Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri, PhD

Posted 14 September 2017

2018 Councilor candidate

Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri, PhD 
Mahidol University, Thailand 

Personal Statement
I am a Thai researcher who has been working on vivax malaria, especially in Southeast Asia, for over 30 years. As a researcher, I actively work with a diverse range of international research partners and research networks. I have been awarded many international research grants, from DHHS/NIH/NIAID, MMV, BMGF and the US DoD for malaria research, especially research on malaria elimination. I realize that the ASTMH Annual Meeting is an ideal medium to help eliminate malaria globally, a forum in which I can contribute and share my expertise and mentor young researchers. If I am selected to be a member of the Council, it will provide further opportunities to achieve this mission. I will help increase the number of non-US members and encourage them to attend, participate, present, share and learn cutting-edge research with their mentors and peers at the ASTMH meeting and other relevant forums, to disseminate research, energize and synergize research networks in tropical medicine. In this way, I will contribute to the greater participation of the next generation of promising young researchers from LMIC countries worldwide.

Summary of Volunteer/Member Roles in ASTMH
Dr. Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri has maintained continuous ASTMH membership since 1996, when she received an ASTMH Travel Award. As an ASTMH member, she has participated actively in the ASTMH Annual Meeting almost every year. Whenever funding permits, she brings a team from Thailand and regional collaborative institutes to participate in the meeting. She always includes a budget to support the travel expenses of graduate students, junior staff, and collaborators from LMIC countries to join the ASTMH meeting, as she considers this an excellent opportunity to increase scientific skills and knowledge, develop and maintain scientific networks, meet and interact with experts in their respective fields, and update their knowledge of current and cutting-edge tropical-medicine research. She has also contributed her expertise as an advisor to many groups working on malaria elimination, vaccine development, multi-drug resistance, and malaria transmission and biology.

Biographical Information
Dr. Jetsumon Sattabongkot Prachumsri was awarded her MS in Microbiology (1986) and PhD in Biology (1996) by Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand. She started her malaria research at the US Army Medical Component, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences (AFRIMS), in Bangkok, Thailand, as supervisor of the Laboratory Science Section, Entomology Department, in 1985. She worked at AFRIMS for over 26 years before moving to Mahidol University in March 2011, to establish the Malaria Center of Excellence at the Faculty of Tropical Medicine. She served as Deputy Dean for Research at the Faculty during the period 2012-2016, and due in large part to her efforts during this period, the Faculty achieved a rapid and impressive increase in research activity, publication, and international sponsored research projects. Dr. Prachumsri's research has focused on malaria transmission and biology. Her laboratory identified the second type of P. vivax using ELISA against circumsporozoite protein, which was a vaccine candidate in 1989. This finding impacted upon the P. vivax vaccine-development program at that time, which was focused on only one type of CSP. To support the malaria drug development program, she established a new human cell line, HC04, which can support both P. falciparum and P. vivax liver-stage development. The cell line, invented by Dr. Prachumsri and her team, was patented for its unique characteristics in 2006.

Dr. Prachumsri has led a team of researchers with experience in malaria epidemiology, malaria diagnosis by microscopy, in-vitro culture of different stages of human malaria, and studies of gametocyte and mosquito stages of human malaria. Her team is one of a few groups in the world that consistently work on the P. vivax parasite, which cannot easily be cultured continuously in vitro. Her team has participated in several consortia working on P. vivax as the selected reference laboratory and the only laboratory that constantly evaluates the efficacy of transmission-blocking vaccine candidates against P. vivax isolates from humans. Her unique capacity to do research on P. vivax biology, especially at the transmission stages, including gametocytes and sporogonic development in mosquito vectors, and with the collaboration of many research teams, has contributed to research in P. vivaxand other human malaria. Dr. Prachumsri was a co-investigator for the first P. vivax human challenge study at the US Army laboratory. She established the protocol to infect Anopheles dirus with P. vivax parasites collected from Thai patients and transportation of the infected mosquitoes from Bangkok to USA via courier. This capability enables US scientists to evaluate new vaccine candidates and drugs against liver-stage P. vivax, while in-vitro culture of the parasite's blood stage remains problematic. Dr. Prachumsri has authored/co-authored over 200 publications listed under Sattabongkot J and Prachumsri J. She is the PI and Co-investigator in many malaria studies in Thailand, the Asian region, and further afield. Currently, her studies are being supported by US-DoD USAMRAA, US DHHS/NIH/NIAID, BMGF, MMV, and the Korean NIH, as well as domestic Thai research funding support.