Assoc. Prof. Nopporn Sittisombut from Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University was honored with the 2012 Outstanding Technologist Award, presented by the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology Under the Patronage of His Majesty the King. He was recognized for the achievement in the development of dengue vaccine candidate. In his study, a number of modifications of genetic material in different regions of the genome of dengue serotype 2 were found to result in the attenuation of virus virulence. This discovery leads to the construction and testing of the chimeric viruses which comprise of the prM-E coding region from recent dengue clinical isolates on the genetic background of attenuated virus. Based on promising results from the neurovirulence and immunogenicity testings in mice, the chimeric viruses are considered to have a good potential to be developed further as vaccine candidate for the safety and efficacy studies in non human primate model. Four serotypes of chimeric live-attenuated vaccine have already been licensed to a Thailand-based vaccine company to further develop into a commercial product.
Apart from his academic position at Chiang Mai University, Assoc. Prof. Nopporn also serves as Deputy Director of Medical Biotechnology Research Unit, jointly established by BIOTEC, Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University.
The Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King was established in 1982 as a non-governmental organization with the aim of promoting the advancement of science and technology in Thailand. It annually presents Outstanding Scientist Awards and Outstanding Technologist Awards to recognize Thai researchers with exceptional achievements in science and technology development and to encourage active younger researchers to perform high quality research work of significant impact to society and economy.
Posted on 10 October 2012