Chona Camille VinceCruz-Abeledo
De La Salle University
And - Content Creator for SHE-ensya
Support each other but we cannot achieve that if we become our worst enemies.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
As a researcher, I lead a team of amazing young scientists create practical technologies, based on a synergy of molecular biology, ecology, and information technology, to help fishers and farmers maximize their limited capital in the Philippines.
As a content creator, I make videos and articles that share my passion for science, calling for inclusivity in the field of research and technology, hoping to inspire the more individuals from the next generation to go into STEM.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
Books were my primary company as a child. I would read our ancient encyclopedia to travel through time, and other places in the world. But what captured my imagination the most was science fiction -- through it I achieved an appreciation for the impact of science and technology in the lives of so many people. So I went off to study molecular biology, believing that if I understood the language of the DNA, it would unlock so many opportunities to improve life itself.
HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?
Funding has always been a limitation to doing STEM in a developing country, and that's why we created the Practical Genomics Laboratory. Molecular biology and genetics research could get expensive but we made it a point to discover cost-effective alternatives, and generate products and technologies that can be disseminated and used at a low-cost or even for free.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
I wish younger me believed in herself more, and started earlier in sharing information about science. Our country -- and the rest of the world -- needs a greater appreciation of STEM in order for us to achieve science-based decision making, and counter the fake news pandemic.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
I love how objective the process is, how if you stick to the scientific method properly you get as close to the truth as possible. And I love how this truth can be used to create innovations that improve our food production processes towards a more sustainable end.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Support each other, we are trying to create a world where there are no limitations based on color, gender, or ethnicity but we cannot achieve that if we become our worst enemies.
STEM belongs to everyone. It is a powerful double-edged sword, and the more of society who can understand and appreciate it for what it is, the more we can harness its potential -- and the more we can prevent it from being used for bad.