​Professor Wang Linfa from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School, is among 65 experts elected to the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), this year. The elected Academy Fellows are eminent leaders in the field of microbiology and are relied upon for authoritative advice and insights on critical issues in microbiology.

The newly elected Fellows were chosen following a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

“I am delighted and deeply humbled by this honour. I look forward to be a part of ASM’s mission to promote and advance microbial sciences,” said Prof Wang.

Prof Wang is an expert in the fields of zoonotic diseases, bat immunology and pathogen discovery. His work has been recognised with various international awards, including the 2014 Eureka Prize for Research in Infectious Diseases, and resulted in more than 400 scientific papers including many top scientific publications in Science, Nature, and Lancet.

He has played a pivotal role in deepening our understanding of the likely origins of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. During the early days of the pandemic, his team was among the first in the world to culture the SARS-CoV-2 virus from patient samples and developed serological antibody tests to identify an important missing link between three major COVID-19 clusters in Singapore. His team also invented cPass, the world’s first SARS-CoV-2 serological test to rapidly detect neutralising antibodies that does not require containment facilities or live biological materials. At the present time, cPass is the only neutralising antibody test for SARS-CoV-2 that has been granted Emergency Use Authorisation by the US FDA.

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. He is also a member of multiple World Health Organization committees on COVID-19.

Professor Thomas Coffman, Dean of Duke-NUS, said, “We are extremely proud of Linfa for being elected to this prestigious Academy. This is a testament to his passion, leadership and tremendous contributions to the field of infectious diseases. I look forward to his continued success and seeing more of our young scientists follow in his footsteps.”

There are more than 2,500 Fellows in the Academy representing all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service.

The Class of 2021 is a diverse class, with Fellows hailing 11 different countries, including Australia, Canada, Singapore, China, France, Ireland, Sweden, Slovenia, and Mexico, the UK and the US.