What did you study in your undergraduate degree?

Vivene Santiago
Viviene Santiago

I studied Chemistry at the University of the Philippines - Diliman.

Why did you choose IMB to undertake your research?

The major reason why I chose IMB was because of Prof. Rob Capon, my supervisor. I have been interested in natural products chemistry ever since my undergraduate years and he was one of the people known in the field, so it was a big deal for me to apply for his lab.

Do you have any tips for future students interested in life sciences research?

1) Be curious. 2) Be used to failing (because many of your experiments will fail and/or give you unusable data, - trust me! 3) It's ok to take a break when you're tired.

What research are you currently working on?

I isolate compounds from bacteria and fungi obtained from different sources. My current projects involves searching for microbes from venomous animals and soil. After isolation of these compounds, our lab tries to look for a potential purpose for them, whether it be clinical (as antimicrobial drugs), agricultural (as anthelmintics for cattle), or environmental (as population control for invasive species).

What interested you in joining the IMB Science Ambassador Program?

I wanted to improve on my science communication skills so that I can impart my scientific knowledge to people more effectively. I also want to convince more people to be interested in science especially now with the rise of fake news and anti-science sentiments.

What do you enjoy doing out of free time?

I usually read fiction and popular science books in my spare time. I also like watching movies, sitcoms, and anime. Lately, I've been into baking as well, trying as many recipes I can make.