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Kanyawim Kirtikara
Executive Director,
BIOTEC, Thailand
An International View of Biofuel Impacts in the Developing World
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
10:30 - 11:00 am

Abstract: Several estimates suggest that by the year 2050, the world’s human population will grow to 9.1 billion. And to keep up with this trend, food production will need to increase by 50% by 2030 and 70% by 2050. However with increasing scarcity of fossil based energy resources compounded with efforts to cope with global climate change, alternative sources of energy have received much attention as a means to obtaining greater energy security while simultaneously decelerating the rate of global warming. Developing countries with agricultural based economies such as Thailand are facing two opposing problems; 1) producing food for self sustainability and income generation through export of food surplus and 2) production of renewable energy from agricultural produce. Available agricultural land is the most limiting factor because protecting primary and secondary forests is also part of the effort to curb global warming through carbon absorption. In Thailand, government policy has already limited the expansion of land for cassava and sugarcane cultivation, two important crops that may be used for both human and animal consumption and for ethanol production. In addition, energy crops such as oil palm have begun replacing food crops due to their attractive potential for income generation. In this presentation, we will focus on the application of biotechnology and agricultural management to increase crop productivity to be in line with national policy and the country’s basic needs.
1998: Postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee (Memphis, TN, USA)

1995: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Rutgers University, New Bruncwick, NJ, USA

1993: Ph.D., Genetics, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, USA

1987: M.Sci., Genetics, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, USA

1985: B.Sci., Genetics, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

In 1998, Dr. Kanyawim returned to Thailand to work at the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), where she currently serves as Executive Director. She also holds the position of Director of BIOTEC Central Research Unit located at Thailand Science Park. She continues to be engaged in research, focusing on prostaglandin biosynthesis in both mammalian and invertebrate models, and to publish both research and reviews papers. She is also actively involved in research investigating natural products from microorganisms found in Thailand. Currently, she is a member and part of the secretariat team of The Thai Academy of Science and Technology Foundation.