Faculty News

Superb! KKU lecturer is the first in Thailand to receive the ILO Master Fellowship Award

Assoc. Prof. Sunisa Chaiklieng, Ph.D. from the Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University is the first in Thailand to receive the ILO Master Fellowship Award.

February 6-10, 2022 – Assoc. Prof. Sunisa Chaiklieng, Ph.D. from the Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University attended the “33rd International Congress on Occupational Health (ICOH) 2022. The topic this year was: “Sharing Solutions in Occupational Health through and beyond the Pandemic | Melbourne-Rome global digital congress”. Assoc. Prof. Sunisa also presented her work as the scientific committee of occupational toxicology-ICOH on this occasion. The congress was attended this year by over 2,000 people from all over the world.

Assoc. Prof. Sunisa Chaiklieng’s topic of presentation was: “Occupational Toxicology, Altered  Hematological Parameters among Gasoline Station Workers Exposed to Benzene and Its Impact on Risk Assessment”. Her work has been selected by the Congress Organizing Committee for the “ILO Master Fellowship Award”. The awarding was arranged at the “Closing Ceremony Live”. She is the first scholar in Thailand to receive this award counting from the time ICOH was first organized until now.

Assoc. Prof. Sunisa Chaiklieng conveyed her thankful address. “I am Dr. Sunisa Chaiklieng from Khon Kaen University, Thailand, it is delighted to receiving this prestigious ILO award. I am extremely grateful to the congress organizing committee of ICOH 2022. I am confident that I will make the best of my experience under the International Labour Organization Fellowship in Occupational Safety and Health at ILO international Center, Italy. I promises that, in the near future with any cooperation, I would return value or impact to ICOH as part of sharing solutions in Occupational Health for creating a safer worker’s health, Thank You”. The award is an honor for Thailand. Each awardee will be supported at an amount of 4,235 Euros for accommodation and other expenses for attending training at the International Training Center of ILO, Turin, Italy, which will be for a period of 12 weeks.

The criteria for selecting ILO awards are: 1) the role as the scientific committee of ICOH and presentation at ICOH2022, 2) CV – which, during the past 10 years, Dr. Sunisa has joined ICOH as a scientific committee member (ICOH-SC) in the following topics: 1) ICOH-SC Occupational Toxicology, 2) ICOH- Occupational Health in the Chemical Industry (Medichem Board), and 3) ICOH-SC Musculoskeletal disorders.

The Congress is organized every 3 years. The most recent one was the ICOH 2018, which took place in Dublin, Ireland. The 2021 Congress was formerly planned to be held in Melbourne, Australia. However, with the COVID-19 situation, the organizers postponed it from the former schedule and held it virtually online. The next ICOH in 2024 will be held in Morocco, and the ICOH 2027 is planned to be held in India.


Khon Kaen University personnel join to bless Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for her recovery

January 22, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. at the hall on the first floor of Sirikunakorn Building, Office of the President, Khon Kaen University – Khon Kaen University personnel, comprising the members of the University Council, administrators, deans, lecturers, directors of office and divisions of the Office of the Presidents and representatives from different departments held a ceremony for the personnel to sign the blessing to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for her recovery and to express concerns over HRH, who has always supported Khon Kaen University and all Thai population.

On January 11, 2021, the Office of the Royal Palace made an official announcement on the illness of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, which was due to her falling during Her Royal Highness regular exercise in the morning of Monday January 11, 2021. HRH was hurt at the ankles of both the left and the right feet, resulting in difficulty of walking. The team of doctors from Phra Monkut Klao Hospital examined HRH’s condition and decided to ask HRH’s permission to refrain from all activities for 2 months. This has brought about concerns among the people in the country, especially Khon Kaen University personnel, for KKU always received supports from HRH, particularly for her coming to KKU at the Degree Conferral ceremony each year. KKU personnel are truly grateful to HRH.

The ceremony for signing the blessing to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for her recovery began at 09:00 a.m. Participants in the ceremony included the members of the University Council, administrators, deans, lecturers, directors of office and divisions of the Office of the Presidents and representatives from different departments, totaling over 50 people. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University and his wife arrived at the hall and commenced the ceremony by opening the cone of flower bouquets and a bundle of candle and incense sticks to pay respect in front of Her Royal Highness image. The other participants all stood behind and altogether paid respect to HRH image before taking turn to sign the blessing.

