Headshot photo of Scott W. Wong, Ph.D.

Scott W. Wong, Ph.D.

  • Professor, VGTI-Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
  • Molecular Microbiology and Immunology Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine


Dr. Wong received his Ph.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine in 1987 studying eukaryotic DNA replication. Upon completing his degree he performed post-doctoral research at Stanford University and later at Harvard Medical School, where he focused on human herpesvirus replication and pathogenesis. He came to the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center in 1991 as an Assistant Scientist in the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology, and is now a Senior Scientist and interim Division Chief. Dr. Wong’s primary appointment is in the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, where he is a Senior Scientist and a Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

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.

Education and training

  • Degrees

    • Ph.D., 1987, Stanford University School of Medicine

Areas of interest

  • HIV pathogenesis and vaccine development


Selected publications

  • Skalsky RL, Barr SA, Jeffery AJ, Blair T, Estep R, Wong SW. Japanese Macaque Rhadinovirus Encodes a Viral MicroRNA Mimic of the miR-17 Family. JVirol. 2016 Sep 29;90(20):9350-63. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01123-16. PMID: 27512057, PMCID: PMC5044857
  • Blair TC, Manoharan M, Rawlings-Rhea SD, Tagge I, Kohama SG,Hollister-Smith J, Ferguson B, Woltjer RL, Frederick MC, Pollaro J, Rooney WD,Sherman LS, Bourdette DN, Wong SW. Immunopathology of Japanese macaque encephalomyelitis is similar to multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2016 Feb15;291:1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2015.11.026. PMID: 26857488, PMCID: PMC4748211
  • Morin G, Robinson BA, Rogers KS, Wong SW.;A Rhesus Rhadinovirus Viral Interferon (IFN) Regulatory Factor Is Virion Associated and Inhibits the Early IFN Antiviral Response. J Virol. 2015 Aug;89(15):7707-21.doi: 10.1128/JVI.01175-15. PMID: 25972548, PMCID: PMC4505633


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