Tuesday, October 5, 2010

U.P. Marine Science Institute scientists meet with UPMASAns on Dengue and 21st Century Health Sciences Center

By Silverio Cabellon, Jr., M.D.

UPMASANS (University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society in America) met on October 3, 2010 with Scientists from the Marine Science Institute of U.P. Diliman to possibly open funding opportunities for the development of a Dengue Vaccine.

Dr. Giselle Concepcion and Dr. Eduardo Padlan were met by Dr. Nerita Ulep, Dr. Abraham Rasul Jr., Dr. Fe Lacbawan, Dr. Francis Sy and Dr. Silverio Cabellon, Jr. at the Benjarong Restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. Present also were Philip Lacbawan and Colette Cabellon. Three topics were discussed. The first was the potential for a more specific diagnosis of the serotype of Dengue. The second was the use of the protein core of the Dengue virus protein envelope as the potential antigen for a Dengue Vaccine. And the third was the logistics and funding of a 21st Century University of the Philippines Health Sciences Center.

Through the earnings of the PHI KAPPA MU Permanent Endowment Fund in UPMASA, $2000 was invested in the development of a protocol for a Dengue Vaccine in 2008. The protocol is awaiting execution pending evidential efficacy of the use of the protein core of H1N1 Influenza virus as antigen for a vaccine in influenza. The protein core technology would be similar to Dengue. Dr. Padlan invented the protein core technology. Because the execution of the protocol requires funding to the amount of $400,000 avenues were discussed for possible funding in the United Status. It will require collaboration with scientists here. The possible funding opportunities discussed were Filipino Philanthropists, the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research , the Center for Disease Control, the NIH, the Bill Gates Foundation and the World Bank.

The evolution of the National Science Complex in Diliman was also discussed. A 21st Century Health Sciences Center which is an UPMASA initiative would follow the logistics treaded by scientists of the

Philippine American Academy of Scientists and Engineers (PAASE) in lobbying the Philippine President and Congress for support and funding. The National Science Complex was funded by FilipinoTaxpayer money to the amount of PhP 1.5 billion. A group with credibility such as UPMASA would be needed to support the idea of a 21st Century Health Sciences Center similar to the National Science Complex.

(Silverio Cabellon, Jr., M.D., UPCM72A is the Chair of the Board of Governors of UPMASA)

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