Wang Linfa



Contact: 65168397

Prof Wang is a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School, 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 patents sample. His team is currently focusing on research into the origin of SARS-CoV-2 and developing assays which can better assess vaccine efficacy in the context of a potential immunity passport strategy and the challenges faced by the emergence of different virus variants. 

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. 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 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

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

Director and Professor, 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   Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

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 


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)

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.

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.

Zhou P, Fan H, Lan T, Yang XL, Shi WF, Zhang W, Zhu Y, Zhang YW, Xie QM, Mani S, Zheng XS, Li B, Li JM, Guo H, Pei GQ, An XP, Chen JW, Zhou L, Mai KJ, Wu ZX, Li D, Anderson DE, Zhang LB, Li SY, Mi ZQ, He TT, Cong F, Guo PJ, Huang R, Luo Y, Liu XL, Chen J, Huang Y, Sun Q, Zhang XL, Wang YY, Xing SZ, Chen YS, Sun Y, Li J, Daszak P, Wang L-F, Shi ZL, Tong YG, Ma JY (2018). Fatal swine acute diarrhoea syndrome caused by an HKU2-related coronavirus of bat origin. Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0010-9.

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.

Chua, K.B., Crameri, C., Hyatt, A., Yu, M., Tompang, M.R., Rosli, J., McEachern, J., Crameri, S., Kumarasamy, V., Eaton, B.T. and Wang, L.-F. (2007) A previously unknown reovirus of bat origin is associated with an acute respiratory disease in humans.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104: 11424-11429.  

Eaton, B.T., Broder, C.C., Middleton, D. and Wang, L.-F. (2006). Hendra and Nipah viruses: different and dangerous. Nature Reviews Microbiol. 4: 23-35.

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.