Edward C. Holmes: Wellcome's man in China
Edward C Holmes has significant connections to Jeremy Farrar and the Wellcome trust, which would make him a key figure in the creation of this origins paper. He is also the scientist who released the translated genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 on 11 January 2020. Holmes, who is currently a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia Fellow and a sitting professor at the University of Sydney, has had an impressive career. His CV shows that between 1994 to 1997, Holmes was a Wellcome Trust Fellow in Biodiversity Research, at the University of Oxford, UK. The link between Holmes and Farrar is far and away the most important connection in relation to Farrar's career.
Starting in 1994, Holmes was tasked with the supervision of 35 graduate students with funding from various trusts, societies and institutions, as well as being responsible for the allocation of some grants and seed funding. This is a position that Edward C. Holmes still occupies today. This apparent coincidence of Farrar and Holmes being at Oxford during the same period should be very carefully studied. It appears that this is where Holmes may have originally gave Farrar his first opportunity to begin his research in countries like Vietnam.
It isn't a surprise that Professor Edward Holmes' remit for recruiting potential graduates is to target the brightest. Some clues to the secretive recruitment process of Edward C Holmes are found with in his CV. They pick mainly Rhodes Scholars who usually study for their doctorate in philosophy at Oxford University. British scientific candidates are almost entirely funded by the Wellcome Trust throughout their careers, with the International members appearing to be mainly linked to Harvard, if not Oxford, and with many connections to those involved with the Ebola crisis in 2014 and 2015.
Edward C Holmes “supervision” of 35 graduate students since 1994 has been funded by the Rhodes Trust, the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the American Psychological Association (APA), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the UK (BBSRC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Of course, it isn't surprising to see that the funding coming from outside the UK to help finance this professional grooming process originates from Australia, the US and Canada, three countries which have enacted some of the most severe and far-reaching public policy choices throughout the Covid era. It should also be highlighted that Edward Holmes relocated to work in China just before the pandemic in 2019 as a Professor at Fudan University.