Research Groups

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

Prof. Aran Incharoensakdi, Ph.D.

– 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

Asst. 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

Assoc. Prof. Tanakarn Monshupanee, Ph.D.
– Enhancing oil and bioplastic production from cyanobacteria and algae by genetic techniques
– Gene manipulation in edible algae for increasing nutrition

Carbohydrate Biotechnology

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

Environmental Biotechnology

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

Asst. 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

Prof. Vichien Rimphanitchayakit, Ph.D.
– Proteinase inhibitors controlling the processes of innate immunity of shrimp
– Activation of innate immunity via the Imd pathway

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

Asst. Prof. Nuchanat Wutipraditkul, Ph.D.
– Xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity of Moringa oleifera
– Bioactive compounds in M. oleifera

Assoc. Prof. Supa-art Sirikantaramas, Ph.D.
– Biosynthtic 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

Assoc. Prof. Kuakarun Krusong, Ph.D.
– Structures and functions of shrimp’s proteins
– Protein engineering of carbohydrate-modifying enzymes
– Three dimensional structures of disease-related protein

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)
– X-ray crystallography and biophysical techniques