Sunday, April 8, 2018

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Pinay scientists

The article, Six Filipino female scientists who are improving the way we live by Kit Singson (CNN Philippines), is a refreshing break from bad news.

Two of them were my mentors in molecular biology and residency training (Internal Medicine). I did a some research projects with them.

On Dr. Cynthia Saloma:

[She] is currently a professor of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and Principal Investigator at the Laboratory of Molecular and Cell Biology (LMCB) in the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in UP Diliman. She pursues research towards embryonic organ formation. She, together with three other women, established what is known today as the Philippine Genome Center.

Her proudest moment as a scientist is starting the DNA Sequence Core Facility where she, along with collaborators and students, successfully sequenced and analyzed hundreds of genomes of bacteria affecting shrimp health, soil quality of rice, and parasites affecting the Philippine carabao, among others. Having knowledge of these genome sequences can advance our understanding of animal diseases and plant development to help our fisheries and agriculture sectors using biomarkers and diagnostic tools.

On Dr. Regina Berba:

Her current work involves researches in tuberculosis, dengue, infection control, influenza, and HIV. She is writing a paper about a new dengue diagnostic test called dengue LAMP (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) invented by a group in the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in UP Manila NIH led by Dr. Raul Destura.

This test uses gene amplification to identify dengue early and at a low cost, with good accuracy measures. If dengue is diagnosed early, she says that “there is a better chance that complications are avoided, [there will be] less deaths and more lives saved.”

We should read more about scientists and artists.

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