Joseph Malik Sriyal Peiris
(born 10 November 1949), FRS
, Légion d'Honneur
was born in Sri Lanka , a distinguished old boy of St. Anthony's College, Kandy and later studied medicine at the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. This was followed by the award of a PhD at the William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford
, where he made significant discoveries on the mechanism of dengue
virus pathogenesis. After further work in the U.K. and Sri Lanka, he founded a virology laboratory at Queen Mary Hospital, (which is part of the University of Hong Kong
), in 1995.
After the first outbreak of avian influenza virus
H5N1 in humans in Hong Kong in 1997, Professor Peiris's attention was turned to the virus, which claimed the lives of one third of its victims. Research in his laboratory showed that the virus induces high levels of chemicals called cytokines
when it infects a type of white blood cell. This was later shown to correlate with high levels of cytokines in infected humans. This so-called "cytokine storm
" is now recognised as a major mechanism of avian influenza virus pathogenesis.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
In 2003, Hong Kong suffered another virus outbreak, this time from an unknown respiratory disease, termed SARS
.<ref... Read More