Dr. Marissa G. Noel: 2017 PFCS Achievement Award for Service to the Chemistry Profession

Dr. Marissa Garcia Noel has long been quietly working to the benefit of the Philippine Chemistry Community. She has been a regular member of organizing committees of the Philippine Chemistry Congress and most notably, has been an indispensable and trusted organizer to whom industry partners and exhibitors flock.  She efficiently headed the Ways and Means Committee of many local and international PCCs since 2001 while capitalizing on her reputation to influence industry people, raise funds and generate income for the PCC.  Likewise, she also rendered similar services to the Natural Product Society of the Philippines (NPSP).  She sat on the organizing committee of several NPSP National Conferences and was the lead local organizer/host of the December 2013 conference held at DLSU.

Dr. Noel is instrumental to the ratification of the Chemistry Law.  Marissa, together with siblings Representative Victoria Isabel G. Noel and Former Representative Florencio Gabriel G. Noel, helped the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) and the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS) by liaising and lobbying for the Chemistry Profession Act in the Philippine Congress and Senate.  After years of lobbying, dogged persistence and monitoring, the Chemistry Profession Act was signed into law by the Philippine President in 2015.  The new Chemistry Law regulates, modernizes and protects the practice of the Chemistry profession in the Philippines.

She is the former Chair of the Chemistry Department of De La Salle University where some of her primary responsibilities include revising and offering new curricular programs, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, promoting food chemistry research, mentoring and training new faculty members and helping organize the DLSU Food Institute and the food chemistry laboratory at the DLSU Science and Technology Complex in Laguna.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Noel has been competently and quietly pushing for the cooperative amalgamation of the academe, the chemical industries and the policy-making sectors of the country for the advancement of chemistry.

Dr. Noel hails from Tacloban, Leyte. She obtained her BS Chemistry from the University of San Carlos and briefly taught at the Divine Word University. She did her MS in Food Science at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños and worked as a research assistant at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Institute of Food Science and Technology. She later joined De La Salle University, and finished her PhD at Ateneo de Manila University under Dr. Fabian Dayrit.

Dr. Maribel G. Nonato: 2017 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Research

Dr. Maribel G. Nonato obtained her doctoral degree in Organic Chemistry with specialization on Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia in 1993.  Upon her return to the University of Santo Tomas, Dr. Nonato resumed her research activities at the Research Center for the Natural Sciences (RCNS) were she pioneered research on the Phytochemistry and Biological Activities of Philippine grown species of the Genus Pandanus (Family Pandanaceae).  The main goal of the research is the discovery of novel or new bioactive secondary metabolites from the Genus Pandanus. It is the future goal of the project to develop the plants into herbal products.

Monocots are rarely tapped as source of bioactive secondary metabolites.  The Genus Pandanus is a monocot comprising of about 450species with about 20 species endemic to the country.  There were very limited works reported on Pandanus when Dr. Nonato started her work on the world of pandans in 1991.  An initial engagement was established with the late Dr. Benjamin Stone, the world renowned Pandanus botanist who was then working with the National Museum on a project focused on the inventory of Philippine medicinal plants.  Dr. Stone was delighted to hear of someone interested to work on the group of plants that feature prickled, fibrous and hard leaves.  Unfortunately, because of Dr. Stone’s untimely death while in the Philippines, the partnership did not prosper.  But that did not stop Dr. Nonato from continuing her passion to discover the virtues of the Genus Pandanus to add values on their known medicinal and handicraft uses.

The novelty of the Pandanus alkaloids merited an invitation to write a chapter on the book series “The Alkaloids:  Chemistry and Biology” in 2008 acknowledging the contribution of  Dr. Nonato to the Chemistry of Alkaloids. So far the study on Philippine grown Pandanus species revealed the presence of alkaloids in two Pandanus species, P. amaryllifolius and P. dubius.   Dr. Nonato’s research on the novel alkaloids of Pandanus earned her the 2006 National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award in Chemical Sciences.  To better understand the biogenesis of the Pandanus alkaloids which so far were found to be limited in two Pandanus species she conducted studies on the endophytic fungi thriving on the leaves of P. amaryllifolius.  The research led to the discovery of new secondary metabolites with new biological activities.  Neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand started to undertake similar researches on their Pandanus species. Biological studies on the Pandanus species reveled the potential of these plants as source of antimicrobials, antiviral, diuretics, antituberculars, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Dr. Maribel G. Nonato is presently the Vice Rector for Research and Innovation at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), first female and lay person to assume the post since September 2014.  She had served the University of Santo Tomas as administrator in different capacities: Director of Research Center for the Natural Sciences, acting Assistant to the Rector for Research and Development, Dean of the College of Science and Assistant to the Rector for Research and Innovation.

Dr. Ramon S. del Fierro: 2017 PFCS-Unilab Achievement Award for Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)

Ramon S. Del Fierro is currently an Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Chemistry in University of San Carlos, Cebu City. His expertise and research interests include: Natural products Chemistry; Biochemistry, Chemical Toxicology; Bioassays; Chemical Education; Educational Administration and Leadership.

Mark Valentine P. Balanay: 2017 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Industry

Mark Balanay used his chemical knowledge and skills to become a leader in Philippine Sinter Corporation, a major corporation in Cagayan de Oro. He has engaged in a wide range of activities, including operation & production, analytical laboratory management, research & quality assurance, and human resource management. He is also the company’s lead auditor for ISO 14001 & ISO 9001. Mark has likewise used his skills to guide and build up the chemistry community in northern Mindanao into an active and responsive organization. This mix of experience, competencies and commitment, including his dynamic interface with government, academe, industry, and scientific associations, makes him a well-rounded leader.

He obtained his BS Chemistry Degree at Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan as a DOST scholar. He obtained a MA Management Degree major in Environmental Management at Liceo de Cagayan University and a BS in Secondary Education at the Mindanao University of Science and Technology.

Janeth Morata-Fuentes: 2017 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemistry Education (Secondary Level)

Ms. JANETH MORATA-FUENTES is a special science teacher at the Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus in Palo, Leyte. She teaches Chemistry and handles Science &Technology Research. She graduated from the University of the Philippines (Diliman) with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education (Chemistry).  She took her Master of Education (Teaching and Curriculum Studies) at the University of Sydney (New South Wales, Australia) where she graduated with merit. She is currently a PhD (Chemistry Education) student at the UP Open University.

As a teacher, Janeth passionately mentors gifted students of Pisay. In recognition of her excellence in teaching, she was granted the Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010 – the youngest teacher recipient of this career award. That same year, the PSHS Foundation’s Dr. Cleofe Bacungan Endowment Fund accorded her the honor of the Natatanging Guro (Natural Sciences Cluster) Award, in acknowledgment of her meritorious teaching service.  She was also conferred the highest award for Civil Servants, the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award in 2011 in recognition of her efforts to improve quality of life by conducting activities promoting science and technology research and advancing science education. She was awarded in 2012 by the Academy of Singapore Teachers (Ministry of Education) the Outstanding Educator in Residence placement, training Chemistry teachers and involving herself in consultancy work with school administrators and master teachers.

As a research teacher, she mentored students who were awarded grand prizes in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, earning her a citation for Outstanding Contribution as Research Adviser. She also leads conduct of significant researches such as environmental studies of bodies of water in Leyte, exploration of natural products from marine sources and finding ways to mitigate harmful algal blooms.

Janeth is not just involved in teaching and research. Recently, she served as Project Leader of the PSHS System’s Curriculum Review and Materials Development Project which oversaw the development and revision of the PSHS curriculum to align it with the K-12 program of the government and meet its mission of providing a special science curriculum for gifted students. Aside from this, she also spearheaded the PSHS-Meralco National Science Fair for two years which later became the Philippine International Science Fair. The said fairs featured scientific studies from all PSHS campuses and from international participants. She also served as National Coordinator of the Upgrading Program: Learning Institute for Teachers, a nationwide program of PSHS which trained teachers in Science, Math and English in preparation for the rollout of the K-12 curriculum.

Janeth also busies herself with book writing projects and is co-author of a book in Integrated Science. She is also invited as resource person in various teacher trainings where she shares her expertise in teaching, curriculum development and pedagogy.

Despite these achievements, Janeth remains humble and grounded and is a most loyal friend to a select group of people. She often jokes that she will never win an award for exemplary mom but she might win one for trying very hard. She spends downtime with her children, Earendil and Earwen, who serves as balm to her often tired self and who has banned her from doing any cooking for them.

Call for Nominations of FACS Awards & Citation 2017

On behalf of the President of Federation of Asian Chemical Society (FACS), Prof. Jasim Uddin Ahmad, I would like inform you that we will be presenting the following Awards at the 17th Asian Chemical Congress (17h ACC) that will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 23-28 July, 2017.

  1. Foundation Lectureship Award 2016 in Analytical Chemistry
  2. Distinguished Young Chemist Award 2016 in Organic Chemistry
  3. Distinguished Contribution to Economic Advancement Award
  4. Distinguished Contribution to Chemical Education Award
  5. FACS Citations for Contributions to Chemistry in the Asia-Pacific Region

Nominations are invited from member societies for the above Awards and Citation, and only one nomination is allowed for each Award from each member society. The closing date for submission of the nominations is on 31 January 2017. Please submit the nominations to following address or via email to:

Prof. Dr. Md. Wahab Khan – FACS Secretariat
c/o Bangladesh Chemical Society
10/11 Eastern Plaza, Sonargaon Road, Hatirpool, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh

Department of Chemistry, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET)
Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Tel +8801552466300
Email: mwkhan@chem.buet.ac.bd

Click here to download the nomination form.

NRCP Recognizes Outstanding Filipino Researchers

This page originally appears at the DOST website with the complete roster of awardees.

The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) in its Annual Scientific Conference and 83rd General Membership Assembly held last 16 March 2016 at the Philippine International Convention Center conferred Outstanding Achiever Awards to three Filipino researchers/scientists, Outstanding Research Institutions to four academic institutions, Award of Distinctions to four Filipino researchers, and Honorable Recognition Awards to two NRCP Member Emeriti.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVER AWARDS

DR. MYLENE M. UY is honored for her exemplary achievements and invaluable contributions to research in the field of Natural Products Chemistry particularly on drug discovery and development from Philippine medicinal plants endemic in Mindanao. Dr. Uy’s exemplary leadership in the implementation of the first Tuklas Lunas Development Center of DOST-PCHRD in the Mindanao is also highly praised along with her unwavering dedication and support in the development and promotion of natural products research in Region. Dr. Uy is a Regular Member of the NRCP Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences and is currently with the Department of Chemistry, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology.

CHEMICAL SCIENCES
NRCP Award of Distinction for 2015

DR. FORTUNATO B. SEVILLA III
Professor Emeritus, College of Science
University of Santo Tomas

For being an outstanding scientist, innovator, and leader who made significant contributions in the field of analytical chemistry, through his pioneering innovative work in chemical sensors and biosensors; his active and dedicated involvement in both local and international academic and chemistry communities, with papers published in leading international journals; his distinguished contributions as reflected in patents and in low-cost instrumentation he developed for chemical education; and his zealous desire in mentoring the young minds to become scientists themselves.

NRCP MEMBER EMERITUS

DR. BEATRICE Q. GUEVARA
Professor Emeritus, University of Santo Tomas

For her inspiring leadership in the formulation of policies and setting directions for the growth and development of basic sciences in the field of chemical sciences; for her distinguished membership in the Council, and being an inspiration to budding scientists in the country.

Former Rep. Florencio Gabriel G. Noel and Rep. Victoria Isabel G. Noel: 2016 PFCS Awardees for Service to the Chemistry Profession

Representative Victoria Isabel Noel and former representative Florencio Gabriel Noel of An-Waray* Party List made a significant contribution to the upliftment of Chemistry in the Philippines being instrumental in the passage of the Chemistry Profession Act that was signed into law by the Philippine President a year ago. The new Chemistry Law regulates and modernizes the practice of Chemistry in the Philippines. It is more responsive to recent changes brought about by rapid developments in Chemistry, Science and Technology, the rise of international standards, global competition and also concerns for the environment, climate change, and sustainable development. The Law provides that Chemistry is vital to public safety, the national economy, and the protection of the environment. It is, therefore, the policy of the State to promote, regulate and protect the professional practice of chemistry and to ensure the continued development and high international standards of the practice of chemistry in the Philippines.

*An Waray party list aims to uplift, develop and improve the lives of people in region 8. Its mission is characterized by three main goals: partnership for community development, principled and integrity – oriented leadership and social services for the Filipino family. An Waray believes that the true response to the needs of the marginalized is to provide them with access to basic education, efficient social services and the ability to influence public policy and hold public institutions accountable.

Ms. Ludivinia B. Avendaño: 2016 PFCS Awardee for Chemical Industry

Ms. Ludivinia “Ludy” Avendaño’s more than three decades of service to various leading companies is testament to her being an outstanding asset to the Chemical Industry as a whole. In a span of 36 years in the industry – from the laboratory to Quality Assurance to Business Process Management, inside and outside the country – she continuously apply the fundamentals and basic technical concepts of Chemistry learned from her alma mater. These technical concepts do not include the likes of “particle in a box “ theories , hard core laboratory researches, nor sophisticated chemical reactions, but rather, the unpretentious applications of Chemistry used in the industry such as materials and product specification testing applying the proper laboratory tools and techniques, correct Sampling, Quality Control and Quality Assurance, Quality Systems, Process Control, Productivity, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Leadership and Management, which she has adhered to consistently using the discipline and determination learned while doing the unknowns in her Quantitative Chemistry days in UP among so many lectures and laboratory works in the life of a Chemistry student.

Ms. Ludivinia “Ludy” Avendaño is currently, the Quality and Process Manager, Region Quality Assurance of Zuellig Pharma Asia Pacific, responsible for providing leadership and direction to its QA Function to deliver measurable improvements utilizing continuous improvement strategies, to drive harmonization of standard operational and quality-related processes and to develop appropriate actions to reduce variations and eliminate wastes.
Before Zuellig, she honed her skills as a chemist and a leader from her experiences in UP Diliman, San Miguel Corporation, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, and Coca Cola Bottlers Investment Group. She held various company leadership positions exhibiting excellence in carrying out her duties and constantly producing exemplary output for the company. She does not shy away from responsibilities whether chemistry related tasks or not as she sees them as challenges. She believes that “the world is open for us to embrace; be ready to take over. Yes, it will not be easy but we Chemists are ahead of the League”.

Rising from the ranks, Ludy started as a water laboratory chemist in one of the SMC Breweries. She later moved to Production as an Asst. Brew Master supervising the Brewing Operations. She was transferred back to QA Function as a Plant QA Manager then moved up to various QA leadership positions until her appointment as Beverage QA Manager of SMC Corporate Technical Services Directorate where she retired after 20 years of service. In Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc. (CCBPI), she worked as the Senior Asst. Vice-President and Quality Assurance Director responsible for the Quality Assurance programs of the integrated Carbonated and Non-carbonated Beverages Operations. Ms. Avendaño moved to Zuellig Pharma Asia Pacific in 2015.

Ms. Avendaño is one of the Board of Directors of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP). She made valuable contributions in assisting the Board of Chemistry draft the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) for the Chemistry Profession Act (New Chemistry Law).

Ludy is a mother to two daughters and a son; a wife to a very supportive loving husband; a sister and a daughter; a niece and a sister-in-law; and takes pride in being a mentor and a friend.

Dr. Relicardo M. Coloso: 2016 PFCS Awardee for Chemical Research

In a nutshell, the story of Dr. Relicardo M. Coloso’s career is that of a boy who grows up in Iloilo, leaves the comforts of home for further education and training, and returns to his hometown as an accomplished scientist. Dr. Coloso is currently based in Iloilo as a Scientist of the Nutrition and Feed Development Section, Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC).

To the scientific community, Reli is known for his work on fish nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, and feed development for food species e.g. milkfish, tiger shrimp, Asian sea bass, grouper, and mud crab. His work is described in several scientific papers (>40) published in international journals and proceedings. He has also co-authored a textbook on Nutrition in Tropical Aquaculture which was awarded the 2004 Outstanding Book Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology.

He holds adjunct faculty appointments at the Central Philippine University and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, both in Iloilo.

His academic credentials include a PhD in Nutritional Sciences (Cornell), a MS in Chemistry (Univ. Of the Philippines – College of Medicine), and a BS in Chemistry cum laude (Univ. of the Philippines, Diliman). He has also held research fellowships at Cornell, the New Jersey Medical School, and at the Institute of Marine Biochemistry (Aberdeen, Scotland).

Reli is also an avid student of cultures other than of our own, and makes it a point to visit less-travelled destinations.

Acceptance Speech

Good evening everyone!

Thank you very much for this wonderful award from colleagues and peers in the field of chemistry represented by the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS). When I was growing up and coming from a small town Iloilo was then, I initially found the chemistry subject at the PSHS very challenging and difficult that I almost gave up. With excellent guidance and mentoring from my chemistry teacher the subject became much more interesting and she made me realize that chemistry is an important stepping stone to other fields because it is at the core of most of them. And of course, that if I was good at it, I would surely grab a college science scholarship which was a really big incentive for a student in secondary school to try harder. And she was right after all. Much later on, my undergraduate and graduate professors, taught me the virtues of determination, hard work, patience, and perseverance that are needed in one’s professional life in research here in the country be it in biochemistry, aquaculture or other fields of endeavor. They all made me realize that success in our chosen work does not come easy. It takes a lot of determination and hard work to achieve more and a lot of patience to stay the course.

You all heard me talk about our research work this morning. Aquaculture research, when it started, was way behind agriculture research by more than three decades and work here in Southeast Asia started even much later than that. Suffice it to say that our small group was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to pioneer in tropical aquaculture nutrition research here in Southeast Asia. Our efforts led to the better understanding of the nutrient requirements, feed development and feeding of our economically important tropical aquaculture species such as milkfish, prawn, tilapia, and a few other species.

I have so many people to thank for. Our group was fortunate to train with the world’s best fish nutritionists who were so generous with their knowledge and time. Secondly, I want to thank my science mentors from elementary school all the way to graduate school and scholarship sponsors particularly the PSHS, DOST, PCAARRD and Fulbright scholarships, for giving me the educational opportunities and ample scientific training needed to become a productive researcher in this field. I also want to thank SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department that nurtured us and gave us the job that supported our families all these years and the many generous funding agencies that financially supported our work. Colleagues, research assistants, graduate students, and support staff at work, not to mention even the drivers, who drove us back and forth to our research stations and field sites to do our research, as well as to many close friends who gave support, unselfishly lent their precious time and ideas and shared many happy moments. For my family, I thank them for the love, support and understanding for the many times and years I had to be away to complete my training and do my work at SEAFDEC. I am truly grateful, too, to Dr. Nestor Valera, who was one of those who convinced me to join SEAFDEC in its formative years and for nominating me to the Awards Committee, and to the Federation for this precious award. To the Lord up there, thank you for all the blessings big and small all these years and for holding us in the safety of your hands. Finally, to all of you, tonight is nothing without your love and support for our chemistry societies and for what they stand for, thank you for being here. May you continue to lend your strong support to the Federation and our chemistry societies and help promote their advocacies. May you enjoy the rest of the evening and the rest of the Congress.

Thank you for this award and good evening!