Thursday 08 November 2018

Over fifty medical scientists and academics from the UK and the Philippines gathered last 6 November 2018 at the University of the Philippines through the Philippine Genome Center for the second year of the International Workshop in ‘Omics in Infectious Diseases, more commonly referred to as the Genomic Epidemiology on Infectious Diseases in the Philippines (GEID 2.0).

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and UP's Philippine Genome Center (PGC) led the five-day bilateral workshop, with grant support from the Newton Agham Programme Researcher Links Workshop. It was geared towards providing deeper knowledge on ‘Omics technology in the active surveillance and rapid identification of drug-resistant pathogens and assistant infectious disease (ID) control and management.

In attendance for this year’s GEID was a diverse set of policymakers, public health workers, clinicians and biomedical researchers from the UK as well as Philippine higher education and medical institutions and government agencies including the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development – DOST, University of the Philippines, St. Luke’s Medical Centre, LSHTM, University of Glasgow and Nottingham Trent University.

Dr Taane Clark, the project’s principal investigator from LSHTM, highlighted the potential of this ID surveillance technology in the onset of rapid outbreaks of HIV, TB, malaria and dengue across the Philippines in his welcome remarks. Clark also expressed his appreciation of the growing network of ID genomic surveillance in the Philippines that harnesses the expertise offered by LSHTM.

The five-day workshop included a series of parallel symposia and hands-on analytical short courses on software generation, as well as poster presentations between sessions.

This year's GEID coordinating cohort is Dr Raul Destura, UP-PGC's program director for health and Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma, UP-PGC's executive director, and Dr Taane Clark, Prof Martin Hibberd and Dr Julius Hafalla (LSHTM). The same team from LSHTM and UP-PGC organized GEID 1.0 in October 2017 through the same grant programme. 

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