(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Javier Read de Alaniz is going home, in a matter of speaking. The UC Santa Barbara professor of chemistry and biochemistry will collaborate with his undergraduate alma mater, New Mexico Highlands University, in a high-stakes effort to create biopolymers to replace plastics. Thanks to a Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) award from the National Science Foundation, NMHU, UCSB and UCLA materials scientists will leverage their research, technological prowess and strength in diversity to the problem of petroleum-based polymers.
“I grew up in Las Vegas, New Mexico, went to the local public schools and started my undergraduate education at NMHU,” said Read de Alaniz, who directs the NSF-supported BioPolymers, Automated Cellular Infrastructure, Flow, and Integrated Chemistry: Materials Innovation Platform (BioPACIFIC MIP), located at UCSB and UCLA. When he learned that NMHU was awarded the NSF-PREM Southwest Pacific Collaboration in Machine Learning, Design, Synthesis and Applications of Metalorganic Hybrid Biomaterials, it was a cause for celebration.
“This is a huge win for BioPACIFIC MIP,” Read de Alaniz said. “This award will broadly impact researchers underrepresented in STEM, mainly Hispanic or Latinx. NMHU plays a vital role in educating Hispanic students pursuing a college degree and through this partnership it will enable BioPACIFIC MIP to deliver on its promise to make biomaterial discovery resources available to a broad and diverse national user base.”
View the complete news release at: https://www.news.ucsb.edu/