The current Institute of Neurobiology is a heir of the Mexican school of research on integrative neurobiology, which originated in the 1940´s when diverse groups from various institutions dispersed throughout the country started to work on neurophysiology, experimental neuropsychiatry, psychophysiology, behaviour, neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, and neuroendocrinology.

Notwithstanding the long-established Mexican tradition of neuroscience studies, a university-based institute, devoted mainly to research on the nervous system and its functions did not exist.

Therefore, in 1993 the National Autonomous University of México (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) decided to support the consolidation of this area by creating an institution that not only acknowledged the inveteracy of such a discipline in the country but, even more importantly, also promoted the education and training of students in this area.

This decision was strengthened by the explosive development of the neurosciences at an international level, pumped by the so-called “Brain Decade” (1990-2000) and by the commitment to promote integrative studies of the structure, mechanisms of operation, and function of the nervous system using multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary approaches.

Simultaneously, it was considered desirable to broaden the decentralization process of the University system of scientific research, locating this Institute in a new campus, Juriquilla, in the State of Querétaro. This would foster the formation of a new pole of academic development in the Bajío region (situated in the central part of México) that would strengthen the national character of UNAM.