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Alumni create ‘chemistry’ in Mexico

March 2007

Rossana Arroyo, Ph.D., Luis G.Brieba, Ph.D., and Jaime Ortega, Ph.D.
Rossana Arroyo, Ph.D., Luis G.Brieba, Ph.D., and Jaime Ortega, Ph.D.
In the laboratories at Cinvestav, the Center for Research and Advance Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute located in Mexico City, two biochemists and one parasitologist focus on understanding diseases and parasites prevalent in Mexico, such as Entamoeba histolytica and Trichomonas vaginalis, as well as illnesses that plague the elderly. They analyze biochemical processes and aim to discover how infection can be prevented.

All three happen to be graduates of the Health Science Center’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. They are: Rossana Arroyo, Ph.D., Luis G.Brieba, Ph.D., and Jaime Ortega, Ph.D. At the Health Science Center, Dr. Arroyo completed her postdoctoral work in the department of microbiology. Drs. Brieba and Ortega received their doctorates after studying in the department of biochemistry.

"The years spent at the Health Science Center are fundamental in our research," said Drs. Ortega and Arroyo. Dr. Brieba agrees. "The Health Science Center is the cornerstone of my research," he said.

Their hard work is paying off. Recently, Dr. Arroyo won the GlaxoSmithKline award for basic research carried out in Mexico; Dr. Ortega was named Doctor honoris causa from the Universidad Nacional de San Cristóbal de Huamanga of Ayacucho in Peru, and Dr. Brieba was recognized as a Howard Hughes International Research Scholar.

"Research is like trying to fill in a puzzle with small building blocks," Dr. Brieba said. "At the end, if we are lucky, we may be able to solve the puzzle and find big answers."

All three scientists say they are thrilled to be back together at Cinvestav. "We are proud to be Health Science Center alumni and excited to be able to work together as a team to help people from all over the world," Dr. Arroyo said.

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