(STAR) The prevalence of allergic diseases has markedly increased in the past few decades. Approximately 66 million people across the globe suffer from allergic rhinitis, according to the World Allergy Organization.

The World Health Organization estimates that over 150 million people worldwide suffer from asthma. Many more live with other allergic disorders, including atopic eczema, urticaria, and strong reactions to substances such as food, latex, medications and insect stings.

There are also other immunologically mediated diseases not as common, but nevertheless warrant increased awareness.

To address these concerns and to update medical practitioners with special interest in the field of allergy and immunology, the Philippine Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (PSAAI) is holding its 10th Biennial Convention with the theme "Allergy and Immunology for the Clinician" on Sept. 11-12 at the Hotel Philippine Plaza (formerly the Westin Philippine Plaza) on Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

Dr. Ronina Covar of the Ira J. and Jacqueline Niemark Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology and Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado, USA, will be the guest speaker of the convention.

The well-rounded scientific program includes lectures and interactive sessions on the following topics: asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, pruritus, food allergy, drug allergy, allergic diseases in reproductive women, adverse reactions to immunizations, severe cutaneous drug reactions, recurrent infections, the anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome, and the vasculitides.

In addition, there will be industry-sponsored luncheon and twilight symposia.

Continuing Medical Education (CME) units will be granted by the Philippine Medical Association, Philippine College of Physicians, Philippine Pediatric Society, Philippine Dermatology Society, and Philippine Academy of Family Physicians.

For particulars, contact the PSAAI Secretariat through Drixhel Rey (0910-9046270), Karen Macalalad (0916-3402327), or telefax (632) 712-9432.

Two top scientists recognized by NAST By Rudy A. Fernandez The Philippine STAR 08/17/2006

Two outstanding scientists have been conferred the prestigious title and rank "academician" by the National Academy of Science and technology (NAST).

They are Dr. Eliezer Albacea of the University of the Philippines Los Baños-Institute of Computer Science (UPLB-ICS), and Dr. Thelma Tupasi-Ramos of the Tropical Disease Foundation Inc. (TDF).

The two were conferred the rank and title "academician" during the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of NAST at the Manila Hotel recently.

The scientific meeting was one of the activities convened by the science community in observance of this year’s National Science and Technology Week (NSTW).

The NAST, currently headed by former Science Minister and UP president Dr. Emil Javier, is the country’s highest advisory and recognition body in science and technology. It is an attached agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Since 1978, 81 outstanding scientists who constitute the who’s who in the science community have been conferred the rank and title Academician.

Albacea was recognized for his significant works and outstanding contributions to the field of computer science, in particular, his creation of the "Leapfrogging samplesort algorithm that contributed to large amount of savings in computer time for most data processing applications."

For her part, Ramos was recognized for her pioneering work and outstanding contributions to medicine, specifically in the field of infectious diseases.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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