Edna Callejas-Mijares: 2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Service to the Chemistry Profession

Edna Callejas-Mijares
President and CEO, Jefcor Laboratories Inc.

2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Service to the Chemistry Profession

It is rare to find someone who has contributed to the advancement of chemistry in the Philippines to all of the sectors and through intangible dimensions. The PFCS wishes to honor such a rare person and now has the privilege to confer the Award of Service to the Profession to Ms. Edna Callejas-Mijares, RCh.

Edna has contributed significantly to the industry, government, and academe sectors. As president and chief operating officer of Jefcor Laboratories Inc., she has nurtured and developed one of the leading chemical analytical laboratories in the country, assisting the agricultural sector to meet the stringent requirements of pesticide residue analysis. For her work in this area, two key societies in this area recognized her achievements: the Philippine Association of Entomologists recognized her twice with the Most Outstanding Entomologist in Entrepreneurship Award in 2002 and the F.B. Calora Award for Outstanding Entomologist in 2015, while the Pest Management Council of the Philippines gave her the Achievement Award in Pest Management in 2004. Edna has been a sought-after consultant for many major agribusiness enterprises in the country. Clearly, Edna knows how to handle pests!

With her considerable experience in business and chemical analysis, Edna has been a key member in the numerous government regulatory, standards and law enforcement agencies, such as the Philippine Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority, the Department of Health, Bureau of Product Standards, Environmental Management Bureau, and the Philippine National Police, among others. She has also generously contributed her time, knowledge, and financial resources to help students at all levels, from elementary school to undergraduate and graduate levels, including review sessions for the Chemistry licensure examinations and OJT opportunities at Jefcor.

Edna stands out through many intangibles that have truly strengthened the profession. This is exemplified by the award that her beloved alma mater, Silliman University, conferred upon her in 2011: the Outstanding Silliman Alumni Awardee in Entrepreneurship in Chemistry. 

And, of course, we cannot fail to mention Edna’s 20 years of dedicated and transformative service to the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP). Edna gave her invaluable support for the passage of the Chemistry Profession Law (now Republic Act 10657) in 2015 after a 15-year effort. As ICP’s Vice-President for External Affairs, Edna worked tirelessly for the implementation of RA 10657, assisting the Board of Chemistry, and helped the various ICP chapters become stronger.

Last, but certainly not the least, this is an award that recognizes Edna’s generosity. One of her awards which may seem less prestigious but is very meaningful is the Bagonhon Gawad Award in Philanthropy which was given during the Bago City 50th Charter Anniversary in February 2016. The Callejas-Mijares Scholarship Foundation Inc., which she and her equally generous husband Jeff established, has been providing scholarships for poor but deserving students from their hometown.

For these and many more contributions that have not been mentioned, the PFCS is proud to confer the 2021 Service to the Profession Award to Ms. Edna Callejas-Mijares!

Mario A. Tan, PhD: 2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Research

Mario A. Tan, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry,
University of Santo Tomas

2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Research

Dr. Mario A. Tan obtained his B.Sc. (2000) and M.Sc. (2004) in Chemistry at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Chiba University (Japan) in 2010. He is currently a Professor at the Department of Chemistry, College of Science, UST.

Dr. Tan is a natural product chemist, engaging in the isolation, identification, and total synthesis of medicinal plant metabolites of biological importance. He is a productive researcher, having published more than 40 scientific papers in high impact indexed journals.

Foremost in his accomplishments are the significant studies on endemic Pandanus plants demonstrating the rich potential of this plant family as new source of therapeutics. He reported structures of novel alkaloids, some of which were isolated for the first time from some Pandan species. Furthermore, he is also exploring the identification of biologically-active plant metabolites from the endemic Philippine species of the family Rubiaceae. These chemical studies paved the way for the pharmacological understanding of the importance of these new Philippine endemic species which are just awaiting to be explored.

His works on asymmetric total synthesis allowed him to unambiguously determine the absolute stereochemistry of some of novel Pandanus alkaloids. This merited an invitation to write a book chapter from The Alkaloids: Chemistry and Biology (Elsevier), on the progress in the chemistry of Pandanus alkaloids (Tan and Takayama, 2019).

Dr. Tan has shown effective mentoring skills in motivating and guiding his undergraduate and graduate students to do good science in their research work. His students co-authored some of his publications in peer-reviewed indexed journals, both local and international. He has inspired several of his mentees to pursue higher studies and follow his footsteps as a natural product and synthetic chemist.

Dr. Tan further strengthen his research endeavors when he was awarded the Visiting Research Fellowship by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) in 2013, the 2017 Novartis Next Generation Scientist (Basel, Switzerland), and a fellowship grant at the Bionano Research Institute in Gachon University (Republic of Korea). He was also awarded the 2018 Outstanding Young Scientist in Pharmaceutical Sciences and the 2012 Talent Search for Young Scientists (First Prize) by the National Academy of Science and Technology. Currently, Dr. Tan focuses on the identification of compounds with neuroprotective effects on the aggregation and fibrillization of amyloid-beta as potential inhibitors against Alzheimer’s disease.

Geraldine A. Estacio: 2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Industry

Geraldine A. Estacio
President and CEO, DJM Grandeur Corporation

2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Industry

Geraldine “Dina” A. Estacio is a board-certified chemist who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas. She took up Applied Management in Business Administration (AMBA) from the Executive Development Academy. She is the current President of the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP) and also served as one of the past presidents of the Philippine Society for Cosmetic Science (PSCS). During her term, she spearheaded the first Cosmetic Scientific Convention in the Philippines back-to-back with the exhibit of the Personal Care Ingredients Asia (PCIA). At present, she is one of the Board of Trustees as Treasurer in the ASEAN Cosmetics Association (ACA). She actively participates as industry observer in the ASEAN Cosmetic Committee (ACC) & ASEAN Cosmetic Scientific Body (ACSB) meetings to keep herself abreast with the latest on the ASEAN regulations. She was also featured as one of the beneficiaries of the DOST SET-UP program by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Recently, she was awarded the National SETUP PRAISE award by the DOST as her company, DJM Grandeur Corporation, continued to excel in terms of Productivity, Resilience, Agility, Innovation, Sustainability and Excellence despite the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Her four decades of experience in the cosmetic industry has expanded her expertise in product formulation of cosmetics and drug-home remedies. Dina currently manages their family-owned company, DJM Grandeur Corporation, which provides toll manufacturing services or OEM/ODM services. They also offer assistance on Regulatory Compliance especially on Licensing and Product Notification/Registration to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), GMP Training, Preparation of Product Information File (PIF), Safety Assessment and Halal Certification.

Luciana V. Ilao: 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Awardee for Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)

Luciana “Luchie” Villafranca Ilao, a distinguished alumnus of Adamson University, began teaching at her alma mater in 1977. By 1995, she became an affiliate faculty of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). She later joined the Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics at the College of Arts and Sciences in UP Manila. She taught various Chemistry subjects from General Chemistry and Natural Sciences to Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Biochemistry. She also mentored more than 40 undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry students involved in research studies on biosensors, natural products, and environmental chemistry.

Her passion for teaching inspired her to co-author two General Chemistry textbooks published by Rex Publishing. She was also part of a team of educators who developed a Chemistry textbook written in Filipino. This book, published by the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, was used by students who took Agham Pangkalikasan as a general education course in UP. She was also instrumental in developing the curriculum for the BS Biochemistry program of UP Manila. She wrote several syllabi, learning modules, and laboratory manuals for General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. She also assisted and evaluated learning materials produced by the Department of Education.

Her “leading by example” leadership style has earned her much respect from various academic institutions and professional organizations. She served as Head of the Chemistry Unit for six years and was appointed Associate Dean for Planning and Development in UP Manila for two terms. In professional organizations, she became the President of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc. (PACT) and served for seven years. She was also a Board Member and Secretary of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, and Director of the Philippine Alliance of Laboratory Equipment Users, Inc. (PALEU). She also led several successful national conferences, conventions, seminars, and teacher training workshops in various regions of the country.

Her laudable accomplishments in the field of Chemical Education earned her recognition from the Adamson University Alumni Association, Inc., where she was awarded the Outstanding Alumna in Education. She was also a recipient of the R. S. Benedicto Professorial Chair conferred by UP Manila.

