Seven researchers from the University of the Philippines won the 2020 Outstanding Young Scientist Awards given by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
They are Dr. Jaime Alfonso M. Aherrera (UP Manila), Dr. Aries A. Arugay (UP Diliman), Dr. Marlon T. Conato (UP Diliman), Dr. Remil L. Galay (UP Los Baños), Dr. Francis Norman C. Paraan (UP Diliman), Dr. Betchaida D. Payot (UP Diliman) and Dr. Rodney H. Perez (UP Los Baños).
They were chosen based on the quality and number of scientific works and publications, contributions to the advancement of science in general and in the Philippines, and contributions to the well-being of the Philippine economy and culture.
Aherrera is a researcher and a physician who specializes in interventional cardiology, adult cardiology and internal medicine. He completed his training at the UP Philippine General Hospital.
Arugay’s research interests focus on political polarization, regional civil society, performative populism and regime instability in democratic regimes. He is an associate professor at the UP Diliman Department of Political Science and a fellow of the Strategic Studies Program of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies.
Conato is an associate professor at the UP Diliman Institute of Chemistry. He specializes on solid state chemistry, inorganic chemistry and material science. His publications center on metal-organic frameworks, zeolites, microporous crystals, polymer nanocomposites and inorganic catalysts.
Galay, an assistant professor at the UP Los Baños College of Veterinary Science, currently works on ticks and tick-borne diseases. His work has led to discoveries on animal parasitic diseases, a significant contribution to his area of research.
Paraan, an associate professor at the UP Diliman National Institute of Physics, carries out research in areas such as entanglement, parallel computing and stochastic processes. He has made valuable editorial contributions to the fields of computational and theoretical physics.
Payot is an associate professor at UP Diliman National Institute of Geological Sciences. She is known for her research in igneous petrology and geochemistry.
Perez studies peptides, antimicrobials, protein purification and food biotechnology. He is a university researcher at the UP Los Baños National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and the chief editor of Journal of Science and Technology.
Galay, Paraan, and Payot are recipients of the Balik PhD grant implemented by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
A total of 12 young scientists were recognized this year.
The Awards are given annually by NAST to Filipino investigators under 41 years old who have made important research contributions in agricultural sciences; biological sciences; chemical, mathematical and physical sciences; engineering sciences and technology; health sciences; and social sciences. NAST is the country’s highest recognition and scientific advisory body for science and technology.