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DOST-PCHRD delegation led by Dr. Jaime C. Montoya (4th from left) is joined Philippine scientific delegation and Inserm officials led Head of International Relations Audrène Eloit (center) and Director for External Partnerships Eli Chatzopoulu.

In line with the implementation the Philippines-France Program of Cooperation (POC) on Science, Technology, and Innovation signed by DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña Minster for Higher Education, Research, and Innovation Frédérique Vidal on 23 May 2019, a joint scientific seminar between researchers and experts from the DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) and French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) was held on 13 November 2019 at the Inserm headquarters.

Inserm is the top biomedical research organization in Europe and number two in the world after the American National Institutes of Health, with nearly 12,000 publications a year.

The seminar exchanged views on the mutually-agreed themes of emerging infectious diseases, genomics, and environmental health. The participants agreed to continue discussions to identify next steps and further areas of collaboration, including possible joint research projects in the future. The DOST-PCHRD offered to host the next joint scientific activity with Inserm in the Philippines.

The PH scientific delegation was composed of the following officials: Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD); Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla, Professor and Chancellor University of the Philippines Manila; Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa, Executive Vice President, University of the Philippines System, Diliman, Quezon City; Dr. Eva Maria C. dela Paz, Executive Director, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila; Prof. Romeo R. Quizon, Associate Professor, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila; Dr. Leo DP. Cubillan, Director, Philippine Eye Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila; Dr. Paolo Antonio S. Silva, Philippine Eye Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila; and Rogelio V. Guaring II, Science Research Specialist of DOST-PCHRD.

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UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla presents an overview of the National Institutes of Health.

The delegation also conducted visits to Institut de la Vision, the largest eye-treatment and research facility in Europe on 12 November 2019 and to Institut Imagine, a leading research and healthcare facility on genetic diseases housed at the campus of the Necker Enfants Malades Hospital. These visits discussed possible training exchanges and research collaboration between PH and FR scientists and researchers.

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Philippine Eye Research Institute (PERI) Director Leo Cubillan (2nd from right , PERI faculty Dr. Paolo Silva (extreme right) , DOST-PCHRD Executive Director Jaime Montoya (3rd from right) are joined by Institut de la Vision Director Serge Picaud (2nd from left), Director for Partnerships Romain Goument (extreme left), Ms Katia Marazova of Scientific Commmunications (3rd from left).

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Dr. Frédéric Rieux-Laucat of Institut Imagine welcomes the Philippine delegation.

Both sides also agreed to utilize the PH-FR “Hubert Curien Partnership-Science for the People” program to facilitate the initial exchange of scientists and researchers.

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Ambassador Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro hosts a lunch meeting with the Philippine delegation.

Aside from assisting the delegation in organizing the seminar and meetings, the Philippine Embassy in Paris will also assist the DOST and PCHRD in carrying out initiatives to deepen PH-FR cooperation in science, technology, and innovation. END