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Vol 9 No 2

Four MU Staff Receive
National Awards

Prof. Jisnuson Svasti           Prof. Suthat Fucharoen

       Prof. M.R.Jisnuson Svasti              Prof. Suthat Fucharoen

     Four MU academics were recently named Outstanding Scientist, Lecturer and Medical Technologist, respectively. The Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology jointly named Prof. M.R. Jisnuson Svasti (above left), of the Department of Biochemistry at MU's Faculty of Science and former Vice President for International Relations, and Prof. Suthat Fucharoen (above right), former Director of the Thalassemia Research Center at MU's Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, as Outstanding Scientists of Thailand for their studies into protein structure and blood diseases. Prof. Jisnuson is also Head of MU's Center for Excellence in Protein Structure and Function (see article, page 2). He was honored for his research on protein structure and function, including work on proteins in male reproduction, vitamin D binding protein, and plant glycosidase enzymes. He has also studied abnormalities of proteins in various diseases, including discovering ten abnormal hemoglobins, not previously found in Thailand. In related research, Prof. Suthat was recognized for his work on the genetic disease thalassemia. He has discovered 35 types of mutation that cause defects in the synthesis of hemoglobin, which can cause disease. His studies using DNA examinations can detect the presence of the mutated genes in the unborn, and thereby help to stop the disease's spread. Prof. Suthat's work has been instrumental in reducing the prevalence of thalassemia, which is carried by up to 40% of the population and seriously affects approximately 10,000 people annually.

Dr. Wanpen Chaicumpa                  Prof. Virapong Prachayasittikul

       Dr. Wanpen Chaicumpa                    Dr. Virapong Prachayasittikul

     The MU Faculty Senate recently named Dr. Wanpen Chaicumpa (above left), a professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of MU's Faculty of Tropical Medicine, an Outstanding National Lecturer in the field of Medical Sciences. Dr. Wanpen has received many previous honors for her scientific achievements. These include the National Invention Award, Outstanding National Researcher Award, 3 Best Research Awards and an Asia Innovation Award. She has written many textbooks and published regularly in renowned international research journals. In addition, a recent Resolution at the 26th National Medical Technology Conference named Dr. Virapong Prachayasittikul (above right), currently Dean of the MU Faculty of Medical Technology, an Outstanding National Medical Technologist. Dr. Virapong has dinstiguished himself as a devoted promoter of the use of medical technology as part of Thailand's overall public health strategy. He was responsible for establishing the Council of Deans in Medical Technology, and the first Asia-Pacific Ph.D. program in medical technology at MU, emphasizing the need to remain current with emerging technological trends.