Dr. Lydia R. Leonardo, the incumbent Director of the University of the East’s Office of Research Coordination (ORC), is one of the eight researchers to be feted at this year’s Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science and Technology (PhilAAST) Awards! The PhilAAST Awards honor outstanding Filipino researchers for their significant contributions and achievement in the field of science and technology.
Dir. Leonardo is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Lourdes Espiritu Campos Award for Public Health. The awarding ceremonies will be in the afternoon of September 10, 2021. Prior to this, on September 6, all eight awardees were presented at a news presser sponsored by the DOST which was attended by the public and news people who asked about the awardees’ opinion about various topics related to science, technology, the current pandemic problem and how to prevent the brain drain and inspire young people to pursue careers in science.
Dir. Leonardo, who took over as UE ORC Director upon the retirement Dr. Olivia C. Caoili in June 2020, earned her degrees of Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 1975, Master of Science in Marine Biology in 1982, and Doctor of Public Health in Parasitology in 1998, all from the University of the Philippines. She proceeded with her postdoctoral training on Molecular Parasitology at Tulane University in Louisiana, USA.
She was the college secretary of the College of Public Health of UP Manila from 2001 to 2010, and was the Department Chair of the same college’s Department of Parasitology from 2010 to 2013, and 2016 to 2017. She also served as Adjunct Professor at Dokkyo Medical University in Tochigi, Japan, from 2016 to 2018. As an educator, Dir. Leonardo was a national finalist in the 2013 Metrobank Search for Outstanding Teachers. She had also been the recipient of numerous professorial chairs and research grants throughout her teaching career.
Outside of the academe, Dir. Leonardo served as Technical Advisor to the World Health Organization and as a member of the organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases since 2016. In addition, she remains a member of technical working groups on schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiases and food-borne trematodiases of the Department of Health. She also served as program manager for the National Health Literacy Survey Project funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development from September 2018 to January 2019 and the project manager of the Philippine-California Advanced Research Institute of the Commission on Higher Education from February 2019 to March 2019. She was a member of mission teams that conducted field assessment for the mid- and long-term National Schistosomiasis Control Program in Hubei and Anhui, China, in June 2018, and review of the schistosomiasis control program in Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines from 2012 to 2017.
Dir. Leonardo is also the author of numerous published researches, some of which she had presented in various research conferences here and abroad. Her researches have mostly involved the study of schistosomiasis, most notably the control and treatment of this disease.
She was awarded as Distinguished Parasitologist for 2019 by the Philippine Society of Parasitology. She was awarded the Gawad Chancellor Award for Outstanding Researcher of UP Manila in 2016. She also received International Publication Awards in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011, and the Outstanding Research Paper Award from the Philippine General Hospital College of Medicine and the Dr. Gregorio Alvior Jr. Foundation in 2005.
Aside from her current position as UE ORC Director, Dir. Leonardo is a Professor Emeritus of UP Manila. She is also professorial lecturer at the Institute of Biology at UP Diliman and a part-time Lecturer at the UE Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Inc. (UERMMMCI) Graduate School. She is also the current President of the Philippine Society of Parasitology.
Congratulations, Warrior Research Director!