Gov't Boosts Genome-Based Research

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) Sunday assured full commitment to the advancement of genome-based research in the country to boost and revolutionize health, drug discovery, forensics, agriculture and related researches.

Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo made the remark in a speech before experts in the field of science during the symbolic launch of the Philippine Genome Center in Makati City.

Montejo said the DoST will help provide the infrastructures and the acquisition of technologies that will sustain the scientific and analytical processes comprising genome-based research.

Montejo said that through the Balik Scientist Program, the DoST will bring home top Filipino scientists, informaticians and engineers from all over the world to teach prospective scholars and supervise genome-focused projects.

He added that through grants from the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and Philippine Council for Agriculture and Aquatic Research and Resources Development, the DoST will support genomics research projects aligned with the priorities of the agency.

"The process of translating genome-based research into solutions is a trans-disciplinary and multi-sectoral responsibility, involving collaboration across various scientific disciplines and linkages between academic and private sectors," Montejo said.

"A successful scientific program requires not only a robust research component, but also the executive supervision that will realize the development of science and technology in a broader context. The DoST shall act as principal administrative arm for genomics study, building bridges between academia, policymakers and private sector. More than just providing financial support, the agency will work toward integration of validated genomic knowledge into concrete products and applications that will improve the quality of life and advance socio-economic conditions in the country; creation of scientifically-informed policies that will cater to needs and interests of the Filipino; formation of regulatory schemes that will preserve the ethical and intellectual integrity of genome-based research and technology transfer; and elevation of public awareness of genomics, its applications and legal and social issues surrounding it," Montejo added.

Among the important guests who attended the symbolic launch include Dr. Carmencita David Padilla, Executive Director of Philippine Genome Center, Alfredo Pascual, University of the Philippines (UP) President; Lap-Chee Tsui from University of Hong Kong ; Dr. …