Chandan Pal is a computational biologist with a background in microbiology and bioinformatics, and expertise in genomics and metagenomics. His research focuses on application of multi’omics in biosecurity area. After completing a BSc at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Chandan did an MSc at the University of Liverpool (UK), with Dr Alistair Darby, studying insect endosymbionts from a genomics point of view. He completed a PhD at the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), with Prof Joakim Larsson, studying antibiotic, biocide and metal resistance in bacteria. Just after finishing my PhD, Chandan was awarded a Knut and Alice Wallenberg Postdoctoral research fellowship at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and another postdoctoral fellowship from Swedish Society for Medical Research (SSMF) to spend 2 years at Harvard University (USA). Instead, Chandan moved to Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in Auckland, New Zealand as a senior scientist in bioinformatics.
As part of his doctoral studies at the University of Gothenburg, he investigated how biocides (e.g. antiseptics, disinfectants) and metals (e.g. copper, silver) can contribute to the selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria using mainly genomic and metagenomic approaches. His research activities are largely dominated by analyzing large-scale sequencing data of metagenomes and bacterial genomes. He has a deep interest in metagenomics, antibiotic, biocide and metal resistances, microbial ecology, human microbiome, pest and diseases, developing and maintaining biological databases, new bioinformatics tools. As part of his current work, he largely deal with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data for diagnostic and surveillance purposes in biosecurity area . The primary purpose of his job is to identify unwanted pests and diseases that intercept at New Zealand border and/or identify those that have already crossed the border so that MPI can take an initiative to eradicate or control their spread across the country before these pests become established. One of the main targets of his position is to improve current diagnostic strategy in an innovative and cost-effective way.