Wang Linfa



Contact: 65168397

Prof Wang is a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School and the inaugural Executive Director of the Programme for Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response (PREPARE), Singapore.  He is one of the world’s leading experts in 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 patient sample. His team is currently focusing on research into the origin of SARS-CoV-2, developing assays which can better assess vaccine efficacy in the context of a potential immunity passport strategy and novel vaccination strategy to broaden protective immunity against future variants and emerging SARS-related coronaviruses.  

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 500 scientific papers including many top scientific publications in Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, along with nine patents and many invited book chapters. He holds a number of honorary positions and memberships and has received numerous awards. Prof Wang was elected to the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2010 and the American Academy of Microbiology in 2021 in recognition of his expertise in new and emerging diseases. He received the Singapore’s President Science Award in 2021. 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.


University of California, Davis Ph.D. Biochemistry (Molecular Biology), 1986

East China Normal University, Shanghai B.S. (Honors) Biology (Biochemistry), 1982

Professional Experience

Executive Director, Programme for Research in Epidemic Preparedness and Response (PREAPRE). 2021-present

Professor, Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School. 2012- present 

Director, Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School. 2012 -2020 

OCE Science Leader, CSIRO Australian Animal Health 2008 Laboratory, Geelong, Vic. 2008 - 2015

Senior Principal Research Scientist and project leader, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Vic. 2004 – 2008

Project Leader, Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (AB-CRC), Brisbane, Qld. 2003 – 2010

Principal Research Scientist and project leader, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Vic. 1996 – 2004

Senior Research Scientist and project leader, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Vic. 1992 – 1996

Research Scientist, CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Vic. 1990 – 1992

Senior Research Officer, the Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 1990 – 1990

Senior Tutor, Department of Biochemistry, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 1989 – 1990

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Davis. 1986 – 1989

Postgraduate Student, Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Davis. 1982 – 1986


Awards and Fellowships

2021   Winner of the President Science Award (PSA) Singapore

2021   Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

2020     First Prize, SingHealth Duke-NUS Research Award, 2020

2020      NHG Research and Innovation Award

2014   Winner of Australian Eureka Prize for Infectious Disease Research

2014   Finalist, President Science Award (PSA) Singapore

2014   Finalist, Prime Minister Award for Science, Australia

2014   ASM Bazeley Orator, Melbourne

2013   CSIRO Chaiman’s Medal

2012   Gardner Lectureship by the European Society of Clinical Virology

2010   Elected Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering 

2008   CSIRO OCE Science Leader Award

2007   Finalist, Eureka Prize for Scientific Research 

2006   CSIRO Award for Excellence in Partnership 


Selected publications, a full list is available in Google Scholar (

Gamage AM, Chan W, Zhu F, Lim YT, Long S, Ahn M, Tan CW, Foo RJH, Sia WR, Lim XF, He H, Zhai W, Anderson DE, Sobota RM, Dutertre C-A, Wang L-F.  Single-cell transcriptome analysis of the in vivo response to viral infection in the cave nectar bat Eonycteris spelaea. Immunity 2022 55(11):2187-2205.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2022.10.008.

Tan CW, Chia WN, Zhu F, Yong BE, Chantasrisawad N, Hwa S-H, Yeoh AY-Y, Lim BL, Yag WC, Pada SKMS, Tan SY, Jantarabenjakul W, Toh LK, Shen S, Zhang J, Mah YY, Chen VC-W, Chen MI-C, Wacharapluesadee S, Sigal A, Putcharoen O, Lye DC, Wang L-F.  SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant emerged under immune selection. Nat Microbiol 2022 7(11):1756-1761. doi: 10.1038/s41564-022-01246-1

Zhang X-A, Li H, Jiang F-C, Zhu F, Zhang Y-F, Chen J-J, Tan C-W, Anderson DE, Fan H, Dong L-Y, Li C, Zhang P-H, Li Y, Ding H, Fang L-Q, Wang L-F, Liu W. A zoonotic henipavirus in febrile patients in China. N Engl J Med. 2022. 387:470-472. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2202705

Tan CW, Chia WN, Young BE, Zhu F, Lim BL, Sia WR, Thein TL, Chen MI, Leo YS, Lye DC and Wang L-F (2021) Pan-Sarbecovirus Neutralizing Antibodies in BNT162b2-Immunized SARS-CoV-1 Survivors. N Engl J Med doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2108453. PMID: 34407341.

Ahn M and Wang L-F (2021) Translation from bats to humans beyond infectious diseases. J Exp Med 218(9):e20211223. doi: 10.1084/jem.20211223.

Irving A, Ahn M, Goh G, Anderson AE, Wang L-F (2021) Lessons from the host defences of bats, a unique viral reservoir.  Nature 589 (7842): 363-370.

Wang L-F, Gamage AM, Chan WOY, Hiller M and Teeling EC (2021) Decoding bat immunity: the need for a coordinated research approach. Nat Rev Immunol doi: 10.1038/s41577-021-00523-0.

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

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.

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.

Zhang, G., Cowled, C., Shi, Z., Huang, Z., Bishop-Lilly, K.A., Fang, X., Wynne, J.W., Xiong, Z., Baker, M.L., Zhao, W., Tachedjian, M., Zhu, Y., Zhou, P., Jiang, X., Ng, J., Yang, L., Wu, L., Xiao, J., Feng, Y., Chen, Y., Sun, X., Zhang, Y., Marsh, G.A., Crameri, G., Broder, C.C., Frey, K.G., Wang, L.-F. and Wang, J. (2013) Comparative Analysis of Bat Genomes Provides Insight into the Evolution of Flight and Immunity. Science 339: 456-460.

Li, W., Shi, Z., Yu, M., Ren, W., Smith, C., Epstein, J.H., Wang, H., Crameri, G., Hu, Z., Zhang, H., Zhang, J., McEachern, J., Field, H., Daszak, P., Eaton, B.T., Zhang, S., and Wang, L.-F. (2005) Bats are natural reservoir of SARS-like coronaviruses. Science 310: 676-679.