Linfa Wang

Professor & Director, Emerging Infectious Diseases Program

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.