Center for Studies in Biotechnology (BIOTECH)

Center Director: Dr. Marjohn C. Niño

Bio-description of the Center Director

Dr. Marjohn C. Niño

Dr. Marjohn C. Niño is the Director for Research and Development and the Center for Studies in Biotechnology, and a professor of Crop protection and Biotechnology at Cebu Technological University – Barili Campus. He finished Bachelor of Science in Agriculture major in Plant Protection as magna cum laude at the Visayas State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Crop Science (Crop Biotechnology) through a combined MSc-PhD program from Chungbuk National University in South Korea. His research works include genetic improvement of cereals for disease resistance using marker-assisted selection and crop genetic engineering, and trait discovery using QTL mapping and functional genomics. He has five patents and 14 original research and review papers published in an international, peer-reviewed journal with an H-index of 4 and 40 citations.

Description of the Center

History and Background

The Center for Studies in Biotechnology was first conceptualized during the Academic Year 2011-2012. With the setting up of a Presidential Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to upgrade the facilities of SUCs, the Campus Director of CTU-Barili Campus proposed for the construction of complete agricultural laboratory facility. However, Dr. Pet Roey L. Pascual, newly returned from DOST Scholarship and designated Research Chairman at CTU Barili Campus, suggested for the establishment of a Biotechnology Research Laboratory patterned after that of a Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in Thailand.

Thus, the Php. 40 million proposed research center was named Center for Biotechnology and Climate Change Adaptation Researches (CEBCARE). Climate Change Adaptation was dropped in the later years since another Center for climate change was established at the Main Campus. The proposal was approved in 2012 for implementation in C.Y. 2013 for Php. 25 million to fund infrastructure only. In the following year, PDAF was scrapped due to some corruption issues, and together with it was the funding for the establishment of the center.

In 2014, the proposal was resubmitted through the mainstream of the General Appropriations Budget. It was named Center for Studies in Biotechnology and approved in 2015 for implementation in C.Y. 2016. The amount was only good for the building worth Php. 15 million, so Dr. Rosein A. Ancheta Jr., SUC President, proposed for additional Php. 10 million for laboratory equipment in the National Expenditure Program (NEP) of 2017. The construction and procurement lasted for two years (2016-2017). Finally the center was turned over on April 13, 2018 and started to in June 2018.

The University President, Dr. Rosein A. Ancheta Jr., Hon. Mayor Marlon F. Garcia and Dr. Paradela of DOST VII at the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the Center’s inauguration

The Current Operation

The Center for Studies in Biotechnology (BIOTECH) operation is divided into two areas: the Biotech Research Laboratories and the Researcher’s mini-hostel and cafeteria.

  1. Plant Biochemistry Laboratory

The laboratory area is composed of five (5) research laboratory rooms, a preparation room and storage room for bio-resources. There are currently five research sections, each led by a section head.

2. Bio-resources and Molecular Genetics Laboratory

3. Bioscience Engineering and Systems Technology Laboratory

4. Food and Feed Laboratory

5. Socio-economic and Development Studies

The Mini-hostel and Cafeteria is composed of three (3) mini-hostel rooms and two (2) dorm type rooms with an accommodation capacity between 15-25 people. The cafeteria has a dining capacity for 40 people at a time. In addition to the two structural areas, the center has a lecture hall with a maximum seating capacity of 120 people. This will serve as venue for trainings, seminars, lecture fora, and meetings. At present, there are seven (7) organic personnel serving at the Biotech without extra remuneration. These include the Center Director, 5 Section heads and the Dormitory and Cafeteria In-charge. It has also hired six (6) contractual personnel including 2 laboratory research assistants, 2 admin aides and 2 utility workers.