Ho-Wang Lee

Hantaan Life Science Foundation

Election Year: 2002
Primary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Secondary Section: 43, Immunology and Inflammation
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Research Interests

As a virologist I have studied Japanese encephalitis (JE) and Korean hemorrhagic fever (KHF), now called hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). The first of these is the success of tissue culture of JE virus, immune mechanism of JE and overwintering mechanisms of JE virus in Korea from 1955 to 1968. The second of these is the isolation of etiologic agents, epidemiology, and prevention of HFRS from 1969 to 2001. I isolated etiologic agents of KHF from Apodemus mice and urban rats and named the virus Hantaan and Seoul in 1976 and 1980, respectively. I elucidated epizootiology and epidemiology of HFRS in 1979 through 1985. Hantaan virus is the origin of genus Hantavirus. We also proved worldwide distribution of hantaviruses in 1977 through 2000. In 1990 my colleagues and I developed a simple rapid diagnostic kit and an inactivated vaccine against HFRS, which after its introduction to Asia significantly reduced the number of HFRS patients there. More recently I have been trying to produce a commercial combination vaccine that will prevent both Hantaan and Puumala virus infections in Eurasia. I have already developed an effective inactivated Hantaan-Puumala combination vaccine.

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