A CHEMISTRY graduate of the UST Graduate School (GS) won the 2005 Outstanding Dissertation in Chemistry Award from the Philippine Council for Advanced Research and Development (PCASTRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Dr. Benilda Ebarvia, a senior science research specialist at DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute, won with her paper, “Biomimetic piezoelectric quartz crystal sensor for caffeine based on molecular imprinted polymer.”

According to Ebarvia, the measurement system during the liquid phase uses highly sensitive piezoelectric quartz crystal, which can detect very small mass changes. The change in mass then results in a corresponding change in the resonant frequency on the quartz crystal which could in turn be related to the concentration of the compound or substance of interest in the sample.

“The caffeine sensors developed (in the study) could provide a cheap and fast alternative strategy of detecting caffeine in beverages, and in environmental water systems,” Ebarvia told the Varsitarian.

The part-time DOST scholar, who has also published four scientific papers in international refereed journals and presented works in two international conferences, said the method employed is simple and rapid as it could be used directly to the sample.

Meanwhile, two other GS students were also recognized in the same contest.

The researches of Dr. Leila Florete, a Ph.D. graduate in Biology and College of Science faculty member Prof. Patrick Allan Macabeo, were chosen as finalists in the outstanding dissertation and thesis categories, respectively.

The search is a biennial contest for M.S. and Ph.D. graduates of Commission on Higher Education-recognized institutions. Launched in Dec. 2001, the award goes to outstanding researches in any of the following: biology and related fields (molecular biology and biotechnology, genetics, microbiology), mathematics, statistics, computer science/information technology, physics, chemistry/biochemistry, materials science, remote sensing/earth science, and microelectronics. The winners were feted last Dec. 9 at the Phivolcs Auditorium. April Dawn Jennifer C. Adriatico and Jefferson O. Evalarosa

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