Professor Patrick G. Holt was born in Semaphore, Australia, in 1945. He obtained B.Sc., Ph.D. and D.Sc. from the University of Western Australia and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Britain and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Earlier during his career, he was a researcher in the Department of Pathology at the University of Western Australia, then the Department of Microbiology, conducting studies in toxicology and tumor immunology. He also worked as a senior research fellow at the Clinical Immunology Research Unit of Princess Margaret Children’s Medical Research Foundation and spent one year as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Environmental Hygiene at the University of Gottenburg in Sweden before joining the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. He is currently Deputy Director and Head of the Division of Cell Biology at TVM Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Senior Principal Research Fellow at the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and adjunct Professor at the Department of Microbiology in the University of Western Australia. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Edward Jenner Institute for Vaccine Research and member of the Immunology Scientific Advisory Board of Entelos Inc.
Professor Holt is an allergy expert of international distinction. His pioneering research on the cellular and molecular basis of respiratory allergies and the mechanisms regulating immunological responses to inhaled allergens provided new perspectives on the causes and genesis of allergic respiratory diseases and the possibility of developing primary strategies for their prevention in childhood.
Author of numerous scientific publications in international journals, Professor Holt was awarded several prizes and honors, including the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine, an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Linköping in Sweden, the Pharmacia Foundation International Prize for Research in Allergy, Fellowship of the Collegium Internationale Allergolicum, Madiera, Spain; Pfizer’s Visiting Professorship in Allergic Diseases and Asthma at the University of Texas Medical Center in Galvstone, U.S.A. and a number of honorary lectureships. He also served as Editor of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.
In 2003, Professor Holt was awarded the Distinguished Achievements Award from the international Allergy Association.
Currently he is a Senior Principal Research Fellow at the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Deputy Director and Head of Division of Cell Biology at the TVW Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia.
Professor Holts extensive studies on the respiratory immune responses to inhalant allergens have revealed important findings with major implications in understanding the pathogenesis of asthma. His animal experiments, supported by findings in infants with atopic sensitisation and immune modulation very early in life have potential application in primary prevention of allergy. This experimental work paves the way for the development of a novel vaccine, which will be expected to prevent allergic diseases.