Focus On: COVID-19 Virology & Public Health

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

A resource for journalists to find stories and sources.

At Asia Research News, we have a strong network of researchers at institutes throughout Asia and beyond. Every couple of months we highlight ongoing research and expertise around one theme or topic.

We are continously updating our COVID-19 resource to connect journalists with experts prepared to speak with international media. Below are experts in virology and public health. We have a separate page of experts in economic and social impacts, developing countries, travel, tourism, and spread of information.

Journalists are welcome to contact researchers directly, or reach out to us at [email protected] if you need help finding a source.

 

 

"Thanks so much for the heads-up to what I'm sure will be a very valuable service." - Journalist, Singapore

Latest updates from the World Health Organization.  

Map tracking COVID-19 cases by Johns Hopkins University.

COVID-19 Information Centre from Asian Development Bank and BMJ

 

VIROLOGY & PUBLIC HEALTH

 

ARGENTINA

Professor Francisco José Barrantes

Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina
Email: [email protected] 
Prof. Barrantes is interested in the basic aspects of SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, particularly in structure-function correlations of the virus that could lead to the development of prophylactic or therapeutic approaches. Full profile here. He published a review article in Frontiers in Physiology "While we wait for a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, why not think about available drugs?"

 

BANGLADESH

Professor Mahmudur Rahman

Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Disease Division
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: infectious diseases, public health policies
Languages comfortable speaking: English
Served as Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and National Influenza Center in Bangladesh for about twelve years. Devoted 33 years to epidemiologic and public health research and surveillance of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and public health policies. Led the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response in Bangladesh. Retired from government service in June 2016. Currently, serving as Consultant in the Programme for Emerging Infections, Infectious Disease Division, icddr,b. Full profile here
(Added April 3, 2020)

 

HONG KONG

Professor Dirk U. Pfeiffer 

Director of the Centre for Applied One Health Research and Policy Advice (OHRP)
Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health
City University of Hong Kong 
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Professor Pfeiffer has expertise in One Health approaches, with a specific focus on epidemiological aspects of animal disease control and prevention, including zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza and bovine tuberculosis and animal diseases such as African swine fever. He is the Chow Tak Fung Chair Professor of One Health.
Language comfortable speaking: English

Professor David Hui

Director of the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Email: [email protected] 
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Respiratory medicine
Languages comfortable speaking: English, Cantonese

 

JAPAN

Professor Hitoshi Oshitani

Department of Virology
Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Virology, Epidemiology, Infectious Disease Control
Languages comfortable speaking: Japanese, English

Tetsuo Kase, Ph.D. 

Department of Public Health
Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
Email: [email protected]
Research areas he can comment on: My field is an epidemiology of infectious disease, especially respiratory and eruptive viral infections (such as influenza and measles), and zoonoses. Another is evaluation of vaccine effectiveness/efficacy of influenza and so on.  
Language: Japanese. If English, emails only.
(added March 24, 2020)

Professor Kentaro Iwata

Division of Infectious Diseases Therapeutics, Graduate School of Medicine
Kobe University
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Infectious disease control, treatment and risk management.
Languages comfortable speaking: Japanese, English
Prof. Iwata is an expert in infectious disease control and prevention.

KOREA

Professor Eui-Cheol Shin, M.D.

Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Virology, Immunology
Languages comfortable speaking: English and Korean
My Laboratory of Immunology and Infectious Diseases studies T cell immune responses in viral diseases and immunologic diseases. In order to understand T cell immune responses comprehensively, my lab studies not only anti-viral immune responses but also immunopathologic mechanisms in host damage. In addition, my lab tries to develop T cell vaccines and apply them in viral diseases.
(added March 27, 2020)

Professor Su Hyung Park

Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Immunology, Infectious Disease, Vaccine
Languages comfortable speaking: English and Korean
My Lab of Translational Immunology & Vaccinology studies: Protective T cell immunity against intractable disease; Detailed immunological mechanisms involved in pathogenesis and prognosis of infectious and immunologic disease; and Novel immunological biomarkers for prognosis of infectious and immunologic disease. To this end, we are conducting sophisticated techniques in translational immunology using patients’ clinical samples. In parallel, based on multidisciplinary studies in translational and basic immunology, we focus on the development of novel T cell-based preventive and therapeutic vaccines to intractable infectious diseases.
(added March 27, 2020)

 

PHILIPPINES

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth - Philippines

Filipino youth organization, UN SDSN Youth created a consolidated and comprehensive Interactive Philippine Dashboard on COVID-19, the first and only youth-led online knowledge platform on COVID, designed for young people. Full profile here. 

 

SINGAPORE

Professor Gregory Gray

Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme
Duke-NUS Medical School
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Viral respiratory diseases, zoonotic diseases, occupational infectious disease, influenza viruses, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, coronaviruses, and evaluations of new infectious disease diagnostics
Language comfortable speaking: English

Assistant Professor Danielle Anderson

Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme
Duke-NUS Medical School
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: Virus/host relationship of a diverse group of medically important viruses that includes Measles virus, Mumps virus and Nipah virus. Use of novel diagnostic platforms for the identification of new infectious viruses and other clinically relevant emerging infectious diseases, such as MERS and Zika virus.
Language comfortable speaking: English

Professor Wang Linfa

Programme Director
Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme
Duke-NUS Medical School
Email: [email protected]
Areas of expertise prepared to comment on: He is an international leader in the field of emerging zoonotic viruses and virus-host interaction, specialising in bat-borne viruses. He is a member of the WHO SARS Scientific Research Advisory Committee, and played a key role in identification of bats as the natural host of SARS-like viruses. He has recently been invited to come on board WHO International Health Regulations Committee regarding the new coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
Languages comfortable speaking: English, Mandarin