The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), the country’s highest recognition and advisory body on science and technology conducted the Lectures and Awarding Ceremonies for the Geminiano T. de Ocampo Visionary Award for Medical Research (GTO Visionary Awards) and TWAS Prize for Young Scientist in the Philippines on October 12, 2017 at the Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.
For 2017, Dr. Lourdes L. Ignacio was selected as the recipient of the Geminiano T. de Ocampo Visionary Award for Medical Research. She was recognized for her significant contributionstowards the advancement of the mental health service in the Philippines as well as other Asian countries.
She was the Chairperson of the Mental Health Task Force in Disaster Management organized by Former President Corazon Aquino in 1990 aftera killer earthquake struck Luzon and when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. Her significant works were documented in the book entitled “From Victims to Survivors, Psychosocial Intervention in Disaster Management”, which was awarded by the National Academy of Science and Technology as Outstanding Book in 1994. Another book, “Ginhawa: Well-being in the Aftermath of Disasters” was published a decade later. Both are recognized as important references for psychosocial intervention program in the aftermath of disasters including during the Haiyan disaster in November 2013 which saw massive devastation in Eastern Visayas.
Dr. Ignacio obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the Philippines (UP), and continued her residency training in Psychiatry in Manila. She later, subspecialized in Community and Social Psychiatry at the State University of New York Syracuse, New York. She is presently Project Director of the post Haiyan disaster community mental health project in Marabut, Samar, being implemented by the World Association for Psychosocial and Rehabilitation, Philippines (WAPR Phil) and the Christoffer Blinden Mission (CBM).
The GTO Visionary Awards aims to recognize clinician researchers who have created the vision for medical research in the country through their outstanding work in medical research that have pioneered the trail for medical innovations and health research and development. It is given in memory and in honor of National Scientist Geminiano T. De Ocampo, the Father of Modern Philippine Ophthalmology who epitomized excellence in his field of expertise, specifically in ophthalmology. The award is made possible through an endowment of the De Ocampo family in order to encourage Filipino medical scientists to advocate continuous research while practicing their being physicians. Dr. Ignacio will receive a gold medal, a plaque of recognition, and a cash prize of Php 100,000.00.
On the other hand, TWAS Prize for Young Scientist in the Philippines for 2017 was given to Dr. Nathaniel P. Hermosa II, associate professor at the National Institute of Physics, University of the Philippines Diliman.
His current research revolves around the understanding of fundamental properties of light and light-matter interactions and the development of novel techniques based on light that may significantly advance the state of knowledge of the field. Understanding light and light-matter interaction is an important step in realizing light’s vast potential in the development of applications and technologies especially in effective communication. With his research team, the Structured Light cluster, Dr. Hermosa tries to develop techniques to study believed-to-be inaccessible information from an object or a phenomenon by studying the fundamentals of light.
Dr. Hermosa obtained his BS in Applied Physics (Material Science Concentration) degree, his MS and PhD in Physics degrees from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD). He was also named as one of the Outstanding Young Scientists for 2017 by the NAST PHL and the recipient of the 2017 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research (Eduardo A. Quisumbing Medal) given by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for his research on “Subluminal group velocity and dispersion of Laguerre Gauss (LG) beams in free space”.
The TWAS Prize for Young Scientist in the Philippines is an award given to an outstanding young Filipino scientist by NAST PHL and The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries. One award each year, consisting of US $2,000 and a plaque, is given in the selected discipline for the year - biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics.