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agreement signing
From left to right are Julius Gribou, Harriett Romo, Rene Drucker Colin, George
Perry and Mario Melgar. (Photo by Mark McClendon)
videocam View KSAT-TV video of agreement signing ceremony (11-30-07).

UTSA, UNAM to collaborate on science research

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Dec. 4, 2007)--Officials from The University of Texas at San Antonio and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) recently celebrated the signing of an agreement in cooperation in science to foster collaboration between the two universities.

Under the agreement, both universities will contribute to the $50,000 annual funding needed to support scholarly exchanges in research development. The funding will allow top scientists and students from both institutions to collaborate in cutting-edge research.

UTSA was represented at the event by Harriett Romo, director of the UTSA Mexico Center; Julius Gribou, UTSA interim provost and vice president for academic affairs; Jude Valdez, UTSA vice president for community services; and George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences.

"It's a way for our students to learn more about the Mexican culture, since a majority of our students are of Mexican heritage," said Perry. "This collaboration also will give them a chance to work with some of Mexico's leading scientists."

UNAM officials at the signing ceremony included Rene Drucker Colin, coordinacion de investigacion cientifica de UNAM, and Mario Melgar, director of UNAM-San Antonio.

"We have more than 1,500 researchers working on more than 250 projects covering a variety of disciplines including earth sciences, physics, chemistry and biology," said Drucker Colin.

Over the last three years, UNAM scientists conducted problem-related research in a number of areas including Parkinson's disease, desalination of water in Mexico, mapping the genome of parasites and nanotechnology.

Plans are in the making for UTSA to develop additional ties to Mexico with an agreement for cooperation in the social sciences. In 2005, the UTSA Mexico Center was established at the Downtown Campus. In 2001, the UTSA School of Architecture signed an agreement to conduct an exchange program for students and faculty, exhibits, publications and joint research projects. Additionally, UNAM and the College of Business signed an accord to collaborate in 1991.

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