The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) will officially launch and inaugurate the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Visayas Satellite Facility to be streamed on real-time via Zoom and Facebook live on 20 November 2020.
Department of Science of Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. dela Peňa, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, UP Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista, DOST VI Regional Director Engr. Rowen R. Gelonga and PGC Executive Director Cynthia P. Saloma will grace the virtual ceremony.
PGC Visayas was established in 2019 with funding support from DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) for the purpose of advancing genomics research in the region. It will serve as a hub for extensive research in agriculture, medicine, fisheries and aquatic sciences. The facility is located at the Regional Research Center of UP Visayas, Miagao, 42 kilometers south of the Province of Iloilo.
“Through genomics research in these various fields, we will be pushing the boundaries of knowledge generation in the region. By partnering with various State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and other research institutions, we will ensure the continuity of this knowledge generation though capacity building investment,” said PGC Visayas program director Assoc. Prof. Victor Marco Emmanuel N. Ferriols.
Equipped with state-of-the art facilities, PGC Visayas will pave the way for HEIs and other research stations to have access to these facilities. The facility offers services in nucleic acid extraction, basic library preparation for new generation sequencing (NGS), and bioinformatics analyses.
PGC Visayas played a significant role in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. It assisted in the establishment of COVID-19 testing centers and laboratories in the region. It conducted online and hands-on training on molecular biology techniques for RNA extraction and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) to medical personnel for COVID-19 testing.
As of November 2020, PGC Visayas trained a total of 79 pathologists and medical technologists from nine different institutions in Western Visayas since April this year.
Among others, PGC provided scientific advice and assistance to Manila HealthTek team and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) of the Department of Health.
As part of the launch, PGC will also introduce its official website and conduct a webinar entitled, “PGC Visayas: Bridging Gaps in the Midst of COVID-19.” The webinar will showcase the contribution of PGC in the fight against the global health crisis and will feature the online participation of Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treňas and Iloilo Provincial Governor Arthur R. Defensor, Jr.