Illustrious Filipino Scientists In Biological Sciences And Related Fields

Illustrious Filipino Scientists In Biological Sciences And Related Fields

When the topic of discussion is about scientists, the countries that pop up in our minds are probably Japan, United States of America, Germany and many other foreign places. We don't quite think of the Philippines as to its contribution in the field of science and technology.

Illustrious Filipino scientists in biological sciences and related fields

In spite of being less known in scientific discoveries and inventions, there are Filipinos who have made a name for themselves in biological sciences and related fields and have been honored with the National Scientist Award.
  • Germiniano de Ocampo, M.D. - an ophthalmologist who is considered to some as the "Father of Modern Philippine Ophthalmology". He established the first eye hospital in the Philippines, De Ocampo Eye Hospital (1952) and the first Filipino President of the Philippine Ophthalmological Society (1958). He was the first Filipino to design a corneal dissector that was manufactured in the US. He received the Jose Rizal Medal in Ophthalmology from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology and was named National Scientist of the Philippines in 1982. Source: Wikipedia
  • Eduardo Quisumbing, Ph.D. - He made a tremendous contributions to researches on medical plants in the Philippines. Dr. Quisumbing was author of taxonomic and morphological papers, many of which deal with orchids, including ‘Medicinal plants in the Philippines’ (Manila 1951). Saccolabium quisumbingii has been named in his honor. He was recipient of the Distinguished Service Star (1954) for outstanding contribution to the field of systematic botany; Diploma of Merit on Orchidology and Fellow Gold Medal, Malaysian Orchid Society (1966); Gold Medal, American Orchid Society (1969), and 1975 PhilAAS Most Outstanding Award. Source: Wikipedia
  • Gregorio Velasquez, Ph.D.Known as the Father of Philippine Phycology, Dr. Velasquez pioneered the intensive study and collection of the Philippine blue-green algal species. He was able to produce 47 basic and 77 valuable scientific papers on the subject. For many years, he was Chairman for Biological Sciences of the National Research Council of the Philippines. In 1982 he was conferred the title of National Scientist by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. With his wife, Carmen Camacho Velasquez, also named as a National Scientist later on, the Velasquezes claim to be only the second husband and wife pair to be honored as such in the world after the Curie couple of France. Source: Wikipilipinas
  • Francisco Fronda, Ph.D. - Recognized as the Father of Poultry Science in the Philippines for his immense contribution to the poultry and livestock industry. Dr. Fronda worked extensively on the Cantonese, a breed of chicken imported from Canton, China. For 15 years, he culled, selected and bred the Cantonese to improve the breed. He succeeded in developing the chickens, but the line was not continued since all the fowls were consumed due to famine during World War II. Aside from that, Dr. Fronda was also the first Filipino researcher to work on improving duck meat. These ducks were often referred to as "Fronducks," in recognition of his success in breeding them and in producing stocks. Source: Wikipilipinas
  • Francisco Santos, Ph.D. - His numerous studies focused on the nutritive values and chemical composition of Filipino Foods. He determined the nutrient and vitamin content of traditional Filipino foods and the nutritional requirements and problems of the Filipinos (Source: Science and Technology II Biology Textbook of the Department of Education). He was honored with the following awards: (1955) Distinguished Service Medal for outstanding contribution in the field of nutrition among Filipinos, (1956) Andres Soriano award in chemistry, (1979) University of the Philippines Alumni award. Source: Wikipilipinas
  • Carmen Velasquez, Ph.D. - a National Scientist in the Philippines known for her pioneer studies of tropical fish parasitology in the Philippines. Dr. Velasquez discovered 32 species and one genus of digenetic trematodes in 13 families from Philippine food fishes; two from birds and three from mammals; three species and a genus of Monogenea from marine fishes, eight life cycles of Digenea in seven families and three of nematodes from fresh water and marine fishes. In addition, she found Capillaria philippinensis inside the intestine of a Filipino man, which was the first of its kind in the entire world. She also published "Digenetic Trematodes of Philippine Fishes," which became a valuable regional reference to fish parasitology and aquaculture management. Source: Wikipilipinas
  • Jose Vera Santos, Ph.D. - Filipino botanist. José Vera Santos was professor of botany at the University of the Philippines. During the Second World War, in 1941, he collected in Sonora with Stephen White and again in Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Puebla, in 1943-1944, in connection with experimental work on the Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) Müll. Arg.). While stationed at the Rubber Experimental Camp in El Palmar, he also made collections of mosses from the Zongolica area and localities in nearby Oaxaca and Puebla. Source: Global Pants
  • William Padolina, Ph.D. - He carried on STAND (Science & Technology Agenda for National Development) with focus on specific commodities, products and services identified as export winners.  The Technical Advisory Committees composed of representatives from the private sector was instituted in the RDIs to review R&D priorities and projects and recommend appropriate steps. While serving as DOST Secretary, he was admitted as member of the New York Academy of Science, and was listed in Who’s Who of the Asia Pacific Rim. He is recipient of many awards and distinctions including Academician of NAST, Outstanding Young Scientist [1982], and Ten Outstanding Young Men [1985]. Source: DOST
There are still more Filipino scientists who excel and contribute aplenty in the field of biological science and related fields such as Pedro Escuro, Clara Lim-Sylianco, Dolores Ramirez, Jose R. Velasco, Bienvenido Juliano, Benito Vergara, Ricardo Lantican, Lourdes Cruz, Teodulo Topacio, Jr., Ernesto Domingo, Angel Alcala, Ramon Barba, Edgardo Gomez, Gavino Trono, Jr., and a whole lot more.

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