Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences researcher Prof. Ma. Alicia M. Aguinaldo, Ph.D., received the 2019 PFCS Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Research. The recognition was given by the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS) during the 34th Philippine Chemistry Congress held from May 28 to 30, 2019 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City. 

To qualify for the award, the nominee must be a chemist who has conducted chemical research in the Philippines or must have contributed to chemical research through linkages with a Philippine researcher; the nominee must have made significant contributions to his/her field as evidenced by papers published in the last five years, and research mentorship as measured by the number of theses advisees and trainees supervised in the last five years; and he/she must be nominated by the department chair/head of institution/or by a regular member of any of the chemical societies under the PFCS. 

Aguinaldo, who also teaches at the College of Science, now joins Vice Rector for Research and Innovation Prof. Maribel G. Nonato, Ph.D., who received the Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Research in 2017.

Aguinaldo was the first faculty researcher from the University of Santo Tomas to have been conferred the National Academy of Science and Technology Outstanding Young Scientist Award in 1993. She received the National Research Council of the Philippines Achievement Award for Chemical Sciences in 2011. A graduate of Chemistry for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Santo Tomas, Aguinaldo obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry degree from the University of the Philippines – Diliman in 1992.  Among her research interests are the chemistry of natural products with anti-tubercular property, and anti-diabetic property and phytochemistry of Philippine plants.

The PFCS was organized in 1988 to serve as an umbrella organization for the four chemistry societies in the Philippines: Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas, Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, and Philippine Association of Chemistry Students. According to its official website, PFCS aims to be an effective agent for: the appreciation and popularization of chemistry; advocacy in national issues and concerns involving the chemical sciences; the promotion of excellence in chemical research; the improvement of competence in chemistry; and the protection of the interests of the chemistry profession.