Tuklas Lunas Development Center (TLDC)

Tuklas Lunas Laboratory

One of the TLDCs in the country initiated and funded by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The Center is envisioned to become a natural products research hub in drug discovery and development of new drugs in the country, utilizing indigenous resources from the region. Thus, TLDC aims to unify bio-prospecting, biological screenings and related researches done at MMSU to strengthen the center and achieve its vision.

Video about the Center


The ultimate objective of TLDC is to develop herbal/drug products that are non-toxic and proven potent for certain diseases in partnership with other TLDC’s and pharmaceutical industries. This will enhance sustainable utilization and maximizing the potential of underutilized and neglected local species and as well as present a potential alternative source of income for farmers who will venture into production of raw materials.

Center Researchers

Name Designation Educational Attainment Position Title
KRISTIAN GAY BELTRAN Center Chief MS Pharmacy Assistant Professor IV
SHIRLEY C. AGRUPIS President PhD Agricultural Sciences/Bioprocessing/Bioconversion President
ANABELLE B. ALEJO Researcher MS Pharmacy Assistant Professor IV
RHIAN JAYMAR RAMIL Researcher PhD Pharmacy (on-going) Assistant Professor III
MA. DANICA I. RAMIL Researcher PhD Pharmacy (on-going) Assistant Professor III
MAINGELINE B. VIVIT Researcher MS Biology Education Research Assistant II
CECILE GAOAT Researcher MS Biology Science Research Assistant
ERLE STANLEY G. DAMASO Researcher BS Nursing Science Research Analyst
MENISA A. ANTONIO Researcher PhD Botany (on-going) University Researcher I
MAE ANN R. BATUYONG Researcher PhD Biology (candidate) Assistant Professor III
FRANKLIN V. IBANA Researcher PhD Pharmacy (on-going) Instructor II
ELPIDIO P. CADALZO Researcher MS Biology Instructor I
KARINA L. DAMO Researcher PhD Science Education major in Chemistry Assistant Professor II
RUBY ROSE A. SABLOT Researcher Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Assistant Statistician

Research Projects

Project Title Researchers Research Status Duration Source of fund Description
GIA Projects
Formulation of dosage forms from standardized non-toxic bioactive extracts from indigenous plants Shirley C. Agrupis, Anabelle B. Alejo, Kristian Gay D. Beltran and Maingelline B. Vivit On-going May 15, 2020 to present DOST-PCHRD This project targets to develop and establish safe, effective, and quality oral and topical dosage forms from the five plant extracts with promising anti-inflammatory activity and non-toxic profile.
Anti-inflammatory and Toxicity Profile of Ethanolic Extracts from Indigenous Plants of Ilocos Norte Shirley C. Agrupis, Anabelle B. Alejo, Kristian Gay D. Beltran and Maingelline B. Vivit Completed October 15, 2018 to January 15, 2020 DOST-PCHRD This is the first project under the Program “Development of Anti-inflammatory Herbal Products from Iluko Indigenous Plants”. It was prompted to thoroughly probe unto the anti-inflammatory potential and toxicity profile of ten (10) indigenous plants sourced from municipalities of Ilocos Norte. Medium throughput screening was done through in vitro antiinflammatory assays, in vitro toxicity tests, and cell-based orthogonal assay. The potentially active and non-toxic extracts throughout the anti-inflammatory tests were advanced to the succeeding product development project.
Phytochemical, Toxicologic Profiling and Anti-inflammatory Activity of Indigenous Medicinal Plants Zenaida M. Agngarayngay (retired), Menisa A. Antonio, Roque A. Ulep, Karina K. Damo, Anabelle L. Bernardo and Kristian Gay Dutdut. Completed January 2012 to May 2014 DOST-PCHRD This is a pioneering project of the Tuklas Lunas Program. The project was focused on the qualitative phytochemical analysis; and toxicologic profiling in terms of the detection of heavy metals and pesticide residues on the 46 indigenous plants in Ilocos Norte. The anti-inflammatory screening using induced-paw edema on Spague Dawley rats was limited to 4 plant species selected based on the phytochemical constituents present.
GAA Projects
LC-MS/MS-Based Metabolite Profiling and In Vitro Anticancer Evaluation of the Philippine Endemic Cinnamomum anacardium Kosterm Rhian Jaymar D. Ramil and Ma. Danica I. Ramil On-going January-December 2021 MMSU  
In Vitro Antihypertensive Activity and Gene Expression Analysis of Psychotria luzoniensis Ma. Danica I. Ramil and Rhian Jaymar D. Ramil On-going January-December 2021 MMSU  
Ethno-Medicinal Documentation and Biophysical Characterization of Herbal Plant used by Traditional Medical Practitioners in the Rural Areas of Ilocos Norte Maingelline B. Vivit, Erle Stanley G. Damaso, Cecile A. Gaoat, Mae Ann R. Batuyong and Elpidio P. Cadalzo Jr. On-going July 2020 to present MMSU The traditional knowledge on the use of medicinal plants and practices are valuable information that are passed on from generations to generations among Traditional Medical Practitioners (TMPs). The knowledge is of good contribution to the national efforts on the drug discovery research and development program. However, the rapid urbanization and modernization may reduce the preservation of the traditional knowledge when remained undocumented. Hence, this project aims to document the ethno-medicinal plants and the practices utilized by TMPs in the rural areas of Ilocos Norte. After which, the geographical location of the uncommon medicinal plant will be characterized based on several biophysical parameters.
Evaluation of the Physico-Chemical Characteristics, In Vitro Biological Activities, and Safety Assessment of the Endemic Plant Species in Ilocos Norte Maingelline B. Vivit, Anabelle B. Alejo, Kristian Gay D. Beltran, Mae Ann R. Batuyong and Cecile A. Gaoat On-going June 2020 to present MMSU This project is exploratory research on the physico-chemical characteristics, biological activities and in vivo safety profile of several endemic plants in Ilocos Norte. The studies capitalized on the Philippine endemic and locally endemic plants in Ilocos Norte from the Family Rubiaceae that are distributed within the northern Cordillera Mountain Ranges covering Kalbario-Patapat Natural Park (KPNP), Metropolitan Ilocos Norte Watershed Forest Reserve (MINWFR) and Mt. Lammin of Pagudpud, Adams, Pasuquin and Carasi.
Immunomodulatory Role of Selected Philippine Terrestrial Endemic Plants Ma. Danica I. Ramil and Rhian Jaymar D. Ramil Completed March 2019 – December 2020 MMSU  
Cancer Chemotherapeutic Potentials of Terrestrial Plants Endemic to Ilocos Norte, GAA-Funded Research Rhian Jaymar D. Ramil and Ma. Danica I. Ramil Completed February 2019 – December 2020 MMSU  
A new hexenoic acid glycoside with cytotoxic activity from the leaves of Psychotria luzoniensis Rhian Jaymar D. Ramil and Ma. Danica I. Ramil Completed April 2019- June 2019 MMSU  
Screening and Evaluation of Indigenous Plants for Health and Other Applications Maingelline B. Vivit, Menisa A. Antonio and Cecil A. Gaoat Completed 2017-2021 MMSU Indigenous plants have been utilized primarily as source of food in Ilocos Norte. These are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. However, food processing is known to affect the phytoconstituents and health benefits of the vegetables. In this project, the antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of the raw, boiled, steamed and dried edible parts of eight indigenous plant species were assessed. The total phenolics (TPC) and flavonoids content were also analyzed to determine the corresponding effect of these constituents on the biological activities of the tested plant species.