The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), as the national coordinating body for health research, recognizes health researchers and health research groups for their exemplary research efforts and contributions in enhancing our country’s health research capabilities.

The following are three awards created specifically for our health researchers:

1. Alberto Romualdez, Jr. Outstanding Health Research Award (AROHRA)

AROHRA encourages researchers to be sensitive to the scientific and technological requirements of the health delivery system as well as rewards those whose research has contributed significantly to addressing prevalent health issues.

Given by PCHRD, in collaboration with the Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) partners, the award gives recognition to a research program or project that demonstrates the link between research and practice through the utilization of research findings in the health delivery system.

 The call for nominations is ongoing, visit!

2. Best Mentor in Health Research Award

The Council recognizes the vital role of the research mentor who selflessly shares knowledge and skills, instills values and attitudes, and inspires those involved in the research process.

The award is offered biennially to reward mentors in health research who built the capacities of researchers in the health sector and propelled significant advances in the PNHRS thrusts, as identified in the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA), the country’s template for health research and development efforts.

The call for nominations is ongoing, visit!

3. DOST-PCHRD-Gruppo Medica Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis in Herbal Medicine

PCHRD, in collaboration with Gruppo Medica Inc. (GMI), gives the award to provide motivation for students to view undergraduate thesis not merely as an academic exercise, but as an excellent opportunity to contribute to national interest.

The award recognizes relevant and innovative research works on herbal medicine that have potential practical and/or commercial applications.

For more information on PCHRD Health Research Awards, visit


The Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in partnership with DOST Cagayan Valley Region, will conduct the 11th National Medical Writing Workshop and 4th Writeshop for Young Researchers in Cauayan City, Isabela on 30-31January 2017.

This year’s workshop aims to enable selected health researchers on preparing scientific articles for peer-reviewed journals. All participants are required to submit their draft journal articles for pre-evaluation. Evaluated articles will be revised during the small-group workshop exercises under the guidance of the faculty and mentor-facilitators.

Workshop mentors are composed of medical research writing experts here and abroad as follows: Dr. Jose Florencio Fabella Lapeña, Jr., Publons UK’s Most Prolific Editor, Dr. Wilfred CG Peh, Secretary-General, Asia Pacific Association of Medical Journal Editor (APAME), and Dr. Cecilia Maramba-Lazarte, Editor-in-Chief, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society of the Philippines Journal.

Three months after, participants are expected to publish their improved journal manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and contribute to the dissemination of Filipino research information.


Conducted twice a year, this workshop is a product of PCHRD’s partnership with APAME and the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors.



The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) recognizes the vital role of the research mentor who selflessly shares knowledge and skills, instills values and attitudes, and inspires those involved in the research process, thereby creating an enabling environment and contributing to capacity-building in research.

The Best Mentor Award is offered biennially to recognize and reward mentors in health research who have built the capacities of researchers in the health sector and, in the process, propelled significant advances in the Philippine National Health Research System’s (PNHRS) thrusts as identified in the National Unified Health Research Agenda (NUHRA).


The Best Mentor Award recognizes excellence in mentorship that instills passion among researchers, redounding to enhanced relevance and productivity in health research.


A. Who can nominate

The nominating party may be any of the following:

•head of the nominee’s institution or immediate supervisor

Self-nomination is not allowed.

B. Who can be nominated

1. must be a Filipino citizen
2. at least a holder of master’s degree degree
3. actively involved in mentoring researchers/students or colleagues for at least 5 years 
4. has a good track record as a researcher in terms of publication, product development or policy formulation 
5.professionally involved in health research activities either as a research program/project leader, principal and co-principal investigator, mentor/adviser/trainer, or author/co-author 
6. actively involved in health research activities such as conduct of research training and extension work, paper presentations, fund generation, research promotion and networking, research agenda setting, and capacity-building activities

Winners are ineligible for subsequent nominations.

How to nominate

Submit the recommendation form (either personally delivered, by courier, or thru email) for initial screening to the regional consortium secretariat. (Please refer to the attached paper for the list of addresses)

For completed DOST-PCHRD and ASTHRDP scholars, submit entries to DOST-PCHRD for screening and endorsement of the PCHRD Scholar’s Society (PSS).

For the qualified nominees

The requirements below should be submitted within the deadline

1. Five (5) hard copies of the following documents:

1.1. Accomplished curriculum vitae of the nominee using the prescribed format for Best Mentor Award

1.2. A narrative description (1,000-1,500 words) of the nominee’s mentoring activities, accompanied by supporting documents, e.g. photos and other relevant documentation.

1.3. Description of other achievements attained related to health research for the last 5 years, including supporting documents e.g. photocopy of certificates of recognition/awards/honors received by the nominee, which are relevant to the nominee’s eligibility criteria in Section IV.B

2. Cite names of 5 mentees, their achievements in research, and a narrative description of the nominee’s contribution to the success of each mentored research.

Schedule of Selection and Awarding

The award is given every two years.

Announcement of Winners and Prizes

• All qualified nominees will receive certificates of recognition. 
• Each Cluster Winner from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and National Capital Region will receive a cash prize of P100,000.00 and a plaque of recognition. 
• The National Winner will receive an additional cash prize of P200,000.00 and trophy during the PNHRS Week Celebration.

Consortium: January 13, 2017
DOST-PCHRD: January 20, 2017

To download the complete guidelines and the Recommendation Form, click HERE.




The Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. Outstanding Health Research Award (AROHRA) encourages researchers to be sensitive to the scientific and technological requirements of the health delivery system and rewards those whose research have contributed significantly to addressing prevalent health issues.

The Award gives recognition to a research program or project that has demonstrated the link between research and practice through the utilization of research findings in the health delivery system. Given by the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), the award has two (2) categories: Biomedical Research and Health Services Research.


1. What can be nominated

Any health research program or project may be considered for the Award. Work to be nominated may fall under any of two categories: Biomedical Research or Health Services Research.

For Biomedical Research, the program or project must be engaged in generating and/or adapting appropriate health technologies that address specific health problems and emphasize the development of diagnostic tools and techniques, biological (e.g. drugs, vaccines, functional foods, etc.), biomedical devices, and ICT-based healthcare technologies.

For Health Services Research, the program or project must be involved in the organization, administration, operation, utilization and other aspects of health services delivery systems that address the country’s social, political, cultural, and economic conditions.

2. Who can nominate

Any institution; members of the consortium; scientific, technological and professional societies or associations; research institutes; universities and colleges; and individuals may nominate. Self-nomination is not allowed.

3. Who can be nominated and what can be a nominated entry

The award is open to a completed research program or project done by Filipino researcher/s. The nominated entry must be done mainly in the Philippines.

For purposes of this Award, a research program refers to a group of interrelated or complementing research projects that require an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary approach to meet established goal/s within a specific time frame, while a research project refers to the basic unit in the investigation of specific research problems with predetermined objective/s to be accomplished within a specific time frame.

4. How to nominate

Nominations should be made using the prescribed nomination form. Entries from both consortium member institutions and non-consortium member institutions must be submitted to and endorsed by the Chair of the consortium. Each nomination should include ALL of the following:

a. Write-up on the impact of the project on health delivery,a contextualization of the problem that the project/program seeks to address and a description of the program/project, highlighting how the results were utilized, as well as the benefits derived from their utilization. 
b. One copy of each of the technical reports and/or publicationsof the completed projects leading to technology transfer and/or translation to a policy formulation or program intervention.
c. Statement from the technology user(s) and program or project end-userdescribing the contribution of the technology and project or program in improving health delivery.

• After the preliminary screening, the judges may ask for additional supporting documents from the nominees.

5. Schedule of Selection and Awarding

The Award is given every three (3) years.

6. Where to send nominations

a. Nominations should be submitted to the regional consortium secretariat not later the deadline. (Please refer to the attached paper for list of addresses)

b. Endorsed entries by the consortium chair should be submitted to DOST-PCHRD.


The Award consists of a cash prize of P 500,000 and a trophy for winners of each category.


Consortium: February 24, 2017
DOST-PCHRD: March 3, 2017


To download the complete guidelines and the Nomination Form, click HERE.

Mrs. Diaz was consulting for acne for Aliyah, her 27-year-old daughter.  Aliyah, a bright young woman, is very athletic, according to her mom.  She loves gymnastics and swimming, which is why she is slim. She had always wanted to be a nurse so she studied in one of the colleges offering the said course while staying in a dormitory.

