This program brings together more than 13 staff members with diverse research interests and is designed to provide a broad education leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology. Program research areas include, but are not limited to the following:
Animal Cell Culture Technology
• Bioprocess Development in animal cell culture with the goals to optimize production processes of bio-products.
• Mass cultivation of Spirulina and microalgae. Production of high-value chemicals from microalgae. Molecular biology of microalgae.
• Electrochemical and optical labels for high sensitivity and simultaneous/ multiplex assays for nucleic acid and protein detection. Development of robust molecule specific biosensors for environmental applications. Lab-on-a-chip for point-of-care clinical diagnostics.
• Modeling of PKSMT production from Xylaria sp. BCC1067 in Aspergillus oryzae. Pilot-scale production of essential fatty acids from Mucor spp. by submerged and solid-state fermentation. Study of lipogenesis in oleaginous yeasts and fungi by comparative genomic analysis.
• Biodiversity of endophytic fungi and bacteria of economically important crops and plants and plant-microbe interactions. Screening for bioactive metabolites such as anti-cancer agents, antimicrobial agents and pigments from endophytic fungi and bacteria. Polysaccharide from submerged culture of mushrooms: production, biological activity and characterization.
Microbial Fermentation Technology
• Large-scale production of protease and essential fatty acid from filamentous fungi using submerged fermentation. Ethanol fermentation from Zymomonas mobilis and yeast. Autolysis and its related lytic enzymes of Aspergillus oryzae during fermentation. Poly-unsaturated fatty acid from filamentous fungi in submerged fermentation.
• Development of adsorbents from agricultural wastes for treatment of wastewater containing organic substances and heavy metals/recovery of valuable metals. Phytoremediation of waste-water/soil contaminated with heavy metals and organic substances by local Thai plants. Removal of color from food industry waste by local materials.
Excellent Center of Waste Utilization and Management (ECoWaste)
• Microbiological and Biochemical Aspect: Basic knowledge of microbiological and biochemical mechanisms of anaerobic digestion (AD), modified high effective AD microbes, development of novel microbial techniques to quantify and qualify AD microbes using molecular approaches.
• Reactor and Process Development: Anaerobic reactor design and development with high efficiency along with biogas purification.
• Computational Aids and Process Optimization: Mathematical models to predict biochemical pathway and hydrodynamic mechanisms in AD to control its treatment efficiency, development on-line measurement for the control of the biogas reactor.
• Environmental Research and Management: Water and energy audit for increasing efficiency and optimize the utilization of natural resources, water, and energy in the tapioca starch industry to a near-zero discharge starch factory, with the aim of determining the capacity and limitations of production.
Solid State Fermentation and Bioprocess Engineering
• Development of therapeutic protein production and purification processes using recombinant Pichia pastoris. Production of biologically active compounds (enzymes, biocontrol agents, fatty acids) using various microorganisms by solid state fermentation of agricultural by-products in rotating drum bioreactors.