Aug 2014 – Present, 5 years 8 months Research Fellow, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore. I am responsible for exploring the special relationship between bat and viruses, especially bat interferon system. I had research background of virology, immunology and bioinformatics. Having studies bat viruses and bat immune system for about ten years, I am currently trying to find the role of bat type I interferon during bat viral infection.
Jul 2011 – Jul 2014, 3 years 1 month. CSIRO, Geelong, Australia. Postdoc: Study bat immunology and bat bioinformatics, I also received BSL4 training and thus did a few BSL4 viruses infection in PC4 suite room.
PhD: Chinese Academy of Sciences. Sep 2004 – Jul 2011, 6 years 11 months. Bat virus and bat immunology.
(And this is the Google Translation of what Wuhan Institute of Virology stated in their WWW site as Dr Zhou Peng's biopic:)
Zhou Peng, Ph.D., researcher, team leader of bat virus infection and immunity. He successively obtained bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Henan University (2004) and Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2010).
After his doctorate, he was sent to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory for study. He then carried out research work at Duke-Nus Medical College in Australia and Singapore. He has long been engaged in the research of new virus epidemiology and bat antiviral immunity, revealing that bats carry SARS, MERS, and Ebola for a long time but do not have their own immune mechanisms.
Currently he is hosting and undertaking 3 projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences Special project and a major national science and technology project - a major project for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
So far he has published 28 SCI papers, including Nature, Cell Host Microbe, PNAS and other articles SCI papers, including Nature, Cell Host Microbe, PNAS and other articles published by the first or corresponding author. It is at the forefront of the world in the field of bat and virus research.
(And this is what Tyler Durden of Conservative Site ZeroHedge stated as the summarized conclusion on his educated suspicion of Dr Zhou Peng as "The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic":)
- One of China's top virology and immunology experts was and still works at China's top-rated biohazard lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which some have affectionately called the real Umbrella Corp.
- Since 2009, Peng has been the leading Chinese scientist researching the immune mechanism of bats carrying and transmitting lethal viruses in the world.
- His primary field of study is researching how and why bats can be infected with some of the most nightmarish viruses in the world including Ebola, SARS and Coronavirus, and not get sick.
- He was genetically engineering various immune pathways (such as the STING pathway in bats) to make the bats more or less susceptible to infection, in the process potentially creating a highly resistant mutant superbug.
- As part of his studies, Peng also researched mutant Coronavirus strains that overcame the natural immunity of some bats; these are "superbug" Coronavirus strains, which are not resistant to any natural immune pathway, and now appear to be out in the wild.
- As of mid-November, his lab was actively hiring inexperienced post-docs to help conduct his research into super-Coronaviruses and bat infections.
- Peng's work on virology and bat immunology has received support from the National "You Qing" Fund, the pilot project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the major project of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
- Something tells us, if anyone wants to find out what really caused the coronavirus pandemic that has infected thousands of people in China and around the globe, they should probably pay Dr. Peng a visit. Or at least start with an email: Dr Peng can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his phone# is 87197311.
(And the followings are two related articles of deadly original bat diseases in Australia where our Dr Zhou Peng initially obtained and practiced his BSL-4 bat virus gene sequencing skills and eventually the notorious GOF - the Gain of Function - evil science experiments:)
Queensland Bat Diseases 'Virtually A Death Sentence'
Two bat-borne diseases, unique to Queensland, are among the deadliest viruses in the Western world, although the rare illnesses continue to mystify medical professionals. Only three people are known to have miraculously beaten the bat-borne Hendra virus, which this week claimed its fourth Queensland victim, Rockhampton vet Alister Rodgers.
So far more than half of all people who have contracted Hendra virus died within six weeks, however there have been no survivors of a second Queensland bat-borne disease. "If there is a condition that has a higher mortality rate than Hendra it is Australian bat lyssavirus," University of Queensland infectious diseases physician Dr Joe McCormack said.
Since it was first discovered in a flying fox showing signs near Ballina, NSW, in 1994, lyssavirus - a close relative of rabies virus - has killed the only two Queenslanders to have ever contracted it. Unlike the world's more prevalent killers including HIV/AIDS and Hepatisis B and C, which can be effectively mitigated by medication, diagnosis of the bat-borne diseases is invariably followed by a hasty but painful death.
"They are virtually a death sentence," Dr McCormack said. In November 1996 a Queensland woman who had recently become a bat handler, became ill. She initially suffered numbness and weakness in her arm, which progressed to coma and death. Two years later a Mackay woman was diagnosed with the disease, after she was bitten by a bat, and later died.
Their rapid deterioration was identical to that of rabies victims overseas, Dr McCormack said. The victims suffered influenza-like symptoms before slipping into a coma from which they regained consciousness. If there is a condition that has a higher mortality rate than Hendra it is Australian bat lyssavirus.
