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Personal profile


Professor Qasim Ayub joined Monash University Malaysia in 2017. He graduated from the Khyber Medical College, Peshawar, Pakistan and subsequently obtained his Ph.D. from the University of North Texas, Denton, USA on a Thomas Jefferson Fellowship. He has worked in USA, Pakistan, Italy and the United Kingdom. In Pakistan he assisted in setting up a state of the art molecular biology research facility, the Biomedical and Genetic Engineering Laboratories, in Islamabad, that became the focal point for the Human Genome Diversity Project. From 2008 until August 2017 he worked at the world renowned Wellcome Sanger Institute in Hinxton, near Cambridge, and was a member of the 1000 Genomes Project Consortiums and the gorilla sequencing team that published several high profile papers.

Qasim’s research focuses on population and evolutionary genomics in humans and non-human species. Over the past two decades he has analyzed DNA variation in worldwide ethnic and linguistic groups in order to understand their origins and relatedness. Several of the novel male specific markers that were identified during his studies of the Pakistani populations are now routinely used in forensic DNA identification. For this work he was awarded the President of Pakistan’s Medal of Excellence for contributions to science in 2006. He continues to maintain his interest in South Asian population genetics and exploring the functional basis for high-altitude adaptation in the Himalayas.

He is currently Director of the Monash University Molaysia Genomics Facility and conducts research on human population evolutionary and disease genomics. He also leads the Malaysian BioGenome Project that aims to generate high quality reference genomes in collaboration with the Vertebrate Genome Project for local and endemic species to promote conservation genomics. His research analyzes DNA variations in humans and other species to ascertain their distribution patterns in different parts of the world, so as to learn about their origins and migration patterns, and improve our understanding of genetic factors involved in the host pathogen interactions and evolutionary adaptation.

Research interests

My research interests are in genome sequencing and human evolutionary and disease genomics. Current projects are examining the aging population in Bandar Sunway and human intestinal parasitic interactions. I am also a co-investigator on the Malaysian Microbiome Project that is studying oral and gut microbiomes and anti-microbial resistance in collaboration with The South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO -

Monash teaching commitment

  • GEN2052 (Genomics and Population Genetics)
  • BIN3800 (Bioinformatics)
  • BIN3890 (Research Methods in Bioinformatics and Big Data Analysis)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Visiting Researcher, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Aug 2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • Genomics
  • Evolutionary genomics
  • Population Genetics
  • Disease genetics
  • Conservation genetics
  • Biodiversity


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