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Vol. XXVI, 2nd Quarter
April–June 2008

Technology Generator

Dr. Edgardo GomezSince its establishment in 1974, the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute under the leadership of Dr. Edgardo D. Gomez spawned exemplary achievements in biodiversity, biotechnology, and sustainable use of marine bioresources.  In the late 1970’s, UPMSI led the way in undertaking national coral reef surveys in the world.

It adheres to an interdisciplinary approach to proceed rapidly from surveys that provided the baseline for assessing the status of marine biodiversity in the Philippines and ASEAN region to researches explaining the biology, ecology, population genetics, and biogeography of corals, marine invertebrates, seagrass, seaweeds, and phytoplankton. 

At UPMSI, marine biotechnology has evolved from culturing of marine species to biochemical characterization, isolation, and structural determination of bioactive compounds, and to genetic engineering for the improvement of seaweed strains. MSI researchers’ discoveries provided molecular tools in neuroscience and lead compounds for drug development from cone snails, sponges, and tunicates.

The internationally recognized UPMSI researchers had provided technical assistance to industry and coastal communities for sustainable utilization of the country’s marine bioresources, and strengthening of Philippine marine sector as participant in global bioeconomy.