Wolfgang Preiser is a medical virologist who specialised in his hometown Frankfurt, Germany, and at University College London. He received his second doctoral degree in 2005. His principal research interests include emerging and potentially zoonotic viral diseases. He served as an 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. 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, Cape Town, South Africa.