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NAST Confers Outstanding Young Filipino Scientists, New Academicians
SEARCA BIC News Release

The National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) recently awarded the 2008 Outstanding Young Scientists (OYS) and conferred new academicians during the NAST's 30th Scientific Meeting held at Manila Hotel, Manila, 10 July 2008.

NAST endeavors to recognize outstanding achievements in science and technology in varying fields. It also provides meaningful incentives to those engaged or would like to engage in scientific and technological researches.

The prestigious NAST awards also include the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Prize for Young Scientists in the Philippines, NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists, NAST-Hugh Greenwood Environmental Science Award, NAST-LELEDFI Award for Outstanding Research in Tropical Medicine, Outstanding Scientific Papers, Outstanding Books, and Outstanding Monographs.

The 2008 Outstanding Young Scientists are :

* Dr. Hayde F. Galvez, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB): For her research in the development and application of molecular marker techniques, which determine coconut hybridity; thrips resistance in potato, and aschochyta blight resistance in chickpeas;

* Dr. Antonio A. Alfonso, Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice): For his contributions in elucidating the molecular basis of cytoplasmic male sterility and fertility restoration in plants;

* Dr. Constancio A. Asis, Jr., PhilRice: For his studies on the elucidation of interaction mechanisms of nitrogen fixing bacteria in nonleguminous crops including the discovery of Trigonelline, a chemoattractant for rhizobia and an active medicinal compound in rice seeds as well as the isolation of a nitrogen fixing bacteria from sugarcane and sweet potato;

* Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, National Museum of the Philippines: For his contribution to wildlife ecology and environmental science focusing on systematics, ecology, and conservation of Philippine amphibians and reptiles;

* Dr. Carlo Mar Y. Blanca, University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD): For his research on laser microscopy, nanobiophotonics, and wireless technology which have resulted in the establishment of two laboratories, namely, the Laser Microscopy and the Wireless Technology Laboratories at the National Institute of Physics in UPD;

* Dr. Roberto B. Corcino, Mindanao State University: For his researchin combinatorics: treating of the formation, enumeration, and properties of partitions, variations, combinations, and permutations of a finite number of element under various considerations, which has important applications in the design and operation of computers;

* Jaderick P. Pabico, M.S., UPLB: For his scientific and technological research on the improvement and application of computational intelligence, soft computing, and high performance computing techniques that enhance agricultural, and chemical systems;

* Dr. Raul V. Destura, University of the Philippines Manila (UPM): For developing rapid diagnostic tools in determining some etiologic causes of diarrhea, and his significant discovery of micronutrient combinations for rapid mucosal restitution of intestinal epithelial cells;

* Dr. Claire Dennis S. Mapa, UPD: For his research on empirical economic growth analysis and financial econometrics, considered as highly empirical disciplines and a domain of relatively few researchers; and

* Dr. Edsel L. Beja, Jr., Ateneo de Manila University: For his works and studies in the macroeconomics and political economy of developing countries, particularly the Philippines and other Asian economies

The newly conferred NAST academicians are:

* Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, Economics, University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa (1985): For his research and other scholarly work in development economics, which have resulted in a number of internationally-renowned publications on poverty, economic inequality, and agricultural and rural development. He is the current director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA<http://www.searca.org/> );

* Dr. Libertado C.Cruz, Reproductive Biotechnology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign(1986): For his contributions in the field of animal science, particularly in reproductive biotechnology;

* Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion, Marine Natural Products, Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, UPD(1995): For her contributions and accomplishments in the field of marine natural products as team leader of various research projects, which aim to discover novel marine compounds with anticancer, antibacterial, anti-tuberculosis, antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, and immunosuppressant properties;

* Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, MHPS, Genetics, UPM (2005): For her valuable contributions in the field of genetics specifically, newborn screening for genetic disorders in the Philippines;

* Dr. Gavino C. Trono, Marine Botany, Seaweed Biodiversity, Taxonomy, Ecology and Culture, UH(1968): For his contributions and in the field of phycology particularly on seaweed biodiversity, taxonomy, and culture as a researcher and professor;

* Dr. Jose Maria P. Balmaceda, Mathematics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1991): For his research on the representation and structure theory of finite groups and related structures;

* Dr. Alvin B. Culaba, Mechanical Engineering, University of Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom (1986): For his pioneering works and accomplishments in the area of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology; and

* Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, M.Sc., Infectious Diseases, University of London, United Kingdom (1989): For his noble contribution in the field of infectious diseases, particularly for his researches on many aspects of tuberculosis: from epidemiology; molecular characterization of the Philippine strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis- a unique family of M. tuberculosis (now known as the Manila Family of M. tuberculosis), to diagnosis through immunologic tests (ELISA) utilizing different TB antigens, to the use of M. Vaccae, as an innovative adjuvant modality of treatment.

Full details and list of other awardees may be viewed at SEARCA BIC website,

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