Article and comments published in SCIENCE journal

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Comments (published in SCIENCE journal) to the article

RE: Mexico struggles to woo expat genome jocks

  • David Adams, Senior Scientist
  • Wellome Trust Sanger Institute

29 April 2016
Dear Lizzie,
Your article was written with a predictable tone – that science in countries such as Mexico is hard. It could have been written in such as way as to applaud the young scientists at LIIGH for their courage, and their efforts to lift the profile of science in Mexico. I have had several Mexican scientists pass through my lab at the Sanger Institute, and they have been universally exceptional. CONACyT is most definitely growing a new generation of research leaders. LIIGH is a place to watch.

David Adams (

Conflict of Interest:
None declared


RE: Mexico struggles to woo expat genome jocks

  • Alejandra Medina-Rivera, Research Associate
  • Laboratorio Internacional de Investigación sobre el Genoma Humano, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

30 May 2016
Dear Lizzie
I felt quite distressed by your perception and description of LIIGH, I could not recognize in your text the place I work in everyday.

I understand and share the disappointment caused by the delays in the CONACYT basic research program, but is worth remembering this is one of many programs, and whilst there is a lot to be done to improve them, things are already happening.

At the moment of your visit to LIIGH in February, I had already received USD 50,000 from a CONACYT Frontiers grant where I applied as co-PI. I haven’t been able to understand why you didn’t take into account this fact in your story, could have been because I was not the main PI in that application. However, I am glad to say that I have just been awarded USD 250,000 to further finance my research, a result of a successfully reviewed grant were I am the main PI. This money came from the CONACYT Infrastructure program.

It would be naive not to acknowledge we still have challenges to overcome as a nation to ensure our sustainable scientific development. However, to not recognize all the achievements made by the Mexican scientific community would be to disregard years of work, which has resulted in an increase of the GDP percentage invested in science and technology. Thanks to these achievements, I was able to get USD 300,000 from CONACYT governmental funding to support my research project during my first year as PI.

Hope this note helps people see a different perspective of the same place. LIIGH is definitely a different place, with young researchers taking risks in innovative ideas. For me, it has represented a great opportunity.

Conflict of Interest:
None declared.


LIIGH is a step in the right direction for Mexican science

  • C. Daniela Robles-Espinoza, Junior FacultyLIIGH, UNAM

28 May 2016
Dear Lizzie,

I have read your report on our institute. As one of the other three “young hires”, I believe that, though the things you mention are true, the report overall is misleading as it did not include more positive points of view. I made the decision to come back to my home country, having had the option to stay abroad in Cambridge, UK. I knew things wouldn’t perhaps be as easy as in other places, especially because as the institute is new, protocols, procedures and equipment would need to be established and installed. However, upon my arrival, only 5 months ago, I have found a network of committed researchers and medics across many different hospitals and institutes who are willing to work together to do cutting-edge research. There is a strong international network supporting our scientific activities, funding is already coming in the form of awarded grants and students are starting in our recently-established labs. I firmly believe LIIGH has a brilliant future, and definitely represents a step in the right direction for science in Mexico.

Conflict of Interest:
I am employed by LIIGH-UNAM.


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