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Institute for Health and Innovation and Translational Medicine


Institute for Information Infrastructure Development




Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine (IHITM)

Health innovation and translational medicine refers to the bench-to-bedside translation of basic scientific research to practicable diagnostic procedures and therapies with meaningful improvements to physical, mental or social health outcomes (adapted from Zerhouni, 2005).

The Institute for Health Innovation and Translational Medicine directs projects in health care through strategic technology, delivery, and training, to improve diagnosis, treatment and health services delivery in the ten major causes of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines, such as asthma, diabetes, tuberculosis, dengue and diarrhea.




IHITM-2013-63: High Throughput Screening of Philippine Terrestrial and Marine Organisms for Antimalarial Properties and Identification of Novel Drug Targets


PH Project Leader: Dr. Christine Hernandez (UP Diliman) 
US Project Investigator: Dr. Joseph DeRisi (UC San Francisco)



The goals of this project are two-fold. First, within two years, the project is expected to deliver a prioritized list of preclinical samples from Philippine land and aquatic organisms for drug development that are matched with target identification and their chemical identity. Second, the establishment of a centralized facility for high throughput drug screening will open up a unique opportunity for Filipino researchers to explore the untapped potential of novel bioactive agents in the rich collection of plant and marine species of the Philippines. This joint effort holds the promise not just for anti-malarials, but also for dengue fever, tuberculosis, influenza, and cancer. These goals is being achieved through cross-training of personnel, knowledge transfer, and infrastructure building.


IHITM-2013-109: Philippine-UC Collaboratory for Device Innovation (Education/Training Award)

PH Project Leader: Dr. Alberto Roxas (UP Manila)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Michael Harrison (UC San Francisco)

This Education and Training Award significantly contributes to the creation of a critical mass of appropriately trained researchers for the proposed Collaboratory or partnership in UP Manila. This partnership is an opportunity to establish collaboration for medical/surgical device innovation in the Philippines, a pioneering reusable and scalable framework to increase innovation capacity and support for subsequent device development projects in the country. This effort addresses improving patient health outcomes, and at the same time, contribute to the economic well-being of the nation by being able to produce such devices at lower cost. Two (2) surgical Innovation Fellows and two (2) candidates for the Master of Translational Medicine (MTM) is being supported by this Award in order to gain the knowledge, skills & experience necessary not only to perform world-class medical research and device development but also to help create the infrastructure & environment conducive to such objectives.

IHITM 131: Accessible Detection of Dengue using BioMems and MIP Materials


PH Project Leader: Dr. Florian del Mundo (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Luke Lee (UC Berkeley)

A portable detection system for dengue is being developed using molecular imprinting, an emerging technology for the creation of specific recognition sites in synthetic polymers using a suitable template. The overall objective of the project is to build a point-of-care system for dengue detection, an integrated system implementing the whole laboratory procedure “from sample to result.” The integrated system will include: (1) an optimized portable detection system based on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) and (2) a microfluidic/microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device for in situ sample preparation prior to detection.

The fabrication of nanomaterials and devices mutually builds scientific capabilities and expertise among researchers and results in portable devices that will benefit Philippine public health monitoring in clinics and hospitals. The project using MIP technology and microfluidics serves as platform for detection of other diseases.

Expansion of the Shared Genomics Core Facility in the Philippines 


PH Project Leader: Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco- dela Paz (Philippine Genome Center, UP Diliman)


This shared core facility is a purpose-built resource which seeks to expand significantly collaborations, networking, and information exchanges within the Philippine scientific community from various institutions. It complements CHED-PCARI-funded projects with genomics component as part of the study research methodologies as well as give additional support to the Philippine Genome Center Network which includes CHED Higher Education Institutions: Government and Private Universities and Colleges Research Institutions in the country including health facilities.

This project seeks to strengthen national laboratory capacity for high throughput genomics research. The Shared Genomics Core Facility will provide DNA and RNA analysis services from experimental design and sample preparation to data analysis. It will increase available dedicated research space, specialized instrumentation, biobanking and bioinformatics expertise. Additionally, the Shared Genomics Core Facility will enhance instruction and training in cutting-edge methods particularly in next-generation sequencing, transcriptomics, proteomics and analysis, managing and sorting of biological data (bioinformatics). It will also complement the existing resources supporting innovations in teaching genomics.


