BRIEF HISTORY OF THE INGEBI
The Institute of Investigation in Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology, “Dr. Héctor N.Torres “(INGEBI), had it’s origins at the Metabolic Regulation Lab of the Biochemical Investigations Institute “Campomar Fundation”, directed by Héctor N.Torres, Ph, D. In 1980, the INGEBI was established as a Program by the National Council of Scientific and Technical Investigations (CONICET), and later, it was raised to the category of Institute under the direction of Héctor Torres, Ph, D.
The fundamental reasons that motivated the creation of the Program at the time and the subsequently categorization as an Institute were related, on one hand, to the growing interest in the incorporation and application of Genetic Engineering technologies and, on the other, by the trust in the quality of the involved group of researchers.
The Institute’s objectives were and are the realization of basic researches, applied to the field of interest, the training of scientific and technical highly specialized personnel and the establishment of contacts with the productive system in order to transfer the labour of research and development. Also, a priority of the Institute is the dictation of high level courses of pre and post-graduate on its specialty subjects. It should be noted that since the beginning, the Institute has kept a narrow association with the Natural and Exact Sciences Faculty from the Buenos Aires’ University, in which several of our researchers teach and one of them has been its Dean.
It also should be noted that over a hundred fellows have been doctorated and most of them are performing abroad as post-docs, university professors or hired researchers and some of them do it in the country.
The INGEBI makes a reasonable labour with the local industry. Several developments by agreements were or are in process with the Gador Laboratories, TEA Minery, “El Carmen” Electrochemistry, Biosidus, Biótica-Polychaco, Wiener Laboratories, Almidar Industries, G.Benedetti SA, and others.
The research and development plans of the INGEBI cover a combination of specialties that give a multidiscipline character with the “critical mass” that is enough to implant in the country the new technologies of Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology, this added to the known experience of the researchers form the INGEBI in the fields of Biological Chemistry, Cellular Biology, Parasitology, Biophysics, Neuroscience, Virology and Immunology.
Regarding teaching, the scientific staff of the INGEBI does an intense job, both in graduate and post graduate students, dictating courses at the Institute or other Universities of the country or abroad. It is significant the program of advanced training courses that, since several years ago, are dictated at the INGEBI, within the frame of the French-Argentine Convention of Scientific and Technological Cooperation, in which participate the CONICET, the SECYT, the INSERM and CNRS from France. Graduates from Argentina, Latinamerica, Europe and Africa go to these courses and others organized in collaboration with international agencies.
There are several official and private, national and international institutions that contribute to supporting the INGEBI’s activities. Besides the CONICET, that gives the most important support, it is also given by the Buenos Aires University, through the Natural and Exact Sciences Faculty and the UBACYT program, the Science and Technology Secretary of the Nation’s Presidency (SECYT), the Antorchas Foundation, the Scientific Investigation of the Province of Buenos Aires Commission, the World Health Organization, the United Nation Program for Development, the European Economic Community, the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology-ONUDI, the International Science Foundation (Sweden), the CYTED-D (Spain) and the Republic of France, through its agencies of scientific promotion CNRS and INSERM, between other institutions. Very recently, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute started supporting the labour of the groups of this Institute.
Also, in order to channel the private sector’s funds to this Institute, its scientists have created the INGEBI Foundation, through which they maintain active contracts with companies, banks and other foundations that could potentially be interested in collaborating with the INGEBI. At this point we should note the help received by Biosidus, Bagó, Gador, Biótica, Roemmers, CEDIQUIFA, Almidar Chemical Industries, and the Province of Buenos Aires’ Bank, amongst others.
The INGEBI Foundation also provides an efficient service of importation of scientific material to linked research centres or official organisms.
The INGEBI’s administration, included the funds management and its academic and technological orientation, is in charge of its Director, who is advised by a Direction Board that is composed by its researchers. On the other hand, all the capital goods that are acquired with public funds are donated to the CONICET or to the UBA, depending on what’s been agreed.
The INGEBI has its grounds on the historical building of the CONICET, at the complex of Obligado 2490, Capital Federal.