/ 31 May 2021

DR. RODNEY Perez, an alumnus of the Visayas State University, was the first Filipino to receive the Young Asian Biotechnologist award from The Society for Biotechnology in Japan.

Perez was recognized for his study on bacteriocins’ molecular mechanism.

The study focused on how bacteriocins are produced and the development of a technology that can lessen the cost of its production that could pave the way for its use as a food preservative, Perez said.

“It’s a great honor to be the first Filipino to be awarded by SBJ with the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize. This award is something that my family, friends, colleagues, and even our country can be proud of. I dedicate this award to my family who is always there to support me. Also, to all my colleagues at BIOTECH-UPLB, my former professors at VSU and Kyushu University,” he said.

The university said that Perez has received other awards in the past.

His work on bacteriocins won for him the Outstanding Young Scientist of the Philippines award given last year by the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines.

“Aside from his work’s impact in the local food industry, he was awarded a research grant by the Philippine government to these compounds as protection against a breast tissue infection called mastitis in dairy animals,” VSU said.

“His project will hopefully help Filipino dairy farmers reduce the use of clinical antibiotics as control for mastitis infection since it poses a high risk of antibiotic contamination in milk,” it added.

Perez graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Technology. He currently works at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños.