Welcome to Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology. Website from Thailand


Professor Dr. Pimchai Chaiyen

School of Biomolecular Science & Engineering (BSE)
Tel. +66 (0) 33 01 4200
Email pimchai.chaiyen@vistec.ac.th


Synthetic Biology for Turning Waste into Value


Research Overview

Synthetic biology is a new and emerging technology in which new or redesigned biological systems can be created for useful purposes. Based on fundamental knowledge in biological and biophysical chemistry, molecular and cell biology, we can engineer enzymes, metabolic pathways and regulatory elements to program microbes to produce valuable chemicals and fuel. As Thailand is an agricultural country, research into this area can create tremendous value from agricultural waste and help in sustainable economic development by reducing dependence on imported and fossil fuels.


Biorefinery is a concept of using biological systems to convert biomass or agricultural waste into bioenergy and valuable materials. This research area is very important for future Thai economy and sustainable development because it can convert low value biomass derived from agricultural industries into bio-based products for food, feed, chemicals and materials industries, and biofuels. As the use of biological systems does not require high energy or toxic chemicals, the production process based on this technology is green technology which is good for the environment.

Synthetic Biology At Vistec

Our research team at VISTEC aims to use state-of-the-art technologies in the areas of enzyme and metabolic engineering, pathway design, metabolomics and cell factories to allow assembly of new pathways in selected host cells. The engineered cells are programmed to use agricultural feedstock such as waste from palm oil and cassava industries to turn it into hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals such as monomers for bioplastics. SYNTHETIC BIOLOG


Selected Publications

  • Maenpuen S, Tinikul S, Chenprakhon P and Chaiyen P. Production of Valuable Phenolic Compounds from Lignin by Biocatalysis In Emerging Areas in Bioengineering 2017; Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co., in press.
  • Pimviriyakul, P., Thotsaporn, K., Sucharitakul, J., Chaiyen, P. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2017; 292 (12), pp. 4818-4832.
  • Thotsaporn K, Tinikul R, Maenpuen S, Phonbuppha J, Watthaisong P, Chenprakhon P, and Chaiyen P. Journal of Molecular Catalysis B: Enzymatic 2016; 134, 353–366.
  • Dhammaraj T, Pinthong C, Visitsatthawong S, Tongsook C, Surawatanawong P, Chaiyen P. ACS Chem Biol. 2016;11(10):2889-2896.
  • Tinikul, R., Chaiyen, P. Structure, mechanism, and mutation of bacterial luciferase Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 2016, 154, pp. 47-74.
  • Visitsatthawong S, Chenprakhon P, Chaiyen P, and Surawatanawong P. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2015; 137(29):9363-74.
  • Dhammaraj T, Phintha A, Pinthong C, Medhanavyn D, Tinikul R, Chenprakhon P, Sucharitakul J, Vardhanabhuti N, Jiarpinitnun C, and Chaiyen P. ACS Catalysis 2015; 5:4492–4502.
  • Maenpuen S, Amornwatcharapong W, Krasatong P, Sucharitakul J, Palfey BA, Yuthavong Y, Chitnumsub P, Leartsakulpanich U, Chaiyen P. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2015; 290(13):8656-65.
  • Wongnate T, Surawatanawong P, Visitsatthawong S, Sucharitakul J, Scrutton NS, Chaiyen P. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2014; 136 (1): pp 241–253.
  • Chaiyen P, Fraaije M, Mattevi A. Trends in Biochemical Sciences 2012; 37(9): 373-80.

Research Group Members:

Dr. Pimchai Chaiyen (Professor)
Dr. Thanyaporn Wongnate (Lecturer)
Dr. Juthamas Jaroensuk (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Dr. Panu Pimviriyakul (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Ms. Pattarawan Intasian
Ms. Vinutsada Pongsupasa
Mr. Kridsadakorn Prakinee
Ms. Supacha Buttranon
Ms. Pangrum Punthong
Ms. Kittiya Sakdaphetsiri
Mr. Nattanon Akeratchatapan
Ms. Nuttanun Kutrakul
Mr. Thana Thaweeskulchai
Ms. Jittima Phonbuppha
Mr. Pratchaya Watthaisong


Assistant Prof. Dr. Ruchanok Tinikul
Mahidol University
Assistant Prof. Dr. Rattikan Chantiwas
Mahidol University
Dr. Pirom Chemprakhon
Mahidol University
Dr. Somchart Maenpuen
Burapha University

International Research Collaborator:

Prof. Nigel Scrutton
University of Manchester