Seven out of 35 researchers were recognized with the “Most Ready to Publish Paper” during the 16th Medical Writing Workshop for Young Researchers on 13-14 August 2019 at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

Held in conjunction with the 13th Philippine National Health Research System Week, the award was given to participants whose research papers are deemed by the facilitators as well-written, organized, and have the greatest potential for publishing in peer reviewed journals.

Winners from this batch are as follows: Dr. Maria Bettina Quiambao from Philippine General Hospital, Ms. Katherine Kyra Alonday from the University of Santo Tomas, Dr. Lara Gabrielle Lim from the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Ms. Nicole Bolo from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Mr. Noriel Calaguas and Mr. John Mark De Vera from Holy Angel University, and Mr. Huemer Uy from Cebu Normal University.

The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, in partnership with the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors (PAMJE) and Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editors (APAME), conducts the writing workshop twice every year to help young researchers in health sciences acquire practical knowledge and writing skills in developing scientific articles for publications in scholarly peer-reviewed journals.


Written by Catherine Joy Dimailig


Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato T. dela Pena urged researchers, academe, private institutions and government to build on partnerships and solidarity to address the sustainable development goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (UN) for the country during the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week.

In line with the theme, “Achieving Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals through Research and Innovation,” Sec. dela Pena reiterated that although addressing the most pressing health concerns of the country is the commitment of the PNHRS and its consortia members, it is also relevant to contribute to the achievement of all the other SDGs through partnerships and collaborations.

In his message delivered by DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development Rowena Guevara, the Secretary said that, "The importance of partnerships in achieving the SDG targets behooves on us to always keep an open mind, to be ready to accommodate new ideas from people or sectors which are not in our traditional circles while recognizing that we too can contribute to other sectors.”

He further explained the role of all the regional consortia as key in ensuring equity in research and development and in making sure that all the research outputs are utilized.

The 13th PNHRS Week covered various topics on health, health research, policy making and research dissemination with 22 sessions during its 4-day long celebration held at the Limketkai Luxe Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City, last August 13 to 16, 2019.

Written by Jwynne Gwyneth Macan


Members and representatives of the PNHRS Research Utilization Committee from the 17 regional health research and development consortia participated in the 13th Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) Week pre-conference session, “Campaigning towards AIDS-free Society,” held last 13 August 2019 in Cagayan de Oro City.

Highlights of the morning session are discussions which aims to raise awareness on the growing HIV/AIDS concern in the country by developing effective information campaigns. Three notable speakers were invited to discuss HIV/AIDS research, share experiences in handling patients with HIV, and lecture on the skills and techniques in developing information campaigns.

Dr. Emmanuel Baja, a PCHRD Balik Scientist awardee from UP Manila, discussed his study on HIV Gaming, Engaging, and Testing. He shared that through his research, they were able to develop a mobile application, Battle in the Blood, which became a very powerful tool in advocating towards the elimination of stigma on HIV and encouraged people to get themselves tested for HIV. Dr. Baja emphasized that in campaigning towards a certain cause, people engagement is crucial to truly make them relate to the advocacy.

Dr. Bernadeth Gerodias, a psychologist at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, shared her experiences in handling patients suffering from HIV. She explained that professionals supporting patients living with HIV need to make space for their patients to process the emotional effect of their diagnosis, but not to make assumptions about what it means to them. Dr. Gerodias explained that because HIV’s psychological effects vary with every person, the approach into developing mental care and support for them also vary.

The discussion of Ms. Nini Santos, Consultant and Communication Expert from USAID STRIDE, underscores some of the strategies in developing information campaigns.  According to Ms. Santos, highlighting the mission in the content, exploring partnerships and engagements with different groups, and using appropriate channel for distribution are key elements into ensuring a successful campaign.

In the afternoon, the participants were grouped and assigned to work on their group’s campaign strategy applying all that they have learned during the morning session. After the workshop, the RUC held a business meeting to harmonize the RU Committee name and functions across the regions.


Written by Catherine Joy Dimailig



The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCHRD) funds a research which aims to develop a diagnostic kit for the detection of drug resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Once made available in the market, this breakthrough technology will create a positive impact on the lives of people living with HIV not only in the Philippines but around the world.

“Having a test kit that will detect the resistance of HIV to drugs at the start of medical care allows doctors to decide on the best treatment options for their patients,” explained Dr. Edsel Salvaña, Project Leader from the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UPNIH) in the recent installment of the Talakayang HeaRTBeat series organized by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on 21 May 2019 at the Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.

As explained by Dr. Salvaña, the problem with HIV is it can become resistant to medication even at the start of treatment. This means some drugs may not work on the patient. Knowing the resistance of HIV to drugs is very crucial especially for our country where there is only a limited number of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) available.

Another challenge in the process of HIV diagnosis is the availability of only two organizations in the country that can test for the virus – namely the UPNIH and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) – it takes a long time to get the results, and the cost of the test itself is quite expensive.

The research project of Dr. Salvaña focuses on the use of an automated DNA sequencing tool that can potentially help diagnose HIV resistant cases faster and at a lower cost. The ultimate goal is to produce a kit that is accessible, affordable, and world-class possibly by 2023.  “There is no cure yet (for HIV). Kung masyadong mahal (yung tools), edi ibababa natin yung cost para we can also take care of the Filipino patients,” he stressed.

