Yuen Kwok-yung, Malik Peiris win scientific award

Two of Hong Kong’s top infectious diseases experts, Professors Yuen Kwok-yung and Malik Peiris, have been awarded the Life Science Prize – in recognition of their work contributing to the understanding of emerging diseases such as Sars and Covid-19.

A statement from the Future Science Prize said the pair have made “seminal contributions to our understanding of emerging infectious diseases from Sars in 2003 to Covid-19, which led to more effective responses and strategies in controlling these diseases.”

It noted that during the Sars outbreak, Yuen, Peiris and their team treated the first patients in Hong Kong, and their work was critical to the design of diagnostic tests.

Yuen’s continued research into Sars-like viruses in wild bats was also highlighted by the prize.

It said this work had greatly increased understanding of zoonotic viruses and cross-species transmission, and predicted the re-emergence of a Sars-like epidemic and the importance of public health preparedness.

The award ceremony will be held in Beijing on November 21.