2019 UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Grant Awards

The 2019 UC MEXUS-CONACYT Collaborative Research Grants competition provided grant awards to 40 projects with teams of UC and Mexican researchers. The grant program is offered to provide seed funds for collaborative UC-Mexico projects at the start-up phase of their development. The Co-Principal Investigators, departments, home UC campuses and Mexican institutions, and project titles of the grantrecipients are listed below.

Farooq Azam, Marine Biology Research Division - Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego Laura Gómez-Consarnau, Ocenografía Biológica, CICESE

Understanding Marine Microbial Ecology Using Bacterial Cultures as Models: Study Case in the Upwelling Regions of the Southern California Bight / Estudio de la Ecología Microbiana Marina Utilizando Cultivos Bacterianos como Modelos: Caso Experimental en Zonas de Surgencia de la Cuenca Oceanográfica del Sur de California

Roya Bahreini, Environmental Sciences, UC Riverside Dara Salcedo González, UMDI-Juriquilla Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM

Molecular Characterization of Organic Aerosols in the Regional Mixed Layer of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area Using Extractive Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry / Caracterización Molecular del Aerosol Orgánico en la Capa de Mezcla Regional de la Zona Metropolitana de la Ciudad de México, Usando Espectrometría de Masas con Ionización por Electrospray Extractivo

Jessica Blois, Life and Environmental Sciences, UC Merced Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales, Subdirección de Laboratorios y Apoyo Académico, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

Range Shifts and Novel Communities: Catalyzing Global Change Research by Integrating Paleodata Across North and Central America / Cambios de Distribución y Comunidades Nuevas: Catalizando la Investigación del Cambio Global Integrando los Paleodatos a lo Largo de Norte y Centroamérica

Ricardo Castro, Materials Science and Engineering, UC Davis José de Jesús Ku-Herrera and Gustavo Soria-Arguello, Síntesis de Polímeros, CONACYT-Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada

Light and Resilient Blades for Vertical-Axis Wind Energy Turbines / Álabes Ligeros y Resilientes para Generación de Energía Eólica por Turbinas Verticales

Sean Cutler, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside Mario Serrano, Center for Genomic Sciences, UNAM

Characterization of Reactive Oxygen Species-Signaling Pathway by Chemical Genomics / Caracterización por medio de Genómica Química de la Ruta de Señalización Dependiente de Especies Reactivas de Oxígeno

Wolfgang Dillmann, Medicine, UC San Diego Julieta Anabell Díaz Juárez, Farmacología, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología

Therapeutic Use of Macrophage-Derived Exosomes in Diabetic Cardiac Disease / Uso Terapéutico de Exosomas Derivados de Macrófagos en la Miocardiopatía Diabética

David FitzGerald, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UC San Diego Rafael Guadalupe Alarcón Acosta, Departamento de Estudios Sociales, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Children of Mexican Parents Deported from the United States: Policy, Administrative Process and Family Experiences / Hijos de Padres Mexicanos Deportados de Estados Unidos: Políticas Públicas, Proceso Administrativo y Experiencias Familiares

William Gelbart, Chemistry & Biochemistry, UC Los Angeles Armando Hernández García, Instituto de Química - Química de Biomacromoléculas, UNAM

Engineering Artificial Viral Coat Proteins as a Platform for Directed Evolution / Ingeniería de Proteínas Artificiales de Recubrimiento tipo Virus como Plataforma para Evolución Dirigida

Olivia Graeve, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC San Diego Manuel Herrera-Zaldivar, Centro de Nanociencias y Nanotecnología, Departamento de Fisica, UNAM

Osteoinductive Scaffolds Based on Magnetic and Luminescent Hydroxyapatite Nanostructures for use as Bone Regeneration Sensors / Andamios Osteoinductores Basados en Nanoestructuras de Hidroxiapatitas Magnéticas y Luminiscentes para uso como Sensores de Regeneración Ósea

Sarah Hake, Plant and Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley María Jazmín Abraham Juárez, Biología Molecular, Instituto Potosino de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica A.C. (IPICYT)

Developmental Patterning and Pathogen Defense Correlation Revealed by Autoimmune Maize Mutants / Correlación Entre Patrón de Desarrollo y Defensa Contra Patógenos Revelada por Mutantes Autoinmunes de Maíz

John Haviland, Anthropology, UC San Diego Telma Angelina Can Pixabaj, Cosmovisión y Lenguas de la Frontera Sur, CIMSUR, UNAMJohn Haviland, Anthropology, UC San Diego Telma Angelina Can Pixabaj, Cosmovisión y Lenguas de la Frontera Sur, CIMSUR, UNAM

