Philippine Chemists Participate in the 15th Asian Chemical Congress

By Armando M. Guidote Jr.

As a high point to research in the Asia-Pacific region, the Asian Chemical Congress (ACC) held from 19-23 August 2013 at the Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore provide chemists with an opportunity to meet, network and learn what’s trailblazing in their areas of interest. This year, the 15th Congress came full circle and returned to where it was first organized by the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC). A contingent of Filipino chemists coming from the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Central Bicol State University of Agricultural, DepEd, DOST, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines Manila and the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod attended the event.

The Conference which attracted approximately 1,650 participants from all over the world had three Nobel Prize winners among the Plenary Speakers: Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Prof. Akira Suzuki and Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi.

Prof. Akira Suzuki, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 2010, with Dr. Regina So of Ateneo de Manila University and Dr. Rap Espiritu of De La Salle University Manila.

Prof. Akira Suzuki, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 2010, with Dr. Regina So of Ateneo de Manila University and Dr. Rap Espiritu of De La Salle University Manila.

The ACC is a biennial conference hosted by member countries of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS) which comprises 30 chemical societies of countries and territories in Asia and the Pacific. The Philippines hosted the ACC way back in 1995. The 2017 ACC will be held in Bangladesh while the 2019 ACC will be in Hokkaido, Japan.

Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry 2004, with Ms. Krishna De Guzman (left) and Ms. Ofelia Silverio (right).

Prof. Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry 2004, with Ms. Krishna De Guzman (left) and Ms. Ofelia Silverio (right).

Aside from the plenary talks, special symposia, parallel talks and poster sessions, there were also an Editors’ Forum (Angewandte Chemie, Nature Chemistry, Journal of the American Chemical Society and Green Chemistry), Pioneers from Asia Lectures and the Asian Rising Star Lectures.

ACC participants from the Department of Science & Technology.

ACC participants from the Department of Science & Technology.

Prof. Ei-ichi Nigishi, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 2010, with Prof. Luchie Ilao and Dr. Noel Quiming of University of the Philippines Manila.

Prof. Ei-ichi Nigishi, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry 2010, with Prof. Luchie Ilao and Dr. Noel Quiming of University of the Philippines Manila.

September 2013 Chemist Licensure Examination results released in two (2) working days

From the PRC Official Website

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announces that 320 out of 571 passed the Chemist Licensure Examination given by the Board of Chemistry in Manila this September 2013.

The members of the Board of Chemistry are Ms. Adoracion P. Resurreccion, Chairman and Ms. Soledad S. Castañeda, Member.

The results were released in two (2) working days after the last day of examination.

Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Cards (ID) and Certificates of Registration will be on September 24 – 25, 2013 at the Registration Division. Those who will register are required to bring the following: duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal, current Community Tax Certificate (cedula), 1 piece passport size picture (colored with white background and complete nametag), 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and 1 short brown envelope with name and profession and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of P600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2013-2016. Successful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

The date and venue for the oathtaking ceremony of the new successful examinees in the said examination WILL BE ANNOUNCED LATER.

Attachments (from the PRC Official Website):

ICP’s PNP Cluster Established

The ICP welcomes its newest cluster composed of chemists in the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory. The officers of the Philippine Association of Forensic Chemists (PASSFORCHEM) were inducted into office by the Deputy Chief of the PNP for Administration, PDDG Ager P. Ontog, Jr., during the celebration of the 68th PNP Crime Laboratory Founding Anniversary which was held in the PNP multi-Purpose Center, Camp Crame, on June 17, 2013.

Read the entire article on the ICP Website.

Amelia Guevara is 2013 Outstanding Chemist

By Dr. Irene Villaseñor and Dr. Lilibeth Coo

The Outstanding Chemist for 2013 is given to Dr. Amelia Peralta Guevara, Undersecretary, Department of Science and Technology. She obtained her BS, MS, and PhD Chemistry degrees from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She dedicated most of her professional service to U.P. where she rendered outstanding service as a faculty member and researcher. She conducted research in the areas of Natural Products Chemistry and the Chemistry of Mutagens.

Read the entire article from the ICP Website.

Chemists Win in 2013 NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists

By Armando M. Guidote Jr. and Carlos P. Garcia

Drs. Aaron Joseph L. Villaraza, Manuel Joseph C. Loquias and Allan Patrick G. Macabeo are the recipients of the 2013 National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Talent Search for Young Scientists. These National Award winners were honored last 11 July 2013, during the Awarding and Closing Ceremonies of the NAST 35th Annual Scientific Meeting held at the Manila Hotel.

Dr. Aaron Joseph L. Villaraza receiving First Prize in the 2013 NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists.

Dr. Aaron Joseph L. Villaraza receiving First Prize in the 2013 NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists.

Dr. Villaraza was awarded for outstanding scientific and technological contribution entitled “Macro-molecules, dendrimers, and nanomaterials in magnetic resonance imaging: The interplay between size, function, and pharmacokinetics”. He is currently an Associate Professor of the Institute of Chemistry of the University of the Philippines Diliman. He completed his PhD in Chemistry in 2008 at the School of Chemistry of Manchester University, working on the synthesis of heteropolymetallic lanthanide complexes for in vivo biological imaging. He was awarded a Cancer Research Training Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. In 2010 he received his current faculty appointment at the University of the Philippines Diliman and teaches courses in Introductory and Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. Since 2010, in addition to teaching, he has also spent several months abroad in the Departments of Biology and Pharmacy of the University of Utah working on fluorescent marine snail toxins, and more recently, as a Visiting Academic at Oxford University’s Chemistry Research Laboratory, working on the synthesis of neuroactive bacterial secondary metabolites and their lanthanide conjugates. Dr. Villaraza helps out with the management of the new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) facility of UP Diliman, and serves as coordinator for a General Chemistry course. He also co-manages the PMS-ICBG research program, a drug discovery program from marine sources funded by the US NIH-FIRCA.

Dr. Allan Macabeo receiving Third Prize in the 2013 NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists.

Dr. Allan Macabeo receiving Third Prize in the 2013 NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists.

Dr. Macabeo was awarded Third prize for his work “Stereoselective routes to aryl substituted -butyrolactones and their application towards the synthesis of highly oxidized furanocembranoids”. He initiated his research career back at the University of San Tomas after receiving a doctorate degree from the Institut für Organische Chemie, Universität Regensburg in 2011 under Prof. Dr. Oliver Reiser’s tutelage. His doctoral research focussed on the total synthesis of furanolactone cembranoids. An alumnus of Santo Tomas (BS Chemistry 1999; MS Chemistry 2003), he was awarded various fellowships including the DFG Research Fellowship (March-May 2011), Universität Regensburg and recently, the National Research Foundation (NRF)-Funded Visiting Research Fellowship (Prof. Zhao Yu Research Group), National University of Singapore, last April-June 2012. Those who know Allan describe him as a researcher, foremost, whose interest in naturally derived biologically active compounds brings the discipline of chemistry to answer problems traditionally dealt with by synthetic chemists.

Dr. Manuel Joseph C. Loquias (Mathematics) of the Institute of Mathematics, University of the Philippines-Diliman cited for his work entitled “Coincidence isometries of a shifted square lattice” bagged the Second prize, to round up this year’s winners. The NAST Talent Search for Young Scientists principal aim is to encourage young people to pursue a career in science. This year’s winners were selected from a total of nine competitors from across different academic institutions.

KIMIKA Holds Successful Writing Workshop

By Armando M. Guidote Jr.

KIMIKA, the Journal of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, held a three-day writing workshop last 10-12 April as part of the 2013 Philippine Chemistry Congress at the Silliman University Library’s American Studies Resource Center.

2013 KIMIKA Writing Workshop

The writing workshop was made agreeable that even the most reluctant of writers met the expectations for writing workshop. To date, there have been six completed manuscripts submitted. The Workshop was facilitated by Dr. Drexel Camacho – KIMIKA Editor-in-Chief. It began with a talk on the qualities of manuscripts accepted by Kimika given by Dr. Nina Rojas and Mr. Elliard Roswell Yanza. The participants were then assigned to different mentors for individual guidance.

2013 KIMIKA Writing Workshop Participants, and KIMIKA Editorial Board Members and other mentors

The mentors were led by the Kimika Editorial Board members: Dr. Drexel Camacho and the Field Editors: Dr. Nina Rojas (Biochemistry), Dr. Alicia Aguinaldo (Natural Products), Dr. Susan Arco (Organic Chemistry), and Dr. Josephine Castañares (Analytical Chemistry). The other mentors were Dr. Lourdes Guidote, Dr. Nestor Valera and Dr. Rene Macahig.

Workshop Participants:

  1. Lavilla, Charlie (MSU-IIT)
  2. Lagua, Faith Marie G. (De La Salle University)
  3. Labastilla, Evelyn M. (Tarlac State University)
  4. Cabugos-Flores, Annabelle (De La Salle University and DOST)
  5. Reyes, Ronald L. (Ateneo de Manila University)
  6. Ramal, Allan A. (University of San Carlos)
  7. Junio, Melanie O. (University of the Assumption)
  8. Tabunag, Jenny Syl D. (MSU-IIT)
  9. Yanza, Elliard Roswell (Ateneo de Manila University)
  10. dela Rosa, Francis M. (PTRI-DOST)
  11. Castillo, Leah (FNRI-DOST)
  12. Abrea, Anthony (PSHS-CVISC)
  13. Medrano, Irma G. (Ateneo de Naga University)
  14. Villegas, Lora Mae G. (University of San Carlos)
  15. Yachob-Saddalani, Sheeva(Western Mindanao State University)
  16. Sy, Jennifer (Pamantasan ng Lungsod na Maynila)

The workshop was made possible by support from the Commission on Higher Education and the Silliman University. Efficient assistance was given by Mr. Francis Biyok of the Silliman University Department of Chemistry.

