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Top virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits is shedding some well-needed light on the mysterious death of top scientist Kuan-Teh Jeang, who was second in charge under Dr. Anthony Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the time of his controversial death. Mikovits detailed on the Thomas Paine Podcast that Jeang, who was 54, was poised to blow the whistle on falsified government research, fake clinical data and widespread vaccine fraud that was killing Americans before his untimely demise.
Details of the man’s 2013 death have been covered up. Some say Jeang was found at his desk on a Sunday night at NIAID with a gunshot wound to the chest. Some say he jumped to his death from the top deck of the parking garage outside of the government facilty.
Dr. Mikovits told Paine that Jeang was “suicided” to silence him. Jeang had worked at the NIH for 27 years.
Jeang was previously chief of the Molecular Virology Section in the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, according to documents.
“Kuan-Teh Jeang, M.D., Ph.D., (Teh) died suddenly and unexpectedly on the evening of 27 January 2013 at the age of 54, to the shock of his many friends and colleagues. Teh was an energetic and passionate virologist and a true scientist of the world. During his extremely productive research career at the NIH, he contributed to our understanding of the human retroviruses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and their interactions with cells. He was also very active in disseminating scientific information to the international community. Teh founded the open-access journal Retrovirology in 2004 and was its editor in chief for 10 years. Retrovirology was the first open-access virology journal, and it has risen rapidly to have one of the highest impact factors of all virology journals, a source of great pride for Teh. A Frontiers in Retrovirology conference commemorating the 10th anniversary of Retrovirology will be convened in Cambridge, England, in September 2013 in Teh’s honor.
Teh was an active member of the Journal of Virology (JVI) editorial board for 15 years, as well as a founding editor of Cell and Bioscience, an associate editor of Cancer Research, and an editorial board member of many other journals. He also published dozens of papers in JVI. Despite his busy schedule, Teh rarely declined a request to review for JVI, and his reviews were always thoughtful, insightful, and prompt. He also edited six books and coorganized numerous international meetings in China, France, England, and the U.S. Teh received numerous awards, among them the Norman P. Salzman Memorial Mentoring Award in Virology in 2005 and the Dale McFarlin Award from the International Retrovirology Association in 2011. He was elected an Academician of Academia Sinica in 2008 and a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2011.
Teh was a strong and early proponent of open-access publishing and was named Open Access Editor of the Year in 2010 by Biomed Central. He also promoted diversity in scientific publishing, and the Retrovirology editorial board was truly international. Teh was also a strong advocate for more leadership positions for Asian-American scientists. He served as president of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA) in 2011-2012. He also helped create the SCBA journal, Cell and Bioscience, in 2011 and was founding editor. Teh’s daughter, Diana, took the photograph above at the SCBA Conference in Guangzhou, China, in 2011.
Teh was born in 1958 in Taichung, Taiwan, the youngest of three brothers. His family moved to Libya when he was 5 and to the U.S. (Texas) in 1970, after Qaddafi seized power in Libya. Ambitious from an early age, Teh started college at MIT when he was 16. After two years there, he transferred to the Johns Hopkins University, where he received his B.A. in 1979 and his M.D. and Ph.D. in 1984 in an accelerated program. His Ph.D. thesis work on cytomegalovirus gene expression was carried out in the laboratory of Gary Hayward at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Teh did his clinical residency at Iowa.
In 1985 Teh became a medical staff fellow at the NIH in the lab of George Khoury, who became his role model. In the Khoury lab, Teh studied viral transcription and enhancers and began to work on HTLV-1. After Khoury’s untimely death in 1987 of lymphoma, Teh moved to the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology at NIAID. He served as chief of the Molecular Virology Section there for nearly 20 years. He cofounded the Khoury Lectureship Series at the NIH and was honored to give the 2012 George Khoury Lecture last October on “Nuclear Damage and Aneuploidy: Human T Cell Leukemia Virus Transformation of Cells.” Like his mentor, George Khoury, Teh was a fantastic mentor and leaves a legacy of more than 40 postdocs, who now have positions in the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Canada and throughout the U.S.
Teh worked at the bench until 2004, when he founded Retrovirology. He also collaborated extensively and had a real talent for bringing people together. He published over 250 scientific papers and many reviews, book chapters, and editorials. His cutting-edge work has been cited more than 14,000 times and focused mainly on human retroviral transcriptional regulation and the mechanisms of transformation by HTLV-1. His lab made the seminal discovery that the HIV-1 TAR element at the 5′ end of the transcript is an RNA hairpin that acts as an RNA enhancer activated by Tat. This finding changed our ideas about transcriptional regulation and led to the development of RNA therapeutics for AIDS. He also pioneered studies on the role of microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs in retroviral replication. Another major research area concerned the mechanisms of transformation by HTLV-1. Teh showed that the HTLV-1 transcriptional activator Tax induces genomic instability that contributes to oncogenesis in infected T cells by disrupting the DNA damage response, mitotic checkpoints, and centrosomal duplication.
