UP-PGC seeks P100-M donations for genome sequencing | Inquirer News
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UP-PGC seeks P100-M donations for genome sequencing

/ 04:48 AM July 28, 2021
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Philippine Genome Center (Photo from the PGC Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — The University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) on Tuesday appealed for donations and funding from the private sector and government, in order to expand whole genome sequencing capacity in the Visayas and Mindanao.

At an online press briefing, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, executive director of the PGC, said the PGC needed at least P50 million each for the two satellite centers to be able to sequence at least 50 samples weekly, until the end of the year.

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“We did the calculations, P50 million is needed for each laboratory so they can sequence 50 samples each, or 100 samples each week for the two labs,” she said. However, Saloma said this was “the minimum amount” needed to capacitate the already existing laboratories.

Saloma said the funds would be used to purchase genome sequencing equipment such as kits and reagents.

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“If you can donate, go. You are welcome,” Saloma said, adding that the PGC still does not know where to source the money, but that it will speak to the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Health, to seek funding.

Saloma and Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-Dela Paz, executive director of the UP-National Institutes of Health, also said they were hopeful the labs can start genome sequencing, so samples need not be sent to the UP Diliman laboratory anymore.

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