Coexpression and Multimodality in Linguistic Interaction in Mesoamerica / La Coexpresividad y la Multimodalidad en la Interacción Lingüística en Mesoamérica

Gretchen Hofmann, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara Eugenio De Jesús Carpizo Ituarte, Oceanografía Biológica, UABC

Climate-Proofing an Aquaculture Species: A Collaborative ‘Proof of Concept’ Project on Oysters / Poniendo a Prueba del Clima a una Especie de Acuacultura: Proyecto Colaborativo de “Prueba de Concepto” en Ostiones

Ali Khademhosseini, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering and Radiology, UC Los Angeles Grissel Trujillo de Santiago, Departamento de Mecatrónica, Tecnológico de Monterrey

Development of a Technology to Fabricate Artificial Thick Perfusable Tissues in a Facile and Rapid Fashion / Desarrollo de una Tecnología para Fabricar Tejidos Gruesos Perfundibles de una Manera Fácil y Rápida

Louise Laurent, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, UC San Diego Silvia Alejandra García Gasca, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo

A First Approximation in the Study of Global DNA Methylation and Microbiome Composition in Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus / Primera Aproximación al Estudio de la Metilación Global Del ADN y la Composición del Microbioma en Mujeres con Diabete Melitus Gestacional

Kenneth Loh, Structural Engineering, UC San Diego Arturo Baltazar, Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing, CINVESTAV

Portable and Wearable Soft-Material-Actuated Haptic System / Sistema Háptico Portable y Portátil Accionado con Material Suave

Patricia Manosalva, Microbiology and Plant Pathology, UC Riverside Sylvia Fernández-Pavía, Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

Genotypic and Phenotypic Characterization of Phytophthora Cinnamomi Populations from Mexico and California Associated with Avocado Root Rot / Caracterización Genotípica y Fenotípica de las Poblaciones de Phytophthora Cinnamomi de México y California, Causante de la Pudrición Radical del Aguacate

Alfredo Martínez-Morales, Center for Environmental Research and Technology, UC Riverside Ivan Velasco, Neurociencias, Instituto de Fisiología Celular, UNAM Jesús Enrique Estudillo Hernández, Dirección de Invesigación, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía

Hollow Titanium Dioxide Nanospheres as a Delivery System of Chemoattractant Factors for Human Dopaminergic Axons / Liberación de Factores Quimioatrayentes para Axones Dopaminérgicos Humanos por Nanoesferas Vacías de Dióxido de Titanio

Manuel Navedo, Pharmacology, UC Davis Ricardo Espinosa-Tanguma, Fisiología y Biofísica, Universidad Autónoma De San Luis Potosí, Escuela De Medicina

Calcium Dynamics of Migrating Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells during Diabetic Hyperglycemia: Role of L-type Calcium Channels, STIM1, Orai1 and Homer Proteins / Dinámica del Calcio en Células de Musculo Liso Vascular en Migración durante Hiperglucemia Diabética: Papel de los Canales de Calcio Tipo L, STIM1, Orai1, y la Proteína Homer

Rasmus Nielsen, Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley Diego Ortega Del Vecchyo, Laboratorio Internacional de Investigación sobre el Genoma Humano, UNAM

Analysis of the Impact of Demography and Natural Selection Jointly using Present-Day and Ancient Samples / Análisis del Impacto de la Demografía y la Selección Natural Utilizando Muestras del Presente y del Pasado

Victor Nizet, Pediatrics, UC San Diego Ismael Secundino-Velázquez, Facultad de Odontología, Universidad De La Salle Bajío

Modulation of Inflammatory Response to Prevent Dental Implant Rejection / Control de la Inflamación para Prevenir el Rechazo a Implantes Dentales

Martha Lucia Orozco-Cárdenas, Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside Carla Vanessa Sánchez Hernández, Producción Agrícola, CUCBA, Universidad de Guadalajara

Overexpression of Herbivore-Responsive Genes in Husk Tomato (Physalis philadelphica) / Sobreexpresión de Genes de Respuesta a Herbivoría en Tomate de Cáscara (Physalis philadelphica)

Rudy Ortiz, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, UC Merced José Guadalupe Soñanez Organis, Ciencias Químico Biológicas y Agropecuarias/Ciencas e Ingeniería, Universidad de Sonor

Role of Perilipin Family in the Cardiac Lipid Metabolism During Physiological Hypertrophy Induced by Pregnancy / Papel de la Familia de Perilipinas en el Metabolismo de Lípidos Cardiacos Durante Hipertrofia Cardiaca Fisiologica Inducida por Embarazo

Paivi Pajukanta, Human Genetics, UC Los Angeles Alicia Huerta-Chagoya, Unidad de Biología Molecular y Medicina Genómica, CONACYT, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Teresa Tusié-Luna, Unidad de Biología Molecular y Medicina Genómica, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, UNAM

The Effects of Maternal Obesity on the Transcriptome of Placenta and Adipose Tissue: Its Relation with the Newborn’s Phenotype / Los Efectos de la Obesidad Materna en los Transcriptomas de la Placenta y el Tejido Adiposo: Su Relación con el Fenotipo del Recién Nacido

Nicholas Pinter, Earth and Planetary Sciences, UC Davis John M. Fletcher, División de Ciencias de la Tierra, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada

Tectonics, Sea Level, and Interglacial Paleo-Environments of the Loreto Basin from Uplifted Coastal Terraces / Tectónica, Nivel del Mar y Paleoambientes Interglaciales de la Cuenca de Loreto desde Terrazas Costeras Elevadas

Jessica Purcell, Entomology, UC Riverside Fernando Varela Hernández, Professional Institute of the Southern Region (IPRES), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos

On Genes, Behaviors, and Exploitation: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Alternative Social Strategies along Latitudinal Gradients / Sobre Genes, Comportamientos y Explotación: Explorando las Causas y Consequencias de Estrategias Sociales Alternativas a lo Largo de Gradientes Latitudinales (GEORGE BROWN AWARD)

Kristen Ruegg, Institute for the Environment and Sustainability, UC Los Angeles Richard Feldman, Recursos Naturales, Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán

Do Genomic Signals of Local Adaptation on the Breeding Grounds Predict Microclimate Associations on the Wintering Grounds? / ¿Pueden las Señales Genómicas de Adaptación Local a Sitios de Reproducción, Ayudar a Predecir Asociaciones Microclimáticas en Sitios Invernales?

Lynn Russell, Climate, Atmospheric Science & Physical Oceanography at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego Victor Almanza, Modelado, LTM Center for Energy and the Environment A.C.

Air Quality Modeling Symposium and Training Workshop for Capacity Building in Mexico / Simposio y Taller de Capacitación de Modelación de la Calidad del Aire para la Creación de Capacidades en México

Laura Sales, Department of Physics & Astronomy, UC Riverside Vicente Rodríguez-Gomez, Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, UNAM

Galaxy Mergers in Different Environments: Using Cosmological Simulations to Solve the Mysteries of Diffuse Light in Galaxy Groups and Clusters / Fusiones de Galaxias en Distintos Ambientes: Usando Simulaciones Cosmológicas para Resolver los Misterios de la Luz Difusa en Grupos y Cúmulos de Galaxias

James Sickman, Environmental Sciences, UC Riverside Vera Ingrid Gudrun Janine Tiesler, Facultad de Ciencias Antropológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán

Surviving the Maya Collapse in the Yucatan Peninsula: Reappraising Diets, Migrations, and Climate Changesthrough Isotopic Research / Sobreviviendo el Colapso Mayaen la Península de Yucatán: Una Revisión de Dietas, Migraciones y Cambios Climáticos a través de la Investigación Isotópica

Esteban Soto, Department of Medicine & Epidemiology, UC Davis Francisco Neptalí Morales Serna, Unidad Mazatlán en Acuicultura y Manejo Ambiental, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo A.C.

Efficacy of β Glucan as Immunostimulant to Pacific White Snook Centropomus Viridis / Eficacia del β Glucano como Inmunoestimulante para el Róbalo Centropomus viridis

Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, School of Medicine, UC San Francisco Enrique Hernández-Lemus, Population Genomics, National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN)

Computational Genomics for Personalized Breast Cancer Therapy / Genómica Computacional para la Terapia Personalizada del Cáncer de Mama

Kenichiro Tsukamoto, Anthropology, UC Riverside Luis Barba, Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM

Evaluating an Archetype of Classic Maya Marketplaces at El Palmar, Campeche, Mexico / Evaluando un Arquetipo de Mercados Mayas Clásicas en El Palmar, Campeche, México

Arturo Vargas-Bustamante, Health Policy and Management, UC Los Angeles Mireya Vilar-Compte, Research Institute for Equitable Development (EQUIDE), Universidad Iberoamericana

How Anti-Immigrant Policies and Rhetoric Strengthen Access to Care Barriers Faces by Mexican Immigrants in the U.S. / Manera en que la Retórica y las Políticas Antiinmigrantes Fortalecen las Barreras de Acceso a los Servicios de Salud que Enfrentan los Inmigrantes Mexicanos en Estados Unidos

Oscar Vázquez Mena, NanoEngineering, UC San Diego José Antonio Ávila Niño, Eduardo de Jesús Coutiño González, and Lilian Iraís Olvera Garza, Electroquímica, Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico en Electroquímica (CIDETEQ)

Green-Synthesized Semiconducting Polymers Blended with Quantum Dots for Organic Light Emitting Diodes (QOLEDs) / Polímeros Semiconductores Sintetizados a través de Química Verde Mezclados con Puntos Cuánticos para su uso en Diodos Orgánicos Emisores de Luz (QOLEDs)

Armando Villalta, Physiology and Biophysics and the Institute for Immunology, UC Irvine Marco A. De León Nava, Departamento de Innovación Biomédica, DBEA, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE)

Harnessing Host-Pathogen Co-Evolution: Viral Proteins as Modulators of Helper and Regulatory T Lymphocyte Function / Aprovechando la Coevolución Entre Patógenos y Hospederos: Proteínas Virales como Moduladoras de la Función de Linfocitos T Colaboradores y Reguladores

Kerstin Wasson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz Julio Lorda Solórzano, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California

International Olympia Oyster Network: Collaborative Research and Assessment of Management Goals in Baja California, Mexico / Red Internacional del Ostión Olympia: Investigación Colaborativa y Evaluación de Objetivos para su Manejo en Baja California, México

Ke Xu, Chemistry, UC Berkeley Arturo Jiménez-Sánchez, Química Orgánica, UNAM

Development of Chemical Probes for Mitochondrial Dynamics Using Functional Super-Resolution Microscopy / Desarrollo de Sondas Químicas para la Dinámica Mitocondrial Mediante Microscopía de Superresolución Funcional

Omar Yaghi, College of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, UC Berkeley Edmundo Guzmán Percástegui, Instituto de Química, UNAM

Water-Soluble Cages that Transform into Multifunctional Metal-Organic Frameworks for Aqueous Applications / Cajas Solubles en Agua que se Transforman en Armazones Metal-Orgánicos Multifuncionales para Aplicaciones Acuosas

Jin Z Zhang, Biomolecular Science & Engineering, UC Santa Cruz Tzarara López Luke, Ceramicos y Refractarios, UMSNH, Instituto de Investigaciones en Metalurgia y Materiales

Enhancing the Stability, Efficiency, and Color Tunability of Inorganic and Hybrid Perovskite Quantum Dots for LED Applications / Incremento de la Estabiliad, Eficiencia y Tunelamiento de Color de Puntos Cuanticos de Perovskita Inorganica e Hibridas para Aplicaciones en (Diodos Emisores de Luz) LEDs

Haofei Zhang, Department of Chemistry, UC Riverside Omar Amador-Muñoz, Ciencias Ambientales, UNAM

Comprehensive Analysis of the Organic Aerosol Molecular Composition at a Receptor Sitein Mexico City and Their Role in Urban Air Quality / Análisis Integral de la Composición Molecular de Aerosoles Orgánicos en un Sitio Receptor en la Ciudad de México y su Impacto en la Calidad del Aire Urbano

Marine bacteria are the most abundant organisms in the ocean, influencing the global biogeochemical cycles of nutrients with significant effects on marine food web dynamics and climate. Upwelling regions, in particular within the California Current System, are some the most productive regions of the world oceans having a major impact in resource availability in the coastal ocean. However, most studies trying to understand the role of bacteria in carbon and nutrient cycling in marine environments have used indirect approaches, including metagenomics and metatranscriptomics in natural communities of bacteria, which represent only snapshots of the microbial community at a single given time of the year. Although omics data have been valuable to identify the bacterial groups present and their genomic potential, they are not suitable to study the physiology and activity patterns of those organisms. To circumvent that limitation, we propose to use cultures of marine bacteria isolated from two different regions within the Southern California Bight within the California current system (Scripps pier in Southern California and Bahia Salsipuedes in Baja California). These environments are perfect models for understanding upwelling systems, which comprise about 2% of the global ocean but provide about 20% of the wild marine capture fisheries. Our goal is to characterize diverse bacterioplankton strains representative of these areas to understand their physiology and rates of carbon and nutrient processing under different environmental conditions. These data can help to predict the response of marine bacteria to changing environmental conditions, especially those caused by climate change. This seed proposal brings together scientists and their students in a binational interdisciplinary manner. The co-PI in Mexico (Gómez-Consarnau) has extensive expertise studying marine bacteria in seawater, including their growth and physiological characteristics combined with chemical measurements. The co-PI in the US (Azam), has developed over the years numerous protocols to measure bacterial activity in seawater as well as established one of the most successful marine microbiology laboratories in the world, both in publications and graduate students output. Combining the complementary PIs’ expertise will result in future collaborative research projects, relevant discussions and other interactions that involve not only the PIs but also graduate students at both institutions (CICESE and SIO UC San Diego).

