Cayetano Heredia University

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Cayetano Heredia University
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
MottoSpiritus ubi vult spirat (The spirit spreads wherever it wants)
TypePrivate nonprofit university
EstablishedSeptember 22, 1961 (62 years ago) (1961-09-22)
Academic affiliation
Consortium of Universities
RectorDr. Enrique Castañeda Saldaña
Av. Honorio Delgado 430, Urb. Ingeniería, San Martin de Porres
, ,
Campus in Lima Norte

Cayetano Heredia University (Spanish: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, UPCH; or simply Cayetano Heredia) is a private nonprofit university located in Lima, Peru. It was named in honor of Cayetano Heredia, one of the eminent Peruvian physicians of the 19th century. The university is overseen by a board of trustees (patronato) and is not owned by any private or state entity. It is considered one of the top medical schools in Peru, along the Faculty of Medicine "San Fernando" of National University of San Marcos, and is currently one of the major producers and publishers of scientific research in the country.


The university was founded in 1961 by a group of professors and students from the medical school of the four-century-old National University of San Marcos in Lima. This group of students and professors expressed their strong disagreement with legislation, inspired by the APRA, a political party interested in the absolute control of the university system in the country. The legislation advocated the "co-government" of all the state universities by the so-called "student one-third", which would politicize the academic enterprise. The dissenting group was led by Drs. Honorio Delgado and Alberto Hurtado, dean of the medical school at San Marcos. As their campaign to preserve academics failed, the 400 plus faculty members had no other option but to resign en masse, and found the new medical school as a private non-profit academic institution.

On September 22, the decree authorizing the new university school with the name of Private Peruvian University of Medical and Biological Sciences was promulgated. The official inauguration of the new university took place on June 18, 1962, with the assistance of the President of the Republic, Manuel Prado Ugarteche.

It would be on February 24, 1965, when the institution changes its name to the one it currently has: Cayetano Heredia University

The first classes began in April 1962, in the old headquarters of the Colegio Sagrados Corazones Belén del Jirón de la Unión, and after the opening of the Cayetano Heredia National Hospital in 1967, they moved to the new headquarters of San Martín de Porres in 1968.

Some have suggested that these events were the subject of "prior arrangements/agreements" which, in the political context of the time, would have been practically impossible. 47 years later, Cayetano Heredia and San Marcos are the most prestigious medical schools in Peru.

Vaccine-Gate case[edit]

The Vaccine-gate case (Vacunagate in Spanish) is a case of corruption that occurred in the second half of 2020 and early 2021 with respect to 1,000 vaccines from the pharmaceutical company Sinopharm unofficially granted to the Cayetano Heredia University destined for Phase 3 clinical trials. Leftover doses were given to senior officials of the Peruvian State (including the President of the Republic of Peru at that time: Martín Vizcarra[1] and his minister of health Pilar Mazzetti),[2] workers of the research project on the use of the vaccine in the Peruvian population and high University authorities, including the rector of the university Luis Varela Pinedo, his vice-rector José Ronald Espinoza Babilón and the researcher and ex-minister Patricia J. García, who among other authorities of the educational center, had to resign on February 18 as a result of the scandal. On February 16, the situation was aggravated when it was discovered that Germán Málaga Rodríguez, project leader at the Cayetano Heredia headquarters, administered three doses to 40 people, including himself and a deputy minister, irregularly and without written consent. On February 19, after an inspection in which various irregularities that violated the study protocol, good practices and ethical standards were corroborated, the National Institute of Health of Peru determined the departure of the principal investigator responsible, Germán Málaga, and suspended to the university as a center for conducting new clinical trials.[3]



The rectors of the university, since its foundation, are:



Soon after its founding and during the following forty-plus years Cayetano Heredia University became a significant center of higher learning and scientific research in Peru. UPCH is credited with world-quality research in the area of health sciences in Peru.[4][5]

It is a rather small school (under 2,000 students) that focuses on the disciplines of medicine, dentistry, natural sciences, public health, veterinary medicine, nursing, psychology, biotechnology and education. It grants baccalaureate degrees as well as master's and doctoral degrees in biochemistry, biotechnology, medicine, biology, and a Master of Health Administration.

In 2016, due to the new university licensing process by the National Superintendence of Higher University Education (SUNEDU), after complying with the basic conditions of educational quality, the UPCH was licensed, being the fifth private university to do and the second university to be licensed for a period of 10 years (something that only some universities such as the Catholic, San Agustin, Engineering and San Marcos achieved).


Cayetano Heredia University has established numerous agreements and collaborative arrangements with leading institutions from all over the world, including the Johns Hopkins University, University of Washington, University of California San Diego, University of California Berkeley, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium, and the University of Pennsylvania.

The Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt (Tropical Medicine Institute) is among the top research institutions in tropical medicine in Latin America, with ongoing investigations in tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, malaria, and HIV, both at its site in Lima and at several field sites such as Iquitos, Cuzco, and La Merced. The institute is internationally recognized for the Gorgas Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine, given jointly with UAB.[6]

The Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura (High Altitude Research Institute) is known for its contribution to the understanding of high altitude physiology and the pathophysiology of acute and chronic high altitude sickness.


The logo of Cayetano Heredia is a yellow shield with the words "Spiritus ubi vult spirat" from the Gospel of John on the sides. In the center is the Rod of Asclepius, which is representative of medicine and healing.[7]


Together with the National University of San Marcos and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, the Cayetano Heredia University is one of the only three Peruvian universities which has managed to rank first nationally in certain editions of different major international university rankings.[8][9][10][11] In recent years, it is considered the best university in the country in various rankings, especially those that measure research (Scopus, SCImago, etc.).[12][13][14]

In 2022, when the results of the Biennial Report on Reality in Universities by SUNEDU came out, in the results of the historical ranking (1980-2021) and academic excellence (2019-2022), Cayetano Heredia University is the best university from the country.[15]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Peru vaccine scandal: Ex-president asked for early jab, doctors say". BBC News. February 17, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  2. ^ Analysis by Rafael Romo (February 18, 2021). "Analysis: Vaccine scandal highlights long history of misconduct by elected officials in Peru". CNN. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  3. ^ "'Vaccine-gate' roils Peru: Politicians, families and friends secretly got COVID shots". Los Angeles Times. February 19, 2021. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  4. ^ "Vilchez 2009". Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  5. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). July 19, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011.
  6. ^ Walsh, Carolyn. "School of Medicine – Department of Medicine | UAB".
  7. ^ "Spiritus ubi vult spirat". Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved November 27, 2008.
  8. ^ "Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú". Top Universities. July 16, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
  9. ^ "2013 University Web Ranking: Universities in Peru". 4 International Colleges & Universities. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  10. ^ "Ranking Web of Universities: Peru". Webometrics. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  11. ^ "QS Latin American University Rankings". Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  12. ^ "Ranking universitario en el Perú" (PDF). Asamblea Nacional de Rectores (ANR) and UNESCO. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 4, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  13. ^ "University Ranking by Academic Performance (2010): Top Perú". URAP Center. Archived from the original on May 15, 2019. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  14. ^ "Ránking 2011: conozca las mejores universidades del Perú". (in Spanish). Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  15. ^ "Rankings Of Sunedu".

External links[edit]