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STEM careers urgently needed post-pandemic, say former DOST-SEI scholars

Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) can be fulfilling and purposeful endeavors, according to graduate scholars of the Department of Science and Technology — Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI) who are now working at the forefront of COVID-19 research in the Philippines.
Dr. Sheriah de Paz-Silava and Dr. John Carlo Malabad kicked off the 2021 National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) celebration with an online STEM Career Talk on November 22 entitled "Building A Future of Resiliency Through Health Research and Development" under the DOST-SEI's #Push4Science initiative.
Both Scholar-Graduates are products of the University of the Philippines (UP) — Manila's Doctor of Medicine — PhD in Molecular Medicine (MD-PhD) double degree program under the ASTHRDP, which shaped their careers in the disciplines of virology and infectious disease epidemiology.
"Hindi ko na-imagine maging scientist, but DOST molded me into one," said Dr. de Paz-Silava. An alumna of the Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus, Dr. de Paz-Silava graduated magna cum laude with a BS Biology degree from UP Diliman on a DOST Merit Scholarship. She then became an ASTHRDP scholar at the UP Manila College of Medicine, where she obtained her MD-PhD in 2019 with support from the DOST-PCHRD.
Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the UP College of Public Health (UP-CPH) and serves as the laboratory manager of its Virology Laboratory. She is currently working with the UP Manila COVID-19 Research Initiative, and also serves as a technical reviewer in several clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines.
"It's one thing to live, and another thing to live with purposeā€¦It's an opportunity to serve the Filipino nation," said Dr. Malabad. He is now an Assistant Scientist at the DOST Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD). When the pandemic hit, he volunteered as a responder and laboratorian at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. He was among the first batch of doctor-scientists in the MD-PhD program. He was also a runner-up in the BPI-DOST Science Awards and a recipient of the DOST-SEI Career Incentive Program (CIP).
"I hope you find that joy and purpose in living not just for yourselves but for the country," Dr. de Paz-Silava concluded.
The DOST-SEI STEM Career Talk is anchored on the 2021 NSTW's theme, "Agham at Teknolohiya: Tugon sa Hamon ng Panahon." (DOST)

Last Modified: 2021-Nov-30 15.08.44 UTC+0800