In remembrance of Dr Kuan-Teh Jeang


Dr Kuan-Teh Jeang, Editor-in-Chief of Retrovirology, passed away on 27th January. We understand that Teh was well known and well liked by his friends and colleagues, so we would like to invite you share your memories and add your messages of condolences to this post. Below is a message about Teh from Dr Gottesman of NIH.

Dear colleagues,

Some of you have now heard the tragic news about Kuan-Teh Jeang of NIAID, who died suddenly and unexpectedly late Sunday night, on January 27. The cause of his death has not been verified, and I do not have the full details to relay.

I am sure you share my sense of shock and grief. Teh was 54 years old, had a remarkably productive scientific career, and was broadly admired on the NIH campus and in the field of virology and, in particular, retroviruses. I still can’t believe, more than a full day after his death, that I am sending this kind of message about him to the NIH staff.

In my introduction for Teh for the George Khoury Lecture that he delivered in October 2012, I described him as a dynamo. He was chief of the Molecular Virology Section in NIAID’s Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, where he was a major figure in the fields of HIV and HTLV-1. In his 27 years at the NIH, he co-authored more than 300 publications and edited six books. He was the editor-in-chief of the journal Retrovirology, editor at Cell & Bioscience, associate editor of Cancer Research, and on the editorial board of numerousother scientific journals, including the Journal of Virology. He also was the recent past-president of the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America, where he was outspoken in his desire for increased representation in leadership positions for Asian American scientists.

Teh’s recent awards include the International Retrovirology Association Dale McFarlin Award in 2011, Biomed Central’s Open Access “Editor of the Year” in 2010, and several Gates Foundation grant awards.

Teh’s lab studies host factors that influence the pathogenesis of human retroviruses HIV-1 and HTLV-I. Some of his group’s notable recent findings include: new insights into RNA modification and RNA-binding factors that affect HIV-1 post-transcriptional gene expression; successful genome-wide characterization of 252 human host cell factors in Jurkat T cells that are contributory to HIV-1 replication; and characterization of several oncogenic microRNAs and their contributions to HTLV-1 oncogenesis.

Teh had a colorful childhood. He was born in Taiwan, spent his childhood in Libya, came to the United States at age 12, and was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at age 16. He arrived at the NIH in 1985 upon earning MD and PhD degrees from Johns Hopkins University. He was a postdoc in the lab of George Khoury, another great NIHer who tragically died young, for whom an NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture is named.

Teh’s death is a blow to the NIH and the retrovirus research community; and our thoughts and condolences are with Teh’s family: his wife Diane, a veterinarian with the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs, and his children David, John and Diana. We will keep you informed about any planned funeral or memorial arrangements.

Michael Gottesman, M.D.
Deputy Director for Intramural Research, NIH

Image of Teh provided by Jean-Luc Darlix

  • jnyborg

    you will be missed. Words are inadequate. I struggle to accept that he is no
    longer with us. Teh was a wonderful colleague and friend. Although we are the
    same age, I’ve always looked up to Teh; he was on my “short-list” of people to
    call for advice, and he came through in spades. I’ve spent much of my
    scientific career inspired by his energy and enthusiasm, and in awe of his
    accomplishments. He was not only extraordinarily knowledgeable, but possessed
    wisdom seemingly well beyond his years. Teh died way too young. Teh, I will
    miss you. We will miss you immeasurably.

  • Christopher

    Teh was among the best scientists to talk to at the
    NIH.  Check out his photos at
    or  Enormous smile.  Enormous insight.  Enormous sense of social justice.  Enormous loss.  -cw

  • Brian Thomas

    My sister, niece and nephews appreciate the kind thoughts and words, on the blogs, the phone calls and visitors.  He always did have that grin in every picture, didn’t he….

  • Yuntao Wu

     The last time I spoke with Teh was in the Christmas party hosted by the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA). Teh gave me a bag of Chinese Tea for Christmas, and asked about my lab and the research. He knew I was worried about funding and gave me some good words of encouragement. Teh looked very happy among friends and he is truly a good leader, a good friend trusted by everyone. Teh never hides his feeling about things every time we speak. Sometimes, he could make you feel disappointed, but if you think his words twice, the opinions and advices, although may not be what you want to hear, are the best you can get from a true friend. It is beyond my belief that he suddenly left us at such a young and productive life time. The sense of loss is hard to bear. The shocking and sorrow may fade away with time, but he will be missed and remembered. Yuntao Wu

  • rzhao


    Dear friends,

    In remembrance of Dr. Kuan-Teh Jeang’s passing, a memorial funeral service will be held on February 9th (Saturday), 2013 at 2:00pm at the Chinese Bible Church of Maryland (4414 Muncaster Mill Road, Rockville, MD, 20853).  If you would like to attend this service, please send an email to

    If you would like to send your condolences to Dr. Jeang’s family, please send it to: 14104 Arctic Ave, Rockville, MD, 20853.

