Dr Linfa Wang, Senior Principal Research Scientist and Project Leader
Dr Linfa Wang: identifying and characterising new animal viruses
Dr Linfa Wang is an Office of the Chief Executive Science Leader at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
28 July 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011
Dr Wang leads the Virology Group at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL), which has the world's largest collection of emerging bat viruses.
Some of these viruses – such as Hendra, Nipah, Melaka, Menangle, and SARS-like coronavirus – cause severe diseases or death in humans and livestock animals.
Dr Wang's team is investigating the interaction of bats and viruses using a range of technologies including:
Dr Wang completed his Bachelor degree in 1982 at the East China Normal University, Shanghai, China.
He then went on to complete doctoral and postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Davis, USA.
Dr Wang moved to Australia in 1989 and spent time tutoring biochemistry at Monash University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
He also spent a short time as a Senior Research Officer at the Monash Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine, before joining CSIRO in 1990.
Dr Wang has been awarded a:
- Bachelor of Science with Honours from the East China Normal University, Shanghai, China
- Doctor of Philosophy from the University of California, Davis, California, USA.
In 2010 Dr Wang was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in recognition of his expertise in new and emerging diseases.
Dr Wang played a leading role in identifying bats as the natural host of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. In 2006, his research team at AAHL received a CSIRO Award for Excellence in Partnership for establishing a rapid-response global research partnership that was instrumental in identifying the animal reservoir of SARS.
Dr Wang led an Australia-Malaysia collaboration that discovered a novel bat orthoreovirus, the Melaka virus, which can cause an acute respiratory disease in humans.
Dr Wang also led Australian research efforts to characterise a new virus named Beilong. This discovery was the result of another global research partnership – the paramyxovirus is named after the two cities that collaborated, Beijing and Geelong.
From 2003 to 2010, Dr Wang led several research projects that were integral to the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease.
Dr Wang holds a number of honorary positions and memberships, including:
Dr Wang has published more than 200 scientific publications, many in highly recognised journals including Science, Nature Reviews in Microbiology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
- Adjunct Professor, East China Normal University, 1989–present
- Biotechnology Advisory Board, Deakin University, 2003–present
World Health Organisation SARS Scientific Research Advisory Committee, 2003
Honorary Professor, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Science, 2005–present
NH&MRC Grant Review Panel, 2006–07
Honorary Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, 2009–present.
Dr Wang currently serves on seven editorial boards for publications in the areas of:
Dr Wang has more than 200 scientific publications to his name along with four patents and numerous conference papers.
Find out more about Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL).