Report: PSM Cluster 2 Symposium 2017

By: Pierangeli Vital
The Philippine Society for Microbiology, Inc. (PSM) Cluster 2 Symposium was held last March 25, 2017 (Saturday) at the Institute of Biology Auditorium, National Science Complex, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City. The Symposium’s theme, “Microbiology: Redefining Lives through Research, Development and Community Extension,” presented the status, current research priorities, progress, and new approaches in the fields of agricultural, aquatic, environmental, and industrial microbiology. It also addressed pressing problems of the society such as food, natural resources, energy, and health.

The Cluster 2 Symposium was the second in the series of symposia organized by PSM every fiscal year. In line with the topics of the recently concluded Cluster 1 Symposium and the upcoming 46th Annual Convention and Scientific Meeting, this symposium dealt with the combination of microbiological research from the academe and initiatives from the private sectors for the benefit of the community.

Distinguished speakers and presenters included Dr. Jessica F. Simbahan from the Institute of Biology, UP Diliman (discussed Cacao fermentation: the first step to globally competitive cocoa products), Dr. Lilia M. Fernando from BIOTECH, UP Los Banos (discussed Nano-biotechnology applications in agriculture), Ms. Ma Angela Z. Dimasupil from Nalco Philippines, Inc. (talked on Legionella and the importance of developing water safety plans in building water systems), Dr. Marie Christine M. Obusan from the Institute of Biology, UP Diliman (discussed Potential pathogens in cetaceans ashore Philippine waters), and Dr. Ken-ichi Kimura from Iwate University, Japan (shared Splendid gifts from microorganism and Kuji amber to humankind).

Partners for this symposium that made this event possible were as follows: Procter & Gamble Philippines; Institute of Biology, College of Science University of the Philippines Diliman (through the Director, Dr. Ernelea P Cao, who gave the Welcome Address and through the Dean, Dr. Jose Maria P. Balmaceda); International Society for Microbial Ecology (ISME); Esco Philippines Inc.; Reinlab Corporation; Blue Sky Trading Co. Inc.; and Felnor Trust and Services. The Cluster 2 Symposium returned to the Institute of Biology, a home of the microbiology experts and enthusiasts.

ISME for the first time co-sponsored a PSM event. Part of the sponsorship included the PSM-ISME Lucky Draw for graduate students. The winner will help the graduate student attend the PSM Annual Convention in July. Ms. Joseth Jermaine Abello was announced as the winner during the closing ceremonies of the Cluster 2 symposium. She is currently taking up MS Microbiology in UP Diliman.

PSM also co-sponsored a concurrent event with the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) during the Cluster 2 symposium. This involved Microbiology consortium in the National Capital Region (NCR) attended by different faculty members teaching Microbiology. This was spearheaded by Academician Dr. Asuncion K. Raymundo and Prof. Dr. Windell L. Rivera.

The Cluster 2 Symposium was attended by around 400 researchers, scientists, faculty members, college and graduate students, entrepreneurs and even microbe enthusiasts. It was evaluated as a success as it was able to answer event objectives and particularly helped graduate students and various stakeholders. This was organized by the PSM officers for the fiscal year 2016-2017 headed by the President Dr. Benigno Glenn R. Ricaforte, and the Cluster 2 team Chair Dr. Pierangeli G. Vital, with members Dr. Ronie J. Calugay, Dr. Lucille C. Villegas, and Ms. Ursela G. Bigol. #PSM2017C2

Selected Photos (Credit: Mr. Teddy Manansala). More photos on PSM’s official Facebook page.

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