Start-up carves a niche in human resource solutions

Being in UP Cebu also looped it into the culture of cutting-edge research and development of the academe. In handling human resources—and wages and benefits already reaching more than P9 billion—the system is recipient to a huge amount of data, which is huge scientific grist. This makes the start-up not only a business incubatee, but a possible partner of UP in finding what is best for human resources in the country.

Fighting Leptospirosis with a local vaccine

“It takes 10 to 14 years to develop a vaccine,” says Dr. Nina Gloriani of the University of the Philippines Manila College of Public Health. And that’s not counting the intervening periods where one attends to other professional and personal activities which also require time and attention. Recently however, she and her team have registered the proof of concept for LeptoVax, the first locally produced vaccine against the Leptospirosis bacteria.

Sitting alone in an office built for two, Joeriggo Reyes may not appear at first to be part of a multidisciplinary team tackling one of the world’s deadliest diseases. The lab gowns or sequencing machines that one typically associates with biological scholarship are nowhere in sight. From his room at UP Diliman’s Institute of Mathematics, however, this biologist and informatics expert finds himself at the crossroads of contemporary cancer research.

The entire CLINN-GEM pilot facility assembled at the UP Department of Mining, Metallurgical, and Materials Engineering building, where the entire process takes place, from gold extraction to waste treatment. (Photo by Celeste Llaneta, UP MPRO)

There’s something alchemical about extracting precious gold using deadly mercury and cyanide. But for the many who work in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), this bit of alchemy is a grim reality that often results in mercury or cyanide poisoning, death, and environmental degradation.

In the alchemy of social change, technology is only one part of the formula. The other, arguably more complex part, is people. This can be seen in the journey to bring the technology dubbed CLINN-GEM, or the Community-Led Integrated Non-Cyanide Non-Mercury Gold Extraction Method, out of project leader Dr. Herman D. Mendoza’s laboratory at the UP Department of Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, and into the communities and day-to-day lives of the country’s artisanal and small-scale miners (ASMs).