Two Filipino students to represent Novartis PH in International Biocamp 2012

Novartis selected two Filipinos from six graduate and postgraduate students from the field of natural sciences from different universities and colleges candidates in Novartis Local Biotechnology Leadership (Biocamp) with the theme “Staying Competitive in the Knowledge Economy” held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Makati City on July 30. 

These delegates will represent the country in this esteemed International Biocamp scheduled on August 26-29, 2012 at the Novartis International Headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. 

Novartis will sponsor the travel and accommodation expenses of these two selected Philippines representatives. 

Ruth Guzman, a B.S. Biology graduate of the University of the Philippines Diliman and finished her M.S. in Biology (major in cell and molecular biology) from the same institution. She interned at Universita degli Stusi di Padova in Italy. An instructor at the Institute of Biology, she is currently taking up Master in International Health at the University of the Philippine Open University; 

Henson L. Lee Yu, a cum laude B.S. Chemistry graduate (Financial Aid Scholar) of Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) who finished his M.S. in Chemistry (DOST Scholar) from the same institution. As a Full Scholar, he acquired his M.S. in Molecular Medicine from the St. Luke’s College of Medicine. He is currently an instructor at the ADMU. 

“In today’s global economy, knowledge is the key resource that drives innovation, productivity and economic growth. To stay competitive, we need to continuously enhance the country ‘s science and technology capabilities and adopt a research and development-oriented mindset,” explained Senator Edgardo J. Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology. 

“We laud Novartis for helping government enhance the knowledge and skills of young Filipino scientists and promote innovation for a knowledge-based economy,” said Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo. 

“We thank Novartis for supporting the DOST mandate of building up the country’s pool of world-class scientists,” said Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD). 

“Novartis is privileged to work with the DOST and our other partners in conducting the annual Local Biocamp. We believe that talent development in the sciences, research and development and biotechnology is key to ensuring the country’s competitiveness in the knowledge economy,” according to Mr. Thomas Weigold, country president & managing director, Novartis Healthcare Philippines. 

Other Local Biocamp speakers were: Prof. Maoi Arroyo, Hybridigm Consulting Founder & CEO, who spoke on “The Basics of Commercializing Biotech in Emerging Markets”; Dr. Raul Destura, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, on “Innovating Infectious Diseases Diagnostics”; 

While Prof. Federico Macaranas, Professor, Asian Institute of Management, on “Capacitating the Philippines for Knowledge Economy; Atty. Andrew Ong, IPP deputy director general, on “The Role of the Patent System in Filipinnovation”; Dr. Carmencita Padilla, executive director, Philippine Genome Center, UP System, on “Serving the Country and Region through the Philippine Genome Center”; 

With Dr. William Padolina, former DOST Secretary and former International Rice Research Institute Deputy Director General, on “Transnational Research for the Public Good”; and Dr. Imelda Pena, Director, NIH Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, on “Building Regional Capacity for Research.” 

In connection with Kaagapay program from its inception since 2006, in collaboration with the DOST, Novartis Healthcare Philippines has planned the Local Biocamp as one of the country’s biggest annual biotech workshops that brings together promising young Filipino scientists and respected Filipino biotech experts and entrepreneurs. 

Other Biocamp partners are the PCHRD, Intellectual Property Philippines (IPP), and the country’s first biotech consulting firm Hybridigm Consulting, Inc. 

References: DOST; Tuklasin Natin; Novartis


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