Prof. Mary Beth Maningas (Photo courtesy of Mary Beth Maningas)

A RESEARCHER from the UST Department of Biological Sciences has won a research award for her studies on shrimp immune systems from the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

Prof. Mary Beth Maningas, a biotechnologist and fellow at the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences, is the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research (Eduardo A. Quisumbing Medal).

One focus of Maningas’ study is the discovery of a protein molecule in shrimps that could trigger an antiviral immune response.

“This finding is critical for penaeid (shrimp) immunology because shrimps rely entirely on their innate immune system to defend themselves against pathogens in contrast to vertebrates, which have a more complex immune defense,” she said.

In 2015, her research team developed a rapid and affordable diagnostic kit that helps shrimp farmers visually detect the highly lethal white spot syndrome virus which devastates local shrimp aquaculture. 

The Outstanding Research and Development Award is conferred by the NAST to individuals who have made significant contributions through research. Louise Marie Therese B. Padillo


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