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Linfa Wang

Professor & Director, Emerging Infectious Diseases Program


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Linfa Wang


Linfa Wang, PhD, is the director of the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.

Having completed his Bachelor's degree in 1982 at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, Wang went on to obtain his PhD at the University of California, Davis. His early research was at the Monash Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine. In 1990, he joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), where he played a leading role in identifying bats as the natural host of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus.

His research then extended from bat-borne viruses to bettering understanding virus-bat interaction, and he led an international team carrying out comparative genomic analysis of two bat species. They discovered an important link between adaptation to flight and bats' ability to counter DNA damage repair as a result of fast metabolism and to co-exist with a large number of viruses without developing clinical diseases.

Wang's work has been recognized internationally through various international awards, numerous invited speeches at major international conferences and many top scientific publications, including Science, Nature, Nature Reviews in Microbiology, Lancet Infectious Diseases and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), along with five patents and many invited book chapters.

He holds a number of honorary positions and memberships and has received numerous awards such as the 2014 Eureka Prize for Research in Infectious Diseases. In 2010, Wang was elected as a fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in recognition of his expertise in new and emerging diseases.

Wang is also active internationally by serving on various editorial boards for publication in the areas of virology, microbiology and infectious diseases. He is currently the editor-in-chief of the Virology Journal.

Recent Publications

Martínez Gómez JM, Periasamy P, Dutertre CA, Irving AT, Ng JH, Crameri G, Baker ML, Ginhoux F, Wang L-F, Alonso S (2016) Phenotypic and functional characterization of the major lymphocyte populations in the fruit-eating bat Pteropus alecto. Sci Rep. 6:37796. doi: 10.1038/srep37796.

Zhou P, Chionh YT, Irac SE, Ahn M, Jia Ng JH, Fossum E, Bogen B, Ginhoux F, Irving AT, Dutertre CA, Wang L-F (2016) Unlocking bat immunology: establishment of Pteropus alecto bone marrow-derived dendritic cells and macrophages. Sci Rep. 6:38597. doi: 10.1038/srep38597.

Postler TS, Clawson AN, Amarasinghe GK, Basler CF, Bavari S, Benko M, Blasdell KR, Briese T, Buchmeier MJ, Bukreyev A, Calisher CH, Chandran K, Charrel R, Clegg CS, Collins PL, de la Torre JC, DeRisi JL, Dietzgen RG, Dolnik O, Dürrwald R, Dye JM, Easton AJ, Emonet S, Formenty P, Fouchier RA, Ghedin E, Gonzalez JP, Harrach B, Hewson R, Horie M, Jiang D, Kobinger G, Kondo H, Kropinski AM, Krupovic M, Kurath G, Lamb RA, Leroy EM, Lukashevich IS, Maisner A, Mushegian AR, Netesov SV, Nowotny N, Patterson JL, Payne SL, Paweska JT, Peters CJ, Radoshitzky SR, Rima BK, Romanowski V, Rubbenstroth D, Sabanadzovic S, Sanfaçon H, Salvato MS, Schwemmle M, Smither SJ, Stenglein MD, Stone DM, Takada A, Tesh RB, Tomonaga K, Tordo N, Towner JS, Vasilakis N, Volchkov VE, Wahl-Jensen V, Walker PJ, Wang L-F, Varsani A, Whitfield AE, Zerbini FM, Kuhn JH (2016) Possibility and Challenges of Conversion of Current Virus Species Names to Linnaean Binomials. Syst Biol. pii: syw096

I H Mendenhall 1, S Borthwick 2, E S Neves 2, D Low 2, M Linster 2, B Liang 2, M Skiles 3 , J Jayakumar 2, H Han 4, V Gunalan 4, B P Y-H Lee 5, 6, K Okahara 2, L-F Wang 2, S Maurer-Stroh 4, 7, Y C F Su 2, G J D Smith 8, 9 (2016) Identification of a Lineage D Betacoronavirus in Cave Nectar Bats (Eonycteris Spelaea) in Singapore and an Overview of Lineage D Reservoir Ecology in SE Asian Bats. Transbound Emerg Dis.

Clayton BA, Middleton D, Arkinstall R, Frazer L, Wang L-F, Marsh GA. (2016) The Nature of Exposure Drives Transmission of Nipah Viruses from Malaysia and Bangladesh in Ferrets. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 10(6): e0004775. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0004775

Burroughs AL, Durr PA, Boyd V, Graham K, White JR, Todd S, Barr J, Smith I, Baverstock G, Meers J, Crameri G, Wang L-F. (2016) Hendra Virus Infection Dynamics in the Grey-Headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) at the Southern-Most Extent of Its Range: Further Evidence This Species Does Not Readily Transmit the Virus to Horses. PLoS One 11(6):e0155252. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155252.

Li X, Yang J, Liu B, Jia Y, Guo J, Gao X, Weng S, Yang M, Wang L, Wang L-F, Cui J, Chen H, Zhu Q (2016). Co-circulation of H5N6, H3N2, H3N8, and Emergence of Novel Reassortant H3N6 in a Local Community in Hunan Province in China. Sci Rep. 6:25549. doi: 10.1038/srep25549.

Peel AJ, Field HE, Reid PA, Plowright RK, Broder CC, Skerratt LF, Hayman DT, Restif O, Taylor M, Martin G, Crameri G, Smith I, Baker M, Marsh GA, Barr J, Breed AC, Wood JL, Dhand N, Toribio JA, Cunningham AA, Fulton I, Bryden WL, Secombe C, Wang L-F (2016). The equine Hendra virus vaccine remains a highly effective preventative measure against infection in horses and humans: 'The imperative to develop a human vaccine for the Hendra virus in Australia'. Infect Ecol Epidemiol. 6:31658. doi: 10.3402/iee.v6.31658. eCollection 2016.

Crameri G, Durr PA, Klein R, Foord A, Yu M, Riddell S, Haining J, Johnson D, Hemida MG, Barr J, Peiris M, Middleton D, Wang L-F (2016). Experimental Infection and Response to Rechallenge of Alpacas with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Emerg Infect Dis. 22:1071-4. doi: 10.3201/eid2206.160007. Epub 2016 Jun 15.

Wynne JW, Woon AP, Dudek NL, Croft NP, Ng JH, Baker ML, Wang L-F, Purcell AW (2016). Characterization of the Antigen Processing Machinery and Endogenous Peptide Presentation of a Bat MHC Class I molecule. J Immunol. 196:4468-76. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1502062. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Smith CS, de Jong CE, Meers J, Henning J, Wang L-F, Field HE (2016) Coronavirus Infection and Diversity in Bats in the Australasian Region. EcoHealth 13:72-82. doi: 10.1007/s10393-016-1116-x. Epub 2016 Apr 5.

Cowled C, Wang L-F (2016). Animal genomics in natural reservoirs of infectious diseases. Rev Sci Tech. 35:159-74. doi: 10.20506/rst.35.1.2425.

Deffrasnes C, Marsh GA, Foo CH, Rootes CL, Gould CM, Grusovin J, Monaghan P, Lo MK, Tompkins SM, Adams TE, Lowenthal JW, Simpson KJ, Stewart CR, Bean AG, Wang L-F. (2016) Genome-wide siRNA Screening at Biosafety Level 4 Reveals a Crucial Role for Fibrillarin in Henipavirus Infection. PLoS Pathog 12(3):e1005478. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1005478

Zhou P, Tachedjian M, Wynne JW, Boyd V, Cui J, Smith I, Cowled C, Ng JH, Mok L, Michalski WP, Mendenhall IH, Tachedjian G, Wang L-F, Baker ML. (2016) Contraction of the type I IFN locus and unusual constitutive expression of IFN-a in bats. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113: 2696-2701. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1518240113.

Ahn M, Cui J, Irving AT, Wang L-F. (2016) Unique Loss of the PYHIN Gene Family in Bats Amongst Mammals: Implications for Inflammasome Sensing. Sci Rep 6:21722. doi: 10.1038/srep21722.

Ng JH, Tachedjian M, Deakin J, Wynne JW, Cui J, Haring V, Broz I, Chen H, Belov K, Wang L-F, Baker ML. (2016) Evolution and comparative analysis of the bat MHC-I region. Sci Rep 6:21256. doi: 10.1038/srep21256.

Liu KG, Marsh GA, Wang L-F and Netter HJ (2015) The non-pathogenic Henipavirus Cedar paramyxovirus phosphoprotein has a compromised ability to target STAT1 and STAT2. Antiviral Research 124: 69-76.

Cui J, Tachedjian G and Wang L-F (2015) Bats and rodents shape mammalian retroviral phylogeny. Scientific Reports 5, 16561 doi:10.1038/srep16561.

Cui J and Wang L-F (2015) Genomic Mining Reveals Deep Evolutionary Relationships between Bornaviruses and Bats. Viruses 7: 5792-20135800; doi:10.3390/v7112906.

Xu K, Chan YP, Bradel-Tretheway B, Akyol-Ataman Z, Zhu Y, Dutta S, Yan L, Feng Y, Wang L-F, Skiniotis G, Lee B, Zhou ZH, Broder CC, Aguilar HC and Nikolov DB (2015) Crystal Structure of the Pre-fusion Nipah Virus Fusion Glycoprotein Reveals a Novel Hexamer-of-Trimers Assembly. PLoS Pathog. 8;11(12):e1005322.

Crameri G, Durr PA, Barr J, Yu M, Graham K, Williams OJ, Kayali G, Smith D, Peiris M, Mackenzie JS and Wang L-F (2015) Absence of MERS-CoV antibodies in feral camels in Australia: implications for the pathogen’s origin and spread. One Health 1: 76-82.

Hu B, G X-Y, Wang L-F and Shi Z-L (2015) Bat origin of human coronaviruses. Virol J. 12: 221. DOI 10.1186/s12985-015-0422-1.

Liang Y-Z, Wu L-J, Zhang Q, Zhou P, Wang M-N, Yang X-L, Ge X-Y, Wang L-F and Shi Z-L (2015) Cloning, expression, and antiviral activity of interferon from the Chinese microbat, Myotis davidii. Virologica Sinica 30: 425-432.

Ng M, Ndungo E, Kazmarek M, Herbert AS, Biswas R, Jangra RK, Hawkings J, Demogines A, Kuehne AI, Muuler MA, Yu M, Wang L-F, Kuhn JH, Dye JM, Sawyer SL and Chandran K (2015) The filovirus receptor NPC1 contributes to species-specific patterns of ebolavirus susceptibility in bats. eLife 2015 Dec 23;4. pii: e11785. doi: 10.7554/eLife.11785.

Audsley MD; Marsh GA, Lieu KG, Tachedjian M, Joubert DA, Wang L-F, Jans DA and Mosely GW. The immune evasion function of J and Beilong virus V proteins is distinct from that of other paramyxoviruses, consistent with a separate "Jeilongvirus" genus. J Gen Virol. 2015 Dec 24. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000388.

Yang X-L, Hu B, Wang B, Wang M-N, Zhang Q, Zhang W, Wu L-J, Ge X-Y, Zhang Y, Daszak P, Wang L-F and Shi Z-L (2015) Isolation and characterization of a novel bat coronavirus closely related to the direct progenitor of SARS coronavirus J Virol. 2015 Dec 30. pii: JVI.02582-15.