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CEBREM Hosts Symposium on Biopharmaceutical and Medicine from Natural Resources

CEBREM Hosts Symposium on Biopharmaceutical and Medicine from Natural Resources - Copy
Left to right: Dr. Annabelle P. Villalobos, DOST Balik Scientist and Research Fellow & Consultant, Johnson & Johnson Biopharm Research & Development (USA) presented to the participants the rationale of the symposium.

CMU through the Center for Biodiversity Research and Extension in Mindanao (CEBREM) hosted a DOST Balik Scientist Symposium on Biopharmaceuticals from Laboratory to Market and Medicine from Natural Resources on June 20-21, 2013 at the Farmers Training Center (FTC).” This is a collaborative undertaking of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the UP-College of Medicine with the Balik Scientist, Dr. Anabelle P. Villalobos.

The Balik Scientist program was established pursuant to the Presidential Decree No. 819 in October 1975. To respond to the call for exchange of science and technology information, the DOST Balik Scientist program aims to strengthen the scientific and technological manpower of the academe and public and private institutions in order to promote exchange of science and technology information.

The symposium aimed to gather a varied group of scientists, physicians and medical researchers, engineers, pharmacists, entrepreneurs, faculty and students to broaden, strengthen and give practical applications of the current knowledge in biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, natural products, and regulatory approval process;  share experience and expertise on biopharmaceuticals from drug discovery until reaching the market, and beyond;  discuss and give insights on the research and development direction of natural products and medicinal plants in the Philippines; inculcate plant biodiversity and conservation and their implications to medicinal plants researches and development; establish and enhance collaboration with scientific and technological projects and links, and for business interest.

Keynote speaker was Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz, National Scientist and President of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRSP). Dr. Anabelle P. Villalobos, DOST Balik Scientist, presented the rationale of the symposium, gave the welcome remarks and introduced the keynote speaker.

The symposium tackled relevant topics which included the following:


Resource Speaker

Introduction to Biotechnology and Biopharmaceuticals Dr. Annabelle P. Villalobos, DOST Balik Scientist and Research Fellow & Consultant, Johnson & Johnson Biopharm Research & Development (USA)
Upstream Process – Large Scale Cell Culture for Biopharmaceuticals Production Mr. Tim Hughes, Senior Director, Biotech Manufacturing CSL Behring (AUS) Melbourne, Australia
Downstream Process – Drug Substance and Drug Product: Quality, Safety, Efficiency and Consistency Dr. Anabelle P. Villalobos
Herbal Medicine Research and Development: The NIRPROMP Experience Dr. Cecilia C. Maramba-Lazarte, Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, UP College of Medicine
The Philippine Pteridophytes: Potential Sources and Conservation Initiatives Dr. Victor B. Amoroso, University Professor, CMU & Director, CEBREM
Continuous Innovation in  Research and Development Dr. Isagani Padolina, Director, Research and Development, Pascual Laboratories, Inc.
Secondary Metabolites from Philippine Medicinal Plants Dr. Irene M. Villaseñor, Professor, Institute of Chemistry, UP Diliman
The Search for World-class Marine Drugs: Conotoxins from Fish-Hunting Conus species Dr. Elsie C. Jimenez, Professor Emeritus, UP Baguio


A poster competition was held in tandem with the symposium. Twenty three posters were presented for judging.  The poster “Phytochemical, Antipyretic, and Anti-inflammation Activities of Selected Medicinal Pteridophytes” authored by Dr. Victor B. Amoroso, won the first place and  the poster “Pediculicide Property of a Shampoo Formulations from the Extracts of Lacy Fern Leaves (Cyathea corperi), Ylang-ylang Flowers( Cananga odorata) and Neon Seed Oil (Ozadirachta indica) by Dr. Kaycie A. Gabiola et. al. won the second place.

A post symposium tour and field trip were also conducted to the University projects, namely: Mt. Musuan Zoological and Botanical Garden, University Museum, and Fernery. A climb to Mt. Musuan was held on the early morning of June 22, 2013. Mt. Musuan is about 646 meter ASL (above sea level) and is one of the LTER (Long- Term Ecological Research) sites in Mindanao with natural forest and grassland vegetation types.

There were 82 participants of the symposium. Sixty five are researchers, faculty members from the different SUCs and private schools and company representatives; and 17 research consultants and students from various schools in the country (FCTizuela and KDZambas/UPIO).

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