Message from Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin SJ

Former University President (2011 – 2020)

If life is the suspension of entropy (as my former high school biology teacher (Fr Kiko Perez SJ) once said), then ARISE is one institutional demonstration of entropy’s local suspension. It takes energy to ensure order and stave off the threat of increasing randomness and disorder. Left to idle, we ordinarily scatter.

I am grateful ARISE has indeed risen to the challenge of random scatter. In a fuzzy world, it is easy for science and engineering to convince (and even delude) itself of its relevance and responsiveness to the times. After all, the world is never lacking in problems to be solved. Thankfully, we are a community and we can discern and decide together, using our better lights to bring all our knowledge and wisdom to bear upon the lives of the more vulnerable among us. And we hope to do this and build all this with nature and with God. Along the way, we will challenge each other with mutual respect and openness, and yes, love.

It takes energy and, yes, love to suspend entropy. God willing and we willing, ARISE will just be one of our many attempts to defy entropy.

Message from Fr. Roberto C. Yap SJ

University President

Since at least 2015, the research projects and programs of the School of Science and Engineering (SOSE) consistently produced more than half of the University’s Scopus- indexed publications. With dozens of projects, both internally and externally funded, going on at any given time, the School conceived of an institute that would serve as the focal point for its research programs and initiatives. Thus was born the Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering (ARISE).

Established in January 2020, ARISE’s objectives include the advancement of socially relevant and transformational multidisciplinary research. Only a few months later, the commitment of SOSE to this objective was put to the test because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I am very pleased and gratified to hear that the faculty of SOSE and the staff of ARISE have proven to be as large of heart as they are sharp of mind. Of the internally-funded research approved by ARISE this past year, more than 40% are Covid- related or focused on the online delivery of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses.

Aside from the research initiated by faculty members, ARISE also manages the Ateneo Molecular Pathology Laboratory (AMPLify), which is a significant component of the University’s multipronged response to the pandemic and our contribution to the national and global effort to stop the spread of the virus. Beyond the current pandemic, AMPLify will continue to contribute to the development of healthcare in the country by providing high quality and cost effective molecular diagnostic services and training more healthcare and research professionals.

The past year has been an exceptionally challenging one for the entire world. The ability of ARISE to meet the challenge of the pandemic, its long term commitment to research and training that will benefit society and the environment, and the generosity and courage of each individual member involved in its projects and initiatives give us hope that the University can make a more significant and positive impact on science and engineering research and development in the country.

Ad majorem Dei gloriam!

Message from Maria Luz C. Vilches, PhD

Vice President for the Loyola Schools

ARISE As It Should!

Research has become a byword for anything that marks erudition, novelty, discovery, and even compulsion and snobbery. The Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering (ARISE) embraces all this!

  • Erudition that fights for relevance and improves quality of life.
  • Novelty in approaching and solving puzzles from creative prospects.
  • Discovery from leaving no stone unturned despite the twists and turns of uncharted paths.
  • Compulsion towards leadership and service that build community.
  • Snobbery towards the culture of superficiality that kills the scientific imagination.

The Loyola Schools Community is proud of ARISE.

It doesn’t keep science to itself but shows its relevant application to different aspects of human life. It doesn’t create ivory tower scientists but those whose feet are on the ground, embracing the role of culture, politics, economics, the arts, and other disciplines as they try to address societal concerns. It doesn’t sit on its laurels but strives to do what more it can for the greater good.

In what it does, ARISE translates into concrete actions the Ignatian posture of finding God in all things. Always one foot raised for the Greater Glory of God!

Message from Evangeline P. Bautista, PhD

Former Dean of the School of Science and Engineering (2012 – 2021)

The Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering is part of SOSE’s vision of being a community and not just a School consisting of 8 departments each one of which is moving towards its own goal. ARISE is thus supposed to be the community of researchers which recognizes no boundaries created by the distinct disciplines associated to each of SOSE’s departments. The research is supposed to cross borders and be relevant to our nation. It is likewise supposed to stay true to the thrusts of SOSE which are Disaster Science Mitigation, Health, Environment, Mathematics and Science Education and Emerging Technologies.

It is thus with great joy and satisfaction for me to see that after only one year of operations, ARISE is already well on its way to becoming what it was envisioned to be. I congratulate Dr. Len Espiritu and her team for all the hard work done in taking ARISE to where it is now. I thank Fr. Jett Villarin and Dr. Marlu Vilches for trusting us to deliver on our promise. I trust that ARISE will flourish under the leadership of Dr. Paeng Guerrero and will be taking SOSE research into another level in a very short time.

Message from Emilyn Q. Espiritu, PhD

Executive Director of ARISE

In January 2020, the Ateneo de Manila University formally established the Ateneo Research Institute of Science and Engineering (ARISE) as the focal point of research programs of the School of Science and Engineering (SOSE). Who would have predicted that it will face such a huge challenge brought on by this pandemic at its infancy! Thanks to the determination of all the SOSE faculty experts, staff, and researchers of the institute, we have managed to tackle these challenges head on and contribute not only to the ongoing efforts to address this pandemic but to soldier on with their respective researches in the various fields of health, environment and sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and management, Mathematics and Science education and emerging technologies. Despite the numerous constraints—i.e. quarantine restrictions, work-from-home arrangements, travel bans, health concerns, economic instability, etc.—majority of our research teams have managed to complete their researches, presented papers in conferences (albeit online), and successfully published their work in peer-reviewed and Scopus-indexed journals.

This report gives us a glimpse of the kind of interdisciplinary research programs that our ARISE researchers and Fellows had accomplished or are still pursuing. From developing devices for faster, cost effective and reliable detection of SARS-CoV-2 and data reporting systems that our government agencies currently utilize in their information campaigns, to the design and implementation of content for online delivery of various course modules, ARISE continues to provide administrative and logistical support – through research grants, conference subsidies, publication incentives, among others – to enable our research teams to accomplish their objectives with utmost ease and expediency. Equally important are the generous funding assistance that our researchers received from various local and foreign grant institutions (too many to mention here) for which we are truly grateful.

Moreover, ARISE was also tasked with the overall management and supervision of the Ateneo Molecular Pathology Laboratory (AMPLify). This is a private, non-hospital-based laboratory with biohazard containment level 2 (Biosafety Level-2, BSL2) that is designed based on non-propagative diagnostic laboratory work for the detection of genetic material of SARS-CoV2 using real time RT-PCR. Overall, AMPLify serves as the university’s contribution to the national and global efforts to stem the spread of this pandemic and, in the long term, to the improvement of healthcare and diagnostics in the country through research and training. I applaud our SOSE research teams for their passion, courage, commitment and dedication and wish them all the best in their respective endeavors. ARISE shall continue to provide the support that our researchers will need to the best extent possible.

I hope that our readers will gain an insight into the research programs described herein and an appreciation of the very important work that our researchers are doing in fulfillment of our Jesuit and Catholic mission of service to our community, the country…

Ad majorem Dei gloriam!

Message from Raphael A. Guerrero, PhD

Dean of the School of Science and Engineering

As a School, we are committed to a vision that includes serving our national and global community and conducting research that is multi-dimensional. I am glad that ARISE is proving itself to be a vital component in meeting this self- imposed challenge for SOSE. 

Gratitude is extended to Dr. Evangeline Bautista for her leadership and perseverance in establishing SOSE’s own research institute. Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ and Dr. Maria Luz Vilches were instrumental in the creation of ARISE with their seemingly endless support of SOSE’s research activities. I recall early meetings with Fr. Jett and VPLS on acquiring funds for SOSE’s IR 4.0 program and our achievements since then have surpassed all expectations. My thanks and congratulations go to Dr. Emilyn Espiritu for her generous and effective stewardship of ARISE. Her management of the institute has led to enhanced mechanisms for research in SOSE and an increase in productivity for our technical output. 

I have inherited a School that has found purpose in generating knowledge for the good of society. ARISE will continue as a beacon to guide and assist us in this mission. 

With our five research priority areas of Public Health, the Environment, Disaster Science and Resilience, Science and Mathematics Education, and Emerging Technologies, a major goal is to develop a laboratory or working group within ARISE for each of these sectors. These ARISE labs will coordinate and collaborate with our existing research groups in SOSE to improve focus on scientific work aimed at our niche areas. At this point in time, we already have AMPLify for Public Health and promising steps are being taken to establish a Climate and Disaster Resilience Laboratory. 

SOSE is home to a diverse array of department-level research groups specializing in various fields. Plans are being made for a remapping of our research labs, with ARISE as the hub, based on their alignment with the School’s priority areas. The remapping will involve a long overdue institutionalization of our active research groups that will hopefully lead to more efficient use of resources and additional opportunities for collaboration within the community. 

To realize our goal of addressing real-world problems through science and engineering, SOSE and ARISE will work toward connecting with industry and the private sector. I believe that the time is right for us to be more active in sharing our knowledge with industrial partners and crafting solutions with them, with the clear goal of improving as many lives as possible. The private sector will also provide us with new topics for research and alternative sources of funding. 

SOSE is in a good place, with a legacy of excellence in research and massive potential for publication output and community engagement through technology. I have high hopes for how our School’s future research will ARISE. 

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