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NIMBB inaugurates new home

Laying the time capsule.(From left) Dr. Cynthia Palmes-Saloma, Dr. Denise Noelle R. Mirano-Bascos, Dr. Cynthia Hedreyda, President Alfredo E. Pascual, Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma, Dr. Jose Maria P. Balmaceda, Dr. Gisela Concepcion and Dr. Gerard Rey Lico.

(December 12)—The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) inaugurated its new building at the National Science Complex (NSC) with a short program on December 10, the event coinciding with the celebration of the Institute’s 25th founding anniversary.

The move to a new home is a fitting gift to the Institute “which has continuously produced the best and brightest MBB students in the country,” NIMBB director Dr. Cynthia Palmes-Saloma said in her opening remarks.

She described the new building as “a hairpin loop design based on the secondary structure of RNA,” an expression of the molecular biologist’s training in approaching research projects: “meticulously planned, with much attention to detail, on budget and with much creativity.”

The building was designed by architect Augusto Concio and constructed through the National Science Complex, which was created by former Philippine president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through Executive Order 583. According to NIMBB professor Dr. Neil Andrew D. Bascos, it had a budget of P110 million and construction began on June 3, 2010.

The building has a built-in high speed internet system, state of the art MBB laboratories, centralized air conditioning system, biometric security system, a small animal facility and a service elevator.

Palmes-Saloma stressed the collaborative nature of the MBB discipline, “all our equipment are shared.”

In its fledgling years, the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology program occupied a room at the Natural Science Research Institute before moving to Albert Hall where NIMBB positioned itself as a full-fledged National Institute and a Commission on Higher Education Center of Excellence.

UPD Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma said NIMBB’s relocation to the National Science Complex “reinforces the institute’s position as a producer of new knowledge in the fields of biomedical research, genome research, protein structure and biotechnologies.”

Meanwhile, UP President Alfredo E. Pascual said NIMBB’s state-of-the-art facilities would encourage the increase of applicants in the coming years and “nurture the faculty and staff to further strengthen and develop their expertise in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, as well as in the administration of NIMBB’s information systems.”

As the institute’s friend and patron, Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, represented by Dr. Greg Tangonan, chair of the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), said with NIMBB’s new home, “UP Diliman now has the science complex we envisioned it should have one generation ago.”

The NIMBB building inauguration included the laying of the time capsule, the unveiling of marker, building tour and ceremonial ribbon cutting participated in by University officials such as President Pascual, Chancellor Saloma, College of Science Dean José Balmaceda, Director Palmes-Saloma, Campus Architect Gerard Rey A. Lico, former NIMBB director Cynthia Hedreyda, UPD faculty, NIMBB friends and patrons—MDJ.

The Institute

The Building