Vaccinating the Philippines: Coffee Con. #32 w/ Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., Ph.D., S.T.D.

Father Nicanor Austriaco, OP is a Filipino-American molecular biologist and Catholic priest. He is a Professor of Biology and Theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island; Director of, and Founder/Chief Operating Officer of Semper Veritas, LLC. He is also a research fellow at the Center for Religious Studies and Ethics at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines.

Father Austriaco completed his Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering, summa cum laude, at the University of Pennsylvania, and then earned his Ph.D in Biology from M.I.T. where he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He was ordained a priest in the Order of Preachers in May of 2004. He earned his Pontifical License in Sacred Theology (STL) in Moral Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, in 2005, and a Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland in 2015. He has completed his MBA at Providence College in 2020.

His NIH-funded laboratory at Providence College is investigating the effects of programmed cell death using the yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, as model organisms. During the pandemic, he pivoted his ongoing research efforts to developing a yeast delivery platform for a COVID-19 vaccine for the Philippines.

Father Austriaco is also a Visiting Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). He is also a fellow of OCTA Research that analyzes pandemic management for the Philippines.

Most recently, Father Austriaco is the lead investigator for the UST-CoVAX Vaccine Awareness team at UST that is working to promote the use of the COVID-19 vaccines to end the pandemic in the Philippines.

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