(HOUSTON) — In an affirmative move for both neighbors on the Texas-Mexico border, the Texas A&M Health Science Center announced today an agreement with Tecnológico de Monterrey (Monterrey Tech) in Mexico that will permit Monterrey Tech medical students to enroll in one of the Ph.D. programs available in the HSC-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

At least initially, all of the Monterrey Tech students will take part in the HSC-GSBS Ph.D. program available through the HSC-Institute of Biosciences and Technology at its location in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. The partnership builds upon a four-year history of bringing medical students from Monterrey Tech to HSC-IBT to study biomedical research techniques.

Also today at the HSC-IBT, 14 Monterrey Tech medical students were recognized for completing the seven-week summer research program this year. Event speakers included Carlos Ignacio Gonzales Magallon, Mexican Consul General; state Rep. Martha Wong, R-Houston; and HSC officials.

“Mexican students studying at HSC-IBT are entering their third and fourth years of medical training in Mexico, and, under a faculty member’s direction in Houston, learned basic scientific research techniques and participated in ongoing laboratory experiments,” said Robert Schwartz, Ph.D., interim director of HSC-IBT. “The medical degree program at Monterrey Tech combines undergraduate and medical professional study in the first six years, with one year of additional required medical service in an underserved community.”

The new graduate program will broaden the research experience of Mexican medical students, contribute to an excellent learning experience and foster cross-border cooperation, officials with both institutions said.

“We are so pleased to have this opportunity to partnership with Monterrey Tech,” said Nancy Dickey, M.D., HSC president and vice chancellor for Health Affairs for the Texas A&M University System. “Over the years, we’ve seen the participation and faculty involvement grow, and I think the new steps we’re taking to lead to a formal degree can only serve us better.”

During the celebration ceremony, a proclamation from Houston Mayor Bill White was read declaring July 14 as “Monterrey Tech Partnership Day,” and a letter from Gov. Rick Perry and resolution from the Texas Senate signed by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, acknowledged the innovative research partnership program between Texas and Mexico.

“We are very proud of the relationship between Monterrey Tech and the Texas A&M Health Science Center,” said state Rep. Wong. “It’s not often we find two great institutions that can work together and come forward with such a great program.”

The Texas A&M Health Science Center provides the state with health education, outreach and research. Its six components located in communities throughout Texas are Baylor College of Dentistry, the College of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, the Institute of Biosciences and Technology, the School of Rural Public Health, and the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy.

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