By: Estrella Z. Gallardo
With the theme “Engaging the Youth in Science, , Technology and Innovation”, outstanding scientists were recognized through their works in promoting and engaging the youth in research and development of science and technology.
The Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology (PhilAAST) held its 67th PhilAAST Annual Convention on 20-21 September 2018 at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Auditorium in Diliman, Quezon City.
PhilAAST is a non-stock, non-profit scholarly organization that aims to promote public understanding, knowledge and application of science and technology (S&T) and establish an internationally linked S&T community.
The awarded scientists were Dr. Rosalinda Torres and Dr. Marissa Paglicawan, who received the Gregorio Zara Award for Basic Science Research and Applied Science Research, respectively; Dr. Rody Sy for the Dr. Paulo Campos Award for Health Research; Dr. Artemio Salazar for the Leads Agri Award for Agricultural Research; Dr. Elmer Dadios for the David M. Consunji Award for Engineering Research; and Engr. Ricardo Balog for the Mario Cruel Award for Advanced Engineering Technology Application.
Dr. Rosalinda Torres was conferred the Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Basic Science Research for her researches on the biological activity of essential oils and other constituents of the Philippine medicinal plants. She was also able to identify an extract and continues to develop a product that can kill mosquito larvae, a solution to the country’s problems on mosquito diseases such as dengue and malaria. In addition, she has also been working on the development of dietary supplements and natural colorants from plants to be used in cosmetics. She is currently a Chief Science Research Specialist of the Standards and Testing Division of the Industrial Technology Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines.
The other award of Gregorio Y. Zara for Applied Science Research was bestowed to Dr. Marissa A. Paglicawan for her research and development of biodegradable alternatives to plastic and recycling waste materials using local agricultural materials. She also applies her advanced knowledge on polymer science and engineering by developing composites using abaca and agricultural fibers, coconut products and rubber wastes. She is currently a Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Materials Science Division, Industrial Technology Development Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines.
The Dr. Paulo C. Campos Award was received by Dr. Rody G. Sy, the country’s leading expert in lipidology, for his numerous awards and contributions in the field of cardiology. He spearheaded the clinical arm in the first national survey on atherosclerotic risk factors that led to the discovery of predominantly low HDL-C level in the country. He also initiated the LIFE course study in CARdiovascular disease Epidemiology (LIFECARE) in the Philippines. He was the national leader for the recently reported Odyssey Outcomes Trial and Relax-Asia study. He is currently a Professor Emeritus of the UP College of Medicine and principal investigator for the Philippine Cardiovascular Genomics Study.
The Dr. Paulo Campos Award for Medical Research aims to recognize outstanding medical researchers who committed themselves to service and contributed to the betterment of the country. It was established in 2012 by PhilAAST and the Campos Family.
Dr. Artemio M. Salazar bagged the LEADS AGRI Award for his knowledge and expertise in breeding corn. He pioneered the breeding of 1PV Var 6, the first developed commercial quality protein maize cultivar in the country and encouraged combining corn with rice as staple food. He also co-spearheaded the fabrication of portable corn mill for production of corn grits in barrios. The country is corn self-sufficient because of his works and contributions. Dr. Salazar is a retired professor from the University of the Philippines Los Banos.
LEADS AGRI Award for Agricultural Research aims to recognize committed researchers that contributed to production of excellent products and programs improving the lives of Filipino communities. This is given by the Leads Agricultural Products Corporation, a Filipino-owned corporation that “provides customers with high quality products and excellent services in a giobal perspective”.
The David M. Consunji Award was given to Prof. Dr. Elmer P. Dadios for his works and contributions on software and hardware development in the area of robotics and intelligent systems application. He now engages himself in the field of artificial intelligence. As a multi-awarded educator and researcher, he was conferred the title University Fellow in DLSU and received 20 recognitions from different national organizations and agencies. He has been into robotics since 1993.
The David M. Consunji Award for Engineering Research aims to give recognition to outstanding researcher in the field of engineering. It was established by PhilAAST and the DMC1 Holdings, Incorporated.
Engineer Ricardo S. Balog received the Mario Cruel Award for his expertise on metal fabrication and welding which helped in the prototype development of medical instruments and other scientific apparatus. Some of his creations include a low-cost surgical instrument and self-retaining retractor for abdominal surgeries, orthopedic device that corrects misaligned and dislocated bones, and heat block apparatus for the loop-mediated amplication (LAMP). He is currently a dedicated faculty member of the UST Faculty of Engineering.
The Mario Cruel Award for Advanced Engineering Technology Application recognizes individuals who contributed to the promotion, enhancement and development of engineering and technology innovations in the country. It was given by the family of the late Mr. Mario Cruel.
The awardees received a monetary award of P50,000 each from PhilAAST and the award donors.
The over-all event was chaired by Academician Alvin B. Culaba, a member of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST-PHL), co-chaired by Dr. Reynaldo E. De la Cruz, and Dr. Ester B. Ogena, both Vice-Presidents of Environmental Sciences and Economics & Social Sciences Divisions, with the Secretary of Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Dr. Fortunato T. de la Pena as the adviser. (PSciJourn MegaManila)