Professor Alim Isnansetyo of UGM has been honored with the Academic Leader Award in the maritime field by the Directorate General of Research and Technology, Ministry of Education.
As an expert in fisheries and marine biotechnology at the Faculty of Agriculture, he was declared the first winner in the category.
The award ceremony occurred at the World Scientific Forum of Indonesia (WSFI), organized by the directorate general in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Monday, November 13, 2023.
The Academic Leader Award encourages lecturers to develop creative ideas in implementing the Merdeka Belajar–Kampus Merdeka policy.
It also recognizes the production of innovative works in teaching, research, and community service, contributing significantly to the achievement of the respective universities’ key performance indicators, inspiring others, and contributing to the development of society, the nation, and the country.
“I hope this award can be beneficial to UGM. All these achievements are dedicated to UGM to enhance its reputation,” said the professor on Friday (November 17).
Professor Isnansetyo has developed several innovations that are applied in communities and industries, including a Vibrio vaccine for marine-cultured fish, such as snapper, grouper, and others. The vaccine he developed has proven to enhance the immune system and protect fish during an outbreak.
The professor has focused on studying and researching the development of fish vaccines since he became a lecturer at UGM in 1994.
His interest in developing fish vaccines is to help fish farmers protect their cultured fish from disease outbreaks and reduce the side effects of using drugs in fish that can affect consumers.
“Developing this vaccine is an environmentally friendly preventive measure and does not harm consumers. If we use drugs or antibiotics, there will be residues in fish meat that consumers can consume, which can be dangerous to health,” Professor Isnansetyo explained.
Not only does the use of drugs or antibiotics in fish leave residues in fishery products, but it also significantly affects the export of Indonesian fishery commodities.
Fisheries products intended for export must be free from antibiotic residues or drugs. If residues of antibiotics or drugs are found in fisheries products, they cannot be sold in the international market.
In 2010, he successfully developed a fish vaccine using three types of bacteria. The vaccine has been patented, produced on a large scale, and widely applied by seawater fish farmers in the country.
He continued his study and development of fish vaccines. In 2022, he successfully created a new formulation of fish vaccine using three new types of bacteria. The vaccine awaits a patent and distribution permit from the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs.
The new formulation of the vaccine is more effective with a unique mixture. The vaccine not only proves to enhance specific immunity in fish but also demonstrates an increase in non-specific immunity.
“The new formulation can enhance all types of immunity. The vaccine has been tested on fish farmers in Batam and Tanjung Pinang. The results show its effectiveness up to 90%,” he revealed.
In addition to the new formula, this vaccine has a new packaging. The earlier vaccine was in liquid form, but this time, it was packaged in powder form in small ampoules, making storage more efficient and reducing transportation costs.
Besides developing fish vaccines, the professor created an immunostimulant product based on alginates from Sargassum Sp. to overcome viral diseases in vannamei shrimp farming. He also developed immunostimulant products to enhance immunity in white snapper with application in fish feed.
Another innovation is fish prebiotics to improve water quality and increase feed efficiency. With the help of these prebiotics, cultured fish are expected to be healthier and contribute to better water quality and optimal feed utilization.
He also supports the increase in national salt production. He developed a ventilator turbine using a tunnel system to increase salt production. He was appointed Chair of the National Salt Independence Task Force at UGM, with multidisciplinary expert members.
Up to now, 78 journals of his findings have been published in Scopus. Also, the professor has made it to the list of the World’s Top 100 Agriculture & Forestry/Fisheries Scientists in Indonesia in 2024 in the AD Scientific Index, ranking 15th nationally.
He has contributed to the achievement of UGM’s key performance indicators (IKU) by actively participating in disseminating the MBKM program in various forums, encouraging the implementation of MBKM in the Department of Fisheries since 2021, compiling best practice books for MBKM, and guiding research and internships.
Photo: Professor Alim Isnansetyo