Scientist Profile

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Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco

National Scientist (1994), NAST Academician

Expertise: Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry, Environmental mutagenesis, Antimutagenesis, Antiteratogenesis

NS Clara Lim-Sylianco took her Pre-Medicine in Siliman University, graduating with an AA with highest honors in 1947. She worked for a BS in the same university and graduated magna cum laude in 1948. She obtained her BS Chemistry in 1949, also magna cum laude. She enrolled at the University of the Philippines for an MS in Chemistry from 1949-1953. Immediately after graduation, NS Sylianco left as a Fulbright scholar for the United States to pursue her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1957. Her PhD research elucidated the mechanism of action of the B vitamins on the metabolism of tryptophan by liver and kidney tissue. For her postdoctoral work, she studied the effect of the structure of histidine on its metabolism. On her return to the country, she focused on the studies of Philippine plants ability to protect plants against mutagens. She joined the UP Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Professor from 1957 to 1963 and worked her way up to Associate Professor in 1965, and eventually became full professor in 1970. With her many students at the UP Diliman’s Department of Chemistry, Dr. Sylianco found that the extract of some 50 Philippine plants like ampalaya (bitter gourd, Momordica charantia), malunggay (Moringa olifeira) can protect the cells against effects of certain mutagens found in some antibiotics. NS Sylianco with her students showed that refined coconut oil, more than soybean oil, protect the body against some chemical carcinogens found in food and the environment. A study on street soils obtained from commercial, residential and industrial areas in Manila showed their mutagenic activity which was related to the levels of benzopyrene, a potent carcinogen from diesel exhaust adsorbed by the soils. Her numerous discoveries of environmental mutagens culminated in the designation of her laboratory at the University of the Philippines as an international training center for the detection of chemical mutagens by the Research Planning in Biological Sciences, Washington, D.C., USA in 1986 and in her appointment as a member of the International Advisory Committee on Antimutagens in 1989. Recognized as an outstanding educator, Dr. Sylianco introduced the teaching of organic chemistry at the molecular level at UP in the early 1960s. Her students who were also teachers in schools from different parts of the Philippines appreciated the new way of learning organic chemistry and asked Dr. Sylianco to continue teaching them as well as other teachers during summers, thus was born the Organic Chemistry Teachers Association (OCTA) in 1973. With biochemistry teachers and researchers, Dr. Sylianco established the Philippine Biochemical Society (now Philippine Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) in 1973 and held summer workshops on teaching techniques and laboratory experiments. NS Lim-Sylianco has published more than 50 scientific articles, seven (7) books and five (5) monographs on organic chemistry, biochemistry, genetic toxicology, and molecular nutrition. Her books are used as textbooks in college chemistry courses in many schools throughout the country. Among her distinguished awards include the Gregorio Y. Zara Award by the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science, Inc. (PHILAAS) in 1979, Outstanding Scientist by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VII in 1987, and the Lingkod Bayan Presidential Award in 1988. NS Clara Lim-Sylianco was recognized for her outstanding scientific contributions by professional organizations and the Philippine government. In 1980, she was elected to the National Academy of Science and Technology as Academician. In 1994, Academician Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist by then President Fidel V. Ramos.

Affiliation

Professor VIII, Institute of Chemistry, UP College of Science, Diliman, Quezon City

Association

    • Iota Sigma Pi, President - Iridium Chapter
    • Sigma Xi, Member
    • American Chemical Society, Member
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Member
    • Chemical Society of the Philippines, Member
    • Philippine Association of Nutrition, Member
    • Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Member

Employment

    • University of the Philippines, Graduate Assistant, 1949 - 1951
    • Silliman University, Instructor, 1951 - 1953
    • University of Iowa, Research Assistant, 1953 - 1954
    • University of Iowa, Teaching Assistant, 1954 - 1955
    • University of Iowa, Teaching Fellow, 1955 - 1956
    • University of Iowa, Research Fellow, 1956 - 1957
    • University of the Philippines, Assistant Professor, 1957 - 1963
    • University of Iowa, Research Associate, 1963 - 1965
    • University of the Philippines, Associate Professor, 1965

Award

    • Elected Academician, NAST, 1980
    • Conferred as National Scientist, NAST, 1994
    • Gregorio Y. Zara Award, PHILAAS, 1979
    • Outstanding Faculty, UP, 1985
    • CASAA Award of Distinction in Biochemistry, , 1985
    • Outstanding Scientist, DOST, Region 7, 1987
    • Fellow, The Royal Society of Chemistry, London
    • Fellow, New York Academy of Sciences
    • D.J. Professorial Chair in Chemistry,
    • UP Endowment Professorial Chair in Chemistry,
    • Achievement Award (Pharmaceutical Sciences), NRCP-DOST, 1988
    • Magna Cum Laude, B. S., Silliman University, 1948
    • Magna Cum Laude, B. S. Chemistry, Silliman University, 1949
    • Travel Grant, Fulbright, 1953
    • NSF Summer Fellowship for First Chemistry Institute, National Science Foundation, July 1954
    • Iota Sigma Pi awaed, University of Iowa (Iridiun Chapter), 1956
    • Bose Sudhindra award, International Club, University of Iowa, 1956

Research

    • Mutagenicity and clastogenicity of medicinal plants for family planning. [Completed]
    • Mutagenicity, clastogenicity and antimutagenicity of drug preparations from medicinal plants on germ cell toxicity. [Completed]
    • Inhibitory effects of medicinal plants on germ cell toxicity [Completed]
    • An antimutagenic constituent from Ixora coccinea Linn (Rubiceae) [Completed]

Education

    • University of Iowa, PhD. in Biochemistry, 1957
    • University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, M.S. Chemistry, 1953
    • Silliman University, Negros Oriental, B.S. Chemistry, 1949

Publication

    • Lim-Sylianco, C.L., (1993) Molecular Nutrition (Book)
    • NAST
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.L., (1995) Bioorganic and Bioorganic Mechanisms (Book)
    • NAST
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (1999) Gero-protectice activity of some medicinal plants.
    • Philippine Journal of Science (In press)
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. Mallorca, R. Serrame, E. Wu, L.S., (1992) A comparison of germ cell antigenotoxic activity of non-dietary and dietary coconut oil and soybean oil.
    • Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies Volume 17(2)
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. Balboa, J. Casareno, R. Mallorca, R. Serrame, E. Wu, L.S., (1992) Antigenotoxic effects of bone marrow cells of coconut oil versus soybean oil.
    • Philippine Journal of Coconut Studies Volume 17(2)
    • Sylianco, C.Y.L. Blanco, F.R.B., (1985) Inhibitory effects on germ cell genotoxicity
    • Natural and Applied Science Bulletin Volume 37
    • Sylianco, C.Y.L. Jansalin, J., (1985) Mutagenicity and clastogenicity potential of some pesticides.
    • Transactions of the National Academy of Science and Technology Volume 7
    • Sylianco, C.Y.L. Jocano, A.P., (1986) Antimutagenic effects of eighteen medicinal plants.
    • Philippine Journal of Science Volume 115(4)
    • Sylianco, C.Y.L., (1986) Somatic and germ cell. Genotoxins in foods.
    • Acta Manila Volume 35
    • Sylianco, C.Y.L. Blanco, F.R.B. Lim, C.M., (1987) Mutagenicity clastogenicity and antimutagenicity of sambong tablets.
    • Philippine Journal of Science Volume 116
    • () Published 5 books and 78 scientific papers (others not included here)
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. Panizares, I. Jocano, A.P., (1985) Clastogenic effects on bone marrow erythrocytes of some medicinal plants.
    • Philippine Journal of Science Volume 114(2)
    • Villaseñor, I.M. Dayrit, F.M. Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (1990) Studies on Moringa Oleifera seeds, II. Thermal degradation of roasted seeds.
    • Philippine Journal of Science Volume 119(1)
    • Cabalfin, E.A. Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. Concha, J.A., (1982) Mutagenicity studies on forty one Philippine medicinal plants.
    • Asian Journal of Pharmacy Volume 4(6)
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (1993) Mutagens, carcinogens, and antimutagens in foods and related systems.
    • NRCP in its Diamond Jubilee
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. San Agustin, J. Panizares, I. Karunungan, S.M. Jocano, A.P., (1981) Antimutagenic effects of some vitamines on bone marrow erythrocytes of mice treated with various mutagens.
    • Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry Volume 3
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. Daya, E.c., (1984) Antimutagenic effects of some inorganic biochemical systems.
    • Transactions of the National Academy of Science and Technology Volume 6
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y. Blanco, F.R., (1984) eratogenic potential of tetracycline.
    • Natural and Applied Science Bulletin Volume 36
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (1983) Desmutagens and antimutagens
    • Acta Medica Philippina Volume 19
    • Baylon, A.T. Lim-Sylianco C.Y,, (1996) The effects of Ocimum sanctum Linn. (Sulasi) leaves on the genotoxicity of tetracycline and dimethylnitrosamine
    • UPManila Journal Volume 2(1)
    • Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (1990) Genotoxic toxicology
    • National Academy of Science and Technology
    • SerrameE. Wu, L.S. Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (Ja-Mr 1995) Inhibition of activity of genotoxic tumor promoters by two Philippine medicinal plants.
    • The Philippine Journal of Science Volume 124(1)
    • Balboa, J.G. Lim-Sylianco C.Y., (Ap-Je 1995) Effect of some medicinal plants on skin tumor promotion.
    • The Philippine Journal of Science Volume 124(2)
    • Serrame, E. Lim-Sylianco, C.Y., (1995) Anti-tumor promoting activity of decoctions and expressed juices from Philippine medicinal plants.
    • The Philippine Journal of Science Volume 124(3)
    • Lim-Sylianco, C., (1993) Molecular Biochemistry (Book)
    • National Academy of Science and Technology
    • Adelaida M. Bendana-Brown, Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco, (1957 F 15) Determination of calcium and oxalates in Philippine plant foods
    • Journal of the Philippine Pharmaceutical Association Volume 44, No. 2
    • Adelaida M. Bendana-Brown, Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco, (1959 Mr) Availability of calcium in Philippine vegetables
    • Journal of Nutrition Volume 67, No. 3
    • (Ap 1959) The effect of riboflavin deficiency upon the metabolism of trytophan by liver and kidey tissue
    • Journal of Biological Chemistry Volume 234, No. 4
    • Adelaida M. Bendana-Brown, Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco, (1961) Laboratory manual for biochemistry
    • University of the Philippines (mimeog.)
    • (1961) Syllabus for modern approach for organic chemistry
    • University of the Philippines (mimeog.)
    • Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco, R. G. Lorica, (1962) Laboratory manual for organic chemistry
    • University of the Philippines (mimeog)
    • (1963) Principles in organic chemistry - Part I
    • University of the Philippines (mimeog.)

Trainings

    • Post doctoral training on Stereonaturalization of D-Histidine, 1963 N-1965 F, University of Iowa, USA