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The Pathogen-Host-Environment Interactions Research Laboratory (PHEIRL), formerly Molecular Protozoology Laboratory (MPL), was the first and only laboratory in the Philippines devoted to the characterization of molecular mechanisms of pathogenicity of protozoan parasites. It was established in 2001, headed by Dr. Windell L. Rivera. MPL’s primary aim was to describe pathogenic protozoans isolated from various habitats based on their molecular characteristics and to devise ways to rapidly detect them and find possible ways to eradicate them. Extensive research studies have been done on several genera like Acanthamoeba, Blastocystis, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba, Giardia, and Trichomonas.

Through the years, MPL’s organism portfolio has broadened, now including several pathogenic bacterial genera such as Escherichia, Salmonella, and Leptospira. In 2017, the MPL was aptly renamed as Pathogen-Host-Environment Interactions Research Laboratory (PHEIRL). This 17-year old laboratory has produced ​89 undergraduate thesis students and 43 graduate students, publishing more than 88 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals. With this, the PHEIRL promises to be an important source of contribution to the development and advancement of the science of Microbiology in the Philippines.