Top 10 Filipino Scientists and Their Contribution – Shaping Science and Society

Top 10 Filipino Scientists and Their Contribution


Best Filipino Scientist




Fe del Mundo


Pioneered child healthcare system and established the Philippines’ first pediatric hospital.


Gregorio Y. Zara


Invented the videophone and patented various communication devices.


Edgardo Dizon Gomez


Leading figure in conservation biology, focused on coral reef protection.


Gavino Trono


Marine biologist known for research on seaweed biodiversity.


Alfredo Lagmay


Introduced behavioral studies to psychology and contributed to behavior therapy.


Geminiano de Ocampo


Diagnosed and treated eye problems, founded De Ocampo Eye Hospital.


Gregorio T. Velasquez


Pioneered the field of phycology (the study of algae).


Dioscoro L. Umali


Studied plant growth and adaptability, particularly in corn and rice.


Clara Lim-Sylianco


Research in biochemistry, organic chemistry, molecular nutrition, and genetic toxicology.


Clare R. Baltazar


Discovered Hymenoptera insect species and published a reliable book on insects.

Best Filipino Scientists and Their Contribution

The Philippines has been home to a remarkable array of scientists whose groundbreaking work has left an indelible mark on the fields of science and technology. These Filipino scientists, often working against various odds, have made significant contributions to their respective domains, showcasing the immense potential of human ingenuity. In this compilation, we delve into the lives and accomplishments of some of the best Filipino scientists, highlighting their pioneering efforts in fields ranging from medicine and biology to chemistry and engineering. Their stories not only serve as a source of national pride but also inspire generations to come, underscoring the enduring impact of Filipino innovation and dedication to the world of science.


1. Fe del Mundo (1911-2011)

Fe del Mundo

Fe del Mundo, a pioneering figure in the field of medicine, was the first Filipino woman to be named a national scientist. Born in Manila in 1911, her legacy in child healthcare is nothing short of extraordinary. Del Mundo’s most significant contribution was the establishment of the Philippines’ first pediatric hospital, The Children’s Medical Center, in 1957. This institution has played a pivotal role in improving child healthcare in the Philippines, offering specialized care for young patients. Del Mundo’s career spanned an impressive eight decades, during which she served as the president of various medical organizations both nationally and internationally. Her work continues to influence pediatric medicine, underscoring her enduring impact on the welfare of children.


Fe del Mundo’s contributions extended far beyond her groundbreaking hospital. She was a champion for child healthcare and made significant advancements in pediatric medicine. Her pioneering work not only established a dedicated pediatric hospital but also led to innovations in child-friendly medical equipment and practices. Del Mundo’s advocacy for children’s health changed the landscape of healthcare in the Philippines and served as a model for pediatric care worldwide. Her dedication and passion for improving the lives of young patients continue to inspire healthcare professionals globally.

2. Gregorio Y. Zara (1902-1978)

Gregorio Y. Zara

Gregorio Y. Zara, a distinguished scientist and engineer from Southeast Asia, is best known for his invention of the videophone, patented in 1955. Born in Batangas in 1902, Zara exhibited a lifelong passion for science and technology. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Paris. Among his numerous inventions, the videophone stands out as a groundbreaking communication device. Moreover, Zara’s innovative work extended to creating a plane engine powered by alcohol, garnering significant recognition in the scientific community.


Gregorio Y. Zara’s most notable contribution was the invention of the videophone, a device that revolutionized telecommunications and laid the groundwork for modern video communication technology. This groundbreaking invention paved the way for subsequent advancements in video conferencing and long-distance communication. Zara’s innovative spirit also led him to design a plane engine that ran on alcohol, showcasing his versatility in the fields of engineering and aviation. His dedication to scientific exploration and invention solidified his place as one of the most influential Filipino scientists of his time, leaving a lasting impact on global communication technology.

3. Edgardo Dizon Gomez (1938-2019)

Edgardo Dizon Gomez

Edgardo Dizon Gomez, born in the Philippines in 1938, was a prominent marine biologist and conservationist whose life’s work was dedicated to the protection and restoration of coral reefs and marine ecosystems. He pursued his academic journey in the United States, earning a Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of California, Berkeley, after completing his studies at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Gomez’s significant contributions to marine conservation earned him the prestigious title of National Scientist of the Philippines, a recognition bestowed upon only a select few individuals.


