April 18 was the launch day of the Franco-Thai Symposium on the Study of Viral Vectors. Gathered at the Institute of Molecular Biosciences of Mahidol University, the coordinating scientists of the new Thai Vector Research Center presented their work and the recently inaugurated research platform to the researchers and students present.
In 2023, the new Thai Vector Core Facility at Mahidol University is operational. This Franco-Thai platform is based on more than 10 years of collaboration between the research teams of Mahidol University and IRD. The installation of such a structure in Thailand is a first in Southeast Asia. This platform, set up with the scientific support of researchers from IRD and CNRS, aims to produce viral vectors to study the function of certain genes in the development of human and animal diseases.
The establishment of the vectorology platform was initiated by the collaboration of four scientists:
- Dr. Rodolphe Hamel (IRD, France)
- Dr. Narisorn Kitiyanant (Mahidol University, Thailand)
- Dr. Arnaud Monteil (CNRS, France)
- Dr. Sineewanlaya Wichit (Mahidol University, Thailand)
The event, labelled as part of the France-Thailand Year of Innovation, was held in two successive sessions: a Symposium presenting the work of Mahidol University on viral vectors and a 3-day workshop on viral vector design and production methods.
Dr. Narisorn Kitiyanant who started the conference by contextualizing the creation of the Vectorology Platform and introducing the project leaders and the heads of the partner organizations moderated the Symposium.
Mahidol University's Vice President for International Relations and Communication, Dr. Nopraenue Dhirathiti, then spoke to share her appreciation for the partnership between the University and French research institutes. She said that viral vector research was a focal point of the bilateral cooperation between France and Mahidol University, which was to develop the University into a global hub for viral research to prevent future pandemics.
After the speech of Dr. Nopraenue Dhirathiti, Dr. Xavier Grosmaître, Scientific and Academic Attaché at the French Embassy in Thailand, presented the scientific cooperation actions of France in Thailand as well as the different French offers of research funding in Thailand.
The session continued with the presentation of IRD and its research activities in Thailand by Dr. Xavier Mari, IRD Representative in Thailand. He then presented the different partnership instruments of IRD as well as the research projects carried out in Thailand and in Southeast Asia. Particular attention was paid to the presentation of scientific projects in Health.
The Symposium continued with presentations of current work on viral vectors by French and Thai researchers. These presentations introduced the workshops conducted during the "Design and production of viral vectors to express the protein of interest" workshop.