Saturday, July 26, 2014

GeneSoc Alumna recognized as one of "Yolanda" First Responders

Written by Ryan Pascual (Regulon)

GeneSoc alumna Dr. Sylvia Briones-de Guzman (F1)
receiving the award from Health Secretary Ona
(Photo: Department of Health)

PASAY CITY - The Department of Health (DOH) through its Health Emergency Management Office recognized the efforts exerted by local government units, local health teams and volunteers who have assisted in the relief and recovery of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). 

Yolanda, the strongest typhoon in recent Philippine history, made landfall on November 2013. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 6,201 casualties, 27,665 injured and 1,785 missing persons were reported. It is estimated that about 11 million people have been affected and left homeless after the typhoon. 

In a ceremony dubbed as the "Awarding of the Unsung Heroes", one of the recognized first responders was GeneSoc alumna Dr. Sylvia Briones-de Guzman (F1). Dr. Sylvia de Guzman is the City Health Officer (CHO) of Calbayog, Samar. She received the award together with Mayor Ronald Aquino and  former City Chief of Police PSupt. Elmer Cinco. The three represented the City Government of Calbayog which was recognized for being the first to bring complete response and relief to Tacloban.

According to the report by the Leyte-Samar Daily Express, Dr. de Guzman's team provided emergency and basic medical and surgical services when they manned Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC). After Tacloban, the team proceeded to other Yolanda-hit areas like Marabut, Basey, Albuera, Capoocan and Tanauan. 

(2) Catalan, A.(18 July 2014) DOH to recognize Calbayognons' heroism as "Yolanda" first responders. Leyte-Samar Daily Express
(3) Photo: WarayBayaay Facebook Page

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Gamalinda bags Carnegie Mellon Research Award

2014 MCS Education and Research Awardees
Michael Gamalinda, Kelsey Hallinen and Emily Weiss
(Photo: Carnegie Mellon College of Science)
by Ryan Pascual (Regulon)

PENNSYLVANIA, USA - The Mellon College of Science (MCS) recently presented its awards for education and research during its 2014 Annual Faculty Meeting. Winners included Michael Gamalinda, Kelsey Hallinen, Emily Daniels Weiss, Anindita Das and Qin Gao.

One of the awards given was the Guy C. Berry Graduate Research Award, which encourages and recognizes excellence in research by MCS graduate students. The 2014 recipient of the said award was Mr. Michael Gamalinda.

Michael completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, USA. The UP Los Baños alumnus (BS Biology major in Genetics) graduated summa cum laude and class valedictorian in 2007. He is also a proud alumnus of The UPLB Genetics Society (Batch Polygenes) where he served as the organization's  Education Committee Head during his last year in college.

With collaborators in Spain, China and Germany, Gamalinda completed his research work at the laboratory of Professor John Woolford. According to the Mellon College of Science (MCS) website, Gamalinda's research focused on gaining a clear picture of how ribosomes assemble. Made of 79 proteins and four RNA molecules, ribosomes translate the information encoded in RNA into proteins.

"Ribosomal proteins interact with ribosomal RNA (rRNA) in a step-by-step process to build a ribosome. Gamalinda used genetic tools to deplete a specific r protein and then watches to see what steps in assembly fail to occur properly. While a typical graduate student’s thesis might involve studying in-depth the function of one or two proteins, Gamalina has investigated the functions of more than 30 different r proteins. He discovered how the different r proteins bind to rRNA as assembly proceeds and how those associations affect binding of other r proteins and assembly factors as well as the overall structural organization of the assembling ribosome. ”Michael’s thesis project has significantly advanced our understanding of the framework of ribosome assembly,” Woolford wrote in a letter nominating Gamalinda for the award." Excerpt from the MCS website.

Read the Full Paper: Gamalinda, M., Ohmayer U, Jakovljevic J, Kumcuoglu B, Woolford J, Mbom B, Lin L, and Woolford JL Jr. 2014. A hierarchical model for assembly of eukaryotic 60S ribosomal subunit domains. Genes & Development 28:198-210.
Carnegie Mellon College of Science. 2014. MCS students earn education and research awards.