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ASU-Tec de Monterrey award boosts research projects


September 06, 2006

ASU and the Tecnológico de Monterrey (Tec) have jointly awarded $200,000 for two collaborative research projects in biotechnology.

The award, driven by a recent international research fund established by ASU President Michael Crow and Tec System President Rafael Rangel, is the first of its kind between the partner universities or with a Mexican institution.

“This program will advance inter-institutional cooperation in science, technology and scholarly activities that have a direct application in industry or government,” says Stephen Goodnick, associate vice president for research at ASU. “Collaboration between ASU and Tec will greatly benefit both institutions and nations – allowing us to pool our resources and advance our understanding in biotechnology.”

After a competitive, peer-reviewed selection process, each ASU-Tec research team is being awarded $100,000 from this fund. Both institutions are looking for ways to sustain the collaborative fund for the next three years.

A six-member committee consisting of administrators and professors from both institutions will decide the focus for each year's request for proposals, including related fields such as nanotechnology or biofuels.

For the 2006 awards, the first project is being led by Guy Cardineau of ASU and Manuel Zertuche of Tec regarding production of recombinant protein-based biomolecules in plant systems and bioprocess technology. The second project, led by Willem Vermaas of ASU and Marco Rito-Palomares of Tec, deals with novel bioreaction and separation technologies.

Both ASU researchers are faculty members within the School of Life Sciences (SoLS) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Cardineau also is a research faculty member within the Biodesign Institute's Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology.

The funding will be distributed through the ASU Office for Research and Sponsored Project Administration, and the Tec Office of the Dean of Research and Graduate Students.

The two principal objectives for the “Collaborative on Biotechnology Research Grant Program” are to provide seed funding to support the completion of such inter-institutional projects, and the development and submission of proposals for external funding of research from competitive granting agencies, both domestic and international (including NSF, NIH, DOE, World Bank, NATO, UNESCO, CONACyT, etc.), and industry.

Tec de Monterrey is the largest private university system in Mexico and one of the largest in Latin America, with 33 campuses and 12 international satellite offices. For more information, visit the Web page (www.itesm.mx).

Sophie Rigollet, (sophie.rigollet@asu.edu )
(480) 965-0880