Seven Thai Scientists Making An Impact With Their Research

Get to know these seven award-winning researchers from Thailand who are pushing the boundaries of chemistry, biomedical science and fundamental physics.

AsianScientist (Dec. 8, 2018) – A Southeast Asian nation well-known and loved for its breathtaking tropical beaches and ornate Buddhist temples, Thailand is also home to a vibrant scientific scene.

Behind Thailand’s tourism-driven economy is a government which understands the importance of investing in research and development (R&D) to push the country forward. In fact, its National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) has projected that by the end of 2018, Thailand’s R&D investment will amount to one percent of its GDP, with intentions to increase research expenditure to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2021.

Correspondingly, the number of researchers in Thailand is increasing gradually, and data from STI shows that there are about 1,700 scientists for every million people in Thailand. While this figure is among the lowest in the Southeast Asian region, it is important to note that Thailand fares well when it comes to gender equality in the science sector, with women comprising half of its scientific talent pool.

We feature here some of the top scientists helping science thrive in Thailand.

  1. Pimchai Chaiyen

    Photo: Mahidol University

    Chaiyen, who won the 2003 L’Oréal Thailand For Women in Science Award, received the 2017 L’Oréal Woman Scientist Crystal Award for her research into a cleaner way to produce chemicals.

  2. Pussana Hirunsit

    Photo: Pussana Hirunsit

    Hirunsit won the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Award for her research on environmentally friendly nanocatalysts.

  3. Anchalee Manonukul

    Photo: National Metal and Materials Technology Center

    For her work on powder metallurgy, Manonukul received the 2017 L’Oréal Woman Scientist Crystal Award, a special award commemorating the 15th anniversary of the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Awards in Thailand.

  4. Varodom Charoensawan

    Photo: Medical Research Council

    Charoensawan received the 2017 Young Scientist Award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under the Patronage of His Majesty the King for his bioinformatics research.

  5. Marisa Ponpuak

    Photo: Mahidol University

    Ponpuak received the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship for her research on autophagy aimed at finding new drugs for malaria and tuberculosis.

  6. Napida Hinchiranan

    Photo: Chulalongkorn University

    Hinchiranan was awarded the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Fellowship for her studies on using natural rubber to create value-added products.

  7. David Ruffolo

    Photo: Mahidol University

    Ruffolo received the 2017 Outstanding Scientist Award from the Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Technology under Royal Patronage for his research on global radiation and cosmic rays, including a computer program that can predict the effects of solar storms on Earth.


    Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Pexels.
    Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Shai Panela is an award-winning freelance science journalist based in the Philippines. She was part of the Asian Science Journalism fellowship program of the World Federation of Science Journalists in 2013 and covers stories in science, health, technology and the environment.

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