Doralyn S. Dalisay

Doralyn S. Dalisay

Alumni career story

Director - Center for Chemical Biology and Biotechnology, University of San Agustin

PhD ‘05 (Microbiology) – UNSW Science

A bit about me...  

Doing science is what I do as the Director of the Center for Chemical Biology and Biotechnology (C2B2) at the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City, Philippines. I am one of the pioneering scientists working on the biodiversity, biological activities, and chemistry of marine sediment-derived actinobacteria from the Philippine archipelago that could one day help find new antibiotics and potentially address the problem of drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria.

My group explored the Philippine archipelago for the presence of promising actinobacteria found in the marine sediment samples collected on different islands in the country. My laboratory at C2B2 houses a library of more than 3,000 highly diverse marine sediment-derived actinobacteria isolates serving as “BioBank for Drug Discovery Research” in the country.

Quick-fire Q&A:

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra?

Possibilities won’t exist if we don’t have the guts to try, keep going, and moving forward.

What are you reading/listening to?

Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney and I’m listening to the OST of Crash Landing on You.

How did your time at UNSW help shape who you are today?

My UNSW education played a pivotal part in my professional and personal growth. It inspired me to pursue my passion for serving the Philippines through innovation to find solutions in areas that matter to society, such as new medicines to mitigate public health threats. It has been a fantastic journey for me and a truly humbling experience to come home and serve the Philippines through drug discovery research and development.

How do you remain resilient in your line of work?

Working in research and development is challenging, with many failures and disappointments. Still, with a growth mindset, you can turn these challenges into lessons or inspirations for improvement in the future.

What was your most memorable experience from your time at UNSW?

I melded science with wellness. I remember going to the Aquatic Centre for a lap swim while my PCR experiments are running. When I finished my aquatic exercise, my PCR experiments were over and ready for downstream analysis. That quick wellness break gave me more energy to keep going for more exciting experiments in the lab.

What advice would you give a student approaching the end of their degree?

Work for your purpose, serve, and give back for a meaningful life.

Why is science important?

Science drives technology, technology drives innovation, innovation drives economic growth and provides a positive impact to society.