HEAS member Martin Kuhlwilm is among 20 researchers awarded a grant in the FWF 1000 Ideas scheme. With this programme, the FWF funds high-risk research projects off the beaten track.
In this project, Prof. Kuhlwilm will explore the potential preservation of RNA viruses in historical specimens of great apes. Since it is well-known that zoonotic transmissions of viruses had an impact on humans, studying virus evolution in the past can guide the understanding of the present. However, unlike DNA, RNA is very poorly preserved and more challenging to explore.