Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Microbiology, led by Direk Limmathurotsakul, conducts research into clinical and laboratory aspects of bacterial and viral illnesses in Thailand, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, and supports the embedded microbiologists in SMRU and the Laos Collaboration.

Photo of postdoc researcher Sarmistha Guha and Edward Leithead in a lab at Rutgers University © 2019 MORU, Suparat (Saire) Giengkam
Sarmistha Guha, a Postdoc researcher at Rutgers University International Center for Public Health (ICPH), and Rutgers University Masters student Edward Leithead in a lab at Rutgers. Sarmistha’s overarching research goal is to investigate the mechanism of cell division and its regulation in intracellular bacteria. She is working with Dr Jeanne Salje and her team to study cell division in Orientia tsutsugamushi, an obligate intracellular human pathogen.

The Head of Microbiology is Assoc Prof Direk Limmathurotsakul, a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellow with expertise in melioidosis, sepsis, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and medical statistics. In Bangkok MORU Microbiology has a US Select Agent Program certified BSL3 laboratory, and BSL2, molecular and serology laboratories. In Thailand, we have clinical research lab facilities and Units in Ubon Ratchathani province (Sunpasitthiprasong Hospital), Udon Thani province (Udon Thani Hospital), Chiangrai province (Chiangrai Clinical Research Unit (CCRU) in Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital). The Microbiology Department works closely with the microbiology labs of SMRU, LOMWRU (Lao PDR) and COMRU (Cambodia), and of other Wellcome Africa Asia Programmes (particularly OUCRU in Vietnam), and collaborate with research organizations across Thailand and Southeast Asia

The department has 12 senior researchers with multiple areas of expertise, 28 middle-level or junior staff in Bangkok, 20 in Ubon Ratchathani, 3 in Udon Thani and 7 in Chiangrai. The current team includes:

In addition, the MORU Microbiology Department has an active, successful postgraduate student programme, currently with 12 PhD and 3 MSc students. In the past two years, 2 PhD and 1 MSc graduated. If you’re interested in doing a postgraduate degree with us, have a look at our Students page. Then, contact one of our principal investigators for a potential supervisor or Prof Stuart Blacksell, Post-Graduate Student Coordinator.

The Department continuously conducts training at its various laboratories in clinical microbiology, molecular biology, cell biology, and laboratory safety.

In 2018, Microbiology set up a sequencing unit in Bangkok with short-read Illumina MiSeq sequencing and bioinformatics analysis capacity.