Texas A&M opens diabetes imaging lab in Mexico City
MEXICO CITY - Texas A&M University today opened its Digital Imaging Diabetes Research Center in Mexico City aimed at screening Mexican citizens for forms of diabetes, especially retinopathy, which can cause blindness. A delegation headed by Texas A&M University System Regent Lupe Fraga; David Prior, executive vice president and provost; and Richard Ewing, vice president for research, helped open the facility, located on the first floor of a building in the heart of Mexico City's business district and near Texas A&M's Mexico City Center, established by Texas A&M in 1993 to enhance educational opportunities with Mexico. The space for the research center was donated by Pablo Marvin, a 1966 Texas A&M graduate and real estate developer. It is the only facility of its kind in Mexico. The new lab will help detect diabetes, a growing health problem in Mexico. One form of the disease is retinopathy, which occurs when diabetes damages the blood vessels inside the retina. Early detection and laser treatment of diabetic retinopathy is crucial in preventing blindness. At the Digital Imaging Diabetes Research Center, an exam to detect the disease can be performed quickly, is painless and usually does not require drug administration. The new lab is based on four years of continual research conducted in the Computer Science Department at Texas A&M, with clinical trials being carried out in Texas and Saltillo, Coahuila, and supported by several funding agencies, among them Texas A&M and CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia), the premier scientific agency in Mexico and a major research partner with Texas A&M.