Rie Takumi/TJD, GMA News

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in UP Diliman has officially opened its Core Facility for Bioinformatics (CFB), with the capability to analyze biological data for local scientists and researchers.

Software, specialized databases, and technical support for bioinformatics analyses are available in the center, NewsBytes reported Monday. Researchers may also access “high-performance computing resources” provided by the facility’s “Blue Gene”, an IBM supercomputer.

“The Core Facility for Bioinformatics, a part of the research project ‘capability building in R&D genomics’ is now open to local researchers through the grant from the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD),” NewsBytes quoted Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, executive director of the PGC.

Researchers from government, academic, and private institutions may collaborate with the center, should their research lie in genomics-based applications in health and medicine, agriculture, biodiversity, or forensics.

Beyond advancing bioinformatic and computational genomics research in the country, CFG aims to address the deficiency in local expertise for genomics, biotechnology, and computational biology.

Educational workshops, seminars, and training will eventually be held in the facility to this end.

CFB extends the sequencing services already offered by PGC’s DNA Sequencing Core Facility (DSCF). Opened in 2013, the DSCF offered genotyping and sequencing services to academic research groups in the country, and emphasized a Filipino-centric approach to research.

“We cannot copy Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, or even the US because the Philippines has its unique needs,” said  Padilla.

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