Dr. Alfredo C. Santos, PhD: Pharmacist, Chemist, Educator, Thomasian

While searching for any material on the web about Sto. Tomas, a link to a “Department of Tourism” page appeared in the search and described a certain Alfredo Santos as being a notable personality. The description from the http://www.visitmyphilippines.com website is as follows:

Alfredo Santos
Sto. Tomas, Pampanga
Born in 1900, Santo Tomas, Pampanga, Alfredo Santos was a noted pharmacist and National Scientist. He discovered paheantharine, an effective medicine for high blood pressure, He was one of the founders of the National Academy of Science and Technology (d. October 15, 1978).

I will admit not being familiar with the person but apparently, he’s a genius from the town! Another quick search spewed out this result from About.com:

Alfredo Santos – Filipino Chemist:

Doctor Alfredo Santos is a noted researcher in the chemistry of natural products, in particular the isolation and elucidation of the phaeantharine and other alkaloids from Philippine medical plants.
Alfredo Santos – Degrees:
  • BS in Pharmacy, University of the Philippines
  • Doctorate in Pharmacy, University of Santo Tomas
  • Doctorate in Philosophy, Westfalische Wilhelms Universitat Munster – 1929
Alfredo Santos – Awards:
  • 1953 – Outstanding Pharmacist Researcher of the Philippine Pharmaceutical Association
  • 1954 – Magsaysay’s Distinguished Service Star
  • 1973 – PhilAAS Outstanding Scientist Award

I would think that they were one of the few blessed families of the town. Unless his PhD in the University of Munster, Germany was a scholarship.

A Third-Year High School Textbook describes Dr. Santos as a chemist to serve as inspiration for the young scientists:
Dr. Santos’ research is on chemistry of natural products and studies on the medicinal properties of Philippine medicinal plants. His work on herbs helped in illustrating the properties of phaenthrine, phaentharine, and other alkaloids found in local plants.
His concern with the poor spurred him to do studies on indigenous materials needed for the development of drugs, in an attempt to do away with the costly imported raw materials.
He received a number of awards but above all, he is a true scientist and humanitarian.
And apparently, he became Dean of the College of Pharmacy in the University of the Philippines, Manila from 1961 to 1965! How could a Thomasian NOT be inspired by such a great person? THIS is what people in the town should know about so they could be truly inspired and proud of their Kabalens.
I still want to know more about his life. Perhaps his personal life or get to know his family. Where are they now? Did he have a wife and children? If you have more information about Dr. Alfredo C. Santos, PhD, please contact me through the email listed on this website. I am not part of the media or anything. Just a simple Thomasian interested in great Thomasians’ lives.
image from the UPM College of Pharmacy web page.

2 responses to “Dr. Alfredo C. Santos, PhD: Pharmacist, Chemist, Educator, Thomasian

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