NAST PHL discusses Molecular Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases in partnership with the UP Manila and Case Western Reserve University
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), in partnership with the University of the Philippines Manila and Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, Ohio, through its Health Sciences Division conducted the Roundtable Discussion on Molecular Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases on February 20, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila.
The RTD, organized by the Health Sciences Division chaired by Acd. Jaime C. Montoya, along with Dr. Edsel Maurice T. Salvana, NAST Outstanding Young Scientist and Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health as thefocal person, aimed to (1) learn about the molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases and how these mechanisms lead to manifestation of infections; (2) understand the molecular mechanisms of infection in order to determine possible treatment strategies to minimize morbidity and mortality; and (3) understand disease interactions at the molecular level and how these affect pathogenicity and disease outcomes.
Acd. William G. Padolina, president of NAST PHL, welcomed the speakers and participants to the RTD. He hoped that aside from the technical knowledge, the RTD will also serve as a venue for future research collaboration between the three institutions regarding infectious diseases. Acd. Carmencita D. Padilla, chancellor of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila and member of the NAST Health Sciences Division, emphasized the value in prevention and preparedness in combating infectious diseases. She mentioned that UP Manila and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) are investing heavily in the prevention and control of communicable diseases. As chancellor, she is also looking forward to having a formal collaboration with Case Western Reserve University. Such a collaboration will greatly help our institutions come up with evidence-based recommendations that can be used in the formulation of health policy in the Philippines.
The Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Designing for Healthy Work and Living Environment was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD) on February 5, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila. This RTD is the fourth in the series of discussions conducted in preparation for the upcoming 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in July, which centers on the role of different sciences in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Invited experts were Architect Anna Maria M. Gonzales, sustainability and planning manager of the Ayala Land, Inc. and Dr. Marilou D. Renales, chair of the Residency Training Program Committee of the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine. Acd. Aura C. Matias, RTD focal person from the Engineering Sciences and Technology Division served as the moderator.
Architect Gonzales discussed green living building design with focus on healthy ecosystems. An advocate of green living and indigenous architecture design, she explained land use and its relation to development as one of the components of green design. She highlighted the importance of integration of natural spaces to development by working with the natural characteristics of the area. Architect Gonzales shared that knowing the context of the location where you plan to build is an important consideration in sustainable design. She also explained the importance of encouraging non-motorized transportation (walking, biking, etc.) and creating a demand for it.
Two outstanding engineering graduates from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) were among the winners of the 2014 Magsaysay Future Engineers/ Technologists Award, conducted by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) on December 18, 2014 at the Hotel Jen.
Mr. Alvin James E. Asaytono and Mr. Gerard Jericho B. Ronquillo won first and third prizes, respectively. Asaytono, a chemical engineering graduate, presented his paper on “Enzymatic Modification of Dietary Fiber from Waste Cacao (Theobroma cacao) Pod Husks for Use as a Potential Food Ingredient”, while Ronquillo, a graduate of civil engineering discussed “Morphological and Characterization-based Verification of the Properties of Concrete with Amorphous Nanosilica Synthesized from Rice Hull Ash.” On the other hand, Mr. Andres Philip Mayol, a mechanical engineering graduate and alumnus of De La Salle University bagged the second prize for his research on “Investigation of the Drying Characteristics of Microalgae using Microwave Irradiation”. The three awardees were selected from a total of sixfinalists who competed for the said award.
Special citations were also given to the remaining finalists: (1) Mr. Alvin T. Chua of De La Salle Araneta University for his research “The Development of Modified Alkali Transesterification Reactor (Biodiesel Reactor) for Low Carbon Economy”; (2) Ms. Adelen Victoria P. Festin of the University of the Philippines Diliman for her study on “Communect: Secure Community Connection Using OpenBTS as an Alternative Base Station”, and (3) Mr. Paolo Francisco I. Matias of De La Salle University for his research entry “Investigation of the Drying Characteristics of Microalgae using Microwave Irradiation.”
The 15-minute paper presentation was followed by a brief open forum. Former Senator Ramon B. Magsaysay, Jr. and National Scientist Mercedes B. Concepcion, vice president of NAST presented the awards. In his message, Sen. Magsaysay urged the young engineers to become more competitive in their scientific and technological endeavors.
The Board of Judges was composed of Acd. Aura C. Matias, Chairperson, Acd. Reynaldo B. Vea, and Acd. Guillermo Q. Tabios. The MFET award is given annually by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), the country’s highest recognition and advisory body on matters related to science and technology, with funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The award has been established as recognition to outstanding research outputs on engineering and technology at the collegiate level. The competition is open to Bachelor of Science students enrolled in an engineering program or related fields, specifically in the areas of (a) biomedical engineering, (b) machinery, (c) engineering products, (d) engineering sources, and (e) product development.
The first, second and third prize winners received a cash prize of P50,000, P30,000, and P20,000, respectively and a plaque of recognition from NAST. Special citations received a cash prize of P10,000 each and plaque of recognition. The institution of the first prize winner will be given a research grant of P500,000 upon approval of a project/research proposal by DOST. (by: Darvin Rosa)