by Ian S. Embradura, OPI

Chemistry Department’s Lavilla, first Mindanao DOST-Newton scholar to UK

Charlie A. Lavilla, Jr., a faculty member of the Department of Chemistry, is one of the five Filipino researchers and the only one from Mindanao to receive the 1st Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Newton PhD Scholarships to pursue a Ph.D. degree in five separate universities in the United Kingdom.

Lavilla is attending Nottingham Trent University after his project proposal was accepted. The project aims to develop a targeted low-cost food supplementation strategy in the treatment and prevention of muscle damage in people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In three years Lavilla is expected to finish his PhD in Biomedical Sciences.

The research project falls under the health and life sciences priority area of the program, which also includes environmental resilience, energy security, future cities, agri-tech, and digital innovation and creativity.

“This is an opportunity to have an academic standing in an international setting,” said Lavilla. For him, not only would he obtain a PhD degree, it would also be an avenue to find prospect collaborators and to contribute to the community through his research.

As a graduate of both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Institute, the scholar expressed how his education from the MSU-IIT has prepared him for any endeavor he has set his heart on for he said he has finally found a discipline he has long been searching for. The opportunity is in line with what the Institute is aiming for, that is, to be a research university.

The scholarship means a lot more to Lavilla. As the only DOST Newton PhD scholar coming from Mindanao, Lavilla considers this as a recognition to Mindanao’s capacity for research.

If his research project is converted to technology soon and becomes accessible, he hopes to continue what has been started in the Tuklas Lunas Center, a drug discovery and development program initiated by DOST- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) under IIT’s management.

The scholarship is a joint program of the British Council and the DOST to be managed by the Newton Fund with the objective of strengthening research and innovation in promoting economic development and social welfare of the partner country, the Philippines.

Topics : Chemistry