I was born in Hong Kong in 1963 and moved to the Netherlands in 1975. After qualifying as a veterinary surgeon at Utrecht University in 1988, I studied leptospirosis in free-living rodents and cattle at the Central Veterinary Institute in Lelystad, The Netherlands, for two years. Subsequently, I helped set up a marine mammal strandings program for England and Wales, and investigated diseases and anthropogenic pollutants in these species at the Zoological Society of London from 1990 to 1993. Subsequently, I studied Newcastle disease virus in cormorants at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, defending my Ph.D. thesis in 1998. I specialized in veterinary pathology and received my qualification as Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists in 2002.

In 1999, I joined the Department of Virology at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and became Professor of Comparative Pathology in 2006. Achievements of my group include demonstration of the attachment pattern of influenza viruses to the human respiratory tract, identification of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) as a cause of fatal disease in domestic cats, identification of SARS coronavirus as the primary cause of SARS, and characterization of distemper outbreaks in harbour and Caspian seals. I am author or co-author on about 100 publications in a wide range of scientific journals. Currently, my focus is the pathogenesis of respiratory virus infection and the characterization of emerging viral diseases at the wildlife-human interface.

Research Classification

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