PCHRD – Gruppo Medica Award recognizes students with excellent research on herbal medicine

A study on tawa-tawa plant bagged the 1st prize winner for PCHRD-GRUPPO MEDICA AWARD 2012

As evidence of its continuing support and commitment to advance herbal medicine research in the country, the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCHRD-DOST) recognizes student with excellent research on herbal medicine through the PCHRD – Gruppo Medica Award.

This year’s recipients of the award, first prize winner are Ranya Alkhirisi, Jhamaica Alanis, Kaye Edmerose Alas, Marc Oliver Armeña, Angeline Barrosa, James Victor Gan, Ryan Justin Raynes, Anna Andrea Sabado, Cristanne Deanne Santiago and Leah Corinna of the University of Sto Tomas – Faculty of Pharmacy Manila City with their study entitled “Investigation of the anti-thrombocytopenic property of euphorbia hirta linn (Tawa-Tawa) decoction in rat models.”

Their winning research verifies the effects of tawa-tawa to a drug induced thrombocytopenia on animal model that mimic the dengue hemorrhagic fever. According to the study an active compounds in tawa-tawa plant lowers bleeding, promote platelets homeostatic functions and increased platelet count to the tested animals.

dumb cane plant could be a natural source of antiangiogenic compound that can be used in treating cancer

Second prize winner went to Mark Arvin Boyoc and Lady Penelope Denereauax Caro of Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, College of Arts and Sciences in General Santos City with their study entitled “Antiangeogenic Activity and Cytotoxicity of the Leaf of Dieffenbachia maculate (spotted dumb cane plant).”

Their study on spotted dumb cane plant opens opportunity to develop a medicine that can help cure cancer patients. According to the study this plant can be a natural source of antiangeogenic drug beneficial in treating cancer by disabling the agents that activate and promote cell growth, or by directly blocking the growing blood vessel cells commonly used in therapy for cancers.

The third prize winners were John Carlo Madrid, Shiela Mae Decoy, Rowena Evasco, Mae Ann Hong, Razel Mae Mabitasan of San Pedro College, Department of Pharmacy in Davao City with their study entitled “Antihyperglycemic and antihypercholesterolemic activities of the capsule formulation from the whole plant extract of Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda Grass).

Their study shows that this ordinary bermuda grass commonly used for landscaping has also potential in lowering blood sugar. In their study the group created a formulation from bermuda grass extract administered to the subject animals, analyzed and compared to commercial drugs. They concluded that bermuda grass extract is effective in lowering blood sugar.

Bermuda grass extract has the potential in lowering blood sugar according to the 3rd prize Gruppo Medica Award winner

According to Dr. Jaime Montoya, PCHRD Executive Director, the PCHRD-Gruppo Medica Award is way of motivating students to view undergraduate thesis not merely as an academic exercise, but an excellent opportunity as well to contribute to the discovery and development of natural drugs in the country.

The awarding ceremony was conducted at the Sofitel Manila during the Philippine National Health Research System Week on 10 August 2012.


  1. Cristanne Dianne Santiago is truly a pride of Cavite. A future icon in medical science. We are so proud of your accomplishments even in your young age. God bless you all the more!

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