UPV launches first Genome Center in the region

UPV launches first Genome Center in the region

“A research institution responsive to the needs of the nation.” 

This is how DOST Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña described the Philippine Genome Center, particularly pointing out its crucial role in helping the country with the daunting challenges posed by COVID-19. PGC was responsible for the genomic sequencing of COVID-19 and the putting up of, equipping, and strengthening the country's testing capacity. 

Sec. Dela Peña delivered this online message during the Philippine Genome Center Visayas launch and inauguration on November 20, 2020, at the UP Visayas, Miagao campus. 

PGC Visayas, like the PGC in UP Diliman, has figured prominently in dealing with the myriad of arduous challenges brought by the pandemic. It is credited for having assisted in establishing COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories in the Visayas region. 

It also provided online and in-person instruction on molecular biology techniques for RNA extraction and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) to medical personnel for COVID-19 testing. 

Leading PGC Visayas from the time of its conception in 2017 to what it is today is Dr. Victor Marco Emmanuel Ferriols, its Program Director. 

“Today is a momentous occasion, not only for the University of the Philippines Visayas but for the entire region it strives to serve,” says Ferriols during the launch. 

“Today, the Philippine Genome Center Visayas at UPV’s Regional Research Center formally opens its doors to fulfill its mandate of pushing the boundaries for omics research in the fields of fisheries and aquatic sciences, agriculture and health here in the Visayas,” he added. 

Ferriols possesses that unique combination of IQ and EQ that endears him to folks inside and outside the academe. He thanked DOST for its financial support and for its trust and belief that by investing facilities in the Visayas region, it will benefit not only nearby areas but the entire country. 

He likewise thanked the UP system for its support but more importantly, he credited the hard work and effort of the people behind PGC Visayas. 

“This building, our laboratories, and equipment – they all cost tens of millions – but the people who have worked behind the scenes are priceless beyond compare,” he emphasized. 

Chancellor Clement Camposano, who graced the occasion along with the vice-chancellors, said that “PGC Visayas is a testament to UPV Visayas’ ideals of excellence and service, it being the leading institute for genome research … which serves as a means to empower the community through science and technology.”

UP System President Danilo Concepcion, UP VP for Academic Affairs Ma. Cynthia Rose Bautista, DOST VI Regional Director Rowen Gelonga, and PGC Executive Director Cynthia Palmes also gave their congratulatory messages online.

More photos here: | Photos by: Gian Genoveza/IPO

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