Dr. Marilyn Baguinon, a US-based scientist recently laid the building blocks of biotechnology researches in northern Philippines at the Mariano Marcos State University in Batac, Ilocos Norte. Through a short-term grant under the Department of Science and Technology’s Balik Scientist Program, Dr. Baguinon introduced to researchers and students the basics of biotechnology research and development, and trained them on the methods in biotechnology R&D activities.
Baguinon is an expert in biotechnology, microbiology, and biochemistry, and also currently associate professor in Kutztown University in Pennsylvania in the US.. She is also a former MMSU assistant professor.
“The students are very interested in biotechnology and they have many questions,” observed Baguinon who served as resource person during the Regional Science and Technology Week in August. She also helped the university in preparing a research proposal on “Molecular characterization of isolates for first and second generation feedstock for ethanol production” intended for external funding.
It is MMSU’s first time to get on a biotech research, so Baguinon has to train researchers initially on molecular techniques. Moreover, in close coordination with MMSU President Miriam E. Pascua, Dr. Baguinon prepared a list of equipment and materials to start a biotechnology laboratory in the university.
Dr. Marilyn Baguinon
Dr. Guillermo Mendoza
“Dr. Pascua assured me that everything on the list will be available when I come back in July 2010,” she said. “Then we can start with the research.”
Baguinon expressed appreciation to the BSP for bringing experts back to the country that helps update the knowledge and skills of local researchers.
In a related development, Dr. Guillermo A. Mendoza, an associate professor at the University of Illinois also visited MMSU in August this year through the BSP. He lectured on natural resource management and sustainable forest management, and held training on spatial analysis and geographic information systems.
Dr. Mendoza said his interest in natural resource management was stirred up by the broad scope of the field as it covers different resource ecosystems. He felt challenged with the idea of developing innovative management tools to address the various components of natural resource management.
“Advances in science and technology gave me a better understanding of the biophysical and socio-economic aspects of natural resource management,” he said. “This enhanced my continued interests in modeling for management tool.”