The committee that paved the way for PGC’s establishment: from left to right, Dr. Gisela Concepcion, Dr. Amelia Guevara, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, and Dr. Carmencita Padilla. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

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.

Catching killers, identifying disaster victims, correctly analyzing microbes used in bioterrorism. All these and more are possible applications of Forensic Biology, a field that uses the biological sciences to answer legal questions. For the students of Bio 397, a one-of-a-kind class at the UP Institute of Biology, learning forensics not only boosts their scientific acumen but also helps them answer the fundamental question—what can science offer to society?