The pharmacist who saved babies’ lives

Giants in History: Filipino chemist and pharmacist Manuel A. Zamora (29 March 1870 – 9 July 1929) is best remembered for his discovery of the tiki-tiki formula to combat beriberi, a disease caused by Vitamin B1 deficiency

As an undergraduate student, Zamora was already a promising scientist who won several awards for his research before he graduated. In 1908, he established a drugstore and laboratory on Hidalgo Street in old downtown Manila, where he dedicated much of his time to developing what would become tiki-tiki, a Vitamin B1-rich supplement made from rice bran. His invention saved the lives of many infants in the Philippines who suffered from beriberi due to their consumption of polished rice, which lacks Vitamin B1. Zamora also helped to establish the Philippine Pharmaceutical Association, and in 1921 he was appointed the first dean of the college of Pharmacy at the Centro Escolar University (CEU). Photos: CEU SOP (Dean Cecilia Santiago); JPPhA