Ngure Kagia from Kenya and Irish Coleen Asin from the Philippines joined the MECOH laboratory as new PhD candidates.
Ngure finished his MSc. in Bioinformatics at the University of Leicester- Leicester UK. He has previously worked in the wet and dry laboratory on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) projects in Kilifi, Kenya and Cambridge, UK. Ngure has also worked on measles virus isolation in Nairobi, Kenya. His future interest in the MECOH laboratory revolve around the dynamics of antimicrobial resistant bacteria (ARB) in our environment.
From the Philippines is Coleen who has obtained her Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She has worked on various research projects, one of which was surveillance of mosquito viruses thru mosquito viral metagenomics at UP Diliman. She has also worked on SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing as a member of the Philippine Genome Center’s COVID-19 biosurveillance team. Going forward, she intends to focus and continue her research on mosquitoes and insect-specific viruses in the MECOH laboratory.
Khristina Judan Cruz (Karen) joins the MEcoH Lab as a postdoctoral fellow to do research work on the genome-wide signatures in genetically improved tilapia. She obtained her PhD in Biology at De La Salle University - Manila where she worked on the genetic characterization and gene expression analyses on Philippine genetically enhanced farmed tilapia. She plans to include comparative transcriptomics in her future projects. She is an Associate Professor at the Central Luzon State University, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. Her research experience also includes integrating nanotechnology and bioactive compounds (nanobioapproach) for biomedical applications such as quorum sensing inhibition and anti-cancer action.
Kenneth and Dan are both new PhD candidates from the Philippines that recently joined the MECOH laboratory.
Kenneth obtained his MSc in Biology at the De La Salle University - Manila, where he worked on nontuberculous mycobacteria isolated from patients with multidrug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis (MDR TB). He has been part of research projects which revolved around tuberculosis, HIV, and dengue. For his future research projects, he plans to explore on the acquisition and mechanism of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in both clinical and environmental bacterial strains.
Dan finished his Master`s degree in Genetics minor in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB). He worked as Research Assistant and Associate Researcher at Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center / Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) in the Philippines for 7 years. His research experiences include aquaculture, fish health and fish genetics. For his future research projects, he plans to explore the applications of DNA metabarcoding, population genomics and transcriptomics for the conservation and management of aquatic resources.