The University of the Philippines Mindanao (UPMin), in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), UK, has successfully completed the One Health Omics Project, a week-long free online bioinformatics workshop from October 11-16, 2021.

Out of 124 applicants, only 40 were shortlisted to participate in the workshop composed of faculty members, clinicians, and researchers from different regions in Mindanao.

In the opening ceremony, Dr. Aleyla De Cadiz, project leader of One Health Omics said that the workshop serves to capacitate Filipino researchers in Mindanao on omics technology in the surveillance, management, and control of infections in a One Health setting. “We want to expose Mindanaoan researchers to bioinformatics tools and techniques which can be helpful in their research focus and future research endeavors in the region,” she added.

The bioinformatics workshop was facilitated by Dr. Jody Phelan, Julian Libiseller-Egger, Daniel Ward, Anton Spadar, and Paula Josefina Gómez González, bioinformatics experts from LSHTM, all members of Professor Taane Clark’s team.

Professor of Genomics and Global Health in LSHTM and the lead United Kingdom (UK) coordinator, Prof. Taane Clark said that the skills learnt during the workshop will allow the participants to apply big data methods to genomics questions and investigations. "Bioinformatics and genomics techniques, as well as conducting related molecular investigations, are important skills for the participants to become genomics and genomic epidemiological experts, and will contribute to improving the health of the Philippines population. Some of the trainees in our previous workshops are now trainers in bioinformatics, and it is very exciting and personally rewarding to be part of capacity building and strengthening in genomics, and contribute to ongoing Philippines-UK biomedical collaborations", he said.

Bioinformatics is a combination of biology and information technology that allows researchers to further examine and understand the characteristics of an organism or a microbe through its genome, such as a virus like the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 disease, using a computer.

Today, bioinformatics algorithms made it possible to quickly assemble the genome sequence of the coronavirus which helped scientists to quickly develop diagnostic test kits and give an immediate head start in vaccine development.

The One Health Omics Project was funded by DOST-Newton Agham Researcher Links Workshop grant from the British Council in partnership with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) - Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). The workshop is also co-sponsored by the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao.

The LSHTM will be having its second run of Online Bioinformatics Workshop on November 22-25, 2021 which will focus on Infectious Diseases. This will be participated by 30 participants from the Philippines and 30 participants from the UK.#

Written by:

JANESSA V.VILLOTA

Information Officer I

Philippine Genome Center Mindanao 


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