Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences

Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences

The UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences and Applied Sciences (RCNAS) functions as the Science and Technology research arm of the University. It brings together researchers of various disciplines namely, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physics, engineering, pharmacy, and food technology – all working towards the objective of contributing to an improved quality of life and sustained viability of the environment.

Vision & Mission

Research Journal

Vision & Mission

The Research Center for the Natural & Applied Sciences

  • promotes and facilitates the involvement of faculty members in the advancement, dissemination, and utilization of knowledge in the field of science and technology for the improvement of society and the environment;
  • establishes linkages with other institutions and fosters a free flow of knowledge to and from other sectors of the local and global community.

The Research Center for the Natural & Applied Sciences envisions itself

  • as a community committed to a culture of excellence in research in the field of science and technology, and to the Christian aspirations of the University of Santo Tomas,
  • highly productive and globally competitive in its scholarly endeavors, and
  • deeply motivated to contribute significantly to national development. 

Research Journal

The ACTA MANILANA is the official publication of the Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences of the University of Santo Tomas. It is a multidisciplinary journal dedicated to cover research and development in all areas of the natural and applied sciences. It features research papers, short communications and review papers which have been peer-evaluated and recommended for publication. 

The ACTA MANILANA is indexed and abstracted in the Web of Science Master Journal List (Clarivate Analytics), Biological Abstracts, BIOSIS Previews, and Google Scholar.

Research Agenda

Advanced and Nano Materials

New and nanostructured materials are developed and characterized for electrochemical energy conversion and storage management devices. The development of fuel cells with nanostructured catalyst allows the efficient conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy for possible applications in electronic devices and transportation. The development of supercapacitors with new electrode materials like conducting polymers and metal oxides with carbon support materials allows the storage of large amount of energy and discharge it quickly. Phase change materials (PCM) which are energy storage media are used as thermal storage devices for cooling or heating load management and augments the utilization of renewable but intermittent energy sources.

New polymers are developed and characterized for controlled drug delivery system that allow the prevention of drug toxicity and maximizes drug therapeutic effects.

Prof. Christina A. Binag, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Prof. Maria Natalia R. Dimaano, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

Asst. Prof. Felicidad Christina R. Ramirez, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Inst. Kristan Bryan C. Simbulan

Master of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering

Inst. Divine Angela G. Sumalinog, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering

Prof. Bernard John V. Tongol, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, major in Applied Chemistry

Biodiversity, Ecology, Systematics, and Taxonomy (BEST)​

The research program involves molecular systematics which complements the classical approaches to plant taxonomy; studies the history, distribution patterns of flora and fauna and provides mechanisms to evolution. The research thrust involves the discovery of new, rare and endemic species which in turn provides the program for conservation, protection and propagation of these species.

Prof. Grecebio Jonathan D. Alejandro, Dr. rer. nat.

Doctor of Natural Sciences, major in Biology

Asst. Prof. Jonathan Carlo A. Briones, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Asst. Prof. Mae Lowe L. Diesmos, MSc

Master of Science in Biology

Prof. Cecilia B. Moran, Dr. rer. nat.

Doctor of Natural Sciences major in Biology

Prof. Rey Donne S. Papa, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Asst. Prof. Richard Thomas B. Pavia, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology

Senior Teacher Dino S. Tordesillas, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Chemical Sensors and Biosensors

The research program develops innovative analytical and sensing devices (i.e. optical, piezoelectric, chemoresistive and electrochemical) for food safety, environment, and health. This program includes the development of sensor materials for detection of mercury and volatile organic constituents (VOCs), sensors for fruit ripeness, coffee and rice varieties, mints and flavors.

Assoc. Prof. Dharmatov Rahula B. Albano, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Asst. Prof. Jolleen Natalie Balitaan, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Chemistry

Prof. Jose Jr. H. Bergantin, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Asst. Prof. Alan Rodelle M. Salcedo, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Prof. Karen S. Santiago, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Academician Professor Emeritus Fortunato III B. Sevilla, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Instrumentation and Analytical Science

Asst. Prof. Cristina E. Tiangco, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Mathematics and Theoretical Physics​

The research program deals with the use of mathematical analysis and multi-objective programming to solve problems related to life contingencies. Computational methods are used to generate new materials, such as nanoparticles and crystal structures with complex atom arrangement, and to determine entropies from atom trajectories of molecular dynamic simulations.

Asst. Prof. Donata D. Acula, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics Education

Asst. Prof. Beatriz A. Belmonte, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

Asst. Prof. Josephine Bernadette M. Benjamin, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Mathematics

Prof. Michael Francis D. Benjamin, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

Prof. Ma. Carlota B. Decena, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics

Assoc. Prof. Bernhard Egwolf, Dr. rer. nat.

Doctor of Natural Sciences major in Physics

Asst. Prof. Christabel Jane P. Rubio, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics

The research program detects diseases based on DNA/RNA sequence techniques. A continuing interest is on allergy and cancer detection susceptibility and viruses detection and characterization, development and improvement of diagnostic kits for the early detection of viral infection in shrimps, cancer and allergy. The current research interests include the determination of atmospheric allergenic pollen, characterization of allergens from house dust mites, and White Spot Syndrome Virus.

Prof. Pia Marie S.P. Albano, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Asst. Prof. Minerva L. Daya, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Asst. Prof. Leonardo Jr. A. Guevarra, MSc

Master of Science in Biochemistry

Prof. Mary Beth B. Maningas, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Marine Sciences

Assoc. Prof. Maria Ruth B. Pineda-Cortel, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Prof. John Donnie A. Ramos, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology / Immunology

Prof. Maria Cristina R. Ramos, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Assoc. Prof. Maureen B. Sabit, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Prof. Librado A. Santiago, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Science

Asst. Prof. Myla R. Santiago-Bautista, MS

Master of Science in Biology

Natural Products, Pharmaceuticals, and Nutraceuticals

Isolation and identification of chemical constituents from plants and microorganisms are undertaken for possible applications for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes. Biological properties of constituents determined by specific bioassays include anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-diabetic and smooth muscle modulating effects.

Prof. Alicia M. Aguinaldo, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth H. Arenas, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Assoc. Prof. Agnes L. Castillo, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy

Assoc. Prof. Franelyne P. Casuga, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy

Prof. Mary Jho-Anne T. Corpuz, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy

Academician Prof. Maribel G. Nonato, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Prof. Mario A. Tan, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Prof. Ross D. Vasquez, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy, major in Biological Sciences

Assoc. Prof. Oliver B. Villaflores, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Engineering, Process Design, Intelligent and Embedded Systems, and Automation

The research program includes food engineering, biomedical engineering, and electronics and systems operations.

Asst. Prof. Jojo F. Blanza, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Electronics and Communications Engineering

Prof. Lola Domnina B. Pestaño, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

Asst. Prof. Edison A. Roxas, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Electronics and Communications Engineering

Asst. Prof. Angelito A. Silverio, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Electronics Engineering

Pure and Applied Microbiology

The research program studies the biodiversity of fungal endophytes, molecular detection of mycobacteria and bacteriophages. The current interest investigates the fungal endophytes as source of potential bioactives for therapeutics and the development of bacteriophages as targeted therapeutic agents.

Mr. Reuel M. Bennett, Dr. rer. nat.

Doctor of Natural Sciences

Prof. Gina R. Dedeles, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Chemistry, major in Applied Microbial Technology

Prof. Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz, Dr. rer. nat.

Doctor of Natural Science in Microbiology

Asst. Prof. Donna May D.C. Papa, PhD

Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences

Administration

Prof. Mario A. Tan, PhD,

Assistant Research Director

Support Staff

Ms. Niña Jasmin E. Caisido, Chemist

Ms. Junee Mari Clare S. Linsangan, Chemist

Ms. Lorelein M. Daza, Office Clerk

Ms. Eligia Gudelia R. Jimenez, Office Clerk

Ms. Marie Ginger A. Garay, Office Clerk

Mr. Marcelo A. Gazo, Utility Clerk

Mr. Francisco A. Arcangel, Janitor

History

The UST Research Center, better known as the Research Center for the Natural Sciences (RCNS), was conceived during the 350th Anniversary of the University and was confirmed on 31 March 1962 when its rules and regulations were approved by the Economic Council.

The Research Center’s main purpose was to give research opportunities to the faculty members of the University in an attempt to reinforce teaching capabilities with their research experience. Two major areas of exploration were initially considered, the Cultural Sciences and the Experimental Sciences. The only existing criterion for choice was “social significance.”

After years of operation, the Research Council realized that resources would be better maximized by focusing on projects under the umbrella of the Natural Sciences.  So in 1986, with the approval of the Rector, the Center was renamed as the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences. This Center operates independently from the other research entities of the university which have been set to cater to the other disciplines. To be able to bring the outputs of researches to the community and to the market for possible utilization and application, the University renamed it as Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences (RCNAS) in 2009.

RCNAS through five decades of existence. The productivity of the researchers in the various disciplines, the recognitions accorded the Center and research awards received for exemplary research from external agencies, both local and international, are the strengths of the Center that sustained it through the years. The strong ties the Center bridged among the local, national, and international partners marked the global acceptability of the Research Center and the researchers.  The research grants received for the conduct of disciplined research in specific areas and patents awarded from products of research are the measures of trust and recognition the Center has from the local and international communities and Granting bodies.

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