Chinese-Australian medical scientist named Distinguished Professor


Dr.Wang Linfa (Left 2) is conferred the title Distinguished Professor.

ECNU has conferred the title Distinguished Professor to Dr. Wang Linfa, a Chinese-born Australian scientist, in recognition of his unusual scholarly achievement of infectious diseases research.

Wang, based at the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, received an official certificate from ECNU president Chen Qun at a ceremony at the Zhongshan North campus on October 14, under the witness of the university's vice president Mei Bing among other officials.

Having completed a bachelor's degree in biology at ECNU in 1982, Wang went on to pursue PhD degree at the University of California, Davis USA, in October that year. After receiving the doctoral degree four years later, he began postdoctoral research. Wang began to work at the biochemistry department of Monash University, Australia, in May 1989, before joining the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in 1990, where he played a leading role in identifying bats as the natural host of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. In 1995, he was elected CSIRO Outstanding Youth Scientist and nominated for Australian Outstanding Chinese in Sciences and Engineering award one year later. Also in 1996, Wang became the youngest chief researcher and project leader at AAHL. He had been Senior Principal Research Scientist and an CEO Science Leader at CSIRO. In 2010, he was elected to be a CSIRO academician and currently holds the post of the Director of the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. 

Chen Qun and Mei Bing meet with Dr. Wang Linfa.

Wang is an internationally recognized expert in new and emerging infectious diseases. He is also one of the world’s top researchers in Hendra, Nipah and SARS viruses. Over the past 10 years, Wang has more than 10 articles carried by top scientific publications including, Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and published 100-strong SCI papers. In 2003 the World Health Organization (WHO) approached Wang to assist in the global investigation of the SARS virus outbreak of that year. 

His research in origins of SARS, Hendra and Nipah viruses and the link between them and humans and animals, as well as bat immunobiology, has been leading the direction of the field worldwide.

Although having been living outside China for more than 30 years, Wang has been keeping close contact with his motherland. During the National Day celebration for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1999, Wang was invited to Beijing on a sightseeing tour group consisting of 100 doctorate degree holders. In 2000, Wang was hired as a director of Shanghai Chinese Overseas Friendship Association, and found his name in the annual book “Overseas Shanghainese” compiled by the city in 2001, which concluded 10 overseas Chinese who made remarkable contributions to China. Wang has frequented his Alma Mater over the past years and helped to train more than 10 postgraduate students. He has played an active role in enhancing cooperation and exchange between ECNU and AAHL, and in pushing forward scientific cooperation between China and Australia.


East China Normal University