Wolfgang Preiser is a medical virologist who specialised in his home town Frankfurt, Germany, and at University College London. He received his second doctoral degree (Habilitation) in 2005 while working as a consultant virologist in Frankfurt.
Since 2005 Wolfgang Preiser has been Professor and Head of the Division of Medical Virology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch / National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) Tygerberg.
His principal research interests cover three broad themes: (I) diagnosis of HIV infection and monitoring antiretroviral therapy, from antibody testing to resistance genotyping; (II) the epidemiology, diagnosis and monitoring
of opportunistic viral infections, esp. hepatitis B and cytomegalovirus, in immunocompromised patients; and (III) emerging and potentially
zoonotic viral diseases. He served as a temporary advisor to the World Health Organization on severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in
China in 2003 and led the Frankfurt group who, together with colleagues from Hamburg, were among the first to isolate the SARS-associated coronavirus in spring 2003.
He is heavily involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in charge of one of two public service laboratories for the Western Cape Province and through membership of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, the InterAcademy Partnership COVID-19 Expert Group, the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition, as well as several other bodies at institutional, provincial, national and international level.