Chair of Virology, Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences
Professor Malik Peiris had his undergraduate education at the Faculty of Medicine, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, his DPhil in virology from the University of Oxford, and is now Professor of virology at the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong. He is a clinical and public health virologist with a particular interest in emerging virus disease at the animal-human interface using a “One Health” approach, including influenza, coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2) and others. He contributed to understanding the emergence and control of avian influenza A H5N1 and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. In 2003, he identified the novel coronavirus that caused SARS, and contributed to its diagnosis and its control. He is researching the MERS coronavirus, and more recently, the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2.
In recognition of his research contributions, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2006 and Foreign Associate of National Academy of Sciences in 2017. He was awarded the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award in 2021, Mahathir Science Award, Akademi Sains, Malaysia (2007) and Silver Bauhinia Star (S.B.S.), Hong Kong SAR (2008).