    If you would like to make a donation to the “Kuan-Teh Jeang Memorial Fund”, please make it payable to “SCBA DC Chapter” and add “KT Jeang Memorial Fund” at the left bottom “Memo” or “For” section of the check.  Please mail your check to: SCBA DC Chapter, Attn: Dr. Yufei Jiang,  19803 Celebration Way, Germantown, MD 20874. Thank you.

  • zhengt

    KT Jeang’s suddenly death was a heart-broken news to all of us at NIH. To remember him and provide our immediate assistance to his family and his lab and to address various questions related to this tragic news, our local SCBA chapter at Washington DC-Baltimor area immediately formed a funeral committee with our SCBA national office. Please contact each of our committee members for your question, donation, photo contribution, etc.

    KT Jeang funeral committee:

    Cochairs:  Zhi-Ming Zheng (NCI), coordinator for all: NIAID, Jeang’s lab, eulogy, etc.
    Paul Liu (NHGRI), eulogy and coordinator with NIH and NIAID

    Members:  Yunbo Shi (NICHD),  KT Jeang Memorial fund
                   Xin-Wei Wang (NCI), KT Jeang Memorial fund
                   Chuxia Deng (NIDDK), Photo collections 
                  Bin Gao (NIAAA), photo collections 
                  Keji Zhao (NHLBI), photo collections 
                  Richard Zhao (UMD), National SCBA officer and Baltimore coordinator 
                   TC Wu (JHU), National officer, JHU and Jeang family coordinator 
                  Ying Zhang (NCI), wreath and flowers, etc.
                 Wei Yang (NIDDK), wreath and flowers, etc. 
                   Xiao-Fan Wang (Duke), President of SCBA.
                   Chou-Zen (Jeo) Giam (USUHS), eulogy and Jeang family coordinator.

  • cgiam


    When I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The
    Tipping Point” about people with a rare set of social gifts that enable them to
    start a social epidemic, it was Teh who came to my mind immediately. Gladwell
    describes these people as Connectors, who know a large number of people and are
    in the habit of making connections; as Mavens, whom we rely on to
    connect us to new information; and as Salesman, who are charismatic and
    possess powerful negotiation skills that persuade others to come along. My
    friend Teh was all of those and more. He was a creative genius, a champion, a strong
    and unwavering voice, and a true friend who would come through for you in your
    hours of desperation. The loss of Teh is just to great to bear!

    C Giam

    • Lingjun Zhao

      Very depressed to learn this sad news. My first impression of him as an energetic tireless researcher was when I was doing post-doctoral training in your lab. His creation of Retrovirology is perhaps the best example of a strong voice as you mentioned. I hope his spirit will inspire generations of researchers to seek novel scientific discoveries and make special efforts to “connect” science with the public. Best wishes.

  • jeanlucDARLIX

    In the Deserved Honour
    of Kuan-Teh JEANG


    A Visionary in Science
    and Communication



    miss you

    we’ll miss you so much,

    miss your ideas and unforgettable dedications

    Science while constantly advocating for novel communications,

    with enthusiasm for worldwide free open access,

    brightly, straightforwardly with fairness.

    Dear Teh

    miss all of these original views of Yours

    the very same time

    miss the man

    the Man


    Jean-Luc, and from France Cimarelli
    Andrea, Mély Yves, Muriaux Delphine, Mougel Marylène, 
    de Rocquigny Hugues,
    Sitbon Marc, Cristofari Gaël, Ohlmann Théophile, Taylor Naomi, Boulanger
    Pierre, Saw-See Hong, Litvak Simon, from
    Switzerland Moradpour Darius, from
    Chile Lopez Lastra Marcelo.

  • jeanlucDARLIX

    In the Deserved Honour of Kuan-Teh JEANG

    A Visionary in Science and Communication

    Dear Teh,
    We’ll miss you
    Yes we’ll miss you so much,
    We’ll miss your ideas and unforgettable dedications 
    In Science while constantly advocating for novel communications,
    Debating with enthusiasm for worldwide free open access,
    So brightly, straightforwardly with fairness.
    Yes, Dear Teh
    We’ll miss all of these original views of Yours
    At the very same time
    We’ll miss the man
    Yes the Man

    Darlix Jean-Luc, and from France Cimarelli Andrea, Mély Yves, Muriaux Delphine, Mougel Marylène, de Rocquigny Hugues, Sitbon Marc, Cristofari Gaël, Ohlmann Théophile, Taylor Naomi, Boulanger Pierre, Saw-See Hong, Litvak Simon, from Switzerland Moradpour Darius, from Chile Lopez Lastra Marcelo.

  • SergeiNekhai

    It is very difficult to bear that Teh is no longer with us. He was great friend and colleague. I took many of his advices, how to organize lab, how to manage postdocs and students, how to write papers and so on. He gave me lost of encouragement when I started to work at Howard University and had to build everything from scratch. Teh has asked me many time to organize an HIV-1 meeting in Russia and
    was always wonted to go to St. Petersburg, which unfortunately did not
    happened. We spent the end of December 2012 and early January 2013 in constant communication preparing USA-Russian collaboration grant which Teh submitted as  an intramural project. He started to ask several years ago to find colleagues in Russia and finally we connected to two groups and everything was flowing. News about Teh’s departuer was like a thunderbolt for me and I am still hardly believing it. So, Dear Teh, rest in peace, we will remember you and take after you.

