Solita Camara-Besa

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This is a photo of a NAST Academician, who is also the recipient of the Guillermo Rustia Award for best scientific paper in 1954. Photo courtesy of DOST - SPHERES.

Dr. Solita F. Camara-Besa is the first Filipina to specialize in physiology and biochemistry. She is also known to be the first to conduct a nationwide serum cholesterol survey.


Dr. Camara-Besa earned her medical degree from the University of the Philippines in 1938, and pursued a Master's degree in Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan in 1940.

Career and Contributions

Dr. Camara-Besa expanded the knowledge on nutrition in the Philippines. Her work on the sodium and potassium content of Philippine food established the standards of good healthy diets for Filipinos. Her 8 papers on cholesterol levels in relation to diets of the various segments of Filipino population provided substantial insights on the role of fats and cholesterol in the epidemiology of atherosclerosis among Filipinos. [1]

Dr. Camara-Besa had an important role as a medical educator, particularly to women doctors. She was also the chair of the Curriculum Committee of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine for three decades until 1980.

In 2004, she released her memoir, Up Close with Me, that is published by the University of the Philippines Press.


  1. "Dr. Solita Camara-Besa." Specialized Philippine Enterprise Reference of Experts and Scientists (SPHERES), Accessed on December 21, 2020.

2. National Academy for Science and Technology (Accessed June 10, 2007).

3. UPMASA (Accessed June 10, 2007).

4. The Medical Observer (Accessed June 10, 2007).

5. UP College of Medicine website (Accessed June 10, 2007).



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