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Forward Thinkers discussed the Impact of Molecular Medicine Research in our Country’s Healthcare Situation

Article | December 18, 2020

Forward Thinkers discussed the Impact of Molecular Medicine Research in our Country’s Healthcare Situation

by Iya Calub


To discuss the influence of  molecular medicine in improving the current healthcare situation, scientists, physicians, scientist-physicians as well as students attended the 3rd International Scientific Conference on Molecular Medicine, which took place from September 28-29, at St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine.

With the theme “Forward Thinkers: Shaping Healthcare through Molecular Medicine Research”, the conference featured five sessions about the modern health challenges given by prominent speakers from all over the world. 

The first session was categorized as “Communicable Diseases,” and prognostic markers of Leptospirosis, the role of molecular medicine in understanding HIV pathogenesis, and new strategies in combating Tuberculosis were discussed here. These lectures were presented by a physician-scientist from Institute of Human Genetics of National Institute of Health, Jose B. Nevado Jr., MD, PhD, a physician from Hawaii Center for AIDS, Louise Mar A. Gangcuangco, MD, and Vice-Chancellor of De La Salle University, Charles Y. Yu, MD, respectively. 

The second session focused on non-communicable diseases which were considered the leading causes of death in the Philippines. The session featured three lectures. The first lecture by Jaifred Christian F. Lopez, MD from the College of Public Health of University of the Philippines-Manila, aimed to present the Philippines’ current research situation regarding non-communicable diseases. The second lecture by Ahmad Reza F. Mazahery, PhD from Institute of Biology of University of the Philippines–Diliman, discussed the disease modelling applications of induced pluripotent stem cell technology. The last topic, by Chien-Chang Chen, PhD, Director of Department of International Affairs from Academia Sinica, Taiwan, focused on how chronic pain can protect the heart from ischemia-reperfusion injury. 

Session three, entitled “Drug Development and Discovery” featured discussions on Ziconotide, Lunasin, and a potential double-block malaria vaccine. The lectures were facilitated by Aaron Joseph L. Villaraza, PhD, Alfredo F. Galvez, PhD, and Shigeyuki Kano, MD, PhD from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Japan. The last session of the day, classified as “Mental Health and Neurodegenerative Disorders”, featured only one lecture by Dr. Anne Cristine Guevarra from the National Neuroscience Institute of Singapore, in which she discussed the neurobiology of depression.

The second day of the conference began with the fifth session of the conference was about the “Challenges in Molecular Medicine.” Dr. Samuel D. Bernal, founder and chairman of Globetek Pro International, gave a talk on the challenges faced during molecular medicine research. Ms. Maria Nilda M. Munoz, MSc, gave a lecture on the importance of academia and industry collaboration. The last lecture of the day was given by Charina De Silva, PhD, head of Metametrics Laboratory, who delivered current advancements in nutrient diagnostics. 

Towards the end of the conference, participants were given the opportunity to discuss amongst each other the insights garnered from the series of lectures. 

In the end, this conference did not only tackle the challenges of integrating basic science researches on healthcare, but also provided a common ground for physicians and scientists.  

The conference was organize by St. Luke’s Molecular Medicine Society in collaboration with the University of the Philippines-Physician Scientist Association.

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