The PACR supports collaborative research projects, outreach initiatives and education programs between scientists and educators in Seattle, Washington and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Faculty at each institution conduct collaborative research projects, and contribute to outreach and education initiatives in NM and WA.
Dr. Simon researches the development of small molecules as mechanistic probes for cellular processes and as potential lead compounds for the development of therapeutic agents.
As the state’s land grant institution, New Mexico State University has a presence in every county in the state through its branch campuses and Extension Service, allowing much of New Mexico’s population access to educational opportunities. NMSU’s main campus is located in Dona Ana County, which has a 65% Hispanic population.
With 62% minority enrollment, the NMSU undergraduate program is a minority-majority institution. Further, NMSU is the only Doctoral/Research University-Extensive ranked by the National Science Foundation with significant representation of both Hispanic and Native American students.
Dr. O’Connell’s research expertise encompasses plant molecular genetics, biochemistry and natural product isolation and analysis. She studies plant gene expression and genetic diversity, with specific emphasis on capsaicinoid and carotenoid biosynthetic pathways, and has characterized a number of plant extracts and purified plant metabolites for anti-cancer activities.
Dr. Unguez’s research interests focus on the mechanisms responsible for the formation, plasticity and regeneration of different components of neuromuscular and other electromotor circuits in adult vertebrates. Her lab uses electric fishes to study how the skeletal muscle program is modified to become the electric organ, that is, a non-contractile tissue specialized to generate electricity, and determine the role played by the nervous system in the differentiation of electrogenic cell types.