DA-PCC has new career scientist

Dr. Marvin Villanueva, Senior Science Research Specialist and OIC Chief of the Research and Development Division/Chief of the Livestock Biotechnology Center, has joined the DA-PCC’s growing pool of career scientists after he was conferred a Scientist I rank under the Agricultural Sciences Division of the Scientific Career System (SCS) effective May 20, 2022.

The conferment of Dr. Villanueva makes him the 8th active career scientist of the agency.

The SCS is “a system of recruitment, career progression, recognition and reward of scientists in the government service as a means of developing a pool of highly qualified and productive scientific personnel”. Its program is being administered by the National Academy of Science and Technology(NAST) under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the Civil Service Commission.

An Outstanding Young Scientist awardee in 2021, Dr. Villanueva is a graduate of Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Medicine at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan with a specialization in Bacterial Zoonotic Diseases.

Dr. Villanueva, together with his team, developed advanced/molecular-based diagnostic tests for sensitive detection of livestock diseases such as interferon-gamma release assay for bovine tuberculosis, and loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test for bovine leptospirosis. These sensitive and rapid diagnostic tests are currently used in the country for faster disease detection and initiation of treatment and control measures.

In his desire to address immediate problems in the livestock industry particularly in animal health, he is currently collaborating with local and international experts and institutions on the development of autogenous vaccine and pen-side nanosensor-based diagnostic tool, antimicrobial resistance, solidification of biosecurity protocols using smart technologies, and development of rapid diagnostic kits and novel therapeutics against economically imperative diseases in the Philippines.

His recent involvement is the development of KBGAN iHealth mobile app as part of the Extension and Advisory Services Information (EASIS) Project between the DA-PCC and the Grameen Foundation.

Dr. Villanueva’s scientific journey and passion are also heavily influenced by his commitment to work and uphold the mission of his agency, which is to serve the Filipino farmers and promote the improvement of their welfare, particularly those in the livestock sector, in order to create a food-secure, economically sustainable, and safe Philippines.

The DA-PCC recognizes Dr. Villanueva’s accomplishments, specifically in developing technology to prevent and mitigate buffalo diseases. His significant research outputs have been and will continue to be a crucial contribution to the development of the livestock sector.