New world-class agri genomics center to rise in PH university

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LAGUNA, PHILIPPINES, 6 December 2023 — The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), the South Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) are set to construct an on-campus agricultural genomics research facility to advance genome-based agriculture research and development capabilities in the country.

The new UPLB Agricultural Genomics Research Center (UPLB-AGRC) is part of a six-year collaborative venture with KOICA which involves the joint conduct of capacity building activities to strengthen academic partnerships between UPLB and Korean universities, and in turn, improve the country’s agricultural research competitiveness through the acceleration of agricultural science and technology collaborations and other innovative services.

“The establishment of AGRC has a primary goal of a collaboration to initiate scientific cooperation between IRRI, the UP System, and South Korea through KOICA. As we lay the foundation of AGRC today, may it become a beacon for scientific progress and sustainability not only in the Southeast Asian region but also throughout the world,” said UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho during his welcome remarks.

Schematic drawing of the planned UPLB Agricultural Genomics Research Center (UPLB-AGRC)

The collaboration includes opportunities to earn doctoral degrees from Korean universities and an MS sandwich research program at IRRI targeting incoming and continuing qualified Filipino MS students enrolled at UPLB. As the technical partner for the project, IRRI has also developed ten advanced agricultural science internship programs and provides proper guidance on the application of genomics tools in real world plant breeding programs and will supervise and support program scholars to conduct high impact-research within the facility’s new laboratories and existing facilities in IRRI.

“This facility is but one of the many steps that we will be taking together as we endeavor to develop more sustainable and…

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