OFW scientists come home to help Philippines find solutions to coronavirus pandemic

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OFW scientists coronavirus solutions
These seven Filipino scientists are helping in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic in their own specialties. Photos from DOST.

Seven Overseas Filipino Scientists are back in the Philippines under the Balik Scientist Program (BSP) and are helping the country find solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.

The scientific experts who have been abroad returned to the Philippines under the Balik Scientist Progam and are now frontliners and researchers assisting the national efforts to fight COVID-19.

The Balik Scientist Program, now refocused on addressing the ongoing public health crisis, has partnered with the Philippine Council for Health Research And Development (PCHRD) to engage the Filipino scientists in finding solutions to the pandemic.

Dr. Joseph Adrian L. Buensalido

Dr. Joseph Adrian L. Buensalido

Dr. Joseph Adrian L. Buensalido is now an Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine consultant in three hospitals in the National Capital Region. He had a practice and fellowship in the States, after which he focused his research on the resistance of various illnesses, and infamous infections.

Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay

Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay

Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay is an esteemed pharmacist assisting in the Western Visayas Medical Center’s (WVMC) capacity assessment of their facilities and technicians for the Department of Health (DOH) accreditation for COVID-19 testing.

Dr. Jonel P. Saludes

Dr. Jonel P. Saludes

Dr. Jonel P. Saludes is a chemistry professor also assisting in the Western Visayas Medical Center’s (WVMC) capacity assessment of their facilities and technicians for the Department of Health (DOH) accreditation for COVID-19 testing.

Dr. Harvy Joy C. Liwanag

Dr. Harvy Joy C. Liwanag

Dr. Harvy Joy C. Liwanag is the coordinator at the University of the Philippines Manila-National Institutes of Health for ethics and good practices in medical work. He now provides the DOH with projections of the requirements for the health workforce to properly deal with the epidemic.

Dr. Reynaldo L. Garcia

Dr. Reynaldo L. Garcia

Dr. Reynaldo L. Garcia, an expert in biomedical research as well as the consultation and enterprise of biotechnology, is currently leading the country’s creation of a database of laboratories with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to better assist the DOH in COVID-19 testing.

Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvaña

Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvaña

Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvaña, a director of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and globally-renowned scientific figure, is part of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), which advises the DOH and Inter-Agency Task Force (IAFT).

Dr. Raymond Francis R. Sarmiento

Dr. Raymond Francis R. Sarmiento

Dr. Raymond Francis R. Sarmiento, an expert in health data science and clinical and public health informatics, leads the data warehouse team of the Feasibility Analysis of Syndromic Surveillance using Spatio-Temporal Epidemiological Modeler (FASSSTER), which makes predictive simulations of infectious diseases.

The BSP is a national program enforced by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) with the hopes of addressing the “brain drain” in the Philippines. Scientists, technologists, or experts abroad who are of Philippine descent can register to share their expertise for the development of the country.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Balik Scientists grantee Rodrigo Jamisola Jr. was building underwater drones to help protect the Pasig River and the Philippine Rise.

Filipino scientists have also been named among the best in the region by Asian Scientist Magazine.

In the country, future scientists are already doing their share of help in this crisis: scholars of DOST-SEI have volunteered around the nation to pitch in where they can.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to overseas Filipino scientists who are now back in the country and are helping the nation fight the coronavirus pandemic.

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