Dr. Apichart Vanavichit, Associate Professor of Kasetsart University and Director of Rice Gene Discovery Unit, was awarded the 2013 Biotechnology Researcher Award from Biogenomed Co., Ltd.  This award honors Thai researchers with outstanding scientific achievements.

Dr. Vanavichit obtained a US patent in 2007 for the discovery of the method to increase aromatic fragrance in a rice plant for the first time in the world. This invention is based on the discovery that the inhibition of Os2AP gene can result in the production of aromatic compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP), the major potent flavour component of aromatic rice.  His dedication on rice improvement research led to the development of several new rice varieties that can withstand environmental stresses (e.g. flood), diseases (e.g. blight, blast, brown planthopper), as well as improved yield and nutrition.

Dr. Vanavichit’s previous accolades include “2012 Person of the Year” award in Science and Technology from the National Identity Board and the 2012 NSTDA Research Chair Grant to work on “Whole genome mutagenesis to enhance rice breeding potential for climate change”, for instance.