Dr. Ruud Valyasevi, BIOTEC Assistant Director passed away on 8 January 2011 after a long battle with colon cancer.
Dr. Ruud was born on 20 October 1958. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Oregon State University. From 1991-1993, he received a Biotechnology Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Institute for Biotechnology, INRA, France, prior joining BIOTEC in 1993.
In leading the BIOTEC Food Biotechnology Laboratory, his research interests were on molecular taxonomy of lactic acid bacteria, molecular technology used in monitoring bacteria during food fermentation and the development of starter cultures for food fermentation. Regarded as an expert on food biosafety in Thailand, Dr. Ruud was involved in drafting of the “Guidelines of Foods Derived from Modern Biotechnology”; conducting the risk assessment of Round Up Ready soy bean, Bt corn and Bt cotton and training Thai regulators and food industry on the risk assessment of genetically modified foods. Under his strong leadership, BIOTEC Food Laboratory was recognized with the 2006 Technologist Award based on the research work on starter culture for the fermented food industry. His latest achievement was the risk assessment study of histamine in fish sauce, the result of which was successfully used by the Thai delegation to propose to CODEX for the adjustment in histamine concentration in fish sauce products, which helps facilitate the export for Thai fish sauce industry.
Dr. Ruud’s expertise was well recognized internationally. He was invited to serve as Food Biosafety Expert of the ADB project titled “Strengthening Capacity and Regional Cooperation in Advanced Agricultural Science and Technology in the Greater Mekong Subregion” in 2005-2007 and served as Country Focal Point and Chairman of ASEAN Sub Committee on Food Science and Technology between 2008-2011.
Dr. Ruud served in several key positions at BIOTEC, among which were Director of BIOTEC Central Research Unit, Deputy Executive Director and finally Assistant Director. He will be gravely missed by colleagues and the scientific community.