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Pasay City, METRO MANILA- The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) presented key findings of a supported project of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) during the 47th Annual Convention of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) on 10 May 2017 at SMX Convention Center.

The project entitled “Pharmacogenetic Studies on Some Commonly Used Drugs for Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, and Coronary Artery Disease among Filipinos” aims to determine the candidate genetic variations which are associated with effective drug response and/or adverse drug effects during medications for the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure), dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids in the blood), and coronary disease.

The proponents specifically discussed substudies of the project including Angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) response, Beta-blocker (BB) response, Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEi)-induced cough, Aspirin response, and Clopidogrel response.

Presented during the Session on Cardiovascular Genomics, the project is one of the two components of the program entitled “Genomic Researches on Hypertension, Coronary Artery Disease and Dyslipidemia towards the Development of Individualized Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies” which hopes to determine genetic profiles and responses to treatments of hypertension, dyslipidemia, and coronary heart disease.

According to the proponents led by Dr. Rody Sy and Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de la Paz, the results will be used in clinical setting for individualized treatment strategies as well as in diagnosis to enhance care of Filipino patients and their families.

This initiative offers a high-throughput screening of candidate genes; once identified, the findings may lead to the development of genetic test kits that can be provided at the point of care using various molecular diagnostic platforms,” the proponents explained in their project’s rationale. 

The United Kingdom Medical Research Council (UK MRC) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through the Philippine Council for Health and Research Development (PCHRD), are inviting concept proposals to the 2nd UK-Philippines Joint Health Research Call for possible funding of up to 129 million (£2 million pounds) and 80 million (£1.25 million pounds) pesos for successful participants in UK and Philippines, respectively.

The Call aims to strengthen the research base in the UK and the Philippines as well as enable partnership opportunities in the areas of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases.  

Areas of research interests within the Communicable Diseases may include genomics and molecular technologies, and diagnostics on diseases that impact the most vulnerable people in society such as influenza-like illnesses, chronic respiratory infections, leptospirosis, sepsis, hepatitis, rabies, and Zika virus.

Likewise, the area of interests for Non-Communicable Diseases may include the use of animal models in identifying the genes responsible for protection from a disease, studies on creation or use of animal models for therapeutic trials, and development of cost-effective biomedical devices for diagnosis, treatment, and management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus among Filipinos.

Proposals should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until 6 June 2017. For more information, visit http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/news/6154-uk-philippines-joint-health-research-initiative-call-for-concept-proposals

QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila- The Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB) conducted a training on Good Clinical Practice (GCP) on 7-10 March at Toscana Hall, Torre Venezia Suites, Timog Avenue.


Photo session with the participants and speakers

The activity aims to improve the skills of PHREB’s Committee on Information Dissemination, Training, and Advocacy (CIDTA) and National Ethics Committee (NEC) members in conducting training programs such as Good Research Practice Training, Basic Research Ethics Training, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Workshop, and Research Ethics Committee Staff Training.

Included in the discussions were important factors to consider and use during the conduct of training namely content, participants, goals, and tools. The principles of GCP, roles and responsibilities of investigators, and assessment of protocols based on common issues accompanying clinical trials were also tackled.

The activity also harmonizes the understanding of the participants in communicating knowledge by identifying the key challenges that they have encountered during the conduct of training as well as the key qualities of an effective educator.

Dr. Fidela Moreno of the University of Santo Tomas and Intermountain Heart Institute, Dr. Joseph Marzo of the PAREXEL Clinical Research Philippines, and Ms. Ma. Rosary Anne Reyes of Otsuka Manila Research Center facilitated the training. (With reports from Julian Bernardo Torralba, Science Research Specialist I, PCHRD). 

MANILA CITY, Metro Manila- The MD-PhD scholars of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) attended the Basic Research Ethics Training on 22-23 March 2017 at the C.O.M.E Conference Room, Paz Mendoza Hall, University of the Philippines (UP) Manila.

The MD-PhD scholars who attended the PHREB's Basic Research Ethics Training

Led by the Philippine Health Research Ethics Board (PHREB), the training provided scholars with knowledge on how to conduct ethical research to assist them in the development of their masteral or dissertation requirements.

The speakers, namely Dr. Maria Salome Vios and Dr. Sonia Bongala, Chair and Vice-Chair of the PHREB Committee on Standards and Accreditation (PHREB CSA), emphasized the role of the Research Ethics Committee (REC) in ensuring the welfare, safety, and protection of the research participants from any possible scientific advancements of a research protocol.  

Dr. Vios and Dr. Bongala also discussed various international, national, and institutional controls that guide researchers on doing ethical research. They reminded the scholars to treat RECs as support institutions in improving the outcomes of their research and not as a hindrance in implementing their objectives.

The MD-PhD Molecular Medicine Program is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), through PCHRD, and UP Manila, through the College of Medicine, to train aspiring physician-scientists for careers dedicated to the advancement of health through biomedical research.

