Filipino scientists from the University of the Philippines Dr. Rodney Perez and Maria Isabel Layson have been honored in Encyclopedia Britannica’s 20 Under 40 list of Young Shapers of the Future who are making their mark on history.
University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) researcher Dr. Rodney Perez and 18-year-old student Maria Isabel Layson of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) join this year’s list of outstanding individuals aged under 40 who are working across different fields and endeavors.
The “shapers of the future” in the list include scholars, scientists, designers, architects, artists, leaders, and teachers, among many others.
Dr. Perez and Layson are among the Filipino honorees in the encyclopedia’s Shapers of the Future series in the category of Health and Medicine for 2022.
Dr. Rodney Perez, 32
Dr. Rodney Perez, the first Filipino to win the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize awarded by the Society for Biotechnology in Japan (SBJ) in 2021, was cited for his work on the study of bacteriocins, which are naturally occurring toxins that can kill related strains of bacteria implicated in food poisoning and spoilage.
Dr. Perez is a researcher at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and is currently working on technologies to introduce bacteriocins as part of food packaging processes, “for instance, replacing artificial and potentially harmful steroids in dairy products with helpful bacteria from lactic acid that combat mastitis in cattle.”
Dr. Perez, an alumnus of Visayas State University, won a scholarship to Kyushu University, in Japan, where he earned an M.S. in bioscience and biotechnology and a Ph.D. in microbial technology.
Maria Isabel Layson, 18
Maria Isabel Layson, a young Filipino student at the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo City, discovered properties in aratiles fruits that can possibly cure diabetes in a Food and Nutrition Research Institute laboratory in Manila.
In 2019, Layson presented her findings at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Arizona. That year she also won Best Individual Research in Life Science at the National Science and Technology Fair hosted by the Philippine Department of Education.
Layson studied at an elementary school for gifted children and the Singapore American School before she returned to her hometown, Iloilo City, and enrolled in an advanced science curriculum at the National High School.
Eight Philippine university scientists have been named to the 2021 Asian Scientist 100 which honors outstanding researchers in the region.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino scientists Dr. Rodney Perez and Maria Isabel Layson from the University of the Philippines for being honored in the Encyclopedia Britannica’s 20 Under 40 list of Young Shapers of the Future who are making their mark on history.
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