Khon Kaen University arranges a channel for all staff members and students to sign the blessing to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for her recovery at: https://th.kku.ac.th/

Source: https://www.royaloffice.th/
News: Udomchai Supannawong
Photos: Atthapon Hamoong, Boriphat Thasi 

The first blooming of cannabis at KKU cut for research on its use as present-day medicine

November 4, 2020, 15:00 at the Horticulture Department of Faculty of Agriculture – The Cannabis Research Institute of Khon Kaen University held a ceremony to celebrate the first harvesting of medical cannabis with Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, University Council Chairman presiding over the ceremony. Prof. Dr. Monchai Duangchinda, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, gave a speech on the background of cannabis cultivation. Several dignitaries attended the event, including Khun Worathat Thuleechan, Vice Governor of Khon Kaen; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Darunee Chotithayangkoon, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture; Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanon Lapjit, Head of the Cannabis Research project for benefits in medicine and related industries under the Cannabis Research Institute of Khon Kaen University; Director of Drug Prevention and Suppression Office, Area 4, Permanent Secretary of Khon Kaen Province, Khon Kaen Public Health Officer; as well as KKU administrators, researchers, staff, and the press.


Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee said, “The Cannabis Research Institute of Khon Kaen University conducts research and development on marijuana and cannabis for their applications in medicine and for benefits of man and animals as well as for related industries. The cultivars have been improved and key elements analyzed for types of medicine and clinical research in medicine and veterinary science. Khon Kaen University has been authorized to produce (cultivate) marijuana (according to the official authorizing document No. 12/2563). Khon Kaen University is the first place in Khon Kaen that receives approval for growing marijuana for research. The first cutting of the flowers this time is from the blooming of the first plantation. The flowers will be used in the cultivar investigation and investigation of different matters in the crop, and the objective is to develop more cultivars for benefits and use in medicine and related industries. It is believed that the study of marijuana and cannabis will be useful for medicine and for different industries. There will be promotion and transfer of knowledge on the crops to community enterprises, organizations, the government sector and the private sector, which will lead to extension in industries under the law enforced. The research institute will act as the center for disseminating knowledge and information of the crops to governmental and private organizations as well as the public in Khon Kaen Province.”

“The cut bunches of marijuana flowers will be extracted for matters. For this, we receive approval by the Food and Drug Administration to be the place for extraction of the matter under study. Now, there are 2 of them: CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which are useful in medicine. There are 3 cultivars cut today. Comparison will be made to see the amount of extracts obtained when they are grown in a closed system with temperatures and light monitored. The extracts will be sent to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop in the form of drug. At present, the extracts are used by Thai traditional medicine in the solution form for dropping under the tongue. Such application does not go into details in the amount of the key matter. Therefore, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences will have to perform a study to see the dosage of drops, for example 1:1 or 2:1, so that the results can be used in medicine. Besides, we are authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to develop 7 more products such as in lozenges, skin-attaching sheets or suppositories for bed-ridden patients. These products, when ready, will be sent to the Faculty of Medicine. There are doctors there who are interested in doing research on diseases that can use cannabis-based medicine such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, some cancer, Psoriasis, etc. The Faculty of Medicine is under the process in seeking approval for conducting research on human. The products will be intensively studied for benefits in medicine.”

“The first lot of marijuana and cannabis totals 35 trees, grown in a 10-square-meter closed container. In one year, 3 lots can be grown, totaling 100 trees. Now KKU is already authorized to grow the second lot in a plastic building system in an area of 2 rais. FDA gave a score of 100 to KKU for the appropriate land for growing cannabis. Therefore, expansion of cultivation will be fast, with 500-700 trees grown at a time for 3 times a year, totaling around 2,000 trees.

“Khon Kaen University by the Cannabis Research Institute looks at a complete cycle of production, from upstream towards downstream before the real use of the products. Srinagarind Hospital is there with specialized doctors in the use of drugs. KKU also has the intention in caring patients under the modern medicine. If cannabis can be developed until the use in modern medicine, with doctors seeing the importance of its use, then medical treatment can be more efficient. In the future, we may not have to import drugs from abroad.”

Asst. Prof. Dr. Chanon Lapjit said, “The Cannabis Research Institute is producing cannabis for benefits in medicine. The institute operates under Khon Kaen University and is collaborated by many sectors and organizations. Production begins at the Faculty of Agriculture, and the outcomes will be sent to the Faculty of Sciences where we use the place at the Science Park for extraction. The extracted oil will be sent to the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences to manufacture into various products. The main users will be the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Khon Kaen University.”

