Meet Kevin Jace Miranda, Newton Fund grant awardee.

Research topic: Discovery of novel pharmaceuticals from marine and desert microorganisms

Host institution / UK university: University of Aberdeen

Home institution: Adamson University

Degree programme: PhD Chemistry

Describe your PhD research in layman’s terms.

My research involves isolation and identification of compounds with biological effects from sources that live on extreme environments. I am working on samples gathered from the bottom of the ocean where pressure is so high that only few organisms can live on it and from a lake that has a high pH. It is an interdisciplinary research on chemistry, microbiology and molecular biology.

What is the relevance of your study to the economic development, welfare and poverty issues in the Philippines?

The research aims to discover new compounds that can be used on both pharmaceutical and healthcare settings. It tackles the growing antibiotic resistance and generation of potential anti-cancer agents. The development of these compounds from natural sources into new drugs or formulations contributes to the continuous search for new antibiotics with few resistance and new class of anticancer drugs with minimal side effects. The research is also significant in utilizing the diverse source that can be found in the Philippines, especially the underexplored.

How do you envision your UK education can contribute to your future career as a researcher?

The UK education I am pursuing now here in Aberdeen enables me to utilize sophisticated and well-founded instruments that make my research fast, reliable and accurate. The guidance of my advisers, who are both distinguished natural products chemists, helps me shape my capability and capacity to do relevant researches with social and economic impact. It also gave me an opportunity to build research thrust and collaboration with different institutions both in the United Kingdom and the European Union. This PhD experience also opens an opportunity to do collaboration with the university in the future through faculty and student exchange programs.

How has the commitment of the UK in science and technology influence your decision in choosing the Newton Fund?

The UK education I am pursuing now here in Aberdeen enables me to utilize sophisticated and well-founded instruments that make my research fast, reliable and accurate. The guidance of my advisers, who are both distinguished natural products chemists, helps me shape my capability and capacity to do relevant researches with social and economic impact. It also gave me an opportunity to build research thrust and collaboration with different institutions both in the United Kingdom and the European Union. This PhD experience also opens an opportunity to do collaboration with the university in the future through faculty and student exchange programs.