UST-DOST scholar Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel’s diabetes study vies for ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize

HSBC Philippines
Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel
University of Santo Tomas-Department of Science and Technology scholar Dr. Ruth Pineda-Cortel is the National Finalist for the Philippines in 2020 SEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women.

University of Santo Tomas (UST) professor and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) scholar Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel is vying for the 2020 Association of Southeast Asian Nations-United States (ASEAN-U.S). Science Prize for Women with her research on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

The UST associate professor and researcher, and DOST – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) scholar, was chosen to represent the Philippines in the Science Prize competition that seeks to award two talented, early-career women from the ASEAN region working in applied science.

Pineda-Cortel is among the 10 national finalists from across the region who will vie for the first prize of USD 20,000 award and the honorable mention that awards USD 5,000.

Dr. Pineda-Cortel was chosen for leading a team of graduate students in the study titled, “Blood and placental gene expression in gestational diabetes mellitus: potential identification of early biomarkers” that aims to identify early signs of glucose intolerance during pregnancy.

The DOST-PCHRD study emphasizes the importance of preventive healthcare to protect both the mother and the baby against various complications due to the condition.

In a video released by The ASEAN-U.S Science Prize for Women on May 19, 2020, Dr. Pineda-Cortel explains the non-communicable disease, GDM.

“Gestational Diabetes Mellitus is a type of diabetes recognized at the onset of pregnancy. It immediately disappears after baby delivery. Although this condition is transient, it greatly affects both the member and the baby as it carries with it various complications,” she explained.

She added that numerous cases are undetected because of the lack of standard diagnostic tests, a situation that hinders the protection of maternal and child health. Pregnant women in different tertiary hospitals and private clinics in Metro Manila participated in the project.

“Dr. Pineda-Cortel’s project is an example of how we utilize OMIC technologies to advance health research for the development of targeted diagnostics, which may contribute to better healthcare solutions in the country, particularly in improving Filipino maternal health,” DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya said.

Along with other national finalists from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, Dr. Pineda-Cortel’s project on GDM will be evaluated for the selection of two regional finalists for the pitch competition in Lao People’s Democratic Republic in June 2020.

The 2018 ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women was awarded to Dr. Gay Jane Perez, an associate professor at the UP Diliman College of Science’s Environmental Science and Meteorology Department for leading the DOST Philippines-Microsat program that successfully sent into orbit Diwata-1.

Filipino students Camille Joyce Lisay and Joaquin Victor Tacla of the UST also won the ASEAN Youth Social Journalism Contest 2019 with their social media campaign, “4Ps for Philippines”.

Batangueño Joemari Manguiat also brought honor to the Philippines after winning the 2020 ASEAN Identity Logo Design Competition.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to UST-DOST scholar Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel, national finalist representing the Philippines in the 2020 ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women!

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