“Research related to cannabis is useful for many beings. We begin from experimented animals. If successful, the products will be used with livestock and treatment of animals. The most essential benefits of cannabis that can be seen clearly is its impact on neurological system, especially in animals with tension. At present, commercial production of animal meat is done as mass production, making the animals stressed. Stress in animals prevent growth. Therefore, less stress could lead to better growing. In human, there is also the stress condition and cannabis may help people sleep better. The Faculty of Medicine also conducts 9 projects of research on cannabis to make use of its extracts.”

“Now we produce cannabis for medical benefits. If there is confirmation in research outcomes and publications on its safety, the commercial manufacturing can proceed. This may take 3-5 years. Cannabis contains 5 types of substances. This is the significant condition behind manufacturing. If research indicates clear information and the law is lenient for its development, the commercial manufacturing is viable.

Prof. Dr. Monchai Duangchinda said, “The first cutting of cannabis blooms today is by the Cannabis Research Institute, whose key mission is to conduct research on cannabis for benefits in medicine and industries. Khon Kaen University is carrying out integrated research in this regard, that is, from upstream towards downstream, beginning at the Faculty of Agriculture that researches into cultivation and development of cultivars, the Faculty of Sciences that researches into extracts from cannabis, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Faculty of Medicine that develop medicinal products from cannabis, and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine that researches into the use of residues from cannabis research as animal feeds.”

“The Cannabis Research Institute and the Research and Graduate Study Section also carry out the Cannabis-Marijuana Research Project to investigate in cultivar improvement, analyze key matters, drug types and carry out clinical and veterinary research. KKU has been authorized to do research on this. The harvesting today is part of the study on cannabis cultivars for medicine and related industries according to the official authorizing document No. 12/2563. We are the first to be authorized cannabis growing in Khon Kaen. The plantation area is 20 square meters at the Horticulture Department of the Faculty of Agriculture. The plot will contain 72 trees per round of plantation (3 plantations per year). The planting was done in April 2020. The Institute is authorized to hold 101 seeds for growing (Authorization No. 23/2563) at the said unit. The cutting is used for investigation of cultivars and the next step is developing appropriate cultivars for medicinal use.”

News / Photos: Wachara Noichompoo


News / Photos: Wachara Noichompoo


KKU holds Loi Krathong Ceremony to foster old tradition – The beautiful, simple and Covid-cautious event this year is joined by a lot of people and students

Saturday October 31, 2020 from 07:00 a.m. to 20:00 p.m. at the Art and Cultural Building (Sithan Lake), Khon Kaen University – the Art, Culture, and Creative Economy Section of Khon Kaen University held the Loi Krathong Ceremony of 2020 under the concept: “KKU conserves graceful art and culture under the spread of Covid”. The event was honored to have Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of the University Council and his wife Khun Orporn Akrasanee; Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University and his wife, Dr. Uanjit Panthongviriyakul; and University Council members. Among other people attending the ceremony were KKU administrators, lecturers, staff members, students and the public.

The merit making by offering food to the monk began at 7:30 a.m.

Khon Kaen University Council Chairman and his wife and KKU President and his wife led the administrators, staff, students, and Buddhist people to offer food to 9 noble monks. The President lit the candle and incense sticks to pay respect to the Triple Gem and the religious ritual began. The attendants offered breakfast and the 4 necessities to the noble monks, who then prayed the blessings and sprinkled holy water to all.

At 16:00 p.m., the procession of Buddha Relics moved from Sithan Road to the Buddhasilp Building. Khon Kaen University Council Chairman Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee and his wife Khun Orporn and Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University and his wife, Dr. Uanjit along with KKU University Council members, deans of different faculties joined the procession, which was followed by the dancing procession as homage paying towards the Relics, a music-playing band, the procession of the worshipping items, the Beng trays of different faculties and other traditional processions, all moving to the Relic Containment Ceremony of Maha Buddhachai Mangalapisek Somphot Luang Pho Phra Sri KKU 50th Anniversary or Phra Sripanyasbhurithan. The worshipping items and Beng trays were then placed at the point where the Relics were to stand.

Next, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Niyom Wongpongkham, Vice President for Art, Culture, and Creative Economy invited the Chairman of the University Council, the President and the administrators to worship Luang Pho Saikhaw and look at the beauty of the major krathong. Following this was the Relics Containment Ceremony at the head of Luang Pho Phra Sri KKU 50th Anniversary, the Somma Buchanam Ceremony at the bank of the west Sithan Lake. After completing this ceremony, the administrators floated their krathongs which were made from organic materials. The grand ceremony then was opened officially.

