Representatives from Ehime University (EU) and De La Salle University (DLSU) celebrated the official opening of the EU-DLSU International Collaborative Research Laboratory (ICRL) located at the George S.K. Ty Advanced Instrumentation Bldg, DLSU Laguna Campus on Tuesday morning, 11 October 2022. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by Dr. Kozo Watanabe, Professor of Molecular Ecology and Health (MEcoH) Laboratory at the Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), EU, and Dr. Jonathan Dungca, Vice President for Laguna Campus and Dean of the College. Also present were Dr. Divina Amalin, Director of the Center for Natural Sciences and Environmental Research (CENSER), Drs. Ma. Luisa Enriquez, Mary Jane Flores, Thaddeus Carvajal, faculty members at the Department of Biology, DLSU, and members of the Biological Control Research Unit, CENSER. Also present are Dr. Yasutsugu Suzuki, Associate Professor of EU-CMES, and Ms. Irish Coleen Asin, PhD candidate from UE-CMES.
The ceremony was followed by a tour of the facilities at the ICRL. The laboratory is equipped with advanced research infrastructure in line with its vision to “be the leading research unit dedicated to advancing, applying and facilitating high standards of research practice for Philippine and Japanese students, faculty and staff of both universities.” Under the mentorship of recognized scientists from EU and DLSU, the ICRL will provide a hub in conducting high-quality collaborative research between Filipino and Japanese students, faculty, and staff.
A seminar session was also conducted wherein Dr. Kozo Watanabe first discussed the functions and roles of the EU-DLSU ICRL. Dr. Thaddeus Carvajal and Dr. Yasutsugu Suzuki also delivered their talks on “The Importance of Studying Vector Biology & Ecology of Mosquito-borne Diseases for Designing Appropriate Vector Control Strategies” and “Understanding Mosquito-virus Interactions Toward Vector Control”, respectively. The seminar was livestreamed and was attended by participants online.
The ICRL is a product of a long standing cooperation between the two universities that started in 2016. In October 21, 2021, the Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Dr. Nishina Hiroshige, President of EU, and Br. Bernard Oca, President of DLSU, to start the establishment of ICRL (then known as the Ehime University Satellite Office Philippines). Currently, the ICRL implements several privately and publicly funded research projects, and houses the Center for Vector of Diseases of Public Health Importance in the Philippines for Region IV, a niche center under the DOST Science for Change Program.