Professor William Graeme Laver

Professor William Graeme Laver (1929-2008)

In 1958 Graeme Laver was appointed a Research Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and by 1990 rose to the rank of Professor. Apart from some early work on the sructure of adenoviruses, he spent his career working on the structure of influenza virus, the mechanism of its antigenic variation and the development of inhibitors of influenza virus neuraminidase.

He was elected in 1987 a Fellow of The Royal Society of London and was awarded the Australia Prize in 1996. Professor Laver has made a major contribution to knowledge of the structure and function of the influenza virus and how it can be countered.

His crystallisation of sialidase, a key protein on the surface of the influenza virus, led to the discovery of this enzyme's three dimensional structure, which was in turn instrumental to the design of an effective anti-influenza drug.

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