Khon Kaen University was established in 1964 with the mission of conducting research in order to facilitate both the creation of basic knowledge the application of knowledge for the benefit of society and the nation, particularly in the northeast. This includes academic services, as well as art and cultural preservation. The results of these endeavors have been clear to the public including the academic community, on both a national and international level. Since 2002, Khon Kaen University has created 30 excellence research centers and 40 research groups, covering the fields of health sciences, sciences and technology, and human science and sociology. These excellence research centers and research groups have produced researches to be applied in academic, commercial, public, and policy fields. These researches have played an important role in Khon Kaen University becoming internationally recognized and attaining QS World Ranking and QS Asian Ranking, reflecting the strength of the university’s research.
The greater Mekong Subregion consists of an area that spans six countries, including Thailand, southern China (Yunnan and Guangxi), Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, all of which have been collaborating since 1992. The area encompasses a total of 2.55 million square kilometers, has a population of 323 million people (4.63% of the world population, an estimated at over 6.9 billion people as of 2011), and has a 2011 GDP of 26.76 trillion baht (1.23% of the world GDP).
National development, including economic, social, and environmental changes, both in Asia and at the global level, have led to problems and crisis in many areas (global commonization). The kinds of knowledge above-mentioned have not been able to solve the problems or bring about holistic development in the northeast. This is especially true of the health problems being experienced by the residents of countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion. This includes health problems that are the result of various diseases, such as diabetes; hypertension; heart disease; cancer; infectious diseases that stem from health-related behavior, the environment, and climate change; and others, which have socioeconomic effects at the household, community, and national levels.
Thus, the method for solving the problems and developing the knowledge above-mentioned must integrate knowledge generated from multi-disciplinary research at both the national and international level in order to enable health problems to be solved in a way that is consistent with the context and conditions in northeast Thailand and other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion. This is consistent with Khon Kaen University’s vision of being a leading research university on the world stage and its policy to foster research in order to raise excellence research centers and research groups to the level of research institute. This means integrating national and international research, solving problems, and implementing development in both Thailand and among the collective nations located in the Greater Mekong Region in order to display academic strength and to be accepted on the world stage in accordance with the vision and mission of Khon Kaen University. Thus, the Mekong Health Science Research Institute (MeHSRI) was established in November 30, 2013 in accordance with the sixth announcement from Khon Kaen University, which was issued in order that the university may be a center for education and research and solve health problems by integrating knowledge from interdisciplinary research in a way that is consistent with the contexts and conditions in Thailand and other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion