/ 22 November 2020

THE UNIVERSITY of the Philippines Visayas is launching the Philippine Genome Center Visayas Satellite Facility to conduct genomics research in the fields of agriculture, medicine, fisheries, and aquatic sciences.

Established in 2019, the research hub has been instrumental in the country’s continuing fight against the Covid19 pandemic.

“It assisted in the establishment of Covid19 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 to medical personnel for Covid19 testing,” the school said.

PGC Visayas also assisted the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the country’s premier facility on infectious diseases, and the Manila HealthTek team which developed the Philippine-made coronavirus test kit.

According to the university, PGC Visayas already trained 79 pathologists and medical technologists from nine partner institutions in Western Visayas since April this year.

Last March, it also lent its RT-PCR machine to the Western Visayas Medical Center to complement the capacity of the hospital.

“We will be pushing the boundaries of knowledge generation in the region. By partnering with various state universities and colleges, higher education institutions, and other research institutions, we will ensure the continuity of this knowledge generation through capacity building investment,” PGC Visayas Program Director Victor Marco Emmanuel Ferriols said.

“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, and bioinformatics analyses,” the school added.

The genome center in Visayas was established with funding support from the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology.