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Dr. Palese is a co-founder of Vivaldi Biosciences. He is a is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, a position he has held since 1987.  Dr. Palese is an international leader in the study of viruses that cause respiratory diseases in humans.  His over 200 scientific publications have been published in prestigious journals, including Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, Nature Medicine, and the Journal of Virology.  His emphasis has been on viruses that use RNA as their genetic material.  Dr. Palese’s groundbreaking research made it possible to directly manipulate the influenza viral genome and genetically engineer the negative-strand RNA of the virus, by developing methods to create recombinant negative-strand RNA viruses using reverse genetics.  Building on this reverse genetics technology, Dr. Palese and Dr. Adolfo García-Sastre developed a plasmid-only rescue technology allowing the preparation of recombinant vaccine seed strains much more rapidly than is possible with standard techniques.  They also were the first to characterize NS1-related interferon antagonism.  Based on these achievements, Drs. Palese and García-Sastre developed novel live attenuated vaccine candidates to animal proof-of-concept, by altering the influenza virus nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), an antagonist of the host type 1 interferon system.  Drs. Palese and Garcia-Sastre also were involved in the reconstruction and study of the genes of the highly virulent 1918 pandemic influenza virus.  Previously, Dr. Palese established the first genetic maps for influenza A, B and C viruses.  He also identified the function of several viral genes in addition to NS1, and defined the mechanism of neuraminidase inhibitors, which are now FDA-approved antivirals.  Dr. Palese’s research to understand the structure and function of RNA viruses, how they interact with host cells, and how they reproduce, continues to lead to the development of antiviral compounds and vaccines.  His current research interests include application of genetic engineering techniques to the study of influenza virus genes and gene products, and development of novel vaccines and vaccine vectors; identification of novel targets for antivirals; identification of intracellular proteins that interact with viral proteins; and cellular mechanisms involved in the nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of influenza virus RNAs.  Dr. Palese was a founder of Aviron, and his initial reverse genetics patents were assigned to Aviron beginning in 1993.  Dr. Palese earned an MSc in Pharmacy and a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Vienna.  He serves on the editorial board of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and is an editor for the Journal of Virology.  Dr. Palese is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.



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