Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela P. Concepcion was recognized by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) as this year’s outstanding science administrator.
Concepcion, who is a professor at the Marine Science Institute, received the award for fostering “an enabling environment for researchers in UP by providing university funds, which faculty and researchers use to carry out interdisciplinary and basic or applied research and creative work.”
She was behind the creation of the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research Grant which, since 2012, has led to 62 large-scale projects covering various themes such as Philippine culture, health and wellness, complex systems, environment, agriculture, genomics and poverty alleviation.
The grant provides up to P2.5M per project or P10M per program.
She likewise conceptualized the short-term training and externship programs for faculty and researchers, which were subsequently approved by the Board of Regents in 2015.
NAST, through its acting president Dr. Fabian Dayrit, said that the award “includes, but is not limited to, [Concepcion’s] contributions towards the establishment of the National Science Complex,” which is the “product of the contributions of many others over many years, both within and outside of UP Diliman”. It further stated that Concepcion “was very active in the lobbying effort from 2005 to 2006 to establish what we now have as the National Science Complex, which was created through Executive Order No. 583 (“Establishing the National Science Complex and Technology Inclubation Park in the University of the Philippines, Diliman”) signed by President Gloria M. Arroyo on December 8, 2006.”
Read the full statement:
The award, also known as the Dioscoro Umali Medal, is given in recognition of science and technology (S&T) or research and development administrators from the academe, private sector or government who have made significant contributions to S&T through effective management and implementation of plans and programs. The award was named in honor of National Scientist Umali who is considered the father of Philippine plant breeding.
Three other UP researchers were awarded by the DOST and NAST PHL during the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).
Dr. Raul Destura, a microbioligist from UP Manila who successfully commercialized the breakthrough diagnostic kit called Biotek-M Dengue Aquakit, was given the Outstanding Technology Commercialization Award. The rapid test kit was one of the first ones to be developed in the world.
Dr. Junie Billones, a professor at UP Manila, was one of the two recipients of the Outstanding Research and Development Award for Basic Research. His computer programs have helped with the “swift discovery” of new drugs without the need for expensive lab experiments.
Dr. Alonzo Gabriel, a professor at UP Diliman, was recognized with a Development Award for Applied Research for the potentials of his research on precision food processing in safer food production.
The NSTW has been celebrated annually since 1993 to “recognize the contribution of science and technology and garner support from the public and private institutions for its sustainable development.”