Lourdes J. Cruz

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Dr. Lourdes Cruz. Portrait from the NAST Website
Lourdes Jansuy Cruz, PhD is a Filipina biochemist. She is best known for her research on the properties of toxins found in Conus snails. She was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist in 2008.

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Education and Career

Dr. Lourdes Cruz graduated with a BS Chemistry degree from the University of the Philippines, Diliman in 1962. She then finished her MS and PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Iowa, United States, 1966 and 1968, respectively. Upon her return to the Philippines, she served as a research aide in 1962 at the International Rice Research Institute. She then began teaching as assistant professor at the UP Department of Biochemistry in 1970, and became a full professor in 1977.

Cruz then served as chair of the UP Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 1980 to 1986. In addition, she was also a research associate and professor in the University of Utah. Currently she is based at the UP Marine Science Institute.

Research and Contributions

Dr. Lourdes Cruz has published over 120 scientific papers, and has contributed greatly to the understanding of the biochemistry of toxic peptides gathered from the venom of fish-hunting Conus marine snails. Her studies contributed to the characterization of over 50 biologically active peptides, which were later used as biochemical probes for examining the activities of the human brain.

In 2001, she established the Rural Livelihood Incubator, a program which aimed to alleviate poverty and socio-political instability in the rural areas by giving job and livelihood opportunities to their people.

Awards and Prizes

In 1981, Dr. Cruz received the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), and was elected to the Academy in 1986. She also received the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) Achievement Award in Chemistry in 1982, and the Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service Award (Biochemistry) in 1986.

In 2008, she was conferred the rank of National Scientist, the highest honor given to a Filipino scientist. She is also one of the five exceptional women scientists in the world in the 2010 L’Oreal-UNESCO Awards in the Life Sciences, the Science Education Institute.

References

Citation

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