Edward Holmes was the first scientist in the world to publish a genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The British virologist is renowned for his work on the evolution and emergence of infectious diseases, particularly the mechanisms by which RNA viruses jump past intraspecies boundaries to emerge in humans and other animals. In addition to SARS-CoV-2, he has studied the emergence and spread of lethal pathogens such as influenza, dengue, Hepatitis C and HIV. His previous appointments include the Verne M. Willaman Chair in the Life Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. He was a Fellow of New College, Oxford, and Honorary Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. In 2021, he received the Australian Prime Minister's Prize for Science and in 2023, he was awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2024 from The Royal Society.