The Philippine National Health Research System (PNHRS) announced the selected outstanding health research programs in 2021 during the 14th PNHRS Week Celebration last August 13, 2021.

The Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. Outstanding Health Research Award (AROHRA) 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. The award, given every three years, has two (2) categories, namely: Biomedical Research and Health Services Research. The winners of AROHRA will receive a trophy and a cash prize amounting to Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (PHP 500,000.00).

This year, the Molecular Diagnostics and Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory of the Lung Center of the Philippines won under the biomedical research category for their program entitled “Autologous Dendritic Cell Vaccine as Innovative Therapy for Cancer.” The said program, headed by Dr. Ma. Teresa Barzaga, offers a promising complementary therapy for cancer.


The program also gives patients an option for an innovative and safe therapy in a form of active immunotherapy using dendritic cells which is derived from patients’ own blood stem to trigger the immune response against the disease and poses minimal to zero adverse effects.

On the other hand, the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-FNRI) won under the health services research category for their program entitled, “Malnutrition Reduction Program (MRP): Moving towards Sustained Implementation.” The MRP program, headed by Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, contributes to address the malnutrition problem among young children across the country especially in rural areas.

The two components of the program are technology transfer of complementary food or bringing the technology to the regions to address the supply side of the program which also generates livelihood for the local government units (LGUs) and state universities and colleges (SUCs) and the DOST PINOY (Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children) intervention strategy or the combining of feeding of rice-mongo-based complementary foods and nutrition education which creates the demand for the nutritious products. It is envisioned to be sustained and institutionalized in the LGUs.

Congratulations to the winners of 2021 AROHRA! We celebrate your programs, which have significantly contributed to addressing prevalent health issues in the country.


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