As of the latest, 42 HIV cases were said to be reported daily in the Philippines, which is higher than the data recorded in the same period last year.

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Written by Jwynne Gwyneth Macan

Overview

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), the University of Trieste (UNITS) and Fondazione Italiana Fegato (FIF) hereby commit to enter into an Agreement for the development of a Fellowship program focused on molecular hepatology within the PhD Program in Molecular Biomedicine of UNITS. This Fellowship program integrates basic research and clinics focusing on the study of molecular approaches to cancer biology, genetics, jaundice and metabolic diseases. The duration of the program is for 3 years.

 Applicant’s research interests must be aligned with the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA) and National Harmonized Research and Development Agenda.

 Objectives

 The PhD program aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Develop a pool of high-quality human resources in molecular hepatology in particular who will contribute to the country’s global competitiveness and economic development;
  2. Provide opportunities to deserving students to study and obtain PhD degrees in Molecular Biomedicine in reputable institutions abroad;
  3. Contribute to the country’s health research and technological innovation capabilities through training on biomedical research;
  4. Create the basis for a Filipino Liver Network integrating basic and clinical research in liaison with FIF.

 Capacity

 Two positions of PhD students will be available each year.

 Eligibility

 The applicant must:

  1. Be a Filipino citizen;
  2. Be in good health condition;
  3. Not be more than 40 years old at the time of application;
  4. Hold a Master's degree in a field relevant to health and biomedicine;
  5. Have an outstanding academic record;
  6. Passed the admission requirements for the PhD study;
  7. Passed the interview and other screening procedures;
  8. Conduct her/his research for the entire duration of the scholarship and of the PhD Program.

 Scholarship Privileges

  1. Tuition and other University fees;
  2. Living allowance;
  3. Book allowance;
  4. Bench fee;
  5. Insurance (occurring whilst carrying out the PhD activity);
  6. One round-trip economy fare from residence to place of study

Selection Procedure

1st Selection

Document Screening

Documentary evaluation of the form and other requirements by DOST-PCHRD

2nd Selection

Technical Interview

Technical interview by a panel composed of DOST-PCHRD Director, FIF Scientific Director (or a FIF delegate), or a member of the PhD Program in Molecular Biomedicine of the UNITS, and other health research experts to assess:

·        Academic background and learning ability

·        Capacity for completing the study

·        Possibility of contributing to the development of the country

·        Compatibility to the university course

The interview will take place at DOST-PCHRD. The cost of the procedure will be covered by PCHRD.

3rd and Final Selection

A panel from the PhD Program in Molecular Biomedicine (UNITS) will identify the successful PhD student(s) from among the candidates selected in the Technical Interview, based on their academic records and the selection criteria as established by UNITS.

Timeline

 For 2019 the schedule will be indicatively as follows:

May 30

Opening of the PCHRD call for applications

June 20

Application deadline

June 20- July 30

Document Screening and Announcement of the selected candidate(s)

August - September

Preparation of necessary documents (visa, insurance, bank account)

November 1

Start of PhD program

List of Application Documents (Forms) for PCHRD screening

  1. CV
  2. Accomplished application form with ID picture
  3. PSA Birth Certificate
  4. Valid NBI Clearance
  5. Endorsement Letter from two (2) former professors in their MS program
  6. Certificate of Employment (if employed, recommendation and permission to take a leave of absence from employer or head of agency while on scholarship)
  7. Medical Certificate as to health status from a licensed physician with his/her PRC license number indicated
  8. Certificate of Master Degree
  9. Admission to Graduate Studies/Graduate School
  10. Transcript of Records (certified true copy)
  11. Program of Study/Course Curriculum (if available or to follow)
  12. Re-entry Plan (narrative)
  13. Budgetary Requirements

Documents must be submitted to:

Address: Saliksik Building, DOST Compound, Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan Taguig City 1631 Philippines

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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Written by Jessica Marie Suerte
 

27 MAY 2019 – Balik Scientist Dr. Christian T. Gloria pays courtesy visit to Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Dr. Gloria as an expert in public health and health education is currently hosted by Angeles University Foundation (AUF) in Pampanga.

Hailing from the University of Texas (UT) in Austin, he majored in Science for Health Promotion and Fitness. He also pursued his master’s degree for Health Education, and doctorate degree for health behavior and health education at the same university. As a student in UT, he also worked as a teaching and research assistant, then moved to Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) to pursue professorship. His pro bono works include leadership works for Bright Smiles Hawaii (BSH) and the Hawaii Public Association (HPHA).

Dr. Gloria will work in collaboration with PCHRD as a consultant on the current CHED-Discovery-Applied-Research specifically for mental health under the Balik Scientist Program (BSP). In line with his expertise on mental health, he prefers to focus on positive emotions and coping methods – which can potentially increase one’s resilience against stress. His expertise will greatly contribute to the development and implementation of programs that can further promote understanding on mental health in the country.

The DOST’s BSP aims to encourage Filipino scientists or experts who work abroad to come back to the Philippines and share their expertise here for the scientific, agro-industrial and economic progress of the country.

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Details
Written by Jwynne Gwyneth Macan

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