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Asst. Prof. Dr. Palangpon Kongsaeree
Thailand Young Scientist Award Year 2003

Dr. Palangpon Kongsaeree's research interests focus on the frontiers between chemistry and biology using X-ray crystrallography as a main tool to investigate three-dimensional structures of bioactive compounds and biomolecules. His research has focused on crystal structure analyses of bioactive natural products, in collaboration with many leading chemical research laboratories in the country. By integrating chemical crystallography into the natural products research scheme, reliable structural information on active components, previously a major bottleneck, can be obtained with high accuracy, For examples, a crystal structure of bis-artemisinin, a potent antimalarial, revealed the complex stereochemistry of this molecule. His research interest then extended to studying the mechanisms whereby bioactive compounds interact with their cellular targets. This involves elucidating the three-dimensional structure of enzyme-drug complexes by X-ray crystallographic techniques using the facilities located at the Center for Excellence in Protein Structure and Function and at the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University. His group in collaboration with the Protein-Ligand Engineering Laboratory at BIOTEC has successfully crystallized and determined the crystal structure of Plasmodium vivax dihydrofolate reductase, the cellular target of antifolate drugs, in complex with antifolate inhibitors, which will improve understanding of the mechanism of drug-resistance and becrucial in rational drug design.

Dr. Palangpon's other research interests also cover the uses of enzymes as biological catalysts in organic synsthesis research. His research work has been supported by the Thailand Research Fund, Biodiversity Research and Training Program, Thailand-Tropical Diseases Research Programme (T-2) and the Postgraduate Education and Research in Chemistry.
 

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