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Prof. Guan is the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases, The University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the ecology, evolution and pathogenesis of influenza and other emerging respiratory viruses. Over the past decade, his research team has made distinguished contributions to research in virology and to the control of emerging infectious diseases in China and the world. His contribution to the field is reflected in his publication record of over 260 peer-reviewed articles with >21,000 citations and an h-index of 74.
Prof. Guan’s research on influenza has 1) identified all the major precursors and transmission pathways of the H5N1 influenza viruses that currently circulate in Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa and provided most of the WHO recommended pre-pandemic H5N1 vaccines strains; 2) initiated the systematic study of H9N2 viruses, which, along with H5 viruses, are now regarded as the most likely novel influenza subtypes to cause a pandemic; 3) idefined the critical role of domestic ducks in harboring and spreading influenza viruses; 4) made major contributions in recognizing the emergence, evolutionary history and development of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus; and 5) revealed the genesis, infection source, evolutionary pathway and possible transmission route of the recently emerged H7N9 influenza virus.
His work on SARS led to the successful identification of the SARS-Coronavirus and its infectious source from live animal markets and helped the Chinese Government successfully avert the second SARS outbreak in early 2004.