Professor Linfa Wang

Professor Linfa Wang is a Professor with the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.

Prof Wang is an expert in the field of zoonotic diseases, bat immunology and pathogen discovery. 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 better understand virus-bat interaction and how bats co-exist with a large number of viruses without developing clinical diseases.

His recent research contributions include developing antibody based serological tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak, and the early and successful culture of the virus from an infected patents sample. His team is also working together with local and international partners to develop new vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19.

Prof Wang is a member of multiple World Health Organization committees on COVID-19. His work has been recognised internationally through various international awards, numerous invited speeches at major international conferences and more than 400 scientific papers including many top scientific publications in Science, Nature, Nature Reviews in Microbiology, Lancet 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, Prof Wang was elected as a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in recognition of his expertise in new and emerging diseases. He 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.

Prof Wang holds a PhD degree from the University of California, Davis USA and a Bachelor's degree from the East China Normal University, Shanghai China.

Areas of expertise: 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.

Selected media coverage

Listen to Professor Wang talk about the coronavirus on NPR. 

Selected publications

  1. Irving A, Ahn M, Goh G, Anderson AE, Wang L-F. (2020) Why bats? Lessons from host defenses of a unique viral reservoir.  Nature (in press)
  2. Goh G, Ahn M, Zhu F, Lee LB, Luo D, Irving AT, Wang L-F. (2020) Complementary regulation of caspase-1 and IL-1β reveals additional mechanisms of dampened inflammation in bats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 26:202003352. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2003352117.
  3. Tan CW, Chia WN, Qin X, Liu P, Chen MI-C, Tiu C, Hu Z, Chen VC-W, Young BE, Sia WR, Tan Y-J, Foo R, Yi Y, Lye DC, Anderson DE, Wang, L.-F (2020) A SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus neutralization test based on antibody-mediated blockage of ACE2-spike protein-protein interaction. Nat Biotech DOI: 10.1038/s41587-020-0631-z
  4. Wang L-F, Anderson DE, Mackenzie JS, Merson MH (2020) From Hendra to Wuhan: what has been learned in responding to emerging zoonotic viruses. Lancet 395(10224):e33-e34. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30350-0.
  5. Ahn M, Anderson DE, Zhang Q, Tan CW, Lim BL, Luko K, Wen M, Chia WN, Mani S, Wang LC, Ng JHJ, Sobota RM, Dutertre C-A, Ginhoux F, Shi Z-L, Irving A and Wang L-F.  (2019) Dampened NLRP3-mediated inflammation in bats and implications for a special viral reservoir host. Nat Microbiol. doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0371-3.

Professor Linfa Wang is featured in Focus On: Coronavirus, an Asia Research News resource for journalists to find stories and sources.

Linfa Wang
Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme
Academic discipline: