University of the Philippines at Manila
Manila, Philippines

The University of the Philippines Manila , founded in 1908, is a coeducational and public research university in the Philippines. It is located in the city of Manila, the country's capital. It is the oldest of the seven constituent universities of the University of the Philippines System. Its oldest degree-granting unit is the College of Medicine, which was founded in 1905 as the Philippine Medical School, predating the founding of U.P. by three years.It is the center of health science education in the country, with the establishment of the National Health science Center. It is also a reputable research center in the health science in the Asia-Pacific rim. It exercises administrative supervision over the Philippine General Hospital . U.P. Manila is a reputable school of tertiary learning in the health science, and more high school students interested in this field apply to it than to any other college or university in the country.As of 2001, the Commission on Higher Education of the Philippines has identified two centers of excellence in U.P. Manila. The COEs in the University are Medicine and Nursing, with the U.P. College of Medicine as the very first Center of Excellence in Medical Education in the Philippines. It is currently among only five medical institutions to be recognized as Centers of Excellence in Medical Education. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-3.2-3 | Award Amount: 2.99M | Year: 2008

In the medium-scale collaborative project with partners inside and outside the EU, scientific institutes with the capacities to conduct sound investigations will cooperate with worldwide active international health service organisations which have information and global links for research on international mobility. General objective is to research on current trends of mobility of health professionals to, from and within the EU. Research will also be conducted in Non-European sending and receiving countries, but the focus lies on the EU: comparative studies in a selected range of representative states will determine the impact of different types of migration on national health systems. An innovative approach will generate more comparable, specified and qualified data gathered by mainly qualitative research and aims for quantities of migration flows as well as detailed qualities like professions, motives, circumstances and the social context, i.e. push and pull factors. Crucial for the approach are key stakeholders which represent the relevant categories in national health systems to collect existing data and statistics, but first of all to generate new, qualitative data. In-depth interviews based on thematic guidelines with representatives of key stakeholders enable a triangulation of data, i.e. the expertise on health professionals mobility and its impact on structures and processes of health systems will qualify the quantitative findings and explore what mobility means for the health system and the persons and organisations involved. The projects policy dimension comprises recommendations on human resource policies in European and third countries for policy and decision makers on the basis of sound empirical research with conceptual frameworks for monitoring systems concerning the mobility of health workers as a key part. Consultation meetings and roundtables with policymakers will be essential in the project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS-2007- | Award Amount: 930.13K | Year: 2008

We seek to develop a plan for amending the current Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime for rewarding pharmaceutical innovations. The existing IPR regime is highly problematic. This has become obvious in the wake of a series of public health emergencies, most notably the AIDS crisis, which pits the vital needs of poor patients against the need of pharmaceutical companies to recoup their investments. Amending the current system represents one of the major 21st century challenges, namely delivering reasonably priced health care to patients around the world. This is a challenge that lies at the heart of biomedical ethics striving for sustainable world development. Our effort to take up the challenge focuses on a potential two-tiered patent system. This scheme would create a new patent (Patent-2) that is complementary to existing monopoly patents, leaving innovators free to choose a patent of either kind. Patent-2 holders would not have veto powers over the reproduction of their inventions, thus allowing medicines to become available at competitive market prices without delay. Patent-2 holders would be rewarded, out of public funds, in proportion to the impact of their invention on the global burden of disease. A first sketch of the Patent-2 scheme has already been developed through a grant from the Australian Research Council. However, the system is now in urgent need of development with input from a range of experts and policy-makers. In order to forge a policy consensus, some of the most influential social philosophers and economists world-wide (Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Peter Singer and Thomas Pogge) will be joined by key policy institutes to use their cumulative weight to enhance and promote a proposal that has the clear potential to provide access to essential medicines to poor patients whilst increasing the possibilities for innovation in the pharmaceutical sector.

Caoili S.E.C.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Immunome Research | Year: 2011

Global health must address a rapidly evolving burden of disease, hence the urgent need for versatile generic technologies exemplified by peptide-based vaccines. B-cell epitope prediction is crucial for designing such vaccines; yet this approach has thus far been largely unsuccessful, prompting further inquiry into the underlying reasons for its apparent inadequacy. Two major obstacles to the development of B-cell epitope prediction for peptide-based vaccine design are (1) the prevailing binary classification paradigm, which mandates the problematic dichotomization of continuous outcome variables, and (2) failure to explicitly model biological consequences of immunization that are relevant to practical considerations of safety and efficacy. The first obstacle is eliminated by redefining the predictive task as quantitative estimation of empirically observable biological effects of antibody-antigen binding, such that prediction is benchmarked using measures of correlation between continuous rather than dichotomous variables; but this alternative approach by itself fails to address the second obstacle even if benchmark data are selected to exclusively reflect functionally relevant cross-reactivity of antipeptide antibodies with protein antigens (as evidenced by antibody-modulated protein biological activity), particularly where only antibody-antigen binding is actually predicted as a surrogate for its biological effects. To overcome the second obstacle, the prerequisite is deliberate effort to predict, a priori, biological outcomes that are of immediate practical significance from the perspective of vaccination. This demands a much broader and deeper systems view of immunobiology than has hitherto been invoked for B-cell epitope prediction. Such a view would facilitate comprehension of many crucial yet largely neglected aspects of the vaccine-design problem. Of these, immunodominance among B-cell epitopes is a central unifying theme that subsumes immune phenomena of tolerance, imprinting and refocusing; but it is meaningful for vaccine design only in the light of disease-specific pathophysiology, which for infectious processes is complicated by host-pathogen coevolution. To better support peptide-based vaccine design, B-cell epitope prediction would entail individualized quantitative estimation of biological outcomes relevant to safety and efficacy. Passive-immunization experiments could serve as an important initial proving ground for B-cell epitope prediction en route to vaccine-design applications, by restricting biological complexity to render epitope-prediction problems more computationally tractable. © 2011 Caoili et al; licensee Nikolai Petrovsky Publishing.

Alejandria M.M.,University of the Philippines at Manila
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Mortality from sepsis and septic shock remains high. Results of trials on intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) as adjunctive therapy for sepsis have been conflicting. This is an update of a Cochrane review that was originally published in 1999 and updated in 2002 and 2010. To estimate the effects of IVIG as adjunctive therapy in patients with bacterial sepsis or septic shock on mortality, bacteriological failure rates, and duration of stay in hospital. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 6), MEDLINE (1966 to December 2012), and EMBASE (1988 to December 2012). We contacted investigators in the field for unpublished data. The original search was performed in 1999 and updated in 2002 and 2008. We included randomized controlled trials comparing IVIG (monoclonal or polyclonal) with placebo or no intervention in patients of any age with bacterial sepsis or septic shock. Two authors independently assessed the studies for inclusion and undertook methodologic quality assessment and data abstraction. We conducted pre-specified subgroup analyses by type of immunoglobulin preparation. We included 43 studies that met our inclusion criteria in this updated review out of 88 potentially eligible studies. The studies included a large polyclonal IVIG trial in neonates that was concluded in 2011 and classified as ongoing in the 2010 version of this review. Pooled analysis of polyclonal and monoclonal IVIG was not done due to clinical heterogeneity. Subgroup analysis of 10 polyclonal IVIG trials (n = 1430) and seven trials on IgM-enriched polyclonal IVIG (n = 528) showed significant reductions in mortality in adults with sepsis compared to placebo or no intervention (relative risk (RR) 0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.70 to 0.93 and RR 0.66; 95% CI 0.51 to 0.85, respectively). Subgroup analysis of polyclonal IVIG in neonates, which now includes the recently concluded large polyclonal IVIG trial, showed no significant reduction in mortality for standard IVIG (RR 1.00; 95% CI 0.92 to 1.08; five trials, n = 3667) and IgM-enriched polyclonal IVIG (RR 0.57; 95% CI 0.31 to 1.04; three trials, n = 164). Sensitivity analysis of trials with low risk of bias showed no reduction in mortality with polyclonal IVIG in adults (RR 0.97; 95% CI 0.81 to 1.15; five trials, n = 945) and neonates (RR 1.01; 95% CI 0.93 to 1.09; three trials, n = 3561). Mortality was not reduced among patients (eight trials, n = 4671) who received anti-endotoxin antibodies (RR 0.99; 95% CI 0.91 to1.06) while anti-cytokines (nine trials, n = 7893) demonstrated a marginal reduction in mortality (RR 0.92; 95% CI 0.86 to 0.97). Polyclonal IVIG reduced mortality among adults with sepsis but this benefit was not seen in trials with low risk of bias. Among neonates with sepsis, there is sufficient evidence that standard polyclonal IVIG, as adjunctive therapy, does not reduce mortality based on the inclusion of the large polyclonal IVIG trial on neonates. For Ig-M enriched IVIG, the trials on neonates and adults were small and the totality of the evidence is still insufficient to support a robust conclusion of benefit. Adjunctive therapy with monoclonal IVIGs remains experimental.

FlorCruz N.V.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Fungal keratitis is a fungal infection of the cornea. It is common in agricultural tropical countries but relatively uncommon in developed countries. Although there are medications available, their effectiveness is unclear. To examine the effect of different antifungal drugs in the management of fungal keratitis. We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 8), MEDLINE (January 1950 to August 2011), EMBASE (January 1980 to August 2011), Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS) (January 1982 to August 2011), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) ( and ( There were no date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. The electronic databases were last searched on 29 August 2011. We included all relevant randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on medical therapy for fungal keratitis. Two review authors selected studies for inclusion into the review, assessed trials for risk of bias and extracted data. Interventions were compared by the proportions of participants that did not heal after a specific time of therapy. No meta-analysis was performed because the trials studied different medications with different concentrations. We included nine trials in this review; seven conducted in India, one in Bangladesh and one in Egypt. A total of 568 participants were randomised to the following comparisons: 1% topical itraconazole versus 1% topical itraconazole and oral itraconazole, different concentrations of silver sulphadiazine versus 1% miconazole, 1% silver sulphadiazine ointment versus 1% miconazole ointment, 2% econazole versus 5% natamycin, different concentrations of topical chlorhexidine gluconate versus 5% natamycin, 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate versus 2.5% natamycin and voriconazole 1% versus natamycin 5%. The included trials were small and of variable quality. Differences between different regimens were not statistically different, which may reflect the low sample sizes. Based on the trials included in this review, there is no evidence to date that any particular drug, or combination of drugs, is more effective in the management of fungal keratitis. The trials included in this review were of variable quality and were generally underpowered.

Rani M.,World Health Organization | Buckley B.S.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Bulletin of the World Health Organization | Year: 2012

Systematically archiving data from health research and large-scale surveys and ensuring access to databases offer economic benefits and can improve the accountability, efficiency and quality of scientific research. Recently, interest in data archiving and sharing has grown and, in developed countries, research funders and institutions are increasingly adopting data-sharing policies. In developing countries, however, there is a lack of awareness of the benefits of data archiving and little discussion of policy. Many databases, even those of large-scale surveys, are not preserved systematically and access for secondary use is limited, which reduces the return on research investment. Several obstacles exist: organizational responsibility is unclear; infrastructure and personnel with appropriate data management and analysis skills are scarce; and researchers may be reluctant to share. This article considers recent progress in data sharing and the strategies and models used to encourage and facilitate it, with a focus on the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region. A case study from the Philippines demonstrates the benefits of data sharing by comparing the number and type of publications associated with two large-scale surveys with different approaches to sharing. Advocacy and leadership are needed at both national and regional levels to increase awareness. A step-by-step approach may be the most effective: initially large national databases could be made available to develop the methods and skills needed and to foster a data-sharing culture. Duplication of costs and effort could be avoided by collaboration between countries. In developing countries, interventions are required to build capacity in data management and analysis.

Lu J.L.D.P.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology | Year: 2010

This study investigated the concentration and presence of pesticide residues in water and soil in Benguet, which is a vegetable producing region in the Philippines. Seventy-eight samples and 49 water samples were taken from different farms covering three municipalities in the province of Benguet and were analyzed using gas chromatography. Meteorological conditions of temperature and humidity were also taken. Thirty-four of the soil samples were found to be positive for pesticide residues. The most significant pesticide type with the highest concentration was technical endosulfan, with a mean concentration of 0.025 mg/kg, followed by endosulfan sulfate (0.015 mg/kg), chlorpyrifos (0.01 mg/kg), profenofos (0.003 mg/kg), chlorothanil, cypermethrin, and cylohathrin (all at 0.002 mg/kg). One water sample was found to be positive for pesticide residue of chlorpyrifos in municipality 2 at a concentration of 0.07 mg/L. The data also showed that endosulfan, which is restricted in the Philippines and banned in other countries, was found to be the most prevalent pesticide used (17.7%) and the second highest in concentration (0.015 mg/kg) in soil samples. The study also showed a relationship between temperature and pesticide concentration in soil. In conclusion, pesticide residues were found in soil and water samples in the farming areas of Benguet. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Caoili S.E.C.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology | Year: 2010

To better support the design of peptide-based vaccines, refinement of methods to predict B-cell epitopes necessitates meaningful benchmarking against empirical data on the cross-reactivity of polyclonal antipeptide antibodies with proteins, such that the positive data reflect functionally relevant cross-reactivity (which is consistent with antibody-mediated change in protein function) and the negative data reflect genuine absence of cross-reactivity (rather than apparent absence of cross-reactivity due to artifactual masking of B-cell epitopes in immunoassays). These data are heterogeneous in view of multiple factors that complicate B-cell epitope prediction, notably physicochemical factors that define key structural differences between immunizing peptides and their cognate proteins (e.g., unmatched electrical charges along the peptide-protein sequence alignments). If the data are partitioned with respect to these factors, iterative parallel benchmarking against the resulting subsets of data provides a basis for systematically identifying and addressing the limitations of methods for B-cell epitope prediction as applied to vaccine design. © 2010 Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili.

Caoili S.E.C.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics | Year: 2013

If new scientific knowledge is to be more efficiently generated and applied toward the advancement of health, human safety must be more effectively addressed in the conduct of research. Given the present difficulties of accurately predicting biological outcomes of novel interventions in vivo, the imperative of human safety suggests the development of novel pharmaceutical products in tandem with their prospective antidotes in anticipation of possible adverse events, to render the risks of initial clinical trials more acceptable from a regulatory standpoint. Antibodymediated immunity provides a generally applicable mechanistic basis for developing antidotes to both biologicals and small-molecule drugs (such that antibodies may serve as antidotes to pharmaceutical agents as a class including other antibodies) and also for the control and prevention of both infectious and noninfectious diseases via passive or active immunization. Accordingly, the development of prophylactic or therapeutic passive-immunization strategies using antipeptide antibodies is a plausible prelude to the development of corresponding active-immunization strategies using peptide-based vaccines. In line with this scheme, global proliferation of antibodyand vaccine-production technologies, especially those that obviate dependence on the cold chain for storage and transport of finished products, could provide geographically distributed breakout capability against emerging and future health challenges. © 2013 Landes Bioscience.

Caoili S.E.C.,University of the Philippines at Manila
Advances in Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

B-cell epitope prediction aims to aid the design of peptide-based immunogens (e.g., vaccines) for eliciting antipeptide antibodies that protect against disease, but such antibodies fail to confer protection and even promote disease if they bind with low affinity. Hence, the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) was searched to obtain published thermodynamic and kinetic data on binding interactions of antipeptide antibodies. The data suggest that the affinity of the antibodies for their immunizing peptides appears to be limited in a manner consistent with previously proposed kinetic constraints on affinity maturation in vivo and that cross-reaction of the antibodies with proteins tends to occur with lower affinity than the corresponding reaction of the antibodies with their immunizing peptides. These observations better inform B-cell epitope prediction to avoid overestimating the affinity for both active and passive immunization; whereas active immunization is subject to limitations of affinity maturation in vivo and of the capacity to accumulate endogenous antibodies, passive immunization may transcend such limitations, possibly with the aid of artificial affinity-selection processes and of protein engineering. Additionally, protein disorder warrants further investigation as a possible supplementary criterion for B-cell epitope prediction, where such disorder obviates thermodynamically unfavorable protein structural adjustments in cross-reactions between antipeptide antibodies and proteins. © 2012 Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili.

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