Team Leader

Dr.Landu

Dr. Matthew Landu (PhD)
Director - Centre for Biotechnological Research


Introduction

The Center for Biotechnological Research (CBR) is a research hub for research into biotechnology and molecular biology. It is one of the seven research centers at the University of Goroka under the Somare Research Institute (SRI) umbrella. Its vision is to explore advanced research fields comprising of top-of-the-market researchers, with hi-tech facilities.
The center is currently running a pilot research into the discovery of novel compounds in fungi using chromatin remodeling through the use of small molecules as elicitors. This project was initiated in 2018 by Dr. Matthew Landu (Ph.D.) and came into existence in 2019 with Ms. Winnifred Duk as the Research Officer working on the mushroom Coprinus lagopus.
It envisions a development of an industrial arm with a view to the commercial exploitation of biological discoveries. The University will need to go into partnership with biotech companies for this purpose.
The research center is functional under a Physical Containment 2 research laboratory.

 

The Center for Biotechnological Research (CBR) will engage in the conduct of research in the fields of biology and chemistry, utilizing technical innovations as points of departure. Apart from research into Coprinus lagopus the center is involved in prospecting of novel compounds in plants.

The research undertaking seeks to contribute to scientific knowledge of the world, through its investigations and the publications of its findings. Simultaneously, CBR provides fields for the training of staff and students of the University of Goroka, especially in biology and chemistry, who will go out to support local industries and be competitive internationally.

CBR is also preparing for the industrial application of discoveries for commercial gain. Papua New Guinea has rich natural resources in its forest and environment. The center, through its scientific and industrial activities, lends its support to the people of the land for the control of those resources and wealth generation.

The center will seek to be self-supporting through the commercialization of biological resources (secondary metabolites, tissue culturing, diagnostics, and forensic studies), and the monetization of patents.

To this end, a separate legal entity will be formed to cater for commercial activities, and for collaboration with industry partners.

The Center’s pilot project paves the way for molecular research since its establishment at the University of Goroka under the Somare Research Institute (SRI). The pilot research project uses small elicitor molecules to enhance the production of novel secondary compounds in the Coprinus lagopus mushroom fungi using a chromatin remodeling technique.

Since the establishment of the Center for Biotech Research (CBR), it has assisted postgraduate research students in biological sciences and agricultural research and undergraduate students in the School of Science and Technology in their final year research projects.

Each year, two final-year students will be accepted to go through industrial training with the Center for a period of six (6) weeks. This is an opportunity for the center to impart skills and research tools to the students and emphasize quality research output.

In the pilot project research of the Coprinus lagopus, the center is near completion of identification of a novel compound discovered for its antibiotic properties. It is currently working on liquid media cultivation of Coprinus lagopus mycelia to monitor its growth capacity.

  • Under the pilot project, the Center has purchased new sophisticated equipment for research use, the Eppendorf centrifuge and the Nano-drop spectrophotometer. This equipment is essential for harvesting and isolating DNA, RNA, and protein and analyzing and evaluating their purity for downstream processing like gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This equipment will enable research and student researchers to check and use pure or quality samples for downstream processing.

  • The Center has published in the Journal for postgraduate studies in 2019. (Duk, W., Barish, A. & Landu, M. (2021). Optimization of Culturing Condition for Mycelium Growth of Coprinus lagopus for Chromatin Remodelling Experiment. Journal of Post Graduate Studies and Research. Volume 7. ISSN: 2310-4961

  • The Center has produced notable grades for its postgraduate students; Winnifred Duk (Honors in Biology), Charles Vore (Honors in Biology), Brenda Anis (Honors in Agriculture Extensions), Anson Barish (Masters in Biology), Ismael Sipana (Honors in Biology), Sylvia Soso (Honors in Biology), Naomi Antonimbi (Academic Excellence Award, 2023).

  • The center is now looking into acquiring a new PCR machine to commence the next phase of its pilot project;

  • Mass production of mycelia in large liquid tanks for secondary metabolite harvesting, in preparation for industrial applications;

  • CBR is now prospecting novel compounds in plants for their bioactivity and industrial applications.

  • DNA and mRNA analysis will be done to map out the genome of the Coprinus lagopus to identify putative gene clusters involved in the production of the antibiotic compound.

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About The University of Goroka

The University of Goroka (UOG) is the third largest of the six universities in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and is by far the largest teacher education institution. The University was formed in 1997 from two faculties...

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The University of Goroka
P.O Box 1078
GOROKA
Eastern Highlands Province

TEL: +675 531 1700

Email: info@unigoroka.ac.pg

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