Magdalena C. Cantoria

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Magdalena C. Cantoria (born on October 25, 1924; died December 25, 2008) is a noted Filipino pharmacist and educator who studied the morphology, physiology and biochemistry of drug plants.


  • B.S. (Pharmacy) at the University of the Philippines cum laude - 1947
  • M.S. (Botany) at the University of the Philippines - 1951
  • M.S. (Pharmacy) at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy (MCP) - 1955
  • Ph.D. (Botany) at University of Chicago - 1961

Honor Societies

  • Phi Kappa Phi, UP
  • Phi Sigma Biological Sciences, UP - awards in 1951 and 1977
  • Rho Chi Pharmaceutical Honor Society, MCP Chapter - 1955
  • Sigma Xi research science, University of Chicago - 1960

Career and Contributions

With pharmacy and botany as background, Dr. Cantoria's researches dealt particularly on the morphology, physiology and biochemistry of drug plants. She has done studies on the pharmacognosy of agar (from Philippine seaweed), rauwolfia, datura, mint and piper species; these are considered pioneering research efforts in local pharmaceutical science.

For her paper on the Morphology and Anatomy Rauvofia vomitoria Afz., Dr. Cantoria received the Edwin Leigh Newcomb Award pharmacognosy given by the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education in 1954, and again in 1962 (with Edward S. Mika) on the growth and development of Datura starmonium L.. She is also the recipient of Phi Sigma Awards for marked distinction in Biology in 1951, and Most Outstanding Phi Sigman in 1977.

She has received numerous accolades and recognition for her research and contributions, including:

  • Elected as Academician to the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) - 1980
  • Recognition for Noteworthy Leadership and Distinctive Dedication - as Dean, UP College of Pharmacy - 1989
  • Permanent appointment as Professor Emeritus, University of the Philippines - 1992
  • Achievement Award from the National Research Council of the Philippines - 1993

Dr. Cantoria has authored three textbooks/references on pharmacognosy, three monographs related to pharmacognosy, over sixty scientific articles, and several more papers.

  • Pharmacognosy in Action - the study of drugs of biological origin, Bicutan: National Research Council of the Phillipines - 1977
  • Workbooks in Pharmacognosy, parts I and II, Bicutan: National Research Council of the Philippines - 1987
  • Selected Topics in Pharmacognosy, Taguig: National of Science and Technology - 1994
  • Pharmacognosy in Action and in Practice - 2003

She is also featured in "A Century of Women in the Health Sciences (1900-2000 AD)", published in 2004.

DEATH NOTICE - In Loving Memory

October 25, 1924 – December 25, 2008

Dr. Cantoria, fondly known as Sis/Tita Nena, was called home to our Heavenly Father last December 25, 2008 at the age of 84 at the National Kidney Institute in Quezon City.

In her new life, she joins her parents, Domingo Cantoria and Maria de la Cuesta Cantoria, and niece Maria Remedios Consuelo Magno Cantoria.

Her love and memories will be treasured in the hearts of her brother Alfredo and sister-in-law Filomena G. Magno "Melba" Cantoria and her nephews (grandchildren): Domingo Jose “Mingging” Cantoria and Emilie Bunyi of Portland, Oregon (Elise Marie); Manuel Martin “Nonoy” Cantoria and Denise Lynn James of Chicago, Illinois; Filomena Rita “Winnie” Cantoria Resurreccion and Santiago “Dong” Resurreccion of Ashburn, Virginia (Erica Nicole and David Tyler); and Alfredo Cantoria Jr. and MariaFe C. “Muffet” Viernes Cantoria of Baltimore, Maryland and Quezon City (Albert Alfred).

She will dearly be missed by numerous cousins in the Cantoria and de la Cuesta families, the in-laws in the Magno family, special friends Pacing Abis, Cely Kaluag, Cris Austria, Lillian Ungson, Agnes Rimando, Raymond and Rose Salinas, and many other friends and relatives.

The family has interred the cremated remains of Dr. Cantoria at the Parish Church of the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary at West Triangle. The Parish of The Hearts of Jesus and Mary is located at Bulletin St corner Daily Mirror St., West Triangle, Quezon City | Phone # : 371-9102/ 372-1097 . She can be visited at crypt A-91.