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Eleven Filipino Scientists Listed in Asia’s Top 100 List

by Marcelle P. Villegas - January 21, 2021

(Photo credit: From the website of Asian Scientist Magazine and International Atomic Energy Agency)

Last year (2020), eleven Filipino scientists were included in the Asian Scientist Magazine 100 list for most outstanding researchers and scientists. The list pays tribute to the best and brightest in Asia in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Asian Scientist Magazine is an award-winning, Singapore-based magazine about science and technology. It features the latest research and development news stories in Asia. Their online and print publication is managed by a team of professional science journalists, with contributors from industry and academic background. [1]

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary, Fortunato de la Peña said, “I am proud. Eleven out of 100 among so many Asian countries is a sizable share.” He notes that two of the those listed are heads of DOST agencies, namely; Dr Carlo Arcilla of Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) and Engr.

Robert Dizon of Metals Industry Research

and Development Center (MIRDC). [2]

According to Asian Scientist Magazine, “Arcilla received the Gregorio Y. Zara Awards for Basic Research in 2019 for his contributions in resolving sensitive issue on mineral resource development, water management and developing peaceful application of nuclear energy in the Philippines.” [1] A report from Philippine News Agency mentioned, “Dr Arcilla has been encouraging the use of nuclear power in the energy mix, saying this could also help lower one’s electricity bill.” [2] The Gregorio Y. Zara Award was established by the family of National Scientist Gregorio Y. Zara and the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1968 to honour the most outstanding national scientists of the Philippines. Ever since the award already recognized 70 Filipino scientists and researchers.

National Scientist Dr. Emil Q. Javier is also included in the list. Dr. Javier was Minister of Science from 1981 - 1986 when DOST was still called the National Science and Technology Authority. He is the 42nd National Scientist of the Philippines and one of the only 11 distinguished awardees living today. Just last year on 7 January 2019, President Rodrigo R. Duterte conferred the Order of National Scientist on Dr. Javier at the Malañang Palace. The Order of National Scientist is the highest honour that the Philippine Government can bestow on the Filipino scientist for his/her outstanding contribution to fields of science and technology. [3]

Academician Dr. Javier was recognized by the Philippine Government for his remarkable studies and writings about the application of biotechnology in agriculture for the alleviation of poverty. He is notable for his significant contribution to the plant breeding research. He is the founder of the Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) in University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1975 where their research is about produced high-yielding crops and disease-resistant varieties.

On the molecular microbiology for medical application, scientist Raul Destura of the National Institutes of Health in the University of the Philippines Manila is also included in the list. In 2019, he was awarded the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award for his exceptional work in the development of the Biotek-M dengue aquakit for fast and affordable dengue diagnosis. Currently, Destura is also the lead researcher in the locally developed diagnostic kit that aims to detect COVID-19.

Two other achievers are from University of the Philippines, namely Alonzo Gabriel and Cleotilde Hidalgo-How. Gabriel is a researcher on microbial stress adaptation on food safety and quality. Hidalgo-How is recognized for her work in the understanding, management and diagnosis of tuberculosis in children and adolescents.

From De La Salle University (DLSU), Raymond Tan and Susan Gallardo were recognized in the list. Last year, Tan is a recipient of the Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Advanced Research for his contribution in the development of novel computational techniques for the design and sustainable industrial systems. For Engineering Research, Gallardo was awarded the David M. Consunji Award for her work about environmental engineering and catalysis and industrial and hazardous waste treatment and management.

From University of Santo Tomas, academe Alicia Aguinaldo made it in the list. She was awarded the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Research for her research on Philippine plants that have anti-tuberculosis and anti-diabetic properties.

Another academe, Emma Sales from the University of Southern Mindanao was given recognition for her work in establishing the first tissue culture and biotechnology laboratory in Soccsksargen (Region XII) for developing diagnostic tools for the identification of durian fruit, rubber and mango varieties.

The list also cited Joselito Chavez of the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. He is a recipient of the 2019 Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award. His work is about the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in severe leptospirosis.

In 2019, eight Filipinos were included in the Asian Scientist 100 list. Among them was Gay Jane Perez for Environmental Sciences and Geology. [4] She is an assistant professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology at the University of the Philippines. Since 2012, she is the President of the Geosciences and Remote Sensing Society. In 2018, USAID-Philippines recognized her as the Philippine representative as one of the finalists for ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women. This was for her work on precision agriculture for improved yields by using remote sensing and satellite data.

Asian Scientist Magazine is published by Wildtype Media Group Pte Ltd. The company is a digital-focused media business for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Wildtype Media Group Pte Ltd. Is also the publisher of Supercomputing Asia, a print magazine about the high-performance computing sector. [1]

Reference:

[1] Asian Scientist Magazine. Retrieved from - https://www.asianscientist.com/about/ and

https://www.asianscientist.com/scientist/carlo-arcilla/

[2] Arayata, Maria Christina (10 October 2020). Philippine News Agency. “11 Filipinos among Asia’s top 100 scientists”. Retrieved from - https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1118115

[3] National Academy of Science and Technology website. “Malacañang confers the Order of National Scientist on Dr. Emil Q. Javier”. Retrieved from - https://www.nast.ph/index.php/13-news-press-releases/475-malacanang-confers-the-order-of-national-scientist-on-dr-emil-q-javier

[4] (7 May 2019). The Good News Pilipinas Team. “8 Filipino Scientists Among Asia’s Best”. Retrieved from - https://www.goodnewspilipinas.com/8-filipino-scientists-among-asias-best/


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