Raising Hope: The Work Of Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza
International Women's Day

Raising Hope: Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza, The Scientist Improving Indigenous Philippine Food Crops

Art by Goldie Siglos

Vogue Philippines celebrates International Women’s Day through “Raising Hope,” in a call for nominations of inspiring women. Discover the story of Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza, a biochemistry and biotechnology scientist, mentor, academician, and educator.

Dr. Tecson-Mendoza’s work centers around biochemistry and biotechnology. Courtesy of Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza

Nominated by Dr. Dolores A. Ramirez

Mungbeans, papayas, and coconuts are some of the Philippines’ staple food crops, ever-present in various dishes served at Filipino dining tables. By nature, they are already nutritional, but Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza has made them even better. “Her work on mungbeans and its physicochemical properties allowed the increase in its nutritional and functional properties,” says Dr. Dolores A. Ramirez, who nominated Dr. Tecson-Mendoza for Vogue Philippines’ Raising Hope.

Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza inside the laboratory. Courtesy of Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza

According to Dr. Ramirez, Dr. Tecson-Mendoza is a multi-awarded “outstanding scientist and mentor” with a specialization in biochemistry and biotechnology, an academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST, Phl), and a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines—Los Baños (UPLB). Her scientific research focuses on the biochemical and nutritional properties of staple and indigenous Philippine food crops, which has attracted the attention of scientists beyond the Philippine seas.

Dr. Tecson-Mendoza has one several international and national awards, including the TOWNS award. Courtesy of Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza

Dr. Ramirez also shares with pride that, aside from Dr. Tecson-Mendoza’s research work, she is also involved in education. “She mentored graduates and undergraduates, graduating 14 Ph.D.s, 23, M.Sc.s., and 34 B.S. students. She was also the principal of the institution of M.Sc. and Ph.D. on Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, as well as the B.S. Agricultural Biotechnology curricula at UPLB,” Dr. Ramirez says. “Outside UPLB, she had been very active in the on-the-job training of high school teachers on chemistry, biochemistry, and biotechnology under the auspices of NAST, Phl, and professional organizations.”

Dr. Tecson-Mendoza with her lab team. Courtesy of Dr. Evelyn Mae Tecson-Mendoza

On top of all of these, Dr. Tecson-Mendoza was also the editor-in-chief of two prominent scientific journals in the Philippines, The Philippine Agricultural Scientist and the Philippine Journal of Crop Science. She was also an overseas editor of Japan’s Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry Journal. At present, she is the editor-in-chief of NAST, Phl’s journal The Transactions.

Visit vogue.ph everyday this month for daily features on inspiring women, as nominated by the people whose lives they’ve changed.

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