New batch of MD-PhD scholars start their academic journey in becoming Filipino physician-scientists

Seven (7) scholars under the MD-PhD in Molecular Medicine Program start their academic journey in becoming physician-scientists as they sign their Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) and University of the Philippines (UP) Manila on August 4, 2023 . 

The new set of scholars is the 14th batch who will be taking up the MD-PhD program for a period of eight years. The scholars are Iverson Jurey D. Abellaneda (BS Public Health – UP Manila), Amizah Coleene B. Alog (BS Microbiology – University of Sto. Tomas), Jericho V. Carena (BS Biology – UP Baguio), Antonio Lorenzo L. Ong (BS Biology – UP Baguio), Hazel Jill T. Payo (BS Secondary Education – Iloilo State and Technology University), Paul Jimuel S. Rosales (BS Biology – UP Manila), and Jeries Dylan T. Yadao (BS Biology – UP Diliman). 

The MD-PhD Program aims to equip the scholars with the necessary skills and knowledge in both medicine and research, allowing them to bridge the gap between clinical practice and scientific discovery. The program applicants were determined by their aptitude and motivation for advanced study in molecular medicine and related areas in the health sciences.

In his message, DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Dr. Jaime C. Montoya expressed the Council’s commitment to fostering innovation and continuous support to health researchers. 

“As you embark on this journey, remember that research is a continuous learning process. Your contributions to the field of health research will undoubtedly significantly impact our nation’s well-being. We believe that by continuously supporting and empowering our researchers, we can further enhance the quality of healthcare research in the Philippines,” Dr. Montoya stated. 

DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. also thanked UP Manila and the PCHRD for its successful implementation of the MD-PhD program in the last 14 years. 

“The program has produced outstanding leaders and members of the health research community who readily respond in addressing the emerging and priority health research needs of the country. I am certain that these scholars will not only contribute to the advancement of medical research but also play a crucial role in addressing the healthcare challenges faced by our nation,” said Sec. Solidum. 

The Council has been providing support to young researchers who wish to pursue a degree in Molecular Medicine since 2009. To date, there are 74 ongoing scholars and 37 graduates under the MD-PhD Program. 

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