PDEA confers awards to scientific collaborators

MANILA, (PIA) –The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) conferred awards on October 16, 2023, to two scientists who made crucial contributions to the field of drug forensic analysis.          

PDEA paid tribute to Dr. Cynthia Saloma, Officer-In-Charge of the DNA Sequencing Core Facility, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Philippine Genome Center; and Dr. Evangeline Amor, Head of the Terrestrial Natural Products Laboratory, UPDiliman.

They have done collaborative research with the Agency’s Laboratory Service in identifying non-regulated psychoactive plants and substances designed to mimic the effects of traditional illegal drugs.

PDEA Director General Undersecretary Moro Virgilio Lazo, together with personnel from the PDEA Laboratory Service headed by Director Randy Pedroso, handed the Plaques of Appreciation to Dr. Saloma and Dr. Amor.           

The PDEA delegation was treated to a tour of the UP-Diliman, Philippine Genome Center. Dr. Saloma showed the different laboratory equipment of the facility and briefed the group on its capabilities when it comes to DNA profiling and sequencing.           

The UP-Diliman-PDEA Laboratory Service collaboration shall continue its pursuit to discover more psychedelic plants that are not controlled under international drug control conventions but are legal by any means and may cause severe adverse health effects.

The exploration hinges on the hope that someday the research give rise to legislative measures to place these substances under regulatory control. (pdea/pia-ncr)

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