July 10, 2015, 9:22 a.m. – FOUR Thomasian scientists
were recognized in the 37th Annual Scientific Meeting of the National Academy
of Science and Technology (NAST) at the Manila Hotel Thursday.

Fortunato Sevilla III, Grecebio Jonathan Alejandro, Allan
Patrick Macabeo, and Mary Beth Maningas received various distinctions in the
annual meet of the government’s top scientific advisory body for their contributions
to their respective fields.

Professor Sevilla, former dean of the College of Science,
headlined the group after being elected “academician” of the NAST.

“This [award], in a way, will open the doors for
others,” said Sevilla, who encouraged other Thomasian scientists to excel
in their respective fields.

Macabeo was named one of seven recipients of the Outstanding
Young Scientist Award for 2015, for his studies in organic chemistry. His
research on the sustainable use and development of biologically active natural
products from Philippine medicinal plants also earned for him The World Academy
of Sciences Prize for Young Scientists in the Philippines.

Macabeo and his colleagues’ study, titled “Philippine Uvaria
species, finding potential antituberculosis, anti-infective,
anti-neurodegenerative and anti-hyperpigmenting agents in the crude extracts
from local shrubs,” was awarded Best Scientific Poster. It was among six
posters that bested 181 other entries from various scientific disciplines.

The award should encourage students and professionals alike
to improve research, Macabeo said in an interview. “[Research] is not that
popular among students,” he said. “Recognitions like these will
promote the impact of science in our lives.”

Meanwhile, Alejandro’s study titled “Molecular
phylogeny of the genus Bikia (Rubiaceae) including a new endemic Philippine
inland forest species Bikkia montoyae” and Maningas’ “Utilization of
loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technology for detecting White Spot
Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and Vibrio spp. in Litopenaeus vannamei in selected sites
in the Philippines
,” were named Outstanding Scientific Papers.

2 UST scholars among top PH scientists

Alejandro’s research was published in the Philippine Science
Letters in 2014, while Maningas’ study was awarded Best Poster in Food Security
Category of the 38th Annual Convention of the Philippine Society of
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2011.

Sevilla earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry in UST
in 1968, and obtained both his master’s and doctoral degrees in instrumentation
and analytical science from the University of Manchester Institute of Science
and Technology in the United Kingdom. His work on instrumentation and
analytical science has been acknowledged internationally, particularly by the International
Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Alejandro, director of the UST Office for Graduate Research,
was named Outstanding Young Scientist in 2006 for his work on the systematics
of Philippine Rubiaceae, local coffee plants.

In 2005, Alejandro named a newly discovered species of
coffee Mussaenda ustii
after UST. He also named the rare flowering plant
Hedyotis papafranciscoi
after Pope Francis early this year.

Macabeo and Maningas received the Gawad San Alberto Magno in
the 16th Dangal ng UST Awards for their contributions to research and
innovation in the field of science and technology. M. R. P. Mallari


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