2 new Balik Scientists join research centers, lab in Iloilo City

Two Balik Scientists, Dr. Julius Adam V. Lopez and Dr. Noel Peter B. Tan were introduced to the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) during the virtual courtesy call led by the University of San Agustin (USA) on March 14.

“The expertise of the two new Balik Scientists is very welcome in Western Visayas because it will help develop the region’s human resource, providing the technical skills and expertise that are weak or lacking in the region.  It will also address the need to innovate the region’s major industries, such as food and natural fibers,” stressed DOST VI Regional Director Rowen R. Gelonga.

Dr. Julius Adam V. Lopez will be involved in the establishment and operationalization of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Laboratory at the Center for Natural Drug Discovery and Development (CND3) of the USA.  The NMR Laboratory will fast-track the drug discovery and development in the country and, therefore, will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, which ensures that every Filipino has access to safe, quality, and affordable medicines.  He will also contribute to the development of the competencies of the research personnel of Tuklas Lunas Centers and DOST Region VI on NMR spectrometry by crafting the Training Module on the safe and efficient use of the 600 MHz NMR spectrometer.  Dr, Lopez earned his PhD in Environmental Science major in terrestrial and natural products from Hokkaido University.  His expertise includes Natural Products Chemistry, NMR Spectroscopy, Metabolomics, and Antimicrobial and Anticancer Agents.

Moreover, Dr. Noel Peter B. Tan is an expert on nanoscience and nanotechnology.  He will help build the capabilities of the USA in nanotechnology.  Also, he will lead pioneering research activities related to the application of nanotechnology on food, food packaging, and natural fibers, which are among the priority industries of Western Visayas.  Dr. Tan earned his PhD in Chemical Technology at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and his Master of Chemical Engineering from Xiamen University.

The USA hosts the new Balik Scientists and they will start their engagements with a briefing session with the University.  Further, Dr. Lopez is set to conduct a webinar on, “Learnings in Stereochemistry: Strategies in Determining the Absolute Configuration of Natural Products”.

Revitalized in 2007, with the necessary policies and funding support, the DOST Balik Scientist Program aims to encourage Filipino scientists and technologists to return and reside in the Philippines and share their expertise for the development of the country.  It promotes information exchange and accelerates the flow of new technology through strengthening the scientific and technological manpower of the academe, and public and private institutions. (SSalazar,DOST VI-KMU with reports from KSBernardino, DOST VI-RDMS)