Dr Peter WaterhouseBiography
Dr Peter Waterhouse is internationally recognised for his groundbreaking research on plant viruses, and he led the way in uncovering the mechanism, roles and applications of post-transcriptional gene silencing in plants, also termed RNA interference (RNAi).Dr Waterhouse completed his PhD in plant virology at the University of Dundee and the Scottish Crop Research Institute. He has received several awards, including the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium Thomson ISI Award as the CSIRO researcher with the most highly cited papers between 1998 and 2003, the Victor Chang Medal (2002) and the CSIRO Chairman's Medal for his work in the gene silencing/RNAi field (2005).
The development and use of vaccines against viruses such as polio, smallpox, and measles have to be among the great accomplishments of medical science.
However, it is not so generally appreciated that plants can also be protected from a severe virus by prior infection with a mild strain of a closely related virus.
"In my first chapter, I described how the existence of a virus protection mechanism in plants was discovered, how it operates, and how the mechanism has been exploited in biotechnology applications.
In this second chapter, I continue the story about this RNA degradation mechanism - of which has some even more unexpected twists to come."