The University of the Philippines Visayas National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (UPV-NIMBB) is now led by a new director after the appointment of Dr. Carmelo del Castillo, effective June 15, 2022.
Dr. del Castillo is well-suited to lead the NIMBB with his undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as his professional experience with biology and biotechnology.
Interestingly, it all goes full circle for him, as one of his earliest jobs was being a researcher for NIMBB from 1999-2000.
During his time as a researcher at NIMBB, Dr. del Castillo focused on bioremediation/biocontrol in prawn (Penaeus monodon) culture and probiotics research in prawn (P. monodon) culture.
The institution aims to become the lead agency in the field of fisheries and aquatic biotechnology by conducting impactful research and providing learning opportunities for its stakeholders and partner agencies through training, research and development programs, and extension activities related to molecular biology principles and techniques.
Currently, Dr. del Castillo is an assistant professor at the Institute of Aquaculture of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UPV, where he teaches Genetics, Ecology, and Fish Health to undergraduate students.
He also teaches Advanced Ecology, Advanced Genetics, and Special Topics to graduate school students.
In the aspect of research, Dr. del Castillo leads two projects in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARD): Milkfish Metagenomics (PhP 22M) and Using Coconut oil to improve saline Tilapia Aquaculture (PhP 4.8M).
He also assists projects on Metagenomics of Penaeus vannamei and Barcoding of Fishes around Panay Island, Philippines, and of the Philippine Genome Center Visayas satellite.
Dr. del Castillo was able to gain experience in various capacities in the field of research in other countries. These include:
- Chief Facilitator for Sakura Creations, Inc, New York, New York, USA (2014-2016)
- PostDoc Associate at the Marine Animal Diseases Laboratory, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, New York, USA (2012-2014)
- Research Professor at the Aquatic Biotechnology Center of the World Class University Project, Gyeongsang National University, South Korea (2010-2012)
- Researcher/International Relations Officer at the Japan Organic Company, Ltd. (Nihon Yuuki Kabushiki Kaisya), Soh City, Kagoshima Prefecture (2009-2010)
Aside from working, Dr. del Castillo also managed to pursue his academic endeavors outside the country, particularly in Japan.
He has a PhD in Marine Sciences (Applied Science of Marine Resources) from the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences at the Kagoshima University in Kagoshima, Japan, in 2008 and a Master of Science in Marine Sciences degree at the College of Marine Sciences of the said university in 2003.
In addition, Dr. del Castillo finished his Master of Science in Fisheries major in Aquaculture at UPV in 2000, where he researched bioremediation/biocontrol in Prawn (Penaeus monodon) culture; studied probiotics in Prawn (P. monodon) culture; conducted nutritional experiments on Mudcrab (Scylla serrata); and participated in Monitoring activities in the Mangrove forests around Batan Aquaculture Station.
Dr. del Castillo, a Bacolodnon, earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology (pre-medical) degree at the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City in 1994.
In a recent interview with the Negros Daily Bulletin, Dr. del Castillo said he continues to follow and be guided by the successful route of former NIMBB directors.
In his new role, he hopes to improve the understanding of people on how to properly and responsibly utilize marine and aquatic supplies.