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Sunday, April 21, 2024

2 papers on anti-cancer, antibacterial properties of plants get DOST funding

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DAVAO CITY—Two research papers on medicinal properties of malunggay and a widely growing shrub locally called lagnub were awarded each a P50,000 fund from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD).

One paper on the possible anti-cancer property of malunggay (Moringa oleifera) is the thesis of Joshua M. Cambronero, a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology student from UP Mindanao.

The other paper would study lagnub (Ficus septica Burm.), on its possible application to treat staph infection (Staphylococcus aureus).

This is the undergraduate paper of Raffy Cañeda from the University of Southeastern Philippines.

Cambronero said his research would further investigate the plant for its antioxidant and anticancer properties through various extraction methods.

He said he was aware of the malunggay “being widely studied for its health benefits”.

Cambronero said he was grateful for the research grant to help him pursue “a more complex research design and expose him to more prominent platforms”.

“The funding will allow me to contribute to this body of knowledge that seeks to better people’s lives, specifically in the field of drug discovery from natural products,” he added.

Cañeda of USEP said he was interested in exploring the anti-bacterial property of lagnub, saying this plant “is locally popular for its medicinal use in treating skin infections”.

“Lagnub fresh leaves are also used to promote sweating during fever and get rid of headaches,” he added.

“The result of the research will provide information on the antibacterial potential of Lagnub against staph infection that is difficult to treat because of resistance to some antibiotics,” said Cañeda, a BS Biology student and the lead researcher.

Cañeda said conventional antibiotic use “is now challenged by emerging antimicrobial resistance, reduced susceptibility, poor oral bioavailability, and high treatment costs for the marginalized sector, so my research will hopefully address some problems in public health”.

“As a science student, having the undergraduate thesis grant in natural products from DOST-PCHRD will allow me to pursue higher research goals and methods which are often costly on my part. The grant will truly help me work more on my study which is beneficial for establishing reliable and significant results,” Cañeda said.

The research grant funding was provided by DOST-PCHRD to sustain the research culture in natural products and increase the number of researchers specializing in the field, the DOST said. It said the grant “supports the Tuklas Lunas Program (Drug Discovery and Development Program) of the DOST-PCHRD, which aims to develop safe, effective, and affordable alternative drugs from the country’s naturalresources.”

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