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Hon Ip

Hon Ip is a Diagnostic and Research Virologist at the National Wildlife Health Center.

As a Diagnostic and Research Virologist, I am interested in the emergence and spread of novel, introduced, and endemic viral diseases of wildlife. For example, through the National Wildlife Health Center’s long-standing program to investigate wildlife mortality events in the United States, our Diagnostic Virology Laboratory was first to detect introductions of West Nile Virus (in 1999) and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N8 (in 2014). Both of these introductions resulted in large-scale monitoring efforts that provided real-time and actionable intelligence to state and federal partners for disease response. We have also investigated periodic recurrence of Newcastle Disease in cormorants, geographic expansion of Eurasian collared doves and associated spread of pigeon paramyxovirus, and applied phylogenetic approaches to understand the diversity and transmission of viral diseases on the landscape. Since 2008 we have been studying viruses in North American bats, including coronaviruses. Following the recent emergence of COVID-19, this work provides a highly relevant framework for investigating possible impacts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus on native, North American bat species, and for more broadly characterizing the diversity of coronaviruses in North American wildlife.

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government