Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P., Ph.D., S.T.D.Associate Scholar
Rev. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., completed his Bachelor’s Degree (B.S.E.) in Bioengineering, summa cum laude, at the University of Pennsylvania, and then earned his Ph.D. in Biology from M.I.T., where he was a fellow of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). He was ordained a priest in the Order of Preachers in May of 2004. He completed his Pontifical License in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in Moral Theology, summa cum laude, at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, in 2005, and a Pontifical Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.), magna cum laude, at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, in 2015. He earned his MBA at Providence College in 2020.
Fr. Austriaco currently serves as Professor of Biological Sciences and Professor of Sacred Theology at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines, and director of ThomisticEvolution.org. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he pivoted his research to developing a yeast-based oral vaccine for COVID-19 for the Filipino people. Papers describing his research have been published in PLoS ONE, FEMS Yeast Research, Microbial Cell, Cell, the Journal of Cell Biology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, among others. In philosophy and theology, his essays have been published in the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Theological Studies, Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, Science and Theology, and the Linacre Quarterly. His first book, Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics, was published by the Catholic University of America Press in 2011. It was recognized as a 2012 Choice outstanding academic title by the Association of College and Research Libraries. A second edition was published in 2021.
Fr. Austriaco is a member of the Philippine Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) where he advises the president of the Philippines on healthcare and pandemic-related matters.
Questions have already been raised about Hydroxychloroquine's possible use during pregnancy in this time of pandemic. Is HCQ safe for pregnant women? Is it safe for the unborn babies in their wombs? In this brief paper, I will review the scientific evidence that demonstrates that HCQ is safe for both expectant and lactating mothers.