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Spotlight

National Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN)

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 14:31

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF GENOMIC MEDICINE (INMEGEN)

Created in 2004 in response to a revolution in biological sciences and in experimental biology at the time, INMEGEN is a national and international leader in genomic research. As the eleventh National Institute of Health, the institute was created as a result of the Promoter Consortium of Institute of Genomic Medicine, integrated by UNAM, the Ministry of Health’s National Council of Science and Technology, and the Mexican Foundation for Health. The institute aims to incorporate much of the biomedical research and molecular oriented research into the Mexican healthcare sector.

At the time of INMEGEN’s creation the human genome project was believed to generate many opportunities for health and the institute aimed to bring those benefits to Mexico. Over time it has created several projects with companies in the private sector and universities, including UNAM and the Broad Institute. INMEGEN has also led many research lines, including within pharmacogenomics, oncogenomics, proteomics, nutrigenomics, and the genomic of infectious and chronic diseases, among others. The institute has also led the largest study on diabetes on the Latin heritage population and discovered a gene variant specific to the Latin American population that explains the propensity of Mexicans to develop diabetes.

UNAM’S BIOTECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE (IBT)

Located in Cuernavaca, Morelos, UNAM’s IBT was created more than 30 years ago with the aim of developing research to generate knowledge on molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology immunology, biochemical engineering, genomics, and bioinformatics, among many others. The institute’s goal is to use biotechnology to tackle problems in several areas including health, energy, environment, and agriculture. It now has more than 100 researchers and is responsible for hundreds of publications. One of the main goals of the institute is to educate future professionals and its Bachelor in Genomic Sciences is currently producing its eighth generation of graduates. The institute also has an MSc and a PhD program on Biochemical Sciences and provides several workshops on bioprocesses, biosecurity, and microscopy.

At this point the institute is divided into five departments, consisting of Cell Engineering and Biocatalysis, Molecular Biology of Plants, Genetics of Molecular Development and Physiology, Molecular Microbiology, and Molecular Medicine and Bioprocesses. As leaders in genomic research, IBT has collaborated with national and international institutions in many different countries, including but not limited to, the US, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Japan, and Australia. The institute is also working with such private sector organizations as Landsteiner Scientific, Laboratorios Liomont, and Innbiogen.

IPN’S UNIT OF DEVELOPMENT AND RESEARCH OF BIOPROCESSES (UDIBI)

Created in 2012 to perform preclinical studies for biologic and pharmaceutical products for the pharmaceutical industry, UDIBI is now undergoing a consolidation process to become a laboratory for preclinical, clinical, and biocomparability studies of biotechnological medications. As part of the installations of the National School of Biological Sciences of IPN, UDIBI aims to expand on the research goals of IPN and to link the results to other institutions.

UDIBI has four main laboratories, specializing in immunology, cellular microbiology and cell culture, experimental models, and chromatography, and currently offers four different services. The first is the analysis of pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals through studies in vivo and in vitro. The second is the detection of pathogens in food through state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified professionals. The third is analysis of water and the toxicity of pesticides. Finally, UDIBI offers its highly qualified professionals, services, and tools to support the development and evaluation of new pharmaceuticals. In order to promote R&D in biotechnology, UDIBI is allied with UNAM’s Unit of Preclinical Research (UNIPREC) and the Medicine and Diagnostics Development Network (RedFarmed). UDIBI now provides in vitro pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies for the development of biosimilars, biocomparability studies, quality control tests, and several tests for clinical trials