On 22 September 2021, the Association of the Thai Government Scholarship Students announced that Dr. Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri received the Rising Star Award of the Government Scholarship Student 2021. The Award presentation Ceremony will be held in the Annual Meeting of the Association of Thai Government Scholarship Students on 28 November 2021.
Dr. Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri was born in Nakhonsawan Province. She won a national prestigious and highly competitive scholarship of the Royal Thai Government to pursue her studies in the United States at the age of 16. She received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering (the first-class honor with distinction) from Columbia University, New York in 1999. Due to her outstanding academic merit, she was awarded the Bonilla Medal. She was also conferred the title of Departmental Valedictorian and her name was inscribed at the Chemical Engineering Department. She was also inducted to Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society in the United States. She went on to pursue master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, California. During her Ph. D., she received an Outstanding Teaching Award for the Chemical Engineering Department in 2003 before graduated in 2004. In addition, her Ph.D. Dissertation on “the development of a DNA microarray to improve antibiotic production using Streptomyces coelicolor” won the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the National Research Council of Thailand in 2006.
After graduated, Dr. Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri determined to utilize and apply knowledge of microarray technology to enhance the country’s competitive advantage in agricultural sector. She joined the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC) in 2004. In 2007, she established and became the founding Head of the Microarray Laboratory. During 2012-2018, Dr. Karoonuthaisiri became the Director of Biosensing Technology Research Unit. She and her team were among the pioneers applying microarray principles for developing multiplex diagnostics. She has successfully developed antibody arrays for a broad range of applications such as detection of foodborne pathogens, plant pathogens and food contaminants. In 2020, she led an international consortium from Europe and Asia to be the first team in the world to decipher the black tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon genome sequence to the chromosome level. Dr. Karoonuthaisiri is now a Principal Researcher at the Microarray Research Team, Biosensing and Bioprospecting Technology Research Group of BIOTEC.
Dr. Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers with an author h-index of 21, filed 22 patents, eight petty patents, 13 prototypes, a book chapter, and a trade secret. She has been a Scientific Experts for project proposals of the European Union. She had been invited to present over 80 scientific papers nationally and internationally. She received several awards, such as 'The Outstanding ONE HEALTH Researcher in Aquaculture Award' from the American National Shellfisheries Association 2021, ‘Women Scientists in Asia’ by the Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA) and InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) 2018, Young Technologist Award of the year 2011 from the Science and Technology Promotion Foundation under the Royal Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship from the European Union, For Women in Science Award from L’Oreal (Thailand)-UNESCO, Invention Award 2010 from the National Research Council of Thailand, Research Award 2014 from the National Research Council of Thailand. Her interview was published in the Nature Magazine.
In addition, she was selected as the Young Global Leader 2013 from the World Economic Forum. She also is the Best-Selling author of ‘Push the Limit’. With the breadth and depth of scientific-technological knowledge and innovation, Dr. Karoonuthaisiri has been appointed as a member of National Strategy Drafting Committee. Her long lists research records almost two decades have been a proof of dedicated effort and determination to contribute to the sustainable growth of her country.
Posted on 5 October 2021.