Research and Education Networks: Catalyst in Transcending the Frontiers of Bioinformatics Research – PRESS RELEASE

3 Sep 2019 5:50 PM

In today’s data-driven world, the field of Bioinformatics makes it possible to harness the power of high-speed networks, high-performance computing, and newly developed algorithms to be able to advance global biological research—including finding revolutionary cures for illnesses, analyzing the genomic structures of organisms, and discovering patterns to the evolution of humans.

Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr. delivered his opening remarks during the Direct Link launch event.

By enabling researchers all around the world to unite and integrate their data, and by combining interdisciplinary fields in science such as Genomics, Proteomics, Mathematics, and Information  Technology, Bioinformatics takes a great leap in helping solve the intricate complexities in life sciences.

Mr. Bayani Benjamin Lara discussed about DOST-ASTI’s PREGINET.

The latest trends in Bioinformatics include DNA-sequencing, drug developments, computational immunology, cancer genomics, and genetics engineering. In general, these research pursuits require a worldwide sampling of data as well as advanced computational platforms capable of storing or analyzing gathered data. Thus, to aid Bioinformatics researchers in managing large amounts of datasets and accessing global resources, Research and Education Networks (RENs) take part in assisting these big-data research initiatives.

In the recent years, RENs had been a catalyst in advancing the field of Bioinformatics. Through the provision of high-speed backbone networks, RENs have empowered global research communities in academia and the government to pursue research breakthroughs in the field. In Asia, two of the RENs that help propel the field forward is PREGINET in the Philippines and SingAREN in Singapore. 

Ms. Jelina Tetangco as she introduced the key personnel from SingAREN.

SingAREN has been known to aid research projects on cancer genomics and precision medicine, through worldwide collaborative projects like the GenomeAsia 100k Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). At the same time, PREGINET has helped advance agricultural genomics and has enabled connections with the global rice community by supporting the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the 3K Rice Genome Project. These two RENs trace back their roots to being members of integrated network communities such as the Asia-Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) and the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN). 

Live contact was established with the key personnel from SingAREN, including Dr. Lawrence Wong, and Dr. Kenneth Ban.

In light of this, the Department of Science and Technology-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) aspired to further strengthen the international connectivity between PREGINET and SingAREN. Hence, the DOST-ASTI forged a Memorandum of Agreement with SingAREN to establish a direct link between the two NRENs (National Research and Education Networks). This milestone was launched on September 3, 2019 at the DOST-ASTI Building in Diliman, Quezon City. The launch event had a two-hour program where representatives of DOST-ASTI’s PREGINET, and key personnel from SingAREN including Dr. Lawrence Wong and Dr. Kenneth Ban, talked about the work of their respective networks that could benefit the Bioinformatics community. Both NRENs also invited key partners who presented on the current research activities that they are doing with the support of these science infrastructures.

Key personnel from DOST-ASTI’s PREGINET and SingAREN together with attendees of the Philippines-Singapore Direct Link Launch Event.

The DOST-ASTI hopes that through this initiative of strengthening the partnership between PREGINET and SingAREN, an abundance of education and research institutions will be able to bring to life more noble research pursuits not only in Bioinformatics but in other domains of science. Members and partners of both NRENs can now look forward to the benefits offered by the direct link—being able to maximize research possibilities and forging fruitful collaborations within the networked world.

Established in 1987 by Executive Order No. 128, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that undertakes scientific research and development and technology transfer in the advanced fields of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), computing, electronics and their applications.

The DOST-ASTI continues to dedicate itself to developing and delivering technology solutions to enable a productive, globally competitive and resilient Filipino society.

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