The Scientific Career System (SCS) in collaboration with the Philippine Association of Career Scientists (PACS), Inc. successfully held its Annual Meeting and 8th Scientific Symposium at the Eastwood Richmonde Hotel last October 1 with the theme “Science in the Age of #”. The event was highlighted by presentations on various topics led by the country’s leading expert in science education and renowned disaster scientist and the scientists of the Scientific Career System.
The event was graced by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) President and Scientific Career Council (SCC) Member William G. Padolina and Civil Service Commission (CSC) and SCC Chairman Francisco T. Duque III who shared insightful messages with the audience composed of mainly scientists and students and officials from various universities on the importance of recognizing the works of scientists and enabling them to become more productive in research.
Dr. Padolina commended the timeliness of the theme in relation to today’s fast changing technologically equipped environment, “that is going highly digital and exponential.”
The Scientific Career Council, the highest governing body of the Scientific Career System (SCS), conferred Scientist I rank on Dr. Marilla G. Lucero, the very first researcher from the Department of Health to be admitted to SCS, and upgraded three highly productive member scientists, namely, Dr. Dionisio G. Alvindia, Dr. Claro N. Mingala, and Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos to higher scientist rank on November 03, 2014. Dr. Alvindia was promoted from Scientist I to Scientist III, and both Drs Mingala and Santos to Scientist II.
Dr. Lucero is a Chief Science Research Specialist at the DOH-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and specializes in Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases. From 1996 to 2000, Dr. Lucero conducted immunogenicity and safety trials of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) to prevent pneumonia in children, which was later proved safe and effective. From 2000 to 2009, she embarked on Phase 3 trial of PCV involving 12,000 children in the Philippines that provided proof of concept evidence that PCV prevented pneumonia in Filipino children. This significant work helped in the decision to include PCV in the Philippine national immunization program. In her most recent study, Dr. Lucero found out that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza are also very important causes of pneumonia in children, which highlights the importance of preventing not only bacterial but also viral pneumonia through vaccination using influenza vaccines and/or RSV vaccines.