DOST grants funding for 1st NMR lab in the countryside

Through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Grants-in-Aid (GIA) Program, a fund support of P123M was released to the University of San Agustin (USA) for the establishment of the first Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Laboratory in Western Visayas which is also the first NMR facility outside National Capital Region (NCR). Apart from the DOST-GIA, DOST Region VI also extends P1.2M in support of the project.

The DOST along with its regional counterpart will be spearheading a project dubbed “Establishment of the Visayas NMR Laboratory: Enabling the Countryside with the Power of Magnetic Resonance for Drug Discovery and a Forward-Looking Pandemic Response”.

The project is headed by DOST Balik Scientists Dr. Jonel P. Saludes and Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay, both faculty and researchers from the University.

Plans for the project include acquiring a high field NMR spectrometer for solution phase experiments that can serve as the first walkup and remotely operable NMR spectrometer in the Philippines.

Moreover, NMR spectroscopy is an essential part of advancing the capabilities of regional laboratories in quantitative and qualitative analyses.

This process is also crucial in confirmation of the structure of compounds possessing therapeutic activity that can advance antiviral drug and vaccine discovery research.

In addition, this research is highly prioritized in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and will ensure preparation for the possibilities of future pandemics.

Furthermore, the availability of an NMR facility in the countryside can also pave the way for the development of competent Filipino NMR spectroscopists and enable them to become proficient natural products scientists. (JGagajena, DOST VI-KMU)

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