About Emily Wong, MD

Dr. Emily Wong graduated from Harvard College with a A.B. summa cum laude in History and Literature and from Harvard Medical School with a M.D.  She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California San Francisco.  She returned to Boston for subspeciality training in Infectious Diseases in the joint Partners program at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Wong's research has focused on the HIV and tuberculosis epidemics in South Africa.  Awarded a NIH/Fogarty International Clinical Research Fellowship in 2008, Dr. Wong spent two years at the University of Witwatersrand leading the first autopsy study to be conducted in a resource-limited setting in the antiretroviral era.  Since 2011 she has split her time between MGH and the KwaZulu Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, South Africa where she is a Research Associate.  Her research at K-RITH focuses on trying to understand mechanisms of immunity to M. tuberculosis in the lungs and how these are altered by HIV.  She focuses on trying to understand the anti-microbial functions of lung-resident donor-unrestricted innate T cells and alveolar macrophages.

Her research is supported by NIH/NIAID, the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research, The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, The American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Departments, Centers, & Programs:

Treats:

Locations

Infectious Disease Associates
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114-2696
617-726-3812
Fax: 617-726-7416

Medical Education

  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • Residency, UC San Francisco
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

Accepted Insurance Plans

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Research

Dr. Wong's research focuses on the immune response totuberculosis at the site of disease ? in the lung and infected tissues.  She is also interested the way thatHIV-infection alters the immune response to tuberculosis. Her research has beenbased in South Africa, the epicenter of the TB and HIV co-epidemics, since2006.  From 2008-2010, in Johannesburg,South Africa, she conducted a post-mortem needle autopsy study to determine thecauses of death of HIV-patients patients dying in the first months of antiretroviraltherapy; this work revealed very high rates of disseminated tuberculosis andtuberculosis immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. Her current researchfocuses on studying a population of innate lymphocytes, Mucosal AssociatedInvariant T (MAIT) cells in the lung during tuberculosis and HIV infection. She is interested in understanding the effect of HIV on these cells in the lungand in understanding the role that these cells play in anti-TB immunity.   In 2012, she started a prospective, ongoingcohort of patients undergoing bronchoscopy that allows her to study immune cellsfrom bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and compare it to peripheralblood.  In addition to her appointment at MGH, she is a Research Associate in the laboratory of Prof. Thumbi Ndung'u at the KwaZulu-NatalResearch Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, SouthAfrica. 

Her research is currently supported by a Burroughs Wellcome / American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygeiene Postdoctoral Fellowship in Tropical Diseases and a NIH/NIAID MentoredClinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08). She has recently been awarded a Harvard University CFAR collaborative feasibility grant to develop a MAIT cell single cell RNA-sequencing platform.  Her bronchoscopy cohort is funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Publications

  • Wong EB and Gandhi M. HIV in Women. In Fundamentals of Global HIV Medicine, IHL Press, Temesgem Z, Ed., Copyright Nov 2009.

    Gous N, Scott LE, Wong E, et al. Performance of the Roche Light Cyclerreal-time PCR assay for diagnosing extrapulmonary tuberculosis. J Clin Microbiol 2012.

    Wong EB, Omar T, et al. Causes of Death on Antiretroviral Therapy: A Post-Mortem Study from South Africa. PLoS ONE, 2012 Oct 16.

    Wong EB, Cohen KA, et al. Rising to the challenge: new therapies for tuberculosis. Trends in Microbiology. 2013 Jun 10.

    Vestal ML, Wong EB, et al. Cerebralmelioidosis for the first time in the western hemisphere.  Journal of Neurosurgery, 2013 Jun 14

    Wong EB, Akilimali NA, et al.Low levels of peripheral CD161++CD8+Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells are found in HIV and HIV/TBco-infection. PLos ONE, 2013 Dec 31

    Sharma PK, Wong EB, et al. High expression of CD26 accurately identifies human pathogen-reactive MR-1 restricted MAIT cells. Immunology, 2015, Mar 5

    Sullivan ZS*, Wong EB*, et al. Latent TB infection increases immune activation in individuals co-infected with HIV. EBio Medicine, 2015, April