"If there is anything that Dr. Eva Cutiongco-de la Paz seems not to enjoy, it’s getting undue credit. The winner of the 2018 Dangal ng Bayan Award was admittedly nervous when her mother, a former faculty member at the UP College of Education, suggested having their photo taken with the tarpaulin celebrating her feat.
'I was hoping nobody was there,' she said, 'and that nobody would recognize me when we were having our family picture taken at the Oblation Plaza.'
As far as her research is concerned, Cutiongco-de la Paz is quick to laud the contributions of her collaborators over her own. The clinical geneticist and current executive director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has certainly published on a broad range of subjects, from the genes implicated in rare diseases to our population’s genetic diversity. When asked, she tends to downplay her role in each of them. 'None of these is just about me,' she says."