fb icontwitter icon

Life as a visiting researcher at Pasteur Institute


Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Ken from Bangkok, Thailand. I am a medicinal chemist at BIOTEC and I have worked on infectious disease and drug discovery for four years. I do like a history of medicine and how they were discovered and developed. I enjoy living in a metropolis and obviously, Paris is one of my dream destinations.


What were you working on at Pasteur?
I worked with Sylvie Pochet on the project of developing nucleoside analogs against parasitic diseases. I learned and hand-on practiced nucleoside chemistry. Within the first three months, I made a 16-step synthetic compound (the longest synthesis steps in my life!).

Ken and Sylvie in her office



What were your expectations and goals?
Long and great history of nucleoside chemistry from Pasteur has been contributed to the scientific community. I believe that learning from the expert, Sylvie Pochet, is a key to success in a short time. At Pasteur, I did not only learn from the great scientists in Franch, but I also worked with them. How amazing!


What were the best experiences you made here?
Working at the prestigious research institution showed me how to improve myself and my research team. The environment in research institutions, both NSTDA and Pasteur, is quite different from a university in many aspects, such as a diversity of people, research aims, management, social engagement, and so on. I believe that I will apply what I experienced to make a benefit to NSTDA in the future.


How did you enjoy Paris/France? What did you do here beyond research?
Foods, parks, and museums are what I enjoyed in Paris. Food culture in Franch is unique and I do understand why France is called the kitchen of the world. I walked to the parks almost every week. Most of my time there, the weather was great, except during heatwave attacked for a few days in mid-June. At the Park, I often brought some fruits, books, and wines along with me. My favorite park is Parc Mansouri where I just walked there within 5 minutes from my dorm. Lastly, I explored lots of museums and I would like to recommend to the City of Science and Industry and Atelier des Lumières for your visit.


Giving at talk before leaving.



My colleagues in the laboratory.

What motivated you to participate SFE-Aqua project?

SAFE-Aqua (SustainAble Farming for Effective Aquaculture) is an international collaborative project that aims to solve disease-related issues in aquaculture using shrimp as a model. Our research involves cutting-edge next-generation sequencing technologies, bioinformatics analyses and multidisciplinary making this truly motivate me. I find this a great opportunity to broaden my skills as well as bring out the best in me. Since SAFE-Aqua is funded by Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), this allows me to visit research laboratories aboard. That why I'm here at Institute of Pasteur right now. Working closely with interdisciplinary scientists bring a new perspective I am impressed. I hope this opportunity will lead to other collaborative projects.

What is your experience during your stay in Paris?

In the beginning, it is not easy to find a room with our affordable price to stay for short term. But after that everything is fine. I visited Paris a few times when I was studying Ph.D. in Germany, so it is not difficult to adapt and live here. I enjoy strolling around the city and exploring gorgeous architecture and fabulous pastry.



Wild salmon is caught in the wild, in its natural environment… oceans, rivers and lakes but half of the salmon sold worldwide comes from so-called fish farms, also known as aquacultures. The production of farmed salmon has increased dramatically in the past two decades. Farmed salmon has a completely different diet and environment than wild salmon. Whereas wild salmon eats other organisms found in its natural environment, farmed salmon is given a processed high-fat feed in order to produce larger fish. Wild salmon is still available, but global stocks have halved in just a few decades.

Nutritional differences between wild and farmed salmon can be pretty significant. Farmed salmon is much higher in fat. It contains slightly more Omega-3s, much more Omega-6 fatty acids and 3 times the amount of saturated fat. It also contains 46% more calories, mostly from fat. Farmed salmon also contains some Vitamin C, which is added to the feed. Conversely, wild salmon is higher in minerals, including potassium, zinc and iron. Although farmed salmon is much higher in Omega-6 fatty acids than wild salmon, but the amount is still too low to be a cause for concern.  However, farmed salmon has much higher concentrations of contaminants than wild salmon.

The only real concern with farmed salmon is organic pollutants like PCBs. If this is something you’re concerned about, then do some research on the origins of your salmon and choose one that wasn’t bred in polluted waters. Given the high amount of Omega-3s, quality protein and beneficial nutrients, I believe that the benefits of eating salmon (whether farmed or wild) far outweigh the negatives for most people. If wild salmon is easily accessible to you, then that’s a better option. But farmed salmon is still healthy… just slightly “less healthy” than wild salmon.

Source: https://authoritynutrition.com/wild-vs-farmed-salmon/