IHG Celebrated 10th Year Anniversary

The Institute of Human Genetics (IHG) of the National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila, the largest provider of genetic services in the country, celebrated its 10th year anniversary (1999-2009) last February 23-26, 2009. The Institute has lined up several scientific events in this celebration to showcase genetics in the country, as well as the Institute’s researches and service programs.

A scientific meeting, “Moving Forward in Genetics”, was held on February 24 at the Rigodon Ballroom of Manila Hotel. Senator Edgardo Angara, as the keynote speaker, has reaffirmed his support in advancing genetics in the country The meeting presented the latest in the field of human genetics especially in treatment and management of certain disorders and diseases. The topics include:


  • Mitochondrial Genetics of Malaria Parasites (Dr. Sangkot Marzuki, Indonesia)
  • Genetic Polymorphisms as Biomarkers for Cancer Risk among Filipinos: The Philippine Cancer Genetics Study (Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz, Philippines)
  • Newborn Screening Expansion – Hearing and Metabolics (Dr. Bradford Therrell, USA)
  • Pamidronate Treatment of Osteogenesis Imperfecta in Infancy (Dr. David Sillence, Australia)
  • Overview on Lysosomal Storage Disorders (LSDs) & Enzyme Replacement Therapy for LSDs (Dr. Margarita Jimenez, Singapore)
  • Sustaining Advocacy for Rare Disorders (Mrs. Cynthia Magdaraog, Phlippines)
  • Gene Therapy: Are we ready? (Dr. Lai Poh San, Singapore)
  • Gene Therapy in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (Dr. Masafumi Matsuo, Japan)
  • Overcoming challenges in setting up Genetic Services (Dr. Stephen Lam; Hong Kong, Dr. Pornswan Wasant; Thailand: Dr. Thong Meow Keong, Malaysia: Dr. Sangkot Marzuki, Indonesia; and Dr. Carmencita Padilla (Philippines)

The Interactive workshop on skeletal dysplasia was conducted at the Peninsula Manila on February 25, 2009 with resource speaker Dr David Sillence, clinical geneticist, expert on skeletal dysplasias, the Children’s Hospital at Westmead Australia. Attending the workshop were clinical geneticists, orthopedic surgeons and rehabilitation medicine consultants and training residents of the UP-PGH.

“Project Rare” was launched on February 25, 2009 at the Makati Metro. This is another project of the institute in cooperation with the Philippine Society for Orphan Disorders, Inc (PSOD) to promote public awareness and funding for patients with rare disorders also known as “orphan diseases”: maple syrup urine disease, Gaucher disease, Prader Willi syndrome, Pompe disease, galactosemia, Frabry disease and MPS I/II.
A seminar workshop on enzyme replacement therapy for lysosomal storage disorders, specifically Fabry disease, was held at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila on February 26, 2009. Speakers for the event were Prof David Sillence of Australia and Dr Margarita Jimenez of Singapore. The workshop was attended by clinical geneticists, adult and pediatric nephrologists and pediatric cardiologists. The Philippine General Hospital, in coordination with the genetics staff of the Institute, is the only health facility that offers enzyme replacement therapy for LSDs in the country.

The Birth Defects Surveillance Study Group held their regional (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao) meetings on February 23, 2009 at Bayview Hotel and the National Meeting on February 24, 2009 at the Manila Hotel.

Another highlight of the week-long celebration was the launching of three genetics issues of the Acta Medica Philippina, the National Health Science Journal published by the University of the Philippines Manila, the Department of Science and Technology and the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.