Ryan Timothy Yu, who recently graduated summa cum laude (BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology) from the University of the Philippines Diliman, was chosen winner of the 2017 Sanger Institute Prize in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The Sanger Prize is an annual international competition open to undergraduates from low- to upper-middle-income countries. Mr. Yu was declared winner by the Sanger Prize trustees after a two-step screening process, the last one of which entailed submission of a lengthy essay on single molecule sequencing that is formatted following the style of the high-impact scientific journal Nature Reviews. As part of his prize, Ryan gets to choose a laboratory at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Genome Campus) in Cambridge, UK, in which to do a 3-month internship. All his expenses, including visa costs, flights, accommodation and reasonable living expenses will be paid for by the Sanger Institute.
The 2015 winner of the prize was also from the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB) in UP Diliman – Liezel Tamon, herself a summa cum laude graduate and is now doing her MSc/PhD at the Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology in Goettingen, Germany. Both Ryan and Liezel come from the Disease Molecular Biology and Epigenetics Laboratory (DMBEL).
Mr. Yu has presented his 2-year research on NRAS mutations in colorectal cancer in three international conferences, namely: the 13th International Congress of Human Genetics (ICHG) in Kyoto, the 2016 International Conference of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology (ICKSMCB) in Seoul, and the 25th International Conference of the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists (FAOBMB) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila.
The prize caps a successful academic year for DMBEL which has won a total of ten awards for the university in one year: Sanger Institute Prize (Ryan Timothy Yu), 25th FAOBMB Youth Science Forum (first place, Arman Ghodsinia), four Sigma-Aldrich Excellent Poster Awards in different categories at the 2016 ICKSMCB (Krizelle Mae Alcantara, Kenneth Anthony Roquid, Carmela Rieline Cruz and Daniel Paul Uy), two Best Poster Awards at the 25th FAOBMB (jointly for co-authors Marian Abigaile Manongdo, Charles Christopher Bataclan, Kenneth Anthony Roquid and Jose Lorenzo Ferrer), Philippine representative to the 2016 Novartis International Biocamp in Switzerland (Joshua Reginald Malapit), and Philippine representative to Global Biotech Revolution’s 2017 GapSummit in Washington, D.C. (Fidel Emmanuel Serrano). (Frances Fatima M. Cabana, MPRO)