In view of the Corona crisis (from 2020), molecular biologist and virologist Peter Palese appeared in a completely new light. His specialty in research is RNA viruses – Palese is considered one of the pioneers in the study of influenza viruses and in the development of the flu vaccine. Born in Linz, Palese studied pharmacy and chemistry at the University of Vienna. At the age of 34, Palese became a professor of microbiology. Since 1987, he has been director of the Department of Microbiology at the world-famous Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
In the fight against influenza viruses, Palese succeeded in creating the first genetic map for the three influenza types A, B and C and in researching the principle for the influenza drugs in use today, such as Tamiflu.
Palese has always remained connected to Austria, acting for many years as a reviewer and advisor to the FWF and the federal government, and has been an ÖAW member abroad since 2001. He was awarded the Robert Koch Prize in 2006.