OMI Hosts Neurological & Sensory Disorders Seminar in Mexico City with Institut Pasteur

Apr 16, 2024

Shortly after one month from the first OMI MEX seminar this year, the OMI brought another exceptional team of specialists to Mexico City, this time in partnership with the renowned Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. The faculty from France arrived in Mexico City for the Global Health: Neurological and Sensory Disorders: Pathogenesis and Innovative Therapies seminar, which took place from April 8-10, 2024.

Dr. Aziz El-Amraoui was the perfect course director for such a challenging seminar with his remarkable expertise in the field. With a PhD in Neuroscience, Dr. El-Amraoui joined the Institut Pasteur and led major scientific contributions for hearing and vision functioning and related disorders. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his multidisciplinary research approach.

Founded in 1887, the Institut Pasteur is a prestigious research institution present around the world focusing on public health, training, and innovation. It was the first to isolate the HIV virus in 1983, and, through research, enabled science to control diseases such as tuberculosis, yellow fever, and plague. No less than ten Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded a Nobel Prize since the early twentieth century. The OMI is tremendously appreciative for this partnership ultimately bringing together one of our common goals: to improve healthcare on a global scale. This partnership is now even more significant, allowing us to bring such immense neurosensory mastery further in Latin America with OMI MEX!

The seminar lectures were also taught by faculty Drs. Paul Avan, current head of the Center for Research and Innovation in Human Audiology (CERIAH) at the Institut de l’Audition, center of Institut Pasteur; Sandrine Marlin, coordinator of French and European networks and reference centers associating geneticists, molecular biologists, researchers and more in the fields of genetic hearing impairment and rare sensorial diseases; and Natacha Teissier; Neurosensory sequalae of congenital cytomegalovirus infection PhD and professor of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology at Paris Cité University.

Dr. Dr. El-Amraoui explains that the “course on sensorineural rare diseases aimed to deepen our understanding of inner ear functions and explore the implications of malfunctions at all levels. It addressed the impacts of aging and external factors on our senses, from infections to noise exposure, and evaluated the successes and limitations of rehabilitation and curative treatment solutions designed to prevent or reverse sensory loss. This course effectively bridged fundamental scientific concepts with clinical implications, emphasizing the importance of early diagnosis, comprehensive clinical phenotyping, and consideration of disease mechanisms in developing personalized treatments.”

This time, OMI MEX, along with our partner Alianza Médica para la Salud, AMSA, was joined by 22 fellows from all over Mexico, 4 fellows from Brazil, and one from Uruguay.

Sharing a bit of his personal experience leading the seminar with such a diverse group and, for the first time, in Latin America, Dr. Dr. El-Amraoui states: “I had the pleasure of witnessing outstanding engagement and enthusiasm from participants representing Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay. The diverse program and meticulous arrangements by the host organization significantly contributed to the event’s success. It was truly inspiring to see the collaborative spirit and passion among attendees as we advanced our understanding of hearing and balance disorders, exploring them from basic science to clinical and treatment perspectives. The rich interactions among fellows and faculty members generated numerous plans for future initiatives.”

Participants had a chance to present case studies from their place of work and exchange knowledge in different focus areas in the same field, considering the interdisciplinary characteristic of the topic and of the faculty approach.

“I came across diseases I didn’t know existed, as well as symptoms I would have never had associated with something relevant before. This allows me to give better care for my patients.”
Mónica Cecilia Castillo Pérez, MD

OMI MEX Fellow from Mexico City, Mexico

“My favorite lecture was ‘Cell and Animal-Modelling of Inner Ear Disorders: Pathogenesis and Mechanisms’ by Dr. El-Amraoui, in which I learned new ways of improving my PhD thesis design and new techniques that I can apply to carry out a more specific evaluation of changes in autistic patients.”
Nathalia Oliveira, BSc, MSc

OMI MEX Fellow from São Paulo, Brazil

“The course was very immersive, and it was possible to learn advanced topics. At the same time, I was able to discuss the practical applications that each participant was working on in different environments.”
Mario Campos, PhD

OMI MEX Fellow from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We would like to thank AMSA, and once again share how grateful the OMI is for Institut Pasteur and the incredible team from France: Drs. Aziz El-Amraoui, Paul Avan, Sandrine Marlin, and Natacha Teissier!