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Prof. Dr.

Peter Palese

Wahljahr: 2006
Sektion: Mikrobiologie und Immunologie
Stadt: New York, NY
Land: USA


Peter Palese established the first genetic maps for influenza A, B and C viruses, identified the function of several influenza viral genes, and defined the mechanism of neuraminidase inhibitors (which are now FDA-approved antivirals). He also pioneered the field of reverse genetics for negative strand RNA viruses, which allows the introduction of site-specific mutations into the genomes of these viruses. This revolutionary technique is crucial for the study of the structure/function relationships of the genes of influenza viruses for the investigation of viral pathogenicity and for the development and manufacture of novel influenza virus vaccines. Reverse genetics allowed Peter Palese and his colleagues to reconstruct and study the pathogenicity of the highly virulent but extinct 1918 pandemic influenza virus also known as the “Spanish flu.” This technology is also used for the production of current influenza virus vaccines. His recent work in collaboration with Garcia-Sastre has revealed that most negative strand RNA viruses possess proteins with interferon antagonist activity, enabling them to counteract the antiviral response of the infected host.

Palese was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 2000 and to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2012. At present he serves on the editorial board for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Peter Palese was president of the Harvey Society in 2004, president of the American Society for Virology in 2005 and he was a recipient of the Robert Koch Prize in 2006, the European Virology Award (EVA) in 2010 and the Sanofi-Institut Pasteur Prize in 2012.

After earning a PhD in chemistry from the University of Vienna in Austria in 1969, Peter Palese completed a postdoctoral fellowship in virology at Roche Institute for Molecular Biology in Nutley, New Jersey. He joined the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai) in 1971 as an Assistant Professor of Microbiology; he has been Chairman of the Department of Microbiology since 1987.




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