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Summary of Balik-Scientist Program – Pedro A.

Jose, MD, PhD

Sponsor: Giselle Concepcion, PhD, Marine Science Institute, UP Diliman

First Phase: February 17-23
Lectures, February 18 and 19, UP Diliman
M.S. Thesis Defense – Francis Arnaldo, UP Diliman
Ph.D. Dissertation Defense – Van Anthony Villar, MD, UP Diliman
Research Discussions
Recommendations to DOST:
1. Phil-American Academy of Science and Engineering, Inc or some
appropriate scientific organization should serve as the clearing agency to
pair the Philippines-based scientist with the appropriate non-Philippines-
based scientist.

2.. A program such as the Chinese-Georgetown University Post-doctoral

program could serve as a model. In this program, half of the stipend is
paid by the Chinese government and the other half is paid by the host
laboratory. Depending upon the progress of the post-doctoral student,
he/she should be given two years of funding post-training abroad. The
funding should include a stipend and start-up funds in an academic
institution. The progress has to monitored by an independent body of
scientists, modeled after the National Institutes of Health Study Sections,

3. The Balik Scientist should also meet with scientists outside the metro
Manila area.

Second Phase: March 22-April 6, 2008

Lectures, College of Sciences, UP Diliman
Human Genome Organization Meeting, presentations, Cebu
Lecture – University of San Carlos
Research Discussions
Recommendations to DOST:
1. Review of Grant Proposals: Grants should be reviewed by Panels
outside DOST. The Panels should be composed of credible (based on
scientific publications, especially those in high impact journals) funded-
Scientists. These review panels give priority scores and serve as the bases
for funding by the appropriate executive councils. There should be strict
enforcement of recusals or non-appointment to review panels, in cases of
conflict of interest. The guidelines of the Center for Scientific Review in
the United States could be used.
2. Progress Reports of Funded Grants: The progress reports should be
required annually, not quarterly.

3. There should be a mechanism to follow-up meetings of Balik Scientists

with Philippines-based Scientists (UE, UST, UP, Cebu Institute of
Medicine), in order to generate continued enthusiasm for collaborative
research activities, especially those that can be patentable.

4. Progress of the Balik Scientist program should be based, in part, on

collaborative funded research (Philippines and non-Philippines funding
organizations) by the Balik Scientists and Philippines-based scientists.

Third Phase: December 1 - 11, 2008

. Lectures: i. 2008 PSBMB Annual Convention. (a) One of two Keynote
Speakers, Role of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4 in salt-sensitive
hypertension. You are what you eat and what your parents gave you.
(b). Funding mechanisms of the US National Institutes of Health and
ii. MSI, UP Diliman, Daily Lectures (December 3-5, December 8-
10) - Lecture series on “Kidney and blood pressure in health and disease: from
bench to bedside – molecules to man. (a) Cell trafficking using confocal, FRET,
FLIM, STED, and bimolecular fluorescence complementation microscopy; (b)
Role of protein degradation of sodium transporters in hypertension; (c) Regulation
of angiotensin type 1 receptor transcription and degradation in hypertension; (d)
Dopamine and reactive oxygen species in hypertension – pro-oxidant and anti-
oxidant mechanisms; (e) Dopamine and immune mechanisms in hypertension
iii. STS lectures, UP Diliman, Medicine in the future. Regulation
of blood pressure: diagnosis and treatment (two sessions)
iv. NKTI –First Fileteo Alano Lecture. Role of G protein-coupled
receptor kinase 4 in salt-sensitive hypertension. You are what you eat and what
your parents gave you.
v. Possible collaborations: (a) Philippine Society of Pediatric
Nephrology (to be discussed in more detail at the Society’s 2009 Annual
Meeting), (b) Dr. John Donnie Ramos Research Center for the Natural Sciences
University of Santo Tomas, D2 dopamine receptors and immunity in genetic
hypertension, (c)Dr. Romina Angangco-Danguilan, NKTI, Genetic markers of
kidney disease and hypertension.
Recommendations to DOST:
1. Grantsmanship:
i. There should be a detailed description of specific granting
mechanism appropriate for the level of training and experience. See
attached PowerPoint Presentation from the United States National
Institutes of Health (NIH Mechanism Primer. NIH Regional Seminar.
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. April 2007. Rebecca Claycamp,
CRA. Chief Grants Management Officer
_exchange/documents/nih_mini_primer.ppt ).
ii. The above document could be used as a guideline for scientists’
career development.
iii. New investigators should be given some priority. At the
United States National Institutes of Health where many (not all) research
grants are ranked according to the percentile, the new investigator is give a
5 percentile point advantage over established investigators. For example,
if the priority score of funding for an established investigator is at the 15th
percentile, the priority score of funding for a new investigator is at the
20th percentile (old system).
iv. At the United States National Institutes of Health, grant
applications are reviewed by established Study Sections for specific
research endeavors. For example, the NIH Study Section that I chaired
from 1996-1998 “Cardiovascular and Renal Study Section B” which has
been renamed “Hypertension and Microcirculation Study Section” reviews
grant applications dealing with hypertension and microcirculation, as the
name indicates. The Chair and Members of the Study Section are
2. Conflict of Interest. Grants cannot be reviewed by reviewers with
conflict of interest. For example, researchers at UP Diliman cannot review
grant applications from UP Diliman. Colllaborator, co-authors (past three
years), and relatives cannot review each other’s grant applications.
3. Confidentiality. The reviewers cannot communicate with the
applicants anything related to the grant application prior to making public
the priority scores and percentiles.
4. Budgeting. Except for large items (e.g., equipment >$5,000), the
Principal Investigator has leeway in determining how best to utilize the
money, so long as the research activity is related to the original grant.
5. Reporting. Only an annual report is required by the US National
Institutes of Health.

Publications related to the Balik-Scientist Program:

Peer-reviewed Journals:
1. VA, Jones JE, Armando I, Palmes-Saloma C, Yu P, Pascua AM, Keever L, Arnaldo FB,
Wang Z, Luo Y, Felder RA, Jose PA. G protein-coupled receptor kinase 4 (GRK4)
regulates the phosphorylation and function of the dopamine D3 receptor. J Biol Chem.
2009 Aug 7;284(32):21425-34.
2. Yu P, Han W, Villar VA, Li H, Arnaldo FB, Concepcion GP, Felder RA, Quinn MT, Jose
PA. Dopamine D1 receptor-mediated inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity in human
kidney cells occurs via protein kinase A-protein kinase C cross talk. Free Radic Biol
Med. 2011 Apr 1;50(7):832-40.
1. Villar VM, Jones JE, Armando I, Palmes-Saloma CC, Pascua AM, Jose PA. Dopamine
receptor 3 signaling is mediated by GRK4 in immortalized human proximal tubule cells.
J Clin Hypertens 2007;9 (Suppl A): A121.
2. Villar VM, Jones JE, Armando I, Pascua AM, Chapman KL, Wang X, Buela KG, Palmes-
Saloma C, Felder RA, Jose, PA. Perturbation of sorting nexin 1 function impedes the
fenoldopam-mediated dopamine D5 receptor internalization in human proximal tubule
cells. 61st Annual High Blood Pressure Conference, 2007, abstract 048, p81.
3. Villar VM, Jones JE, Armando I, Pascua AM, Chapman KL, Wang X, Buela KA, Palmes-
Saloma C, Felder RA, Jose PA. Sorting nexin 1 is required for dopamine D5 receptor
function in human proximal tubule cells. 2009 Experimental Biology meeting abstracts;
D258 1026.8, FASEB J. 23:1026.8, 2009.
4. Villar VA, Jones JE, Armando I, Asico LD, Escano C, Wang X, Pascua AM, Li H,
Palmes-Saloma CP, Jose PA. Sorting nexin 1 is crucial to dopamine D5 Receptor function
in human renal proximal tubule cells. HBPR 2010 AHA P169 Hypertension.
5. Yu P, Han W, Luo Y, Arnaldo FB, Jose PA. Protein kinase C inhibits NADPH oxidase
activity via crosstalk with protein kinase A in HEK-293 heterologously expressing D1
dopamine receptors. 62nd High Blood Pressure Research Conference 2008, Atlanta, GA,
P273, p131, Hypertension 52:E109, 2008.