Monday, June 12, 2017

Straight to Calderon Hall: Morel Dominic Umipon (Proteasome) qualifies for UP College of Medicine

By: Sean Santos (Hybrizyme)

Morel Dominic Umipon during the Joint Scholars
Convocation of  The International Honor Societies
On August 1, Morel Dominic Umipon will be starting off his 1st day as a medical student of the UP College of Medicine when he heads toward the Calderon Hall, the main building of the prestigious medical school. He, together with other medical students of Class 2022, will be conquering another series of studies that would prepare him to be a next generation doctor. And in a few months, he again will be bringing books, posting note cards, and pulling all-nighters to study the lessons he would one day depend on, including his future patients.

His experience in applying for UPCM

When Umipon applied for UPCM, he wasn’t really aware of the deadlines and requirements in medical schools. He has just overheard that the deadline was very near and so, he submitted his requirements within the last days of the process. When he passed his application, he was just continuously praying, hoping that his submission would at least be accepted.

Weeks after, while he and Vincent Kua Lunario (Riboswitch) were eating at a restaurant, news came in that the latter qualified for the interview when someone texted him. Though Umipon was proud for the latter’s feat, he was also anxious that he might never be able to study at UPCM.  Fortunately, he received a text telling him that he also qualified for the interview. At that point, he was not able to focus in reviewing for his upcoming exam out of deep joy and sheer astonishment.

On the interview day, Umipon admitted that he was really anxious of what would happen since he  admitted that he doesn’t know how to respond to questions that are either personal or opinionated, though he was excellent in the academic ones. When his turn came, he tried to calm himself as he sat down. As what he expected, he was asked a series of personal questions. He felt afterwards that he has not given the exact answers to the questions, and this saddened him. He thought he would not pass the interview and he felt sorry for his beloved mother who hopes he would have a chance to qualify.

Days have passed when, out of nowhere, he got a news from his friend that he qualified for UPCM. Surprised with what he learned, he was somehow teary-eyed and delighted at the same time. His dream that he only thought of is already a reality that he can see. His five-year path is already cleared for him.

His plans after med school

Once he pass the licensure exam, Umipon plans to specialize in Internal Medicine because he wants to help his family and relatives who were, in the first place, one of his inspirations in taking the medical track. He also desires to work in a public hospital since he wants to provide medical care for the underprivileged. He also added that he desires to work as a barrio doctor especially in his mother’s hometown in Zamboanga because he feels that it is there where his service would be of utmost help to the people who live far-off from the city. Lastly, he wants to setup his own clinic, a thing which he and his mother dream to have.

His achievements

For two straight years (2015 and 2016), Umipon ranked 3rd among his batch in the roster of the Top CAS Outstanding Students. He is also a member of the International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Phi Sigma Biological Honor Sciences Society for his exemplary performance in academics. In fact, during the first semester of the Academic Year 2016-2017, he was able to obtain a GWA of flat 1.00 while having a full load. He is presumed to have a distinction of magna cum laude once he graduates.

His leadership

Umipon handled some key roles in the organization. In 2015, when he first joined GeneSoc, he started out as a Projects Committee member. He was then appointed as the Head of the Medicine and Supplies Committee of the Medical Mission the next year. And, in the Academic Year 2016-2017, he became part of the Executive Committee when he was elected as the Education Committee Head.

When asked about his hopes he said, “Although my journey is just about to start, for me, my duty is not as grand as to save everyone in this world from cancer, but to save individual life, one after the other”.

He also wishes that there will come a time when, “…death is not the only choice for sick people”.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Next Initiator: Rozel Razal as the new president of GeneSoc

By: Sean Santos (Hybrizyme)

Rozel B. Razal poses for the photoshoot of Genetics Week 2016
LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA -- All roads are now paved for Rozel B. Razal (Batch Aptamers) who was recently elected as the new president of The UPLB Genetics Society for the Academic Year 2017-2018.

In her term, Razal aims to promote the themes, “Stability in Mobility” and “Passion for Excellence” as stated in her GPOA.

She envisions GeneSoc to be a premier organization in terms of high-quality, socially relevant activities and well-rounded healthy members. She also foresees the Executive Committee as the “driving force” that would lead the organization in attaining unity.

For her plans, she wants to sustain and even exceed the quality of GeneSoc’s activities. She also desires the organization to be a community where age and gender are not discriminated and respect among the members are given prime importance.

The other nominees for the presidential post were Marie Alessandra T. Reyes (Batch Casposons) and Leann F. Suiton (Batch Cyclosome).

Get to know Rozel Razal

Rozel Razal is an incoming 4th year student currently taking up BS Biology – Major in Cell and Molecular Biology.

She was appointed as the Sponsorships Committee Head of PalaCASan 2016, a semester-long sports activity. She was also the Medicines Committee Head of the Medical Mission of GeneSoc for two straight years.

Razal also excelled in the academic arena. In fact, she was named as one of the Top CAS Outstanding Students in 2015 and 2016, ranking 3rd and 4th, respectively.  She was also recently inducted as a new member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society for being part of the top 7.5% of the junior students of the University.

Her team of officers
The newly-inducted officers of The UPLB Genetics Society for the Academic Year 2017-2018 poses for a photo after the Induction Ceremony held in Anilao, Batangas. 
Razal would be joined by the new set of officers who would also lead the organization for the Academic Year 2017-2018. Her team would be comprised of: Marie Alessandra T. Reyes (Casposons) as the Vice-President and Membership Committee Head, Ma. Katrina Dela Peña (Casposons) as the Secretary and Documentation Committee Head, Hannah S. De Jesus (Cyclosome) as the Treasurer and Finance Committee Head, Ahllyzzia Irish A. Montifar (Hybrizyme) as the Public Relations Officer and Public Relations Committee Head, Joana Marie C. Cruz (Cyclosome) as the Education Committee Head, Sean Timothy B. Gacutan (Helitron) as the Projects Committee Head, Ivan Matthew E. Tolentino (Aptamers) as the Publicity Committee Head, Uriah Z. Pancho (Replichore) as Technicals Committee Head and Sean Lemuel L. Santos (Hybrizyme) as the GENEWS Editor-In-Chief, Leann F. Suiton (Cyclosome) as the NIGQC Committee Head, Cherlstin Grace E. Balisi (Replichore) as the Genetics Camp Committee Head, Michelia Merrill Linne D. Malabrigo (Hybrizyme) as the Outreach Committee Head and Joshua E. Hernandez (Riboswitch) as the VYLH Committee Head.

In her term, Razal hopes that the objectives of the organization would be continuously met and that the works of GeneSoc would always be done for the welfare of the people. For her members, she wants them to grow as well-rounded and healthy individuals who would work in a supportive and healthy atmosphere.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

GeneSoc members among the newly inducted members of Phi Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies

By: The GENEWS Team

Eight members of The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) attended the induction ceremonies of the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society last May 13, 2017 at the National Institute of Physics, UP Diliman, Quezon City, and the International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the New College of Arts and Sciences Auditorium, UPLB last May 24.
New Phi Sigma Members                   

Newly-inducted members of the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society (L-R: Vincent Kua D.O. Lunario, Rency J. Raquid, Paul Jhon P. Diezon, Pamela Ysabel B. Mendoza, Mary Faith Y. Adan, Rochelle B. Sarmiento)
Mary Faith Y. Adan
Faith of Batch Proteasome is a BS Biology major in Microbiology Student. She has been a member of GeneSoc’s Documentation Committee since she became part of the organization. Aside from Phi Sigma, she has recently been inducted as a senior member of The International Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi last May 24.

Shaira F. Bañega
A BS Agricultural Biotechnology major in Crop Biotechnology student, Shaira (Batch Polylinker) led the Awards Committee of the two major activities of GeneSoc— the 2015 National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest (NIGQC) and 2016 Genetics Camp. 

Paul Jhon P. Diezon
Paul Jhon (Batch Phagemids), a BS Biology major in Cell and Molecular Biology student, was recently awarded as one of the 2016 Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines. He has also been recognized as among the Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students in 2015 and 2016. Aside from Phi Sigma, PJ was also inducted as a junior member of Phi Kappa Phi last 2015.

Reinier John D. Grona
Reinier John of Batch Riboswitch majors in Cell and Molecular Biology under UPLB’s BS Biology program. He spearheaded GeneSoc’s Logistics and Accommodations Committee during the NIGQC in 2015.

Vincent Kua D.O. Lunario
A BS Biology major in Genetics student, Vincent (Batch Riboswitch) was the Logisitcs Committee Head during GeneSoc’s Medical Mission in 2016. He also served as the Technicals Committee Head of Genetics Camp 2016. He has also recently been inducted as a senior member of Phi Kappa Phi last May 24.

Pamela Ysabel B. Mendoza
Pamela of Batch Cyclosome is taking up BS Biology major in Zoology. She has been a member of GeneSoc’s Documentation Committee since she joined the organization. She is also a part of the UPLB Women’s Football Varsity.

