Dr. Cumagun wins the 2013 DOST-NRCP Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia award

Dr. Christian Joseph R. Cumagun, Professor 6 and Scientist II of University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), garnered the 2013 DOST-NRCP Dr. Eusebio Y. Garcia award conferred by the Department of Science and Technology-National Research Council of the Philippines (DOST-NRCP).

Held at the Traders Hotel, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City on 5 December 2013, the conferment ceremony coincided with the medical science paper presentation and forum during the 80th foundation day of NRCP.

Dr. Cumagun's research projects created great impact in the fields of molecular biology and molecular pathology through mapping important genes that control pathogenicity, aggressiveness and mycotoxin production of F. Graminearum. His work will help plant breeders analyze the most important disease in wheat, Fusarium head blight to be able to produce wheat varieties that can resist the disease in the future.

He also identified Rwt3, the third known wheat gene for resistance to the Magnaporthe oryzae. This lead to the development of resistant cultivars which is an effective, convenient and environmentally-friendly approach to combat the disease. Findings showed that preventing yield losses due to blast could feed an additional 100 million mouths a year.

Another exceptional research of Dr. Cumagun was the first molecular characterization of the Philippine Trichoderma strains, a biocontrol agent fungus against several plant pathogens as a means to reduce pesticide use in agriculture.

With Dr. Cumagun’s numerous significant contributions, other researchers will surely be inspired and influenced to generate more outputs that will find application in their fields.