Groundbreaking Discoveries Enable mRNA Vaccine Development
In a significant recognition of scientific achievement, the Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to two scientists whose groundbreaking work paved the way for the creation of highly effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.
The prestigious award has been conferred upon Katalin Karikó, a professor at Sagan’s University in Hungary and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Drew Weissman, who collaborated with Karikó at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Nobel Prize panel recognized the profound impact of their discoveries on our understanding of how mRNA interacts with the immune system. These breakthroughs played a pivotal role in accelerating the development of vaccines during one of the most critical health crises in modern history.
Thomas Perlmann, the secretary of the Nobel Assembly, announced the prize and revealed that both scientists were “overwhelmed” when they were informed of this prestigious recognition shortly before the official announcement.
Last year, the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded to Swedish scientist Svante Pääbo for his groundbreaking research in human evolution, which unlocked secrets of Neanderthal DNA, providing crucial insights into our immune system and vulnerability to severe COVID-19.
This year’s Nobel Prize announcements will continue with the physics prize on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday, and literature on Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize will be unveiled on Friday, followed by the economics award on October 9.
Each Nobel Prize comes with a cash award of 11 million Swedish kronor (approximately USD 1 million), funded by a bequest from Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who passed away in 1896. This year, the prize money has been increased by 1 million kronor due to the devaluation of the Swedish currency.
The laureates are traditionally invited to receive their awards at ceremonies held on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place in Oslo, as per Nobel’s wishes, while the remaining award ceremonies are held in Stockholm.