The Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Cinvestav) was created by Presidential Decree by President Adolfo López Mateos, on April 17 1961, which was later modified by President José López Portillo, on the 17th of September 1982.

By decree, Cinvestav is a decentralized organ of public interest, with legal personality and own patrimony. To undertake its functions it receives an annual subsidy fixed by the Federal Government, based on its budget. In addition to that the Center is supported with donations from several sources: state and private companies, decentralized organisms, foreign institutions, industry and private donors.

The main goals pursued by Cinvestav are to prepare specialized researchers and professors that will promote constant upgrading in teaching, thus generating conditions to do original research in several scientific and technological areas that will elevate the quality of life and development of the country.

At present Cinvestav has the following Departments: Cellular Biology; Molecular Biomedicine; Biochemistry; Biotechnology and Bioengineering; Pharmacology and Toxicology, with sections of Therapeutic and Experimental Pharmacology, and Environmental Toxicology; Physics; Physiology, Biophysics and Neuroscience, with a laboratory of Animal Reproduction in Tlaxcala; Genetics and Molecular Biology; Electrical Engineering, with section on Bioelectronics, Computer Science, Communications, Automatic Control, Solid State Electronics, Metrology, Engineering Projects and Mechatronics; Education Research; Educational Mathematics; Mathematics; Experimental Pathology; and Chemistry. It also has a section on Theory and Methodology of Science.

Within the country there are units in Guadalajara, Irapuato, Querétaro, Saltillo, and Mérida with the only department related to the sea and coastal areas. The Unit in Merida was founded 20 years ago, as a response to government policy of science decentralization. It has three departments: Marine Resources, Human Ecology and Applied Physics. Its main goal is to develop scientific and technological research, create human resources at a level of excellence, with national and international recognition.

Field of Focus
To Develop Scientific and Technological Research