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Vol. XXVI, 3rd Quarter
July –September 2008
Balik scientists
(L-R sitting) Dr. Joey Comiso, Sec. Estrella Alabastro, Asec. Ma. Lourdes Orijola, and Dr. Amador Muriel.
(L-R standing) Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana, Dr. Guillermo Mendoza, Dr. Danilo Romero, and Dr. Roberto Legaspi.

Balik Scientists jazz up country’s research system

Top foreign-based Filipino scientists recently came back to impart new knowledge and help shore up the country’s research and related scientific activities.

Dr. Amador Muriel and Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana returned to the country through the Department of Science and Technology’s Balik-Scientist program.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jose Comiso, Dr. Roberto Legaspi, Dr. Guillermo Mendoza, Dr. Norberto Ison, and Dr. Danilo Romero also came back earlier and wound up their short-term programs with notable accomplishments.

Dr. Amador Muriel, an authority in Theoretical Physics, is the founder and president of Data Transport Systems, a 20-year-old IT consultancy firm with operations in New York. He worked with professors and graduate students of the National Institute of Physics at the University of the Philippines Diliman on theoretical and applied physics related research.

Dr. Salvana is an expert in internal medicine, infectious diseases, and tropical medicine. He is currently chief fellow of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine of the Case Western Reserve University, and University Hospitals of Cleveland in Ohio. He will stay in the country for three years to help set up projects in epidemiologic field studies in lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and capillariasis.

Meanwhile, Dr. Comiso, a physicist and currently senior scientist at the laboratory for hydrospheric and biospheric sciences of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Flight Center in Maryland came back on a short-term program. While in the country, he held lectures related to climate change including sessions with some senators to help in the preparation of the climate change bill.

Dr. Mendoza is currently an associate professor at the University of Illinois, and was hosted by UP Los Baños during his visit. While on the Balik Scientist program, he shared expertise to enhance UPLB’s scientific and academic system through seminar-workshops, short-term training courses, and in-class training. He also assisted and collaborated in research and development activities.

Dr. Ison teaches Statistics at the University of Phoenix, and the University of California Extension in Berkeley, California. Hosted by UP Baguio, Dr. Ison assisted in the development of the school’s Statistics program and also taught the subject in said campus.

Dr. Legaspi, a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research in Osaka University, completed his stint Sept. 9. While in the country, he promoted the fields of affective and emphatic computing to the human-computer interaction community in the Philippines. He shared his technical knowledge in such advanced fields through focused consultations.

Dr. Romero, a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland in College Park concluded his service on Sept. 15. He held a lecture series on Organic Optoelectronics and Solar Energy Harvesting and Storage Technologies. He also established collaborative research on third generation solar energy harvesting and stage.

Balik Scientist refers to a science and technology expert who is a Filipino or a foreigner of Filipino descent, based abroad and contracted by the Philippine government through DOST to return and work in the country along his/her field of expertise.