Everytime Mrs. Diaz visited her, she noticed Aliyah was getting heavier and heavier.  She also noted pimples showing up on her baby’s face, but she thought it was just part of growing up.  But when she came home after several months more, Mrs. Diaz was alarmed to see Aliyah’s face full of acne, her hair greasy and she was really fat, with tiny hairs starting to grow all over her body. She said this had all developed over several months, even though her diet or lifestyle had not changed.  Aside from these changes, Aliyah also complained of having painful, heavy, very irregular periods which made her skip class.

Mrs. Diaz took Aliyah to see a skin specialist, who prescribed various tablets and creams, which really didn’t do much to help the situation. Her doctor sent her to a dietitian who said she needed to lose weight.  Aliyah was also advised to go slow on sweets and carbohydrates to improve her acne.  Since her hair still looked normal at that time, nothing was done to improve on it.

Many more months passed, and  Aliyah complained of being unwell, feeling tired and cold most of the time, listless and with no energy.  Mrs. Diaz also noted that Aliyah was more temperamental and depressed most of the time. That was when Mrs. Diaz decided to visit me.  We checked Aliyah’s blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature --all of which were low.   

I told Mrs. Diaz to consult an obstetrician-gynecologist for Aliyah’s irregular menstruation and to call me when they are already with their OB.  A scan confirmed the presence of the typical “string of pearls” cysts in the ovaries, which are consistent with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).   Aliyah is currently co-managed by myself and her obstetrician. I just started her on her acne regimen. 

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that affects five to ten-percent of women.  It refers to the multiple, mini “cysts” which form in the ovaries of some women who suffer from the condition.  These cysts are actually egg sacks or follicles that instead of growing, fail to mature and  to ovulate (or the failure to release an egg) as they normally would.  That is they stall, instead releasing relatively higher male hormones (androgens) into the blood, causing a range of health problems.

It is a condition marked by an imbalance of female sex hormones which then causes an array of symptoms affecting the menstrual cycle, fertility, skin, and hair, and even puts
women at risk for health problems such as diabetes.

Women with PCOS do not react normally to insulin.  When sugars hit their blood stream, their body requires extra insulin to process the sugar (women with PCOS do not process carbohydrates properly).  Higher levels of insulin have several effects in different areas of their body, including messing with their ovaries. The insulin molecule is very similar in shape to another molecule that has receptors in the ovary. Insulin then falsely attaches to the ovary, causing it to release too much male hormone, leading to unwanted skin and hair changes (that is, ovaries produce excess androgens producing male characteristics like deepening of the voice and male hair distribution).  The extra male hormone gets converted to excess estrogen in the fat cells, which prevents ovulation.  Estrogen is the hormone responsible for creating the blood and nutrient-rich lining of the uterus.  A normal amount of estrogen makes a healthy lining for an embryo to implant. With PCOS, there is an elevated level of estrogen, creating excess tissue, leading to heavy, crampy periods. In extreme untreated cases, it can lead to precancer of the uterus.  This explains, too, why one of the biggest concerns about PCOS is that having babies might be a struggle. The excess insulin makes weight loss more difficult, too, leading to obesity.  Patients struggle with their weight. It’s not for lack of trying but more because their insulin quickly stores carbohydrates as fat and makes it difficult for them to lose it.

The symptoms of PCOS are pretty rough to deal with and can make a patient feel unattractive.  Patients usually lose some of their scalp hair (androgenetic alopecia) but increase hair growth in other body parts (that is, hirsutism, which is the most common complaint). Their skin also develops several changes.  They develop moderate-to-severe acne, seborrhea (similar to dandruff), pigmentary problems like acanthosis nigricans (dark patches of the skin with thick velvety texture which may be a sign of a more serious health problem, such as prediabetes). It’s that darn testosterone and insulin actually.  Since many of the manifestations include the skin and hair, patients with PCOS are usually seen first by a dermatologist and then co-managed by an ob-gyne, too.  Other manifestations are: early development of pubic hair (before eight in girls and before nine in boys); boil-like lumps in the armpits, groin, and under the breasts; persistent oily skin and acne; skin tags in the armpits, under the breasts or in the groin; diabetes mellitus, especially likely in obese patients; high blood pressure; elevated body fats; cardiovascular disease, especially coronary artery disease.

source: Philippine Star


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