Program Pairs Students from Mexico with UT Dallas Faculty

participants posed toghether as a group

Through the UT Dallas-Mexico Summer Research Program, 15 students from participating Mexican universities work with UT Dallas faculty on research projects and present their findings. The students were selected from more than 170 applicants.

Fifteen undergraduates participated in a summer program at The University of Texas at Dallas that invites students from Mexico to explore STEM-related research careers.

The UT Dallas-Mexico Summer Research Program aims to equip students from participating Mexican universities with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue research careers. This summer, students worked in fields such as renewable energy, organic environmental synthesis, materials science, cosmology, nanotechnology, biomechanics, electrical engineering, synthetic biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, genetics and bioengineering.

UT Dallas-Mexico Summer
Faculty Mentors

Dinesh Bhatia MS’87, PhD’90
Dr. Leonidas Bleris
Dr. John Ferraris
Dr. Nicholas Fey
Dr. Jeremiah Gassensmith
Dr. Mustapha Ishak-Boushaki
Dr. Moon Kim
Dr. Tae Hoon Kim
Thomas Lambert
Dr. Gabriele Meloni
Dr. Ted Price BS’97
Dr. Manuel Quevedo-Lopez
Dr. Danieli Rodrigues
Dr. Ronald Smaldone
Dr. Amy Walker
Dr. Robert Wallace

Faculty mentors guide students as they identify and manage a research project, analyze the data and present their findings. Students were selected from more than 170 applicants.

Dr. Juan González, professor of biological sciences in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the program’s academic director, said the summer experience will benefit both students and faculty for years to come.

“The UT Dallas-Mexico Summer Research Program is an example of how we can build bridges with our neighbor to the south. We are very proud of the role that UT Dallas has and will continue to play in engaging these bright minds from all over Mexico,” González said.

The program, which has existed for 14 years, was organized by the Office of Graduate Studies, the Office of the Provost and the International Center, with the co-sponsorship of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the School of Arts and Humanities. Since 2002, 154 undergraduate students have participated in the program.

The program is made possible through a partnership with 100,000 Strong in the Americas and the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research.

Dr. Gabriele Meloni, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, worked with program participant Luciano Pérez Medina, who investigated how transition metals contribute to the toxicity of a protein that is linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Summer Research Participants

Félix Pérez Oliva
Maria Fernanda Cano Villa
Leonel Medina Varela
Laura Valeria Pérez Herrera
Carlos Isaac Arreola Hernández
Gilberto Hernández Angel
María Blanca Delia Cepeda Varela
Arnulfo Aramis Peña Torres
César Daniel de la Garza Peña
Monserrat Ríos Hernández
Mario Leopoldo Rivera Salazar
Eduardo Israel Acosta Reynoso
Karen Paola Cortés Guzmán
Karen Magdalena Arciniega García Luciano Pérez Medina

“Luciano, with his excellent background in chemistry, has been capable of making major contributions in advancing the project, convincing me once more about the excellent quality of students that participate in this very competitive program,” Meloni said.

Dr. Robert Wallace, Erik Jonsson Distinguished Chair and professor of materials science and engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, supervised Eduardo Israel Acosta Reynoso’s work on a complex surface science project.

“I found Eduardo to be an excellent and very serious student. He has been engaged with a complex surface science project on 2D materials (TiO growth on MoS) and has utilized our lab apparatus very well. He is very well-prepared for research at the graduate level, and I hope that he considers UT Dallas in his future,” Wallace said.

Mario Leopoldo Rivera Salazar, a student from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, was impressed with the research opportunities at UT Dallas.

“UT Dallas facilities are incredible. This research experience is very enriching in terms of trending technology,” Salazar said.

Francisco de la Torre, consul general of Mexico in Dallas, said partnerships like the summer research program help both Mexico and the U.S. discover the potential for prosperity and development in the region.

“UT Dallas is a leading institution in Texas, and programs like these, with UT Dallas’ strong experience in research and innovation at the core, are the way forward in the relationship between Mexico and Texas,” de la Torre said.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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