Farooq Azam, Marine Biology Research Division – Scripps Institution of Oceanography,
UC San Diego
Laura Gómez-Consarnau, Ocenografía Biológica, CICESE

Fine aerosol particles originating directly from sources as primary aerosols or forming secondarily in the atmosphere from gas to particle conversion processes, have negative environmental and human health impacts. In this proposal, we combine online and offline measurements of aerosol composition during several months (September-December) to gain more detailed understanding of the seasonality and influence of emissions and mixing of urban and natural sources on fine aerosol particles, at a site within the Regional Mixed Layer of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area. We will use offline extractive electrospray ionization mass spectrometry technique, along with an online bulk aerosol composition (Aerosol Mass Spectrometry) data to characterize the organic aerosols in the site, in order to improve our understanding of the interactions of different emission sources on air quality in the region and provide modelers insights on how to improve model predictions of OA. This project will set the basis for a collaboration based on the use of infrastructure and analytical capabilities of both PIs for the analysis of OA in other important, yet unstudied, regions in Mexico. In addition, the expected participation of a Mexican PhD student will reinforce the human resources development and capabilities in Mexico.

Roya Bahreini, Environmental Sciences, UC Riverside
Dara Salcedo González, UMDI-Juriquilla Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM

Climates are changing rapidly in response to increased global carbon emissions. Species and communities are influenced by these climate changes in many ways and how they respond will shape the future pattern of diversity and ecosystem services, and impact the evolutionary potential of species into the future. Gaining a better understanding of the impact of climate change on species and communities is thus a top priority. Contemporary climate change responses only capture part of the story, however; species have been responding to climate change in many ways throughout their evolutionary histories. In this proposal, we aim to integrate data on fossil mammal communities found throughout North and Central America to gain a fuller understanding on how climate has influenced biodiversity over the last 21,000 years. Data from the United States and Canada are currently stored in a separate database (the Neotoma Paleoecology Database) from the data from Mexico (the Quaternary Mexican Mammals Database), and data from further south in Central America is absent from both. In order to gain a fuller picture of mammalian range shifts and community change throughout the western hemisphere, we first need to integrate the data resources onto a common platform to enable this work.

Jessica Blois, Life and Environmental Sciences, UC Merced
Joaquín Arroyo-Cabrales, Subdirección de Laboratorios y Apoyo Académico,
Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

The goal of this project is to develop a long lasting collaboration between UC Davis and CIQA, Mexico, for the development of materials for advanced energy solutions. The project will target student and researcher exchanges and the seed project will be focused on the research and development of an ultra-light sandwich structure with potential use in vertical-axis wind turbines, specifically those with helical blades. The sandwich structure will consist in a foam core of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) reinforced with boron carbide (B4C) nanoparticles and face sheets of a carbon fiber (CF)/epoxy composite reinforced with B4C. Different from the published works were B4C are typically used without any surface treatment, in this project the surface of B4C will be tailored by in situ plasma polymerization of ethylene and an aminosilane to be compatible with HDPE and the epoxy matrices, respectively. The scientific goal is to improve mechanical performance of HDPE and CF/epoxy materials without heavily compromising weight by exploiting the low density of B4C and its impressive mechanical features. Moreover, B4C shall decrease degradation by radiation since boron atoms can absorb irradiation and avoid major damages through the structure. This work will serve as platform for future larger proposals to be worked together.

Ricardo Castro, Materials Science and Engineering, UC Davis
José de Jesús Ku-Herrera and Gustavo Soria-Arguello, Síntesis de Polímeros, CONACYT-Centro de Investigación en Química Aplicada

Plants have developed complex mechanisms to cope with environmental stresses, including the plant-pathogen interactions which are intimately coordinated by complex signaling networks of the so called “trio signaling messengers”: reactive oxygen species (ROS), electrical signals and calcium. Plant defense responses have been subject to deep and genome-saturating conventional genetic analysis, nevertheless the identification of mutants related to ROS-triggered defense response is still limited. One explanation of this phenomena, is that traditional genetic analysis reaches its limits for several reasons, including the genetic redundancy and the pleiotropic phenotypes, such as lethality or infertility that might result in the genetic modification of essential genes. To avoid these limitations, it has been proposed to use of chemical genetic screens that combine a biological screening with small chemicals that could potentially modify gene products of a specific signaling pathway. In this project, we propose to characterize the ROS-dependent signaling pathway performing a chemical genomic screening. In particular, we will study the modification of ROS during the compatible interaction between Arabidopsis thaliana and the second most important pathogen in the agriculture: the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea.

Sean Cutler, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, UC Riverside
Mario Serrano, Center for Genomic Sciences, UNAM

Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is a growing health care problem resulting in significant cardiovascular disease. Diabetic heart disease includes decreased cardiac contractile function in the absence of ischemia. The majority of diabetic patients die of cardiovascular disease. DM is considered an inflammatory disease and macrophages from adipose tissue are involved in the pathophysiology. Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) secrete exosomes (Exos), endosome- derived membrane vesicles carrying microRNA, protein, and other bioactive molecules. ATM-Exos secreted from DM individuals contain harmful bioactive molecules that impart maladaptive effects in other tissues. However, whether ATM-Exos from healthy individuals can alleviate diabetic cardiac disease is unknown. The hypothesis to test in this proposal is that ATM-Exos in obesity or DM carry diverse deleterious bioactive molecules that disseminate maladaptive consequences to other organs including the heart. In contrast, ATM-Exos from healthy mice carry beneficial molecules that are able to counteract diabetic cardiac disease and improve cardiac performance when transferred to diabetic mice. All of our approaches are innovative and will generate new knowledge in the field and new therapeutic targets to alleviate diabetes-related cardiac dysfunction. In addition, participation of researchers and students from institutions in the U.S. and Mexico will strengthen the potential success of this project and future collaborations

Wolfgang Dillmann, Medicine, UC San Diego
Julieta Anabell Díaz Juárez, Farmacología, Instituto Nacional de Cardiología

Federal deportation policies have an especially pronounced effect in California, where almost 2 million children live with at least one undocumented family member. A fifth of the state’s juvenile population is vulnerable to the deportation of a parent. These policies disproportionately affect Mexico as well, as three-quarters of the immigrants deported from the United States are Mexican nationals. This study based on fieldwork in San Diego and Tijuana examines how migrant families and public institutions on both sides of the border attempt to manage the effects of mass parental deportation from California to Mexico. Drawing on 40 expert interviews and five family case studies, we assess the implementation of California’s 2012 “Reuniting Immigrant Families Act,” which addresses the reunification challenges of immigrants in the child welfare system. The project will yield evidence-based recommendations in a bilingual report and binational workshops aimed at informing policymakers in California and Mexico on how coordination across jurisdictions and agencies may improve policy responses.

David FitzGerald, Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, UC San Diego
Rafael Guadalupe Alarcón Acosta, Departamento de Estudios Sociales,
El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Papaya is an economically important fruit due to its high nutritional and nutraceutical value. Mexico occupies third place in the global production, and it is the primary exporter to the United States mark

Most simple viruses consist of a coat protein that specifically packages its own genome into a nanoparticle. In last decades, studies reconstituting viruses in the laboratory from purified components have contributed largely to advance our understanding about viruses and made possible their biotechnological use. Recently, the design of artificial viruses has emerged and it represents a unique opportunity to further advance the knowledge about viruses. Artificial virus-like particles based on simple and programmable proteins have been used as a model for studying and probing virus assembly and internalization of nucleic acids into the interior of cells. This project aims to engineer one of those proteins to make it able to package with high affinity a RNA and DNA molecules encoding its own amino acid sequence. This artificial virus would represent a breakthrough in the area and be a better model in synthetic virology. A second aim is to elucidate the resulting protein-DNA/RNA structures using high resolution cryogenic imaging methods. The phenotype-genotype linkage supplemented with structural details of the artificial virus will allow future directed evolution of the protein into virus-like capsids for advanced biotech applications such as nano-vaccines or “smart” delivery systems, and will advance our general understanding about viruses.

et, with a value of more than $100 million dollars. Papaya fruit is a highly perishable and very susceptible to postharvest fungal infections, including anthracnose, which is mainly caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Colletotrichum truncatum. Several studies have shown that the resistance of some fruits to fungal pathogens is associated with the composition of the cuticle. Recent research by our group found one genotype with resistance to C. gloesporioides y C. truncatum. Currently, there are no molecular studies of the responses of papaya to anthracnose, the chemical composition of the cuticle in papaya fruits is unknown, and there is a lack of knowledge about the role of cuticular compounds in resistance against C. gloesporioides and C. truncatum. Here we propose to investigate the cuticular resistance of papaya fruits to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Colletotrichum truncatum. by: Analyzing the cuticle structure and composition of papaya genotypes displaying resistance and susceptibility to anthracnose, and determining molecular responses associated with the cuticular resistance of papaya fruit to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Colletotrichum truncatum

William Gelbart, Chemistry & Biochemistry, UC Los Angeles
Armando Hernández García, Instituto de Química – Química de Biomacromoléculas,
UNAM

In this project, we propose to synthesize and characterize nanostructures of hydroxyapatite (HAp) doped with magnetic (Fe and Cr) and rare-earths (Eu, Yb, Ce, Tb, Tm, and Er) impurities, which will be incorporated in bone scaffolds made of collagen. Given that such scaffolds will be used in bone regeneration treatments (synthetic bone grafts), in this project we will study their role in the growth of osteoblast cells. During its manufacture, the surface of the scaffolds will be coated with the nanostructures of HAp, which, being one of the principal components of bone, is expected to favor the proliferation of osteoblast cells. Eventually, because the body can completely absorb these scaffolds, in-vitro tests will be done to estimate the time and conditions under which this occurs. In order to build such scaffold-HAp assemblies, a detailed study of both the conditions required for the synthesis of the HAp nanostructures, as well as their physicochemical properties, will be carried out. Its crystallinity, morphology, composition, crystalline defects, luminescence and valence state of the incorporated impurities will be studied. For this, we will use mainly the techniques of DLS (Dynamic Light Scattering), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy), CL (Cathodoluminescence), XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy), EELS (Energy Electron Loss Spectroscopy) and EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance). For the synthesis of HAp nanostructures, the combustion method and the hydrothermal method will be used to obtain different morphologies. The magnetic and luminescent properties of these HAp permit us the scaffolds as sensors that will act as contrast agents for magnetic resonance tomographies and as fluorescent probes in bone regeneration treatments.

In this project, we propose to synthesize and characterize nanostructures of hydroxyapatite (HAp) doped with magnetic (Fe and Cr) and rare-earths (Eu, Yb, Ce, Tb, Tm, and Er) impurities, which will be incorporated in bone scaffolds made of collagen. Given that such scaffolds will be used in bone regeneration treatments (synthetic bone grafts), in this project we will study their role in the growth of osteoblast cells. During its manufacture, the surface of the scaffolds will be coated with the nanostructures of HAp, which, being one of the principal components of bone, is expected to favor the proliferation of osteoblast cells. Eventually, because the body can completely absorb these scaffolds, in-vitro tests will be done to estimate the time and conditions under which this occurs. In order to build such scaffold-HAp assemblies, a detailed study of both the conditions required for the synthesis of the HAp nanostructures, as well as their physicochemical properties, will be carried out. Its crystallinity, morphology, composition, crystalline defects, luminescence and valence state of the incorporated impurities will be studied. For this, we will use mainly the techniques of DLS (Dynamic Light Scattering), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy), AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy), CL (Cathodoluminescence), XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy), EELS (Energy Electron Loss Spectroscopy) and EPR (Electron Paramagnetic Resonance). For the synthesis of HAp nanostructures, the combustion method and the hydrothermal method will be used to obtain different morphologies. The magnetic and luminescent properties of these HAp permit us the scaffolds as sensors that will act as contrast agents for magnetic resonance tomographies and as fluorescent probes in bone regeneration treatments.

Olivia Graeve, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC San Diego
Manuel Herrera-Zaldivar, Centro de Nanociencias y Nanotecnología, Departamento de Fisica, UNAM

Maize is the most widely grown crop in the world. It is a model plant for developmental genetics in the grasses. However, very little is known about signaling mechanisms that coordinate growth, development, and defense response in maize. Thus, advances in this field are promising to achieve improved inbreds adapted to different microclimates. We are interested in autoimmune mutants, which show hyperactivation of immune system in the absence of infection. Autoimmunity is known to cause strong developmental defects, but little is known about how the immunity regulates development. nod and Lgn-R mutant phenotypes show a striking dependence on inbred background and temperature, which makes them excellent tools to explore inbred breeding in different microclimates. Their transcriptomes show constitutive upregulation of the pathogen response, suggesting that LGN and NOD are part of the signaling coordinating development and defense response. We propose to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which crop plants respond to pathogen and what roles temperature and genetic background play by using CoIP, LC-MS/MS, antibody production, RNAseq and plant infection assays to test immune response in different inbreds and mutants. Our results will expand information gained in important cereal crops, and will generate genetic tools to interrogate immune signaling and pathogen responses in maize.

