Dr. Raul V. Destura, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist from the National Institutes of Health-University of the Philippines Manila, was named recently by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) as the 2015 Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia Awardee during its 82nd Founding Anniversary Celebration at the Bayleaf, Intramuros, Manila.
Dr. Destura is a known scientist and molecular microbiologist who developed local and less costly diagnostic kits for rapid detection of the most dreaded infectious diseases such as dengue, hepatitis and tuberculosis. The most notable is the Biotek-M, a rapid test kit for dengue that is projected to be more affordable especially among average Filipino families who may not be able to afford the existing and sensitive yet more expensive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. This new technology is hoped to advance the diagnostic capability of the hospitals for better management of the dengue disease. Biotek-M is currently being rolled out to three government hospitals, namely Rizal Medical Center, the National Children’s Hospital, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center for field testing.
Dr. Destura’s versatility is exhibited by the establishment of two world-class molecular biology laboratories, the Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Laboratory at the UP NIH and the Clinical Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory of the Medical City under his leadership.
Dr. Destura received his formal education in Medicine at the De La Salle University Health Sciences in 1996 and went to pursue training and research fellowship in the field of Infectious Disease at the Philippine General Hospital from years 2001–2003. He went to University of Virginia, USA, for higher learning and international training in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He is also a recipient of several prestigious national and international awards for his innovative research and leadership in the field of research and clinical molecular biology such as International Training and Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases (ITREID) Research Fellowship Award from the Center for Global Health Division of Infectious Disease and International Health, University of Virginia; the Bill and Melinda Gates Travel Scholarship for 2005 Keystone Symposia; the Outstanding Young Scientist of the Philippines for Medicine by the National Academy of Science and Technology; the Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Medical Research given by JCI Philippines, to name a few.
The Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia Recognition Award is given annually to Filipino scientists in recognition of their outstanding research contributions in the fields of Molecular Biology and Molecular Pathology. The award was founded by Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia in 1985 to encourage more researchers to venture into this field and also to recognize the ground-breaking researches made by the Filipinos in the said field.
Dr. Destura joins the roster of other 12 outstanding scientists conferred with the award previously. He received a medallion, plaque of recognition and cash award.