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Genome Res. 2008 Aug;18(8):1191-8. doi: 10.1101/gr.065359.107.

Genomic medicine in Mexico: initial steps and the road ahead.

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National Institute of Genomic Medicine, Mexico DF, Mexico.


Mexico faces important demographic and epidemiological transitions with significant implications to patterns of disease, disability, and death. On the one hand, there are problems of underdevelopment and, on the other, the emerging challenges of the chronic and degenerative diseases of the industrialized world. For these diseases, prevention becomes a key strategy for alleviating a major burden to the economy and health of the Mexican population. Genomic medicine has become a priority to the Mexican government as a means of finding new strategies to tackle common diseases. In 2000, strategic planning for genomic medicine began, from a feasibility study and a multi-institutional consortium effort, to the creation of a National Institute of Genomic Medicine by the Mexican congress in 2004. Current research programs in genomic medicine in Mexico include the construction of a haplotype map of the Mexican population, several genome-wide association studies for common diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, as well as translational medicine projects that include biomarkers discovery for several kinds of cancer, pharmacogenomics, and nutrigenomics. Although this strategy has been successful, there are challenges that still need to be addressed, including increased investment in science and technology to stimulate a more vigorous and competitive research environment, development of more effective basic and clinical research synergies, recruitment and training of more human resources in genomic medicine, developing mechanisms to stimulate translational research, and developing a more modern regulatory framework to ensure that genomic medicine will successfully contribute to improve healthcare in the Mexican population.

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