Your Royal Thainess! Thai Princess’ health research trip to red brick university

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ROYAL ARRIVAL: HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol visits the Whitworth Building

ROYAL ARRIVAL: HRH Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol visits the Whitworth Building

The University of Manchester welcomed a royal visitor to their campus earlier this month as the Princess of Thailand spoke with researchers and students about their work at the cutting-edge of health sciences.

In a visit organised to explore new links between the UK and Thailand, Her Royal Highness, Chulabhorn Mahidol, took a tour of the University whilst meeting with the President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell and the Dean of the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, Professor Ian Greer.

Princess Chulhaborn, who is the founder and president of the Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Sciences, also met with Thai students, currently studying in Manchester.

Professor Rothwell said: “It was a great pleasure to meet Her Royal Highness and to have the chance to show her our facilities and some of the transformational research that goes on inside them.

“We are proud to be home to so many Thai students and the success of this meeting will certainly help us to strengthen those relationships with Thailand.”

Part of the purpose of the visit was for the delegation, which also included a number of staff from the Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Sciences, to investigate the possibility of more student exchanges and research partnerships around health care and other subjects.

The University of Manchester already has strong links in place with Thailand, with Thai students on courses ranging from health, to business and engineering.

PHOTOGENIC: The Princess poses for pictures with Thai students

PHOTOGENIC: The Princess poses for pictures with Thai students

The Thai student society is very active on campus and in the community, hosting events to showcase Thai culture to local people. There is active research collaboration across a number of areas such as robotics, aerospace and mechanical engineering.

The sciences hold a special interest for Her Royal Highness who studied chemistry and in 1979 graduated from the Faculty of Science at Kasetsart University.

She went on to gain a PhD and was the first Asian to be invited to join the Royal Society of Chemistry in the United Kingdom.

She remains Professor of Chemistry at Mahidol University where she maintains research interests in the chemistry of natural products; Thai medicinal plants, environmental health problems in developing countries and cancer research.

Professor Ian Greer said he hoped the visit would only strengthen the already strong relationship between the University of Manchester and Thailand.

He added: “Her Royal Highness is a scientist of great repute and one who is dedicated to improving the lives of the Thai people through education and research.

“Our work in public health, cancer sciences and biology was all of great interest to her and, we hope, the beginning of many fruitful discussions.”

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