Cycle 2 Projects:


IHITM-2015-01: Increasing the Rates of Newborn Hearing Screening with Novel Technologies and Telehealth 

PH Project Leader: Dr. Charlotte Chiong (UP Manila)

US Project Investigator: Dr. David Lindeman (UC Berkeley)

A newborn hearing screening device with telehealth capabilities will enable the local health units of all municipalities, especially the geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA), to comply with the requirement of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention Act, that all newborns must be screened of hearing loss within 3 months after birth, without the need to travel long distances to accredited screening centers in the cities. The telehealth capability of the device will allow screening to be done locally, with automated data collection for local (CHITS/EMR) and cloud storage (NHS Registry), and facilitate prompt referral for confirmatory testing and intervention via the tele-audiology protocol. The device will be packaged with tele-learning (or e-learning) modules for device training and screener training and certification (Category A). The project intends to build capacities of primary care health facilities for newborn hearing screening and primary care health professionals to screen and appropriately refer patients identified to have potential congenital hearing problems. The University of California (UC) is well-known for their expertise on the field of biomedical device development. The collaboration with the University of California will fast-track the device development to facilitate the full integration of the tele-AABR and local telehealth protocols (tele-audiology and tele-learning).

IHITM-2015-03: Metagenomic Contributions to Type 2 Diabetes Among Filipino Populations


PH Project Leader: Dr. Eva Cutiongco- de la Paz (UP Manila)
UC Project Investigaor: Dr. Mark Seielstad (UC San Francisco)

This project performs an epigenetic study of CpG methylation in 100 Type 2 diabetes cases and 100 healthy controls each from Manila and San Francisco (N=400 total). Also, this project performs a microbiome-wide association study in 50 T2D cases and 50 healthy controls enrolled in Manila and 50 in San Francisco (N=400 total for both stages). The possibility that therapeutic manipulation of the gut microbiome by changes in diet or probiotic supplementation might be effective in reducing the risk of obesity and T2D is an exciting possible outcome of this highly novel line of research.




Cycle 3 Projects:

IHITM-2016-09: Wearable Cardiac Arrhythmia Monitor based on Low-Power Radar Principles

PH Project Leader:  Dr. Romeric F. Pobre (DLSU)

US Project Investigator: Dr. Xiaoguang Liu (UC Davis)

This  project aims to address the critical need in understanding and managing cardiovascular diseases which have been identified by the Department of Health (DOH) as the top diseases in terms of mortality rate. Cardiovascular diseases are a major cause of deaths worldwide. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 4.3 million Americans have some sort of arrhythmia with the most common, atrial fibrillation (A-Fib), representing close to 50% at 2.2 million. In the Philippines, cardiac diseases represent the highest mortality rate and A-Fib is among the most common heart conditions. If not well controlled, A-Fib can lead to stroke, heart failure, fainting, and generally a poor quality of life

This project’s research will result in low-cost low-power compact radar sensors suitable for long duration and wearable monitoring of cardiopulmonary functions. The low-cost nature of such devices means that it can benefit patients with vast difference financial and social backgrounds.


IHITM-2016-17: One Health: Innovations in Early Detection and Interventions in Human, Animal, and Plant Health

PH Project Leader: Dr. Michael Tee (UP Manila), Dr. Loinda Baldrias (UP Los Baños)
UC Project Investigaor: Dr. Michael Wilkes (UC Davis)


The goal of this project is to improve human, animal, and plant health by developing and testing a transdisciplinary mobile health (mhealth) diagnostic, health management, and epidemiologic surveillance tool for use by community health workers and livestock and agricultural extension agents in the Philippines.


Ultimately, the project will seek innovative solutions to improve the health of humans in the areas of implementation. For the downstream problem, the project plans to use mHealth to solve the problem of siloed professionals by creating a digital collaboration space – each professional group (medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture) will contribute specialized knowledge for use on a mobile app. App data will be available on smartphones to community-based one health works. For the upstream problem, mHealth plans to solve the problems created by the lack of surveillance data. Policy makers will be able to monitor communities and effectively allocate resources and provide rapid evidence-based interventions – thus being proactive instead of reactionary.


IHITM-2016-13: Establishment of a Philippine Cancer Phenome-Biobanking System and Biomonitoring Program

PH Project Leader: Dr. Michael C. Velarde (UP DIliman)
UC Project Investigator: Dr. Linda C. Giudice (UC San Francisco)

This project aims to establish a human phenome-biobanking system on cancer. Once this biobanking system proves to be successful, St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) can maintain the project and expand to collect other types of cancers, as well as other pathologies.


Part of the project is to create a system that will facilitate long term storage of patient information, as well as easy access of medical professionals and researchers to relevant patient information without compromising patient confidentiality. As part of the extensive cancer phenome-biobanking system, the project will setup two new extensions: (a) the human cell repository system and (b) the biomonitoring program.

The phenome-biobanking system will complement Philippine government-funded projects on health by providing access to relevant patient information, human tissue samples, human cell culture materials, and data on threatening levels of endocrine disruptors in Filipinos. The biobanking system aims to build an infrastructure that will serve as a model for collecting patient information and human specimens in the Philippines.







Information infrastructure development refers to the technological and human components, networks, systems, and processes that contribute to the creation, flow or exchange, processing and management of electronic information (adapted from Braa et al., 2007).



The Institute for Information Infrastructure Development directs projects in information technology, energy, e-government and e-education
Cycle 1 Projects:


IIID-2013-13: Resilient Sensory Swarms for Smart Energy and Environment Monitoring (RESE2NSE)

PH Project Leader: Dr. Louis Alarcon (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Jan Rabaey (UC Berkeley)

The project explores the concept of an open swarm hardware and software platform as a means to address energy and environmental monitoring – a challenge that is foremost in every country in the world, but even more outspokenly so in the developing countries. With a focus on smart energy usage and delivery, and dynamic environmental monitoring, the Swarm vision created an entirely new perspective that allows for increased scalability, reliability and extensibility of monitoring and operational sustainability of public energy utility systems. This project is also aimed at developing new technologies that will use micro-fabrication technologies to enable low-cost, resilient, and scalable instrumentation of the power distribution infrastructure. (Read more here...)


IIID-2013-31: The Village Base Station 

PH Project Leader: Dr. Cedric Angelo M. Festin (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Eric Brewer (UC Berkeley)

This project addresses both the areas of Resilient Infrastructures and Online Education, E-Government and IT for National Security research areas. The goal of the research in the Philippines is to develop and deploy novel, low-cost mobile base stations that will address the lack of fundamental mobile communications service in rural areas in the country. The Village Base Station (VBTS) is an attempt to realize the vision of universal access to basic communications –a vital human need. This project will reduce the cost of infrastructure to make mobile phones viable for new areas and users where, currently, little to none exists. With lower costs, it is expected that operators will extend their reach into more rural areas, and new rural entrants will become economically viable. 

IIID-2013-54: Resilient Cyber Physical Societal Scale Systems 

PH Project Leader: Dr. Susan Festin (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Larry Rohrbough (UC Berkeley)

Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) refers to physical systems (such as electric power, transportation, building management systems, water, gas, and other flow networks, etc.) with a cyber infrastructure consisting primarily of networked embedded wireless embedded devices. Resilient operation of CPS requires the following “high confidence attributes”: functional correctness (by design) for real-time operations, fault tolerance and operation through attacks. This project addresses the areas of Resilient Infrastructures and IT for National Security in the Philippines by developing and deployment of localized testbeds for security and scalability testing of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). In particular, the research targets the resilient operation of vital cyber-physical infrastructure in the country, such as electric power, transportation, building management systems, water, etc, by helping ensure tolerance to reliability failures and survivability even during successful cyber-attacks. 

IIID-2013-58: Cost-Effective Manufacturing Using Printing Fabrication Technologies for Energy Generation, Conditioning, and Monitoring Devices 

PH Project Leader: Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez (ADMU)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Vivek Subramanian (UC Berkeley)


This project is focused on improving photovoltaic (PV) technologies and using printed electronic technologies to achieve such. Although there is worldwide deployment of photovoltaic systems, technologies to further reduce their costs are needed to make them truly affordable. Two ways to improve costs is to optimize the performance of existing solar cell modules –and this can be done through conditioning and monitoring electronics that can isolate bad or shaded cells in series-connected PV modules. Another way is to further develop third-generation solar cells and at the same time incorporating these conditioning and monitoring devices. Both of these approaches can be realized through cost-effective fabrication techniques using printing technologies – to produce printed electronics devices. Printing-based manufacturing is an emerging technology that is inherently more cost-effective than current manufacturing of electronic devices which use more sophisticated facilities and requiring higher capital and operating expenditures. Further, the project will exploit Philippines-specific resources to enable low-cost materials for the same, particularly to exploit indigenous material sources (e.g., carbon produced from biomass). 