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul said, “The ceremony this year is different from last year due to Covid-19. We have certain measures to prevent the spread of the disease. At present, the situation in Thailand is well contained. However, we have to take precautions against the second spread. Therefore, all measures are strictly taken, with all wearing masks, using gel to wash the hands and keep certain distances from one another. The national policy calls for reduction of activities where a lot of people come together, for there is a chance that the disease can spread.”

“However, Khon Kaen University has the policy to foster Loi Krathong as well as other cultural events. We used to have the Sithan Festival for Loi Krathong every year, for 3 years now with a hundred thousand people joining. This year, we want to hold this beautiful cultural event under the Covid-19 situation. So, with the policy given by Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, Chairman of the University Council, the event has been adjusted to be simple and emphasizing the gracious tradition and culture. In the morning we held the merit making. We have brought the ground krathong that is derived from the art and culture of Luang Phrabang to decorate the place where Luang Pho Saikhaw is placed. This makes a good check-in place for people to see and take photographs. Today, we also bring the Relics, which belong to Khon Kaen University, in the procession. The Relics is then placed at the Busabok in the Buddha Image Hall for students and the public to pay homage to. The specialty this year is that we have placed some Relics on the head of Luang Pho Phra Sri in the ceremony just completed. This is another point where students and the public can come to worship. Next, there will be the floating of krathong together. The activity will be simple but preserving art and cultural tradition. The ground Krathongs are decorated with beautiful lanterns. They will be kept here for one week for those who did not have a chance to come today to see.”

“Khon Kaen University has strong intension to be an institution that preserves Thai traditions and cultures. This year, the event is held in accordance with the situation. Next year, if the situation changes, we will hold a grand event as before,” the President said.

Miss Saowapa Pankaew, a 3rd year KKBS student said, “Last year, the festival was held at the other lake. There were a lot of people and a lot of shops. This year we see the picture of culture preservation and the difference from last year. I am impressed by the activities, for example, there are songs sung be the elderly. Today, I come to see the atmosphere. I’m not floating Krathong, for many people are doing it. I don’t want to add to the garbage, for there are news about the impact from Krathong garbage. Coming to the event is already good.”

Miss Kamonwan Songkramyut, a 3rd year student of Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts and Miss Paritta Chalaemchat, a 2nd year student of the same faculty came in the dancing attires to perform in the Boon Somma Bucha Nam Dance. “We perform the dance every year. This year I performed as a Naga named Niang Niah. Even though the ceremony is not as grand as last year, it is simple and still nurtures the culture.”

The Loi Krathong Ceremony of Khon Kaen University had been adjusted to reduce the activities from the former Sithan Festival because of the situation of the spread of Covis-19. However, the major event like the procession of the relics KKU has and the new-normal Krathong floating were still held. Most of those who joined were dressed in Thai costumes or in dresses made of Thai cloth. They were aware of the Covid-19 and wore masks and kept social distancing. They also brought their own Krathongs to float. The event was arranged beautifully this year.

News: Wachara Noichompoo and Rawiporn Saisaenthong
Photos: Chaicharn Lada, Atthapon Hampong and Natthawut Jaruwong

News: Wachara Noichompoo and Rawiporn Saisaenthong
Photos: Chaicharn Lada, Atthapon Hampong and Natthawut Jaruwong

Training Program Organized by Faculty of Public Health for Certificate in Elderly Caregiving

Throughout the month of August and September, 200 caregivers (CGs) were provided 90 hours of training to prepare them to provide basic care to the elderly. Thailand has become an aging society, and the Faculty of Public Health organized this certificate program for CGs in order to support the needs of society. The program, which is supported under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, aimed to provide continuing education, as well as new skills, for CGs. As part of the program, training included lectures, practical lessons, and a study visit to a “Happy Center for Elderly” and the Nong Kung Primary Care Cluster in Khon Kaen Province.


KKU President Provides Status Update about COVID-19 to Faculty of Public Health

Assoc. Prof. Chanchai Panthongviriyakul, President of Khon Kaen University, along with the administrative team, provided an encouraging status update about the COVID-19 pandemic to the Faculty of Public Health on May 1, 2020. During the visit, medical insurance coverage for COVID-19 illnesses for KKU students and staff was discussed, along with an outline of the change in semester schedule and shift to online classes during the pandemic.