Dr. Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri, Head of BIOTEC Microarray Laboratory, won L’OREAL Thailand For Woman in Science Fellowships 2009. She was recognized for her research on “Applications of Microarray Technology in Research and Development in Thailand” She was among four award-winners for this year including with Assoc. Prof. Artiwan Shotipruk, Asst. Prof. Anongnat Somwangthanaroj and Asst. Prof. Joongjai Panpranot from Chulalongkorn University.
Dr. Nitsara was awarded the Royal Thai Government scholarship in 1994 to pursue her BS, MS, and PhD in Chemical Engineering in the United States from 1995-2004. She completed her BS with honors from Columbia University (New York, USA) where she received the Bonilla Medal for finishing first in her chemical engineering class and was selected to be a member of the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society of the USA. She furthered her studies at Stanford University (California, USA) where she completed her MS-PhD conducting bioengineering research on the antibiotic-producing bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor using DNA microarray technology. Her PhD thesis won the Excellent Thesis Award from the National Research Council of Thailand.
Upon completion of her PhD in 2004, Dr. Nitsara returned to Thailand as a researcher at BIOTEC. In 2007, she headed the Microarray Laboratory, making array fabrication possible in Thailand and enabling Thai researchers to use microarray methods in their research programs at low cost. She continues to apply this high-throughput technology to address several research questions. Two of the main research areas of Dr. Nitsara’s group are DNA microarray analysis for the study of black tiger shrimp and antibody arrays for diagnostic development. The black tiger shrimp has significant economic implications for Thailand. Her group recently fabricated cDNA microarray for the black tiger shrimp to study its reproduction biology as well as utilizing the core technology of microarrays to develop proof-of-concept antibody arrays for multiple food-borne pathogen detection.
Dr. Nitsara has published over 10 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, filed five patents, and presented in over 30 national and international conferences. In addition, she was selected as one of the Outstanding Young Scientists from around the world to attend the InterAcademy Panel (2008) and named one of the seven Young Mentors in the InterAcademy Panel (2009).
The award presentation ceremony, graciously presided over by Dr. Khunying Kallaya Sophonpanich, Minister of Science and Technology, took place on 17 November 2009 at the Phayathai Palace.
Dr. Nitsara becomes the 6th of BIOTEC researchers who receive the L’OREAL Thailand For Woman in Science Award following Dr. Ubolsree Leartsakulpanich, Mrs. Wansika Kiatpathomchai, Dr. Lily Eurwilaichitr, Dr. Kallaya Dangtip and Dr. Kobkul Laoteng who were honored in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Posted on 18 November 2009.