The INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and the Regional High Specialty Hospital of the Yucatán Peninsula “HRAEPY”, a decentralised body of the Federal Public Administration within the Mexico Government initiated a cooperation agreement in the field of nanomedicine back in 2020. The aim of this cooperation agreement, signed during a remote ceremony due to the pandemic, was to carry out bilateral clinical research in the field of precision medicine.
HRAEPY was created in 2004 to offer highly specialised medical services, with the ability to solve particularly complex medical care problems, of low frequency, but seriously affecting the population of southeast Mexico. The research unit of HRAEPY was officially launched in 2020 by Dr Roberto Lugo, Dr Ana Ligia Gutiérrez, and Dr Azalia Avila-Nava, with the aim of developing basic, applied, and clinical research, focused on the specific needs of the population in the Yucatan peninsula.
Now that the laboratories at HRAEPY are fully operational, the researchers of the Medical Devices Research Group at INL, Dr Lorena Diéguez and Paulina Piairo, visited the facilities to prepare the next steps of the collaboration and the launch of clinical research activities in the field of liquid biopsy applied to clinical oncology.
Taking INL expertise to Latin America
According to Lorena Diéguez, head of the Medical Devices Research Group and part of the INL Precise Personalised HealthTech Cluster at INL, “This visit allows us to start the laboratory activities, applying our novel technologies in Latin America for the first time. The first project of this collaboration is focused on translational medical oncology. We are starting by applying our liquid biopsy technologies for the diagnosis, monitoring, and personalized treatment of gastric cancer in Mexico, where this disease has a very high incidence”.
“The collaboration with hospitals is critical for our research group since we are focused on translational research that can be directly applied to the medical practice. This partnership allows us to deliver our new HealthTech solutions for an efficient, accessible, and cost-effective healthcare to Latin America”, adds Lorena Diéguez.
The board of HRAEPY is composed of the General Director, Dr Alfredo Medina Ocampo, the director of Planning, Education and Research, Dr Jorge Carlos Guillermo, the Deputy Director of Education and Research, Dr Nina Mendez Domínguez, and the Technical Coordinator MSc. Gabriela Barrera Baqueiro received the INL researchers in a welcome ceremony. The General Director highlighted the importance of this inter-institutional collaboration considering how the research findings will benefit patients and the population with serious diseases such as cancer, by improving diagnosis and treatment.
“This visit is a result of the collaboration agreement signed almost two years ago, and part of the strategies to strengthen the interdisciplinary research areas of our hospital. It should be noted that these areas, are enrichened by the experience and contribution of our colleagues and will contribute ultimately to benefit our patients” said the General Director, Alfredo Medina Ocampo.
Dr Jorge Carlos Guillermo Herrera, Director of Planning, Teaching and Research of HRAEPY pointed out that, almost two years after the signing of the collaboration, “today this agreement bears fruit, whose team is making a great effort to create a precedent in the research with young and professional personnel, to be able to generate consolidated lines of research, and to be able to continue complying with the guidelines established by the federal government in scientific innovation”.
The collaboration expects to expand to other areas of diagnosis and treatment focused on the needs of the Mexican population, and also promote the exchange of researchers, medical staff and students between both institutions.