Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pakorn Aiewsakun

Bioinformatics, Virology

Education:

  • 2017: D.Phil. in Zoology, University Of Oxford, Oxford, UNITED KINGDOM
  • 2012: M.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology
    Imperial College London, London, UNITED KINGDOM
  • 2011: B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, Imperial College London, London, UNITED KINGDOM

 

Biography:

Dr. Pakorn Aiewsakun received a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences and an M.Sc. in Bioinformatics and Theoretical Systems Biology from Imperial College London, and subsequently earned a D.Phil. in Zoology from Oxford University. During his doctoral study, his research focused on endogenous viruses, exploring viral genomic fossils in the genomes of animals, to connect recent and ancient viral evolution. His key findings included the time-dependent rate phenomenon, demonstrating that both DNA and RNA viruses evolve rapidly in the short term but remain highly conserved over longer periods.

Following his doctoral studies, Dr. Pakorn Aiewsakun continued at Oxford University as a postdoctoral researcher, developing a sequence-based framework for family-level virus classification called GARViTy. Since joining Mahidol University in late 2017, he has been a pioneering force in microbial genomics research as a founder of the Pornchai Matangkasombut Center for Microbial Genomics (CENMIG). He also leads many research projects in bacterial and virus genomics and has organised many hands-on bioinformatics workshops to disseminate knowledge and technical skills. In his spare time, he enjoys competitive ballroom dancing.

 

Current research interests:

Dr. Pakorn Aiewsakun’s research Interests cover a wide range of topics, from pathogen discovery through metagenomics sequencing, modelling viral evolutionary processes, and conducting genomic epidemiology and macroevolutionary analyses of various viruses and bacteria, including studies on SARS-CoV-2, Group B Streptococcus, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He collaborates extensively with research teams in both academic institutions and governmental sectors, particularly the Ministry of Public Health, to enhance public health quality and improve preparedness and response strategies against infectious disease threats.

 

Current projects:

  • Pathogen discovery in fish, ticks, and humans
  • Entourage: all-in-one sequence analysis software for genome assembly, virus detection, virus discovery, and intrasample variation profiling
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis cluster detection in Chiang Rai
  • Evolutionary histories of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Group B Streptococcus, and several other viruses and bacteria
  • Caged evolutionary model
  • Endogenous viruses

 

Awards and honours:

  • 2024: THE FUTURE LIST 2024 – 100 names you should know in 2024 – by Koktail Magazine

 

Publications link: