Dr. Somvong Tragoonrung has been appointed to lead BIOTEC, starting from 16 May 2016. He succeeded Dr. Kanyawim Kirtikara who served this important positions for two terms, from 2009-2016.
Somvong Tragoonrung obtained his Ph.D. in plant and soil science from Montana State University. Before completing his doctoral degree, Somvong had experience working in the research departments of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). He started his career at BIOTEC in 1992 as a researcher in Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory. In 1999, he was tasked to lead the establishment of DNA Technology Laboratory and became its first director until the spin-off in 2009. Somvong has served as Director of Genome Technology Research Unit since 2008.
As an expert in genomic research, Somvong was a key member of Thai research team participating in the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project. His expertise in genome technology allows him to lead the team to develop genetic testing of GM products, species identification and grain purity. He is also an expert in utilizing genome technology for crop improvement, with the current work concentrating on eucalyptus, oil palm and sugar cane. He was the recipient of 2013 Technologist Award, a prestigious award established by the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology.
Posted on 16 May 2016.