The 6th Princess Chulabhorn International Science Congress (PC VI)

The Interface of Chemistry and Biology in the 'Omics' Era:
Environmental Health and Drug Discovery

November 25-29, 2007 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
King of Thailand

The congress was organized to commemorate the 80th birthday celebrations of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. Presiding at the opening of the congress, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn represented His Majesty on this occasion.

The theme of the congress derives from His Majesty's life-long vision of the application of scientific knowledge and discovery to the improvement of the quality of life of the Thai people.

The congress thus provided an appropriate opportunity to honor His Majesty's unique contributions to the many areas of science and technology which he has studied with keen appreciation and understanding, and then applied in the Royally Initiated Projects that have benefited the people of Thailand as well as those in many other countries.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
HRH Princess Chulabhorn

In her report to HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at the opening ceremony of the congress, Professor Dr HRH Princess Chulabhorn, President of the Chulabhorn Research Institute, and of the Organizing Committee of the congress, stated that "In science, one of His Majesty's major interests has long been the developments that have taken place in the study of genetics, and the scientific program of the congress reflects His Majesty's profound interest in this field in which recent breakthroughs in research have opened up opportunities for improving quality of life and for redressing environmental degradation caused by short-sighted and selfish human activity.

Thus the congress focuses on environment and health, and drug discovery, areas in which the interface between biology and chemistry has become increasingly important. These are also areas in which recent developments have been catalyzed by new technology, which is a sub theme that will be highlighted in many of the presentations in the congress".

The scientific program of the congress, as well as featuring Keynote and Plenary lectures, was organized around a number of symposia. These included Environment-Gene Interactions; Environmental Epigenomics; Air Pollution; Nanotechnology, Nanomaterial and Safety Science; Cellular Response to DNA Damage/DNA Repair; Chemicals and Microbes in Environment and Health; Biological Responses to Chemical Agents: Biomarkers; Cancer, Aging & Inflammation in Mouse Models; Technologies for Drug Discovery, Development and Delivery; Chemoprevention; Natural Products; and Organic Synthesis.

The congress program also featured three workshops: Workshop on The Use of 'Omics' in Human Health Risk Assessment; Workshop on Collaborative Research, co-sponsored by WHO-IPCS/NIEHS; and Workshop on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research on Arsenic Exposure, Susceptibility and Human Health: Current Advances and Future Directions.

HRH Princess Chulabhorn HRH Princess Chulabhorn HRH Princess Chulabhorn
Roundatable Discussion

There was also a Roundtable Discussion on the topic of Emerging Environmental Issues in Public Health: Their Impacts and the Role of Technology in Identifying and Addressing these Issues.

This year the congress attracted over 791 participants from 37 countries. There were 118 invited speakers from 22 countries and a total of 346 poster presentations.

HRH Princess Chulabhorn HRH Princess Chulabhorn HRH Princess Chulabhorn

Highlights of the scientific program of the congress included keynote lectures given by two Nobel Laureates: Dr. Richard J. Roberts (U.S.A.) on "The Genomics of Restriction and Modification"; and Dr. Richard R. Schrock (U.S.A.) on "Abiological Catalytic Reduction of Dinitrogen under Ambient Conditions". Also a closing lecture in the closing ceremony of the congress which was given by Dr. Janet Woodcock (U.S.A.) on "Transforming Global Drug Development through New Science".

Dr. Richard J. Roberts Dr. Richard R. Schrock Dr. Janet Woodcock

Roundatable Discussion

As in previous Princess Chulabhorn Science Congresses, in addition to the main congress program, there was a satellite meeting. On this occasion the meeting was organized by the Collegium Ramazzini in collaboration with the Chulabhorn Research Institute as a workshop on "Occupational and Environmental Health in the Asia/Pacific Region" from November 30 to December 1, 2007 at Chulabhorn Convention Center, Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok, Thailand.

The two day workshop attracted over 161 participants and the sessions were given by 26 speakers from 10 countries. This workshop was a major collaboration between the Collegium Ramazzini and the Chulabhorn Research Institute. It was opened by Professor Philip Landrigan, Chairman of Department of Community & Preventive Medicine, Professor of PedProfessor Philip Landriganiatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and President of the Collegium Ramazzini, and by Associate Professor Dr. Khunying Mathuros Ruchirawat, Vice President of the Chulabhorn Research Institute.

Professor Philip Landrigann Dr. Mathuros Ruchirawat participants

The congress program concluded with the presentation of the Princess Chulabhorn Gold Medal Award to four distinguished recipients.

Princess Chulabhorn Gold Medal Award

This year for the first time, the awardees included two Thai recipients who through their professional accomplishments have made major contributions to national development and also to the work of Chulabhorn Research Institute.

These awardees were Professor Herman Autrup, Professor Ram Sasisekharan, Mr. Sivavong Changkasiri, and Mr. Kittipan Kanjanapipatkul.

Professor Herman Autrup

Professor Herman Autrup has earned the very highest international reputation for his work on the interface between environment and health. He was appointed Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Aarhus, Denmark in 1990 and for the last 12 years has made an outstanding contribution to the activities of the Chulabhorn Research Institute.

Professor Ram Sasisekharann

Professor Ram Sasisekharan is a pioneer in the field of Glycomics and has a chair at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He played a leading role in providing the initial inspiration for the new programs that comprise the curricula of the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute. His vision to build infrastructures that support local production of pharmaceutical agents promises to transform the fight against disease in many developing countries.

Mr. Sivavong Changkasiri

Mr. Sivavong Changkasiri is a former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry. Mr. Sivivong has played a pivotal role in the development of the educational program and translational research of Chulabhorn Research Institute. His advice and counsel have been invaluable and contributed greatly to the policies that have guided the Institute's growth and development, particularly in the establishment of the Chulabhorn Graduate Institute, and initiating links with industrial partners.

Mr. Kittipan Kanjanapipatkul

Mr. Kittipan Kanjanapipatkul is a former director of the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation under the Office of the Prime Minister, a former Secretary-General of the Colombo Plan, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Chulabhorn Research Institute. His dedicated support for the work of the Institute has helped to promote the activities and accomplishments of the Institute in the international arena.