Rency J. Raquid
Majoring in Plant Biology, Rency (Batch Riboswitch) served as GeneSoc's Documentation Committee Head (AY 2015-2016) and NIGQC Steering Committee Head (AY 2016-2017).

Rochelle B. Sarmiento
Taking up BS Biology major in Genetic, Rochelle (Batch Polylinker) was among the 2015 and 2016 Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students. She was also the former Outreach Committee Head and the current Public Relations Committee Head of GeneSoc. Apart from Phi Sigma, she was also inducted as a junior member of Phi Kappa Phi last 2016.

New Phi Kappa Phi Members

Newly-inducted Phi Kappa Phi members
(L-R: Vincent Lunario, Rozel Razal, and Faith Adan)
Being elected to membership of The International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi this year are Faith Adan, Vincent Lunario, and Rozel Razal.

Rozel B. Razal
Rozel (Batch Aptamers) headed the 2016 Sponsorhips Committee of PalaCASan and the Committee for Medicines during the 2016 Medical Mission. She was also recognized as part of the 2015 and 2016 Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students. This AY 2017-2018, Rozel is set to lead the organization as she has recently been elected as the President/Executive Committee Head of GeneSoc.

2015 and 2016 Phi Kappa Phi Inductees of GeneSoc

Paul Jhon Diezon
PJ Diezon was elected to membership of The International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in 2015. Rochelle Sarmiento, Morel Dominic Umipon, and Heway Christian Serra, were among the inductees of Phi Kappa Phi in 2016.

Morel Dominic D. Umipon
Majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology, Morel Dominic of Batch Proteasome is the current Education Committee Head of GeneSoc. He was among the Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students in 2015 and 2016.

Heway Christian A. Serra
Heway (Batch Phagemids), who took up BS Agriculture Major in Agronomy, was the Technicals Committee Head of NIGQC in 2014. Aside from Phi Kappa Phi, he was also inducted as a member of Phi Sigma in 2016.

Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society

An international honor society in the biological sciences devoted to the promotion of research and academic excellence, Phi Sigma was founded on March 1915 at the Ohio State University in Columbia, Ohio. The Alpha Chi Chapter was established through the efforts of the late Dr. Gregorio T. Velasquez with membership in the American Association of College Honor Societes and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Members of Phi Sigma are expected to maintain high scholarship, promote active research, and acquaint others with results of worthy achievements in the biological field.

The International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi is among the oldest and most respected academic honor societies with more than 1 million members in its global network. Membership to this honor society is highly competitive and is by invitation only, requiring nomination and approval by the respective chapters of the honor society. Those invited to membership include the upper 10% of seniors and 7.5% of juniors, outstanding graduate students, faculty, administrators, professional staff and alumni.
 The University of the Philippines Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Chapter 045, was installed on January 17, 1933 by 14 scholars. The chapter has almost 9,000 members to date.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Genetics Camp 2017: Marking A New Goal for Sustainable Development

By Jerard Monge (Riboswitch)

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA – Hosted by The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc), co-organized by Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems and co-presented by 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines, Genetics Camp 2017 was held last March 3 to 5 at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UP CFNR).

With the theme “Sustaining the Indi-GENEous: Amplifying Forest Genetics for Glocal Climate Change Resiliency,” GeneSoc brought together young scientists, innovators and environmentalists on the 12th installment of Genetics Camp. This year, GeneSoc, furthered its aim of promoting the creative appreciation of genetics by introducing two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 15, Life on Land, during the camp.

Timely and relevant talks by environmental advocates and scientists at the top of their field highlighted this year’s Genetics Camp. Among the speakers during the 3-day event were highly revered UP CFNR professors including Dr. Lerma S.J. Maldia, Dr. Enrique L. Tolentino and Dr. Wilfredo Carandang. Joining them is the Executive Director of the Young Environmental Forum, Engr. Ludwig O. Federigan. Ten different schools from various parts of the Philippines competed in a number of individual and group competitions such as the Inter-High School Genetics Quiz Contest, Essay Writing Contest, Poster-Slogan Making Contest, Advocacy Speech, Debate and the new addition for this year’s contests, the Search for the Young Geneticist of the Year.

Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus bested the ten competing schools, copping their 4th consecutive overall championship title since 2014, followed by Philippine Science High School Bicol Region Campus and University of Santo Tomas Senior High School, earning their place as the 2nd and 3rd overall winners, respectively, of Genetics Camp 2017. Bernabe Angel D. Salazar from Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus was selected as the Young Geneticist of the Year. The search is an effort of GeneSoc in sustaining the goals of the camp by selecting delegates who could best represent and lead the activities for the greater appreciation of genetics in their schools.

Apart from the individual and group competitions, the participants, together with their teachers, also had a chance to make new friends with unforgettable activities such as the Cultural Festival, Search for Mr. and Ms. Genetics Camp 2017 and Amazing Race to the Forest. The participants also brought home newfound knowledge and skills from the Capacity Building organized by the 2030 Youth Force of the Philippines and from tours at the Museum of Natural History, Makiling Botanic Gardens and the CFNR Forest Genetics Lab. The new and innovative activities for this year’s Genetics Camp were powered by the Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST – PCAARRD). 

Genetics Camp 2017 would like to thank the Philippine Council for Agriculture (PCC), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR – ERDB) and the event’s advocacy partner, Detox Pilipinas. The national event would also like to extend its gratitude to Asshulz and Pinoy Catalyst for their media coverage.#

For the complete list of winners, visit our website.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Proactive Kabilin: Connecting Generations Through Preconception Health

By Liabel Pena (Casposons)
Team Proactive Kabilin . From L to R: Ms. Aster Lynn Sur, Liabel Pena, Jeanne Ruth Basas, Jedidiah Sarmiento,
Angelica Obrador, Dr. Christian Gomez (Program Manager, Ideas Positive) (Photo: Ideas Positive/Unilab Foundation)

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Los Baños Chapter (VYLH-LB) as Team Proactive Kabilin, earned a finalist spot in Unilab Foundation’s 7th Ideas Positive Run last February 7 to 11, 2017 during the Boot Camp held in Ace Hotel, Mandaluyong City.

The team comprised of members from four of seven partner organizations of VYLH-LB: Maria Liabel Peña, current VYLH-LB coordinator and VYLH Committee Head of The UPLB Genetics Society, Jeanne Ruth Basas, team leader of Team Proactive Kabilin, from Philippine Association of Nutrition Alpha Omega Chapter, Jedidiah Sarmiento from The UP Community Broadcasters’ Society Inc., and Angelica Obrador from the first community partner of VYLH-LB, the Rotaract Club of Los Banos; under the mentorship of Aster Lynn Sur, RN from UP Manila and VYLH. The project was aptly entitled Kabilin Kalusugan for LB Nanays. “Kabilin” is a bisayan term translated as “legacy,” which was also the batchname of the teammates during the VYLH’s first NCR-South Luzon Cluster Youth Camp last October 2016.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

GeneSoc’s K4Health Project among the finalists in 14th TAYO Awards

Photo: Ten Accomplished Youth Organization (TAYO) Foundation 
By Rency Raquid (Riboswitch)

MANILA – The UPLB Genetics Society landed on the Top 20 of this year’s Search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) of the Philippines courtesy of its project, K4Health: Kabataan for Health – Kabataang Kabalikat ng Komunidad Para Sa Kalusugan. 

The prestigious search, dubbed as the “FAMAS Awards” of youth organizations, was organized by TAYO Awards Foundation Inc., National Youth Commission, Offices of the Senator Bam Aquino and Senator Francis Pangilinan and has been running for fourteen (14) years already. The K4Health Project of the organization was among the 443 entries from different organizations across the archipelago which undergone the rigorous process of field validation and panel deliberations before clinching a spot in the National Finals. 

The TAYO Week, which was held last February 12-16, 2017 at the Diamond Hotel, Manila, was attended by GeneSoc President, Merc Emil Matienzo (Batch Riboswitch). The National Judging and Mentoring held at the Senate of the Philippines were among the highlights of the week-long activities. GeneSoc also had the chance to share the hopeful visions of the K4Health project in promoting maternal and infant health in a morning radio program, Rated PG. Matienzo emphasized in aninterview at DZRH AM 666 that “These are the health issues which are underrated and only few people know about. So, we thought that the youth can be an instrument in providing solutions in their own community through advocating for birth defects prevention and maternal care.”

