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Thailand prepares to compete in genomic research and medicine

Jun 07. 2019
Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn Public Health Minister
Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn Public Health Minister
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By The Nation

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Thailand has set its sight on becoming Asean’s genomic-medicine leader within five years.

“We have already secured a budget of Bt4.47 billion for the five-year Integrated Genomics Thailand Plan,” Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn revealed on Friday. 

Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping and editing of genomes. 

“Genomic technologies will allow more efficient diagnoses,” Piyasakol said yesterday at the Genomic Thailand Inception Workshop.

Joining the event were representatives from relevant authorities, including the National Science and Technology Development Agency, the Thailand Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences, the Medical Sciences Department, and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation. They came together to discuss implementation of the plan during 2020 to 2024. 

According to Piyasakol, Thailand has already examined the genomes of 50,000 people. Among the sample are healthy people, as well as various groups of patients including those battling cancer and some rare diseases. 

“We believe genomics has the power the improve patients’ quality of life and make a difference in Thailand’s healthcare sector,” the public health minister said. 

He continued that a centre for genomic research and development would be established at Burapha University to support the goals of delivering medical services with greater accuracy and quality at a personalised level. 

He said genomics would help reduce treatment costs, and would also boost Thailand’s competitiveness at an international level.

“We trust that tangible results will be visible within the next year,” he said.

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