Filipino Scientist Named Outstanding Young Person Of The World

by Ricky Rillera

Dr. Alonzo Gabriel (R) with his students at UP (Contributed Photo)

NEW YORK – Filipino scientist Dr. Alonzo Gabriel of the Philippines was named by the Junior Chamber International (JCI) one of the recipients of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) Honorees in the category of academic leadership and/or accomplishment. Gabriel was recognized for his extensive work that contributed substantially to the development of food science and technology in the Philippines.  His advocacy and leadership in promoting Food Defense and Security, particularly in many underdeveloped communities in the Philippines, exemplifies how Food Science can address many issues, limitations and challenges, especially in developing countries.

JCI honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide extraordinary service to their communities. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young active citizens create positive impact on a local and global level.  The TOYP recipients will be honored during the 2014 Awards Ceremony at the JCI World Congress in Leipzig, Germany on Friday, November 28, 2014.

With a vast expertise in biology, food science and food technology, Gabriel shares his education with his fellow citizens and community through teaching about food science, nutrition and food safety at the University level. Focused not only on the curriculum, Dr. Gabriel also empowers his students to be scholars of the nation, encouraging them to be leaders and give back to the Philippine community. Spreading his best practices beyond the academic community, he also shares food safety and hygiene knowledge with local citizens, such as street food vendors and mothers.

As a scientist, Gabriel is a prolific researcher in his field. He helps micro- and small-scale industry stakeholders who do not have the ability to conduct their own research to stay updated with the newest food safety and processing innovations. He is passionate about helping the people of family-based industries, as they are often marginalized, underserved or underprivileged across communities. Though he focuses much of his research in his home country of the Philippines, he also collaborates with scholars and researchers worldwide to improve food safety and technology.

Dedicated to serving his community, Gabriel is the co-leader of the Philippine Food Defense Core Technical Working Group connecting with stakeholders from the government, academic sector, consumer groups and food industry. The Department of Agriculture has asked him to lead the country in creating a national standard of food defense guidance for the agricultural industry. His advocacy work for improved food quality, safety and defense moves farmers, fishermen and food manufacturers to comply with international standards for production, distribution and trade. Dr. Gabriel is considered an academic of the nation, for the nation, due to his passion for advancing the food industry while inspiring others to do the same on a local and national level.

Gabriel is an associate professor of food science at the College of Home Economics, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of the Philippines. He is also a member of various professional societies, among them the Saint Gallen of Japan, European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Germany, and the International Association for Food Protection, USA.  He obtained his PhD in Bio-functional Science and Technology (Food Microbiology and Hygiene) from Hiroshima University in Japan.

Young people from around the world voted online to participate in selecting the 2014 JCI TOYP Honorees. Along with the final judging panel, comprised of representatives of select partner organizations and 2014 JCI President Shine Bhaskaran, the online votes helped determine the winning honorees. After more than 37,500 votes were cast and the judging panel reviewed the top 20 semi-finalists, ten young active citizens were selected for their exceptional service, creativity and positive change for their communities and the world.

Besides Dr. Gabriel, the other nine Outstanding Young Persons of the World are:

  • Zaheer Allam (Mauritius) for Moral and/or environmental leadership
  • Bulut Ersavas (Turkey) for Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  • Daniel Flynn (Australia) for Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  • Nicolás García Mayor(Argentina) for Contribution to children, world peace, and/or human rights
  • Po Man Lo (HongKong) for Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  • Darren Lomman (Australia) for Scientific and/or technological development
  • Luvuyo Rani (South Africa) for Business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  • Ruth Riley (USA) for Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership
  • Nick Shen Weijun (Singapore) for Cultural Achievement

Since TOYP’s inception in 1983, JCI has honored 19 other outstanding Filipinos in their profession.  These include Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (2012), Dr. Edsel Maurice Salvana (2012), Dr. Rex Adivoso Bernardo (2009), Illac Angelo Ancellotti Diaz (2006), Juan Sajid De Leon Imao (2006), Prof. Francisco M. Bernardo (2004), Josiah Go (2002), Dr. Kadil Monera Sinolinding (2001), Mrs. Ligaya Sim Cabal (2000), Butch Jimenez (1999), Dr. Arturo Pesigan (1998), Mrs. Lisa Pacheco Macuja (1997), Julius Almario Lecciones (1996), Feny delos Angeles-Bautista (1996), Sec. Jesse Robredo (1994), Renato Villanueva (1993), Joey Ayala (1993), Jose Laurel V (1984) and Atty. Eugene A. Tan (1983).

JCI is a worldwide membership-based nonprofit organization of young active citizens ages 18 to 40 who are dedicated to creating positive change in their communities. Through projects in more than 5,000 communities across more than 100 countries, members seek targeted solutions to local problems, creating a sustainable global impact.


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