The Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Environmental Chemical Pollutants and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division (MPSD) on February 24, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila.
The RTD discussed environmental chemical pollutants and their effects on health, and suggested ways on how to address the problems through identification of research gaps and policy recommendations.
Invited experts were Dr. Evangeline C. Santiago, head, Research and Analytical Services Laboratory, Natural Sciences Research Institute, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman; Dr. Catherine Lynn T. Silao, head, Molecular Genetics Laboratory, Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health, UP Manila; Dr. Emmanuel S. Baja, research associate professor of environmental epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Epidemiology, National Institutes of Health, UP Manila and visiting scientist, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health; and Dr. Eva S. Ocfemia, assistant director, Environmental Management Bureau, Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DENR-EMB).
Dr. Santiago discussed the results of their monitoring of organic pollutants in river and coastal areas such as nonylphenol, bisphenol A (BPA), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). According to Dr. Santiago, nonylphenol can be found in industrial detergents while BPA is commonly found in plastic containers, both of which are highly toxic to fish and humans. Moreover, POPs commonly found in pesticides were detected in river sediments and exposure to these produces various negative effects on body processes.
Consumption of contaminated fish and shellfish increases the exposure of humans to these pollutants. She further suggested monitoring of toxic organic pollutants in air, water, and food to manage the risk of population to the adverse health effects of these chemicals.
NAST PHL discusses Molecular Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases in partnership with the UP Manila and Case Western Reserve University
The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL), in partnership with the University of the Philippines Manila and Case Western Reserve University of Cleveland, Ohio, through its Health Sciences Division conducted the Roundtable Discussion on Molecular Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases on February 20, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila.
The RTD, organized by the Health Sciences Division chaired by Acd. Jaime C. Montoya, along with Dr. Edsel Maurice T. Salvana, NAST Outstanding Young Scientist and Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the National Institutes of Health as thefocal person, aimed to (1) learn about the molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases and how these mechanisms lead to manifestation of infections; (2) understand the molecular mechanisms of infection in order to determine possible treatment strategies to minimize morbidity and mortality; and (3) understand disease interactions at the molecular level and how these affect pathogenicity and disease outcomes.
Acd. William G. Padolina, president of NAST PHL, welcomed the speakers and participants to the RTD. He hoped that aside from the technical knowledge, the RTD will also serve as a venue for future research collaboration between the three institutions regarding infectious diseases. Acd. Carmencita D. Padilla, chancellor of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila and member of the NAST Health Sciences Division, emphasized the value in prevention and preparedness in combating infectious diseases. She mentioned that UP Manila and the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) are investing heavily in the prevention and control of communicable diseases. As chancellor, she is also looking forward to having a formal collaboration with Case Western Reserve University. Such a collaboration will greatly help our institutions come up with evidence-based recommendations that can be used in the formulation of health policy in the Philippines.
The Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Designing for Healthy Work and Living Environment was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) through its Engineering Sciences and Technology Division (ESTD) on February 5, 2015 at Hotel Jen Manila. This RTD is the fourth in the series of discussions conducted in preparation for the upcoming 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in July, which centers on the role of different sciences in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Invited experts were Architect Anna Maria M. Gonzales, sustainability and planning manager of the Ayala Land, Inc. and Dr. Marilou D. Renales, chair of the Residency Training Program Committee of the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine. Acd. Aura C. Matias, RTD focal person from the Engineering Sciences and Technology Division served as the moderator.
Architect Gonzales discussed green living building design with focus on healthy ecosystems. An advocate of green living and indigenous architecture design, she explained land use and its relation to development as one of the components of green design. She highlighted the importance of integration of natural spaces to development by working with the natural characteristics of the area. Architect Gonzales shared that knowing the context of the location where you plan to build is an important consideration in sustainable design. She also explained the importance of encouraging non-motorized transportation (walking, biking, etc.) and creating a demand for it.