Cycle 2 Projects:

IIID-2015-07: E-Participation 2.0: Connecting Diverse Philippine Populations for Disaster Risk Management with a Toolkit Integrating Text and Speech Analytics
  
PH Project Leader: Dr. Rachel Edita Roxas (National University)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Kenneth Goldberg (UC Berkeley)

 This project designs, implements and evaluates a next generation e-participation digital toolkit and methodology, with two specific detailed field tests addressing Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM). The project advances research in computer science and engineering, and in social sciences, specifically on quantitative research methods, collaborative filtering of qualitative data, communication theory, public opinion, and political communication. The project aims to develop new strategies to systematically expand opinion-gathering and feedback across linguistically and socioeconomically diverse populations by designing a textual-, visual,- and voice-based user interface, with careful consideration of culturally sensitive symbols and icons in the development of the Graphic User Interface.


IIID-2015-09: GREEN POWER: Generating Renewable Energy via Electrolysis of Water using New Power Hybrid Systems

Project 1: Hydrogen Generation Using Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOEC)

PH Project Leader: Dr. Rinlee Butch M. Cervera (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigators: Dr. Po-Ya Abel Chuang (UC) and Dr. Costas J. Spanos (UC Berkeley)


In the Philippines, reliability and increasing the energy from renewable sources are some of the advocacies in our continuous effort for energy sustainability and support for environmentally-friendly energy technology. GREEN POWER is a program consisting of two major projects which could generate and produce the green power or environmentally-friendly and sustainable energy. 

Project 1 involves hydrogen generation using solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) while Project 2 for the energy production using polymer exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). For Project 1, stabilized ZrOsolid electrolyte of Yttrium and other dopant system will be investigated, both micrograined and nanograined size using solid state reactions and wet chemistry approaches. The main aim of Project 1 is to fabricate an SOEC that could generate hydrogen gas and later be used and incorporated in Project 2 to produce energy or green power.



Project 2: Energy Production Using Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC)

PH Project Leaders: Dr. Joey D. Ocon 
US Project Investigators: Dr. Po-Ya Abel Chuang (UC) and Dr. Costas J. Spanos (UC Berkeley)


The need for a reliable power source for keeping information and communications leads to promising solutions such as electrochemical energy storage and conversion technologies such as fuel cells.

Fuel cells have the advantage of being able to produce its own fuel from renewable energy source.Project 2 aims to enable local design and development of alternative energy production technologies to power the information and communication networks. A 1kW polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack is to be designed and fabricated. In addition, the project will focus in finding novel non-noble metal catalysts for the rate-limiting reduction of oxygen in the cathode, which lowers the rate of energy production in fuel cells

IIID-2015-10: Resilient Electricity Grids

PH Project Leader: Dr. Michael Angelo Pedrasa (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Carl Blumstein (UC Berkeley)

This research program proposes a pathway towards a resilient Philippine electricity grid, or a smart grid. It includes three research projects that can deliver immediate and significant positive impact to the operation of the Philippine electric power networks. The 3 projects are: Project 1: Resilient Demand Side Management Using Interruptible Loads. This project develops contracting and control frameworks to coordinate interruptible loads in the context of maintaining power system reliability during supply shortages. Project 2: Micro-synchrophasors for Resilient Distribution Network Operation and Control. This project will deploy a networked μPMU System to the distribution network of a Philippine cooperative and to demonstrate that the μPMU system is a cost-effective approach to distribution network real-time monitoring. Project 3: Resilient Electricity Grids Through Data Analytics for Diagnostics and Intervention. This project is designing new scalable, machine learning algorithms that operate in real time to create energy analytics for diagnostics as well as mechanisms that utilize energy analytics for intervention such as economic incentives and physical control.


IIID-2015-11: CITAS: Cloud-based Intelligent Total Analysis System using Geospatial Wireless Sensors and Mobile Microscopy

PH Project Leaders: Dr. Maria Regina Justina Estuar (ADMU)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Daniel A. Fletcher (UC Berkeley)

This project addresses the problem of late detection of diseases in plant by developing an intelligent and mobile cloud-based Total Analysis System (TAS) consisting of: a mobile PlantScope (mobile phone based microscope) partnered with a mobile loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay kit. The PlantScope will be composed mobile microscope embedded with software for geospatial tagging, WR coding for automated and easy identification and labeling of plants, including time of capture and location of capture. The mobile phone will also include an intelligent software that can capture and process multiple images and indicate health status of a plant using samples from a mobile LAMP assay kit.



