The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (DBMB) is a dynamic basic science department in the College of Medicine, UP Manila. Its highly qualified faculty is made up of both non-medical experts with Doctor of Philosophy degrees (PhD) as well as clinicians with Masters (MSc) and Doctorate degrees as well with diverse clinical specialties and subspecialties. It espouses superior academic performance among its medical and graduate students in the fields of biochemistry, molecular cell biology and genetics.
DBMD enjoys relevance in this current burgeoning era of biotechnology and molecular medicine. It is a leading and acknowledged provider of graduate education in Biochemistry in the country through its Masters and PhD programs. The faculty has also influenced much of the teaching of biochemistry in medical schools through the biochemical societies it has helped established.
The Department also endeavors in numerous student and faculty-led researches through grants from the University and other premier funding agencies. It continues to aggressively enhance its laboratory facilities and staff through capacity and capability building, driven by adopting a strategic view of the country’s research agenda.
A community of scholars highly competent in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology with a heightened social consciousness; imbued with moral, ethical and spiritual vigor; dedicated to a life of learning; committed to the development of Philippine society; inspired by love, compassion and respect for the dignity of human life; and anchored on the principles of truth, freedom, justice, love of country and the democratic way of life.
Guided by moral, ethical and spiritual values, we commit ourselves to excellence and leadership in community-oriented medical education, research and service, using the primary health care approach, intended especially for the underserved.
After creation of the Philippine Medical School in 1905, renamed later as the College of Medicine in 1910 becoming a part of the University of the Philippines, the then Department of Physiology offered a course entitled Physiological Chemistry and the Physiology of Nutrition in 1914. This course provided the initial seeds to grow what will then become a standalone Biochemistry course. Thereafter, in 1922, the Department was named the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry.
In 1953, during the term of Dr Emilio Bulatao, the Department of Biochemistry was separated. Its first head was Dr. Juan Salcedo, Jr. The building which now houses the Department of Biochemistry, along with the Department of Physiology and the Department of Pharmacology – Salcedo Hall – is named after him. Dr Salcedo was the Secretary of the Department of Health from September 1950 to May 1954. Among his various achievements was being one of the original Board of Trustees and incorporator of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement.
Upon the end of the term of Dr. Salcedo, Dra Solita F Camara-Besa, MSc became the head of the Department. She is the first Filipina to specialize in Biological Chemistry (Biochemistry) and remained Chair from 1957 to 1980. During her term, the Department started to offer an MS in Biochemistry degree. Various grants were likewise obtained from the Rockefeller Foundation, the China Medical Board of New York, Inc. and United Laboratories. These helped to fund the research projects being done already even at that time. Dra Camara-Besa led studies on the cholesterol levels in diets of a variety of segments of the Filipino people.
The graduate program received a further boost when Dr Baldomero Olivera, PhD came as Visiting Professor in 1968. Dr. Baldomero was a graduate of UP in 1960 and received his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in Biophysical Chemistry in 1966.
When Dra Camara-Besa retired in 1980, Dr Lourdes Cruz, PhD took over and was Chair until 1986. During her term, the Department continued to pursue various research activities. Dr Cruz was a recipient of various awards in research during her term in the Department, including NAST Outstanding Young Scientist Award, (1981), NRCP Achievement Award in Chemistry (1982) and Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service Award (Biochemistry) in 1986. It was also under the term of Dr Cruz when the Department was renamed in 1981 as the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology to more accurately describe its teaching and research programs. The Certificate in Biochemistry and the PhD in Biochemistry programs were also created in 1983 and 1985, respectively.
The Department offers a course in the Medical Degree (MD) program of the UP College of Medicine by way of a course OS 201 Human Cell Biology. This is offered in the first semester of LU 3. A key innovation in this course is the Interactive Integrative Learning Experience (IILE) started in 2004 as a blended learning exercise.
The Solita Camara-Besa Award of Excellence in Biochemistry is given to an outstanding LU 3 student who excels and shows vibrant enthusiasm in the field of Biochemistry, exhibits exemplary leadership in the group research and in the Interactive Integrative Learning Exercises or IILE and inspires the faculty and his peers.
The Department also offers an elective Biochem 297 Seminars in Biochemistry for LU 4 students.
In addition, the Department also offers strong graduate programs in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Further information may be obtained by clicking the links indicated below:
Certificate in Biochemistry (http://ngohs.upm.edu.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MSBio.pdf)
MS in Biochemistry (http://ngohs.upm.edu.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MSBio.pdf)
PhD in Biochemistry (http://ngohs.upm.edu.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/PhDBio.pdf)
First row (L to R): Dr Gracia Fe B Yu, Dr Mia C Fojas, Dr Joven Q. Tanchuco, Dr Nicole L Sanchez, Dr. Leslie M Dalmacio
Second row (L to R): Ms. Rebelyn Gregorio, Dr. Neil Tan Gana, Dr. Paul Mark B Medina, Ms. Kat Cruz
Third row (L to R): Dr. Frank M Heralde, Dr Salvador C Caoili
Fourth row (L to R): Dr. Nemencio A. Nicodemus, Dr. Allan L. Hilario, Dr. Tammy dela Rosa, Mr. Ryan Abella, Mr. Angel Arroyo
|Joven Q. Tanchuco, MD, MHA, FPCP, FPCCP Professor and Chair||Biochemistry, Hospital Administration, Medical Publishing Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine|
|Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio, MSc, PhD Professor and Vice-Chair for Graduate Programs||Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology|
|Nemencio A. Nicodemus, Jr., MD, FPCP, FPSEM Professor and Vice-Chair for Medical Programs||Biochemistry Internal Medicine, Endocrinology|
|Francisco M. Heralde III, RN, MSc, PhD Professor and Vice Chair for Research||Biochemistry, Molecular Biology (Toxinology)|
|Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili, MD, PhD Professor||Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics|
|Carlo G. Catabijan, MD, MHPS, DPBA Associate Professor||Biochemistry, Health Policy Anesthesiology|
|Tammy dela Rosa, MD, MSc, FPOA Associate Professor||Biochemistry, Molecular Biology Orthopedics|
|Allan L. Hilario, MD, MHA, MSc, FPCS Associate Professor||Biochemistry, Hospital Administration General Surgery|
|Paul Mark B. Medina, MSc, PhD Professor||Biochemistry, Genetics, Cell Biology, Neuroscience|
|Gracia Fe B. Yu, MSc, PhD Professor||Biochemistry, Nutritional Biochemistry, Natural Products|
|Neil H. Tan Gana, MSc, PhD Associate Professor||Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, RNA interference, NGS Bioinformatics|
|Nicole Angelique L. Sanchez, MSc, RMicro Assistant Professor||Molecular Biology, Microbiology|
|Jose B. Nevado, Jr, MD, PhD Research Professor (Institute of Human Genetics, NIH)||Biochemistry, Molecular Biology Internal Medicine|
|Rhodora C. Estacio, MSc, PhD Professorial Lecturer||Biochemistry, Education, Medical Ethics|
|Albert R. Tiotuyco, MD, FPOHNS Clinical Associate Professor||Biochemistry Otorhinolaryngology|
|Mia C. Fojas, MD, FPCP, FPSEM Senior Lecturer||Biochemistry Internal Medicine, Endocrinology|
Biological Models Laboratory
Head: Paul Mark B. Medina, PhD
The conduct of experimental research in order to understand normal and/or pathological human conditions is complex and fraught with technical, logistical and ethical issues. An alternative approach to studying humans directly is the use of animal models. BML employs various model organisms to answer diverse biological and biomedical questions that relate to humans. Although the lab specializes in using Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, it has also worked with varied microbial organisms, daphnia, planaria, and mosquitos to name a few. BML tackles several areas of research that include, but not limited to, neuroscience, aging, cancer, microbiota, nutraceuticals, infectious diseases and metabolic dysfunctions.
Biomedical Innovations Research for Translational Health Science (BIRTHS) Laboratory
Head: Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili, MD, PhD
Representative research initiatives:
- Compositions and methods for probing and/or controlling biochemical mechanisms relating to processes of blood coagulation and humoral immunity, for investigating and/or modulating said processes for health applications
- Use of epitope-modifying chemical crosslinking agents to produce surface-binding antigenic constructs for epitope-specific antibody detection
- Collection and archiving of patient sera and plasma for immunochemical analysis to detect antibodies against infectious pathogens (with principal investigator at Makati Medical Center and collaborators at UP Manila [Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine and Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Public Health] and University of San Agustin [Center for Informatics] in Iloilo)
Representative research/laboratory methods/tools:
- TRIZ/TIPS (Teoriya Resheniya Izobretatelskih Zadach/Theory of Inventive Problem Solving)
- Bioinformatics (e.g., immunoinformatics for epitope prediction/peptide design)
- Protein/peptide polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE)
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
- Hemolysis assays for complement function
Head: Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio, MSc, PhD
The Genomics laboratory is developing novel technologies for classifying the un-annotated genes into broad functional categories. This laboratory has been the training ground for undergraduate and graduate students who work in interested genes. The laboratory aims to collaborate with biologists in the design of novel experiments that can be coupled with innovative computational analysis and modeling in order to improve understanding of gene function.