Plans are currently being made for the 2014 Kimika Writing Workshop as part of the Philippine Chemistry Congress in Naga City, Camarines Sur.

Young Researcher from Ateneo de Manila University Meets 35 Nobel Laureates

  • 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting from 30 June to 5 July 2013 
  • 35 laureates and more than 600 young researchers from nearly 80 countries 
  • Green Chemistry is a central topic

The first week of July will see 35 Nobel Laureates congregate at Lake Constance in Germany to meet the next generation of leading scientists and researchers at the 63rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. More than 600 young researchers from nearly 80 countries will be part of this special convention – among them Rene Angelo Macahig, a 32-year-old Assistant Professor from the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines, who is looking forward to the scientific exchange in Lindau: “As a young scientist and a Filipino, it will be an immensely galvanizing experience to be able to participate in the Lindau Meeting, interact with some of the brightest minds in the world and be inspired by a generation of Nobel laureates who have pushed the frontiers of science and expanded our understanding of the universe.”

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KKP–DAS Holds Training on Measurement Uncertainty

On 21 May 2013, the Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas – Division of Analytical Sciences (KKP-DAS) held a two-day training course on “Measurement Uncertainty in Analytical Chemistry: A Hands-on Approach” at the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR) in Isabel, Leyte. This significant training course revisits the fundamental principles, evaluation strategies and the general prominence of measurement uncer-tainty in chemical analysis amid the changing landscape and demands of Analytical science.

Dr. Sevilla (back row, 2nd from right) and Dr. Coo (front row, 7th from right) with the seminar participants from PASAR.

The decision whether a given result indicates compliance or non-compliance with a specification, it is necessary to take into account the measurement uncertainty associated with the result. The training included hands-on experiences on the identification of sources and spread-sheet calculation of uncertainty in chemistry measurements. The training team was led by Dr. Fortunato Sevilla III of the University of Santo Tomas and Dr. Lilibeth Coo of the University of the Philippines. The seminar includes a discussion and general recommendations, followed by more detailed instructions on establishing rules for interpretation and by several examples.

Participants came from various segments within PASAR to include its laboratory managers, supervisors, analysts and technicians. Participant worked on exercises on the quantification of measurement uncertainty, using in-house chemical analysis data. Measurement uncertainty has become an important parameter for the global quality and acceptability of the results of chemical measurements.  It is used as the basis for decision on the fitness for purpose of the results of chemical analysis.  It is a requirement in the documentation of measurement data in ISO/IEC 17025-accredited laboratories. This training course was a sequel to the previous workshop that KKP-DAS conducted for PASAR on “Quality Measurements in the Analytical Laboratory” held last December 2012.

Participants from PASAR doing exercises on measurement uncertainty.

Call for Nomination in the ICP Board

Nominations for membership in the ICP board are now open. Three board members, one representative each from the industry, government and academe will be elected to serve a three-year term (2013-2016). Members of the board are expected to reguarly attend meetings of the ICP and actively participate in the activities geared towards achieving the objectives of the ICP as follows.

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KIMIKA Names New Editor-In-Chief

By Armando M. Guidote Jr.

The Kimika Editorial Board named Dr. Drexel Camacho the new Editor-in-Chief, during its April 2013 meeting held at Silliman University, Dumaguete City. With deep experience in research publication, he will take over the post vacated by Dr. Florecita De Guzman who decided to relinquish the EIC position to concentrate on her academic duties at the University of the Philippines Diliman in preparation for her retirement.
Dr. Camacho finished his BS Chemistry for Teachers from the Philippine Normal University. He then took his MS Chemistry at DLSU specializing in Phytochemistry. He graduated with a DSc from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan with a specialization in Organometallic Catalysis and Organic Synthesis. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California Irvine working on Polymer Chemistry. His professional experience includes teaching at the Philippine Science High School in Davao City, Senior Assembly Process & Development Engineer at Intel Technology Philippines and Chief Development Engineer of the Innovation Department in NXP Semiconductors Phils. He has publications in the journals: Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Macromolecules, Organometallics, Chemical Communications and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, to name a few. He is presently an Associate Professor of the Chemistry Department of the De La Salle University Manila and concurrently the Director of Research and Advanced Studies Office of the DLSU College of Science.

Dr. Camacho has received numerous research awards to his credit including the NRCP Research Achievement Award (National Research Council of the Philippines, DOST), Outstanding Young Scientist Award (National Academy of Science & Technology, DOST), TWAS Prize for Young Scientist in the Philippines (Third World Academy of Science, Trieste, Italy & National Academy of Science & Technology, DOST) and Employee of the Year (Intel Technology Philippines).