In 2019, Philippine Genome Center Visayas Satellite Facility (PGC VSF) was established due to the need to expand Philippine Genome Center (PGC). The Philippine government wanted higher education institutions, hospitals and other research institutions to tap the agricultural, fisheries, medical and other allied sciences applications of high-end sequencers they invested in PGC. The establishment of PGC VSF is a major step in the advancement of genomics in the Philippines as preceded by the formal launching of PGC in 2011, PGC’s DNA Sequencing Core Facility (DSCF) launching in 2013 and PGC’s Core Facility for Bioinformatics (CFB) in 2014.
Discussions on the establishment of PGC VSF started as early as October 2017 during the “Partnering for Genomics Research, Collaborating for Capacity Building” seminar organized by PGC in Iloilo Convention Center. A series of video chats followed this seminar until Dr. Victor Marco Emmanuel N. Ferriols was assigned as Project leader of Establishment of Genomics Consortium and Core Facility in Visayas (PGC VSF). Inception of Establishment of Genomics Consortium and Core Facility in Visayas (PGC VSF) took place in UP Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo last March 11-12, 2019 with the attendance of Dr. Benedict A. Maralit, the Director of PGC DSCF and representatives of consortium members. Approved anchor projects of PGC VSF as of November 2019 are “Transcriptome and gut metagenome profile of Penaeus vannamei exposed to fluctuating environmental temperatures” and “Profiling of transcriptome of seaweeds to elucidate “ice-ice” disease and epiphyte infestation mechanisms”.
In June 14, 2014, Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma, the PGC Executive Director, met with 21 potential consortium members and initiated brainstorming of five groups in seaweeds, giant freshwater prawn, freshwater areas monitoring, marine resource metabarcoding and biobanking, and drug discovery. As a DOST PCHRD-monitored project, PGC VSF has conducted the Genomics in Health Writeshop last June 24-25, 2019 which generated 4 submitted proposals on colorectal cancer, G6PD deficiency and diabetes mellitus from West Visayas State University College of Medicine (WVSU CM) and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH).