BIOTEC researcher honored with the 2014 Young Technologist Award

Dr. Bunpote Siridechadilok, BIOTEC Researcher, was named the recipient to the 2014 Young Technologist Award.  He was recognized for the discovery of a powerful virus construction that can save time and effort and enables the application of diverse genetic approaches that could not be effectively performed with conventional cloning methods.

In his study, Bunpote found that multiple DNA fragments of dengue viruses could be efficiently assembled by Gibson-assembly technique and then directly introduced into host cells to generate dengue viruses, negating the need to use E.coli. With this method, a recombinant dengue virus could be produced and verified by DNA sequencing within two weeks.  The technique was applied to quickly exchange the genes between two dengue viruses to map the mutations that confer a specific virus phenotype. This technique enables the rapid construction of dengue virus library with all possible genetic variations at an amino-acid position critical for viral growth. The virus library could be screened and analyzed by a high-throughput method. With research grant from Grand Challenges Canada, Bunpote is using this approach of virus construction to develop new dengue vaccine strains.  The technique is also being used to identify potential drug resistant mutants and to study the interaction of dengue virus and host immune components.

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This year’s Outstanding Technologist Awards were given to Dr.Varin Tanasomwang from the Department of Fisheries for developing technology for coastal aquaculture of economically important marine species, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jessada Wannasin from Prince of Songkla University for developing Slurry Metal Casting technology.  Another Young Technologist Award went to Dr. Prakarnkiat Youngkong from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi for his work on Sensible TAB, a novel robotic arm trainer for arm rehabilitation in patients who suffer from the effects of brain injury or stroke.

Outstanding Technologist and Young Technologist Awards are annually presented by the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King to recognize Thai researchers with exceptional achievements in technology development and to encourage active younger researchers to perform high quality research work of significant impact to society and economy.

Posted on 14 October 2014.