Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

Chulalongkorn University , officially abbreviated as CU and commonly abbreviated as Chula , is the oldest university under the Thai modern educational system, founded in 1917 by King Vajiravudh who named it after his father, King Chulalongkorn . It is one of the best universities in Thailand and Southeast Asia according to several university rankings. It comprises nineteen faculties and institutes.Its campus occupies a vast area in downtown Bangkok. Diplomas were traditionally handed out at graduation by the King of Thailand, created and begun by King Prajadhipok . But at present, King Bhumibol Adulyadej delegates the role to one of his daughters, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Wikipedia.

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-6 | Award Amount: 5.12M | Year: 2012

Limpid aims at generating new knowledge on photocatalytic materials and processes in order to develop novel depollution treatments with enhanced efficiency and applicability. The main goal of LIMPID is to develop materials and technologies based on the synergic combination of different types of nanoparticles (NPs) into a polymer host to generate innovative nanocomposites which can be actively applied to the catalytic degradation of pollutants and bacteria, both in air or in aqueous solution. Single component nanocomposites including TiO2 NPs are already known for their photocatalytic activities. LIMPID will aim at going one big step further and include, into one nanocomposite material, oxide NPs and metal NPs in order to increase the photocatalytic efficiency and allow the use of solar energy to activate the process. One of the main challenge of LIMPID is to design host polymers, such as hybrid organic inorganic and fluorinated polymers, since photocatalysts can destroy the organic materials. The incorporation of NPs in polymers will allow to make available the peculiar nano-object properties and to merge the distinct components into a new original class of catalysts. At the same time nanocomposite formulation will also prevent NPs to leach into water and air phase, thus strongly limiting the potential threat associated to dispersion of NPs into the environment. Therefore nanocomposites developed in LIMPID will be used as coating materials and products for the catalytic degradation of pollutants and bacteria in water and air, i.e. deposited onto re-usable micro-particles, or in pollutant degradation reactors, and even onto large surfaces, as a coating or paint. In addition such new class of nanocomposites will be also exploited for the fabrication of porous membranes for water treatment. In order to fulfill its objectives, the LIMPID consortium has been designed to combine leading industrial partners with research groups from Europe, ASEAN Countries and Canada.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BG-03-2014 | Award Amount: 6.76M | Year: 2015

TASCMAR project aspires to develop new tools and strategies in order to overcome existing bottlenecks in the biodiscovery and industrial exploitation of novel marine derived biomolecules (secondary metabolites and enzymes) with applications in the pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and fine chemicals industries. Exploitation of neglected and underutilized marine invertebrates and symbionts from mesophotic zone will be combined with innovative approaches for the cultivation and extraction of marine organisms from lab to pilot-scale, using the unique prototypes Platotex and Zippertex, both reaching the Technology Readiness Level 7. Thus, marine dedicated cultivation and extraction equipment will be built and validated. These unique improvements will ensure sustainable supply of biomass and promote the production of high added value bioactive marine compounds. An integrated, holistic technological metabolomic approach will be applied, in conjunction with bioactivity profiling, as filtering and bio-prioritisation tools. Moreover, state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation and in-house databases will be employed for the dereplication and characterization of valuable compounds. A panel of libraries (marine organisms, extracts, pure metabolites and biocatalysts) will be constructed and exploited throughout the project. A focused panel of in-vitro, cell-based, in-ovo and in-vivo bioassays for discovering metabolites with anti-ageing and/or angiogenesis modulating activity will frame the entire work-flow and will reveal the lead compounds. In addition, the catalytic potential of mesophotic symbionts and deriving enzymes candidates will be evaluated in fine chemicals and bioremediation industries. The project activities will be constantly assessed via effective management for their societal, economical and environmental impact in order to find the best compromise between industrial development and sustainable growth.

Although, increased oxidative stress and hypomethylation of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) associate with bladder cancer (BCa) development, the relationship between these alterations is unknown. We evaluated the oxidative stress and hypomethylation of the LINE-1 in 61 BCa patients and 45 normal individuals. To measure the methylation levels and to differentiate the LINE-1 loci into hypermethylated, partially methylated and hypomethylated, peripheral blood cells, urinary exfoliated cells and cancerous tissues were evaluated by combined bisulfite restriction analysis PCR. The urinary total antioxidant status (TAS) and plasma protein carbonyl content were determined. The LINE-1 methylation levels and patterns, especially hypomethylated loci, in the blood and urine cells of the BCa patients were different from the levels and patterns in the healthy controls. The urinary TAS was decreased, whereas the plasma protein carbonyl content was increased in the BCa patients relative to the controls. A positive correlation between the methylation of LINE-1 in the blood-derived DNA and urinary TAS was found in both the BCa and control groups. The urinary hypomethylated LINE-1 loci and the plasma protein carbonyl content provided the best diagnostic potential for BCa prediction. Based on post-diagnostic samples, the combination test improved the diagnostic power to a sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 96%. In conclusion, decreased LINE-1 methylation is associated with increased oxidative stress both in healthy and BCa subjects across the various tissue types, implying a dose-response association. Increases in the LINE-1 hypomethylation levels and the number of hypomethylated loci in both the blood- and urine-derived cells and increase in the oxidative stress were found in the BCa patients. The combination test of the urinary hypomethylated LINE-1 loci and the plasma protein carbonyl content may be useful for BCa screening and monitoring of treatment.

Chaiteerakij R.,Chulalongkorn University
American Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVES:Current staging systems for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (pCCA) are inadequate, as they are based on surgical pathology and therefore not relevant to unresectable patients. Clinical trials for potential targeted therapies for pCCA are hampered by the lack of an accurate, nonoperative staging system for predicting survival. We aimed at developing a clinical staging system for pCCA, which would be of prognostic relevance for all pCCA patients and help stratify patients for clinical trials.METHODS:Clinical information at the time of pCCA diagnosis of 413 patients seen at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN between 2002 and 2010 was retrospectively analyzed. A survival predictive model was developed using Cox proportional hazards analysis. The performance of the staging system was compared with the current AJCC/UICC (the American Joint Committee on Cancer/the Union for International Cancer Control) 7th tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) staging system.RESULTS:Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) status, tumor size and number, vascular encasement, lymph node and peritoneal metastasis and CA 19-9 level were grouped into a four-tier staging system. The median survivals of stages I, II, III, and IV patients were 48.6, 21.8, 8.6, and 2.8 months, with hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) of 1.0 (reference), 1.7 (1.1–2.6), 3.1 (2.0–4.7), and 8.7 (5.2–14.5), respectively (P<0.0001). This staging system had greater concordance statistics (standard error) than the TNM staging system (0.725 (0.018) vs. 0.614 (0.017)), indicating better performance in predicting survival.CONCLUSIONS:This staging system, based on nonoperative information at the time of pCCA diagnosis, has excellent discriminatory power to classify patients into four prognostic stages. It could be useful to clinicians and for the design of clinical trials.Am J Gastroenterol advance online publication, 11 November 2014; doi:10.1038/ajg.2014.327. © 2014 American College of Gastroenterology

Tha Wang and Tham Phang coasts, though situated at similar oceanographic positions on Sichang island, Chonburi province, Thailand, are different in bay geography and amount of municipal disturbances. These affect the marine ecosystems. The study used metagenomics combined with 16S and 18S rDNA pyrosequencing to identify types and distributions of archaea, bacteria, fungi and small eukaryotes of sizes ranges 0.45 and ~30 μm. Following the open bay geography and minimal municipal sewages, Tham Phang coast showed the cleaner water properties, described by color, salinity, pH, conductivity and percent dissolved oxygen. The 16S and 18S rDNA metagenomic profiles for Tha Wang and Tham Phang coasts revealed many differences, highlighting by low Lennon and Yue & Clayton theta similarity indices (66.03-73.03% for 16S rDNA profiles, 2.85-25.38% for 18S rDNA profiles). For 16S rDNA, the percent compositions of species belonging to Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, Firmicutes, Verrucomicrobia, Gammatimonadetes, Tenericutes, Acidobacteria, Spirochaetes, Chlamydiae, Euryarchaeota, Nitrospirae, Planctomycetes, Thermotogae and Aquificae were higher or distinctly present in Tha Wang. In Tham Phang, except Actinobacteria, the fewer number of prokaryotic species existed. For 18S rDNA, fungi represented 74.745% of the species in Tha Wang, whereas only 6.728% in Tham Phang. Basidiomycota (71.157%) and Ascomycota (3.060%) were the major phyla in Tha Wang. Indeed, Tha Wang-to-Tham Phang percent composition ratios for fungi Basidiomycota and Chytridiomycota were 1264.701 and 25.422, respectively. In Tham Phang, Brachiopoda (lamp shells) and Mollusca (snails) accounted for 80.380% of the 18S rDNA species detected, and their proportions were approximately tenfold greater than those in Tha Wang. Overall, coastal Tham Phang comprised abundant animal species. Tha Wang contained numerous archaea, bacteria and fungi, many of which could synthesize useful biotechnology gas and enzymes that could also function in high-saline and high-temperature conditions. Tham Phang contained less abundant archaea, bacteria and fungi, and the majority of the extracted metagenomes belonged to animal kingdom. Many microorganisms in Tham Phang were essential for nutrient-recycling and pharmaceuticals, for instances, Streptomyces, Pennicilium and Saccharomyces. Together, the study provided metagenomic profiles of free-living prokaryotes and eukaryotes in coastal areas of Sichang island.

Warren J.K.,Chulalongkorn University
Earth-Science Reviews | Year: 2010

Throughout geological time, evaporite sediments form by solar-driven concentration of a surface or nearsurface brine. Large, thick and extensive deposits dominated by rock-salt (mega-halite) or anhydrite (mega-sulfate) deposits tend to be marine evaporites and can be associated with extensive deposits of potash salts (mega-potash). Ancient marine evaporite deposition required particular climatic, eustatic or tectonic juxtapositions that have occurred a number of times in the past and will so again in the future. Ancient marine evaporites typically have poorly developed Quaternary counterparts in scale, thickness, tectonics and hydrology. When mega-evaporite settings were active within appropriate arid climatic and hydrological settings then huge volumes of seawater were drawn into the subsealevel evaporitic depressions. These systems were typical of regions where the evaporation rates of ocean waters were at their maximum, and so were centred on the past latitudinal equivalents of today's horse latitudes. But, like today's nonmarine evaporites, the location of marine Phanerozoic evaporites in zones of appropriate adiabatic aridity and continentality extended well into the equatorial belts. Exploited deposits of borate, sodium carbonate (soda-ash) and sodium sulfate (salt-cake) salts, along with evaporitic sediments hosting lithium-rich brines require continental-meteoric not marine-fed hydrologies. Plots of the world's Phanerozoic and Neoproterozoic evaporite deposits, using a GIS base, shows that Quaternary evaporite deposits are poor counterparts to the greater part of the world's Phanerozoic evaporite deposits. They are only directly relevant to same-scale continental hydrologies of the past and, as such, are used in this paper to better understand what is needed to create beds rich in salt-cake, soda-ash, borate and lithium salts. These deposits tend be Neogene and mostly occur in suprasealevel hydrographically-isolated (endorheic) continental intermontane and desert margin settings that are subject to the pluvial-interpluvial oscillations of Neogene ice-house climates. When compared to ancient marine evaporites, today's marine-fed subsealevel deposits tend to be small sea-edge deposits, their distribution and extent is limited by the current ice-house driven eustasy and a lack of appropriate hydrographically isolated subsealevel tectonic depressions. For the past forty years, Quaternary continental lacustrine deposit models have been applied to the interpretation of ancient marine evaporite basins without recognition of the time-limited nature of this type of comparison. Ancient mega-evaporite deposits (platform and/or basinwide deposits) require conditions of epeiric seaways (greenhouse climate) and/or continent-continent proximity. Basinwide evaporite deposition is facilitated by continent-continent proximity at the plate tectonic scale (Late stage E through stage B in the Wilson cycle). This creates an isostatic response where, in the appropriate arid climate belt, large portions of the collision suture belt or the incipient opening rift can be subsealevel, hydrographically isolated (a marine evaporite drawdown basin) and yet fed seawater by a combination of ongoing seepage and occasional marine overflow. Basinwide evaporite deposits can be classified by their tectonic setting into: convergent (collision basin), divergent (rift basin; prerift, synrift and postrift) and intracratonic settings. Ancient platform evaporites can be a subset of basinwide deposits, especially in intracratonic sag basins, or part of a widespread epeiric marine platform fill. In the latter case they tend to form mega-sulfate deposits and are associated with hydrographically isolated marine fed saltern and evaporitic mudflat systems in a greenhouse climatic setting. The lower amplitude 4 and 5th order marine eustatic cycles and the greater magnitude of marine freeboard during greenhouse climatic periods encourages deposition of marine platform mega-sulfates. Platform mega-evaporites in intracratonic settings are typically combinations of halite and sulfate beds. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Jacquet A.,Chulalongkorn University
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2011

House dust mite (HDM) allergy is a frequent inflammatory disease found worldwide. Although allergen-specific CD4 + Th2 cells orchestrate the HDM allergic response, notably through induction of IgE directed towards mite allergens, recent studies have demonstrated that innate immunity activation also plays a critical role in HDM-induced allergy pathogenesis. HDM allergens can not only be considered proteins that induce adaptive Th2-biased responses in susceptible subjects but also as strong activators of innate immune cells, including skin keratinocytes and airway epithelial cells. The contribution of microbial adjuvant factors, derived from HDM carriers or the environment, is also essential in such cell stimulation. This review highlights how HDM allergens, together with microbial compounds, promote allergic responses through pattern recognition receptor-dependent pathways. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Objectives To compare the efficacy of intravenous iron and oral iron for prevention of blood transfusions in gynecologic cancer patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy. Materials and methods Sixty-four non anemic gynecologic cancer patients receiving adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy were stratified and randomized according to baseline hemoglobin levels and chemotherapy regimen. The study group received 200 mg of intravenous iron sucrose immediately after each chemotherapy infusion. The control group received oral ferrous fumarate at a dose of 200 mg three times a day. Complete blood count was monitored before each chemotherapy infusion. Blood transfusions were given if hemoglobin level was below 10 mg/dl. Results There were 32 patients in each group. No significant differences in baseline hemoglobin levels and baseline characteristics were demonstrated between both groups. Nine patients (28.1%) in the study group and 18 patients (56.3%) in the control group required blood transfusion through 6 cycles of chemotherapy (p = 0.02). Fewer median number of total packed red cell units were required in the study group compared to the control group (0 and 0.5 unit, respectively, p = 0.04). Serious adverse events and hypersensitivity reactions were not reported. However, constipation was significantly higher in the control group (3.1% and 40.6%, p = < 0.001). Conclusions Intravenous iron is an effective, well-tolerated treatment for primary prevention of blood transfusions in gynecologic cancer patients receiving platinum-based chemotherapy, associated with less constipation than the oral formulation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Vilaivan T.,Chulalongkorn University
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2015

ConspectusThe specific pairing between two complementary nucleobases (A·T, C·G) according to the Watson-Crick rules is by no means unique to natural nucleic acids. During the past few decades a number of nucleic acid analogues or mimics have been developed, and peptide nucleic acid (PNA) is one of the most intriguing examples. In addition to forming hybrids with natural DNA/RNA as well as itself with high affinity and specificity, the uncharged peptide-like backbone of PNA confers several unique properties not observed in other classes of nucleic acid analogues. PNA is therefore suited to applications currently performed by conventional oligonucleotides/analogues and others potentially beyond this. In addition, PNA is also interesting in its own right as a new class of oligonucleotide mimics. Unlimited opportunities exist to modify the PNA structure, stimulating the search for new systems with improved properties or additional functionality not present in the original PNA, driving future research and applications of these in nanotechnology and beyond. Although many structural variations of PNA exist, significant improvements to date have been limited to a few constrained derivatives of the privileged N-2-aminoethylglycine PNA scaffold. In this Account, we summarize our contributions in this field: the development of a new family of conformationally constrained pyrrolidinyl PNA having a nonchimeric α/β-dipeptide backbone derived from nucleobase-modified proline and cyclic β-amino acids. The conformational constraints dictated by the pyrrolidine ring and the β-amino acid are essential requirements determining the binding efficiency, as the structure and stereochemistry of the PNA backbone significantly affect its ability to interact with DNA, RNA, and in self-pairing. The modular nature of the dipeptide backbone simplifies the synthesis and allows for rapid structural optimization. Pyrrolidinyl PNA having a (2′R,4′R)-proline/(1S,2S)-2-aminocyclopentanecarboxylic backbone (acpcPNA) binds to DNA with outstanding affinity and sequence specificity. It also binds to RNA in a highly sequence-specific fashion, albeit with lower affinity than to DNA. Additional characteristics include exclusive antiparallel/parallel selectivity and a low tendency for self-hybridization. Modification of the nucleobase or backbone allowing site-specific incorporation of labels and other functions to acpcPNA via click and other conjugation chemistries is possible, generating functional PNAs that are suitable for various applications. DNA sensing and biological applications of acpcPNA have been demonstrated, but these are still in their infancy and the full potential of pyrrolidinyl PNA is yet to be realized. With properties competitive with, and in some aspects superior to, the best PNA technology available to date, pyrrolidinyl PNA offers great promise as a platform system for future elaboration for the fabrication of new functional materials, nanodevices, and next-generation analytical tools. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

The aim of the present study was to prepare inhalable co-spray dried powders of salmon calcitonin loaded chitosan nanoparticles (sCT-CS-NPs) with mannitol and investigate pulmonary absorption in rats. The sCT-CS-NPs were prepared by the ionic gelation method using sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP) as a cross-linking polyion. Inhalable dry powders were obtained by co-spray drying aqueous dispersion of sCT-CS-NPs and mannitol. sCT-CS-NPs co-spray dried powders were characterized with respect to morphology, particle size, powder density, aerodynamic diameter, protein integrity, in vitro release of sCT, and aerosolization. The plasmatic sCT levels following intratracheal administration of sCT-CS-NPs spray dried powders to the rats was also determined. sCT-CS-NPs were able to be incorporated into mannitol forming inhalable microparticles by the spray drying process. The sCT-CS-NPs/mannitol ratios and spray drying process affected the properties of the microparticles obtained. The conformation of the secondary structures of sCTs was affected by both mannitol content and spray dry inlet temperature. The sCT-CS-NPs were recovered after reconstitution of spray dried powders in an aqueous medium. The sCT release profile from spray dried powders was similar to that from sCT-CS-NPs. In vitro inhalation parameters measured by the Andersen cascade impactor indicated sCT-CS-NPs spray dried powders having promising aerodynamic properties for deposition in the deep lung. Determination of the plasmatic sCT levels following intratracheal administration to rats revealed that the inhalable sCT-CS NPs spray dried powders provided higher protein absorption compared to native sCT powders. The sCT-CS-NPs with mannitol based spray dried powders were prepared to have appropriate aerodynamic properties for pulmonary delivery. The developed system was able to deliver sCT via a pulmonary route into the systemic circulation.

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