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21 institutions convened for Forging Partnerships with PGC VSF

The beginning of the establishment of Philippine Genome Center Visayas Satellite Facility (PGC VSF) consortium happened last June 14, 2019 at Training Rooms 1 and 2, GCEB, UP Visayas, Iloilo City with 21 institutions across the Philippines.

Forging Partnerships with PGC VSF gathered representatives from Northern Iloilo Polytechnic College, University of Antique, Capiz State University, Aklan State University, Visayas State University, Southern Leyte State University, Iloilo State College of Fisheries, Mindanao State University Tawi-tawi College of Technology and Oceanography, University of San Carlos, Southern Philippines Agri-Business and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology, Mindoro State College of Agriculture and Technology, Sorsogon State College, Cebu Technological University, Western Philippines University, University of San Agustin, West Visayas State University, Silliman University, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Iloilo Doctor’s Hospital, Philippine Science High School MIMAROPA Region Campus and Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department to discuss how PGC VSF can collaborate with them in complementing genomics to their researches.

Prospective PGC VSF consortium members can be classified into health-related and fisheries and aquatic sciences-related. The health-related prospective PGC VSF consortium members wanted to work on diabetes mellitus, thyroid cancer, nutrigenomics for micronutrient deficiency, cervical cancer and G6PD for newborn screening. For the fisheries and aquatic sciences-related prospective consortium members, they would like to conduct research on seaweeds; seeafood safety and traceability; stock identification for conservation and selective breeding; marine resource metabarcoding and biobanking; feed nutrition, fish disease detection and bioplastic production.

These 21 institutions will be able to access the PGC VSF laboratory equipped for DNA extraction and library preparation for next-generation sequencing (NGS) if they comply with PGC VSF consortium membership requirements. In gaining PGC VSF consortium membership, PGC VSF requires an institution to have a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and/or genomics-related memorandum of academic research cooperation (MOARC) as well as a research proposal within 2 years. PGC VSF will be housed in the new research center of UP Visayas situated at the Miagao Campus overlooking the Panay Gulf with picturesque vistas of the town of San Joaquin and the province of Antique.

Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma, executive director of Philippine Genome Center, was present to recount the beginnings of PGC and to express her vision of the center as a catalyst in genomics research through trainings, consultations and services for consortium members. She emphasized complementation of talents and professional services among consortium members and PGC VSF. She welcomed the institutions who would want to work in PGC Main too.

Dr. Victor Marco Emmanuel N. Ferriols, project leader of PGC VSF, introduced the facility and expressed PGC VSF’s willingness to collaborate and assist in proposal preparations with the institutions present in the activity. Assistance in proposal preparations may include trainings, writeshops and assessment of laboratory requirements for genomics research.

Several representatives from institutions presented their genomics-related works such as Dr. Paul John L. Geraldino on identification of seaweeds, Dr. Robert S. Guino-o II on barcoding of freshwater fishes and Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay on compound discovery in marine actinomycetes.

Dr. Michael A. Rice from University of Rhode Island delivered a lecture on genetics and salinity tolerances of exotic Charru mussel in the Philippines and implications for their management.

Ms. Arlene L. Avillanosa from Western Philippines University and Dr. Maria Celia D. Malay from University of the Philippines Visayas presented research proposals intended to be done with PGC VSF.

Representatives from the institutions were given time to discuss projects with those who presented genomics-related works and those who presented proposals.

Indeed, much has to be done for genomics to complement research of PGC VSF’s prospective consortium members. Forging Partnerships with PGC VSF was a great way to start.

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