Vol. 4 Issue No.2 Third Qtr 2011
Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
BFAR scientist chosen as 2011 Outstanding Young Scientist
Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos, Scientist 1 and Officer-in-Charge of the Marine Fisheries Research Division of the BFAR-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) is selected as one of the top ten awardees of this year's Outstanding Young Scientists by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).
NAST give citations to young Filipino scientists of not more than 40 years who have significant contributions in the areas of Agricultural Sciences, Biological Sciences, Chemical, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Engineering Sciences and Technology, Health Sciences and Social Sciences.
The outstanding scientist awardees were judged on the basis of the quality and number of scientific works and publications; contributions to the advances of science in the Philippines, in particular; and contribution to the well-being of the Philippine economy and culture. As an OYS awardee, Dr. Santos received a trophy and cash prize.
Dr. Santos was cited for his research works in biotechnology for food security and fisheries conservation. His studies in increasing aquaculture productivity and management of capture fisheries for sustainability and poverty alleviation were also cited.
The other awardees are Mr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez, Dr. Waren Baticados, Dr. Regina So, Dr. Nathaniel C. Anasco, Dr. Joseph M. Pasia, Dr. Jose Bienvenido Manuel M. Biona, Dr. Claro N. Mingala, Dr. Christopher Monterola and Dr. Allan Soriano.
Dr. Santos' research achievements include the discovery of the cytokine genes and their duplicated properties that are involved in blood formation and defense in teleost fish; development of a polyclonal antibody from a recombinant IgM protein for making IgM - positive fish white blood cells; development of RNA aptamer that inhibits virulence of a fish virus, and analysis of the multiple drug-resistance phenomenon in some fish pathogenic bacteria by looking at their R-plasmids. Moreover, he established the population structure of a pelagic tuna in Southeast Asia in being a "shared stock" using a genetic marker (D loop of mnDNA), and genetically profiled rare fish species such as mullids "ludong" and theraponids "pigek" in the Philippines.
His current works are centered on applying biotechnology and current molecular biology methods, in particular genomics or the use of genes and nucleotides (DNA and RNA), address: 1) problems in aquatic animal health particularly in disease monitoring, control and prevention in fish and shellfish species; and the 2) problems on the lack of accurate information on aquatic animal population in the natural encironment.
Dr. Santos was also recently conferred the rank of Scientist I under the Scientific Career System of the Civil Service Commission. He is the first and only Scientist I of the NFRDI and the 2nd scientist in the 63 years history of the BFAR.
Foremost among his other awards and scholarships include: Leading Labs Fellowship Grantee of the Leading Labs Network (LLN) of the Consortium for the Bacorde of life (CBOL) of the Smithsonian Institution USA in 2011; DOST-PCAMRD Elvira O. Tan Award (Marine Fisheries) in 2010; Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholar from 2002 to 2008; Asian SEED Research Institute Grant for Foreign Students grantee from 2004-2006; UNESCO Short Term Fellowship on Biotechnology Fellow in 1998-1999; and the UP Vanguard Inc. Scholarship awardee from 1988-1992.
Dr. Santos finished his BS in Biology at the University of the Philippines – Baguio City. He obtained his MS in Aquatic Bioscience from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSTAT) in 2005 and his PH. D. in Applied Marine Bioscience in the same university in 2008.
Dr. Mudjekeewis Santos, Scientist 1 and Officer-in-Charge of the Marine Fisheries Research Division of the BFAR-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI)