Prof. Joseph Malik Peiris

Professor Joseph Sriyal Malik Peiris received his Medical Degree from the University of Ceylon in 1972. He is a distinguished old boy of St. Anthony’s College Kandy.  He currently holds the Tam Wah-Ching Professorship, Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences, University of Hong Kong, where he continues to lead groundbreaking research with a particular interest in newly emerging virus diseases at the animal-human interface. Prof. Peiris completed his post graduate study at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, UK, leading to the award of the DPhil degree. After further working in the UK and Sri Lanka, he founded the clinical diagnostic and public health virology laboratory at Queen Mary Hospital, which is part of the University of Hong Kong, in 1995. Research training in Oxford was followed by two years of training in clinical pathology as a Registrar in Virology with Professor Richard Madeley at the Department of Clinical Virology, Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, culminating in the award of the Membership of the Royal College of Pathologists. He is the first Sri Lankan to be elected to the Royal Society of London, the highest scientific honor in the Commonwealth. In 2003, Hong Kong suffered virus outbreak, this time from an unknown respiratory disease, termed SARS.  Malik became known worldwide when his laboratory was the first to isolate the virus, a novel coronavirus (CoV), now known as SARS-CoV. He has been the scientific director of the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong. In May 2017, Prof. Peiris was elected as a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. Prof. Peiris is a prolific writer of scientific publications with over 230 scientific publications in refereed journals including Nature, Science, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine to name a few. He was the first and corresponding author of two of the 211 scientific papers selected by Lancet & Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the USA for its compilation of ‘Vantage Papers from the Lancet” from its inception in 1823.