Meet Jay Patrick Nieles of the University of Santos Tomas (UST) and Christian Luke Badua of the University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila), the young Filipino scientists who received the 2019 BPI DoST Science Awards.
UST’s Jay Patrick Nieles and UP Manila’s Christian Luke Badua were awarded by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) and the Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation (BPI Foundation) for their breakthrough studies that enhance human life.
Nieles received a cash grant worth Php 70,000 for his Project of the Year Award while Badua received Php 45,000 for his Best in Innovation Award at the 30th edition of the BPI Foundation – DoST Science Awards held in August in Makati City.
JAY PATRICK NIELES
Patrick Nieles is a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering graduate from UST. He investigated the possibility of developing an EEG-based gaze-independent BCI speller that utilizes visual imagery as input modality and determines its feasibility as a channel of communication for semi-paralyzed or Locked-In Syndrome (LIS) patients.
“My inspiration in working on this research is my late grandmother and aunt who had a stroke. I dedicate this research for the both of them,” Nieles said in the BPI Foundation report sent to Good News Pilipinas.
Nieles explained that locked-in syndrome patients are totally paralyzed from head to toe and, except for eye blinks, people would not know they are awake. His study hopes to help them by providing them with an innovative tool for communication.
Science Awards judge Matthew Escobido said that the life-enhancing component of Badua’s work is already a winning factor in itself. “The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us where we have the convergence of cyber-physical systems. Badua showed that physically disabled persons can make the most of their minds,” he said.
CHRISTIAN LUKE BADUA
Christian Luke Badua is a Bachelor of Science in Biology graduate of UP Manila. He was awarded the Best in Innovation research for his study on how probiotics, especially lactic acid bacteria, can be used to treat colorectal cancer or colon cancer, one of the top causes of death in the Philippines.
The 30th Science Awards notes that nutritional medicine is currently gaining interest with initiatives to develop functional food for cancer therapy. A local probiotic strain was evaluated in Badua’s study for its ability to call cell death in human colorectal cancer cells (HCT-116) for functional food development.
Of his research, Badua said, “God allowed this to happen because we needed to deal with one of the cancer types in the Philippines with the third-highest mortality. Even if colorectal cancer is easily treated, there is little knowledge of how to treat this cancer type with less invasive procedures, which is why we pursued this study.”
Bonar Laureto, one of the judges, said, “Badua’s work addresses an important societal challenge by applying scientific methods in providing a solution. This is an innovative step in the advancement of science and technology.”
SEND congratulations in the comments below to UST’s Jay Patrick Nieles and UP Manila’s Christian Luke Badua for showcasing excellence in science research!
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