Professor Malik Peiris elected to US National Academy of Sciences

23 May 2017

Professor Peiris, Joseph Sriyal Malik (2005 Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship) from the University of Hong Kong has been elected one of the 21 new foreign associates of National Academy of Sciences of the United States, in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Being elected a foreign associate of the academy is a mark of excellence in science and considered one of the highest honours for a scientist.

Professor Malik Peiris is a clinical and public health virologist with a particular interest in emerging virus disease at the animal-human interface including SARS, MERS and others. His current research encompasses the pathogenesis, innate immune responses, transmission, ecology and epidemiology of human and animal (poultry, swine, wild birds) influenza viruses. In collaboration with colleagues, his research has provided understanding on the emergence and pathogenesis of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus and on avian influenza viruses H5N1, H9N2 and H7N9. His work has provided evidence-based options for the control of these viruses in poultry and in humans. In 2003, he played a key role in the discovery that a novel coronavirus was the cause of SARS, its diagnosis and pathogenesis. Currently he is researching the recently emerged MERS coronavirus.

Professor Peiris is also the co-director of World Health Organization H5 Reference Laboratory at the University of Hong Kong, and an investigator in the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance program of National Institutes of Health, USA. He has an extensive collaborative research network globally. He serves on various standing committees and ad-hoc advisory committees of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2006, awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, France, as well as Mahathir Science Award, Akademi Sains, Malaysia in 2007, Silver Bauhinia Star (S.B.S.) of Hong Kong SAR Government in 2008 and Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, France in 2017.

“It is truly my honour to be elected a foreign associate of the academy. It is recognition of work done with many others at Hong Kong University over the years and it is really an honour for our whole research group,” said Professor Peiris.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1863. It provides independent, objective advice on matters related to science and technology. Including the newly elected members, the total number of active members and foreign associates of NAS are now 2,290 and 475, respectively. Approximately 200 members from the academy have received Nobel prizes.


To view Prof Peiris’ Croucher profile, please click here