BIOTEC researcher named the 2017 Young Technologist

Dr. Wirulda Pootakham, Head of Genomic Research Laboratory, was honored with the 2017 Young Technologist Award for her achievement in applying genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology to identify and genotype a large number of SNPs. GBS is a genome-wide SNP discovery approach that couples restriction enzyme-mediated genome complexity reduction with next generation sequencing technologies. It can be applied to species with limited or no available genomic resources and is more cost-effective and less time-consuming than the conventional approach of identifying and genotyping microsatellite markers. The technique allows rapid analyses of various genetic studies such as QTL mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection to identify and develop SNP markers associated with desirable agronomic traits. The ability to discover a large number of SNPs is also beneficial for developing markers for cultivar identification and seed purity test. This is especially true in cases where cultivars examined are closely related, and microsatellite markers cannot be used to distinguish them. GBS technology will inevitably play a crucial role in marker-trait association analyses and marker-assisted breeding of important economic species such as rice, oil palm, rubber tree, cassava and sugarcane.

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Dr. Wirulda Pootakham Dr. Wirulda with her research team.
 
This year, the Technologist Award was presented to Prof. Viboon Sangveraphunsiri from Chulalongkorn University.  He was recognized for his accomplishment in developing robots for stroke rehabilitation.
 
The Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King has been presenting Technologist and Young Technologist Awards annually since 2000 to honor local researchers working in public or private sectors of their excellent work and to inspire researchers to continue developing the nation’s scientific and technological capabilities in order to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness. This year, the announcement of Technologist Awards was made by Dr. Rutjawate Taharnklaew, Chairman of Technology Awards Selecting Committee on 19 October 2017 at Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel.
 
Finalists of the Technologist and Young Technologist Awards were also revealed at the press conference.  Technologist Award finalists include Prof. Somchai Wongwises of KMUTT (Helical-coiled, crimped, spiral, finned-tube heat exchanger), Mr. Armote Somboonkaew, et al., of NECTEC (Embossed hologram production pilot plant) and Dr. Thepchai Supnithi, et al., of NECTEC (LEXiTRON electronic dictionary platform).  Finalists for the 2017 Young Technologist Award are Dr. Thidarat Nimchua of BIOTEC (ENZease: a duo-activity enzyme for one-step biodesizing and bioscouring process of cotton fabric) and Dr. Ravipat Phudpong of NECTEC (Power amplifier technology for radio waves for wireless network).
 
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Dr. Thidarat Nimchua, 2017 Young Technologist Finalist from BIOTEC

Posted on 1 November 2017.