Malik PEIRIS, Co-Director

MBBS, FRCPath, D Phil (Oxon), FHKAM (Path), FRCP, FRS

Co-Director of HKU-Pasteur Research Pole
Tam Wah-Ching Professorship in Medical Science

Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences

Contact Information
Tel: +852 3917 7537     Email:
Address: L6-42, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong

Profile / Publications


Professor Malik PEIRIS is a clinical and public health virologist with a particular interest in emerging virus disease at the animal-human interface including influenza, coronaviruses 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. 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 collaborative research 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.

He coordinates an 8 year multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional Area of Excellence Program of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong on the “Control of Pandemic and Inter-pandemic Influenza”. He is also an investigator in the Centres of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) program of NIAID, National Institutes of Health, USA. He has collaborative research activities with researchers in Europe through EU Framework research grants such as “EMPERIE” (FP7) on emerging infectious diseases and “FLUPIG” on influenza viruses in swine.

He is currently Director of the Centre of Influenza Research at HKU, which fosters multi-disciplinary research with the integration of basic, clinical and epidemiological research, spanning the animal human interface. He co-directs the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory at HKU and serves on many standing committees and ad-hoc advisory committees of the WHO and FAO.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2006, awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, France (2007), Mahathir Science Award, Akademi Sains, Malaysia (2007) and Silver Bauhinia Star (S.B.S.), Hong Kong SAR (2008). He serves on the editorial boards of Lancet Infectious Diseases and PLoS Medicine. In March 2017, Malik Peiris was promoted as Officer in the Order of Legion d'Honneur. In May 2017, he has been elected as a foreign associate of The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the United States, in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.



  1. Hu Y, Lu S, Song Z, Wang W, Hao P, Li J, Zhang X, Yen HL, Shi B, Li T, Guan W, Xu L, Liu Y, Wang S, Zhang X, Tian D, Zhu Z, He J, Huang K, Chen H, Zheng L, Li X, Ping J, Kang B, Xi X, Zha L, Li Y, Zhang Z, Peiris M*, Yuan Z*. Association between adverse clinical outcome in human disease caused by novel influenza A H7N9 virus and sustained viral shedding and emergence of antiviral resistance. Lancet. 2013; 381: 2273-9 (Impact factor 39.1; citations – recently published)
  2. Vijaykrishna D, Smith GDJ, Pybus OG, Zhu H, Bhatt S, Poon LLM, Riley S, Bahl J, Ma SK, Cheung CL, Perera RAPM, Chen H, Shortridge KF, Webby RJ, Webster RG, Guan Y*, Peiris JSM*. Long-term evolution and transmission dynamics of swine influenza A virus. Nature 2011; 473: 519-22 (Impact factor 38.9; citations 34)
  3. Riley S, Kwok KO, Wu KM, Ning DY, Cowling BJ, Wu JT, Ho LM, Tsang T, Lo SV, Chu DK, Ma ES, Peiris JSM. Epidemiological characteristics of 2009 (H1N1) pandemic influenza based on paired sera from a longitudinal community cohort study. PLoS Med. 2011;8:e1000442. (Impact factor 15.3; citations 24)
  4. Vijaykrishna D, Poon LLM, Zhu HC, Ma SK, Li OTW, Cheung CL, Smith GLD, Peiris JSM*, Guan Y*. Transmission and reassortment of pandemic H1N1/2009 influenza A virus in swine. Science 2010; 328: 1529 (Impact factor 31.0; citations 118)
  5. Cowling BJ, Chan KH, Fang VJ, Lau LLH, So THC, Fung ROP Ma ESK, Kwong ASK Chan CW, Tsui WWS, Ngai HY, Chu DWS, Lee PWY, Chiu MC, Leung GM, Peiris JSM. Epidemiology of pandemic and seasonal influenza A in 2009 within households. New Engl J Med 2010; 363: 2175-84. (Impact factor 51.7; citations 132)
  6. Mok KP, Wong CH, Cheung CY, Chan MC, Lee SM, Nicholls JM, Guan Y, Peiris JSM*. Viral genetic determinants of H5N1 influenza viruses that contribute to cytokine dysregulation. J Infect Dis. 2009 Oct 1;200(7):1104-12 (Impact factor 5.8; citations 18)
  7. Nicholls JM, Chan MC, Chan WY, Wong HK, Cheung CY, Kwong DL, Wong MP, Chui WH, Poon LL, Tsao SW, Guan Y, Peiris JSM*. Tropism of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the upper and lower respiratory tract. Nat Med. 2007; 13: 147-9 (Impact factor 22.9; citations 158)
  8. Peiris JSM*, Lai ST, Poon LL, Guan Y, Yam LY, Lim W, Nicholls J, Yee WK, Yan WW, Cheung MT, Cheng VC, Chan KH, Tsang DN, Yung RW, Ng TK, Yuen KY. Coronavirus as a possible cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Lancet. 2003 361:1319-25 (Impact factor 39.1; citations 1210)
  9. Peiris JSM, Chu CM, Cheng VCC, Chan KS, Hung IFN, Poon LLM, Law KI, Tang BSF, Hon TYW, Chan CS, Chan KH, Ng JSC, Zheng BJ, Ng WL, Lai RWM, Guan Y, Yuen KY. Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study. Lancet.2003; 361: 1767-72. (Impact factor 39.1; citations 708)
  10. Cheung CY, Poon LL, Lau AS, Luk W, Lau YL, Shortridge KF, Gordon S, Guan Y, Peiris JSM*. Induction of proinflammatory cytokines in human macrophages by influenza A (H5N1) viruses: a mechanism for the unusual severity of human disease? Lancet. 2002; 360: 1831-7 (Impact factor 39.1; citations 430)