This year, we are embarking on a small project to interview some standout contributors to Dagmay and young Mindanao writers of note. These conversations are meant to be informal, not critical, so we can get to know the writers behind the works and about their writing process. We are kicking off this series with an interview with Genevieve Mae Aquino, who has charmed us with her ekphrastic, cerebral, and exuberant poetry. (Read Genevieve’s past works on Dagmay.)
D: Thanks for agreeing to this interview. We’d like to start off with your very unique bio. At Dagmay, we have contributors from different professions far afield from literature, but yours certainly stands out because of you work in molecular biology. Can you tell us how you came into your specialization, where you studied, and what degrees you earned?
GM: Science was something that interested me as a child. When I got a scholarship to attend the Philippine Science High School campus in Davao (PSHS-SMC), my career path was pretty much set. I got my BSc in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from UP Diliman. My MSc in the same major field (with Genetics as minor) is from UP Los Baños. I also have a postgraduate diploma in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis from the University of Edinburgh.
I currently work in UPLB as one of the core staff of the Philippine Genome Center – Program for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, and Forestry. My field of specialization is bioinformatics, which is basically the use of computers to store, analyze, and visualize genetic information. (Editor’s note, March 2, 2018: after this interview was submitted for publication but before it went to press, Genevieve took on a new position with UPLB. She is now with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension.)