Aiming to cultivate and enhance a culture of scientific research in Davao Region, the Biological Teachers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (BIOTAPHIL) Davao Chapter organized its first regional research conference at Ateneo de Davao University last January 10-11.
The two-day research conference invited Biology teachers from different primary, secondary, and tertiary schools around and outside Davao region.
On the first day, BIOTAPHIL President John Donnie Ramos, Ph.D. delivered the first lecture. He presented on the topic titled “Shifting from Hygiene Hypothesis to Microbial Dysbiosis: Understanding the Immunopathogenesis of Allergies.”
Ma. Cristina De Las Llagas, Ph.D. of AdDU Biology Department presented her study, “Exploring Basic Cell and Molecular Biology: Models for Cytotoxicity and Inflammatory Investigating Research.”
“Meron tayong mga apps doon. Those are free and downloadable apps that can be used for instructions. In fact, nandodoon na ‘yung complementary base pairing. Nandodoon na ‘yung how to alignment ng mga genes. Parang umpisa siya ng genetics applications and many more,” De Las Llagas shared about the highlight of the first day.
A series of three lectures and two workshops were given to the participants during the second day. The lecturers, coming from different universities, touched on the fields of entomology, genetics, and marine mammal conservation.
Meanwhile, the workshops engaged the teachers in bringing citizen science to the Biology classroom.
When asked about the culture of scientific research both within the region and the University, De Las Llagas pointed out the “need to develop a culture of research.”
“When you’re doing thesis, most of the students stop there and they don’t do anything about it. It would be good if there is a big project that will umbrella many other projects,” she said.
De Las Llagas added that it is important to build collaborations because research is already a multidisciplinary task.
Moreover, De Las Llagas shared that AdDU is “very supportive” not only to research but also in the protection of natural resources. However, she also noted that there are still things that need to be improved.
“When it comes to biology research, admittedly, there are a lot of things that Ateneo can do,” she said while emphasizing that initial works in organizing research would be integrative.
The BIOTA conference from now on will be an annual event. Apart from the conference, BIOTA also offers workshops among Biology teachers and researchers. The workshops will help the teachers mold their skills in varying fields such as molecular biology and citizen science.
The association plans to include students in some of its future workshops and trainings.