Thailand has earned her reputation as one of the top ten food producing nations globally, with several agricultural products of high economic importance such as rice, cassava, and shrimp. Research conducted at the Department of Biochemistry is directed towards the sustainability of competitiveness of our agricultural products. This has been achieved using biotechnology coupled with multi-omics approach to improve the quality as well as to enhance the production efficiency and to make value-added products. The department is also actively engaged in bioenergy research with particular emphasis on biofuels such as biodiesel and biohydrogen. Achievements in this line of research can help alleviate the problem of global warming as well as support the use of alternative energy resources for the energy supply in Thailand in the near future.
Nowadays, environmental problems such as discharge of toxic chemicals and wastes from industries and excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural areas are of prime concerns nationwide. Therefore, research dealing with the bioremediation and biotransformation of toxic contaminants are actively undertaken in the department to remediate the polluted environment.
Our department encourages exchanges of staff and students through various international collaboration programs in order to promote networking and knowledge sharing among scientists around the world. Establishing research collaborations and joint curricula with international partners are our focus.
Biotechnology of Cyanobacteria and Algae
– Mechanism of osmotic stress tolerance
– Polyamine and GABA metabolism under normal and stress conditions
– Biohydrogen, bioethanol and biodiesel as revewable energy sources
– UV-induced sunscreen compounds from cyanobacteria and algae
– Bioplastics production by cyanobacteria and algae
Assoc. Prof. Saowarath Jantaro, Ph.D.
– Adaptation of cyanobacteria and plants to environmental stresses
– Roles of polyamines in cyanobacteria under environmental stresses
– Regulation of photosynthetic systems in cyanobacteria
– Metabolic engineering for bioenergy- and value added- compounds from cyanobacteria
Prof. Piamsook Pongsawasdi, Ph.D.
– Structure and function of bacterial carbohydrate-modifying enzymes: cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase/amylomaltase/levansucrase
– Altering enzyme for desire product/thermostability
– Enzymatic synthesis of prebiotic oligosaccharides/glucosides
– Applications of cyclodextrins
Asst. Prof. Rath Pichayangkura, Ph.D.
– Production and characterization of carbohydrate-modifying enzymes; hydrolases and glycosyltransferases
– Mechanism and application of such enzymes
– The production of oligosaccharides and their applications
– Innovation in new oligosaccharides synthesis
Asst. Prof. Manchumas Prousoontorn, Ph.D.
– Enzymatic synthesis of various glycoside derivatives using cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase
– Enzyme immobilization for the development of test kits and biosensors
– Phenol removal using immobilized horseradish peroxidase and photocatalytic degradation
Kittikhun Vangkanont, Ph.D.
– Structure and function of animal immune lectins
– Catalytic mechanism of carbohydrate enzymes
– Drug targets in pathogenic bacteria
– X-ray crystallography and biophysical technique
Prof. Alisa Vangnai, Ph.D.
– Biodegradation mechanisms of environmental pollutants
– Bioremediation of industrial and agricultural contaminated environments
– Bacterial chemotaxis to facilitate bioremediation process
– Development of heterologous bacterial host for chemical bioproduction
Microbial Metabolic Engineering for Functional Products
Assoc. Prof. Kanoktip Packdibamrung, Ph.D.
– Biochemical characterization and kinetic studies of amino acid dehydrogenases
– Production of amino acids by recombinant amino acid dehydrogenases
– Enhancement of amino acid production by metabolic engineering
Asst. Prof. Suchart Chanama, Ph.D.
– Biosynthetic pathways of polyketides and non-ribosomal peptide antibiotics in Streptomycetes
– Biodegradation and bioconversion of natural, unnatural, and xenobiotic organic compounds
Molecular Biology and Genomics of Shrimp
Prof. Anchalee Tassanakajon, Ph.D.
– Innate immunity of shrimp
– Antimicrobial peptides in shrimp
– Transcriptomics and proteomics analyses of shrimp
– Molecular markers for monitoring shrimp health/breeding selection
Assoc. Prof. Kunlaya Somboonwiwat, Ph.D.
– Shrimp innate immunity: functional characterization of genes, proteins and miRNAs
– Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of antomicrobial peptides
– Development of genomic tools for shrimp breeding selection
– Development of therapeutic agents for disease control in shrimp
Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology
Assoc. Prof. Teerapong Buaboocha, Ph.D.
– Identification and characterization of genes involved in stress responses in rice by genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics analyses
– Functional characterization of downstream elements of calcium signal transduction in abiotic stress responses mediated by calmodulin (CaM) and calmodulin-like (CML) proteins
Assoc. Prof. Supa-art Sirikantaramas, Ph.D.
– Biosynthetic pathways of bioactive compounds in vegetables and medicinal plants
– Sulfur metebolism in durian fruit
– Transcription factors controlling flavonoid and carotenoid biosyntheses
Structural Biology and Biomolecular Modeling
Asst. Prof. Thanyada Rungrotmongkul, Ph.D.
– Molecular modeling on biological systems such as influenza, chikungunya and hepatitis viruses, and cancer drug targets
– Rotational drug design against influenza neuraminidase
– Drug delivery system based on carbon nanotube and cyclodextrin serving as the drug transporter
Asst. Prof. Surasak Chunsrivirot, Ph.D.
– Computational design of enzymes/proteins such as carbohydrate-modifying enzymes for tailor-made products/desired properties
– Using molecular modeling and simulation techniques to investigate problems in biochemistry, biology and related areas
– Computational design of peptides/compounds for therapeutic uses and other applications
Bacteriophage Biology and Antimicrobial Discovery
Vorrapon Chaikeeratisak, Ph. D.
– Exploring infection machinery of giant bacteriophages toward pathogenic bacteria, particularly Pseudomonas spp. and Vibrio spp.
– Identification of therapeutic proteins produced by bacteriophages exhibiting antimicrobial properties
– Co-founder of the Microbe Lab (https://themicrobelab.wordpress.com)