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Mahidol medical students awarded PMA scholarships


Three medical students from Mahidol University won scholarships under Prince Mahidol Award Youth Program for 2013. Mr. Janewit Wongboonsin, Ms. Prowpanga Udompap and Mr. Supavit Chesdachai, all sixth year medical students, were among the five recipients of scholarships provided by Prince Mahidol Award Foundation Under Royal Patronage.

Twenty-three applicants from 10 universities were nominated; only five successfully met the criteria of PMA youth Program. The winners will obtain a scholarship for research study, or professional training, or community development abroad or in the country with full support for 12-month overseas placement.

Established in 2008, Prince Mahidol Award Youth Program aims to inspire and assist Thai youths studying health sciences to pursue their studies for the benefit of mankind following the footsteps of HRH Prince Mahidol of Songkla.

Mr. Janewit Wongboonsin is a sixth year medical student at Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. He is interested in the field of stem cell application to cure or slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease. Nowadays, the incidence of chronic kidney failure is increasing. Prevalence of chronic kidney disease is found up to 17% of Thai population and there is a trend towards chronic kidney failure. Current treatments are mostly "symptomatic" by providing artificial kidneys as peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis. Although access to treatment is improving by the support from the health care system, the expense is high, long term and not cost-effective. Complete curative treatment which is renal transplantation is still experiencing the lack of donors. Stem cells research, then, is becoming the more hopeful and can be translated to de-novo treatment in the future.

Ms. Prowpanga Udompap is a sixth year medical student at Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University. She is interested in "Promotion of awareness in hepatitis B virus infection in Thailand. Southeast Asia is an endemic area of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis B virus infection is still like a silent killer of million people all around the world each year. Once people were infected, they will never know or have any symptoms unless the late stage of disease is coming. In fact, there are plenty of measures to follow-up and control the process of infection in order to not let it progress to be cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Although Thai patients could access medical services as well as antivirals without any charges, not all patients do aware of this importance. This project would be one of the measures to raise awareness of hepatitis B virus infection in Thai population and ultimately eradicate hepatitis B virus in Thailand someday.

Mr. Supavit Chesdachai is a sixth year medical student at Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University. He is interested in conducting a research on "Relationship between vitamin D levels and outcome of tuberculosis therapy". Tuberculosis has long been a major global health issue that has caused detrimental effects to the public worldwide. Nowadays the success rate of treatment of tuberculosis is not notably excellent as it should be. Therefore, physicians and scientists in leading institutions have looked into this and discovered that vitamin D supplementation does have a role in enhancing the function of immune system including the immunity to tuberculosis infection but yet to define the optimum levels of vitamin D on this purpose. Based on this fact, he is eager to verify the answer to this mysterious question and also anticipates an initiation of vitamin D supplementation to be a major part of tuberculosis treatment regimen in order to maximize the efficacy of therapy. He also has a high hope that the impact of this study would change a new face of medicine and leads us to a better care and overcomes this enormous global challenge.

The recipients of scholarships from Prince Mahidol Award Youth Program for 2013: (From left) Mr. Pakawat Chongsathidkiet (Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University), Mr. Janewit Wongboonsin (Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital), Ms. Prowpanga Udompap (Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital), Mr.Supavit Chesdachai (Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital), Mr. Veraprapas Kittipibul (Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University)


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