Human Genomics in Global Health

Global applications of genomics in healthcare: Mexico

Development of institute of genomic medicine

Setting: The institute of genomic medicine

Focus of Intervention: healthcare providers/educators/community


As a developing country, Mexico faces various challenges such as limited resources, lack of adequate nutrition, and a variety of other factors that impinge on the health of its people. Diseases that are chronic, transmittable, and degenerative cause much of Mexico's annual death toll. Moreover, the importing of medicines and other drugs may not be as effective to Mexico's population, its people descendants of over sixty native tribes and the Spanish. Therefore, to ideally treat the people of Mexico that have this unique genetic makeup, it is necessary to devise treatments that will react well with the genetic composition of the people. As with many other countries, these health issues place a burden on the economy of Mexico. The choice Mexico has made is to develop genomic medicine as a way of providing long-term sustenance for the health of its people.


The Institute of Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN for Instituto de Medicina Genómica) is a joint project by the Independent National University of Mexico, the Secretariat of Health, the National Council of Science and Technology and the Mexican Foundation for Health. The goals of this institution are to incorporate genomics into economical methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, to enhance genomics training and research, to educate the public, and to make available advances in technology. Among the primary goals of INMEGEN is to characterize the genetic variation of the Mexican people and to determine how drugs respond in them.


Polymorphisms linked to common diseases in Mexico are beginning to be identified, thus providing a platform to develop INMEGEN. The result of this institution is to improve the healthcare of Mexico by focusing on diseases and conditions that are specifically affecting Mexican people, and to develop treatments based on these, rather than focusing on imports from other nation states in the world.