CREST Researchers Receive Funding from the US Department of Agriculture to Create a New Center PDF Print E-mail
In September 2011 Prof. Félix Román (IRG2 researcher) became the Director of the Center for Education and Training in Agriculture and Related Sciences (CETARS). Prof. Oscar Perales (IRG2 leader) is a Codirector of CETARS while Prof. O. Marcelo Suárez (CREST director) is senior personnel of the new Center. CETARS requested $3.2 M from the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to provide students from agriculture and related disciplines with tuition, fees, graduate research assistantships, and undergraduate research stipends. Funding will also be used to cover all expenses related to outreach activities and training and hands-on research experiences for talented K-12 students. This proposal is the result of an interdisciplinary and collaborative effort between UPRM Colleges of Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, and Engineering (through CREST) as well as five more Hispanic-serving institutions. All of CETARS education training activities are aimed at providing with innovative, high impact research training and education to students and faculty from underrepresented groups. This CETARS will establish and consolidate a pipeline attracting, retaining and graduating talented individuals while supporting their actual placement in agriculture-related positions. The new center is designed to benefit over 50 B.S., 5 M.S. and 3 Ph.D. students (at UPRM alone) and 2,400 individuals through its research and outreach activities.
Members of CETARS team
Specifically CETARS seeks to:
  1. Strengthen the programs of Food Science, Applied Chemistry and the Department of Crops and Agro-environmental Sciences and CREST by creating new interdisciplinary courses in the latest food and agribusiness technologies (including nanotechnology)
  2. Establish a suitable interagency network to facilitate the placement of program graduated in USDA 20 Mission Critical Occupations (MCO´s) and promote faculty development and competitiveness
  3. Provide the necessary interagency guidance to retain, graduate and place at least 80% of program graduates in the USDA 20 MCO´s
  4. Evaluate the performance of students and faculty involved by monitoring of their retention, time for graduation and hiring, number of peer-reviewed publications, and received grants. Student’s success will be based on research progress, retention and job placement.
The synergy between CETARS and CREST is creating a robust platform for nanotechnology, as a means to advance projects not only in agro-science but also for the protection of natural resorces and environmental remediation.
CREST Seminar PDF Print E-mail

The Fundamentals of Intellectual Property: How patents, trademarks & copyrights fit within the day-to-day life of an engineer

By John Calvert of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Friday, September 30, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. at Stefani 113 (S-113)

Join us to learn about the basics of intellectual property, the Constitutional mandate for federal oversight and the differences among patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Illustration of how each type of Intellectual Property protection is used is presented through real life examples.

This Seminar is sponsored by the Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer Office and the Nanotechnology Center for Biomedical & Energy-Driven Systems & Applications (a Center for Research Excellence in Science & Technology - CREST).
For additional information contact Elvia M. Camayd Vélez, at ext. 2012 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Two CREST Students Finalist in the 2011 SHPE Conference PDF Print E-mail

UPRM CREST graduate student Berenice Rodríguez and undergraduate Nicole Blanco were selected as finalists in the SHPE Technical Competitions 2011, which will be held in Anaheim, California in the final week of October this year. Berenice is finalist with both, a technical poster and a paper –for a second year in a row-, and Nicole with a technical poster. They both work with Dr. Mauricio Cabrera-Rios in his research group.

The SHPE technical competitions are held each year concurrently with the SHPE Conference 2011, and “provide undergraduate and graduate participants an opportunity to compete by delivering their research in written and oral form before an audience of their peers” (

Each of our students will receive a registration fee waiver, hotel lodging, and a travel stipend for their airfare.

We wish Berenice and Nicole much success in the competition!

Scientific Breakthrough PDF Print E-mail

CREST Researchers Demonstrate Capacity of Targeted Magnetic Nanoparticles to Destroy Cancer Cells Through Heat Delivered at the Nanoscale

CREST IRG1 researchers have recently demonstrated that magnetic nanoparticles conjugated to the protein epidermal growth factor receptor target breast cancer cells that over-express the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and can lead to significant (>99%) reductions in cell survival upon the application of an alternating magnetic field. An important feature of this demonstration is that significant reductions in cell viability are achieved using only internalized nanoparticles and without a macroscopic perceptible temperature rise. The study was conducted by visiting student Mar Creixell Turon, of the University of Barcelona, who conducted her doctoral dissertation research under the supervision of Prof. Carlos Rinaldi. Graduate student Ana C. Bohórquez and Prof. Madeline Torres-Lugo also contributed to the study.

Prestigious NSF Fellowship to CREST Graduate Student PDF Print E-mail

2011 has become the Year of our Nanotechnology Center superb students. Emmanuelle J. Merced, UPRM Electrical Engineering graduate student has received the coveted NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP). One of the oldest awards granted by the Foundation, this prestigious fellowship seeks to strengthen the vitality and diversity of STEM workforce. The GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students as Emmanuelle who are pursuing graduate degrees in fields within NSF's mission by providing three years of support for the graduate education of the awardee. Emmanuelle has just graduated with an MS degree under the supervision of Prof. Nelson Sepulveda  and has been admitted in the Electrical Engineering doctoral program at Michigan State University. As part of the Center's IRG4, his research was on the development of VO2-based tunable microresonators. Emmanuelle is an active participant of the Center collaborating in the intensive outreach activities.

Congratulations and best of lucks in his new venture in Michigan!!




Emmanuel Merced
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NCBEDSA is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez