Qiuhong Wang, PhD
Food Animal Health Research Program
Ohio State University
Dr. Qiuhong Wang is a Research Scientist at the Ohio State University, working on caliciviruses. She obtained her Bachelor of Medicine (M.D. equivalent) majoring in Preventive Medicine at Beijing Medical University, China, in 1994. After that, she began her career as a scientist in the virology field. As a new research staff member in the Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine (now the Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention), Beijing, China, she worked on the development of a sensitive assay for the detection of hepatitis A virus from shellfish. She completed her Master’s majoring in Molecular Virology at the University of Tokyo. She performed the first comprehensive genetic analysis of human and animal astroviruses. This work provided detailed sequence analysis of the complete structural protein of astroviruses, critical for comparative virology and diagnostic assays. She received her Ph.D. at the Ohio State University and completed two years of post-doctoral training at the Medical College of Wisconsin, working on the immune evasion mechanisms of herpesvirus 7.
During her Ph.D. study in Dr. Linda Saif’s lab at The Ohio State University, she discovered new noroviruses and sapoviruses from domestic pigs and demonstrated that porcine noroviruses and sapoviruses are closely related to human noroviruses and sapoviruses, respectively. Furthermore, she developed sensitive methods for the detection of these newly identified porcine caliciviruses and performed the first prevalence study of these viruses showing that some porcine norovirus and sapovirus strains were widely distributed in pig populations. These results are very important to public health because they suggest that emerging human caliciviruses associated with new epidemic strains of unknown origin may evolve from animal sources and that scientists need to survey animal reservoirs to predict or prevent human calicivirus infections. Based on this data, their group was first to propose that human norovirus infections might be zoonotic. Subsequently, more evidence to support this hypothesis has been reported worldwide.
After her post-doctoral training, Dr. Wang returned to The Ohio State University to assume her current position as a Research Scientist. She plans to continue her research on RNA viruses such as caliciviruses that infect both animals and humans. Because RNA viruses evolve quickly and change disease patterns and host tropisms, they are the leading cause of emerging disease in humans. Her research interests include the development of diagnostic methods for viral infections, viral diseases transmitted from animals to humans (zoonosis), and viruses transmitted through food. Her current research focus is on enteric caliciviruses. The studies involve the diagnosis and discovery of new calicivirus strains and the adaptation of fastidious enteric calicivirus strains (human noroviruses) to cell culture and to animal disease models (germfree pigs and calves). Her team also investigates if enteric caliciviruses are transmitted between animals and humans and if they are transmitted through food (vegetables, fruits, pork, etc).