Peter Palese

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Peter Palese
NationalityUnited States
Alma materUniversity of Vienna
AwardsMember of the National Academy of Sciences
Robert Koch Prize (2006)
European Virology Award (EVA)
Scientific career
InstitutionsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Peter Palese is a United States microbiologist and Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City,[1] and an expert in the field of RNA viruses.[2]

Palese built "the first genetic maps for influenza A, B and C viruses, identified the function of several viral genes, ...defined the mechanism of neuraminidase inhibitors (which are now FDA-approved antivirals)" and "pioneered the field of reverse genetics for negative-strand RNA viruses".[3] Furtherance of this technique has been used by Palese and his colleagues in reconstructing and studying the pathogenicity of the extinct but deadly 1918 pandemic influenza virus.[4] Reverse genetics also assist in the development of new flu vaccines.

Palese is the author of multiple book chapters and more than 400 scientific publications. He is on the editorial board for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). He has been awarded multiple patents on viral vaccines and antivirals.[5]


Palese received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1969 and his M.S. In pharmacy in 1970 from the University of Vienna. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology from 1970 until 1971, when he joined the Department of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as Assistant Professor. In 1976 he was Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. In 1987 he was named Chairman of the Department of Microbiology of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.[1][6]

Working alongside Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre, Palese's research showed that most negative-strand RNA viruses counteract antiviral responses in infected hosts, owing to proteins possessing interferon antagonist activity. His work on "fundamental questions concerning the genetic make-up and biology of viruses" and virus-host interactions "uses molecular biological techniques to understand how viruses replicate and how they interact with cells to cause disease in their hosts", with emphasis on "the study of RNA viruses, including influenza, paramyxo and corona (SARS) viruses".[1][7] Recent achievements include the development of a highly successful new animal model (the guinea pig) for studying the transmission of influenza viruses.[8]

Honors and awards[edit]

Palese is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (2000), the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (2012), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2002) and the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (2006). He has served the presidencies of the Harvey Society from 2003–2004 and the American Society of Virology from 2005–2006. In 2014, he was elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has received an Honorary Doctorate from both Baylor College of Medicine (2014) and McMaster University (2016).


Partial List:


  1. ^ a b c "Mount Sinai School of Medicine – Peter Palese". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  2. ^ Peter Tyson (September 9, 2009). "The Evolving Flu". NOVA. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  3. ^ "Mount Sinai School of Medicine – Meet the Chair". Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  4. ^ Rebecca Lipchitz (September 28, 2005). "Lessons learned from the influenza pandemic of 1918". BU Today. Boston University. Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  5. ^ "Patentdocs". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Robert-Koch-Stiftung – Lebensläufe der Preisträger". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  7. ^ "Vivaldi Biosciences, Inc". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  8. ^ Richard Knox (May 8, 2009). "Flu Heads South for the Winter". Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  9. ^ "Springer Science & Business Media". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  10. ^ "ContraFect Corp. Scientific Board – Unprecedented expertise in the study of Influenza and other infectious diseases". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  11. ^ Editor, ÖGV. (2015). Wilhelm Exner Medal. Austrian Trade Association. ÖGV. Austria.
  12. ^ "European Society for Virology". Retrieved March 4, 2011.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2015-02-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "2016 ASM Microbe Award Winners". Retrieved 2016-10-12.

External links[edit]