Luciana V. Ilao
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics,
University of the Philippines Manila
The 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Education (Tertiary Level) is co-presented by Shimadzu Philippines Corporation.

Jonathan P. Derez: 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Awardee for Chemical Education (Secondary Level)

Jonathan P. Derez’s journey in the field of chemical education started when he studied at Far Eastern University and earned his Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in Chemistry in 1994. He began teaching at the Manila Science High School from 1995 to 2010, following the footsteps of his mother who taught at the same school. During this period, he became a DepEd NEAP Tan Yan Kee Scholar and pursued his Master of Science degree in Chemical Education at De La Salle University-Manila. He then moved to Antonio J. Villegas Vocational High School where he served as the Science Department Head from 2011 to 2015. Currently, he serves as the Public Schools District Supervisor under the Department of Education (DepEd) in Manila.

While teaching in high school, Mr. Derez inspired students to be more active and engaged in learning Chemistry. He mentored them to developing quality research and investigatory projects. He also encouraged them to join national and international science fairs. Their success in these prestigious events earned him awards such as the Outstanding Research Adviser Award given by INTEL-ISEF in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

His desire to impart knowledge continued when he became a district supervisor. He conducted several seminars and training for public school teachers on the special science curriculum, and research curriculum developed by DepEd. He also conducted workshops on the use of the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) method to address challenges in learning Chemistry and other Science subjects.

Other than teaching and training, Mr. Derez serves as a National Writer with the Teaching and Learning Bureau of the Department of Education where he contributes to developing and updating the special science curriculum, and the research curriculum for public schools. He has also served as a Project Leader in DOST-SEI and DepEd-funded research projects which focused on the effects of the Spiral Progression learning model implemented in grade schools, and on the efficacy of POGIL in improving the performance of grade school learners in science.

Jonathan P. Derez
Public Schools District Supervisor, Department of Education, Manila
The 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Education (Secondary Level) is co-presented by Shimadzu Philippines Corporation.

Call for Nominees to the PFCS Awards 2020

The Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies recognizes outstanding contributions to Chemistry through the PFCS Outstanding Achievement Awards. The awards aim to:

  1. Inspire the youth to take up chemistry
  2. Recognize outstanding contribution of chemists to development of discipline
  3. Recognize outstanding and exemplary contributions to society through chemistry

The PFCS Outstanding Achievement Awards is given under four categories:

  1. Chemistry Education
  2. Chemical Research
  3. Chemical Industry
  4. Service to the Chemistry Profession

Click here for more information about the categories.

Guidelines for Nomination

  1. The following are excluded from the nominations: members of the PFCS board, members of the PFCS Awards Committee and the members of the National Organizing Committee and the Steering Committee for the 35th Philippine Chemistry Congress (PCC).
  2. The nomination will be evaluated by the PFCS Awards Committee which may consult experts as needed.
  3. Submit three (3) copies of the following documents including recent passport size picture of the nominee:
    1. Comprehensive Resume
    2. List of Publications
    3. List of Awards, Dates of Awards and Award-Giving body
  4. The deadline for submission is on or before 15 March 2020
  5. Kindly submit the requirements to:
    Dr. Glenn V. Alea
    Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies Inc. (PFCS)
    Unit 233 Cityland Pioneer Condominium
    Pioneer St., Barangay Highway Hills
    Manadaluyong City 1550

Dr. Marissa G. Noel: 2017 PFCS Achievement Award for Service to the Chemistry Profession

Dr. Marissa Garcia Noel has long been quietly working to the benefit of the Philippine Chemistry Community. She has been a regular member of organizing committees of the Philippine Chemistry Congress and most notably, has been an indispensable and trusted organizer to whom industry partners and exhibitors flock.  She efficiently headed the Ways and Means Committee of many local and international PCCs since 2001 while capitalizing on her reputation to influence industry people, raise funds and generate income for the PCC.  Likewise, she also rendered similar services to the Natural Product Society of the Philippines (NPSP).  She sat on the organizing committee of several NPSP National Conferences and was the lead local organizer/host of the December 2013 conference held at DLSU.

Dr. Noel is instrumental to the ratification of the Chemistry Law.  Marissa, together with siblings Representative Victoria Isabel G. Noel and Former Representative Florencio Gabriel G. Noel, helped the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP) and the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS) by liaising and lobbying for the Chemistry Profession Act in the Philippine Congress and Senate.  After years of lobbying, dogged persistence and monitoring, the Chemistry Profession Act was signed into law by the Philippine President in 2015.  The new Chemistry Law regulates, modernizes and protects the practice of the Chemistry profession in the Philippines.

She is the former Chair of the Chemistry Department of De La Salle University where some of her primary responsibilities include revising and offering new curricular programs, mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, promoting food chemistry research, mentoring and training new faculty members and helping organize the DLSU Food Institute and the food chemistry laboratory at the DLSU Science and Technology Complex in Laguna.

Throughout her professional career, Dr. Noel has been competently and quietly pushing for the cooperative amalgamation of the academe, the chemical industries and the policy-making sectors of the country for the advancement of chemistry.

Dr. Noel hails from Tacloban, Leyte. She obtained her BS Chemistry from the University of San Carlos and briefly taught at the Divine Word University. She did her MS in Food Science at the University of the Philippines at Los Baños and worked as a research assistant at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Institute of Food Science and Technology. She later joined De La Salle University, and finished her PhD at Ateneo de Manila University under Dr. Fabian Dayrit.

Dr. Maribel G. Nonato: 2017 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Research

Dr. Maribel G. Nonato obtained her doctoral degree in Organic Chemistry with specialization on Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia in 1993.  Upon her return to the University of Santo Tomas, Dr. Nonato resumed her research activities at the Research Center for the Natural Sciences (RCNS) were she pioneered research on the Phytochemistry and Biological Activities of Philippine grown species of the Genus Pandanus (Family Pandanaceae).  The main goal of the research is the discovery of novel or new bioactive secondary metabolites from the Genus Pandanus. It is the future goal of the project to develop the plants into herbal products.

Monocots are rarely tapped as source of bioactive secondary metabolites.  The Genus Pandanus is a monocot comprising of about 450species with about 20 species endemic to the country.  There were very limited works reported on Pandanus when Dr. Nonato started her work on the world of pandans in 1991.  An initial engagement was established with the late Dr. Benjamin Stone, the world renowned Pandanus botanist who was then working with the National Museum on a project focused on the inventory of Philippine medicinal plants.  Dr. Stone was delighted to hear of someone interested to work on the group of plants that feature prickled, fibrous and hard leaves.  Unfortunately, because of Dr. Stone’s untimely death while in the Philippines, the partnership did not prosper.  But that did not stop Dr. Nonato from continuing her passion to discover the virtues of the Genus Pandanus to add values on their known medicinal and handicraft uses.

The novelty of the Pandanus alkaloids merited an invitation to write a chapter on the book series “The Alkaloids:  Chemistry and Biology” in 2008 acknowledging the contribution of  Dr. Nonato to the Chemistry of Alkaloids. So far the study on Philippine grown Pandanus species revealed the presence of alkaloids in two Pandanus species, P. amaryllifolius and P. dubius.   Dr. Nonato’s research on the novel alkaloids of Pandanus earned her the 2006 National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award in Chemical Sciences.  To better understand the biogenesis of the Pandanus alkaloids which so far were found to be limited in two Pandanus species she conducted studies on the endophytic fungi thriving on the leaves of P. amaryllifolius.  The research led to the discovery of new secondary metabolites with new biological activities.  Neighboring countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand started to undertake similar researches on their Pandanus species. Biological studies on the Pandanus species reveled the potential of these plants as source of antimicrobials, antiviral, diuretics, antituberculars, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

Dr. Maribel G. Nonato is presently the Vice Rector for Research and Innovation at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), first female and lay person to assume the post since September 2014.  She had served the University of Santo Tomas as administrator in different capacities: Director of Research Center for the Natural Sciences, acting Assistant to the Rector for Research and Development, Dean of the College of Science and Assistant to the Rector for Research and Innovation.