Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio Becomes New Academician of NAST-PHL

Sean Lemuel L. Santos (Hybrizyme)

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA-Dr. Gregorio is finally reaping the fruits of his labor as he gets bestowed by the National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines (NAST-PHL) the rank and title of ‘Academician’ during the awarding ceremony on July 12, 2018 at the Manila Hotel, Manila, Philippines.

The NAST-PHL gave recognition to Dr. Gregorio for his significant contributions in the field of Genetics and Plant Breeding, particularly his research on salt-tolerance in rice and his studies on the genetics and breeding of high iron and zinc in rice.

The prestigious academic body also cited Dr. Gregorio’s technological innovations for the award. Dr. Gregorio was the one who developed rapid screening techniques which were significant in searching for genes that could improve salt-tolerance and eventually, in the breeding of a stress-tolerant rice variety. He and his colleagues also developed salt-tolerant breeding materials now distributed in the country.

The projects of Dr. Gregorio recognized by NAST-PHL were the following:

1. “Accelerating the Development and Adoption of Next-Generation (Next-Gen) Rice Varieties for the Major Rice Ecosystems of the Philippines”, a project supported by the Department of Agriculture

2. “Breeding for Biofortified Crops”, a project supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

3. “Stress-tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers” in Africa and Asia (also a project supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)

Prior to being named new ‘Academician’, Dr. Gregorio was also once awarded “Outstanding Young Scientist (OYS) in the field of Genetics” in 2004 and given the “Outstanding Scientific Publication” award in 2007 also by NAST-PHL.

Dr. Gregorio is currently the acting global coordinator of International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER). He once worked at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) as a senior scientist and plant breeder delving on the abiotic stress-tolerance in rice. He was also the former Crop Breeding Manager in East-West Seed Group.

Dr. Gregorio earned his Bachelor’s Degree (Major in Agriculture, Minor in Agronomy) at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB) in 1986 as a Dean’s Lister. In 1991, he obtained his Master’s Degree (Major in Plant Breeding, Minor in Soil Science) also at the same university as an IRRI scholar. Then, in 1997, he graduated with a Doctorate Degree (Major in Genetics, Minor in Statistics) also in UPLB as a DOST scholar.

The National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines is an academic body mandated to function as an advisory body of the President of the Republic of the Philippines and the Cabinet on matters dealing with science and technology policies. Membership is based on peer recognition and is given the title “Academician”. Academicians are those who have contributed largely to science and technology and have made significant innovations in the country.