Prof. Thomas Edison E. dela Cruz, University of Santo Tomas Research Center for Natural and Applied Sciences resident researcher and College of Science faculty member, was conferred the Outstanding Microbiologist Award by the Philippine Society of Microbiology during PSM’s recent 48th Annual Convention and Scientific Meeting at Clark Marriott Hotel in Pampanga.
The convention carrying the theme “Promoting One Health through Microbiology Education, Research, and Practice” aimed to promote “a collaborative, multi-sector, and trans-disciplinary approach working at the local, regional, national, and global levels” to attain optimal health outcomes.
Essential in the One Health approach are microbial tracking and surveillance, which are useful in addressing the efforts against antibiotic resistance.
As inscribed in the plaque presented to Dela Cruz, he was awarded “for his exemplary research contributions to the field of microbiology, particularly on mycology, and his outstanding dedication to the promotion of microbiology in the country.”
Dela Cruz was awarded the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Outstanding Young Scientist in the field of mycology in 2012 and The World Academy of Sciences Prize for Young Scientist in the Philippines-Biology in 2014.
He was also a Metrobank Outstanding Teacher in 2015 while in 2017, he became the first Filipino to receive the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award.
With more than 85 published research papers on fungal biodiversity, ecogenomics and systematics including fungal applications in agriculture, health and the environment in the last 12 years, Dela Cruz’s research group is at the forefront of fungal research in the country. He has conducted research fellowships in Germany, Austria, China and the United States.