The World Experts Lecture Series (WELS) invites eminent international leaders in academe, government, and industry to deliver special lectures in the university. Initiated by the UP system’s Office of International Linkages (OIL), the 2017 WELS seminars brought to the campus not just an international expert from Serbia but also one of UPLB’s very own alumnus.

     Dr. Dragan M. Popovic, an associate research professor at the Department of Chemistry in University of Belgrade, Serbia discussed about modern techniques to compute enzyme properties in his October 12 lecture. Dr. Joselito M. Razal, a B.S. Chemistry graduate from UPLB, delivered his lecture on nanomaterials on July 23.

     Razal obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is currently the deputy director of the Australian Research Council, Future Fibres Hub, and also an Associate Professor at the Institute for Frontier Materials in Deakin University, Melbourne.              

     The seminar delivered by Dr. Razal, entitled “Novel Applications of Nanomaterials through Material Chemistry and Engineering,” gave an update on Material Science research in his institute. Among these studies, he noted, an addition to the two-dimensional nanomaterials family is called “MXene” for energy storage, sensing, water purification, dye adsorption, and photo-catalysis. MXenes are made up of transition metal carbides and nitrides.

     The lecture of Dr. Popovic delved into “Advances in Cytochrome c Oxidase Research: Modeling of complex biochemical systems.” It highlighted modern computational techniques to explore and deduce the unsolved molecular mechanism for a certain enzyme’s role as catalyst. In particular, the lecturer focused to cytochrome c oxidase (CcO), the terminal enzyme of aerobic respiration. He further explained that this enzyme processes most of the biological oxygen and partly generates the electrochemical proton gradient in synthesizing Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in aerobic cells.

     The UPLB Nanotech Program, headed by Dr. Milagros M. Peralta, later awarded the world expert-alumnus with a Certificate of Recognition. She was assisted by  Dr. Ramon A. Razal, sub-program leader for Forest Products and Natural Resources Applications. Both lecturers were invited by the OIL for the latest WELS seminars, with the help of the Nanotechnology Program, Institute of Chemistry, and CAS of UPLB.

     UPLB’s IC and Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas – Southern Tagalog, Inc. arranged and supported this WELS initiative.