Posts Tagged ‘Filipino Scientist


Dr. Glorina N. Pocsidio – Educator and Researcher

Dr. Glorina N. Pocsidio

Dr. Glorina N Pocsidio is a dedicated educator and researcher who were given the Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) award by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) in 1986.  She was recognized because of her pioneering studies on Holothurin, a substance extracted from Philippine Holothurians or sea cucumbers.  She discovered that Holothurin has hemolytic, antitumor and anticancer properties so that sea cucumbers became part of the material medica in the Philippines. She also found out that sea cucumbers can be used as a cheap source of food for animals and man.

She was born on December 15, 1946.  She grew up in different parts of the country and attended several elementary schools because her father was a teacher who had to travel often as a school superintendent.  Her high school days were spent at the La Union High School where she finished as class valedictorian.  In college, she took up B.S. Zoology at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman where she graduated magna cum laude.  She pursued further studies also at UP until she earned her doctorate in Zoology in 1982.  She was also privileged to have been given research fellowships in Japan and Germany where she purified and studied Holothurin extensively.  She has authored and co-authored more than a hundred articles on topics such as sea cucumbers, other invertebrates, medicinal plants and dinoflagellates.  At present, she is Professor of Zoology at the University of the Philippines Diliman where she teaches Animal Physiology.

She is inspired by the great diversity of flora and fauna in our country and has dedicated her life to discovering them.  She hopes that the future generation of Filipino scientists will continue her endeavor to study our local flora and fauna.  Apart from her valuable contributions to medical and biological research, she still considers teaching as her greatest contribution to science. – Rosario R. Ricalde

Personal communication with Dr. Glorina N. Pocsidio, January 5, 2001, Institute of Biology UP Diliman

Gregorio Y. Zara (Inventor Par Excellence)


Dr. Gregorio Y. Zara

DID you know that a Filipino scientist invented the video phone even before multimedia messaging (MMS) and video conferencing became popular?

Dr. Gregorio Zara invented the two-way television telephone or videophone in 1955 and patented it as a “photo phone signal separator network.”

But that’s not all.  Dr. Zara invented, made improvement to, or discovered a lot more:

●  Airplane engine that ran on plain alcohol as fuel (1952)

●  Improved methods of producing solar energy; new designs for a solar water heater (SolarSorber), a sum stove, and a solar battery (1960s)

●  Propeller-cutting machine (1952)

●  Microscope with a collapsible stage

More importantly, Dr. Zara became known for discovering the physical law of electrical kinetic resistance, called the Zara Effect, in 1930.

For having completed over 40 research papers and making 20 outstanding contributions to science, Zara received many awards, including the Presidential diploma of Merit.  He was conferred  the  Distinguished Service Medal in 1959 for his pioneering works and achievements in solar energy research, aeronautics and television.  Zara was also given the Presidential Gold Medal and Diploma of Honor for Science and Research in 1966; and the Cultural Heritage Award for Science Education and Aero Engineering in 1966.


NAST.  The First Decade National Academy of Science and Technology, DOST


Protecting the Mangroves

Dr. Jurgenne H. Primavera

Dr. Jurgenne H. Primavera

She fell in love with the mangroves.  And since then she protected the mangroves like a true knight protecting his king.

Dr. Jurgenne H. Primavera spent her time studying mangroves and discovered why mangroves population in the Philippines was declining—the major culprit is the conversion of mangrove areas to brackish water fishponds.  According to Dr. primavera, the greatest mangrove loss has been due to large-scale development of bangus (milkfish) ponds at 4,000 to 5,000 hectares per year from the 1950s to the 1960s.  also, coastal communities, as well as bakeries and wood-fired sugar mills, depend on mangroves for fuel.  Mangrove areas are also converted to agriculture and salt ponds or cut down to give way to reclaimed lands for ports and commercial areas.

Because of her stand on mangroves, Primavera became the only Filipino scientist to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the Stockholm University in Sweden, capping more than 10 years of mangroves studies.  Since 1997, Primavera has worked on two mangrove sites in Aklan as field laboratories.  These are the patches of mangroves in Ibajay town and Buswang in Kalibo town.

She wrote more than 60 scientific articles, review papers, manuals, book chapters and technical reports, and co-authored 20 papers.  Many of the subjects touched on impacts of fish and shrimp farming, the ecological value of mangroves, marine conservation and management, and livelihood opportunities from mangroves.

Dr. Primavera is currently a researcher at the Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center in the Philippines.  She holds a doctorate degree in marine Science from the University of the Philippines.


Visual source:  seafdec


Medicative Maven

fb06483015ead80aA pharmacist is more that a sellet of drugs.  A pharmacist is “a health professional trained in the science of preparing and dispensing drugs.”  So if you are a bit hesitant to consider pharmacy as a career option, you may want to know Dr. Luz Oliveros-Belardo, a genius in pharmaceutical chemistry.

Dr. Oliveros-Belardo spent five decades “studying the chemistry of natural products and essential oils from the Philippine plants.” Specifically, she studied the physical and chemical properties of 33 unique Philippine essential oils, and this resulted in the creation of new flavors and herbal medicines.

Dr. Oliveros-Belardo received 32 awards, all of which are dedicated to her expertise in the field of chemical research.  She was conferred the National Scientist designation in 1987.  Some of her most notable awards include the Philippine Pharmaceutical Association Outstanding Pharmacist Award (1963); THE National Research Council of the Philippines Award in Phytochemistry (1984); the Distinguished Leadership Award in Chemistry, (awarded in the United States in 1985); and the El Consejo Cultural Mundial Award in Mexico in 1988.

Dr. Luz Oliveros-Belardo rightly deserves to be recognized all over the world, Filipino scientists—budding or otherwise—stand to learn a lot from Dr. Oliveros-Belardo’s example.  Dedication, painstaking efforts to hone one’s skills, and yes, pride in one’s country—these are just some of the traits that make Dr. Oliveros-Belardo truly one of the greatest Filipino scientists the Philippine has ever produced.


►Pinoy Scientist on the Rise.  http://agham.asti.

►Luz Oliveros Belardo.

►Luz Oliveros-Belardo.


Visual courtesy:  123people

September 2019
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