Today, Nov. 14, is World Diabetes Day


  Wednesday, November 14, 2018
  Awards and Recognitions

By Victoria Brito

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – A University of Texas Rio Grande Valley biomedical sciences student’s diabetes-related research was recognized at the first Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference held at UT Austin this month.

Roman Sanchez Martinez, a junior from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, was one of more than 100 students to present at the conference. His research looked at the effectiveness of melatonin serving as a potential treatment for diabetes.

Sanchez said he’s very familiar with the impact diabetes can have on lives.

“I have a lot of family history when it comes to diabetes and obesity,” he said. “There’s a lot of treatments out there, especially for my family. A lot of these are high-cost treatments.” 

The conference marked the first time Sanchez has presented his original research on melatonin treatment for diabetes, which he began in spring 2017.

He was searching to see if melatonin could change tissue that stores energy into tissue that releases energy.

“For my overall results, I identified that melatonin is in fact doing something to these cells,” he said. “That kind of change – from that type of cell to this other type of cell – is very interesting, because it can help us with our metabolism.”

His poster was one of six named “Outstanding Presentation of a Research Poster” at the conference.

“During my stay in Austin, I was able to network with other students my age who are also conducting interesting research projects and who have similar career pathways,” Sanchez said. “This conference allowed me to develop professional skills, build my self-esteem, and most importantly, to believe in my potential.”

Sanchez said that, while his research isn’t a cure for diabetes, it hopefully can contribute to finding one.

The Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference is dedicated to providing a collaborative interdisciplinary environment that promotes the visibility and importance of undergraduate research in Texas. The conference sought to provide undergraduates with the opportunity to give a presentation of creative works in all fields.

Roman Sanchez Martinez, a UTRGV biomedical sciences student conducting diabetes-related research on the effectiveness of melatonin as a potential contribution to diabetes treatment.
Roman Sanchez Martinez, a UTRGV biomedical sciences student conducting diabetes-related research on the effectiveness of melatonin as a potential contribution to diabetes treatment, was recognized at the first Capital of Texas Undergraduate Research Conference for his poster on his research. The UTRGV junior from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, was one of more than 100 students to present at the conference, held at UT Austin this month. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)



ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.