Hosted by Pinoy science journalist Mikael Angelo Francisco, the Ask Theory Podcast shines the spotlight on Pinoy scientific brilliance. Each episode of Ask Theory features a Pinoy scientist from one of the various scientific disciplines. In a very casual Taglish conversation, guests explain what they do in simple terms, as well as share their fascinating stories: how they got into science, the challenges they face, what motivates them to pursue their fields, what future scientists from the Philippines can look forward to, and so much more.
Music: Miles From Home by Glitch
086: [Neurosurgery] Paano Natin Mas Pagagalingin Ang Neurosurgery Sa Pilipinas? (with Dr. Buddy Omar)
Dr. Buddy Omar is a clinical fellow in neuro-oncology at the University of Toronto, and is taking his Masters of Science in Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. After his time in the PGH Neurosurgery Residency program, he pursued further training in endoscopic skull base surgery at the University of Calgary.
We talked about the disparities in neurosurgery across the world, improving surgical outcomes in the Philippines, the role of social determinants of health in brain tumor survivorship, clinical research in low-income settings, training to be a brain surgeon in the Philippines, and more.
How to contact Dr. Buddy:
085: [Antibiotics] Bakit Nagkakaroon Ng Antibiotics Sa Pagkain Natin? (with Dr. Rodney Perez)
Dr. Rodney Perez a senior researcher at the National Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. His research work is focused on the elucidation of the biosynthetic mechanism, mode of action, and the application of antimicrobial peptides (bacteriocins) from lactic acid bacteria. In 2021, he became the first Filipino to be given the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize by the Society for Biotechnology, Japan.
We talked about what bacteriocins are and why scientists study them, the Philippines’ problem regarding antibiotic contamination in food, why people tend to overuse antibiotics, the consequences of overusing antibiotics, when we should use antibiotics, and more.
How to contact Dr. Rodney:
084: [Oceans Management] Paano Maililigtas Ng Ordinaryong Tao Ang Karagatan? (with Diovanie de Jesus)
Diovanie de Jesus is a Campaign and Science Specialist at Oceana Philippines. He worked as a research associate at the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines. His previous research work experience enabled him to conduct studies about coral reef ecosystems, help with the management of the Philippines’ Marine Protected Areas, and assist in the plans for the Coral Triangle Initiative.
We talked about science-based oceans management in the Philippines, his experiences as a marine scientist, his lockdown experiment that went viral on social media, simple ways ordinary citizens can contribute to saving our oceans, and more.
How to contact Diovanie:
083: [Plant Breeding] Paano Ba Ginagawa Ang Macapuno? (with Jovannemar Anire)
Jovannemar Anire is a Masters student at Wageningen University who specializes in plant breeding and genetic resources. He worked as a faculty researcher at Visayas State University, where he headed the Varietal Improvement Section of the National Coconut Research Center - Visayas.
We talked about some of the basics of plant breeding, some little-known things about coconuts, the science behind macapuno, the importance of plant biotechnology in the Philippines, the GMO debate, and more.
How to contact Jovannemar:
082: [Marine Geophysics] Paano Napag-Aaralan Ang Lindol Sa Tulong Ng Dagat? (with Paul Caesar Flores)
Paul Caesar Flores is a PhD student at Yokohama National University and a Research Student at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. He is particularly interested in the fields of marine geophysics, seismology, and earthquakes, and was involved in multiple projects such as mapping mesophotic coral ecosystems, offshore active faults, and sea level rise.
We talked about the field of marine geophysics, work opportunities for geologists and geophysicists, mapping active faults under the sea, using satellite data to study coasts, and more.
How to contact Paul:
081: [Conotoxinology] Paano Ba Nakahahanap Ng Gamot Mula Sa Dagat? (with Dr. Joshua Torres)
Dr. Joshua P. Torres is a conotoxinologist at the Department of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen. As a medicinal chemist, he studies the medicinal potential of marine animals and bacteria, mostly from the Philippines.
We talked about cone snails and how they manage to be both dangerous and beneficial to humans, the discovery of the cancer-killing molecule boholamide A, the relationship between studying nature and drug development, the scientific contributions of Filipino scientists who work abroad, a fellowship opportunity for Philippine-based scientists, and more.
Apply for the M. Victoria Carpio-Bernido Research Fellowship 2023 now! Deadline is on September 30, 2022. More information here: https://spp-online.org/mvcb-fellowship-2023/
How to contact Dr. Joshua:
Five stars for having science as a subject matter
As one of the few Filipinos who take scientific achievements and discoveries seriously, I actually appreciate that we have like-minded fellow Filipinos who take the step forward by sharing through this podcast what’s new and what’s worth knowing in the local scientific community.
On a personal note, I listen to this podcast at work whenever I can. Keep educating and keep it up! Good job.
Ano ang itsura ng mundong walang gagamba
Listened to this episode out of curiosity and found myself hoping this episode was longer. Ang galing nung guest magexplain about spiders na kahit intimidating silang creatures in real life, she made them sound so interesting. I never thought about how important spiders are to the ecosystem until I listened to this episode.
Thanks for launching this podcast! I'm delighted to learn something new, especially with the field of astrophysics and the state of our space agency. I also love to see the application of space agency or space science and technology toward our disaster response in the future. I really admire the interviewer for being articulate and Dr. Sese for being informative.