The National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) and the Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) further strengthened their area of partnership and collaboration through the formal launch of the newest RDLead engagement at ITDI under its Chemical and Energy Division (CED) last April 12, 2022. The event marks the first time since the pandemic that NRCP, through the RDLead program headed by NRCP Executive Director Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, met with the research personnel of the ITDI and its Director, Dr. Annabelle V. Briones.

The NRCP-RDLead Program received the request for RD Leader from ITDI and on February 17, 2022, approved the RDLead application of Dr. Irene M. Villaseñor, who is primarily tasked to assist the ITDI’s CED personnel (Pharmaceutical section) in developing proposals to secure the funding needed for the strengthening of its research initiatives. More importantly, she is also set to conduct a series of trainings on chemistry of natural products and metabolomic profiling among others. She will be engaged for six (6) months from April 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022.


The enhancement of the ITDI-CED pharmaceutical section is targeted to complement and boost the Tuklas Lunas (TL) Program of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The Tuklas Lunas is the Philippine Drug Discovery and Development Program using local biodiversity as potential sources of herbal drugs and active compounds needed for drug development.

Some ITDI key officials also joined the RDLead engagement launch. They were the following: Dr. Zorayda V. Ang, Deputy Director; Engr. Apollo Victor O. Bawagan, Officer-in-charge – Chemicals and Energy Division; Ms. Dr. Elizabeth Panerio, Supervising Science Research Specialist (SRS); Mr. Christopher Bilbao, Senior SRS; Dr. Emelda A. Ongo, Associate Scientist; and Dr. Joshua Santos, Assistant Scientist.

The Research and Development Leadership (RDLead) is one of the components of the Science for Change Program (S4CP) of the DOST and is implemented by the NRCP (Marfy H. Lita, PDO V.)

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