  • Jayanta Bhattacharya

    I am saddened by the Dr Jeang’s demise. I am so thankful for his help. He was a great scientist and an outstanding visionary. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences are with his family and all who had been close to him.
    -Jayanta Bhattacharya, India

  • David Margolis

    As the many writers below, the HIV research community at UNC Chapel Hill was shocked and saddened.  Many of us have known and worked with KT since the early days of our careers, and of the HIV epidemic. His constant smile, enthusiasm, and energy will be missed by all
    - David Margolis

  • Lionel Berthoux

    This is very sad news. Like many others, I was impressed by Kuan-Teh’s
    efforts to make virology papers accessible to a wide audience. As an
    author, I appreciated his hands-on involvement in the submission and
    reviewing process. We will miss him.

  • Jm Peloponese

    in behalf of Dr Christian Devaux
    here at Montpellier (South of France) as elsewhere in the international
    scientific community, we have learned the sad news of the sudden death of K.T.
    Jeang who was only 54 years old.

    met Teh for the first time at a seminar I delivered at the NIH/NIAID in the
    early 90s. Then, several young scientists from my laboratory were welcomed by
    Teh at NIH for a post-doctoral training. The first bright young scientist from
    my research group who joined Teh’s laboratory almost 25 years ago, was Monsef
    Benkirane. Several other students were trained in Teh’s lab next. For Monsef
    and his colleagues at NIH, Teh was their mentor and he contributed strongly to
    their significant scientific achievements.

    was an outstanding scientist whose contributions have marked the last 30 years
    of biomedical science. He was also the editor in
    chief of Retrovirology, a journal that he created and worn in a short time at a
    high level of international recognition. Several colleagues from Montpellier
    are currently members of the editorial board of Retrovirology.

    was a model of perseverance. Tireless worker, the head full of innovative
    ideas, Teh was also a nice, friendly, happy, and humorous colleague. Everyone
    always crossed him with pleasure in Congress.

    leaves behind him a wife and three children with whom we share sadness, and a
    NIH team who will struggle to recover from this loss.

    colleagues and friends from CPBS Montpellier will be represented the next week
    in Washington by Jean-Marie Peloponese, the most recent post-doc from Teh’s lab
    recruited by CPBS, for the last homage of our laboratory to Dr. K.T. Jeang. I personally lost a
    colleague to whom I had the greatest respect and admiration. We will miss you

    Christian A. Devaux, Director of CPBS,
    Montpellier France and former Director of the French CNRS life Science.

  • Dr Clovis Palmer

    Tell me this is a bad dream! I first met Dr Kuan-Teh Jeang when he gave an
    insanely passionate presentation at the Garvan institute in Sydney, Australia
    on the role of microRNAs in HIV infection. That presentation still remains the
    most enjoyable and passionate basic science talk I have ever heard (and I have
    been to quite a few conferences!). His talk left me so convinced that I went
    back to my lab (a post doc at the time) and convinced my supervisors to start
    an microRNA project on hepatitis C, which we eventually did. The manuscript is
    now in preparation. God Bless Dr Kuan-Teh Jeang. Wow this is a huge lost but his legacy will live forever!!

  • isaac

    R.I.P. Thank you for the brilliant work you did on HIV.

  • Shivaji Jadhav

    He is a wonderful scientist, I have personally had good interactions with him, He was very hard working and best scientist who extensively worked on eradication of HIV.

    Dr. Shivaji K Jadhav,
    Molecular Virologist,

  • bailu2

    I was shocked by the news. Teh sent me a Christmas greeting email, with a photo of his family. We had subsequently several email exchanges. His enthusiasm to future endeavor, love of his family, and his warmth and friendship were vividly revealed in these emails.
    I can’t believe that he would be gone in just such a short period. Teh to me is a colleague, a mentor, and a dear friend. I will forever miss his contagious laugh, the intelligent conversation, and his relentless effort for the Chinese American scientists.

  • Bianca Hoffmann

    This is
    very sad news! We met Teh once a few years ago at our annual graduate course
    meeting in Germany. We invited him and although he did not know us he was
    enthusiastic and loved to join our small meeting. Talking about science with
    Teh was more than inspiring and he strongly influenced our way of looking at
    things. However, even more impressive was the way how he talked to us young PhD
    students. At one evening at this meeting Teh sat together with a few of us and
    we spoke about … just everything. He listened to our thoughts, problems,
    hopes and whishes and shared very personal aspects of his life, ideas and
    advices with us. We are still deeply impressed by his kindness when we think
    back to this evening.

    We will
    remember Teh as a great researcher and encouraging mentor! Our condolences are
    with his family and friends.
    Bianca Hoffmann & Bastian Grewe (Bochum, Germany)


  • Guest