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Ling Wong  

Senior Program Officer/ Program Investment Officer,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Yun-Ling Wong, Ph.D. Program Officer and Program Investment Officer Global Health Discovery & Translational Sciences and Program Related Investments

Dr. Yun-Ling Wong currently serves as a Program Officer in the Global Health Program Discovery and Translational Sciences team. In this capacity, she leads the Grand Challenges Explorations Initiative. This $200M initiative is dedicated to identify and foster innovators and their ideas to solve challenges in the developing world. To date, nearly 700 awards have been made in over 70 countries to explore bold new ideas. The program is counted as one of the most successful programs for discovering and fostering innovation in the field of health and development.

Ling also serves as a Program Investment Officer in the Program Related Investment group, which is focused upon leveraging private capital to co-invest in technologies and products critical in development of solutions for Global Health and Development. To date, this group has $1B under management for investing across the Gates Foundation priority areas.

Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Ling was at Harvard University where she developed an inhaled vaccine for tuberculosis. Passionate about working at the interface of technological innovation for applications in the developing world, Ling gained valuable insight and was instrumental in the translation of this inhaled technology to a group in Pretoria, South Africa.

Ling obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University in Bioengineering and Applied Sciences and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BS in Biology. She has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and also featured in Newsweek.

Ling spent several years working in the biotechnology sector in the area of drug delivery and tissue engineering under the direction of Professor Robert Langer prior to her work at Harvard. Within the drug delivery arena, she was involved in start-up companies: Spherics, Inc and later Sontra Medical, Inc. Her tissue engineering work focused upon collaborations between Draper Laboratories and Massachusetts General Hospital.

In recognition of her contributions, Ling was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper in 2012. Ling was also awarded numerous awards for scientific achievement.

Ling is an advocate to foster science and technology innovation. In her work at the MIT Sloan School of Management, her interest includes studying the social network in the biotechnology sector to successful translation of innovation. She has also served at the United States Senate on policy and press strategy related to prescription drugs and stem cell research.

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