The Western Australian Neuroscience Research Institute (the Perron Institute) and Murdoch University have launched a partnership with an institution in Thailand which will enhance its groundbreaking research into treatments for inherited diseases.

An agreement between Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, the Perron Institute and Murdoch University, will result in joint PhD projects which investigate molecular medicine treatments for inherited disorders.

The agreement with Mahidol, based on an MOU signed last year and signed on May 20 at the Perron Institute, will see one or more PhD candidates spend at least one year at Murdoch and two in Bangkok, researching in Mahidol’s Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital.

The first students will be co-supervised by the Perron Institute Director Professor Steve Wilton, his collaborator Professor Sue Fletcher, and Professor Norman Palmer from the Centre of Comparative Genomics, Murdoch University and the Perron Institute.

The Perron Institute Chief Executive Officer Steve Arnott applauded the collaboration agreement.

“This association further enhances the relationship with both Murdoch and Mahidol Universities with whom the Perron Institute has existing affiliation and collaborative arrangements and provides an excellent opportunity for top quality PhD students,” he said.

Murdoch University Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation Professor David Morrison said the partnership would give the PhD candidates the opportunity to experience international study.

“The partnership reflects Murdoch University’s core research philosophy, which includes a focus on Health Futures and translating research findings into solutions for real world problems,” he added.

The Mahidol University delegation was led by Professor Prasit Watanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital. Mahidol University is Thailand’s premier University and Siriraj Hospital is the largest and oldest medical school in Thailand.

Chalermchai (Wai) Mitrpant, currently Assistant Professor of Biochemistry in the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital at Mahidol University in Bangkok, completed his PhD under the supervision of Professor Wilton.  While commencing his research career in Western Australia A/Professor Mitrpant met his wife Dr Arada Rojana-udomsart, a consultant neurologist, who was also completing her PhD at the time, under Professor Frank Mastaglia, also part of the Perron Institute’s Alumni.