Dr Emily B. Wong MD

Emily Wong
Phone Number: 
+27 (0) 31 260 4899

Dr Emily B. Wong MD

SANTHE Senior Researcher/Supervisor

Emily Wong is an infectious disease specialist physician and researcher whose work focuses on the immune response to tuberculosis at the site of disease – in the lung and infected tissues.  Wong is interested in the way that HIV-infection alters the immune response to tuberculosis. Her research has been based in South Africa, the epicenter of the TB and HIV co-epidemics, since 2006.  From 2008 to 2010, in Johannesburg, South Africa, she conducted a post-mortem needle autopsy study to determine the causes of death of HIV-patients dying in the first months of antiretroviral therapy; this work revealed very high rates of disseminated tuberculosis and tuberculosis immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. Her current research focuses on studying a population of innate lymphocytes, Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells in the lung during tuberculosis and HIV infection. She is interested in characterising the effect of HIV on these cells in the lung and in understanding the role that these cells play in anti-TB immunity.   In 2012, she started a prospective, ongoing cohort of patients undergoing bronchoscopy that allows study of immune cells from bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and comparison to peripheral blood.  She is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School appointed in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Research Associate in the Ndung'u Laboratory at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) in Durban, South Africa.