by Joey Genevieve Martinez, OVCPD-OIA

The Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) has proven once again its commitment to providing quality education at par with global standards when two alumnae of the College of Science and Mathematics were awarded full PhD scholarships in one of Europe’s finest research institution.

Ms. Jessil Ann L. Pajar and Ms. Shiela Pearl R. Quiobe bested hundreds of applicants from all over the world in securing the most sought-after PhD positions in Max Planck Research Institute in Germany this year.

The Max Planck Society is a known global leader in cutting-edge scientific research in the life and natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The Nature Index, which highlights institutions and countries based on research, ranked Max Planck Society in 2018 as the third biggest producer of high-quality research next to Harvard University and China Academy of Sciences.

For her doctoral research, Ms. Pajar will investigate the biochemical interaction of nematodes, aphids, and their host plants under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Nicole van Dam in the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Ms. Quiobe, on the other hand, will explore the neurobiology, genetic, and epigenetic mechanism of the nematode Pristionchus sp. with Prof. Dr. Ralf J. Sommer in Max Planck-Developmental Biology Research Group. 

Ms. Pajar and Ms. Quiobe both finished their BS Biology degrees in MSU-IIT and obtained MSc Nematology (a study that deals with nematodes) in Ghent University, Belgium with high academic honors in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  Prior to their postgraduate studies, they were trained under the Nematology Research Group of the Premier Research Institute of Science and Mathematics.