Assoc. Prof. Apichart Vanavichit honored with “2012 Person of the Year” award

Assoc. Prof. Apichart Vanavichit, Director of Rice Gene Discovery Unit, established under the collaboration between BIOTEC and Kasetsart University, was selected “2012 Person of the Year” in Science and Technology by the National Identity Board. Dr. Apichart, along with others award-winners, were granted an audience with Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to receive the awards as a mark of honor, at Dusidalai Hall, Chitralada Villa on 11 September 2012.

Dr. Vanavichit spearheaded a team of Thai scientists to participate in the International Rice Genome Sequencing Project (IRGSP) which Thailand took the lead in sequencing the rice chromosome 9 along with 10 other international groups. The project successfully released the whole rice genome sequence to the public in 2001. Dr. Vanavichit obtained a US patent in 2007 for the discovery of the method to increase aromatic fragrance in a rice plant for the first time in the world. This invention is based on the discovery that the inhibition of Os2AP gene can result in the production of aromatic compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP), the major potent flavour component of aromatic rice. His dedication on rice improvement research led to the development of 8 new rice varieties that can withstand environmental stresses (e.g. flood), diseases (e.g. blight, blast, brown planthopper), as well as improved yield and nutrition.

Dr. Vanavichit is an outstanding researcher applying modern biotechnology to improve rice varieties, the most economically- and socially- important crop to the country. His expertise, dedication in research and works are well accepted by a wide range of leading scientists in rice biotechnology research in local and international level. This “Person of the Year” Award is to honor him as a role model for others and his contribution in rice biotechnology research, which aims to improve quality of life for Thai farmers and consumers worldwide.

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Post on 24 September 2012

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