/ 12 December 2020

TWO PROFESSORS from the University of the Philippines were recognized in this year’s Department of Science and Technology-National Science and Technology Week Awards.

Professor Cynthia Saloma of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology received the Dioscoro L. Umali medal after bagging the Outstanding Science Administrator award. She was cited for her proactive management approach, extensive experience and unwavering mentorship of young scientists which paved the way for the creation of the Philippine Genome Center Satellite Facilities in UP Visayas and Mindanao.

“Saloma has also generated many research grants and projects which capitalized on building the capacity and capability of researchers to undertake genomics research in health, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity, forensics and ethnicity,” the university said.

Saloma was one of the pioneers of the PGC executive committee and served as the first program director of the PGC DNA Sequencing Core Facility from 2010 to 2016.

Meanwhile, Professor Rachel June Gotanco received the Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research and the Eduardo A. Quisumbing Medal.

Gotanco, with co-author Andrew Torres, was cited for their outstanding scientific research entitled “Rarity of the Common Coral Pocilloporadamicornis in the Western Philippine Archipelago”, a tech-based approach to correctly identify corals species and their actual value for the protection of the marine environment.

“The research highlights the need to revisit the distributional limits of the extensively studied coral species and the necessity of using genetic information for taxonomic identification where morphological identification is unreliable,” Gotanco said.