Edgardo Gomez’s contributions to marine biology and conservation were instrumental in safeguarding the biodiversity of the Philippines’ coastal regions. His pioneering work included spearheading initiatives for coral reef restoration and replanting, a critical effort in the face of widespread coral degradation. Gomez also played a pivotal role in the establishment of marine protected areas and the development of sustainable fishing practices, ensuring the long-term viability of marine ecosystems. His research and advocacy efforts helped raise awareness about the importance of preserving coral reefs and the delicate balance of life within them, leaving a lasting legacy for future generations of scientists and conservationists.

4. Gavino Trono (1931-Present)

Gavino Trono

Gavino Trono, a distinguished marine biologist, is renowned for his extensive research in the field of tropical marine phycology, with a particular focus on seaweed diversity. Born in 1931, Trono has dedicated his life to studying the marine flora of the Philippines and Southeast Asia, contributing significantly to our understanding of the role of seaweed in marine ecosystems.


Gavino Trono’s pioneering research has shed light on the immense diversity of seaweed species in Asia, providing valuable insights into their ecological importance. His work has contributed to the sustainable management of seaweed resources, which are not only vital for marine biodiversity but also serve as a valuable source of livelihood for coastal communities. Trono’s efforts have had a lasting impact on the development of policies and practices for the responsible harvesting and conservation of seaweed, ensuring the continued health and productivity of these marine ecosystems. His work has also helped expand our knowledge of the ecological roles of seaweed and their potential applications in various industries, from food production to pharmaceuticals.

5. Alfredo Lagmay (1919-2005)

Alfredo Lagmay

Alfredo Lagmay, a distinguished Filipino psychologist, left an indelible mark on the field of psychology with his pioneering contributions. Born in 1919, his work spanned various facets of psychology, but he is most notably celebrated for his groundbreaking research on behavioral studies. Lagmay’s remarkable contributions extended to the development of effective hypnosis and relaxation techniques. However, his most enduring legacy lies in his research on altering human behavior to treat mental illnesses. At a time when treatment options for mental health conditions were limited to hospitalization and electroshock therapy, Lagmay’s work introduced behavior therapy as a viable and humane alternative. This revolutionary approach paved the way for a more compassionate and effective treatment of mental health disorders, leaving an enduring legacy in the field of psychology.


1. Introduction of Behavior Therapy: Alfredo Lagmay’s research significantly advanced the field of psychology by introducing behavior therapy as a legitimate and effective treatment option for mental health disorders. This innovative approach shifted the paradigm from traditional, often invasive treatments to a more humane and patient-centric model.

2. Transformation of Mental Health Care: Lagmay’s work played a pivotal role in transforming the landscape of mental health care in the Philippines. By offering an alternative to the harsh methods of the past, he contributed to a more compassionate and understanding approach to mental health treatment.

6. Geminiano de Ocampo (N/A)

Geminiano de Ocampo

Geminiano de Ocampo, a pioneering medical scientist, is celebrated as the trailblazer of eye care in the Philippines. Though specific birth and death years are not available, his legacy endures through his groundbreaking work in the field of ophthalmology. De Ocampo is renowned for founding the De Ocampo Eye Hospital in 1952, a significant milestone in Philippine healthcare. This hospital, the first of its kind in the country, was established with a noble mission: to provide accessible and high-quality eye care to underserved populations. De Ocampo’s contributions extended beyond healthcare infrastructure; he also designed a corneal dissector, a tool that proved instrumental in improving corneal transplant surgery. His innovations and dedication have left an enduring impact on the nation’s healthcare system.


1. Founding the De Ocampo Eye Hospital: Geminiano de Ocampo’s most significant

contribution lies in the establishment of the De Ocampo Eye Hospital, a pioneering institution that has provided essential eye care to countless Filipinos. This hospital remains an integral part of the country’s healthcare landscape.

2. Innovations in Corneal Transplant Surgery: De Ocampo’s design of the corneal dissector represented a critical advancement in the field of ophthalmology. This tool greatly enhanced the precision and success rates of corneal transplant surgeries, contributing to the overall improvement of eye care procedures in the Philippines

7. Gregorio T. Velasquez (1901-1989)

Gregorio T. Velasquez

Gregorio T. Velasquez, a distinguished Filipino botanist, left an indelible mark on the scientific world as the “Father of Phycology in the Philippines.” Born in 1901, Velasquez dedicated his life to the study of algae, pioneering the field of phycology, which focuses on the classification, ecology, and physiology of algae. His extensive research, spanning several decades, contributed significantly to our understanding of marine algae, plants that thrive in aquatic environments. Velasquez meticulously examined their chemical composition and their vital role in producing oxygen through photosynthesis. His groundbreaking work extended to the detailed study of diatoms and various other types of algae, leading to the development of distinct classification systems based on their unique characteristics. His commitment to advancing phycology made him a recipient of the prestigious National Scientist title, an honor reserved for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their field.


Gregorio T. Velasquez’s contributions to the scientific community were multifaceted. His research on marine algae had profound implications for understanding marine ecosystems and the oxygen production vital to marine life. His pioneering classification systems for various algae species laid the foundation for future research in the field. Moreover, his meticulous work inspired subsequent generations of phycologists to explore the diversity and ecological roles of algae in greater detail. Velasquez’s enduring legacy is seen not only in the scientific community but also in the conservation efforts aimed at preserving fragile marine ecosystems, which heavily depend on the presence and health of these algae species. His work underscored the importance of studying even the smallest organisms in our natural world, demonstrating how they can have a profound impact on the entire ecosystem.

8. Dioscoro L. Umali (N/A)

Dioscoro L. Umali

Dioscoro L. Umali, a notable agricultural scientist born in the Philippines, made significant contributions to the understanding of plant growth and adaptation, particularly in staple crops like corn and rice. Although specific birth and death years are not available, Umali’s legacy is enshrined in his extensive work that revolutionized agricultural practices in the Philippines. His research focused on the intricate processes governing plant growth and their adaptability to changing environmental conditions. He recognized the critical role of irrigation in cultivating crops like corn and rice, which are essential components of Filipino cuisine. As a testament to his contributions, he was honored with the prestigious National Scientist title, the highest recognition for scientific achievements in the Philippines.


Dioscoro L. Umali’s contributions to agriculture and plant science research were monumental. His insights into plant growth and adaptation played a pivotal role in enhancing crop yields, thereby ensuring food security for the Filipino population. His work not only cataloged various rice varieties but also provided essential guidance on cultivation techniques. This guidance was invaluable for farmers seeking to improve their crop production and agricultural practices. Umali’s dedication to understanding the unique challenges faced by Filipino farmers and his efforts to develop sustainable agricultural solutions have left an enduring impact on the agricultural landscape of the Philippines, contributing to the nation’s food self-sufficiency and economic growth.

9. Clara Lim-Sylianco (1925-2013)

Clara Lim-Sylianco

Clara Lim-Sylianco, a renowned Filipino chemist, made significant contributions to several branches of science, leaving an enduring legacy in the fields of biochemistry, organic chemistry, molecular nutrition, and genetic toxicology. Born in 1925, she embarked on a lifelong journey dedicated to unraveling the intricacies of mutagens—substances that induce mutations in DNA. Lim-Sylianco’s pioneering work centered on the study of these mutagens and antimutagens, substances that prevent or reverse mutations caused by other mutagens. Her research shed light on the fundamental mechanisms behind genetic mutations and the potential ways to mitigate their adverse effects. She was associated with the National Institute of Science and Technology, where she delved into the effects of various chemicals on cellular processes. Clara Lim-Sylianco’s exemplary scientific achievements earned her the esteemed title of National Scientist in the Philippines, a testament to her profound impact on the realm of biochemistry and genetics.


Clara Lim-Sylianco’s extensive research portfolio includes investigations into mutagenesis, molecular nutrition, and genetic toxicology. Her groundbreaking studies paved the way for a deeper understanding of mutagens’ role in causing genetic mutations. Moreover, her work identified antimutagens, substances capable of countering the damaging effects of mutagens, offering potential solutions to mitigate genetic instability. Lim-Sylianco’s contributions not only expanded our knowledge of DNA damage and repair mechanisms but also underscored the importance of molecular nutrition in maintaining genetic stability. Her dedication to elucidating the molecular underpinnings of genetic mutations has left an indelible mark on the fields of biochemistry and genetics, benefiting not only the scientific community but also public health and safety.

10. Clare R. Baltazar (1927-Present)

Clare R. Baltazar

Clare R. Baltazar, a distinguished Filipino entomologist, has made substantial contributions to the study of insects, particularly the Hymenoptera insect species in the Philippines. Born in 1927, Baltazar’s work has left an enduring impact on the field of entomology. She is widely recognized for her pivotal role in discovering and cataloging insect species, enriching our understanding of biodiversity. Additionally, Baltazar authored one of the Philippines’ most relied-upon books on insects, serving as a vital reference tool for entomologists and biologists. Her meticulous research laid the foundation for the development of biological insect control systems, which have become instrumental in agriculture worldwide. Clare R. Baltazar’s commitment to the study and preservation of insect life has not only expanded our knowledge of entomology but also contributed to sustainable pest management practices.


Clare R. Baltazar’s primary contributions to the field of entomology revolve around her work on the Hymenoptera insect species in the Philippines. Her discoveries and extensive cataloging of these species have enriched our understanding of the country’s insect biodiversity. Moreover, her authored book on insects has remained a cornerstone reference in the realm of biology. Baltazar’s research has not only advanced the field of entomology but has also had practical applications in agriculture, as her work laid the groundwork for the development of biological insect control systems. Her dedication to the study of insects has not only expanded our knowledge of biodiversity but has also contributed to sustainable agricultural practices and pest management on a global scale.

How Did Their Contributions Impact Science and Society?

Fe del Mundo: Fe del Mundo’s pioneering work in pediatric healthcare revolutionized the medical landscape in the Philippines. Her establishment of The Children’s Medical Center, the first pediatric hospital in the country, provided specialized care for children. This not only improved child healthcare but also served as a model for pediatric medicine institutions. Del Mundo’s dedication to children’s welfare had a profound societal impact by ensuring better healthcare for the young population.

Gregorio Y. Zara: Gregorio Y. Zara’s invention of the videophone and numerous communication devices played a pivotal role in advancing telecommunications technology. His work laid the groundwork for modern communication systems, impacting both science and society by enabling more efficient and accessible long-distance communication.

Edgardo Dizon Gomez: Edgardo Gomez’s contributions to marine conservation significantly impacted the field of marine biology. His work in coral reef protection and replanting initiatives not only enriched our understanding of marine ecosystems but also contributed to the preservation of these critical habitats. This has had lasting effects on marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of coastal communities.

Gavino Trono: Gavino Trono’s research on seaweed biodiversity enhanced our knowledge of these marine plants’ role in marine ecosystems. His work has paved the way for sustainable seaweed farming practices, benefiting both the environment and local economies.

Alfredo Lagmay: Alfredo Lagmay’s introduction of behavioral studies to psychology and his research on behavior therapy have had a profound impact on the field of psychology. His contributions revolutionized the treatment of mental illnesses, shifting the focus from traditional methods like electroshock therapy to more humane and effective behavior therapy techniques. This has led to improved mental healthcare and better societal understanding of mental health issues.

Geminiano de Ocampo: Geminiano de Ocampo’s founding of De Ocampo Eye Hospital, the first eye hospital in the Philippines, made eye care accessible to many, especially the less privileged. His innovative corneal dissector improved corneal transplant surgeries, benefiting countless patients. His work significantly enhanced eye healthcare in the country.

Gregorio T. Velasquez: Gregorio T. Velasquez’s pioneering work in phycology advanced our understanding of marine algae and their ecological significance. His research contributed to environmental studies and marine resource management, aiding in the conservation of aquatic ecosystems.

Dioscoro L. Umali: Dioscoro L. Umali’s research on plant growth and adaptability, particularly in corn and rice, played a crucial role in improving agricultural practices. His work contributed to food security and sustainable crop production, benefiting farmers and the agricultural sector.

Clara Lim-Sylianco: Clara Lim-Sylianco’s research in genetic toxicology and molecular nutrition expanded our knowledge of mutagens and antimutagens. Her work has implications for genetic stability, public health, and safety, making it valuable in both scientific research and practical applications.

Clare R. Baltazar: Clare R. Baltazar’s discoveries in entomology, particularly her work on Hymenoptera insect species, enriched our understanding of insect biodiversity. Her research has practical applications in agriculture, leading to sustainable pest management practices, which are crucial for food security.

The contributions of these Filipino scientists have had far-reaching effects, ranging from advancements in science and technology to improvements in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental conservation. Their work continues to shape both scientific knowledge and the well-being of society.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Categories: Top 10 News

Leave a Comment