ARC-SUPPORTED RESEARCHERS AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE RACE TO UNDERSTAND COVID ARCAustralian Laureate Fellow, Professor Edward Holmes at The University of Sydney, is an expert in the evolution and emergence of infectious viruses including hepatitis C, HIV, influenza, West Nile, dengue, Zika and Ebola. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Holmes’ research has been at the forefront of international efforts to understand the origin and spread of SARS-CoV-2. In January 2020, in the very early days of the pandemic, and following a collaborationwith colleagues inWuhan, China, Professor Holmes was responsible for the very first public release of the full genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2. This release enabled the international scientific community to commence with the rapid development of diagnostic tests and vaccines for the virus and opened the door to a fuller understanding of the origins of the pathogen. Professor Holmes has since undertaken fundamental research into the animal origins of the virus andwas the first to showthat pangolins carry a virus closely related to SARS-CoV-2 and so are a possible intermediate host between bats and humans, from an original natural reservoir of coronaviruses in bats. He has worked to highlight the dangers associatedwith the illegal
PROFESSOR HOLMES WAS NAMED 2020 NEW SOUTH WALES SCIENTIST OF THE YEAR IN RECOGNITION OF HIS RESEARCH INTO EMERGING VIRUSES, INCLUDING SARS-COV-2, THE VIRUS THAT CAUSES COVID-19 IN HUMANS.
trafficking of wildlife for food and medicine. Professor Holmes is currently also leading a
three-year Discovery Project examining the emergence and evolution of viruses in fish, and their impact on Australian aquaculture.
ARC Australian Laureate Fellow, Professor Edward Holmes FRS FAA. Credit: The University of Sydney. (Background) Artist impression. Credit: iStock.com/BlackJack3D.
RESPONDING TO COVID-19
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