Scott W. Wong, Ph.D.

Understanding how viruses cause disease is important to the development of effective antiviral therapies and potential vaccines.

The long-term goal of the Wong laboratory is to understand how viruses cause disease. This is important in developing effective antiviral therapies and potential vaccines. The Wong lab is currently investigating two types of viruses: orthopoxviruses, which induce disease similar to smallpox; and herpesviruses, which can induce severe disease in individuals. Some of these viruses are very specific for their natural hosts, a factor that complicates the ability to study the mechanisms of the human viruses in an animal model. An alternative approach is to utilize animal models that harbor viruses that are closely related to the human virus. One animal model that has proven to be invaluable in understanding the mechanisms of infectious disease and for vaccine development is the nonhuman primate.

By employing molecular, genetic and virological techniques, members of Dr. Wong’s laboratory examine how these nonhuman primate viruses infect and replicate in cell culture and eventually how they cause illnesses in vivo. They have shown that experimental inoculation of normal monkeys with orthopoxviruses causes disease that is virtually identical to smallpox and have identified novel viral proteins utilizing proteomic analysis that may facilitate disease. Additionally, experimental infection of immunocompromised monkeys with simian herpesviruses results in disease manifestations that closely resemble those observed in humans infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Utilizing these techniques they are identifying the viral determinants that contribute to disease and are devising novel recombinant molecules to help prevent viral pathogenesis. 


Dr. Wong received his PhD from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1987 and performed post-doctoral research at Stanford Medical School and Harvard University Medical School. He came to the center in 1991 as an Assistant Scientist in the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology, where he is now a Senior Scientist. In addition to his appointment at the ONPRC, he is an Associate Scientist in the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and an Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

Key Publications

  1. Searles R, Bergquam EP, Swanson RM, Axthelm MK, Wong SW. Sequence and genomic analysis of a rhesus macaque rhadinovirus with similarity to Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8. J. Virol. 73:3050-3053, 1999.
  2. Kaleeba JA, Bergquam EP, Wong SW. Rhesus macaque rhadinovirus encodes a functional interleukin-6 homologue. J. Virol. 73:6177-6181, 1999.
  3. Bergquam EP, Avery N, Shiigi SM, Axthelm MK, Wong SW. Rhesus rhadinovirus establishes a latent infection in B lymphocytes in vivo. J. Virol. 73:7874-7876, 1999.
  4. Wong SW, Bergquam EP, Swanson RM, Lee FL, Shiigi SM, Avery NA, Fanton JW, Axthelm MK. Induction of B cell hyperplasia in simian immunodeficiency virus-infected rhesus macaques with the simian homologue of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. J. Exp. Med. 190:827-840, 1999.
  5. Pari GS, AuCoin D, Colletti K, Kirchoff V, Wong SW. Identification of the rhesus macaque rhadinovirus (RRV) lytic origin of DNA replication. J. Virol. 75:11401-11407, 2001.
  6. Estep RD, Axthelm MK, Wong SW. A G-protein coupled receptor encoded by rhesus rhadinovirus is similar to ORF74 of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. J. Virol. 77: 1738-1746, 2003.
  7. Hansen SG, Strelow LI, Franchi DC, Anders DG, Wong SW. Complete sequence and genomic analysis of rhesus cytomegalovirus. J. Virol. 77:6620-6636, 2003.
  8. Pratt CL, Estep RD, Wong SW. Differential splicing of rhesus rhadinovirus R15 and ORF74 bi-cistronic transcripts during lytic infection and analysis of effects on production of vCD200 and vGPCR. J. Virol. 79:3878-3882, 2005.
  9. Hammarlund E, Lewis MW, Carter SV, Amanna I, Hansen SG, Strelow LI, Wong SW, Yoshihara P, Hanifin JM, Slifka MK. Multiple diagnostic techniques identify previously vaccinated individuals with protective immunity against monkeypox. Nature Med. 11:1005-1011, 2005.
  10. Langlais CL, Jones, JM, Estep RD, Wong SW. Rhesus rhadinovirus R15 encodes a functional homologue of human CD200. J. Virol. 80:3098-3103, 2006.
  11. Estep RD, Powers MF, Yen B, Li H, Wong SW. Construction of an Infectious Rhesus Rhadinovirus (RRV) Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) for the Analysis of Kaposi’s Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) Related Disease Development. J. Virol. 81:2957-2969, 2007.
  12. Manes NP, Estep RD, Mottaz HM, Moore RJ, Clauss TRW, Monroe ME, Adkins JN, Wong SW, Smith RD. Comparative Proteomics of Human Monkeypox and Vaccinia Intracellular Mature and Extracellular Enveloped Virions. J. Proteome Research,7:960-968, 2008.
  13. Jones JM, Estep RD, Orzechowska BU, Messaoudi I, Wong SW. Monkeypox viral chemokine inhibitor (vCCI), a potent inhibitor of rhesus macrophage inflammatory protein-1. Cytokine. 43:220-228, 2008.
  14. Orzechowska BU, Powers MF, Sprague J, Li H, Yen B, Searles RP, Axthelm MK, Wong SW. Rhesus macaque rhadinovirus-associated non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: animal model for KSHV-associated malignancies. Blood. 112:4227-4234, 2008.

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