The Newton Prize is an annual £1 million prize that is awarded to existing or previous Newton funded projects, programmes or teams for excellent research and/or innovation that supports the economic development and social welfare of Newton partner countries. Each year, from 2017 to 2021, the Prize will be awarded to specified countries on an identified global societal challenge.
On Wednesday 22nd November, at an exclusive event at the British Ambassador’s Residence, the winner of the very first Newton Prize in Thailand was formally announced by H.E. ACM Dr. Prajin Juntong, Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and H.E. Brian Davidson, the British Ambassador to Thailand. Additionally, an exhibition presenting the 5 shortlisted research projects was also arranged.
The winning project of the Newton Prize Award was for the Molecular Pathology of Rare Genetic Diseases in Children.
The Chairman’s Award, an award specifically created due to the high calibre selection of applications from Thailand, went to the International Network of Shrimp Health.
Overall, 25 applications were received with 5 projects shortlisted:
1. Bacterial Pathogenesis: Dissecting the Early Stages of Cellular Invasion by the Obligate Intracellular Bacterium Orientia Tsutsugamushi by – Dr. Jeanne Salje and Prof. Nicholas Day, Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, University of Oxford – Dr. Somponnat Sampattavanich, Department of Pharmacology, Mahidol University
2. Climate Ready Rice: Optimising Transpiration to Protect Rice Yields Under Abiotic Stresses by – Prof. Julie Gray, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, UK – Dr. Apichart Vanavichit, Rice Gene Discovery Unit, Kasetsart University, Thailand
3. Genomic Epidemiology in Infectious Diseases – Pathogen Genomics Capacity Building by – Prof. Taane Clark, London School ofHygiene & Tropical Medicine – Dr. Prapat Suriyaphol, Mahidol University
4. International Network for Shrimp Health by – Prof. Grant Stentiford, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science – Dr. Kallaya Sritunyalucksana, National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
5. Molecular Pathology of Rare Genetic Diseases in Children by – Prof. Philip Beales, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health – Prof. Vorasuk Shoterelersuk, Centre of Excellence for Medical Genetics at Chulalongkorn University