January 22, 2016, 11:37a.m. – FOLLOWING a string of awards in 2015, a Thomasian researcher has been granted one of the most sought-after funding partnerships between the Philippines and the United Kingdom. 

College of Science professor Mary Beth Maningas, who won four awards last year for her research on shrimp biodiversity and the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), was selected as one of the recipients of the 2016 Newton Fund for Leaders in Innovation Fellowship last Jan. 19.

The Newton Fund is a  £2-million jointly funded program launched in 2014 by the UK and Philippine governments. According to the British Council website, the program aims to help developing countries through research and innovation, as well as promote economic development and social welfare.

Some of the economic losses of the shrimp industry are due to WSSV, an infection in shrimps. Maningas, with the help of her team from the Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences, devised diagnostic kits for WSSV.

The WSSV diagnostic kits were set to be distributed to 18 shrimp farms nationwide. The Department of Science and Technology funded the pilot-testing of the kits.

In 2015, Maningas won first place in the DOST Regional Invention Contests and Exhibits for her research. She also received the Outstanding Research and Development Award for Applied Research during the National Science and Technology Week, and the Outstanding Research Paper award during the National Awards for Science and Technology. Mia Rosienna P. Mallari


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