Baylis (U of I ACES Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics) and Dr. Isabel Ramírez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) will be studying the effect of various instruments in conserving Monarch butterly habitat. They will compare the effect of regulatory changes, payments for envrionmental services, and forest management as tools in changing community behavior toward forest preservation. Dr. Baylis was awarded $8,000.

Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Dr. Eugenia Garay (University of Fuanajuato) will be expanding 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. Dr. Chapman-Novakofski was awarded $8,000.

Dr. Elvira de Mejia (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) will be participating in the development of a program on bioactive compounds in Brazilian foods and human health. Dr. de Mejia was awarded a $2,500 seed grant through the Arlys Conrad Endowment Fund. In addition, she and Dr. Ana Paulina barba de la Rosa (Institute for Scientific and Technological Research in San Luis Potosí) will be working 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. Dr. de Mejia was awarded $8,000.

Dr. Jim Pettigrew (U of I ACES Department of Animal Sciences) and Dr. Jose A. Cuaron (Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agricolas y Pecuarias) will be reinvigorating a longstanding association between the University of Illinois and INIFAP in Mexico, merging the power of these two organizations to address dietary energy measurement in swine production. Dr. Pettigrew was awarded $8,000.

Dr. Margarita Teran-Garcia (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Dr. Celia Aradillas García (Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí) will be taking a closer at DNA sequence variants (in genes encoding fat and lipid/lipoprotein/vitamin A metabolism) and population-specific environmental factos that may confer risk or protection for developing obesity and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Teran-Garcia was awarded $8,000.

2008

Dr. Karen Chapman-Novakofski (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Eugenia Garay-Garay (University of Guanajuato) - The relationship between dietary advanced glycation end products and indicators of diabetes severity in Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites. This project will help generate a better understanding of the role of genetics and/or Mexican foods play in diabetes development in these populations.

Dr. Mike Ellis (U of I ACES Department of Animal Sciences) and José Antonio Cuarón Ibarguengoytia (Centro Nacional de Investigacion en Fisiologia Animal) - Nutritional improvement of the eating quality of pork. This project will look at the intramuscular fat in modern lines of pigs. The topic was inspired by consumer concerns regarding reduced eating quality.

Dr. Mosbah Kushad (U of I ACES Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences) and Elhadi Yahia (Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro) - Resveratrol isoforms in light and dark grape cultivars grown in Illinois and Mexico. Resveratrol has been identified as a nutritional source, found in grapes (in addition to anti-oxidants) providing numerous health benefits including better defense against various types of cancers and a significant reduction in the risk for heart disease. They will characterize certain biological aspects of resveratrol and, in the future, analyze environmental conditions and post-harvest handling to provide grape growers the necessary tools and information to be as efficient as possible and to promote the natural, positive benefits of grapes.

Dr. Mary Ann Lila (U of I ACES Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences) and Pedro Garcia Saucedo (University of Michoacan)- Physiochemical analysis of wild blackberries from Michoacan, Mexico, for value-added breeding potential. When berries are not in season from the Pacific Northwest, many berries are imported from Mexico. Prior research revealed enhanced antioxidant potential especially for wild berries found in the high elevation areas in the Michoacan region of Mexico. This project aims to obtain commercially attractive, health-promoting Mexican varieties well-adapted to the unique climatic conditions of Michoacan in hopes of successfully supplying the demand of consumers.

Dr. Michael J. Miller (U of I ACES Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition) and Silvia Lorena Amaya Llano (Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro) - Characterization of a Mexican-style fresh cheese made with probiotics and resistant starch. Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed. The importance of probiotic-containing products for maintaining health and well-being is becoming a key factor affecting consumer choice. Panela cheese, a Mexican-style fresh cheese, is a staple food in Mexico, yet it lacks any probiotic microorganisms. The aim of this investigation was to manufacture and evaluate a Mexican fresh cheese (Panela) made with probiotic bacteria and resistant starch (RS).