Filipina professor to conduct research at U.S. physical sciences lab

Jessica Asuncion works closely with Dr. Concepcion Remoroza, a Filipina research chemist at NIST. (US Embassy in the Philippines Photo)

A graduate student and faculty member of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Biological Sciences Department has been chosen to conduct research as a short-term scholar at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Jessica Asuncion will carry out research in the Biomolecular Measurement Division at NIST alongside Dr. Concepcion Remoroza, a Filipina research chemist.  NIST is a federal agency within the United States (U.S.) Department of Commerce that promotes innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science and standards to enhance citizens’ quality of life and the bioeconomy.

This research scholarship is the result of a 2019 mission trip to the U.S. by the Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines EducationUSA office designed to develop links between U.S. and Philippine higher education institutions.

Last year, MMSU President and Fulbright alumna Shirley Agrupis and an EducationUSA Philippines advisor met with NIST representatives to discuss collaborations in advancing innovation in the biological sciences through technology.

“After my short-term research training at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, my goal is to go back home to the Philippines and share the knowledge and skills I have learned with my colleagues, students, and local agencies through seminars and workshops,” said Asuncion.

“Aside from offering the highest standards of education, U.S. universities and agencies promote quality cultural experiences as well which are vital in the holistic development of the students,” said MMSU President Shirley Agrupis.

Jessica Asuncion conducts research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland, USA. (US Embassy in the Philippines Photo)

In addition to this collaboration, the recently signed joint statement on U.S.-Philippine Higher Education Cooperation has resulted in the intensified efforts of CHED and EducationUSA to support academic and cultural exchanges, capacity development of university officials, and university collaborations.  Recent successful collaborations between Philippine and U.S. universities include the following:

  • New York Film Academy’s master class on directing at the Ateneo de Manila University;
  • A lecture at MMSU on ethanol expansion and climate change by Dr. Marcellus Caldas, assistant provost of international faculty collaboration at Kansas State University;
  • University of California Los Angeles graduate student-led training on anthropology at MMSU;
  • Texas A&M University’s visiting professor collaboration with MMSU on renewable energy engineering; and
  • Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ international conference on peace education and indigenous peoples studies in partnership with Central Washington University.

Stay updated with news and information from the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines by visiting their website at

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