Molecular Diagnostics and Multi-omics Laboratory (MDML)
Head: Francisco M. Heralde, III, MSc, PhD
This laboratory conducts research and development on low-cost molecular diagnostics and cell-based therapeutics for infectious diseases and cancer in collaboration with the Molecular Diagnostics and Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory of the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP). MDML is also involved in molecular toxinology research on venomous gastropods and seaweed polysaccharides in collaboration with the UP-Marine Sciences Institute and De LaSalle University. It is also involved in glycoproteomics research for cancer biomarkers and natural products as anti-cancer in collaboration with UPLB.
The laboratory is a hub and training ground for various molecular procedures, e.g. DNA and RNA isolation, Real Time-PCR, cDNA library construction, gene cloning, molecular phylogenetic analysis, gene expression analysis, metabolomics and cell-based assays. It is actively engaged in diverse bioinformatic projects such as T-cell epitope prediction, molecular interactions and docking of HLA to T-cell receptor in collaboration with LCP.
The laboratory has three sections under it:
- Metabolomics and Mass Spectrometry Section that maintains the Waters Xevo-G2 UPLC-QTOF
- Non-Infectious Tissue and Cell Culture Section that maintains BSL3 cabinets, CO2 incubator and fluorescence microscope
- Infectious Tissue and Cell Culture Section that maintains BSL3 cabinets, CO2 incubator and light microscope for cell-based infectious agent research including viral plaque assays
Ongoing Research Project
Glycoproteomics of Filipino Lung Cancer Cell Line for Biomarker Discovery and Anti-Cancer Screening of Natural Products;
Co Investigators: Ruel Nacario UPLB, Gladys Completo UPLB, Isagani Padolina, Pascual Pharma; 2017-2020
Natural Products Laboratory (NPL)
Head: Gracia Fe B. Yu, MSc, PhD
This laboratory conducts bioassay-guided techniques for the isolation, purification and characterization of bioactive phytochemicals/enzymes from endemic/indigenous plant materials or other natural products. Both in-vitro and in-vivo methods are used to determine the activity/efficacy of the plant extracts/pure compounds isolated. It has made a significant output in the characterization of the pure compounds with anti-inflammatory activity derived from plant food of an indigenous community and in anti-dengue-related researches. Moreover, it conducts assessment of the bioactivities (e.g. Antioxidant, mutagenic property, anti-hyperglycemia, anti-inflammation) of plant foods consumed by locals in the different regions of the Philippines. NPL has extensive collaborations with the Michigan State University (USA), Academia Sinica (Taiwan), Chang Jung Christian University (Taiwan), UP Diliman and UP Los Banos. The laboratory is also a hub for undergraduate, graduate and medical students actively engaged in their natural products research.
Translational Research Laboratory (TRULab)
Head: Jose B. Nevado, Jr., MD, PhD
- Quantitative molecular signatures and predictors of leptospirosis and the development of its complications using gene expression markers and pathway analyses
- Quantitative molecular signatures and predictors of sepsis and the development of its complications using gene expression markers and pathway analyses
- Evaluation of plasma therapy for retarding progression and preventing complications in COVID-19
- Polymerase chain reaction
- Quantitative PCR
- DNA/RNA extraction
- Microarray processing
- Gel electrophoresis
|Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili, MD, PhDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Carlo G. Catabijan, MD, MHAPSemail@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio, MSc, PhDemail@example.com|
|Tammy L. dela Rosa, MD, MSc, FPOAfirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com|
|Rhodora C. Estacio, MSc, PhDfirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com|
|Mia C. Fojas, MD, FPCP, FPSEMfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Francisco M. Heralde III, RN, MSc, PhDemail@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Allan L. Hilario, MD, MHA, MSc, FPCSemail@example.com|
|Jose B. Nevado Jr., MD, PhDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Paul Mark B. Medina, MSc, PhDemail@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nemencio A. Nicodemus Jr., MD, FPCP, FPSEMemail@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Nicole Angelique L. Sanchez, RMicro, MScemail@example.com|
|Joven Q. Tanchuco, MD, MHA, FPCP, FPCCPfirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com|
|Neil H. Tan Gana, MSc, PhDfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Albert R. Tiotuyco, MD, FPOHNSemail@example.com|
|Gracia Fe B. Yu, MSc, PhDfirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com|
|Admin and REPS||Email address|
|Ryan Jay S. Abellafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Angelito E. Arroyoemail@example.com|
|Maria Katrina Diana M. Cruzfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Rebelyn M. Gregorioemail@example.com|
|35||Joven Jeremius Tanchuco|
|878||Salvador Eugenio Caoili|