Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

A Lab at Home

Mexico is trying to lure young genomics researchers who'd gone abroad for their training back home, Science's Lizzie Wade writes.

With prodding from Rafael Palacios at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico has established an International Laboratory for Human Genome Research, or LIIGH.

UNAM spent $4 million to build LIIGH and though it gives each lab a basic budget, researchers there still need grants to support their work. But its main draws, Wade notes, are that space and freedom.

Typically, junior scientists in Mexico work in the labs of older, established scientists. But Palacios tells Wade that that model doesn't work for genomics, as young researchers likely know more about the field than their senior mentors would. "They have to be free to pursue their own ideas from the beginning," he says.

But some who have returned say that doing science in Mexico can be harder than abroad both because of bureaucratic delays in getting grants reviewed and importing supplies. "Things don't work at the same pace [in Mexico]," Lucía Morales, one of LIIGH's new researchers, says. She was in France before returning to Mexico. But, she tells Wade that the opportunity to run her own lab so early in her career is worth it.