Some of the best protein scientists from the Philippines and Taiwan gathered in UP Diliman from April 16 to 20, 2018 to attend the Academia Sinica-University of the Philippines Bilateral Workshop and Symposium which featured scholars from Academia Sinica’s Institute of Biological Chemistry (AS-IBC) who shared the latest protein research and drug discovery methods with their Philippine counterparts.
The event, according to UP Executive Vice President Teodoro V. Herbosa, was a “spiritual successor” to earlier knowledge exchange initiatives between the two universities. The cooperation between UP and Academia Sinica, he said, dated back to 2016, when both institutions signed a Memorandum of Academic Cooperation. This memorandum covered the joint holding of workshops and symposia like the above, as well as the exchange of students, faculty and technical staff between both parties.
That same year, UP sent a contingent of researchers to Academia Sinica to share their research initiatives and build friendships in the fields of Biology and Chemistry. This contingent was led by UP Office of International Linkages (OIL) Deputy Director Aaron Villaraza, and was followed by two more trips by faculty members from UP Diliman and UP Los Baños to attend workshops in Taiwan on biology and physics
This year’s four-day workshop tackled topics from gene analysis to data visualization and drug discovery. April 20, similarly, saw top researchers from both institutions sharing their research to an assembly at the UP Diliman College of Science Auditorium. Presenters from Academia Sinica were led by Dr. Andrew H.J. Wang of the AS-IBC, one of the key architects behind the close relationship between both universities.
“This symposium is designed in such a way,” Wang said, “that it will provide our new generation of scientists an opportunity to present their excellent research.” Joining their Taiwanese counterparts in the Symposium were: Dr. Ricky B. Nellas from the UP Institute of Chemistry, who talked about exploring the origin of ligand specificity through in silico molecular dynamics; and Dr. Pia Bagamasbad of the UP National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB), who talked about developing a promoter-based drug screen for prostate cancer therapy. (Andre DP Encarnacion, UP MPRO)