JR Lopez Gonzales 12:46 PM 0
The Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) awarded the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology the country’s first “Tuklas Lunas” Center last March 16. DOST-PCHRD's "Tuklas Lunas" is a drug discovery and development program which will be the country’s central research program to find natural substances for curative purposes.
The “Tuklas Lunas” Center will collaborate with PCHRD to harness natural substances indigenous to the Philippines for drug development, said executive director Dr. Jaime Montoya. Accordingly, MSU-IIT will be the central office for Mindanao chosen for its track record, its staff capability, and institutional capacity. Through the said initiative, “regions which are building their capacity in health research are encouraged to identify their problems and search for solutions”, Montoya said.
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DOST has been promoting the development of local plants for medical purposes through biotechnology development. It also aims to establish a Drug Discovery Database which will store information on all researches conducted on natural products. This will serve as a tool in guiding researchers as to which species have the potential for further research leading to the discovery of new drugs. This could be worth billions of pesos and could put the Philippines in the global map for research in medical technologies, Director Montoya said.
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As a “Tuklas Lunas” Center, MSU-IIT is expected to generate cooperation among the nearby universities and research institutions towards collaborative researches in discovering potential drug sources in endemic terrestrial and marine species in the Mindanao Island. Two more centers will be opened in Luzon and Visayas, with partner institutions to be named soon while another 17 regional health research facilities will also be opened for support functions.