/ 9 March 2021

THREE faculty members of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños are among nine individuals chosen to receive awards from the National Research Council of the Philippines.

The NRCP, the country’s largest collegial body and premier agency for basic and fundamental research, will confer the awards on its 88th General Membership Assembly.

Three of the 9 awardees are Dr. Vachel Gay Paller who will receive an Achievement Award for the biological sciences division, and Dr. Ramon Razal for agriculture and forestry division.

Dr. Ceferino Maala, on the other hand, will receive the 2020 NRCP Member Emeritus, Cluster four title.

Paller is a faculty member at the Institute of Biological Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences who has made outstanding contributions in parasitology research.

“Her work fostered interdisciplinary and interagency approaches in addressing parasite control and prevention in resource-poor communities in the country.  She advocates the promotion of ONE HEALTH through evidence-based research, teaching, and extension,” UPLB said.

Paller authored the NRCP Monograph entitled “Fish Parasites as Heavy Metal Absorbents” and was the project leader of the NRCP-funded project “Diversity and Ecology of Acanthocephalan Parasites in Freshwater Fishes from the Seven Lakes of San Pablo City, Philippines and their Potential as Heavy Metal Bioindicators.”

She has published over 50 original scientific articles in high-impact journals.

Razal is a full professor at the Department of Forest Products and Paper Science of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources where he was dean for two terms, from 2002 to 2005 and from 2005 to 2008.

“His expertise is in wood chemistry and non-timber forest products. His work in the latter, especially on bamboo and resin, contributed greatly to enriching knowledge and providing policy support to improve the lives of people in forest communities,” UPLB said.

Meanwhile, Maala, a doctor of veterinary medicine, is an Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology and a professor emeritus of UPLB.

He is an expert in veterinary anatomy, especially of the Philippine water buffalo. His researches on its anatomy have significantly contributed to the improvement of Philippine water buffalo production.

“Dr. Maala’s monitoring work includes the muzzle and palatine printing method which could be adapted as alternative methods in the identification of the Philippine water buffalo,” the university said.

“Despite having retired from teaching, he still teaches graduate courses and serves as thesis adviser to both undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary medicine students,” it added.