PHOTO CREDIT: British Council Indonesia
Japan Institute for Promoting Invention and Innovation
THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Reynaldo L. Garcia, PhD MPhil (cantab)
Rey is Professor 12 at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of the Philippines Diliman. He earned his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Australian National University and his life science-MBA (MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise) from the University of Cambridge in England. He took up postdoctoral fellowships in France (Hopital de la Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris), New Zealand (University of Otago Medical School), the United States (Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine), and England (University College London), before being appointed senior scientist at Cancer Research UK’s Beatson Institute in Scotland. He has worked on top 5 big pharma extramurally-funded projects involving characterization of drug targets for pain as well as development of drug screening assays for disrupting cellular proliferation in cancer.
After business school, he served as key account manager for the London Biotechnology Network. In the latter role, he also advised and consulted on biotech business matters for UK Trade & Investment, the Canadian High Commission in London, Innovation Norway, the French Embassy in London, Think London (then London’s inward investment agency) and biotech/pharma companies. More recently, he served as a consultant for the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Japan Institute for Promoting Invention and Innovation. He moved back to the Philippines in 2010 and also served as University of the Philippines System Director of the Technology Transfer and Business Development Office for three and a half years.
Apart from teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, Rey runs the multi-awarded Disease Molecular Biology and Epigenetics Laboratory. Main interests of his lab include functional characterization of novel mutations in late- and young-onset colorectal cancer, the role of non-coding RNAs (miRNAs, lncRNAs and circular RNAs) and exosomes in cancer, as well as orthogonal assays to eliminate artefactual drug bioactivities.
He is a member of the Drug Discovery and Development Technical Advisory Group of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and concurrently serves as the Philippines’ SPP Lead for the ASEAN Diagnostics Development (DxD) Initiative. He is also a member of the Department of Health's COVID-19 Laboratory Experts Panel (CLEP). More recently, he was appointed as member of the Technical Working Group at the Department of Agriculture to look into the drafting of the Biotechnology Development Act, otherwise known as the BIDA bill.
Rey was the 2021 recipient of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association's Most Distinguished Alumnus Award in Science and Technology (Molecular Biology). He was also awarded a UP Centennial Professorial Chair for 2020 and 2021. In August 2022, he was conferred the title "UP Scientist II" for 2021-2023 under the university's Scientific Productivity System. He has also recently joined the Editorial Board of Scientific Reports (a Nature portfolio journal - and the 5th most cited in the world).