Dr. Roel R. Suralta, a Career Scientist II at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), received the 2020 Outstanding Research and Development Award or the Eduardo A. Quisumbing Medal for Basic Research and the 2020 Outstanding Filipino Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow in the field of Agriculture.

He received these two awards during the celebration of the Department of Science and Technology’s National Science and Technology (S&T) Week which ran from November 23-29, 2020.

Dr. Suralta, along with his co-authors, Jennifer M. Managkil, Jonathan M. Niones, Jerwin R. Undan, Mitsuhiro Obara, Teodora E. Mananghaya, Rachelle P. Mallari, Maybell DM. Banting, Sherilyn B. Estrada, and Mark Philip B. Castillo were recognized for their outstanding scientific research on “Quantitative Trait Loci Associated with Root Elongation Ability of Rice under Nitrogen-deficient Condition”.

Their research identified root traits and their quantitative trait loci (QTLs) key for maintaining rice growth and root elongation, which can be utilized for further validation and development of marker systems for breeding cultivars with improved adaptation to low nitrogen rice-growing environments.

Meanwhile, the Outstanding Filipino JSPS Fellow Award recognizes the commendable contributions of their alumni in various scientific fields. JSPS carries out programs that provide overseas researchers who have an excellent record of research achievements with an opportunity to conduct collaborative research, discussions, and opinion exchanges with researchers in Japan.

The National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) is an annual event that showcases DOST-developed, world-class technologies, including DOST programs and services, through a venue that gathers stakeholders in the industry, government, agriculture, communication, and education sector.

This year marks NSTW’s first-ever virtual celebration with the theme, ‘Agham at Teknolohiya: Sandigan ng Kalusugan, Kabuhayan, Kaayusan, at Kinabukasan’. According to the DOST website, the 2020 NSTW highlights the efforts of the Department and the entire scientific community in the areas of research and development, practical technologies, innovation in agriculture, industry, health, technical services and training, and financial assistance to entrepreneurs, to help every Filipino adapt under the new normal.

Joining Dr. Suralta among the 2020 NSTW S&T awardees were Dr. Cynthia P. Saloma from the Philippine Genome Center, Dr. Rachel June R. Gotanco from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) Marine Science Institute, and Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez from Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU).

For the JSPS outstanding fellow award, other recipients include Dr. Lucille V. Abad of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) for the field of chemistry and chemical science and Dr. Jaime C. Montoya of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) for the field of medicine.

In 2007, VSU President Edgardo E. Tulin, then Professor at Philippine Root Crops Research and Training Center (PhilRootcrops) received this same award for his basic research on “Cytokine mimetic properties of some Philippine food and medicinal plants”.

Dr. Suralta completed his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) major in Agricultural Botany in 1994 at the then Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA). He obtained his Master of Science (MS) in Agronomy at the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) in 2002 and his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Agricultural Science in 2008 from the Nagoya University in Japan.

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