Fr. Nicanor Robles Austriaco is a Filipino-American scientist, microbiologist, and professor, as well as a priest of the Dominican order. His project is called Pagasa, which in Filipino means Hope. If this vaccine is a success, it would be a great hope for millions of poor people in the world and for the general population. He gave an exclusive interview to Aleteia.
Father Nicanor, thank you very much for this interview for Aleteia. Where are you from?
I’m a Filipino priest of the Dominican order. I’m also a molecular biologist who has spent the last 20 years using yeast cells to study the molecular basis of cancer.
What was the first calling you felt: to the priesthood or to research? Why did you become a priest scientist? It might seem like an unusual combination to many people.
I met the Lord while completing my PhD in Biology at MIT in the United States, so I was a scientist first before being ordained a priest. It’s unusual, but it doesn’t have to be. As St. John Paul II reminded the Church, faith and reason are both gifts from God.
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