The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (DBMB) is a unique basic science department in the College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila. Its strong faculty is made up of non-medical doctors with Doctor of Philosophy degrees and clinicians with various Master and Doctoral degrees and diverse clinical expertise. It encourages the academic competence among medical students in the fields of normal cell biology and genetics and among the graduate students in biochemistry and molecular biology.

DBMD has witnessed the bursts and advances in biochemical knowledge and technology. It has pioneered on graduate education in biochemistry in the country through its masteral and PhD programs. The faculty has also influenced much of the teaching of biochemistry in medical schools through the biochemical societies it has helped established.

It also endeavors in numerous student and faculty-led researches through research grants from the university and other premier funding agencies. The upgrade in the laboratory and creation of LC-MS laboratory provide the students and faculty of the college and the university the opportunity to do research in the “21st century science”. DBMB continues to uphold the disciplinal values and maintaining the relevance of science to health promotion and quality health care.



A community of scholars highly competent in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology with a heightened social consciousness; imbued with moral, ethical and spiritual vigor; dedicated to a life of learning; committed to the development of Philippine society; inspired by love, compassion and respect for the dignity of human life; and anchored on the principles of truth, freedom, justice, love of country and the democratic way of life.



Guided by moral, ethical and spiritual values, we commit ourselves to excellence and leadership in community-oriented medical education, research and service, using the primary health care approach, intended especially for the underserved.

Celebrating its 65th Founding Anniversary in December 2018, the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has a rich history entwined with the establishment of the College of Medicine. Its humble beginnings came about as part of the Department of Chemistry and Physiology when the Philippine Medical School was founded in 1907. The Department of Chemistry and Physiology taught topics that can be considered as biochemical.  In 1910, the Philippine Medical School became the College of Medicine and Surgery and became one of the Colleges of the University of the Philippines. The College of Liberal Arts gradually took over the teaching of preparatory courses required for admission to the College of Medicine.

In 1914, the Department of Physiology instituted a course entitled “Physiological Chemistry and the Physiology of Nutrition”. The Department of Physiology was renamed the Department of Physiology and Biochemistry in 1922 with Dr. Carter serving as its head up to 1925.

Dr. Isabelo Concepcion was head until 1940 when Dr. Emilio Bulatao took over. It was during the term of Dr. Bulatao when the idea of splitting the Department into two – the Department of Physiology and the Department of Biochemistry, was conceived.

On August 4, 1953, the Department of Biochemistry started its independent existence with Dr. Juan Salcedo, Jr. at its helm until April 1956. The headship was passed on to Dr. Solita F. Camara-Besa at first in an acting capacity, and after a year as a full-pledged head.

A program leading to a Master of Science in Biochemistry was instituted in 1973.  Research in the Department which is indispensable for a graduate program progressed and diversified when Dr. Baldomero Olivera joined the faculty in 1968.

Important laboratory equipment and modernization of the physical plant were realized through grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, China Medical  Board of New York, Inc. and United Laboratories, Inc. In March 1980, Dr. Besa retired and Dr. Lourdes J. Cruz took over.

On November 25, 1981, the change in name and reorganization of the department into a Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology was approved by the Board of Regents.

A Certificate in Biochemistry was offered in March 1983 while a Ph.D. in Biochemistry was instituted on April 24, 1984. Dr. Marita V.T. Reyes was acting Chairman, from April 1986 to February 15, 1988. Professor Angelita G. Reyes served as Officer-in-Charge until June 21, 1988 when Dr. Manuel P. Macapinlac was appointed Chairman.

Courses and Programs Offered

The OS 201, Bc 297, and Bc 291 are courses offered to medical students while most PhD courses of the MD-PhD program of the College are offered by the Department.

The graduate programs include Certificate in Biochemistry, Master of Science in Biochemistry, and Doctor of Phylosophy in Biochemistry. 


Carlo G. Catabijan, MD, MAHPS (Chairman)
Specialization: Chemistry, Anesthesiology, Health Policy

Salvador Eugenio C. Caoili, MD, PhD
Specialization: Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics

Laarni Grace M. Corales, MSc
Specialization: Molecular Biology

Leslie Michelle M. Dalmacio, MSc, PhD
Specialization: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology

Tammy L. Dela Rosa, MD, PhD
Specialization: Molecular Biology, Orthopedics

Rhodora C. Estacio, MSc, PhD
Specialization: Biochemistry, Education, Medical Ethics

Mia C. Fojas, MD
Specialization: Internal Medicine (Endocrinology)

Francisco M. Heralde III, MSc, PhD
Specilaization: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology (Toxinology)

Allan L. Hilario, MD, MHA, MSc
Specialization: Biochemistry, General Surgery, Hospital Administration

Paul Mark B. Medina, MSc, PhD
Specialization: Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Neurosciences

Jose B. Nevado Jr, MD, PhD
Specilaization: Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Internal Medicine

Nemencio A. Nicodemus Jr, MD
Specialization: Biochemistry, Internal Medicine (Endocrinology)

Marita V.T. Reyes, MD
Specilaization: Biochemistry, Biochemical Education (Human Genetics and Bioethics)

Joven Q. Tanchuco, MD
Specialization: Biochemistry, Internal Medicine (Pulmonology)

Albert R. Tiotuyco, MD
Specialization: Biochemistry, Otorhinolaryngology

Gracia Fe B. Yu, MSc, PhD
Specialization: Biochemistry, Nutritional Biochemistry, Natural Products

DBMB Laboratories

Natural Products Laboratory

NPL Is headed by Dr. Grace Yu. Its goal is to provide facilities for isolation, characterization and purification of novel compounds from plant samples and other natural products. The Lab boasts of its state of the art facilties (e.g. Rota-Vap, Glass Columns, HPLC etc), lay-out and practices. It has made significant in-roads in the characterization of the anti-inflammatory activities of compounds derived from the natural diets of Kanawan Aytas. NPL has extensive collaborations with the Michigan University, UP Diliman and UP Los Banos. The Lab is a hub for undergraduate, graduate and medical students activiely engaged in their natural products researches.

Molecular Diagnostics and Genotyping Laboratory

MDGL is headed by Dr. Francisco M. Heralde III. This laboratory conducts research and development on low-cost molecular diagnostics for TB, leptospirosis, etc in collaboration with the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of NIH. It also conducts research on the genotyping of MDRTB in collaboration with the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Infectious Disease Section of PGH and IMBB-NIH. MDGL is also involved in molecular toxinology work on conus and turrid venomous gastropods in collaboration with UP-MSI. The Lab is a hub and training ground for various molecular procedures, e.g. DNA and RNA isolation, Gradient PCR, Real Time-PCR, LAMP isothermal PCR, cDNA library construction, gene cloning, molecular phyloge-netic analysis, MIRU-VNTR analysis and gene expression analysis. The Lab is actively engaged in diverse bioinformatic projects such as this DBMD Website, and the construction of the MDRTB Database and the AH1N1 database in collaboration with LCP and NIH.

Genomics Laboratory
GL Is under the supervision of Prof. Leslie Michelle Dalmacio. Genomics laboratory is developing novel technologies for classifying the un-annotated genes into broad functional categories. This laboratory has been the training ground for undergraduate and graduate students who work in interested genes. The laboratory aims to collaborate with biologists in the design of novel experiments that can be coupled with innovative computational analysis and modeling in order to improve understanding of gene function. The Genomics Lab is the legacy of Dr. Bernadette Ramirez who was instrumental in setting up the laboratory for her early researches on infectious diseases.
Proteomics Laboratory

PL Is headed by Prof. Rhodora Estacio. The proteomics laboratory will focus on the complement of proteins and possible changes to a set of proteins brought about by an organism or a system. A study on Immunoglobulin Y is currently being undertaken inthe laboratory.

Tissue Culture Laboratory

TCL is headed by Dr. Francis Chung. Potential issues are currently being explored for the establishment of cellular pathology research which may pose a significant impact on cancer diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Chung collaborates with LCP on Stem cell research for applications in cancer therapy.

Analytical Services Available at the Department

  1. Mouse bioassays for crude and pure extracts (Anti-inflammatory, CNS activity, Hypoglycemia, toxicity etc.)
  2. Anti-oxidant assay
  3. Anti-microbial activity assay (G+, G- bacteria)
  4. Cytotoxiticity testing
  5. Genotoxicity assays (Ames test, Micronucleus test)
  6. In-house molecular assays for rapid detection of:
  7. Leptospirosis
  8. MDRTB
  9. XDRTB
  10. TB Genotype
  11. Enzyme assays
  12. ELISA-based detection of Hepa B
  13. Proximate Analysis
  14. DNA Sequencing

Facilities in the Department

Research Laboratories

Natural Products Laboratory

Genomics Laboratory

Cell and Tissue Culture Laboratory

Analytical Laboratory (LC-MS)

Translational Research Laboratory (TRULab)

Bioactivities for Advancing Translational Health Science Laboratory (BATHS Lab)

Biological Models Laboratory (BML)

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
547 Pedro Gil St., Ermita, Manila
Tel. No. 526-41-97 * E-mail:

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