In addition to his career in science, Teh was a family man, married for almost 30 years to Diane Jeang, whom he met as a fellow graduate student at Hopkins. He is survived by his wife, who is a D.V.M. and a consumer safety officer at the FDA, and three children, David, Diana, and John.
Although Teh worked very hard 7 days a week, he also enjoyed making breakfast for his family, running four miles daily, traveling, and playing tennis and chess. His tennis gear was always ready in his car trunk. He was witty and humorous and a great speaker, with many keynote talks to his credit.
With Teh’s passing, virology has lost an enthusiastic champion and a major voice for its cause”
Journal of Biomedical Science:
A Community Mourn The Death Of Dr. Kuan-Teh Jeang
Editorial Board of Journal of Biomedical Science
Our loyal friend Dr. Kuan-Teh Jeang passed away unexpectedly on the evening of January 27, 2013. The following night and day an avalanche of emails went across the Retrovirus research community, starting in Australia, then Asia, Europe and America. Great shock and sorrow was apparent in the messages by the very many colleagues with whom Teh interacted over the years. Many of us came to know Teh (Additional file 1) as an energetic and gifted scientist for whom we had much respect and affection.
Teh was chief of the Molecular Virology Section in the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA. His major research interest was around the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) and human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I), with an abundant production of more than 300 scientific publications on the molecular details of virus replication and the disease-causing mechanisms. He trained over 30 postdoctoral fellows and had been a fantastic mentor of young scientists who have since spread across the globe, from Taipei to Hong Kong, from Montpellier to Amsterdam and from Montreal to Los Angeles.
Teh was a very dynamic and internationally oriented scientist and he always felt a special bond with the scientific community in Taiwan. He was born and spent his early childhood in Taiwan, and later learned to speak Mandarin fluently. He actively participated in the scientific review processes in the National Science Council and the National Health Research Institute and various universities, often travelling long distances to Taiwan to offer comments and suggestions on various aspects of science. He had deep affection towards his home land Taiwan and hence contacted the founding editor Prof. C.C. Chang and volunteered his service for the Journal of Biomedical Science (JBS) of the National Science Council of Taiwan, which was the only international journal sponsored by Taiwan government at that time. He joined the editorial board of JBS in 1994 and had been very influential since then. Teh was a stabilizing force during the formative years of JBS when the biomedical community in Taiwan was somewhat skeptical of an international journal with its Editorial Office based in Taiwan. After JBS was listed in the Journal citation Index in 1999, he was also an avid advocate for ways to improve its impact factor. It is largely due to his suggestions and sometimes unorthodox ideas that JBS jumped in the annual Impact Factor ranking. The creation of Vignettes, which was well-received by our readers, was one of those suggestions.
He left our board in 2004 to free himself for an important new activity: the launch of the Retrovirology journal, where he had been editor-in-chief since then. Again his talent to kick off new initiatives paid off and Retrovirology is currently among the highest cited journals in the field of virology, all achieved in less than 10 years. Since the early years, he had been an advocate of the Open Access publishing format. He was invited for the JBS editorial board meeting last September to present his current views on this topic and gave his most insightful suggestions. Teh always kept a special interest in Taiwan and its research activities, which led to several productive collaborations. He was also a champion for advocacy of the rights of Taiwanese scientists in international scientific organizations. He was elected as Academician of the Academia Sinica in 2008.
Teh was a scientist with a vision and a broad interest in all aspects of the scientific endeavors. He also was a true scientific leader, starting scientific debate, writing editorials, sitting on many committees, orchestrating new book volumes and organizing international meetings on diverse topics. For instance, he was president of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA) in 2010 and voiced a strong opinion to increase the representation of Asian-American scientists in leadership positions.
Teh’s death is a blow to the retrovirus research community and we will sorely miss his scientific leadership. He has been central to so much of what we have done together as well as being a supportive and generous friend to many of us individually. In his spirit, several initiatives have been proposed over the last couple of days by his students and colleagues to honor his legacy. Teh was only 54 years old and the loss is devastating for the Jeang family. Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife Diane and his children David, John and Diana.
Present and past members of the Editorial Board
Journal of Biomedical Science