Prof. Michael L. Tee, Internal Medicine-Rheumatology specialist, University Scientist I, and UP Manila Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development (VCPD), was appointed 10th chancellor of UP Manila during a special meeting of the UP Board of Regents on 05 October 2023. He will serve for three years starting 01 November 2023.
He earned his BS Biology in UP Diliman in 1993, Doctor of Medicine in UP Manila in 1998, Masters in Health Professions Education in UP Manila in 2007, and Master in Business Administration in UP Diliman in 2015.
Prior to his appointment as VCPD in 2014, Tee served as Assistant to the Philippine General Hospital Director for Public Affairs and PGH Spokesperson from 2004 to 2010; Editor-in-Chief of the UP Manila Journal for 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014; and, Director of the UP Manila Information, Publication, and Public Affairs Office in 2011 and from Nov 2014 to 2015.
As an administrator for nine years, Tee supervised the planning and implementation of the UP Manila Campus Development Plan, including the construction of new buildings such as the Sports and Wellness Center, SHS Koronadal Gymnasium, UP Manila Student Center, UP Manila Dorm, SHS Baler Administration Building, SHS Palo Administration Building, Henry Sy Sr Hall (CM Medical Sciences Building), and major renovations in all colleges . His office steered UP Manila’s journey to ISO 9001:2015 certification.
As an educator, Tee teaches physiology and rheumatology at the Department of Physiology and Department of Medicine, respectively. He leads a project that aims to bring state-of-the-art Simulation-based Education (SBE) to the Philippines. To this end, he accompanied more than 50 faculty members from the University of the Philippines Manila, West Visayas State University, and Mindanao State University to a five-day workshop at the Adelaide Health Simulation Center of the University of Adelaide Australia, and SingHealth DukeNUS Institute of Medical Simulation (SIMS) as part of the project Optimising Simulation-based Education, Training, Collaboration and Research – A Focus on Technology driven Teaching and Learning Strategies. The group is currently creating teaching modules customized to the practices and context of the Philippines that are meant to serve as a roadmap for instructors who will deliver SBE.
As a researcher, Tee led the collaborative project among the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), University of Illinois, and UP Manila that validated the use for saliva for the diagnosis of COVID-19. This test was used by more than two million Filipinos at the height of the pandemic. The study was launched on 25 January 2021 at the PRC Mandaluyong headquarters.
The incoming chancellor was also part of a breakthrough international clinical trial that paved the way for the registration of a biosimilar rheumatoid arthritis drug that cost less than third of the originator molecule. According to the program of an international conference on environment and human health, Tee’s research interests originally focused on autoimmune diseases such as lupus, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis. However, as COVID-19 developed into a pandemic, Tee initiated several studies that aimed to guide policy directions in government response. He is a member of the Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration that studies disease activity measures.
In his presentations during the search committee public forum, he presented a vision for UP Manila as a university globally recognized for excellence in the fields of health, the humanities, and the social and natural sciences responsive to the needs of the country. He pledged to capacitate students, teachers, REPS, administrative staff, and health workers for technology-enhanced flexible and continuing education.
” Flexible learning will be situated alongside a digital ecosystem that puts a premium on user-experience. We will promote innovative teaching methods and simulation-based education to prepare our students for immersive and experiential learnings, and compassionate service in state-of-the-art facilities at the Philippine General Hospital, university laboratories, and partner communities,” he stated.
His vision-mission paper stressed that “We aim to serve the public through scholarly and technical collaboration with the government, private sector, and civil society, while leaving the indelible mark of UP’s brand of honor and excellence. Our alumni will be ready to become citizens of the world, sensitive to cultural differences and proactive in responding to the needs of the people, particularly of the Filipinos .”
In the same paper, Tee envisioned that “as the academic partner of various government departments, we will drive industries forward through a strong academic thrust, creating public-private linkages that harness the talents in our campus and among our alumni. Because the Filipino people deserve the best from each of us, we must endeavor to be the best. The reality is that each one of us has our roles to play, sometimes competing with others for finite resources to accomplish what we set out to do. But to shape a future of endless positive potential, we must believe in the IDEA of a shared vision for UP Manila. In conclusion, it is with hope and dedication that I take the first steps that will bring us closer to this vision, seeing the university’s potential, hearing and actively listening to its constituents, feeling the pulse of its people, and leading the university with transparency, accountability, and integrity.”
– Cynthia M. Villamor