Presented by Professor Edward Holmes, Fellow UK Royal Society, ARC Australian Laureate Fellow
Professor Holmes, who holds joint positions in the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, and Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Sydney Medical School, is a world leader in the area of virus evolution.
His research focuses on the emergence of novel infectious diseases, including those that pose a threat to Australia, and the mechanisms by which pathogens species to cause epidemics.
In this Sydney Science Forum (free public lecture) on Wednesday 12 September 2018, Prof Holmes will uncover the amazing world of viruses, consider why people don’t get sick from most viruses in the environment, and discuss the origin and cause of tick-borne disease in Australia. It will include a brief overview of the centenary since the 1918 influenza pandemic and touch on the last death because of smallpox in 1978.
Prof Holmes won last year’s NSW Premier’s Prize, biological sciences category, in recognition of his pioneering use of phylogenetic methods – studying the origin and evolution of viruses – which has greatly improved our ability to predict and control infectious diseases.
Read about one of Prof Holmes’s PhD students researching ticks and diseases
Professor Holmes has spent more than 25 years researching how pathogens, such as avian influenza and HIV, emerge and spread. He has produced more than 525 peer-reviewed papers and two highly-regarded books, which have more than 53,000 citations and a h-index of 122.
1445 viruses have been discovered in the most populous animals – those without backbones such as insects and worms – in a Nature paper that shows human diseases like influenza are derived from those present in invertebrates.