Peter Palese

Peter Palese, the pioneer of modern influenza research, has been awarded the Academy’s Beijerinck Virology Prize 2015.

The Austrian-born Peter Palese (1946) may be considered the founding father of modern research into influenza viruses. He researches the way in which viruses multiply and the precise nature of how they make people and animals sick.

Peter Palese was the first to map out the various types of influenza genetically and he laid the foundations for the antiviral medicines now used worldwide. Palese is also known for his research into the 1918 Spanish influenza virus, which he was able to reconstruct. His most recent research targets a universal influenza vaccine to offer protection in the case of epidemics and pandemics.

About the laureate

Peter Palese studied in Vienna where he was awarded a doctorate. Since 1971, he has been on the staff of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He became a full professor at the age of 33 and has since trained a whole new generation of virus researchers.