The TAYO Week was also co-presented by Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc., and in partnership with Jollibee Foods Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Lenovo, Smart Communications, and De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Batch Helitron: A New Splash in the Gene Pool

By Batch Helitron
Compiled by Sean Gacutan

BATCH HELITRON (Photo: @seangctn)
Joining GeneSoc was one of the most unforgettable experience in our lives. GeneSoc brought us to our full potential and continues to help us grow, ultimately to promote and create awareness on the science of genetics, as well as to become socially relevant and hone our greatest possibility and that is to be well rounded in all forms.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2016-2017 Outstanding GeneSoc Members

By Jerard Monge

Awarding of the Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students During the 44th CAS Founding Anniversary
(L-R: Paul Jhon P. Diezon, Morel Dominic D. Umipon, Rochelle B. Sarmiento, Rozel B. Razal and Sean Lemuel L. Santos)

Newly Inducted Members of the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society
Morel Dominic D. Umipon (Batch Proteasome) and Paul Jhon P. Diezon (Batch Phagemids) were among the newly inducted members of the Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society during the induction ceremony held last March 26, 2017 at University of the Philippines Diliman.

The Phi Sigma Biological Sciences Honor Society is an association of chapters that recognizes exemplary undergraduate students enrolled in a 4-year degree program under an accredited university. Membership to this honor society is highly exclusive, with invitations handed only to prospective summa and magna cum laude graduates.

Five GeneSoc Members, Among the 2016 Top 44 CAS Outstanding Students
Mr. Umipon and Mr. Diezon were also among the awardees during the 44th College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Founding Anniversary. Mr. Umipon ranked 3rd while Mr. Diezon ranked 4th in the Senior Category. Mr. Diezon was also awarded the 2016 CAS Most Outstanding Student. Joining them is Ms. Rochelle B. Sarmiento (Batch Polylinker) who placed 11th in the same category. Ms. Rozel B. Razal (Batch Aptamers) and Mr. Sean Lemuel L. Santos (Batch Hybrizyme) were also among the 2016 CAS Outstanding Students, ranking 3rd under the Junior Category and 2nd in the Sophomore Category, respectively.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

GeneSoc features Genetics in the Electromagnetic Spectrum

The UPLB Genetics Society illuminates the science of light and genetics as we celebrate BIO 30 Week 2017 with the theme “Sun-kissed genes: Perceiving Genetics in the Electromagnetic Spectrum,” this April 3 to 7 at the Wing C lobby of the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (IBS-UPLB).

The electromagnetic spectrum is composed of electromagnetic (EM) radiations which have varying wavelengths, frequencies and energy. It includes radiowaves, microwaves, infrared radiation (IR), visible light, ultraviolet (UV) light, X-rays and gamma rays. These electromagnetic radiations have various impacts on the growth and development of many organisms, which can be molecularly elucidated.

Studies related to these radiations are continuously emerging in the 21st century, divulging the drawbacks and benefits of each in many organisms.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Genesoc to host Genetics Camp 2017

Hosted by THE UPLB GENETICS SOCIETY (GeneSoc) led by Mr. Odilon O. Picaso (Genetics Camp Steering Committee Head), co-organized by Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems which is headed by Director Nathaniel C. Bantayan and co-presented by 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines, Genetics Camp 2017 will be held on March 3 to 5 at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UP CFNR).

With the theme “Sustaining the IndiGENEous: Amplifying Forest Genetics for Glocal Climate Change Resiliency,” GeneSoc takes the initiative of bringing together a nationwide pool of young scientists, innovators and climate warriors on the 12th year of Genetics Camp.

Genetics Camp 2017 is certain to empower the youth with contests and activities which are to be openly broadcasted such as the Essay Writing, Poster and Slogan Making, Interschool Quiz Contest, Advocacy Speech, Debate, Search for the Young Geneticist of the Year, Laboratory Activities and a Tree Planting Activity together with Plant-for-the-Planet.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

UPLB Biology student is among the recent Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines

by Rochelle B. Sarmiento (Polylinker)

UPLB Biology student and GeneSoc member Paul Jhon P. Diezon was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines (JRMSP) during a ceremony at the Knights of Rizal International Headquarters, Manila on December 30, 2016. The said event coincided with the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the martyrdom of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Diezon was chosen from a pool of nominees of various universities and colleges throughout the country for exemplifying the national hero’s achievements, leadership, and nationalism through academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and community involvement.

The search for the JRMSP is organized by the Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR), a civic and patriotic organization and the sole order of knighthood in the Philippines which was created to honor and uphold the ideals of Dr. Rizal. Chartered under Republic Act 646, OKOR is mandated to promote the teachings and values of Dr. Rizal especially among the Filipino youth.
FIGHTING FOR THE MASSES. PJ Diezon said that it is by immersing ourselves with the masses
that we can truly stand with the oppressed and the underserved in asserting their rights.