Peter Lawrence Young graduated with a Diploma in Animal Husbandry from the Queensland Agricultural College in 1967.  He then went to The University of Queensland to study a Bachelor in Veterinary Science and a Bachelor of Science in Pathology, and graduated in 1973.

After completing his undergraduate studies, Peter went on to further study and completed a PhD in Veterinary Virology and Pathology before being appointed to a post-doctoral position at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

His studies put him in good stead for a lifetime of extensive research work, beginning with the transmission of encephalitis from animals to humans by mosquitoes.  He then travelled to Indonesia where he established research projects for major viral diseases including Foot and Mouth, Rabies and Newcastle disease. During this time, he was able to isolate the Foot and Mouth virus to develop a vaccine that led to the eradication of the disease in Indonesia, and hindered the spread of the disease internationally.

Returning to Australia, he developed a vaccine for Bovine Rhinotracheitus, which benefited the feedlot industry.

When Hendra virus first appeared at a large racing stable in Hendra in Brisbane in 1994, Peter led a team that made the ground-breaking discovery that fruit bats were the reservoir hosts of the disease.  This discovery was pivotal in developing strategies to control the virus.

Peter has produced over 60 papers in his career.