Dolores, an excellent student from Calamba, Laguna, enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture, and in 1956 graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, Major in Plant Breeding, Minors in Botany and Agricultural Chemistry. Under a Rockefeller Grant she then proceeded to take up her Master in Science, Major in Cytogenetics, Minor in Botany, at the University of Minnesota, where she graduated in 1957. In 1961-1963 she completed her Ph.D. in biochemical genetics (minor in plant physiology and plant pathology) at Purdue University on her second scholarship grant.
Career and Contributions
After her doctorate Dolores went back to UP as a professor and researcher. She focused on the cytogenetics of various important Philippine crops, including rice, coconut, banana, sugarcane, ornamentals, legumes, fruits like durian, lanzones, santol and balimbing. Some of her most memorable works include the genetic systems of controlling the makapuno endosperm of coconut, the genetics of chemical resistance factors against Cercospora kex leaf spot, and the cytogenetics of hybrids of rice with related wild species.
Dr. Ramirez was the Professorial Chair of SEARCA from 1974-76. In 1976 she received the Gregorio Y. Zara award in basic research. In 1981 she was the recipient of a Rizal Pro-Patria award for outstanding achievement in biochemical genetics, and in 1985, a UP Professorial Achievement award in agriculture. She was conferred as a National Scientist in 1997 by Former President Fidel Ramos.