DOST Genomics program undergoes evaluation

The Department of Science and Technology Office of the Undersecretary for Research and Development (DOST-OUSECRD) recently hosted the United States State Department’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellows for the external evaluation of the DOST Genomics Program.

The first day of the external evaluation kicked off at the University of San Agustin (USA) which houses the Center for Chemical Biology and Biotechnology (C2B2) and the Center for Natural Drug Discovery and Development (CND3).

Dr. Jonel P. Saludes, Associate Vice President for Research and Global Relations, began by stating the university’s goal to become an emerging research university in the Philippine countryside followed by Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay, Director of C2B2, presenting the projects of the various research centers.

After discussions, the following laboratories under the C2B2 and the CND3 were introduced: cell culture laboratory, mass spectrometry laboratory, chemistry laboratory, and microbiology laboratory.

Each laboratory showcased their efficiency with functional facilities and custodians for every equipment.

Meanwhile, the university has also established their Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy facility which, as of this writing, is still under assembly.

The second day took place in University of the Philippines Visayas’s (UPV) Regional Research Center (RRC) which accommodates the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Visayas which serves as a hub for collaborative genomic research and spearhead the utilization of various sciences in fisheries and aquatic research.

The RRC is still under construction as of this writing and will soon be home to the following laboratories: food science laboratory, material science and nanotechnology laboratory, microbiology laboratory, chemical laboratory, and biology laboratory.

Moreover, the PGC Visayas has two core facilities which are the Omics Laboratory and the Bioinformatics Laboratory.

During the evaluation, it was mentioned that the facility has nine ongoing projects under its belt plus health-related efforts focusing on the Covid-19 pandemic response.

Activities to be done after the external evaluation include the DOST VI consolidating the information (i.e. activities, projects, implementation status) obtained from the external evaluation to assess whether research grants were effectively utilized, US Fellows from the NSF also consolidating information obtained from the evaluation (i.e. innovation, people, tools, and infrastructure) as economic indicators.

Furthermore, the latter will share the output document with the lawmakers as basis for identifying Research and Development (R&D) priorities.