Dr Sakonwan Kuhaudomlarp (Thailand) is the winner of the 2021 FAOBMB Young Scientist Award (Female)
Dr Sakonwan Kuhaudomlarp
Department of Biochemistry,
Faculty of Science, Mahidol University
Dr Sakonwan Kuhaudomlarp obtained her BA and MSc from University of Cambridge, UK. During her undergraduate and master’s courses, she was inspired by research on carbohydrate biochemistry and roles of proteins in carbohydrate metabolism. She moved to Norwich, UK to complete her PhD in Biological Sciences at John Innes Centre. During her 4-year PhD project, she used bioinformatics, proteomics, and X-ray crystallography to identify and characterise two new families of carbohydrate active enzymes and published four research articles as a first author in Journal of Biological Chemistry, ChemBioChem, and Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics. She was awarded the John Innes Foundation Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research in recognition of her PhD work.
Following her research interest in the interplay between proteins and carbohydrates, she joined Centre de Recherches sur les Macromolécules Végétales, Grenoble, France in 2018 to undertake a 2-year postdoctoral training, during which she used X-ray crystallography and surface plasmon resonance to identify new “sugar-like” inhibitors targeting bacterial lectins, a group of glycan-binding proteins mediating bacterial infections. She published her research findings as a co-first author in Chemical Science and Angewandte Chemie.
In November 2020, Dr Kuhaudomlarp was appointed as a lecturer at the Department of Biochemistry, Mahidol University, Thailand and has established her own research group focusing on two research pillars: 1) Discovery and engineering of glycan-modifying enzymes and applications in probiotics, prebiotics, and functional food, 2) Roles of glycan-protein interactions in infectious diseases. She is a co-recipient of a mobility grant from the Franco-Thai Programme in Higher Education and Research and has recently secured research funding from the National Research Council of Thailand to investigate glycan-binding properties of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and the roles of glycan-spike protein interaction in viral evolution and transmission in human and intermediate hosts.