To date, 65 scholars were being monitored by PCHRD. (With reports from Julian Bernardo Torralba, Science Research Specialist I, PCHRD) 

Europe: MSCA Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Call

ASEAN Researchers and Research Staff Eligible

Deadline 05 April 2017
Website: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/msca-rise-2017.html

MSCA-RISE aims at international and inter-sector collaboration through promoting research and innovation exchanges of staff. MSCA-RISE will support short-term mobility of research and innovation staff at all career levels, from the most junior (post-graduate) to the most senior (management), including administrative and technical staff.

Ten years of the European Research Council: A European Success Story

Website: https://erc.europa.eu/
Deadlines: 25 April 2017 │ 05 September 2017 (17.00 Brussels local time)

The European Research Council (ERC), established by the EU to support excellent researchers in Europe, has backed scores of them, including six who later received Nobel Prizes. ERC grants also created career opportunities for some 50,000 research staff, resulted in numerous scientific breakthroughs and led to over 800 patent applications that lay the foundations for growth and jobs, and the improvement of people's daily lives.

France-AgreenSkills+ Postdoctoral Fellowships

ASEAN Researchers Eligible

Deadlines: 28 April and 13 October 2017
Website: https://liham.gov.ph/service/home/~/?auth=co&loc=en&id=46657&part=2

AgreenSkills+ is an international mobility programme co-funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development. The programme is aimed at talented researchers from all over the world holding a PhD with less than 10 years of postdoctoral research experience. Research projects in the fields of agriculture, food, nutrition, environment, animal health and veterinary public health may be supported.

Europe: Call for 10 PhD Fellowships. The “European Network on Anti-Cancer Immuno-therapy Improvement by Modification of CAR and TCR Interactions and Nanoscale Geometry”

ASEAN Students Eligible.
Deadline is 01 May 2017.
Website: http://www.enacti2ng-itn.eu/

The EN-ACTI2NG (European Network on Anti-Cancer Immuno-Therapy Improvement by modification of CAR and TCR Interactions and Nanoscale Geometry) Initial Training Network, funded by the H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions program, emanates from the recent clinical evidence that T cells expressing engineered tumor-specific immune receptors can eradicate certain tumors that do not respond to conventional treatment. This important therapeutic approach (considered by the journal Science ‘Scientific Breakthrough of the Year’ in December 2013) is still in a very early phase of development and currently requires a well-trained workforce to address a number of challenges.

United Kingdom: Training Fellowships in Public Health and Tropical Medicine 

Deadline 08 May 2017.
Website: https://wellcome.ac.uk/funding/training-fellowships-public-health-and-tropical-medicine

This scheme offers research experience and training to early-stage researchers from low and middle-income countries. The scheme aims to support research that will improve public health and tropical medicine at a local, national and global level.

Germany: DAAD Scholarships for ASEAN students interested in Masters Degree in Engineering in Bangkok and Aachen, Germany.

Deadline is 15 May 2017.
Website: http://tggs.kmutnb.ac.th/daad-scholarships-tggs-2017/

Students from across Southeast Asia (except Thailand) may o apply for DAAD scholarship which covers tuition fee and all living expenses during the first year study at the Thai-German Graduate School in Bangkok and the second year study at RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

United Kingdom: Call for Papers. EuroSEAS Conference 2017

Deadline is 15 May 2017.
Website: http://www.euroseas.org/

The European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) will hold its 9th conference from 16 to 18 August 2017 at the University of Oxford. As an international and multi-disciplinary organisation, EuroSEAS invites scholars and PhD students from all academic disciplines with an interest in Southeast Asia to submit papers on research in the field of Southeast Asian Studies.

Open Science Meetings: Scientific Cooperation in Indonesia-Netherlands

Event: 15-17 May 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Website: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/worldwide/asean/open-science-meetings-scientific-cooperation-indonesia-%E2%80%93-netherlands

The eighth Open Science Meeting, entitled Towards Resilient Society, will be held from 15 to 17 May 2017 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The OSM 2017 programme features scientific presentations, an innovation fair, public debates, workshops, keynote speeches, poster presentations, and science for policy sessions. Around the OSM plenary days, master classes on different themes will be held at several locations around the archipelago.

Germany: The Falling Walls Fellowship for Journalists.

Deadline is 25 June 2017
Website: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/worldwide/asean/science-journalists-apply-falling-walls-fellowship-journalists

The Falling Walls Fellowship for Journalists is aimed at advancing the knowledge of journalists and bloggers, with at least three years of experience, in the area of sciences. The Fellows get the opportunity to attend the Falling Walls Lab, Falling Walls Venture, the Falling Walls Conference as well as an additional programme in Berlin around 8 and 9 November 2017. The fellowship includes travel expenses (economy class), accommodation for 3 nights (organised by Falling Walls Foundation), conference fees and meals (breakfast at hotel, catering during the Falling Walls events).