While some of us have a mighty difficult time deciding what to do in life, Dr. Fabian “Toby” Dayrit knew early on that his calling was in the field of science. Now, a full-fledged doctor of chemistry, Toby Dayrit is best known for his work on medicinal plants such as lagundi, Cinchona, and coconut.
Recently, with the burgeoning interest in VCO (virgin coconut oil), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has tasked a team of scientists “to ensure that Philippine VCO will remain competitive according to research-based quality standards.”
Under Toby Dayrit’s leadership, the team is using sophisticated techniques such as phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (PNMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) to “provide detailed information on the exact tree-dimensional structure of a biological particle in solution, as well as determine masses of small electrically charged particles?
Nobody can question DOST’s decision for choosing Dr. Dayrit to handle such an assignment. After all, who’s more deserving than the president of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines? And this is just right up Toby’s alley, whose research interests include chemistry of biologically-active natural products; nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy; as well as environmental science, among others.
Currently, Dr. Dayrit also serves as the dean of Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Science and Engineering. He recently won an Award for Best paper for his research on “Triterpenes in the Callus Culture of Vitex negundo L.” the award was given by the National Academy of Science and Technology in 2007.
Sources: ► Fabian M. Dayrit. www.ateneo.edu/index.php?p=2055 ► What makes virgin coconut oil tick? RP scientists study virgin coconut oil’s components. www.pcastrd. Dost.gov.ph/modules.php?name=NPR&file=new sdetails&newsid=90 ► Lee-Chua, Queena. 10 Outstanding Filipino Scientists. Anvil Publishing: Barrio Ugong, 2000.