National Institute of Public Health.
General Director: Juan Rivera
The National Institute of Public Health (Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP)), is one of the largest public health institutions in the developing world and is the leading institution for teaching, research and service to improve public health not only in Mexico but in all of Latin America. It was founded in 1987 when three public health institutions merged with the National School of Public Health, in existence since 1922. INSP is a semi-autonomous public academic institution located within the Federal Ministry of Health. The Mexican Ministry of Health provides core funding to INSP. In addition, external funding at the INSP allows for a diverse array of educational and research activities. INSP mission is to contribute to public health through knowledge generation and dissemination, human resources formation and innovation in development of public policy. INSP has 17 research programs in five research centers. About 51% of the projects are related to obesity and diabetes, cancer control and prevention, environmental health, public policy evaluations and prevention and control of vector-transmitted diseases. INSP has a total of 213 health researchers in three campuses: Cuernavaca (main campus), Tapachula, Chiapas and Mexico City. It has gained international recognition for the implementation of diverse national and international surveys such as the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT), the Global survey on tobacco consumption in adults, and the National Survey on Addictions, among others. On average the institute generates 311 research papers per year.
The current Director General/Dean of the INSP is Dr. Juan Rivera. The deputy directors of the research centers are highly qualified researchers with a strong commitment to enhancing instruction, research and service activities in fulfillment of the INSP’s mission. INSP faculty members include epidemiologists, physicians, biologists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, environmental engineers, toxicologists, statisticians, nutritionists, chemists, political scientists and other specialists in the field of public health. In accordance with its mission, the INSP constantly works to enhance academic opportunities and to strengthen its role in Mexico in order to improve population health promotion and social equity, with a special focus on vulnerable social groups. In order to achieve this goal, the INSP collaborates with federal and state governments, national and international health organizations, community groups and alumni. The INSP’s integration of education and research provides the synergy needed to strengthen and expand public health activities, increase the quality of teaching and research and improve public health practice in Mexico and Latin America. One of the most dynamic centers at the INSP is the Nutrition and Health Research Center funded 16 years ago. It has a staff of approximately 29 researchers with tenure and a total of 120 workers (including assistant researchers and administrative support). This center has characterized the diabetes epidemic in Mexico and coordinated the Mexican Agreement for Healthy Nutrition. It is also leading two major Diabetes initiatives with funding from NIH and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to create excellence research networks to fight diabetes.
INSP’s laboratory infrastructure is able to carry out biochemical determinations of nutritional status, molecular biology, epidemiology and diagnostic studies, and has cell culture rooms, laminar flow hoods, special areas for radioactive materials, dark rooms with equipment for gel photography, trans-illuminators, freezers and ultra-freezers, and nitrogen tanks to preserve and to maintain biological samples, such as serum and tissues from patients. For oligonucleotide synthesis they have a DNA Synthesizer model 391(Applied Bio-System), for PCR studies we have several DNA Thermal cyclers (Perkin-Elmer Cetus), an Imaging Densitometer model GS-700 (BIO-RAD) and an ELISA reader (BIO-RAD). There are also several cold rooms, vivarium, a water purification system and autoclave rooms. INSP also has electrophoresis chambers, DNA sequencing equipment, microfuges, CO2 incubators, several types of microscopes, heating blocks, water incubators, etc. During the last five years, INSP has established a serum bank, operated by a bar code system that is electronically registered. The laboratory has been involved in collaborative efforts between INSP and Emory for several years.
Computers that will be used to conduct the proposed application have access to an NT network maintained and supported by INSP’s Information Technology (IT) Department. The NT network provides access to the internet as well as institutional email support. The IT Department maintains an MTC-dedicated 4 host computer cluster that will be scaled with an additional host to a total processing capacity of 190 Ghz 320 Gb RAM and 10 TB hard drive. This remotely accessible SSH cluster runs on Linux (Red Hat, Raleigh, NC) and contains SAS 9.4 Education Analytical Suite. This platform is crucial for efficient data sharing, processing and analysis. For online questionnaire development, personnel at the IT Department use PHP5 programming language and Apache 2.0 HTTP server to ensure compatibility with the following browsers and versions (and above): Internet Explorer 7, Mozilla Firefox 24, Google Chrome 24, Opera 12 and Safari 5. The web designer, web programmer, social media analyst, and graphic designer use a dedicated PC (Intel®Core™2 Quad, Windows 7 Professional,1GB RAM) with web design, maintenance and communication software (Dreamweaver CS6, Illustrator CS4, Photoshop CS6, AppServ 2.5 and SSH 3.2.9).
C. Office Facilities:
INSP’s has three major facilities: Cuernavaca (main), Mexico City, and Tapachula in Chiapas. The Nutrition and Health Research Center has 21 office spaces in the Campuses of Mexico City and Cuernavaca, where activities related to the intervention will be held. INSP’s online infrastructure provides researches and students with cutting-edge learning technology, such as digital public health libraries and the virtual INSP (http://bvs.insp.mx/php/index.php). To assure high quality scientific publications, INSP offers consulting to improve editorial processes and standardization of scientific production through electronic media (e.g. ISI Web, Index Medicus, Lilacs, etc). The Institute has a library with 300 journal subscriptions, 32,000 book volumes, and nine electronic databases
The Data Entry and Management Center is housed at INSP’s facility in Mexico City. All the paper-based questionnaires are processed here and digitalized. We will take advantage of this existing infrastructure and experience for data processing for the current application. We have a high-throughput paper scanner (iNSIGHT 30, Scantron Corp., Irvine, CA) that can efficiently scan questionnaires for electronic storage and allows for text recognition. QR code (two dimensional barcodes) readers are available for questionnaires and biospecimen tracking. We have 8 PCs (Intel Core i5, Windows 7, 3.6 Ghz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB hard drive) for the optical scanning, manual data entry and MySQL™ database management. These computers are connected to our current workstation (Intel Xeon, Windows 7, 1.80 Ghz, 8 GB RAM, 250 GB hard drive) to conduct queries. Four 1 TB external hard- drives are used for regular data backup.
INSP’s Mexico City facilities are strategically located next to the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition (INNSZ), the clinical partner in this study. nvestigators from both institutions meet regularly for training and research purposes.
INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE SALUD PUBLICA
Av. Universidad No. 655. Col. Sta. Ma. Ahuacatitlán,
Cuernavaca, Mor. – Mexico. CP. 62508 MEXICO