Dr. Verawat Chaampreda, Director of the Microbial Biotechnology and Biochemicals Research Unit was awarded the Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize 2018 by the Society for Biotechnology, Japan for his work entitled “Exploration of lignocellulose degrading enzymes from hidden bioresource for biorefinery and green industries”.
Headed by Dr. Champreda, the acclaimed research work is a collaborative effort among the researchers within the Enzyme Technology Lab, BIOTEC, which seeks to understand the complex cooperative microbial processes on plant biomass degradation in nature and translate the knowledge into potent enzymes for greener industries. The works encompass searching powerhouse lignocellulose-degrading enzymes from Thailand’s abundance microbial resources, developing synergistic enzyme systems for lignocellulose hydrolysis and modification as well as on biocatalyst fabrication in various immobilization designs, to optimizing bio-processes for enzyme prototype production. Metagenomics techniques has been applied in order to explore the vast majority of uncultured microbes. Bioinformatics tools are employed for gene mining and in-depth analysis of the dataset. This provides an insight into the diversity and dynamics of lignocellulolytic microbial communities and genes encoding for biomass degrading enzymes, enabling the understanding of biochemical processes on plant biomass decomposition in nature. Moreover, the “Enzyme Library”, a collection of crude multi-activity and recombinant single-activity cellulases, hemicellulases, and ligninases as well as auxiliary components derived from cultured and uncultured microbes has been established for the utilization in industrial application.
The Young Asian Biotechnologist Prize is presented to a young scientist in Asia (other than Japan) under 45 years of age for the outstanding contribution in the field of biotechnology. The award ceremony will be held at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society for Biotechnology on September 5, 2018 in Japan.
Posted on 27 August 2018.