Fauci lauds Pinoy scientists’ work in biomedical research, calls for gov’t support for R&D

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In photo: US Chief Presidential Medical Adviser and NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Photo from NIAID

Aware of the innovative efforts of the Filipino scientists despite limited financial support and funding from the government, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Chief Medical Adviser to President Joe Biden on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, lauded Filipino scientists for their work in the global advance of biomedical research.  Dr. Fauci, an American physician-scientist and immunologist, gave this remark during the 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting held by the Department of Science and Technology – National Academy of Science and Technology (DOST-NAST).   

In his keynote speech, Dr. Fauci commended the collaborative research done over the years between the Philippines and NIAID funded programs focusing on human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) and tuberculosis co-infections.  He cited the participation of the Philippines in multi-country networks which helped ensure Filipino scientists to be part of the core contributors in advancing biomedical discoveries that have made AIDS a preventable chronic disease.  

“Filipino scientists have helped lead the way in the studies of tuberculosis—particularly multi-drug resistance TB.  The work in the Regional Prospective Observational Research on Tuberculosis network has been especially important and promising,” related Dr. Fauci.  “With continuing support from the Philippine Department of Science and Technology, the Philippines is sure to make significant contributions to the global fight against TB.”  

Dr. Fauci also highlighted the key role of Philippine institutions in infectious diseases research in dengue, malaria and other infectious pathogens. In particular, he lauded the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine that receive NIAID funding in the past as a center of excellence in research in tropical medicine.  

“Hopefully, this institution and others will continue to receive Philippine government support so that they will remain competitive for both funding and talent,” shared Dr. Fauci.   “Given its track record, I also can foresee great value in the Philippines expanding its scientific leadership role in the Asia Pacific region.”

The Philippines, through the DOST is set to be a co-host in the upcoming 2022 Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Pacific Rim conference along with the US NIH and  Japan’s Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).  The event is expected to strengthen the long-standing global scientific partnership and highlight the continuing commitment of the Philippines to the research enterprise worldwide.  

The DOST-NAST Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier gathering of the Philippine science community. Public- and private-sector institutions and stakeholders convene to formulate science-based recommendations for the President and Cabinet members.   For this year’s Annual Scientific Meeting with the theme: Covid19 Pandemic: Learning from the Past, Coping with the Present, Moving to the Next, the NAST aims to identify

the existing gaps and problems in health care delivery and health infrastructure that are critical in the development and implementation of strategic programs to confront the pandemic . The global crisis has   affected all of the countries of the world, impacting on all sectors  of society and global, regional and global recovery can only be possible with a whole of society approach and accelerated through collaborations and partnerships of countries, in solidarity.