In 2007, infectious diseases claimed the lives of 1858 people according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), although 60 per cent of people died from septicaemia (blood poisoning). In Australia, 84 deaths were related to HIV/AIDS in the same year, according to the ABS, while 107 people died from Hepatitis A, B and C.
"There are only six known survivors of rabies that have been documented," he said. "Rabies in many parts of the world is derived from bats." Hendra virus is believed to spread from bats to horses and then to humans, while the two victims of Australian bat lyssavirus came in direct contact with flying foxes.
There have also been 12 clusters of Hendra virus infection recorded in horses since the virus was first identified, although research has shown that horses, cats and guinea pigs can excrete virus in their urine.
Research at the United States' Center for Disease Control and Prevention has shown the vaccine for classical rabies can protect against lyssavirus. Queensland farmers fearful the bat-borne disease will reach their properties have demanded that the State Government lift its 12-month-old ban on shooting flying foxes, now a protected species.
However the environmental cry has outweighed calls for a cull, with Wildlife Queensland arguing significant flora, especially rainforest species, rely on flying foxes for pollination. Wildlife Queensland spokesman Des Boyland said a cull was unjustified in light of the rare occurance of Hendra in horses and humans.
"Flying foxes are a natural host of Hendra virus but spillover of the virus to horses still seems to be a rare event," Mr Boylan said. The manifestation of the virus in flying foxes had been attributed to stress brought about by over-clearing of their natural habitat, he said.
Scientists have yet to determine how horses get the virus. Existing theories have suggested horses become infected by eating food contaminated by bat urine or birthing material. Horses that contract the virus soon die after developing an acute respiratory or neurological syndrome. According to conservative predictions, a human vaccine against Hendra virus could cost $1 billion to develop and may not eventuate for up to 15 years.
A reference to research undertaken by CSIRO’s “bat pack” team highlights the role CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) in Geelong, Victoria, would play in a real-world version of Hollywood’s latest disaster flick – Contagion.
Starring Matt Damon and released in Australian cinemas today, the movie paints a horrifying scenario of a deadly virus spreading around the globe in a matter of days. The fictitious virus is based on the very real Nipah virus, a relative of Hendra virus.
In a real-life pandemic scenario AAHL would provide expertise and support to state, federal and international health agencies and governments. As the name suggests, the “bat pack” undertakes research to better understand bat immunology and how bats co-exist with the viruses they carry to identify strategies to control viruses, such as Hendra virus, from spreading to other animals and people.
According to CSIRO’s Gary Crameri one of the key areas the team is looking at is establishing and characterising bat cell lines to assist in developing faster, more sensitive surveillance tools to help identify new and emerging bat-borne viruses.
“Although our research has the potential to radically change the risk management of emerging infectious diseases within Australia and worldwide, we never imagined it would appear in a Hollywood blockbuster,” Mr Crameri said. For he and his colleagues, working at the highest level of biosecurity in AAHL – the world’s most advanced biocontainment facility – is part of a normal working day.
“Working with dangerous and incurable diseases requires working at Biosafety Level 4, or BSL4, where we protect ourselves by wearing space-suit-like protection with our own oxygen supply. AAHL provides a unique resource for Australia and our capacity to work with deadly BSL4 disease agents is arguably the best in the world,” Mr Crameri said.
In a real-life pandemic scenario AAHL would provide expertise and support to state, federal and international health agencies and governments. “In recent years AAHL has been at the forefront of the discovery and control of such diseases, including SARS, bird flu and Hendra virus. These events have heightened public awareness of the multidimensional links between wild animals, livestock production, the environment and global public health.”
AAHL not only has world leading experts in such areas as virology, veterinary pathology and microscopy, it is also home to the world’s most sophisticated microbiologically secure research facility of its kind – the large animal facility.
“This facility provides us with the ability and the flexibility to work with any animal species and pathogens at the highest level of biosecurity, which is essential when attempting to learn more about how to manage or control BSL4 viruses,” Professor Jeggo said. “As a national facility our research is focused on preparing Australia to respond to an animal disease outbreak, helping ensure a scenario such as Contagion does not happen in real life.”
To understand the virus killing millions of people in Contagion, scientists needed to be able to grow the virus in a laboratory setting. A virus requires a living cell to reproduce, however the virus was so lethal it killed every cell the scientists attempted to put it into.
The decisive breakthrough comes when Dr Ian Sussman is able to grow the virus in bat cells provided by CSIRO’s ‘bat pack’ – a team of researchers located at AAHL in Geelong, Victoria. This real world research into bat diseases provided the first step towards developing a vaccine for the virus that was killing millions of people world-wide.