Monday, June 14, 2010

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Represent!

Today I had the privilege of being one of the country's delegates to the 10th Science Council of Asia International Scientific Conference at Sofitel, Manila. It runs until June 16.



I'm there to present two of my group's research papers. In our first study, we tried to look for molecular geographical markers specific to pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) and studied its evolution through time, with special emphasis on the evolutionary linkages of Mexican and Philippine strains.



In our second study, we investigated the mechanisms behind oseltamivir (Tamiflu) resistance of the said virus through molecular modeling.



We did these studies with a long-term perspective in mind. By studying the mutation patterns of Influenza, we were able to offer an explanation as to the emergence of pandemic strains. The knowledge we obtained may be useful to prepare for possibly another second wave. By analyzing the molecular events that occur during cases of resistance, we may design better drugs that would counter the effect of some mutations that cause this resistance.

The experience has been rewarding for me. If my groupmates had been there, the experience could have been ten times richer. Sadly the organizers only gave limited slots, so not everyone could attend.

I went there early this morning to set up the posters. Only a handful of people were at the registration tables when I had arrived.



People then started roaming around, flocking around the posters that were already set up.





During the opening program, DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral was the keynote speaker. She was a very strong woman with very strong and clear-cut stand on certain issues, especially on reproductive health and the regulation of food supplements.

 DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral

In the afternoon, I heard many world-renowned scientists and speakers, both local and foreign. A talk I really enjoyed was by Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the WHO Regional Adviser in Communicable Disease, Surveillance, and Response—and he spoke about H1N1. It was like hearing my journals recite!



I also enjoyed the open forum at the end of each talk. Here's a Bangladeshi scientist clarifying something.



The food was mouth-watering. Here I'm with Dr. Francis Chung and my adviser, Dr. Frank Heralde, getting our second round of desserts.







I was with the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the UP College of Medicine the whole time. They were a great company. They taught me many things about eating Japanese food. They were funny, at times, and they called each other by their initials.



Here they are—some members of the Philippine delegation—on a photo session with National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz and a famous Thai scientist whose name escapes me.



I'm with two of my adviser's graduate students who also exhibited their research work.





There have been many light moments as well. I think one of the main purposes of the conference is to allow some sort of personal interaction among scientists in the Asia Pacific region.





It's been a great experience so far. Tomorrow I will have to attend class lectures, but I might just drop by the conference, just in time for the poster exhibits.



It's very humbling to think that, a couple of months ago, we were still struggling because our experiments weren't working. But God made them work, and He didn't just give us one set of results—He gave us four!

Our adviser, out of the blue, then told us to enter our abstracts into an upcoming conference. We weren't expecting anything. Weeks later, we got a notice that our studies have been considered. We were baffled.

This gives us no room for boasting at all because our being part of the conference isn't a testament to how great a scientist we are in the group, but a reminder of God's overflowing mercies.

Until tomorrow.



17 comments:

  1. Lance ibang level ka na. Keep it up and God bless your med life.

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  2. I'm so proud of you Lance. Haha!

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  3. WAAWW!! I'm so proud! go classmates! two thumbs up!

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  4. galing!congrats Lance! :D

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  5. Wow Lance! Good job! Congratz! (at sana nagbaon ka ng desserts for us... nyahahaha...)

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  6. nice! you look good (and the food looks good :P)

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  7. Wow, I'm excited for you, bro! May this be a preview of what good works you will be doing for God's glory in the Philippines. :D

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  8. wow! i'm so blessed by this. i know God is going to use you mightily in the area where He has called you, Lance.

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  9. kgwapo sang pinsan ko ah... congrats lance.. im so proud of you lancee!! may the good Lord continue to bless you my dear cousin..

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  10. Always so humble. :) You are truly blessed, Lance. Congratulations!

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  11. Lance that's awesome! You'll be the one up there someday representing WHO, you know, a talking journal. Congratulations! Mukha ka pa ring little kid though pffft. -Dianne

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  12. Thanks, Di! No, you'll be heading the WHO. I know great things are in tow for your career in research.

    Talaga? Akala ko naman, mukhang college na ako sa lagay na 'yan.

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  13. wow lance! congrats! this is awesome! :)

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  14. Hi Lance,

    I was surprised to find your site. You really posted lots of stuff here. I like the food pics! Great!

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  15. Thanks, Kat!

    Hi, Sir. I'm surprised you've found this, Sir! Ang sarap nga po ng food doon. Haha.

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