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Personal profile

Research interests

Dong Soon Shin graduated from medical school in South Korea, trained as anatomist in graduate school, and currently studies paleopathology and biological anthropology as a professor in Seoul National University, South Korea. Over the years, his research interest has been mainly focused upon acquiring the scientific information of pre-modern people’s health and disease status in history.

Using research tools ranging from anatomical, histological techniques to various biochemical analyses, he has worked to reveal the changing patterns of physical or pathological traits of our ancestors at each stage throughout human history. His topics of study include the paleopathological work on ancient bones and research of viral, bacterial, or helminthic pathogens in archaeological human specimens. The studies were fruitful in that a vivid glimpse of the pre-modern people’s lives could be successfully restored, and thus, their actual health status and disease pattern were interpreted in more detail from medical as well as sociocultural perspectives. In order to obtain more successful outcomes of his research, his team is not only performing laboratory practices, but is also actively joining in fieldwork with archaeologists to investigate ancient graves or cemeteries worldwide. Studies are currently underway at archaeological sites in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, broadening the geographical range of research to enrich our understanding of human diseases in the past.

Professional Information

Session Organizer: The 3rd SEAMEO SPAFA International Conference on Southeast Asian Archaeology (2019), Bangkok; 46th North America Paleopathology Association Annual Meeting (2019), Cleveland; The 3rd Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum. Juju; AP2019-5. PAMinSA VIII (2019), Sao Paulo; 6th International Congress of Society of South Asian Archaeology (2019), Kolkata; Seoul International Conference: Current Trends in Paleoparasitology (2018), Seoul; The 22nd European Meeting of the Paleopathology Association (PPA) (2018). Zagreb; The Indo-Pacipic Prehistory Association Congress (2018). Hue; 14th International Congress of Parasitology (2018), Daegu; 8th Asia Pacific International Congress of Aanatomists (2018). Pusan; 2017 Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum (2017), Tokyo; World Archaeological Congress (WAC)-8 (2016), Kyoto; the 9th World Mummy Congress (2016), Lima; The Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Congress (2014), Siem Reap;5th International Congress of Society of South Asian Archaeology (2014), Raipur; Korea-Japan Forum on Paleopathology in Asia (2013), Pusan; 7th World Congress on Mummy Studies (2011), San Diego;10th International Conference on Ancient DNA and Associated Biomolecules (2010), Munich.

Special Guest:  PAMinSA VIII (2019), Sao Paulo

Workshop Organizer: WORKSHOP II. Parasitology in Paleopathology: New perspectives using large data bases. The 45th Annual North American Meeting of Paleopathology Association. (2018), Austin

Invited Speaker: Fossils and Ancient Genomics Symposium (2018). Shenzhen; XVI European Society for Evolutionary Biology (2017), Groningen; Professional Grantee Presentation: National Geographic Young Explorers Grants Seminar (2016), Seoul; Second Korean-American Kavli Frontiers of Science Symposium (2015), Jeju Island; 5th International Congress of Society of South Asian Archaeology (2014), Raipur; ICTS Mini Workshop on Future of the Past (2011), Mangalore; Seoul International Conference on Ancient DNA and Paleopathology (2009), Seoul; International Conference on Authenticity of Ancient DNA Work (2008), Seoul

Keynote Speaker: 14th International Congress of Parasitology (2018). Daegu; Ancient Science and Technology: Retrospection & Aspiration (2016), Pune

President: Korean Academy of Paleopathology and Osteoarchaeology. 2018-2020;Korean Academy of Paleopathology and Osteoarchaeology. 2014-2016

Advisory Committee Member: International Conference on Ancient Science and Technology-Retrospectiion and Aspirations (2016), Pune.

Organizing (Planning) Committee Member: The 3rd Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum (2019), Jeju Island; the 92nd Annual Meeting of AAAS, Pacific Division (2011), San Diego.

Scientific Committee Member: 23rd European Paleopathology Association meeting (2020), Vilnius; Observatory for the Mummified Heritage of the Sicilian Region (2019), Sicily, Italy; 46th Annual North American Meeting of the Paleopathology Association (2019), Cleveland; The 3rd Korea-Japan Paleopathology Forum (2019), Jeju Island; VII Paleopathology Association meeting in South America (2019), Sao Paulo; Asia-Pacific Paleopathology Forum (Since 2019-);10th International Conference on Ancient DNA and Associated Biomolecules (2010), Munich.

Book Editor: The Handbook of Global Mummy Studies: Cultural and Scientific Perspectives. Springer.

Invited Editor: Special Issue of Paleoparasitology. Korean Journal of Parasitology (2020); Special Issue of Paleopathology, BioMed Research International (2019); Special Issue of Paleopathology, Anthropological Science. Vol. 125 (2017) No. 1; Special Section of Paleoparasitology, Korean Journal of Parasitology (2016/10)

Editorial Board Member: Anatomy and Cell Biology. (2018- Present);Ancient Asia. The official journal of the Society of South Asian Archaeology (SOSAA) (2016-Present); Asian Journal of Paleopathology. (2016-Present); Annals of Geriatric Medicine and Research (AGMR (2016-Present); : Scientific Reports. Nature Publishing Group. (2015-Present); PLOS ONE. (2015-Present); Yearbook of Mummy Studies. Vol. 1 & 2. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil (2011 and 2014).

Expertise related to UN SDGs

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


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