I started working for Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in 2010 as a visiting researcher. My first project was to develop new robust filter-paper based drug assays using capillary blood (finger or heal-prick) samples that can be taken in remote field studies. This type of sampling is also very suitable for young children and infants. The samples are collected as dried blood spots and are very suitable for study sites in rural areas where they have no electricity and transportation is difficult.
One of the main tasks of a clinical pharmacology laboratory is to measure drug concentrations in patient samples taken at the clinical sites. It can be for a pharmacokinetic study, compliance study or just confirming the drug concentration in the body as a result of treatment failure or side effects. Due to the increasing drug resistance of the malaria parasite, new drugs or new combinations of drugs need to be tested. This also requires that our laboratory are able to measure these new drugs, therefore we need to constantly develop new analytical quantification methods using our liquid chromatography systems coupled with sensitive triple quadrupoles mass spectrometry detectors to keep up with the development.
I together with my PhD student and a laboratory technician develop these new analytical quantification methods for various antimalarial drugs and samples such as blood, plasma or dried blood spots. I also have local students from universities around Bangkok who do their Master or bachelor degree projects here and learn how to develop new analytical quantification methods using modern extraction techniques and highly sensitive LC-MS systems. We are also an ISO15189 certified medical laboratory.
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