Dr. Merlyn Mendioro apppointed as 9th IBS Director

by Ryan Pascual (Regulon)

Dr. Merlyn S. Mendioro,
9th IBS-UPLB Director

Photo: Facebook/A Cagalawan

Starting Midyear 2015, a new director takes the helm of the Institute of Biological Sciences. With her recent appointment, Dr. Merlyn S. Mendioro is the first Genetics and Molecular Biology Division (GMDB-IBS) professor and ninth faculty to hold the post. 

Dr. Mendioro started to teach in UPLB in 1985 and since then she has been greatly known for her discipline, diligence and dedication. She handles the general education course NASC4 (The World of Life), the Genetics course (BIO 30) and other advance Genetics courses in UPLB. In 2006, Dr. Mendioro was recoginzed as CAS and UPLB’s Most Outstanding Teacher in the Biological Sciences -  a recognition she first received in 1992. She was also one of the Ten Outstanding Young Scientist in 1995. In 2011, she was appointed UP Scientist 1 (2011-2013) under the University of the Philippines Scientific Productivity System. This was later renewed for another two years in 2014. 

IBS Directors from 1983-2015. In its 32 years of existence, eight faculty
members have headed the IBS. (Screen cap from IBS Institutional Video)

Aside from being a former head of the Genetics and Molecular Biology Division (GMDB-IBS), Dr. Mendioro is an honorary member and current senior adviser of The UPLB Genetics Society, and co-founding faculty adviser of  Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health (VYLH) - Philippines.

Dr. Mendioro with the members of The UPLB Genetics Society (c. 2014)
Selection and Transition

Early this year, the search committee was organized and headed by the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM-UPLB) Dean Dr. Loinda Baldrias. Candidates for directorship namely Dr. Mendioro and former Office of Student Affairs (OSA) Director Dr. Leticia Afuang of the Animal Biology Division, presented their mission and vision statement last May. In her presentation, Dr. Mendioro emphasized the need to maintain the AUN Accreditation and face the challenges of ASEAN integration. 

On the other hand, outgoing IBS Director Dr. Nina Cadiz was appointed as Head of the Office of Student Affairs. During her term (2012-2015), improvements were made among the Institute's laboratory rooms and facilities. Dr. Cadiz also ushered IBS to the celebration of its 30th Founding Anniversary in 2013. 

Another remarkable feat from her term is the four-year accreditation of the Bachelor of Science in Biology Program by the ASEAN University Network Quality Assurance System (AUN-QA) effective from February 2014 to 2018. According to a UP System OVPAA release, "the accreditation signifies that the UPLB BS Biology curriculum adheres to international academic standards, and it is at par with biology programs from other leading ASEAN universities within the network.  This is the first and so far the only AUN-QA accreditation for any BS Biology program in the Philippines" [1].

Last June 5, 2015, Dr. Mendioro facilitated an Institute-wide meeting as the Institute's Officer-in-Charge. The meeting was well attended by the faculty, REPS & staff from the Institute's five divisions, the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Laboratories, the Ecoinformatics Lab, the UPLB Bee Program and UPLB Limnological Station. 

About the IBS

The Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) was created on March 23, 1983, by virtue of Executive Order 889, which established a system of national centers of excellence in the basic sciences. It was organized from the existing staff of the former Departments of Botany, Life Sciences and Zoology.

Since it began its operation on December 1, 1983, the IBS has grown and become more mature, continuing its full support for instruction, research and extension for a nationwide and even international clientele. Today it holds the distinction of handling the largest number of courses and students in UPLB. In recognition of its leading role, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) confirmed its status as a Center of Excellence in Biology in 1999.

[1] "UPLB BS Biology Program Gets AUN-QA Standard Accreditation." Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs - University of the Philippines. Web. 13 June 2015.  
[2] Information about the Institute were obtained from the Institute's website (http://ibs.uplb.edu.ph).