Dr Wilson Wong from the Structural Biology of Inflammation and Cancer at Hudson Institute

Dr Wilson Wong, NHMRC Investigator Fellow (Emerging Leadership Level 2)

Dr Wilson Wong leads the Structural Biology of Inflammation and Cancer Laboratory within the Centres of Innate Immunity and Infectious Diseases and Cancer Research. Dr Wong completed his PhD at Monash University with Professor James Whisstock and Professor Julian Rood where he investigated the structural biology of bacterial proteases as virulence factors. At the completion of his PhD, Dr Wong was awarded a NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship to undertake his post-doctoral research with Professor Alan Cowman and Professor Jake Baum at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) to investigate the structural biology of blood stage malaria infection. In 2013-2014, Dr Wong was a visiting post-doctoral fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, UK in the group of Dr Sjors Scheres where he characterised the structure of the ribosome of the human malaria parasite using recent advances in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). At WEHI, Dr Wong made important contributions to the understanding on the molecular basis of malaria parasite invasion of red blood cells, through his work on the structure of the parasite invasion ligand, the Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr complex. In 2019, Dr Wong was awarded the highest scientific honour at WEHI, the Burnet Prize, for his work on the biology of the malaria parasite. Since his recruitment to the Hudson Institute in 2021, Dr Wong has been awarded a NHMRC Investigator Grant (EL2; 2021-2025).

Research within Dr Wong’s laboratory focuses on using cryo-EM to characterise the structure of important protein and protein-nucleic acid complexes that are central to infections, inflammation and cancers.

Selected publications

  • Wong W*, Huang R*, Menant S, Hong C, Sandow JJ, Birkinshaw RW, Healer J, Hodder AN, Kanjee U, Tonkin CJ, Heckmann D, Soroka V, Sogaard TMM, Jorgensen T, Duraisingh MT, Czabotar PE, Jongh WAd, Tham WH, Webb AI, Yu Z, Cowman AF. (2019) Structure of Plasmodium falciparum Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr invasion complex, Nature. 565: 118-121. *co-first author

     

  • Wong W*, Bai XC*, Sleeb BE*, Triglia T*, Brown A, Thompson JK, Jackson KE, Hanssen E, Marapana DS, Fernandez IS, Ralph SA, Cowman AF, Scheres SHW, Baum J. (2017) Mefloquine targets the Plasmodium falciparum 80S ribosome to inhibit protein synthesisNature Microbiology 2 Article number: 17031. *co-first author

     

  • Wong W*, Bai XC*, Brown A*, Fernandez IS, Hanssen E, Condron M, Tan YH, Baum J, Scheres SH. (2014) Cryo-EM structure of the Plasmodium falciparum 80S ribosome bound to the anti-protozoan drug emetine eLife 3 – P12695994, *co-first author

     

     

  • Wong W, Skau CT, Marapana DS, Hanssen E, Taylor NL, Riglar DT, Zuccala ES, Angrisano F, Lewis H, Catimel B, Clarke OB, Kershaw NJ, Perugini MA, Kovar DR, Gulbis JM, Baum J. (2011) Minimal requirements for actin filament disassembly revealed by structural analysis of malaria parasite Actin Depolymerizing Factor 1, PNAS 108(24):9869-74.