UP alumni and faculty in Asian Scientist 100 list

| Written by Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo

Four of eight Filipinos listed in the 2021 Asian Scientist 100 are from UP: Dr. Kathleen Aviso, Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian (†), Dr. Desiree Hautea, and Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy.

 

 

Dr. Kathleen Aviso is an alumna of UP Diliman (UPD), having graduated with a BS Chemical Engineering degree, cum laude, in 2000. She earned her MS in Environmental Engineering and Management, and PhD in Industrial Engineering from De La Salle University, where she is currently a professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Her main research interest, the development of mathematical models to aid environmental decision-making, has earned her many honors, including the 2013 Outstanding Young Scientist from the National Academy of Science and Technology, 2016 Achievement Award from the National Research Council of the Philippines, and the 2016 Republica Award from the Commission on Higher Education. She was also a finalist in the 2016 ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women. Last year, she received the Dr. Michael Purvis Award for Sustainability Research.

 

 

Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian (†) was an alumna and a professor of the UP Manila College of Medicine, graduating with Bachelor of Science degree from UP Diliman in 1973 and her medical degree from the UP College of Medicine in 1977. A top pediatrician and infectious disease expert in the country, she was part of the UP-Philippine General Hospital Department of Pediatrics-Section of Infectious and Tropical Diseases. She was very visible as a strong advocate of immunization and tobacco control in the country.

She succumbed to COVID-19 in March last year. At the time of her passing, Gatchalian was Assistant Director of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, President of the Philippine Pediatric Society, and President of the International Society of Tropical Pediatrics-Philippine Chapter. She was also past President of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines. She was posthumously honored with the Dr. Lourdes Espiritu Campos Award for Public Health in 2020.

 

 

Dr. Desiree Hautea is a senior researcher at the Genetics Laboratory of the UP Los Baños (UPLB) Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB). In March this year, she retired from her post as Professor of genetics and crop biotechnology at the UPLB Institute of Crop Science (ICropS). Both institutes are under the College of Agriculture and Food Science. IPB is a research center, while ICropS is an academic unit.

Hautea, who is well-known for her work on Bt eggplant, received the 2020 Leads Agriculture Award from the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology. She earned her BS Agriculture degree in 1977 and MS in Genetics in 1981 from UPLB. She obtained her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was one of the key persons in the establishment of the UPLB COVID-19 Molecular and Diagnostic Laboratory, which was inaugurated in July 2020.

 

 

Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy is a UPD College of Engineering alumnus. He earned his PhD in Civil Engineering in 2011. He is Dean of the Mapua University School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering, where he also obtained his BS Civil Engineering and MS Civil Engineering degrees. He is the founder and President of USHER Technologies Inc., where he leads the Universal Structural Health Evaluation and Recording System or USHER project.

USHER is a round-the-clock structural health monitoring system for infrastructure. It aims to aid in the preparation for and response to calamities such as typhoons, flooding, and earthquakes. In 2019, the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organizations recognized USHER as an Outstanding Engineering Project. Uy also received the 2020 Kabalikat Researcher Award from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development and the 2020 David M. Consunji Award for Engineering Research.

The other Filipino scientists in the Asian Scientist 100 list are: Dr. Annabelle Briones, Director of the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute; Dr. Sandra Teresa Navarra, a renowned rheumatologist from the University of Santo Tomas; Dr. Jonel Saludes, Professor of chemistry and Associate Vice President for Research in the University of San Agustin Iloilo; and, Edgardo Vazquez, inventor of Vazbuilt, a prefabricated modular housing system for middle- and low-cost markets.