UP’s genome center holds international workshop on epidemiology of infectious diseases, 03-07 July 2017

| Written by UP Media and Public Relations Office

Locally-based and UK-based scientists and researchers will share research studies, best practices in understanding epidemiology of infectious diseases, and how advanced tools like Next Generation sequencing and bioinformatics can aid in the detection, prevention and control of the diseases.
The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines System in partnership with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom is holding an international workshop on genomic epidemiology of infectious diseases.   It begins on Monday, July 3 at the Institute of Biology Auditorium in UP Diliman. Bringing together resource speakers from the country’s Department of Health, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, and the University of the Philippines; as well as from UK’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Cambridge, and University of St. Andrews, this day will be filled with lectures and discussions on genomic epidemiology of infectious diseases, relating the role of genomics to the prevention and control of infectious diseases, particularly those relevant to the Philippines. The other days, which will be held at the Computational Science Research Center, will focus on genomic analyses with hands-on exercises. By the end of the Workshop, participants will be able to: (a) process raw sequence data into a set of informative variants, through mapping to a reference genome or using de novo or reference-free assembly approaches, (b) conduct transcriptomic and proteomic analysis in an integrated systems biology approach, and (c) perform downstream population genetic and association analysis.

The 5-day workshop ends on Friday, July 7 with lectures and discussions at the Institute of Biology Auditorium.

Institute of Biology UP Diliman location map

GEID Philippines 2017 was designed for PhD and MSc graduates or students (early career researchers) from the UK and the Philippines to promote collaborations that will enhance the use of tools in bioinformatics, population genetics and statistics in infectious diseases. This entire event was made possible through British Council’s Newton Fund Researcher Links Programme, co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (UK) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).


Infectious diseases, such as HIV-AIDS, malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis, account for 25% of global mortality and more than half of all deaths in children under the age of five years. The genetic epidemiology of these diseases can be complex, especially as they may involve several genomes, including the host, pathogen(s) and a vector. There is also a need to look beyond the genome to consider other ‘omes, such as the transcriptome, in a more systems biology framework.High throughput genotyping and sequencing technologies are providing insights into these genomes, metabolomes, transcriptomes and proteomes, thereby revolutionizing genetic epidemiological studies and biomedical research. The use of SNP chips in large-scale genome-wide studies of association and genetic selection has revolutionized the study of human disease susceptibility. Whole genome studies of pathogens using high throughput sequencing technologies is leading to the ability to track microbial evolution over time and space, and to identify variants correlated with phenotypes such as anti-microbial resistance. Further, RNA-Seq methodologies are being used to measure transcript abundance and differential gene expression across isolates.To take full advantage of new ‘omic technologies requires the ability to analyze large amounts of data using methods from bioinformatics, population genetics and statistics – the focus of this Workshop. Specifically, the Workshop offers hands-on experience in processing sequencing data to construct genomes, identifying genomic variants, and applying downstream methods such as phylogenetics. Further, the course covers transcriptomic and proteomic analysis in human and pathogen settings. High-profile examples, including malaria, TB and MRSA, will be used to illustrate these concepts, with a strong emphasis on how to implement the methods in practice, the majority of sessions being computer-based.

About the Philippine Genome Center
The Philippine Genome Center is a multidisciplinary institution that combines basic and applied research for the development of health diagnostics, therapeutics, preventive products, and improved crop, aquaculture and animal varieties. The Center is a duly-created, duly-established and duly-organized genomics-focused and multi-disciplinary research unit of UP as approved by the UP Board of Regents during its 1246th Meeting held on 31 July 2009. PGC is temporarily housed at the 2/F NIMBB Building, National Science Complex, Diliman Quezon City.