Science alumni group wins BPI-DOST Innovation Award for AI-based colorectal cancer predictor

A group of alumni from the Biological Science Class of 2022, namely Aaron Austin R. De Asa, Tesah Mae C. Guimbangunan, and Aamer T. Sultan, under the supervision of their adviser Prof. Pia Marie Albano, Ph.D., won the BPI-DOST Innovation Award for their project titled “Artificial intelligence-based prediction of colorectal cancer using micro ribonucleic acid (miRNA) expression”. The award was presented on October 28, 2022, at the Holiday Inn, Makati City.

To find a less-invasive and cost-efficient method to identify colorectal cancer (CRC), their study designs, trains, and tests artificial neural network models in detecting CRC in patients using levels of expression of specific miRNAs found in blood plasma and tissue samples obtained from CRC patients and healthy controls.

The UST team, with seven other groups representing different schools, presented their innovation projects to a board of judges composed of BPI Foundation Executive Director, Owen Cammayo, representative from the Business Sector, Martin Gomez, representative from the academe, Dr. Eric Punzalan, and a Filipino Scientist, Dr. Pia Bagamasbad. Three winning groups, including the UST Team, received trophies and a cash prize of PhP 100,000.

The BPI-DOST Innovation Awards  are spearheaded by the BPI Foundation, the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology – Science Education Institute (DOST – SEI). It provides an opportunity for college students of basic and applied sciences to work on projects that aim to solve prevailing challenges faced by society.

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