Featured article from the University of the Philippines Media and Public Relations Office
Written by Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo

This is what the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) is trying to find out. One of its key research initiatives is piecing together Filipino genomic identity and history.

Speakers and participants in the Philippine Genome Center’s “The Story of the Filipino through the Genomics Lens.” (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

In its first forum for 2020, PGC gathered resource persons to help tell “The Story of the Filipino through the Genomics Lens” on January 31 at the Institute of Biology Auditorium, UP Diliman (UPD). With references from relics of the past to present day practice, from human to poultry DNA, the event featured different approaches to exploring who the Filipino is.

Dr. Armand Mijares kicks off the forum with “Homo luzonensis and Advancement in Human Evolutionary Debate.” (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

Dr. Armand Mijares talked about his team’s discovery of Homo luzonensis and what it meant for human evolution. Dr. Michael James Herrera shared his ongoing study on human mobility using chickens as “bio-proxies”. Both are from the Archaeological Studies Program, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UPD.

On human genetics, Dr. Maria Corazon De Ungria and Jazelyn Salvador briefly described their research on the genetics of Mangyans in Mindoro and of Philippine Negritos, respectively. They are both from the DNA Analysis Laboratory (DAL), Natural Sciences Research Institute, College of Science, UPD. Meanwhile, Prof. Jae Joseph Russell Rodriguez of the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Los Baños, also in collaboration with DAL, discussed his investigation into the human genetic history of the Sulu Archipelago.

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