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Filipino American History Month

Claudia Ortiz-ortiz


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LVN Program in Los Angeles


Since 1988, Filipino American History Month has been celebrated during October in the United States. Originally instituted by the Filipino American National Historical Society, the month was officially designated via a resolution through Congress in 2009.

In honor of Filipino American History Month, we would like to highlight several Filipinos that have made a major impact in the field of medicine.

Conrado S. Dayrit

Dr. Conrado Dayrit, a physician, researcher and instructor in the areas of pharmacology and cardiology, has authored and co-authored over 70 scientific articles. He chaired and edited the first two editions of Drug Index published in 1965 and 1967, and the first edition of the Philippine Formulate in 1978. Dr. Dayrit has received numerous awards over the course of his career, including:

  • First Prize in Research Award for fundamental sciences, three times
  • Republic Cultural Heritage Award
  • First Prize in Research from the Manila Medical Society for clinical study
  • Gregorio Y. Zara award from the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science for Applied Science

Veronica F. Chan

As one of the earliest pioneers in virology and immunology, Veronica Chan has been recognized for her scientific accomplishments in these areas of medical research. Her research has been used to improve the health of many around the world in the form of:

  • Improvements in policy
  • Prevention and manipulation of viruses
  • Protocol for addressing severe cases of viral infections

Paulo C. Campos

Dr. Paulo C. Campos has been recognized for his contributions in the area of nuclear medicine. He received the Outstanding Scientist Award from the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science in 1969.

Dr. Campos founded the:

  • First Radioisotope Laboratory in the Philippines
  • First Research Laboratory in the University of the Philippines Department of Medicine
  • Thyroid Clinic at the UP-PGH Medical Center

Dr. Campos has co-authored or authored 75 articles published in scientific journal, some of which were award winning. He won awards for his research in:

  • The Genetic Factor in Endemic Goiter
  • Cr-51 Tagged Red Cell Studies
  • Observation on Some Parameter of Insulin Action

Benjamin Cabrera

Dr. Benjamin Cabrera is known for his contributions to medicine on behalf of his research in public health and medical parasitology. He has published numerous scientific articles regarding his research in preventing the spread of disease from mosquitoes. Dr. Cabrera discovered methods to control diseases that are spread by contracting parasitic roundworms. In 1996, Dr. Cabrera was awarded the Presidential Award from the Philippine Legion of Honor for his work with tropical diseases.

Fe Villanueva del Mundo

Dr. Fe Villanueva del Mundo was the first woman student to be admitted to the Harvard Medical School in 1936. This came about because she accepted a scholarship from the Filipino government to go to any school in the United States. Because of her stellar record, the head of pediatric medicine chose to still accept her at a time when women were not accepted at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Del Mundo returned to the Philippines after graduation and founded the country’s first pediatric hospital. She practiced pediatric medicine for eight decades. For her pioneering work in pediatrics, Dr. Del Mundo:

  • Received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1977
  • Given the rank and title of National Scientists of the Philippines in 1980
  • Honored with the Order of Lakandula in 2010

Abelardo Aguilar

Millions of people around the world today benefit from Dr. Abelardo Aguilar’s discovery of Erythromycin as an alternative antibiotic for those who are allergic to antibiotics or suffer gastrointestinal side effects from other types of antibiotics. He submitted his discovery to Eli Lilly and Company in 1952 but was never fully compensated by royalties or recognized for his discovery.


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