PhD Candidate, Evolutionary Genetics / Human Genetics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden University, The Netherlands
MSc Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
University of the Philippines, Diliman

Areas of Current Research: molecular anthropology, evolutionary genetics,
population genetics, forensic genetics

Frederick C. Delfin is a PhD Fellow in Evolutionary Genetics, with the Human Population History Research Group, at the International Max Planck Research School, Leipzig School for Human Origins, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA-HPHRG), Leipzig, Germany and with the Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden University, The Netherlands. He completed a BSc degree in Biology at the University of the Philippines, Baguio and MSc degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He is a University Research Associate I for the past 18 years at the DNA Analysis Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines (UPD-NSRI-DAL).

For the first seven years, Fred’s work with the UPD-NSRI-DAL focused on human population genetics and forensic genetics. He was involved in the creation of a Philippine population genetic database of forensic DNA markers for use in the evaluation of DNA typing results [1]. He was involved in validating DNA typing procedures for human identification [2, 3] and for sexual assault cases [4, 5]. In the succeeding years up to the present, Fred’s work shifted towards human evolutionary genetics, population genetic history and molecular anthropology. With the UPD-NSRI-DAL and colleagues at the Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines, Manila, Fred participated in the first region-wide survey of human genetic diversity in Asia [6]. With MPI-EVA-HPHRG, Fred participated in work on genetic variation and population history of various human populations from Asia, the Solomon Islands and Australia; including ancient admixture between modern and archaic humans [7-11]. With MPI-EVA-HPHRG and UPD-NSRI-DAL, Fred’s work provided insights into the genetic diversity and population history of Filipinos. This work showed that Filipinos have different genetic affinities in the Asia-Pacific region, possibly including archaic hominins like the Denisovans; that Filipinos have genetic ancestry as old as about 5,000 to 50,000 years ago; that the Filipino population has a complex population genetic structure composed of homogeneous regional population centers and diverse ethnolinguistic groups; and that Filipino population history may not be as simple as a series of migrations into an empty archipelago, but a complex history involving varying degrees of migration, genetic drift and admixture between our early Filipino ancestors and other groups in the Asia-Pacific region [6-7, 9-14].

To further these studies, a Filipino genetic/genomic variation research program is being developed along with the relevant study protocol and ethics, legal and social implication (ELSI) instruments for human population-based genetics research. The overall aim is to expand the current Filipino population genetic database to a Filipino genetic data resource, consisting of millions of DNA markers across the human (Filipino) genome and representatives of different Filipino regional population centers and ethnolinguistic groups across the archipelago. In the spirit of the International HapMap project, the 1000 Genomes project and other large human genetics research consortiums, this “Filipino HapMap” genetic data resource will be useful across various disciplines from forensics, anthropology, evolutionary genetics to biomedical research. Fred hopes to accomplish this with the UPD-NSRI-DAL, the MPI-EVA-HPHRG and now with the University of the Philippines System, Philippine Genome Center, Forensics and Ethnicity Program (UPS-PGC-FnE).


  1. Maiquilla SMB, Salvador JM, Calacal GC, Delfin FC, Tabbada KA, Perdigon HB, Sagum MS, Dalet MRM and De Ungria MCA. 2011. Expansion of the Philippine autosomal short tandem repeat population database for DNA-based paternity testing. Philipp J Sci. 140 (1): 1-6.
  2. Calacal GC, De Ungria MCA, Delfin FC, Lara M, Magtanong DL and Fortun RdR. 2003. Identification of Two Fire Victims by Comparative Nuclear DNA Typing of Skeletal Remains and Stored Umbilical Tissues. Am J Forensic Patho Med. 24(2):148-152.
  3. Calacal GC, Delfin FC, Tan MM, Roewer L, Magtanong DL, Lara M, Fortun R dR and De Ungria MCA. 2005. Identification of exhumed remains of fire tragedy victims using conventional methods and autosomal/Y-Chromosomal Short Tandem Repeat DNA profiling. Am J Forensic Patho Med. 26(3):285-291.
  4. Gilmore JA, De Ungria MCA, Delfin FC, Madrid BJ, Ochave JM. THE DNA MANUAL. An Official Publication of the Child Protection Unit Network, In collaboration with The DNA Analysis Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines. 2004.
  5. Delfin FC, Tan MP, Madrid BJ, De Ungria MCA. 2005. Y-STR analysis for the detection and objective confirmation of child sexual abuse. Int J Leg Med. 119:158-163.
  6. HUGO Pan Asia Consortium. 2009. Mapping human genetic diversity in Asia. Science 326(5959): 1541-1545.
  7. Stoneking M and Delfin F. 2010. The Human Genetic History of East Asia: Weaving a complex tapestry. Curr Biol. 20:R188–R193.
  8. Delfin F, Myles S, Choi Y, Hughes D, Illek R, van Oven M, Pakendorf B, Kayser M and Stoneking M. 2012. Bridging Near and Remote Oceania: mtDNA and NRY variation in the Solomon Islands. Mol Biol Evol. 29(2):545-564.
  9. Pugach I, Delfin F, Kayser M and Stoneking M. 2013. Genome-wide data substantiate Holocene gene flow from India to Australia. Proc Nat Acad Sci 110(5): 1803-1808.
  10. Ko AM, Chen C, Fu Q, Delfin F, Li M, Chiu H, Stoneking M and Ko Y. 2014. Early Austronesians: Into and Out of Taiwan. Am J Hum Genet 94: 426-436.
  11. Reich D, Patterson N, Kircher M, Delfin F, Nandineni M, Pugach I, Ko A, Ko Y, Jinam T, Phipps M, Saitou S, Wollstein A, Kayser M; Paabo S and Stoneking M. 2011. Denisova admixture and the first modern human dispersals into southeast Asia and Oceania. Am J Hum Genet. 89:516–528.
  12. Delfin FC, Salvador JM, Calacal GC, Perdigon HB, Tabbada KA, Villamor LP, Halos SC, Gunnarsdottir E, Myles S, Hughes DA, Xu S, Jin L, Lao O, Kayser M, Hurles ME, Stoneking M and De Ungria MCA. 2011. The Y-chromosome landscape in the Philippines: extensive heterogeneity and varying genetic affinities of Negrito and non-Negrito groups. Eur J Hum Genet. 19: 224–230.
  13. Delfin FCD, Ko AMS, Mingkun L, Gunnarsdottir ED, Tabbada KA, Salvador JM, Calacal GC, Sagum MS, Datar FA, Padilla SG, De Ungria MCA and Stoneking M. 2014. Complete mtDNA genomes of Filipino ethnolinguistic groups: a melting pot of recent and ancient lineages in the Asia-Pacific region. Eur J Hum Genet 22: 228-237.
  14. Delfin F. 2015. The Population History of the Philippines, A Genetic Overview. Philippine Studies Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints 63 (4): 449–476.