Notable people have reshaped the world. Mankind evolved as a result of sudden changes and the occurrence of different generations. Change, as the old saying goes, is the only constant in this world. Everything has been redesigned. The principles have been changed. The possibilities for innovation are limitless. Only a few people have the capacity and intelligence to shape our future.
Britannica published the names of the future’s young shapers on their official website on February 17. These people work in a variety of fields, embracing every edge and intersection of health and medicine, science and technology, business and entrepreneurship, social activism, politics, literature, music, film, and more. Designers, architects, artists, writers, scholars, musicians, leaders, and artists are among those named Shapers of the Future at Britannica 2022.
Brittanica aims to highlight these people who have already made history and will undoubtedly contribute more innovations and inventions in the future. Maria Isabel Layson, 18, and Rodney Perez, 32 are both Filipinos who made it onto the list.
Maria Isabel Layson attended an elementary school for gifted children as well as the Singapore American School. She then returned to her hometown in Iloilo City and enrolled herself in an advanced science curriculum at the National High School.
Layson discovered that an abundant berry known locally as “aratiles” has antioxidant compounds that fight diabetes while studying it in a Food and Nutrition Research Institute Laboratory in Manila. She presented her findings at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, when she turned 16 in 2019.
In the same year, she won Best Individual Research in Life Science at the Department of Education’s National Science and Technology Fair. Layson is currently enrolled in the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo City. She also owns a bakery that specializes in keto-friendly pastries.
The second Filipino who made it onto the list is Rodney Perez. He pursued food science at Visayas State University in Leyte. He then won a scholarship to Kyushu University in Japan and earned an M.S. in bioscience and biotechnology and a Ph.D in microbial technology.
Perez’s study of bacteriocins, naturally occurring toxins that can kill related strains of bacteria implicated in food poisoning and spoilage, is his specialty as a researcher at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños. He is now developing technologies to incorporate bacteriocins into food packaging processes, such as replacing artificial and potentially harmful steroids in dairy products with beneficial bacteria derived from lactic acid that fights mastitis in cattle.
Perez has also received the Society for Biotechnology of Japan’s Young Asian Biotechnologist award. He is the first Filipino to receive the international honor. He has stated his intention to use microorganisms to address other health-related issues in his country. With microbial technologies, he claims, we can make tiny microorganisms work for us.
These two Filipinos only proved that there is no age limit for making a difference and shaping our future. They certainly deserve to be recognized and applauded for such innovative creations that will undoubtedly benefit our future. Congratulations!