No task is too big nor too small in UP’s fight against COVID-19. This is the rallying spirit behind the various UP Bayanihan efforts that range from science and technology to humanitarian efforts, leading the way in social responsibility for its students and staff.

As the world grapples with the spread of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 or COVID-19, countries such as the Philippines are mobilizing its experts in preparation of its impact on its citizens. Among those actively working to address the public health concern is the Philippine Genome Center of the University of the Philippines. On February 13, 2020, its pharmaceutical partner, Manila HealthTek, Inc. released a photo of a locally-made test kit which is the product of efforts by experts at the PGC and the National Institutes of Health, UP Manila.

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.

Officials from the University of the Philippines and the University of Rhode Island, including deans of their colleges of Business, Education, Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Fisheries, held a meeting that aimed to increase academic engagements between the two institutions.

Dr. Eva Cutiongco-dela Paz of UP Manila and Dr. Ricardo T. Jose of UP Diliman have been named 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos for the teacher category. This is the first time that UP had more than one awardee in the same year.

Virtual reality applications for phobia therapies; electronic medical record systems; and medicines derived from Tsaang gubat, Ulasimang bato, Yerba buena, and Akapulko herbs.

These were among the innovative products showcased at the 21st anniversary conference of the National Institutes of Health-University of the Philippines Manila early this year.

Inspired by the work she did on a disease whose victims rarely reach the age of 30, UP Manila-based clinical geneticist and National Institutes of Health Executive Director Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz is using her knowledge of the Filipino’s genetic makeup to heal and manage serious birth defects and illnesses. And with the technology of a newly launched laboratory at the Philippine Genome Center behind her, this Dangal ng Bayan Awardee is ready to take the next step.