IIID-2015-13: 3rd Generation VCSEL for Resilient Communication Networks (3V-ReCoN)

PH Project Leaders: Dr. Elmer S. Estacio
US Project Investigator: Dr. Constance J. Chang-Hasnain (UC Berkeley)

The project aims to improve local capability building in helping increase the capacity of data and telecommunication networks in the Philippines by developing cutting-edge, 3rd Generation VCSELs as light sources in dense-wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) fiber-optic networks. The use of 3rd Generation VCSELs in DWDM networks allows for the parallel transmission of multiple optical data lines through existing fiberoptic cables. This offers a cost-effective solution in dramatically improving optical data transfer rates.



Cycle 3 Projects:

IIID-2016-005: AIRSCAN: Collaborative Aerial Robotics in Large-Scale Urban Infrastructure Management

PH Project Leader:  Dr. Rowel O. Atienza 
(UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Allen Y. Yang (UC Berkeley)

The project proposes to study new methods and systems that will enable intuitive and intelligent interaction between drones and inexperienced humans for controlling drones, such as field service engineers, delivery truck drivers, or firefighters. The project believes a new theory in collaborative aerial robotics is needed to bridge the technology gaps, which will be the main subject of this project called AIRSCAN. In particular, the project will develop new theory and effective algorithms to address the following three intimately related topics:

  1. Control: Fault-resilient safety assurance;
  2. Sensing: Collaborative aerial SLAM;
  3. Analysis: Information aggregation and representation for large-scale urban infrastructure.
Finally, the program will have a strong educational component, with the goal to train a new generation of engineering students who can master the latest drone, machine learning, and immersive computing technologies.

IIID-2016-007: nanoQuench: Synthesis and Modelling of Porous Activated Graphene Nanofilters for Precise Water Purification and Desalination

PH Project Leader:  Dr. Magdaleno 
R. Vasquez Jr. (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Matthew P. Sherburne (UC Berkeley)
This project seeks to couple computational materials design of 2D graphene-based materials with experimental efforts to rapidly arrive at an optimized material system and device for water purification. 

Computational materials modeling can be used to predict properties before materials have been synthesized in the laboratory. This approach should accelerate the discovery and subsequent application of new materials and allow experimental efforts to focus on promising material systems determined from the simulations. 


The project objectives highlight the development of a PECVD system with high vacuum capability for the bottom-­up synthesis of graphene-­based materials, and then modifying the plasma system such that it could be able to create precise nanoholes in the graphene sheets.


IIID-2016-008: Development of Wireless Sensor Network-Based Water Information System For Efficient Irrigation Water Management in the Philippines

PH Project Leader: Dr. Victor B. Ella (UP Los Baños)
UC Project Investigator: Dr. Steven D. Glaser (UC Berkeley)


This project aims to design, develop and test a novel irrigation water management scheme and information system for lowland and upland crops based on wireless sensor network (WSN) technology. The proponents intend to design, build, and operate hardened agricultural observatories that will provide detailed and real-time information on surface and subsurface hydrologic conditions, local meteorological conditions, soil conditions, etc., and, if necessary, control an automatic irrigation scheduling and application system.



The technology that will be developed in this project would lead to numerous benefits and positive impacts including good management policies in the agriculture and water sector, improved enforcement through an informed populace, and a direct economic improvement for the stakeholde.  The resulting system should be ready for marketing within the Philippines and to countries with climates similar to the Philippines.

IIID-2016-010: Chemical and Environment - Portable Sensor Techologies (CE-PoST)

PH Project Leader:  Dr. 
Arnel A. Salvador (UP Diliman)
US Project Investigator: Dr. Liwei Lin  (UC Berkeley)

The  project aims to develop novel portable and low-power graphene-based gas sensors using wafer-level packaging processes for applications on cell phones, wearable devices, and internet of things (IoT) – key information infrastructure with applications in the sectors of environmental monitoring, transportation, and monitoring and control


Part of the objectives of CE-PoST is the establishment of a facility to prototype sensors and possibly even other devices. Researchers from both the academe and industry who would want to fabricate a prototype of their device can utilize the facility. This will bolster the country’s research and development capabilities, putting the Philippines at the forefront of device fabrication research    .












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