Sarah Hake, Plant and Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley
María Jazmín Abraham Juárez, Biología Molecular, Instituto Potosino de Investigación
Científica y Tecnológica A.C. (IPICYT)

That human communication—including spoken language—involves multiple simultaneous channels or modalities in addition to speech is an ancient idea that has only recently received serious attention from scholars of language and social interaction. Recent advances in the study of multimodality or co-expressivity often involve research in indigenous languages of the Americas, but despite extensive investigation by native and non-native researchers alike, little work by a new generation of scholars includes serious study of how different aspects of what have been called “composite utterances”—including speech (or sign), gesture, bodily configuration, gaze, and touch—coalesce to enable communicative action. This project will assemble a team of graduate students and experienced scholars, whose work encompasses a variety of Mesoamerican languages, and whose field experience includes attention to multimodal, interactive material through video and audio recording. Via a series of three weeklong workshops, to be held over the 18 months of the grant period at CIMSUR (UNAM) in Chiapas, Mexico, we will explore the notion of multimodal coexpression in communicative interaction, apply it to our various field projects, and produce both an edited volume of research and an interactive web resource to promulgate the theoretical framework and empirical results of our collaboration.

John Haviland, Anthropology, UC San Diego
Telma Angelina Can Pixabaj, Cosmovisión y Lenguas de la Frontera Sur, CIMSUR, UNAM

The goal of this collaborative project is to explore whether an important aquaculture species, the Pacific oyster, can be “climate-proofed”. Using research facilities at UABC, we will condition adult oysters to high temperatures, and then test whether their progeny are more tolerant of heat stress as embryos and larvae. Conceptually, our approach relies on transgenerational plasticity (TGP) as a means to “heat harden” early stage oysters, with the idea that such priming of the progeny via adult conditioning will result in hardier spat and juvenile oysters in an aquaculture setting in the future. Experimentally, our goal is to assess performance of the progeny using methods that assess metabolism, and growth. In addition, we plan to use molecular tools where we will ask whether the thermal history of the oyster broodstock is transferred to their offspring via an epigenetic response. The latter will be performed using a methylation-sensitive polymorphism amplification (MSAP) assay developed in the lab at UC Santa Barbara. The aquaculture work and physiological measurements will be conducted at UABC, and MSAP analyses will be conducted at UC Santa Barbara. We plan the involvement of students and early career scientists from both campuses, facilitated by a 1-week workshop on marine environmental epigenetics at UC Santa Barbara.

Gretchen Hofmann, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara
Eugenio De Jesús Carpizo Ituarte, Oceanografía Biológica, UABC

The limited capabilities to manufacture clinically-relevant sizes of tissues is a major drawback of tissue engineering technologies nowadays. Fabricating thick tissues (thicker than 200 mm) is challenging due to mass transfer limitations. In the past few years, efforts have been made to develop strategies to fabricate perfusable and vascularized thick tissues. Despite some successful accomplishments, there is still a need of strategies capable of developing prefusable micro-structures in a facile and rapid fashion.

Here, we propose the use of 3D-continous-chaotic-bioprinting technology to create hydrogel constructs with perfusable inner-microchannels in a facile and rapid manner. Three-D continous- chaotic-bioprinting is highly efficient in generating hydrogel fibers with fine internal microstructure (i.e., fibers of diameter = 1 mm, with inner-microstructures of 10 mm thick in their cross-section). In this project, we will use two different types of bioinks: cell-laden crosslinkable- hydrogels, and sacrificial hydrogels, so that the sacrificial bioink will leave an empty microchannel inside the cell-laden fiber. Our bioprinted constructs will be assessed in terms of their architecture, (validation that the microchannel was successfully made without affecting the mechanical integrity of the fiber), the diffusional permeability, and biological performance (cell viability, cell proliferation, expression of biological markers).

Ali Khademhosseini, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering and Radiology, UC Los Angeles Grissel Trujillo de Santiago, Departamento de Mecatrónica, Tecnológico de Monterrey