(HKS) Sri Lankan scientist Malik Peiris, the chair professor of virology at the School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, of the University of Hong Kong, has been elected as one of 21 new foreign associates of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, the university announced.
This was in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Being elected a foreign associate of the NAS is a mark of excellence in science and considered one of the highest honours for a scientist.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars.
In collaboration with colleagues, research done by Prof. Peiris has provided understanding on the emergence and pathogenesis of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus, and on flu viruses H5N1, H9N2 and H7N9, offering options for the control of these viruses in poultry and humans.
In 2003, he played a key role in the discovery that a novel coronavirus was the cause of SARS, its diagnosis and pathogenesis.
Peiris, 67, is co-director of the World Health Organization H5 Reference Laboratory at HKU. He was awarded the Silver Bauhinia Star in 2008 and the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur from France in 2007.
Peiris is an investigator in the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance program, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, US National Institutes of Health.